"Love My Way, It's a New Road"

A main source of stress (besides a work event that really took the wind out of my sails this week) is that my daughter has changed wedding locales due to scheduling conflicts and now we are having a wedding here in her hometown in February. Good grief. Today I went to our top choice venue for a FaceTime tour with the wedding planner and my Ex. The venue is perfect and a tad pricey, but everything in this city is expensive, so that is no surprise. If my daughter would drop her guest count by 20%, we will probably be OK.

My Ex and I are in the parking lot afterwards and he immediately jumps on me to split the cost 50/50. I tell him that I cannot do this and that I have already committed to our daughter for an amount that is half of what he is demanding of me. He immediately asks me about “your mom’s trust for the kids”. What trust for the kids? That’s my inheritance and it’s in an annuity I tell him. WTF? He is going to spend my money for me? I don’t think so. He pisses me off because he is demanding and insisting that I cough up more money. He tells me that his contribution is 9% of his net worth. I could care less. I am not about to go broke for her wedding and the amount I am willing to contribute is really right on edge of my comfort level. It’s a big number for me.

I leave the venue and call my daughter. I tell her that her dad is expecting more from me and she cannot expect more from me. I tell her to consider culling the invitation list down and figuring out where she can cut some corners. This place is great; we just have to be judicious with the spending. She is fine and absolutely wonderful. She gets it.

Next I call the Hunter and tell him the entire story. He is ready to pound my Ex. Sigh. It is so nice to have a champion for me; however, I need to fight my battles myself. He is good about pointing out when I am falling back into bad habits of dealing with my Ex. He suggested I stop communicating directly with my Ex, but I tell him it’s too soon for that and I don’t want to make this uncomfortable for my daughter at this early stage. For the first time, I give him concrete numbers of what I am giving my daughter, the estimated cost of the wedding and my Ex’s contribution. We have never spoken about money so directly. Interestingly, this is one of my concerns I mentioned during counseling – our income disparity. I just know that most couples fight about money. We are fine for now, but at some point, the elephant in the room needs to be addressed.

In any case, I finish my chat with the Hunter, eat some lunch and head back to the office. On the way, I decide to call the future mother-in-law. She and I get along great. Over the engagement weekend, she told me that they were planning on making a significant contribution to the wedding outside of the rehearsal dinner. I call her and tell her that I want to have an off-the-record chat. I explain to her that my Ex is making waves about the money. I tell her exactly what I am contributing and what he is contributing. She was just texting with my daughter and about to discuss with her husband their contribution to the wedding. Money-wise, they are very comfortable and she appreciated my candor. She plans to cut them a check for a certain amount that they can spend as they see fit. That’s my plan also. These are young adults who should be able to plan and spend as they see fit. I think that my sidebar conversation with the Future-Mother-In-Law was extremely helpful and will get things back on course. In the meantime, fuck my Ex.

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Comments on: "Wedding Bills — Not Bells" (5)

  1. Bravo for being so pro-active with everyone involved, it’s very admirable. When it comes to money, being up front is the best approach. And most likely will keep relationships healthy (except for the ex, but that’s something else.)

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    • I have discovered that if I start the conversation candidly and stating the numbers with no hemming and hawing, the other person is much more comfortable with the conversation. But conversations about money always have the potential of going sideways. I’ll be writing a follow up to this about how the Hunter has suggested I deal with my Ex. Shit is gonna get real for my Ex.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. When my niece, and later her brother, got married, their divorced parents each gave them an amount they could afford. The future in-laws did as well. Then, it was up to each couple to plan an event within the budget that could afford. In one case, the couple spent virtually none of their own funds. In the other case, the couple contributed some to get exactly what they wanted.
    It sounds like your daughter gets it, but perhaps before picking venues etc, a budget needs to be decided on. If you ex balks, then what? (I also wonder if your daughter is the one that ought to be having this conversation with him. It is her wedding after all.)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you! I have been telling her to set up a budget and guest list, which she has. I don’t need to see the budget, I just want her to really think about this. She is being really great about all this. It’s my Ex who is being his usual jerky self.

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  3. I think it is good for everyone to state what they are comfortable spending. Then to the newlyweds to decide what they can afford, what is important for them and so on.
    That way, there can be no resentment as to “I gave more than I could afford, now I’m in debt”. Granted, the kids can decide to resent you for not forking enough (which doesn’t seem to be the case here), but it’s also a good way to teach them what is reasonable and not and how they’ll have to go through life, making do with what they have. Or figuring constructive ways to come up with the money they need to pay for what they want.

    I am glad that your daughter sees it like you do, and that you have someone firmly in your corner with the Hunter!

    Good luck dealing with the ex. I can’t wait to see what he has in mind, as I know all this is going to happen to me a few years down the line… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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