How to Manipulate Parents and Get Parents to Do What You Want

Broken Marriage Learning how to manipulate parents, and doing whatever is deemed necessary to get parents to do what kids, teens and adult children want, sometimes turns into a virtual war between kids and parents. Manipulating parents, often referred to as emotional extortion, means that there are kids of all ages who will do just about anything to get parents to say yes to something, even when saying yes puts parents in a precarious position.

Do children manipulate parents? Oh yes they do, and adult children are just as good at stooping to whatever level they see fit to get their parents to do what the kid wants, and it doesn’t matter what it is children are trying to convince parents to do. The reality of how parents are sometimes manipulated when planning a wedding became a shocking and disturbing reality for a mom I’ve heard from before, based on the email I received this morning.

Regular readers are likely familiar with the article I wrote about who pays for what when it comes time to determine how a wedding budget will be decided and how the wedding, reception and honeymoon will be paid for and by whom. Late last year, shortly before Christmas of 2008, I exchanged a few emails with a mom who was struggling with the decision of who would pay for her daughter’s wedding.

This poor mom, who is disabled and barely able to get by on her meager income, was dealing with her own Bridezilla. Her daughter, who I referred to in the “who pays for what” article as “darling daughter”, has champagne taste on a beer budget. This young, 20-year-old girl pulled every manipulative tactic on her mom and dad that she could muster, in order to have the wedding of her dreams.

Bridezilla wanted what she wanted and she was determined she would get her Cinderella dream wedding, regardless of what the total cost of her wedding finally came to, and who would end up paying for it. Her want list for her wedding was extravagant to say the least, especially when it was to be paid for by parents who don’t have the means to pay for such an expensive wedding. She wanted it all – everything you can imagine that would go into having an expensive wedding, fit for someone on a champagne budget.

She wanted a horse-drawn carriage ride to the wedding venue and limo services to the reception for all eight of her attendants, plus the matching number of groomsmen, flower girl and ring bearer. Add to that the designer wedding gown she “had” to have, an expensive wedding cake and grooms cake, all the fancy wedding decorations and everything else this young lady believed she needed to fulfill her dream wedding.

Throughout our email exchanges, I provided this mom with numerous links to informative articles on ways to reduce the cost of a wedding to an amount that was manageable for her, her ex-husband and the groom’s family. Bridezilla cried, begged, pleaded, stomped her feet, called her mom mean and hateful names, told her mom and dad they owed her the wedding she had dreamed of all her life with one guilt trip after another, and threw a major hissy-fit every time something wasn’t going her way. Wow.

Once our email discussions were over, I wrote the “who pays for what” article and set it up to go live in March of this year, which is right about the time of year when “wedding season” starts kicking in and brides with their moms start working on wedding plans and searching for information online. Did Bridezilla get her dream wedding? Oh yes she did, and how.

“Mom” racked up a killer credit card bill for her daughter’s wedding, and the cost of the wedding that now sits on her credit cards totaled close to $10,000. That’s just the disabled mom’s bill, and when you add another $20,000 or so that was split between Bridezilla’s dad and the groom’s parents, I’d say she got her dream wedding alright.

Her wedding was held during one of the most popular and most expensive months to get married, Saturday, June 6th. The mom put her share of the wedding costs on credit cards, high-interest credit cards to be exact, which was the only way she could help pay for her daughter’s wedding. Guess what has happened?

After getting married just a few months ago, dear “darling daughter” wants a divorce, and she actually expects her mom and dad to “help” pay for her divorce lawyer! There are no real “grounds for divorce” to speak of, no accusations of abuse of any kind, she just “changed her mind” and decided she doesn’t want to be married after all.

Considering the sensitive nature of some of the topics I discuss on Telling It Like It Is, not much surprises or shocks me anymore, but THIS shocked me. Not only was this young lady way too young to get married in the first place, but she’s also one of the most selfish, ungrateful, immature, unappreciative, entitled, manipulative, spoiled brats I’ve ever heard of in all my life.

Who pays for the divorce? Only time will tell, but if past experience is a sign of what is likely to occur in the near future, it’s not looking good for this mom, and probably even the dad. What do you think? Do you think this mom and/or dad should pay for this girl’s divorce after getting married about 5 months ago? By the way, this mom had no problems with me writing about her situation as long as I didn’t use her real name, which I wouldn’t do anyway. Is this situation crazy or what?

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12 Responses to “How to Manipulate Parents and Get Parents to Do What You Want”

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  1. Faith Perakis says:

    I think its pathetic that now days its not the children looking for their parents approval but, the parents looking for their childrens (or adult childrens) approval.
    Darling Daughter needs to pay back that ridiculous expense before thinking about the divorce. And Darling Daughter needs to know she doesn’t need a divorce attorney, she can do the work herself.
    The wedding isn’t even paid off and now she’s asking for a divorce attorney? This little girl needs to grow up & stop Playing pretend. This is reality & the reality of this is the parents needed to spank their “Darling Daughter” a lot more!
    The parents are to blame for allowing this to happen. Now days there is not rules of the brides parents any more! If that was the case no one would be getting married. A lot of couples, especially the brides to be know there parents financial means and have respect to get a job and save on there own.
    This girl has no respect for her parents!

    • Lin says:

      Hi Faith,

      When I read the email and saw where the mom said her daughter wants a divorce, that alone floored me! I mean, seriously?! She’s only been married a few months and the parents are stuck paying a HUGE wedding bill for this girl, and she actually is expecting her parents to just flip the switch and get her unmarried now?! Oh MY GOD! I can’t even imagine what the poor guy she married must be thinking and feeling right now! Some people are just too young and immature to get married and the parents have to put their foot down and not be coddling their whiny-butt kids. This situation made it tough for me to get to sleep last night, as it really shocked me how far some “kids” will go to get their way and how some parents don’t have the backbone to say NO, and I mean Haaaaayyllllll NO!

    • Lin says:

      Faith, since your comment was copied and pasted from what you said on Facebook, it included the words “read more” so I edited those two words out so it’s not confusing for people.

  2. Sharon says:

    When I saw this show up on facebook, at first I thought it was a joke. Wow is right! This mom needs to wake up and see what her daughter is pulling on her and no she shuoldn’t pay for the divorce. My daughter got married a few years ago and she and her husband paid for most of the wedding themselves since they knew we couldn’t afford much. This girl needs counselling imo.

    • Lin says:

      Hi Sharon! I’ve been emailing back and forth with the mom today and she’s really upset right now, of course. She still hasn’t decided whether or not to help pay for her daughter’s divorce, and someone on Facebook messaged me that maybe the daughter could get an annulment. I don’t know what the legal requirements are for getting an annulment, or if there has to be certain “grounds” so to speak, but I passed on the suggestion that she at least look into that. Of course, I also told her about pro bono lawyers and volunteer lawyers that deal with divorce cases, so hopefully she’ll spend some time looking further into that too. I agree with you, this girl needs some counseling for sure, but I doubt very much that she would go for that. The mom said her new son-in-law wants to save the marriage and work things out, and he’s broken hearted right now. Poor guy!

  3. Janice says:

    Lin, my husband is an attorney and I told him about this. I emailed you a few minutes ago with our contact information if you want someone to give some legal advice about the daughter’s options regarding annulment.

    • Lin says:

      Thanks Janice, I did receive your email and I’m looking at the info you sent right now. I really appreciate you doing that, and I’ll be sure to forward this to the mom.

  4. Janet Fox says:

    Gosh Lin,

    This is the limit. I wonder why the mom is even considering and thinking about it. She should have straight away said NO!!! I know the maternal instinct can better of you at times but there has to be a rational limit to everything. If the girl doesnt care a s**t about her mom day and doesnt even stop to think once how they would deal with the finances, the mom n dad should be as ruthless as well.

    I cant imagine someone like that female. She needs to learn the hard way now!!

    • Lin says:

      Janet, this situation is very sad to say the least. So far, the daughter is not even willing to consider saving her marriage and making it work. She’s adamant that she “wants out” of the marriage and isn’t giving any viable reasons for it. Needless to say, her husband is broken-hearted and depressed. Gosh, six months of marriage and she’s ready to throw in the towel. It appears that the mom is starting to see the light and so far is saying she has no intention of paying for the divorce or helping her pay for the divorce. I didn’t even have to bring up the subject of “enabling” with her, since it appears she had already started searching online about that subject and found my articles about it. We’ll just have to see how things go since she’s still reading the articles and mulling it all over, then plans to get back to me about it.

  5. Jeevan says:

    If she’s going to learn it the hard way then let her. First let her pay all the bills up.

  6. Gabby says:

    Wow! This girl is the definition of selfish brat. Made me think back to my own wedding and how much my own parents must have paid. I of course wanted everything darling daughter had, but I knew that just wasn’t in the cards. Now however I have learned that the actual wedding is not what is important, the marriage is.

    These parents need Allison Bottke’s book “Setting boundaries with your adult children” I have it and have learned so much about not just being an enabler, but being an enablee.

    I hope someday, not just for this mother but for darling daughter too, that she also comes to the realizations about being an adult and enabling and mostly entitlement that I have recently realized. All their lives will benefit if this happens.

  7. horrible says:

    That is one hell of a horrible person. Firstly, she is 20 and plans to get married and asks her parents to pay? The mom should have just said your marriage you pay. The mom should kick her out and stop contact until the brat grows up!!!