PB Brides: My Father-In-Law Has No Filter!
June 24, 2016
My father-in-law has no filter, and quite frankly, he’s a jerk. There’s no other way to say it. He’s always making rude comments about everything from the chosen wedding venue to his ideas about how my fiancé and I are “wasting” our money on a honeymoon instead of investing it. I’ve tried to reason with him, ignore him, and kill him with kindness, but nothing seems to work. I’m concerned about him being rude at the wedding. My husband has spoken to him but changes never last. What do you suggest I do?
Dear Fed Up:
If there’s one thing I know to be true, it’s that you can’t please all of the people all the time or some people any of it. While it’s no fun to spend your days dodging nasty comments, I am guessing your father-in-law doesn’t reserve his snarky comments solely for you and your husband-to-be, but that doesn’t make them any easier to deal with.
Whether he means to bully, gains a sense of power by offering criticism, is rude out of habit, or simply feels as though the only thing he has to offer is snark, you need to know this is not about you, love. Anyone around him for an extended period of time will conclude that his behavior is tied to his character and not a reflection of your choice to marry at a certain place or celebrate your union with a honeymoon. The real liability is not his complaints at the reception, but in allowing him to cast a dark, anxious shadow over this special time.
I suggest you remain respectful but also set some serious boundaries in place and then refuse to engage behavior that brings about unnecessary stress. A simple “thank you for your advice” and a change of subject works wonders.
At the wedding, I suggest you sit him at a table with those who know him well and gently warn those who don’t. Then, enjoy your evening with your new husband (Note: A savvy, charming maid-of-honor is always helpful in getting one out of cornered conversations).