My MIL Is Ruining Facebook


AAPW: In-laws and the digital age

by Liz Moorhead, Editor, Ask APW

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Q: I’m currently drowning in guilt and don’t know what to do.

Here’s a quick backgrounder: I have over five hundred photos from the wedding and chose a modest eighty-eight to create a nice little album to share on my own page. Most of the photos focused on my husband and me, and I only uploaded a fraction of the photos so viewers could get a snapshot of the day—not a detailed account of every moment and every guest who attended.

Boy was I wrong in my approach.

I had no idea it would cause so many rifts, especially from my husband’s family (most of whom don’t even use FB).

My new mother-in-law wrote to my husband to let him know that she was offended the album appeared to be “off-balance.” She suggested that I purposely chose to favor my family more than his.

Here’s how I see it: I see my FB page as my space to show whatever I want. I’m not going to post something just to check off a checkbox, and I certainly don’t want to overwhelm or annoy any of my friends with a massive photo album. I didn’t think it would be such a huge deal. After all, there were many guests (college friends, high school friends, a few of my uncles and aunts, etc.) who didn’t make it in. The album told such a nice story of the day, and each photo was selected for a particular aesthetic that I liked. I wasn’t a huge fan of the plain old snapshots. And lastly, if there’s anything I hate, it’s a bloated Facebook photo album.

In my mind, the more curated and simpler, the better. The album was simply meant to be a snapshot of the day—nothing more. This is by no means the “official wedding album.” It was just for Facebook.

I didn’t mean any harm by it and now I feel so incredibly guilty. If my MIL is upset, who else might I have offended?

Right now, my plan is to do the following:

1. Upload every wedding photo ever to my Flickr account and share that with all wedding guests, and invite them to comment and share.

2. Create a massive printed album for us and for my in-laws that includes everything and is more “balanced.”

What are your thoughts?

—Anonymous

A: Dear Anonymous,

Neither of those options. Leave the Facebook album just as it is, and don’t bother with any additional photo-sharing methods just for the sake of smoothing things over. Your Facebook page isn’t about your mother-in-law, no matter how much she tries to make that so.

You’re completely right that your friends don’t care to see all 1,200 photos of your wedding. They want the happy little summary to breezily click through when they’re bored at work. They don’t want six different shots of your floral arrangements from different angles, or a photo of each and every guest in attendance.

Your plan of action should involve shaking off that guilt, period. And fine, I guess apologize that she feels hurt by it and explain that wasn’t your intention. But that is seriously it. Instead of devoting your energy to creating new albums or whatever else, start bracing yourself. Because a lady who can make your Facebook album of your wedding all about herself is for sure going to find a whole plethora of unexpected things to be miffed about.

If you would like to ask APW a question please don’t be shy! You can email: askteampractical [at] apracticalwedding [dot] com. If you would prefer to not be named, anonymous questions are also accepted. Though it really makes our day when you come up with a clever sign-off! 

Liz Moorhead

Liz is an illustrator and writer who paints custom stationery and types up impassioned opinions about weddings, etiquette, feminism and motherhood (usually while shaking a fist and mumbling expletives around mouthfuls of cheese fries). Her spare time is spent sipping bourbon with her husband and playing Don’t Throw That in the Toilet with her sons.

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  • Eh

    This is definitely a boundary that needs to be enforced. No one should be dictating that you put on your own FB page. And if you cave this time she is going to think she can guilt you over and over. Or you are going to change what/how you post on FB in the hopes that it doesn’t offend her in the future.

    On Father’s Day, my BIL’s wife posted a collage of four pictures of the most important father’s in her life (her grandfather, her father, my BIL and her pastor). My MIL was livid that my FIL was excluded (and that the pastor was included). My in-laws complained to my husband (I have no clue if it was ever brought up with my BIL/SIL since my in-laws also like to talk behind peoples backs) so he vented to me. I told him it was her FB post she gets to curate it how she wants. (I mentioned that my Father’s Day post only included my father, and his response was that it “only” included my father and not a pastor.) I also pointed out that her pastor is more supportive than his father.

  • Ellen

    Your MIL isn’t behaving as well as she should, here, and your Facebook albums are clearly your business and it’s your prerogative to handle them however you want. That said, I wonder if there’s something else going on here; maybe a combination of the following factors: she somehow got the idea that this is The facebook album of your wedding (her kid hasn’t posted one, her kid told her something like “The Facebook album from our wedding is up on x’s page!”, whatever other thing); she thinks of you (rightly or wrongly) as the social hub of your new family unit; she thinks whatever precedent gets set now is the one that will live for the whole marriage (familiar to lots of us, I think, from planning; “I can’t let this go now or they’ll think they ALWAYS get to make choices for us!’).

    I can see those things coming together to create a situation where someone, already nervous, maybe, about a big change, thinks “my new kid is curating a public image of this wedding that cuts my family out. Is this how it will always be–that her family gets to be center stage and mine in the margins? Isn’t a wedding, of all things, supposed to be about joining families and sharing joy? She’s the one who manages their social calendar and makes plans, she’s the one I need to reach out to when I want to see them. Will I always have to struggle to be part of their lives?”

    Again: she should have handled things better. I offer the above as a thought on both resolving the current interaction (maybe emphasizing in some way that this is just your album, not The album, and maybe encouraging your spouse to do an album or putting a more balanced set of photos on Flickr or whatever–because I do think it’s reasonable for his family to be interested, and particularly interested in photos of themselves) and on maintaining a good relationship with her in the future, particularly if she’s normally a reasonable person who may just need some reassurance as she figures out what it’s like to have married offspring.

    • Sarah

      I agree this is likely the (or an) issue here. Not sure how to address it, but I’m sure others will have good suggestions.

      • Lauren from NH

        Other than the husband confirming with his mother “FB = ______, therefore this album was made with this intention,” does the MIL really need her hand held through something so normal and positive as her kid being married? I have brought this up before because it’s my experience, some parents need to get a life and stop trying to hold back or guilt their kids for starting new good things without them because it makes them feel lonely. It’s fine if you have those feelings but you need to dump them in the appropriate place, which is not on your kid. That may not apply to the LW, it’s just a bad parental behavior I have experience with.

        • Lawyerette510

          I’m with you; while I think it’s good to be empathetic to the MIL, I think any kind of apology or positive attention to make her feel better will reinforce negative pattern of her making things about her that aren’t, and then getting positive attention for it.

          • anon

            Ohhh I don’t know. This is such a pick-your-battles situation. If this is the only time MIL has freaked out about something minor that has nothing to do with her, I think it’s okay to appease her in some way and then move on from it. But, if this IS a pattern and giving MIL an inch will make her take a mile, then I agree with you, and boundaries have to be maintained all the time. It just depends on the rest of the relationship.

            I had a friend in a sort-of similar situation, also interestingly involving pictures. Her future step MIL was upset that she (and I think her husband?) weren’t in a framed picture in my friend’s home (they were “only” on the refrigerator). My friend and her fiancee refused to apologize about this (which is fair because step MIL was being insane), but it escalated into a huge rift that resulted in his dad and step mom not attending his wedding. It’s sad because they otherwise had a good relationship with step MIL and behaving like this was out of character. And while my friend wasn’t wrong in the slightest, given that it was *just* about pictures, it might have been better to just say sorry and move on.

          • Eh

            My SIL has complained that there are more pictures of my brother’s kids than of her kids in my house. We flat out said that my brother/SIL send us pictures on a regular basis so we put them up. We occasionally take pictures when I’m with her kids and we print those ones. We see her kids way more than we see my brother’s kids (since my BIL/SIL live 1 hour away and my Brother/SIL live 7 hours away) so we have more opportunity to take pictures of her kids.

          • Liz

            Oof, man, I don’t know. If the in-laws took it to the “huge rift” extent, I’d wager a guess that it wasn’t “just pictures” and that it wouldn’t be so easily settled. Sounds like in-laws made a mountain out of a molehill, which is the same brand of folk it takes to take an inch and try for a mile (holy metaphor overload, sorry).

          • anon

            You might be right, Liz, but I think it’s hard to say either way because now we have confirmation bias that they DID make a mountain out of a molehill, but if the SMIL had been apologized too and felt like she was being heard, that might have been enough to stop the escalation. And given how the SMIL behaved prior to the fight (which like I said was really great and supportive), I would have given her a pass on this relatively small issue and said sorry.

            Because, sometimes people just make a mountain out of a molehill because of their own issues (and I have been both the mountain-maker and the molehill-seer, haha!) and it’s not necessarily true that they will ALWAYS act this way and need to have a boundary set with them. To get back to the original question, I think if this is the only instance of MIL being unreasonable, it might be worth it to apologize and move on. Like others commented, she might be going through a lot emotionally with the wedding and this may be the one freak out she gets a pass on.

          • lindsayinMPLS

            Ditto. I don’t think the LW should apologize at all. The “I’m sorry your feelings were hurt” is the classic non-apology apology and I hate those. Instead, acknowledge her feelings and tell her the printed album will be more comprehensive. Sometimes people just want to to have their feelings listened to and that’s good enough.

            Also, where is your spouse in this? He should be running interference for you and telling his mom she doesn’t get a say what goes in your facebook album.

            Lastly, I agree this isn’t something for you to feel guilty about. Let go of the guilt over online photos and focus on your post-wedding life.

  • Caitlin

    If it’s not too much trouble, your guests (other than your MIL) may still appreciate the Flickr album or perhaps a link to the photographer’s website if they publish all the photos. Sometimes it can be really fun to comb through all the photos and look for pictures of yourself as a wedding guest, especially if you were in the bridal party or are a family member.

    I agree with Liz that your MIL is being extreme in her reaction, but I do think some people might want to see all of the photos. I think there’s room for both the beautifully curated facebook album you created and access to everything in case they want to order their own prints. Weddings are one of the few times that people are dressed up with a professional photographer present, so they might want some of the pictures that show only themselves/are less about the wedding as a whole, which are probably different than the ones you would like to show off on your facebook.

    • Eenie

      Yessss! Kind of unrelated to the post, but do what you can to share all the photos you received from your photog in a legal way (and as you’re comfortable) with your family and other guests. There are some guests who are DYING to see all the photos (granted all of FB does not fall into this category).

      • One of the major reasons I did flickr. I’m not fb friends with all of our guests nor do I want to be. I created a flickr album and sent them an email with the link. Easy and done.

      • Kelly

        I was just going to make this exact comment. Guests were looking their best and probably had a lot of fun with each other, separate from the first-hand experience of whoever was getting married. Give them the photos, those are your guest’s memories, too! Maybe not necessarily through FB, but some other more private site (our photog uploaded eveything to smugmug, and we sent all guests the link). As a guest, I love seeing little glimpses of me and my friends, even if we’re just in the background and even it’s not the best “aesthetic”.

    • Jules

      Agreed. Creating a “full album” of photos or linking to the photographer is a great thing to share with guests! A lot of them WON’T comb the whole thing, but the ones who do (me!) will love you for it.

      Re: the LW’s plan, #1 can totally be a part of the plan, but only because you want to do it, not because MIL is pitching a fit. You can say, “Gee, I’m sorry you were hurt by the album, but it’s not a reflection on how I feel about the family. I wanted to share all the photos with some of our guests who did make it to the wedding though, and they can be found at ________.”

    • Lane

      Judging from the letter alone, it sounds like the writer did put some photos up of her own family, but not the groom’s family. Just a gut check here – if I was the mother-in-law and saw photos of the bride’s family in the “curated” Facebook batch, and none of my own, I’d be hurt.
      Maybe it’s as simple as that? Maybe the bride’s mini-album does look one-sided?

      • Margret

        I think the point is that it is her facebook album, and she can put what she wants on it. I’d even go further and say that the “official” wedding album can be as one-sided as she and her new husband want. Because it is for them, not MIL.

        • Lane

          You say it’s for “them”, which means both spouses, right? So why would the writer’s spouse feel great about an album that shows only one side of the family? We don’t know if the writer’s spouse was even consulted.

          • Margret

            To be clear, I said that the official wedding album is for “them”. Her facebook is for her.

          • Jules

            Why would she need to consult her spouse about pictures that she is putting on HER facebook? I would not expect my husband to make a FB album that featured friends and family of mine that can’t even see his profile. Heck, I’m not even sure that I’d be upset if he left off pictures of MY mom.

            I think it’s a different story entirely if they created a printed wedding album for the MIL that didn’t contain his family, versus an online album posted to the profile of only one (not both) partners.

          • Lane

            Jules, I thought Margaret was saying the Facebook album was for the couple alone.

          • laddibugg

            eh…….I can see the MIL, depending on age, not making that distinction that LW Facebook is just ‘her’ Facebook, especially with regards to wedding photos.

          • Jules

            Which is understandable, but since the LW is using it as “hers”, I would say that the LW or her husband needs to step up and clarify that, if that’s what’s causing the strife. MIL misunderstanding it doesn’t really change the end result, really, which is that she gets to choose what she puts on it.

      • Caitlin

        I agree with you, however, I don’t think that makes the MIL entirely off the hook either, because she assumed that the LW had purposeful negative intent towards her, which is really unfair and the biggest issue imo. That being said, I agree that weddings are often overly bride centric and I know from my mother’s experience with my brothers that she often felt left out and hurt. That’s why I suggested sharing the full album and empowering the MIL to create her own album on facebook. I also think the LW could share what she said above with her MIL, ” This is by no means the “official wedding album.” It was just for Facebook.”

      • Alison O

        I feel like this is a cautionary tale against reading too much into anything on facebook ever… It is just a snapshot, inevitably incomplete, and sometimes distorted. I think it’s totally on the mother in law to come to terms with her own feelings of being hurt. It would not occur to me that someone was intentionally leaving me out of photos UNLESS there were an existing problem in the relationship. It makes me wonder if there’s more background to this story than we know, but either way, I think it’s perfectly fine for the LW to post photos of her own family and not her groom’s family.

        • Lane

          I think it’s completely understandable that the groom’s mother would have been so excited to see the photos up on Facebook, and then feel let down that their side had been erased from the day. We’ll just have to agree to disagree.

          • I’m with you Lane. In 88 photos, she couldn’t include one photo of her new extended family?

      • Jules

        I read it as it “favored” his. If she left them out entirely, sure, that would hurt. But why would she be obligated to ensure that it’s balanced? This was her album, after all – she probably has more pictures of her friends and family because they’re the ones likely to see it, as her FB friends.

        Unless she actually has a relationship with his cousins/aunt/uncles, I don’t understand why it would be expected to include those shots since they won’t even be seeing them.

        In other words, even if it is one-sided, I don’t agree that it matters.

        • I read it as she only included pics of her family and none of his. Thats why the poster goes so far as to say “some of my high school friends, aunts, and uncles, weren’t included either”
          As if her high school friends equate to the mother of her spouse?

      • BR

        I think something also worth considering is how much responsibility the poster bears for you choosing to be hurt. Sure, no one wants to go around hurting feelings (presumably), but this proliferation of ‘this makes me sad’ comments is a bit sad itself.

      • OhNoThereGoesTokyo

        It’s Facebook. It isn’t meant to be taken so seriously and its contents should not be fodder for how one treats their child’s spouse.

        • Eh

          Exactly! I don’t think a lot of people understand this. My MIL takes things on FB way too seriously and reads way more than she should into things.

        • JDrives

          THANK YOU. We had a situation recently where my husband posted something cheeky and my mom (who doesn’t have FB but stalks all of us through my stepdad’s page) immediately complained to my sister, and emailed my dad asking him to talk to my husband and “defend me” or some such patriarchal nonsense. Her “concern” was that my grandparents would see it and be offended…grandparents who don’t even have Facebook! It was highly irritating.

          • OhNoThereGoesTokyo

            I kept my parents at arm’s length on there for years. It can be exhausting dealing with their inept social media behaviour.

  • TeaforTwo

    I love a good boundary, but I think #2 is what’s going to smooth this over.

    I don’t know your mother in law, and I don’t know your husband. But I know my mother in law and my husband, and here’s what would have been happening for us in that situation:

    My husband did not post a single photo of our wedding on Facebook. (Nor has he posted a photo of anything on FB in the last five or more years.) He would not have thought to email photos to his parents, to share the wedding CD, or to make them an album. So if my FB photos were all of my family, my MIL wouldn’t be crying “She hates our family”; she would be crying “these are the only pictures of my son’s wedding I will ever see.”

    Eventually, I did get him to make album for his parents over a year after the wedding, that focussed on their people. (His initial suggestion was that we just make a copy of the album I gave my dad, until I pointed out that his mom doesn’t need pictures of my cousins and I didn’t have any pictures of HIS cousins in the album for my dad.)

    It sounds like she didn’t handle it well, but I want to give your MIL the benefit of the doubt that her real concern isn’t what you’ve posted on FB – it’s getting to see pictures of her parents and sibs and college roommate from your wedding.

    • Eh

      I am pro setting the boundary that the MIL doesn’t get a say what she posts on FB, but I agree that outside of FB (or other social media) for this matter that this can be smoothed over (especially by involving her husband). We gave my dad and my in-laws CDs with the pictures from our wedding and we also gave them photo albums. (Note: we did not curate them for the different audiences, i.e., my dad vs. my in-laws, so everyone got the same pictures, as I did not want the extra work.) We had already planned on doing this before hand since we asked that people not take pictures during our ceremony and the only way to get my MIL to give up her camera was to promise her that we’d give her a CD of pictures so she could print them.

    • Greta

      Yes to this! The LW doesn’t mention if MIL has access to all the photos. We don’t know if MIL is upset because she hasn’t seen any other photos, or if she’s upset because of what is “public” on facebook. I think if it’s the second, Liz’s advice is great, but if the LW hasn’t shared the entire collection of photos with the in-laws, that is a GREAT thing to do. We sent all our parents the link our photographer sent as soon as we got the photos, and then we also made them print albums for christmas.

    • Alison O

      It’s generous to try to smooth things over, but it’s just as reasonable to expect the MIL to make her own needs/desires known by explicitly telling her son she wants the total set of photos, and to expect the son to make this happen. It seems to me that the MIL is triangling in the LW as a way around some kind of stress or barrier between her and the son. That might be something for them to dig into so these kind of miscommunications are less likely to occur in the future.

  • EllsUK

    I don’t think there’s any harm in uploading all photos to Flickr, (unless it will take a massive effort and is not something you would want to do if not for your MIL, then don’t bother). You’d probably be surprised at the number of people who would be interested in seeing more photos. People always want to see photos of themselves for a start. But I completely agree that Facebook is not the place for all photos and not something your MIL should have any control over. A quick email to guests with a “by the way here (link to Flickr) is where all the photos are stored if you are interested in looking” would be a good shout and then those people that are interested can have a look.

    In terms of the photo album I would only bother if you were going to do it anyway. “Balancing” however, when made especially for the in-laws, can be skewed. Fill the one for your MIL with people she is bothered about, to put the focus on them and then leave it at that.

    MIL is overreacting about FB for sure.

  • I started with the flickr album for all the guests to see. This was especially important for people who couldn’t attend. It wasn’t difficult to create this separate album of sorts. Then we made a canvas collage of pics carefully curated for my wife’s mother and father (they’re divorced) and for my mother. Each one was created with pics we knew they would be meaningful to them. Then I randomly started posting to a shared facebook album between me and my wife (although the process wasn’t exactly linear). Personally if I were you I’d go with flickr so everyone can see every shot if they so choose. There’s a huge difference between flickr and Facebook. I agree that no one wants to see every single angle and every person at your wedding. My wife also has never posted one single pic to facebook, that’s just not her. She doesn’t owe it to anyone and neither do you. And a printed album with every single pic would be exorbitantly expensive. As someone else said you could also share the photographer’s link to your gallery so she can order whatever pics she wants.

  • Amy March

    Eh, you had 88 photos, so it’s not really all that minimalist or streamlined to my mind. And if it really does heavily favor your family of origin, I think that you should take this as a bit of a wake up call- you just expanded your family, and taking care to include his as well is part of that.

    I agree with Liz that you don’t need to go to great lengths to apologize or fix it or feel guilty, but I guess I just don’t see why adding a few more pictures of his family to the current album would be an issue. Honestly you’ve posted 88 photos- that is already a big album, 5 more isn’t really going to destroy your aesthetic or anything.

    • honeycomehome

      Agreed. Also, would you be “drowning in guilt” if your MIL wasn’t a little correct?

      Second lesson: Limit how much your MIL can see of your page on FB.

    • Ashlyn

      I totally agree with you, Amy. While I wouldn’t apologize or feel guilty, it’s not a big deal to just add a few more pictures of his side. In my honest opinion, those pictures should have been included from the get-go — you’re all family now.

      • Liz

        “It’s not a big deal to just add a few more photos” is completely true, and would probably take 2mins.

        But I think it creates the idea a few others have mentioned that this FB page is public property, you get to demand to see exactly what you’d like, or worse- that it’s reflective of something deeper re: how you feel about me. I think then we get into some murky waters. You didn’t shout out to me on Mother’s Day like everyone else did, what gives?? Why didn’t you post a photo of the flowers I sent, didn’t you appreciate them?? It’s not that deep. Make that clear, offer to lend her the CD of photos, move on.

        If it sounded like MIL was like, “Aw maaaaan, I’d hoped to see more photos of me dancing with your uncle that I haven’t seen since ’05. :(” that’d be one thing, but it sounds like this MIL is taking it as a Very Personal and Intentional Affront! which is something else completely.

        • Laura C

          That’s why I’d argue for LW’s husband to do his own album — the pictures are up, MIL has been heard, but she’s not getting to dictate what LW puts on her own FB. Plus setting the tone that LW is not the social secretary of their household.

        • This.

    • Amanda L

      I’m with you. One of my first thoughts was that if I was the LW’s FB friend, it wouldn’t matter if the album had 88 or 200 photos in it, unless she uploaded each one of them to the album individually. Otherwise, it will come up once in my feed, I’ll either look at it or I won’t, and that will be it. If it doesn’t hurt the LW (or her FB friends) to upload a few more pictures, that’s the route I would go. Marriage is long (hopefully) and if you can do some small gesture to make someone else feel better, why not do it.

      Though I do agree with Liz that if THIS is what the MIL is up in arms about, there is definitely more coming down the pipe.

      • MTM

        She’s allowed to limit what she shares. I only put 9 photos (out of hundreds) of my wedding on Facebook, because those were the moments I wanted to share. She doesn’t need to share everything with everyone.

        • Amanda L

          I completely agree. My comment was addressing the fact that she felt that 88 was SO MUCH smaller than 200+. I was just pointing out that there is not much difference, in a FB sense, in posting 88 pictures vs 200+.

    • Jenny

      I get where you are coming from, but I was never really raised with the idea that the in laws were family. Both my parents liked they others parents fine, but I’m not sure they would have truly said the others were their family. Especially not at first, since they meet when neither were living at home or anywhere near family. I met plenty of my husband’s family at our shower or our wedding. To say they felt like my family, in the sense that I would include them in my Facebook album is disingenuous. I like them, and I understand that they are my husband’s family. But I can’t even name all of them, I certainly don’t know how they feel about having their pictures on Facebook, since many don’t have Facebook pages (my grandmother for example doesn’t want her pics on Facebook, I generally think if people don’t have a social media presence, it’s not my prerogative to give them one). I guess I just always bristle at the phrasing that , well they are family now, because saying it doesn’t mean people feel that way. My husband and I posted different wedding albums, because we had different favorite pictures.

      • Lauren from NH

        “I guess I just always bristle at the phrasing that , well they are family now, because saying it doesn’t mean people feel that way.” Agree. I am expanding my family…by 1.

      • Lane

        If your in laws were hosting a holiday dinner, and they only invited your spouse and not you, with the explanation that they were only inviting “family”, would you be hurt?
        They are called “mother-in-law” and “father-in-law”; not “stranger-in-law”. It’s a two-way street and most of us would be upset to learn that our in laws didn’t really consider us family.

        • Lauren from NH

          Just because they aren’t my family doesn’t mean I don’t owe them respect since they are his family and vice versa. Like I try to respect my friend’s friends even if they aren’t and don’t feel like my friends.

          • Lane

            No one is asking you to feel closer to your in laws than to your own family. However, in a legal sense, your in laws are considered family. If you had a child and you and your husband died, your in laws would be considered along with your bio family as suitable for raising your child.

          • Lauren from NH

            So couples who don’t have children are not bound to this in-laws=family rule? Or couples who have children but don’t die before those children are 18…. I don’t see your point.

          • Lane

            Lauren, the only point is to illustrate that in laws are legally considered family. The example of kids is only one example. I didn’t think it necessary to list every legal example out there.

          • Lauren from NH

            Well originally you were talking about feelings and then switched gears to laws, which unless both partners die most don’t apply, so I still tend to think it’s fine if people don’t call their in-laws family.

          • raccooncity

            You know, this thread has tugged at some of my heartstrings as a kid who had one parent that didn’t really care for their in-laws. That parent didn’t say anything inappropriate about them, just opted out my other parent’s ‘family’ events. As a kid in that family, it wasn’t exactly devastating, but it was certainly hurtful to see a parent I loved dearly rejecting a side of my life. My parents got along, but I was close with all my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc, and to know that one of my parents was like “nah, I’d rather stay home and have me time” was confusing, since I loved them dearly and identified with them so much. If my parent didn’t like them enough to spend time with or didn’t consider their in-laws ‘real’ family, then what about the parts of me that were just like that side?

            I understand if one person in a couple has abusive relatives and they both as a couple choose to avoid that side of the family, but keep in mind that unless your spouse rejects their family for their own reasons, it might feel to them, or to your future kids, that you dislike a deeply important part of them.

          • Alison O

            Strife that has come up in my relationship with future FIL makes me lean towards not having kids. Seriously. I’m leaning towards not having them anyway, so it’s not a seismic shift…but yeah, the thought of having to interact with him more because he’s the grandparent…barf. And then there’s what you’re saying about the impact on the kids.

          • raccooncity

            Yeah, i think what matters is: are you on the same page about how close you should be with your parents? I love my future-in-laws and honestly am thrilled to see their number come up on call display. A friend of mine doesn’t love her in laws. At all. And they aren’t nice to her.

            BUT her husband also doesn’t really enjoy spending time with his family, so they keep it to a minimum and he is happy with that too. If you’re dating a person who is super close to their family, then I think you need to be comfortable being that close (at least in terms of time spent with them/talking to them) as well.

            That said, I will let you know that as an adult I understand the decisions both of my parents made, and I know it was a complicated situation.

          • EllsUK

            I think this is exactly it. It depends on the couple. But if your partner is really close to their family I believe the partner should make the effort to try and be close too. Otherwise there’s a whole side to your partners life that you are excluding yourself from.

            In my view they are your family whether you like them or not and whether you choose to spend time with them or not. Even within your original family there can be people you don’t like or don’t get on with but they’re still your family. I completely seperate the family thing from the how you treat them thing to be honest. As a family member they may get slightly more leeway but usually it’s just down to the individual relationship you have with that person due to their behaviour, regardless of whether they are family.

          • Lane

            I brought up the legal side because you seem to feel that in laws are not family. My point is that regardless of how you define them in your head, the law considers them family.

          • Nat

            But if you ended up brain dead (and your spouse was no longer living), would your in-laws ever be able to make end-of-life decisions for you?

            I can see guardianship over the child because they are the child’s family.

          • Lane

            Doubtful. Your own parents and siblings would make that decision. Legal relationships exist in varying degrees.

          • Jess

            Tragically (or maybe fortunately?) emotions don’t always follow legality.

            Family can mean lots of emotionally different things – from we share some genetics and that’s about it to we see each other every day and love and support each other.

            Yes they are now your family, but no, you do not have to treat them like you treat your family. They do not have to mean as much to you as your family of origin. They may, and that is a wonderful situation to be in.

            I do not have a close bond with R’s family, or even mine, and suddenly having to interact with them the way the rest of their family interacts would be way too much for me.

          • Lane

            As I said, no one is asking her to feel as close to her in laws, but they are still defined legally as family members.

          • orienteeringirl

            OK, so I’m having a hard time with this. This comment thread is on a blog post about issues of perception with regards to social media. So are you suggesting that because the law defines family one way that we’re to include people in our personal social media accounts accordingly? This dishonors a lot of long hard battles that people have fought because the law is so limiting in its way of defining “family.”

          • BSM

            How are in-laws family in a legal sense? I get that you + your spouse = legal family, and I guess your spouse + their parents = legal family (maybe? I don’t really understand how this goes once you’re an adult), but I don’t think the transitive property quite works here. I.e., I am not on the hook for any debt my in-laws accrue and I don’t legally receive visitation rights if one of them is in the hospital, right?

            Legalities aside, I’m also not in the my in-laws are my family camp. In some ways, they feel like family (I’m stuck with them), but mostly they don’t. They’re generally agreeable and nice people, and I like them fine, but I don’t feel the same way about them that I do about my family (me and my spouse) or my family of origin. I suspect they mostly feel the same way about me. And I think that’s fine! We all have different relationships with those we call family.

          • Cathi

            You can always claim parents-in-law as dependents on your taxes if you support them (among other stipulations), so that’s one way they’re family in a legal sense. When it comes to non-child dependents, they have to be either family (which includes in-laws) or living with you full time, though not necessarily both.

            But other than that, I’m not sure about legalities, and I’m definitely with you on the “feeling like family” page.

          • BSM

            Innnnteresting. I also just remembered that you can count them as family when exercising FMLA, which we have in CA. I guess the argument Lane was using made it sound like you’re legally bound to them (like you are with your spouse), which made me very nervous haha.

          • Lane

            BSM, I never implied such a thing. You are not even bound to your own parents legally as much as a spouse. Be careful about reading more into a comment than what is there.

          • BSM

            You said, “However, in a legal sense, your in laws are considered family.” I’m not sure how the idea that you are legally tied to your in-laws could be any more overt. Be careful to be clear and accurate in your comments.

          • Lane

            I brought up a scenario that could happen with grandchildren. I did not define the legal relationship any further or compare it to the legal relationship with a spouse in any way. Legal relationships vary in their obligations according to what type of relationship they are. You chose to interpret my comment as the two legal relationships being equal.

          • BSM

            I’m not sure what the problem is. You literally said that your in-laws are legally considered family and did not specify or clarify in what way you meant that. But who cares that you didn’t mean it in the way that it came across? It’s really not a big deal, Lane. I just wanted to make sure we were all on the same page about what “legal” means when it comes to in-laws.

          • Lane

            When you ignored my comment about in laws raising grandchildren, and jumped straight into the idea of being on the hook for the in law’s debts, you were reading a lot into my original comment. In making the point that in laws are legally considered family, I did not think I needed to include an exhaustive list of every law that comes into play. It was merely a simple point that in laws are defined as family members.

          • BSM

            Lane, I never did such a thing! I would never purposely ignore a vitally important comment. I simply don’t have time to read every single comment on these posts. Be careful about reading more into an action than what is there.

          • Lane

            Well, if you’re going to take issue with a particular comment, you have to at least read all the comments that lead to that comment. Otherwise, you are taking it out of context.
            And I end up repeating myself over and over again. Look, this has become exhausting.

          • BSM

            Lane, I didn’t take issue with your comment at all! My intention was only to clarify my understanding of what “legal” means when it comes to in-laws. Be careful about reading more into a comment than what is there.

            Also, I didn’t realize there were rules about reading and responding to comments! Thank you for letting me know :)

          • laddibugg

            Many companies that offer bereavement time will give you time off for an in law’s death.

          • Eh

            This whole discussion of if in-laws are legal family is interesting, though I’m not sure relevant. It might be a generational thing (or a regional thing, or a small town thing) but my in-laws (specifically my MIL and her mother) and I have very different views on how close wives should be with their in-laws (this doesn’t necessarily go both ways that husband’s need to be close to their in-laws). It probably also has to do with that my MIL believes that the wife should run the household, be social convener, and raise the children. And of course take her husband’s last name which means now she is representing his family (note: I kept my last name). Since the wife is in charge of everything maybe the MIL is worried that she won’t see her son (and grandchildren) if the wife does not have a strong connection with her in-laws. My MIL/FIL are nice people, but they are not my parents and I do not confide in them like I do with my parents. I agree that they “feel like family (I’m stuck with them)” but I don’t have the familial connection that I have with other people (I have more of a family feeling with my BIL/SIL and my husband’s cousins as they have been more supportive).

          • Liz

            My husband’s family is my family because they’re my husband’s family. IE, because I love my husband and these are people he will be treating as family, I will be treating them as family, because I consider us to be a unit (mostly) working as one.

        • Jenny

          When a property that has been in my mother in laws family was going to be sold because no one could maintain it, my father in law offered to buy it. Her family didn’t want to sell it to him because they wanted it to remain “in the family,” so yeah I think this family, just like mine considers you a part of the family when talkinga bout it, but when it comes down to how you really feel and act ?????. I don’t think they would SAY I’m not family, but I don’t have a stocking up at Christmas like their kids and the wife of their son that lives in town, when they call they don’t ask about me most of the time. Do I think this will change as time goes on, yes. But my point is that just SAYING someone is family, doesn’t mean we automatically think of people as family, we should allow for some time to adjust.

    • Lane

      I wrote a similar post above. It is two families joining; not one.

    • Lane

      Also, the groom’s family tends to get left out more at weddings compared to the bride’s family. I bet more mothers of grooms feel emotional about this than we think.

      • Eh

        I was thinking this too. The LW said that the pictures she posted focused on her and her husband. For example if she included pictures of her getting ready, those pictures may have included her family but there probably aren’t the same number of pictures of his family in his getting ready pictures (if there are any). Also, if her dad walked her down the aisle and his parents didn’t that’s another moment that would be skewed towards more pictures being of her family.

        My husband had a straight razor shave the morning we got married with two of his friends. The photographer took pictures of that. Then when my husband was getting ready there is one picture where his mother is helping him put on cufflinks (no pictures of his dad or brother who where both there while he was getting ready). On the other hand in my getting ready pictures, there are pictures of my step-mum getting her make-up done, my sister getting her hair and make-up done, my sister doing my hair, my dad and me hugging. If you just look at the ones with my family vs my husband’s it looks skewed but the photographer probably spent the same amount of time with each of us (after my husband was dressed he played pool with his friends in his parents’ basement), it’s just his family wasn’t involved to the same extent in that part of the day.

      • I was thinking about this as well. We all know how bride-heavy most wedding planning and wedding sites tend to be and this extends to the families as well. I agree with Liz’s advice that LW doesn’t need to take any action to compensate, but it’s worth thinking about the dynamics of MoB vs MoH in planning situations I think.

        • orienteeringirl

          It’s true that the wedding industry is bride focused, but that doesn’t mean that every wedding is bride-focused. FH and I are planning our wedding together, and while we aren’t involving either set of parents much, but when we do consult them or run something by them, we do it with both sides. I with mine, him with his. This is because we want them both to feel like they have the opportunity to express their feelings, even if we’re not guaranteeing that they’ll get what they want. Hopefully this will avoid hard feelings during and after the wedding.

    • Penny7b

      Yeah, this struck me as the issue too. Possibly there’s some expectation mis-match about what the marriage means for the extended family (and different people clearly have different feelings about this) and where the boundaries are. I know my in-laws definitely consider me a part of their family now and I consider them a part of my extended family. For me that’s part of what makes getting married different to just living together as partners, the recognition and welcoming by each other’s family. In that context, my MIL would be terribly hurt if I ever gave her the impression that I didn’t think of her as part of my family, or that I didn’t love/care about her, or wasn’t interested in her presence at my wedding. So her upset over the facebook album could be a symptom of a bigger concern.

  • Katie

    There’s another thing that might be going on here too: your MIL might not really understand how FB works. I mean, sometimes my mom writes posts on my wall: “Dear Katie, It looks like your summer is fun! How is the dog? Did the vet fix her legs? I hope it didn’t cost too much! Love, Mom” She sends texts that way too. If I put up an “album” on FB and said “here are photos of our wedding!” My mom would probably think they were ALL the photos from the wedding.

    Some moms get lovably confused, and some moms…. don’t. Maybe she doesn’t get it? And maybe she does, in which case, yes to everything Liz said.

    • This so much. My twin brother (who I’m estranged from) joined facebook about a week before my wedding. He was posting incredibly inappropriate stuff. I tried reminding him that facebook is very public but he wouldn’t listen. Then after my wife’s cousin’s wife posted a pic of me, my wife, and our minister on the dias before the ceremony started, my brother commented on my page and on hers, “Which one is my sister?” I was annoyed that he was basically announcing to the world that of three women in the picture he didn’t know which of us was his sister. Let’s see, I’m not the short brown one or the one in the minister’s stole.

      Not everyone understands how facebook works, both in terms of how public it is but also in terms of how the community works.

      • macrain

        Karen, that sounds so awful. I’m sorry your brother was behaving that way, that is just obnoxious.

        • Thank you. I ended up unfriending him. I don’t have the patience to teach him how facebook works and he clearly wasn’t interested in learning.

    • Greta

      Yes! My mom wrote on my wall “Hi honey! Can you call me Saturday at 10:30am? Got some fun things to discuss with you!” Oh boy. I explained the fun difference between facebook walls and facebook personal messages (or straight email!), but it is sooo generational.

      • JDrives

        My grandma posts things like “For Sue: I found that recipe you wanted, I’ll give it to you on Sunday.” And doesn’t even tag that person. Gotta hope that Sue is on top of her Newsfeed scrolling that day!

        • elle

          That’s adorable.

    • Yup, this. I totally get that the MIL is crossing a line here, but it is worth considering that her understanding of FB might be a little off. My own mom thinks that whatever I post on FB is in real time. She also thinks it’s totally appropriate to share really random photos (e.g shoes, a meal, etc) from profiles of my friends or my husband’s friends that she has never met.

  • april

    “The album was simply meant to be a snapshot of the day—nothing more. This is by no means the “official wedding album.” It was just for Facebook.”
    I think this is the point you need to stress to your MIL, but I kind of disagree with Liz’s advice to forget about making a more complete album for you in-laws. I think it would be a really nice gesture to share more of your wedding photos with them – either in printed or electronic format. I think a lot of the problem here may just be a generational difference in the way you and your MIL are approaching facebook. I’ve noticed that some older people see it as a space to share everything all the time (!!!) while younger people tend to take a more curated approach. Reassuring her that the facebook album is by no means ‘the whole story’ of your wedding may help to ease the tension.

  • OMG I’m going through this now – except it was my own mother who was upset because there is 1 more photo of my MIL in the photobook, than my own mother. And so to please her, I made a whole new photobook and made sure every single picture was of someone from my family. She seems to be pleased but I hate the precedent it set :-/ *sigh* Why is stuff like this so hard!

    No advice OP, just *hugs* and empathy. I’m going to read the comments and hopefully there are some good tips for me here as well.

    • Eh

      Someone complained to me that her photographer didn’t take many pictures of her children at her wedding so I gave her a CD of pictures I had from her wedding. She was furious with me and complained that I took more pictures of one of her kids than the other two. It turns out that it was more or less even and that the one she claimed I took more of just happened to have all of her pictures lumped together while the other two had pictures throughout the CD (which included all of the pictures I took that day).

      • jubeee

        omg, that is too much to handle. People just look for things to be upset about!

      • Jules

        Man. Looking for things to always be 100% even is just a recipe for being offended for the rest of your life.

        • Eh

          She feels that people favour her youngest daughter (because she is her husband’s biological child). She was also upset that I didn’t get one picture of the middle child alone (I don’t think I have one of the youngest alone). And I didn’t have any of the older two during the reception (I actually had few pictures from the reception while they were there since they left right after supper). And the ones I have of the youngest aren’t the greatest since she was a baby and she wouldn’t look at the camera (so if you take out the duplicate shots that I took to get one good one she actually had few pictures than either of her sisters). The complaints were pretty obnoxious considering I gave her the pictures because she wanted more pictures of her daughters. It wasn’t like she asked me to take them ahead of time. The pictures I took that day were of the things that I did and saw. If she had asked me in advance I could have taken more specific pictures.

          • Jess

            If she wanted those particular shots, maybe she should have told her photographer. Instead of, you know, berating a friend who was just casually taking pictures at her wedding and was kind enough to send them over.

          • Eh

            That’s exactly how I felt!

    • macrain

      Dude, sometimes it is just not worth the fight. When I told my sister I didn’t want her children in our posed photos, she was like a bomb about to explode. I immediately back pedaled and was like- okay, just bring them! In that moment, it just wasn’t worth it.
      You gotta pick your battles! There is nothing to say you can’t set boundaries in the future if you want. Caving in this instance doesn’t mean you have to always cave.

  • Oh my god, this question gave me high blood pressure. I’m with Liz on this one, but I also think a Flickr album is nice to offer guests who want to see themselves in pics or even show their friends. But you do NOT need to do it for your MIL’s sake. When I shared my wedding pics on social media, I was wary of sharing too many of Eric’s family/friends because I wasn’t sure they wanted to be all over the Internet, so there’s that too.

    If your MIL wants a Facebook album that shows her side of the family more, she should ask her son why he didn’t create one.

    • Greta

      Or have the mother in law create one! For both my wedding and my brother’s wedding my mom made her own facebook album with about 20-30 photos. These are for her friends to see because my privacy settings are such that only my facebook friends can see and my mom has her own community of people that she wanted to show photos of the wedding for. She’s also a facebook-noob, so she didn’t tag any of the photos which was even better. I thought it was a great solution and she got to pick out all of her favorite photos.

      • Caitlin

        I was thinking something similar. My mom, future MIL, extended family, etc. are all way more active on social media than I am at this point. So being able to share her experience of her son’s wedding with their tight knit social media community might be really important to her and if she is empowered to do it herself, then it’s totally off LW’s plate.

      • macrain

        Right! That seems like such an easy solution. Fork over some photos for her to create her own album, that way she is taking some action instead of complaining and doing nothing.

    • VKD_Vee

      she should ask her son why he didn’t create one.

      **APPLAUSE**

    • Vanessa

      It is nice to get that email from friends – sometimes we end up in none of the photos, other times there’s a really great shot of us and I order a print from the photographer (or use it for my disqus profile pic heh heh).

    • Kate

      “If your MIL wants a Facebook album that shows her side of the family more, she should ask her son why he didn’t create one.”

      And the congregation says “AMEN”!

    • Anne Schwartz

      I like the son doing his own or share them with her and let her make her own.

  • Laura C

    I thought we’d post a fairly curated selection of wedding pictures just to give a sense of the day, etc etc — basically what the LW outlines. I’m not actually sure why I thought that was the way to go since I love seeing other people’s wedding albums on FB, but maybe out of a sense of propriety and not seeming too look-at-me. Well, my husband had other ideas and posted a TON of pictures. And you know what? Probably exactly because it wasn’t particularly focused on us, a wide range of people loved it. There are pictures of family friends that got half a dozen likes from their friends who we don’t know. Our friends loved seeing themselves and their friends on the dance floor. His family who gathered from across the US, India, Canada, and England loved having pictures of themselves with their cousins and uncles and aunts.

    I guess what I’m saying is, I had to conclude that, like a wedding, a big Facebook album is not an imposition. People don’t have to look at it if they don’t want, and they just might like to see pictures of their friends and family celebrating.

    All that said, unless the pictures you put up are really, really skewed toward your family, your MIL is out of line. There are all kinds of ways to ask “are we going to get pictures of our side of the family” without making it about you intentionally excluding them. But one answer is not for you to do anything but for your husband to put up his own FB album — he’s probably friends with more of his family than you are, so they’re more likely to see it that way, anyway. And that prevents it from looking like you are the person through whom all photos and social stuff must flow.

    • I struggled with the “my facebook album is not an imposition thing” too but got over it. These pictures make me incredibly happy and others really do like seeing them, too. It is what it is. If they don’t like it, keep scrolling.

    • Maybe I shouldn’t admit this, but I look at everyone’s wedding album on facebook. People I haven’t seen in 10 years, people I never really knew, people I don’t know who tag my friends in their albums. I am a shameless consumer of 200+ picture facebook albums of weddings.
      I just love to see the pretty dresses and the pretty cakes and all the people having fun and crying happy tears and whatever. And for people who don’t like that stuff, well, they can just scroll down to the next stupid facebook post. So count me in the “your facebook album is not an imposition” category.

      • raccooncity

        Me too! No shame in loving a nice wedding. (Slight shame in the fact that I sometimes cry at weddings of people I don’t know even a little.)

        • Emma

          right there with you

      • Brittany

        Yep. I totally disagree that people don’t want to see all the pictures. I definitely do. I have lots of friends that definitely do. Most people post them in one or two goes and so all anyone who doesn’t want to see the pictures has to do is scroll past one or two posts about them. I feel super disappointed when friends get married and don’t post pictures! The more, the better!

    • Ashlah

      I chose to skew my Facebook wedding photos towards guests who are also on Facebook. It worked out great. Everyone who saw the album felt represented (I hope/assume), and lots of people enjoyed perusing the photos more than if they’d just been photos of us (of which there were certainly plenty!) Plus it’s just fun to see a bunch of photos from your wedding used as profile pictures!

  • Lauren from NH

    Haha I love Liz’s advice. I know some people lean more towards FB is REAL and IMPORTANT these days, but I am not one of those people. I also wouldn’t bother with Flikr unlike most people are saying, because in my view a few people are going to enjoy that for all of 5 minutes and then forget all about it. That’s not worth the time and the loss of privacy in my book. (Heck full disclaimer, posting my wedding pictures to FB in the first place wouldn’t be worth the time and loss of privacy, so it’s totally up to you.) Have your husband soothe his mother in whatever way usually works and don’t worry about it.

    • Eenie

      Yup, if the wedding photos weren’t already on FB I would agree with you. I would disagree that the photos will only be enjoyed for 5 minutes. From every wedding I’ve been to where there’s been professional photos posted somewhere, I have one framed from the wedding (after asking permission to print it). It took me 5 minutes to find that picture, but I’ll enjoy it for a lot longer.

      • Kelly

        Me too. Some of our favorite framed photos are ones of us with friends and/or family when we were guests at weddings of loved ones.

    • Jules

      We did dropbox for our wedding guests. Many of our younger guests are pic-happy, and that way we could share the link, but not have them totally “public”. But we skipped facebook entirely.

      • Ilora

        Hilariously, yesterday I got an emailed link to a dropbox wedding album…of people whom I neither know nor have heard of. Typo in the e-mail address!

    • BR

      Seconding the privacy concerns. I feel like that is lost on people these days (I know my mom doesn’t get it AT ALL).

    • Susan

      This FB-privacy issue has actually been the most sensitive point in our use of the photos and videos from the wedding — basically me insisting with my husband and both of our families that I feel weird about posting all of these things in such a public forum and them not listening to me and posting it anyway. Started with my mother being the only person at our wedding to ignore our camera/technology free ceremony request (granted she didn’t hear our officiant give it since she was away with me for processional) and immediately posting that photo to FB so I should have known I was in for an uphill battle!

      Also curious how anyone else has handled their photographers’ requests to submit their photos for publication? I basically have just punted and not responded to her because I can’t really figure out how I feel — tempted to say, I’m only okay with submission to APW and maybe one or two other blogs that I feel like are positive places of actual substance. Has anyone tried this? I negotiated for all publication approval rights outside of her website in the contract so that’s not at an issue.

      • raccooncity

        Based on some of the things my photographer has written about publication approval rights, I think if you made an issue of it in the contract, she probably thinks of you guys as a mostly ‘lost cause’ in that regard and is just asking to ask. She had the chance to make a big deal of it earlier and that was the time for that discussion and it’s over…you can say no to whatever you want. If you want to shorten the discussion and say “APW, and a firm no to everything else”, then do it.

  • Eenie

    I always love Emily Yoffe’s advice on ask Prudence – you’re all family now, but most times it’s better to let the person related to the relative handle the situation. Your partner should talk with his mother and get to the root of the problem. I don’t think the LW did anything wrong, but the MIL had different expectations for these photos.

    • Lawyerette510

      So glad you said this. Most (but not all) of these kinds of conflicts in letters here are from straight couples following traditional gender norms where the MIL is made at the wife and the wife feels the need to fix it, but i think for healthy boundaries when a person hasn’t done anything wrong to their in laws the spouse whose parents are having the issue should be the one to step up and deal with it,

    • MC

      Yes, and I feel like the husband could also be the one to smooth things over by making a Flickr album or a photo album. Especially since the MIL initiated the conversation with her son and not the LW.

  • Juliet

    I would make sure that the MIL has access to the other photos, especially if they don’t end up on Facebook. Her reaction is overblown, but she feels left out. Clearly there’s a social media literacy gap here, so if she hasn’t seen the other pictures yet, or the Facebook album was the first time she saw professional pictures from the wedding and the posed images of her family that she was excited to see were missing, I kinda get it. LW didn’t mess up here and should shake off the guilt, but I’d give MIL access to all the images, and let her post whatever she wants on her Facebook- she’s probably been looking forward to showing them off to friends and family.

  • Sarah E

    Everyone else is making great suggestions on how to handle this one issue. The next step is to adjust your privacy settings so your MIL can’t see as much of what you post, and just cut this whole train off at the pass.

    • macrain

      That could be a good option, although- there have been times when I can tell someone has me on limited profile, and it’s a little weird. Probably the MIL won’t be savvy enough to catch on, but if she does, hoo boy!

      • Ouiser

        I second this warning wholeheartedly. My father (we do not have a good relationship, but he likes to pretend it’s rosy all the while bashing me to his entire side of the family) realized he couldn’t see what I was posting and flipped. Someone will undoubtedly ask MIL “Did you see that adorable photo/funny status/etc. on LW’s wall?” and she will be clued in real quick. Be careful with that if you’re trying to avoid further fallout.

  • Amanda L.

    I posted most of my wedding photos on Facebook, editing out ones that I wasn’t crazy about or that were repetitive. I sent my MIL a flash drive of all of the photos (minus a few I wasn’t crazy about, since I had made the mistake of sending her all of our engagement photos and she used one that I hated on the rehearsal dinner invite, which led to me having a disproportionately major meltdown). That way, she has all of them and can do whatever she wants with them.

    • JDrives

      I did this too, and *still* had to field complaints that I didn’t print any pictures for my MIL to have in her house. I recognize this is probably generational – the expectation that the couple (really the bride) will order professional prints for the family. Still, I am not keen on being held to silent standards and then catching flak for not living up to them. I literally just got some printed at Walgreen’s and called it a day, which I maintain is something she totally could have done herself!

  • macrain

    It’s perfectly ok that your MIL felt hurt by what she saw- it’s happened to all of us, even as much as we want to tell ourselves, “it’s only Facebook.” We’ve discussed this before about MIL’s feeling left out! It happens. That said, she should have kept it to herself, and she certainly shouldn’t have made any assumptions about your motives. She could have asked for some photos to make her own Facebook album (which was possible for me due to the agreement I had with my photographer, realize this is not the case for everyone). She could have asked her son to make one for their side of the family. She really could have done a number of things that don’t include aiming her anger at you.
    I think Liz’s advice is about you not getting emotionally involved with her hurt feelings, and that’s not a bad lesson to learn. If she confronts you about it directly, I would apologize- “I’m so sorry I hurt your feelings” is more than enough. For now, all she’s doing is complaining to your husband, and that doesn’t deserve a response.
    Hugs and good vibes to you!

  • Jules

    While I wouldn’t suggest that you let anyone strong-arm you into getting their way, it just depends. I’m awfully transactional about these things. How much does giving a little “cost” me personally? What message am I sending this person – am I letting them control me, or am I showing I value their feedback? It’s not your job to help insecure people feel better, but sometimes a little gesture can go a long way. If someone’s demonstrating respect for me and my wishes, I’m willing to do the same, but otherwise…no dice.

    I’m all for boundaries, but they’re not always 100% clear, especially at the beginning of the relationship. I’m willing to “give” more right now as we work towards establishing ourselves as a family, in order to ease the transition. My MIL is insecure because she had an awful relationship with her ex-MIL. We try to meet her halfway so that she’s reassured that I *do* like her, but we never have to do anything we’re uncomfortable with. It’s just easier to reinforce that I don’t see her as Enemy #1 and slowly become more independent than it is to declare complete secession. But she’s not controlling or demanding, really; she’s just insecure. It’s not a one-size-fits-all-MILs approach.

  • Nina

    A really easy fix is to put all of the photos on a DVD and give them to her. It’s less work than a printed album or making a Flickr account and then she can do with them as she pleases. Our families were really happy to have their own digital copies.

    We also gave our families printed albums for Christmas using APW sponsor Blurb. The books for the inlaws focused on pictures of people from that side of the family while the books for my relatives focused on our side of the family. It’s a lot more work but it makes a great gift.

    • MTM

      At least for me, when I shared the (slightly reduced) files with both sets of parents, I asked for it not to be on Facebook. I was fine if they wanted to print things, but I didn’t want ALL of my pictures out to their networks.

  • K_

    Oh, this is the beginning of MIL+facebook fun! My MIL announced the birth of my first child on facebook! before we did! after we told the entire family not to post to social media!

    • Not Sarah

      Oh god that would piss me right off. I’m so sorry your MIL did that!

      • Lauren from NH

        Yeah I think I would send my husband to say, “you severely angered her, which is not good for her or the baby right now, so you are going to have to stay away for a while, m’kay? bye!” I don’t mess around where it comes to privacy.

        • K_

          Within a few days, she realized what she had done and apologized. Fortunately, we did not have to confront her about it, and she was much more careful after our second was born.

    • macrain

      HELL NO.

    • Eh

      I am 37 weeks pregnant. This terrifies me. We have kept our pregnancy off of FB and we have asked other’s not to post anything also. I feel that will go out the window when our baby is born.

      • Lauren from NH

        I would just be clear about the boundary and enforce it without mercy. Especially if you feel you are being ignored, let them know you get the final say in who visits when and who doesn’t. You are the parents, you get to set the rules, no matter how proud any of your family is they need to respect that.

        • Eh

          We’ve mentioned that we don’t want things posted on FB a number of times but I think it will take my husband calling to say that our daughter is born and reminding them that we don’t want it on FB to *possibly* prevent her from posting. She is already upset about us laying down the boundaries about visiting after the baby is born (and not calling when I’m in labour). She really feels that we are raining on her proud grandmother parade. I think she needs to be reminded that she didn’t have to worry about FB when she had her children.

      • K_

        I kept the pregnancy semi-secret online, and when we announced the birth, many people said, “You were pregnant?!?!” I did this with all three of my pregnancies because we lost the first baby and I still have lots of mixed feelings about pregnancy. When a few people asked why I didn’t tell them I was pregnant, I just said that I have complicated feelings about pregnancy.

        • Greta

          Good friends of mine kept their pregnancy totally off of all social media, and it was successful, but they had to remind people multiple times. Then when they posted a photo of their baby there were sooo many comments about “I had no idea you were even pregnant!”

          All of this is funny because they told all of their closest friends and family, had a baby shower, etc. It just goes to show how many people are in our facebook lives that are not at all involved in our real lives.

          • Lauren from NH

            Yeah no kidding you had no idea – it wasn’t your business!

        • Eh

          Those are totally legitimate reasons to keep things on FB. I have had a rough pregnancy. I was sick for the first five months straight (and even since then it’s been pretty rocky). My SIL had a miscarriage just before I got pregnant and my sister had a miscarriage at 12 weeks when I was 11 weeks. I have had so many friends who have had miscarriages, pre-term babies, babies who had medical issues at birth – I don’t need the whole world knowing about my pregnancy or my baby, and I don’t need to justify my reasons. We have told a group of people (family and friends that we are close to). If we haven’t told someone it’s probably because we aren’t that close to them.

      • MDBethann

        I had our daughter almost 8 months ago and I’m very careful about what I post photo-wise on FB for privacy reasons – she should get to determine her own online presence when she’s older. So the only time her full name was mentioned was when we announced her birth (we don’t live near family & have a far flung circle of friends so FB was the best way to tell folks). From that point forward, I have referred to her as “Baby G” or “Miss G” and asked friends & family to do the same. I also created a separate FB album that can only be seen by a specific portion of my FB community and at her monthly “birthdays” I post an update in that album so our families & close friends can see how she’s growing. I don’t allow any of the photos to be tagged so they can’t be seen outside of that curated list. It’s not total privacy, but I tried to strike a balance between being someone who published EVERYTHING and someone who published nothing (I have aunts & cousins who get to see her once a year because they live so far away, and she’s adorable, so I can’t NOT share and emails don’t always like the photo sizes).

        • Eh

          I am still determining if that is the best method for us. I have family all over Canada and I live 8 hours from my dad (who has fb). I obviously want to share my daughter’s life with them but I am also concerned about privacy.

          Lots of my friends refer to their children by their first initials so that is probably something that is doable.

          • Lisa

            My SIL doesn’t post much about her son on FB so what she did was create a special folder on her Apple cloud that she shared with close family and friends. Now she just uploads pictures they’d like to see directly from her phone’s gallery to the folder. It’s so fun to get little notifications on my husband’s phone (or computer or iPad, etc.)! SIL also has some web service set up that is also connected to that folder that sends her physical copies of the photos once each month so she can put the pictures into albums as well.

          • Greta

            Yes, my SIL has an iphotostream that our immediate family are a part of, so we get little pings. A friend with a baby uses 23snaps for their photos of the baby – they’ve added friends and family members to it, and then they upload the photos to the website. It sends out emails to all members (at the members chosen frequency) so you can see what’s happening. I see the photos once a week in a digest email, but I know grandparents see them more frequently. You can also order prints directly from it. Neat!

          • JDrives

            My stepsister created a private Snapfish account and sent close friends and family login info. There’s a feature that sends a “monthly digest” so every month, new pics of my nieces pop into my inbox, and I have to log in to my (free) Snapfish account to see more. It’s pretty brilliant and solves the dilemma of easy online access to photos vs. protecting privacy.

    • Greta

      THAT. IS. CRAZY.

      • s

        My MIL posted a photo of our 12-week ultrasound picture to FB. Without my permission. She only had a hard copy. Which means she had to GET OUT HER CAMERA, take a picture of the picture, download it, and upload it to FB in order to do this. I was literally scrolling along, tra la la, and came across an ultrasound picture. For a moment I thought someone must be due around the same time I was… gosh that looks familiar… WHY IS MY UTERUS ON THE INTERNET. I have never been so angry.

        My MIL has some facebook boundary issues. We handle things a little differently now, although even a total lack of digital images could have stopped her then.

        • K_

          WOAH!

        • Lauren from NH

          You know on second thought I might enjoy being a dragon rather than a human…it might just suit me.

          • Sarah E

            The fire-breathing would come in so handy. I don’t think there is a more direct form of communication than a nice, toasty fire-breath to the face.

        • Jules

          …….What.

    • Jessica

      Gah!! No!!

      My SIL/BIL had a baby in April and the first thing they said my MIL did was post a photo they had sent to her on FB, even though they had chosen to post only a select few photos on social media so their daughter grows up knowing privacy. This is the polar opposite to my other SIL who posts photos of her daughter on every platform possible.

    • april

      Ha! We had a similar experience with our engagement. We got engaged pretty quietly, just before my partner left for grad school with the intention of having the wedding 2 years later, after he finished his program. We weren’t really keeping it a secret, but we didn’t really announce it either. A couple of months later, his mom posted something to her FB page along the lines of “I can’t keep it a secret any longer – S&A are engaged!” Literally an hour later, two of my best friends from college conference called me to be like “WTF?! Why did we have to learn this on FB? From S’s mom?!” (That sounds bad, but they were actually very excited and good humored about it).

    • msditz

      That is the WORST. My husband had to tell my MIL to stop making our baby her profile picture on Facebook. My child does NOT equal you.

    • *passes out from rage*

    • laddibugg

      Heh. My boyfriend told me that one of our mutual friends had a baby over the weekend. I was going to post my congrats on her Facebook wall, but noticed no one else had, so I just sent a message.
      Glad I did, because she said that she wasn’t going to be posting pics as of yet.

  • anontoday

    Oh facebook. I shut my profile down for 6 months after my partner’s sister got married, because his mom complained to me that the sister’s feelings were hurt that more people didn’t “like” her photos and that I should go and “like” them all. Then a while after I reactivated I had to set it so that other people can’t post stuff on my wall without my approval; otherwise between my mom and his mom my entire wall would be full of cat videos (my mom) and anti-vaxx propaganda (his) and I don’t want the acquaintance/classmate/coworker people who I’m friends with on fb to think I am insane.

    • macrain

      Man, facebook can be such a minefield!

    • Manda9339

      Yes, the whole album on Facebook thing weirds me out in general. It’s so public. I’ve looked at people’s albums and felt I’d been there when I wasn’t even invited. It used to be rude to publicize things to people who weren’t invited. Now, it’s standard.

  • Kelly

    I haven’t read through all the comments yet, so others might echo this. I agree with Liz’s advice, but does MIL have access to all the other photos? I can definitely understand a parent feeling hurt because they felt very invested in the day but have been left out of the memory sharing experience. Even as a guest I feel kind of bummed when I don’t get to see any of the photos…those were my memories, too! ETA: not saying sharing more photos on FB is the solution, but maybe another more private photo site or a dvd, as the letter writer offers. As a guest, I would appreciate that.

    • Lauren from NH

      I don’t quite understand this perspective. Yes, they are your memories (no one is withholding your memories), but they are the newlywed’s pictures of their day that they paid for. Sure you can feel however you feel, but I don’t think guest are entitled to see wedding pictures.

      • Kelly

        Yeah, maybe I do have a different perspective on wedding photos. For our wedding, we really wanted lots of photos of our friends and family looking spiffy and having a great time, and we stressed that to our photographer. The wedding itself was really a celebration of our community, and it was important to us to share that with everyone. I guess to me, it just seems like a party, and for most other kinds of parties you let people see pictures…But I totally get that others might have different perspectives and feel differently about what wedding photos are “for”.

        • This is how I feel too!

        • Eenie

          I can understand trying to respect other people’s privacy by not sharing ALL THE PHOTOS EVERYWHERE. And the couple’s privacy to have some of the more intimate moments caught on film not plastered everywhere. At the same time, I would like to actually SEE the photos I’m in as a guest that took time to come celebrate with you. It’s hard to convince me to budge on the last part.

      • sara

        Well, we don’t actually know who paid for the photos. At our wedding, both sets of parents contributed substantially to the wedding costs, and my in-laws contribution was specifically earmarked for photography because they cared a lot about that.

        Regardless, it seems like a weird impulse to me to want to keep photos away from anyone who was considered close enough to attend the wedding. I totally understand not being comfortable with having your photos on blogs, publications, or other super public venues. I can understand holding back a few if there’s some that are super unflattering or if you’re in your underwear getting into your wedding dress or something like that, but for the majority of photos I just don’t understand the conflict…

        • Lauren from NH

          I don’t think of it as keeping away when it takes more effort to share the photos than to not. If you are not in the inner circle I probably won’t send you my wedding photos. Are you really going to be super disappointed about that?

          • sara

            I guess I just don’t see how it takes much effort. I literally forwarded the email from our photographer that said “Here’s the link to the wedding gallery and the password for the site” to our wedding party/family and a few other people who asked for it. Maybe 30 seconds, tops?

            Also…your mother in law should be in the inner circle unless there is some sort of abuse or similar issues going on, where you need to make a clear statement that she is not a part of your married life. I see no indication of that here. Her child got married! This is not the case of some three-times-removed cousin who didn’t even attend the wedding bugging you for a huge favor. I won’t necessarily be disappointed not to see the wedding photos of an acquaintaince; I sure as hell would be disappointed not to see the wedding photos of my own son!

          • Lauren from NH

            Oh I wasn’t referring to in-laws not being inner circle, just general guests expecting to have access to all of the pictures. Maybe that part got miscommunicated.

          • Lauren from NH

            And on the effort side, being a private person, I would have to gather all of those emails and write up something polite but threatening enough so my private pictures didn’t end up all over the internet and it would still be a big risk in my book and would probably be read as rude by a bunch of people anyways, that doesn’t feel worth it to me. Or if it was FB I would have to put in the effort to understand all of my photo privacy settings, which also sounds a lot like work.

          • Kelly

            OK, so it sounds like you have a lot of privacy concerns, which I totally get, but are you then also asking guests to not take photos (since they could also be shared in ways that are out of your control)? And if that’s the case, then…the guests who shared in your wedding day don’t get to see any photos of the time they got to reunite and celebrate with each other…? I mean, you do you, but if I were a guest I’d feel a little irked. Your guests, of course, are not me and might not mind at all, but I’d just say that photos can mean a lot more to people than you might think. And I also recognize that this is now drifting off topic…

          • Lauren from NH

            It may be arbitrary but I draw the line at asking guests not to take their own pictures and share them. Mostly because trying to control everyone and everything, I think, is just a recipe for frustration. We are having an unplugged ceremony, but otherwise people can go bananas with pictures if they so choose. But whether it’s my wedding or someone else’s, it’s my opinion that good form is to defer to the couple getting married where it comes to privacy and photography.

          • MTM

            Plenty of people do unplugged ceremonies so other people aren’t sharing such a private, special moment. I don’t think I’ve ever seen unplugged receptions though, where the focus is shifted to the guests instead of just the folks getting married.

          • Kelly

            Oh, for sure. My own ceremony was unplugged. All I’m wondering is, why let people take and share their own photos, but be really guarded about sharing the professional photos (of the same event…that the same people attended)? I don’t get it, but it’s not my event and not my people, so that’s fine.

          • Susan

            Just wanted to second you on the big risk/say that I find your privacy concerns totally valid. I sent out the login to our photographer’s gallery to close family and close friends and explicitly asked for no one to post them on FB and, of course, at least 4 or 5 people ignored that. Biggest offender was my FIL although, due to not being that tech savvy, he just posted links to the photographer’s gallery which I think will probably disappear when the gallery comes down in a few weeks.

            My big conceptual and emotional hurdle over putting wedding photos on FB is that, knowing the age 50+ family members have poorly managed security settings, they will be seen by all of their friends of friends of friends who are total and complete strangers to me and my husband.

          • Violet

            Pretty much… yeah. What you said. I posted one FB album with a selection of everything from the day for people to see. I then created a private album of all the photos for my MIL to comment on which ones she wanted in her print album. She knew it was a private album, so there was no sharing of those. Worked well, but when interacting with the less tech-savvy set, it certainly feels like rolling the dice.

            (My photographer signed a contract to the effect that there was no sharing anywhere, no uploading of links, galleries, blogs, etc.)

          • Brittany

            It would seem reasonable for a mother to request pictures of their own child’s wedding. This isn’t a situation of estrangement, and let’s not pretend this is the grooms second cousin once removed, or goofy friend from high school that he never sees anymore making the request. Did the mom handle the situation well? No. Is wanting pictures of your child’s wedding reasonable? Yes. If, decades from now, my son gets married and he and his wife can’t be bothered to take the (fairly minimal) effort to send me the pictures of the wedding, especially those of my family, I would be extremely hurt and probably pretty pissed off. I don’t think that means they need to be added to Facebook, but they should be shared in some way, preferably by the child of the parent making the request.

      • Amy March

        I’m not sure entitled is the gloss I would put on it, but I would be surprised as a guest and upset as a close connection to not see photos. The couple paid for them argument really rubs me the wrong way. Like, then as a guest well maybe I didn’t sign a release and don’t want you to have access to images of me.

        I wouldn’t go as far as to say you must share all your photos with everyone, but to take the position that you’re not sharing any seems off to me. Especially since as I guest I’m usually trying not to be that annoying person photographing everything herself all the time.

      • Anna

        I wouldn’t go so far as to feel “entitled” to see someone’s wedding photos, but I’ve been in weddings before where I spent a good chunk of time posing for photographs which the couple never bothered to share with me. I’m vain, and I want to see how they turned out! It’s a nice touch to share photos with people who missed part of the cocktail hour or whatever to be in them. As a guest not in the wedding party or family, well, no, I probably wouldn’t care as much.

    • I really like the way my cousin and her husband did it: they (or their photographer) made little business cards with the photographer’s website and the password for their wedding gallery, and the cards said to check back in 4-6 weeks to see the pictures. It didn’t take much effort on their part, and I really enjoyed seeing the pictures of myself and my family all dressed up and having fun dancing.

  • Gilit

    I got anxiety just from reading this! I’ll tell you this much: the earlier you can learn 1- to set clear boundaries and 2- to not let guilt (your MIL) run your life the better off you will be. I’m gonna repeat that last part and in caps because I’m totally yelling LET GO OF THE GUILT. Easier said than done but worth every second of your life that will be better because of it.

  • sara

    I would suggest that your husband and MIL both create albums with whichever photos they wish to feature (and think their FB friends would enjoy seeing). It’s not totally clear from the question whether your MIL has all the photos herself — if not, I can see why she is bummed feeling like this is her only chance to see them!

    Maybe our case is different because my husband’s family paid for our photographer and wedding album, but even so I can’t see why you wouldn’t give your parents/in laws access to all your digital photos (assuming there’s not some weird estrangement going on or these are people who literally don’t use computers — does not sound like the case here). Why not just be generous and share with everyone! We sent the link to our photographer’s digital gallery to our parents, wedding party, and other folks who played a big role in the wedding (such as doing a reading or singing), as well as anyone else who requested (such as my random coworker who didn’t even come to the wedding)…I know photographer’s rules can vary, but it sounds like the Flickr gallery is okay, so I would do that anyway. It’s always fun to see professional photos of one’s self (even if those photos aren’t the most important to you personally). I guess I see it as one of those things that is very low cost but could make other folks happy, so why not be generous? You can always do something password protected if you don’t want things to be totally public to strangers.

  • Corinne Keel

    My one caveat to the answer here would be to make sure that MIL has access to the photos, including the ones of her family. It’s one thing to curate for FB, but it makes sense that she would want to share photos on her own FB account or send them off for prints, or just look at them as she pleases. I think the point of doing all of those family portraits and guests shots is to share—with family at the very least. She may think these are the only photos you chose to share, ever, and that may bum her out or make her feel left out.

  • small effort to keep peace

    I think the additional larger album inclusive of everyone is a nice gesture – why would you suggest she not do it? After all, her son got married, I am sure they want access to the special memories their family made that day just as yours did. Assuming it is free, she has nothing to lose and everything to gain from doing so. There is absolutely no need to apologize to MIL as she’s obviously done nothing wrong, but cultivating loving relationships is part of what being a part of a family means. Am I missing something??

    • Liz

      I think the MIL’s accusation that this was an intentional slight is what’s raising a red flag that this is about boundaries rather than just “Man, I’d hoped to see more photos!” Sure, if mom doesn’t have access to the link/CD/whatever of the full run of professional albums, find a way to get them to her, but I think that’s probably a separate issue from what’s going on here.

      • RMC

        I think a lot of the questions here have to do with the fact that we basically know nothing about the LW and MIL relationship outside of this one instance: obviously if there is manipulation/boundary transgression all the time then this is part of a pattern and no need to engage further.

        But *if they have a good relationship*, I can imagine that MIL was a little hurt when she saw that LW presented her wedding publicly and it didn’t include very many pictures of her in laws. Maybe she didn’t handle it as well as she could have, i.e. by asking for the other pictures and not making a fuss, but she talked to her son and expressed her hurt which is not so out of line – especially if, as I noted above, this appeared to be the couple’s joint Facebook wedding album (which I don’t think is automatically a sexist assumption). And then either the discrepancy was unintentional (in which case the solution is to add more pictures because you didn’t realize how unbalanced the album appeared) or it was intentional (in which case, fine, whatever, but then it’s not unreasonable for her to feel a little hurt).

        • Liz

          It’s true we don’t know much about their relationship (the downfall of one-off emails turned advice columns), but we do know 1. that the MIL insinuated that this album was an intentional slight, and 2. addressed it by calling her son rather than the person who made the album (we disagree here about that not being out-of-line) (even IF the MIL is going by an old fashioned notion that the wife is the social secretary, it would then follow that she’d text that very same social secretary). I think it’s fair to read those choices without knowing how excellent/not-so-excellent their relationship is otherwise.

          I’d disagree that there are only two options: unintentionally or intentionally presenting an unbalanced album. It sounds like the LW… just uploaded photos. Without trying to speak for the family or represent a balanced/unbalanced presentation of the wedding, or whatever else… just sharing photos she liked! Which she’s allowed to do. My Facebook album, my choice to put whatever photos I’d like. I think the entire point here for me is that whatever photos she chooses to post DON’T bear any special meaning or reflection of her feelings for her in-laws, or whatever else. That’s the main thing to me, and the point I’d try to drive home before other random FB posts are read into too deeply.

          • RMC

            I definitely agree that a takeaway lesson is not to read too much into Facebook albums. For sure. But I do think that a Facebook album of your wedding is a pretty public statement of “look at our wedding and how beautiful everyone/everything was and how happy we were to be surrounded by our people on our special day!” And LW said that it told a lovely story of the day and I think that it’s understandable for MIL *if they have a good relationship* to feel sad that her family wasn’t part of that story.

            Furthermore, a lot of commenters here who think the MIL is out of line have repeatedly mentioned that she should have asked her son to make a new album or something. And that is partially what I’m responding to – she *did* talk to her son and *didn’t* necessarily make the assumption that LW was social secretary.

            Again, if they have a negative relationship, all of this is moot. But I just wanted to put another perspective out there as someone who is lucky enough to have really wonderful parents-in-law. Sometimes I don’t anticipate that something will be really important to them because our family cultures are different. So when I realize that X or Y is important to them and actually not that big of a deal to me, I make an effort to change or do things differently in the future because I care about nurturing our relationship and I know they do the same for me.

  • CMT

    Why is the burden on her to post all the photos? (Presuming OP is a woman and is married to a man.) MIL’s son could also upload his own album.

  • RMC

    Just to offer a slightly different perspective: the MIL did email the husband, and it’s possible she thought that the couple together had posted “the Facebook album” (that’s what my husband and I did – he actually posted it but tagged me in the post). In which case, a short explanation that these were just a few of the pictures you wanted to share with your friends but the full album is available on the photographer’s website might solve the problem. I truly hate the “woman as social secretary/responsible for family image” trope as well but it’s not clear to me that’s what is happening here.

    • Ashlah

      Yeah, a lot of people are mentioning that husband should/could post an album as well, and while I completely get where they’re coming from, that would be such a weird thing for my husband and I to do. We have 53 mutual friends, and I find the idea of us each posting a wedding album on Facebook rather strange, just like we wouldn’t both post a joint selfie from the same event at the same time. One of us is posting on behalf of both of us. Of course, since I view it that way, I was conscious of being inclusive of my spouse’s family when posting wedding photos. I guess it just depends on your relationship and your social media habits.

  • msditz

    I honestly can see why the MIL might have noticed and felt a slight pang of sadness, but I think emailing the son and making a big thing of it is an overreaction. Her son getting married and creating a new family is a big deal, but she needs to learn to deal with it in a way that doesn’t create more drama.
    Perhaps I slightly relate because of my own situation: My husband and I were married four years ago. Last year we had our first child and my in-laws first grandchild. In their house they have framed high school pictures of their two children, two framed pictures of my kid (one of which I gave them for Christmas), and the one and only picture that they ordered and had framed from our wedding is a posed photo of both of them with my husband. So, in other words, there is not one photo of me in their house. I’m not even on the fridge. I know deep down that it is not meant as a personal slight, because we get along just fine, but it still pisses me right off. I made sure to have a framed portrait of both of our families from the wedding in our house. BUT, instead of making an issue of it, I will simply be giving them another framed picture for Christmas this year: one of my husband, our kid, and ME :-)

    • Eh

      I like that you are taking control of the situation!

    • Greta

      yes! Now if they don’t put that one up – then you really have beef.

      • msditz

        Haha this was exactly what my sister said. Test the waters this Christmas, then if that one goes missing I have permission to raise hell!

    • Ashlah

      This was my reaction as well. I can understand her hurt feelings, but not the way she dealt with them. I love your plan! :)

  • JDrives

    I feel like there could be an open thread with the same title as this AAPW. My MIL is DEFINITELY ruining FB, but not for this specific reason. I clicked on it like OOOOH ME TOO but alas, nowhere to vent about anti-choice propaganda, inappropriate videos posted to my husband’s page and commenting on every.single.thing.posted.ever!!

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  • Sarah

    Good Lord! Just when you thought the drama from who was invited to the wedding was over! I agree this is just the tip of the iceberg and you should feel no obligation to accommodate her. If you want to share more pics in a different format, do so, but because you want to, not because she’s being demanding.

  • SK

    “And fine, I guess apologize that she feels hurt by it and explain that wasn’t your intention.”

    I’d think an insincere non-apology like this would hurt the relationship than help it since those types of statements are dismissive. If you’re not genuinely sorry, then accept that you’re not sorry. Perhaps it’d be better to reframe this situation from a “should I apologize and make amends?” one to a “how am I going to handle this negotiation of boundaries?” The non-apology will hurt you in the latter scenario. And, as the advice pointed out, the boundaries issue will continue to come up.

  • SmileyT

    I don’t think you did anything wrong but I also do not think the mother-in-law is necessarily being selfish either, as implied. I mean I do not know all about your interactions with your MIL but if this is the first time she’s “acted out” it looks like a clear misunderstanding. You don’t have to grovel, but I would definitely communicate to her that it was not your intention to hurt her feelings, as you noted above. After all she’s not just a guest at your wedding, she’s the mother of your husband and now she is a part of your family. Just as your wedding is probably the biggest event of your life to date, it was probably one of the biggest events in her life too, seeing her son get married!

    And I would caution against putting your “foot down” in regards to your album. If you talk to her and she asks if you can add a couple photos of her and her family I would say, do it. Don’t allow a WWIII to break loose over a little Facebook album. Pick your battles. Sometimes things are better when you act as the bigger person and offer the olive branch. If it becomes a chronic issue where she constantly is too sensitive about things then hold your ground. But if this is a one time thing, it seems like there’s a pretty clear cut solution to nip this in the bud.

  • Bettyvknowlton

    Get It Now. p-r-a-c-t-c-a-w-e-d-d-i-n

  • I totally 100% agree that MIL is in the wrong on this. HOWEVER, I would never call 88 photos a “snapshot” of the day. And it sounds like you included photos of your family (she said “friends and some aunts and uncles” weren’t included) but not any of your husband’s family. Again, your Facebook page should be all about you, but to say that you can’t see it from the other side is kinda shocking… 88 photos and not one features the husband’s family??

  • limegreen61086

    Love this response! Seriously you can’t make everyone happy and the sooner the realize that, the happier you will be. :)

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  • ZoeBarnes21

    I’m dealing with this now! My MIL, SIL and her husband all chose to passive aggressively not “like” or comment on our wedding pictures. When I called them out on it and asked why They said they were upset because I didn’t Thank them in the post!!!! I did tag them in many pictures but they didn’t deserve a thank you. I only thanked a few of my family members because they were busting their butts to make it happen. (We had a Pop up wedding at my mothers home) and I believe the real reason they didn’t like the pictures is because His family showed up and started an argument because they wanted to take Pictures and I asked them not to because I had people taking pictures. And I didnt want anyone to post or to have control over my wedding pictures! Especially because they would never give them to me I’m sure. Now we are in a full on War about this! Probably because they thought I wouldn’t call them out on it! It’s clear they wanted to send me a message with their family boycott. They are back peddling and saying I’m being petty and they don’t use FB. It’s mean they are trying to Shame me and pretend they don’t use FB But they all do ! And now seeing them post and like meme’s and pictures of food pisses me off ! I unfriended my SIL and BIL. I feel like I’m being bullied by mean girls and my husband and I have been fighting constantly about it. It’s been a nightmare. Don’t know what to do from here. Any suggestions??? Christmas should be fun