Post # 1
Let me start off this post by saying I am a negative thinker. I tend to find the bad in a situation and cling to it so hard, I suck any life out of anything good at all. (I’m in therapy for this)
That being said, I’m engaged to a fantastic man for about 2 years now. But the reason why it’s been 2 years is that I am having doubts, and can’t make up my mind if I should stay or leave.
Our relationship is generally good, my main thing is family & friends. I don’t know if this is my perfectionism talking (wanting the white picket fence, etc) or if I just not cut out for this relationship…
I come from an extremely loving and close family. He has a large family who doesn’t really speak to eachother. The reason is “they just don’t get along” which is weird to me. All that’s left that’s close to him is his parents, brothers, and his SIL.
His SIL and mother hate eachother, his mother is a hoarder, and his other brother is mentally ill. He also has a child who is not in his life.
I love this man dearly, but his family scares me. I always visulized myself with someone who would have a family that would be an extension of my loving family. With him I visualize fights because I don’t want my future kids in a hoarders mess. I never saw myself as a stepmom. (he’s not in his life but may be down the line)
To top it all off he is pretty introverted. Doesn’t have many friends, keeps to himself. I am majorly outgoing….
He knows how I feel and has always said that I am his partner and that I will come first. He is on my side about his mom’s hoarding, and though he is not a really “people person” he makes a considerable effort for me.
My question is: Do you REALLY not marry the family?
I just worry about a lifetime of problems from them. Appreciate any thoughts. Am I overthinking this?
Post # 3
You just have to set your boundaries. You are probably so good for him! My family is a super nightmare and I would be devastated if my FH left me because of it. I am different than them and have issues related to being brought up in their household. I am working on them and I am so lucky that my FH is helping me through them. He wants me to be the best I can be! It is totally awkward when he is around my mother. He has only been around her once but is going to have to do it again soon for the wedding celebration. After that it won’t have to happen much. His family is amazing and I am so lucky to have them. I seriously talk to his mom at least once a week and she loves me so much. We will be moving near them when we have kids and not near my family who is a long plane ride away. You may have to deal with your FH family every once in a while… so ask yourself if it is worth it?
Post # 4
Seriously, I could have written your post (I wrote a similar one just the other day, actually!).
I’m also from a very close family, and it makes my skin crawl to think that I and my future children will “belong” to a family that fights, criticises each other, and sets bad examples for children. They’re not so bad that we could cut them out of our lives, but they’re bad enough that I wish that they would be worse so we had a reason to cut off all contact with them.
This is something I’m really struggling with myself. Talking with my fiance is so difficult because, at the end of the day, they’re still his family. Not to mention he’s so used to their behaviour that he thinks this is normal (he actually says they’ve settled down a lot since he was a child!). I don’t have any advice, but you have my commiseration and understanding.
Post # 5
As for the “not marrying the family.” This is something I’m trying to find my way through – fiance’s family are very possessive of me. They love me and have been referring to me as their daughter ever since fiance and I got engaged a year ago, but it seriously freaks me out – I already have a family! I have an amazing family that I love to death!
I’ve been trying to emphasise that I am marrying their son rather than them/the whole family with statements like “I can’t wait until fiance and I are our own family!”or, if they mention “their grandchildren” and all the things they want to do with them, I might say “Between you guys, my parents, my grandparents, my siblings, niece…etc. I’ll barely get any time with my kids.” They get a bit snippy if I mention that I actually have other family that might want some facetime with my children – not to mention that they’ll be mine and my husband’s children first and foremost.
Another way that keeps them at a slight distance is by referring to them as in-laws when introducing them to others, or calling them by their first names, rather than calling them “mum” and “dad” (as they want me to).
I don’t think anything other than an outright “I’m not marrying you guys and your family is completely mental and I want no part of it other than your son” is going to work. But being forthright was never really my strong point.
Post # 6
@LadyElva: The problem is I don’t want to have to distance myself. He is close to his parents and I want a family that I can be close to too. I just can’t get passed their issues. Especially the hoarding. It makes me wonder if we’re just not a good match.
Post # 7
If anything you’ll have more problems down the line when your FI wants some distance from your family because he’s used to having more distance. You don’t marry your spouse’s family- you marry the relationship your spouse has with his family.
Post # 8
Well, you get them. But I wouldn’t say you “marry” them.
It’s kind of like when you have some of your own family members that… well… you would never choose. It’s just life.
FI and I both have some family we’re not thrilled with having to give each other to deal with as inlaws, but we both just accept it.
Post # 9
The only person who I talk to in my family are my dad and little brother (out of 5 aunts and uncles and 8 cousins) And is so much fighting and tension that its just not worth talking to anyone. I’m okay with it, and my fiance respects me enough to be okay with it. He loves my dad and brother and that’s all that matters to me.
He would never not love me enough or not respect me enough to leave because of the relationship i dont have with my family. Because he’s not marrying any of them.
Post # 10
@nutsoveru: you marry the family. Do they have to LIVE with you .. hell no
PFF didn’t we all picture ourselves with MR. PERFECT. there will ALWAYS be problems.
can you hang in there? is HE worth it?
Post # 11
Yes, like it or not, you DO marry into the family, the immediate family especially. Coz what they do, could affect you and your spouse too.
If you choose to marry him, you have to accept and love his family members too and that they will be part of your life from then on. You can’t turn your back of them should they need help. I’ll say your love for him have to be deep enough to overcome the imperfections that come with him, noting that no one is perfect.
Post # 12
@nutsoveru: Personally, I think it’s ridiculous to consider not marrying someone because their family is weird. My ILs are not only weird, I’ve learned that they are plain old bad people. And I wouldn’t go back in time and end my relationship because of them.
Your ILs will NEVER be picture perfect. They are what they are. And just because your future husband is close to them, it does NOT mean you have to be close to them too. Bottom line, you can’t have it both ways. You either deal with them as they are and keep your distance OR realize they will NEVER change and learn how to have a relationship with them anyway.
That said, in my opinion, you do NOT marry the family. You marry the man. The man that chooses to commit his life to you, to be your life’s partner. Do you know how amazing that is? To find someone willing to do that for you? And now you’re seriously considering calling it off because of his family. I don’t know if you’re neurotic or maybe you don’t love him as much as you think you do.
Post # 13
@JemmaWRX: I think my major issue with it is having children. I want them to have the childhood I had. Close to their grandparents, with cousins to play with, etc. I can’t picture my kids going over to the hoarder grandmother’s house. (She doesn’t think she has a problem). There’s no closness with any of them at all
Post # 14
@LadyElva: what’s the title of your post that is similar?
Post # 15
@joya_aspera: I like this prespective. thanks
Post # 16
- Wedding: September 2012 - Southern California
@LadyElva: I’m also from a very close family, and it makes my skin crawl to think that I and my future children will “belong” to a family that fights, criticises each other, and sets bad examples for children.
^This is so me! With that said though, my DH is the absolute best & I often wonder how he came about haha. I put up with them for him. He knows his family is the perfect example of dysfunctional & has decided he will continue to have us & any of our potential offspring as distant, but still as healthy as possible of a relationship.
OP: I think you really need to ask yourself if your SO is worth it to you. If he knows how you feel, I don’t see why you can’t be “busy” more often & why you two can’t set up fair boundaries with each others’ families.