My Husband Suggested Taking My Mother-in-Law on Our Honeymoon

6 months ago

“I’m Jane, a 28-year-old soon-to-be bride from Portland, Oregon, and I’ve been daydreaming about my honeymoon with my soon-to-be-husband, Mark. We’ve been dating for three wonderful years, and we were ready to start our journey as a married couple. But it turns out my MIL has other plans,” Jane shared with us.

My fiancé and I decided to use all our savings on our honeymoon.

As the wedding day drew near, I found myself immersed in wedding plans and Pinterest boards, dreaming of the romance surrounding the Eiffel Tower and the cobblestone streets of Paris. Mark and I were perusing a honeymoon brochure when he revealed something that momentarily dampened my excitement.

One ordinary evening, while we were on the couch, Mark hesitated before dropping a bombshell. “You know, my mom wants to come with us.” I nearly choked on the excitement that had filled the room just moments before. “Your mom? To our honeymoon? Seriously?” I asked, hoping he was kidding.

But he wasn’t.

Mark explained that his mom, Carol, had been feeling lonely since his dad’s passing, and she saw our honeymoon as an opportunity for some family bonding. I attempted to comprehend his perspective, but the notion of sharing such an intimate trip with my mother-in-law left me feeling uneasy.

After a thorough discussion, Mark convinced me that having Carol accompany us wouldn’t be as negative as I feared, and might even turn out to be a positive experience. Reluctantly, I agreed, hoping that the presence of a third wheel wouldn’t overshadow our romantic moments.

But I was right from the beginning: she shouldn’t have joined us.

Our honeymoon in Paris finally arrived, and right from the start, it became apparent that my concerns were justified. Carol, in her early 60s, displayed enthusiasm but had a tendency to hover, transforming our intimate dinners into family gatherings and our private moments into shared experiences.

While we strolled along the Seine and explored iconic landmarks, I couldn’t help but yearn for the romantic solitude I had envisioned. The continual presence of my mother-in-law introduced a tension that lingered. Though I valued her company, there was a persistent feeling that our honeymoon had been somewhat hijacked.

Now, back in Portland, I find myself grappling with mixed emotions. I acknowledge Mark’s desire to support his mom, but I cannot overlook the fact that our honeymoon didn’t align with my expectations. While reflecting on our experiences, a lingering question haunts me: How can I effectively communicate my feelings to Mark and navigate the delicate balance between family obligations and the intimacy expected in our newlywed phase?

Response from Now I’ve Seen Everything

Hi Jane! Thank you for reaching out to us here at Now I’ve Seen Everything! We appreciate you sharing your unique situation. Here’s some advice that might help you navigate through these circumstances:

  • Arrange a “Honeymoon Reimagined” Night: Craft a unique evening at home to relive some of the romantic moments you missed in Paris. Collaboratively prepare a French-inspired meal, enjoy a curated playlist of your cherished romantic songs, and convert your living space into a cozy haven. This endeavor enables you to encapsulate the essence of your envisioned honeymoon while preserving a sense of intimacy.
  • The Surprise Solo Adventure: Organize a surprise weekend getaway exclusively for the two of you. Opt for a nearby destination that radiates romance, and keep the details under wraps until the last moment. This unforeseen adventure not only reignites the excitement of a honeymoon but also offers an opportunity to share intimate moments away from the watchful eyes of family.
  • Memory Box Exchange: Each of you creates a memory box filled with mementos, notes, and tokens from your time in Paris. Exchange the boxes and take turns exploring the contents. This unique exercise allows you to share your individual perspectives of the trip, fostering a deeper connection and understanding of each other’s experiences.
  • Themed Date Nights: Bring a touch of Paris into your everyday life by planning themed date nights. Choose different aspects of the city — such as a movie night featuring French films, a cooking class to master French cuisine, or an art night inspired by famous Parisian artists. These creative dates will help you build new memories together while honoring the romantic spirit of your dream honeymoon.
  • The “Paris Pact” Conversation: Begin a candid and sincere conversation with Mark regarding your sentiments about the honeymoon. Formulate a “Paris Pact” in which both of you pledge to cultivate special, private moments on a regular basis. Deliberate on boundaries, expectations, and strategies to harmonize family obligations with your desire for intimate time. This pact serves as a symbol of your joint dedication to sustaining the spark in your relationship amid external influences.

Put yourself in Jane’s shoes — what steps would you consider taking? Additionally, as you contemplate that, take a look at another article featuring individuals sharing their family’s darkest secrets, prompting reflections on our own experiences.

Preview photo credit Taylor Deas-Melesh / Unsplash


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