Post # 1
After three years of dating my FI, I have developed a love for my in-laws. The problem is that I don’t like them. The reasons why seem to be common grievances with in-laws (thoughtlessness, unreciprocated generosity, condescension, etc,) but I find their lack of care so hurtful, that while my FI is wonderful, I’m unsure that I can have a happy life with them so involved in it.
I lived for a while in Africa, where the people are very warm, caring and where things are done for the good of a loosely defined family. My parents were also very community based (no sibs,) but my father died and my mom lives on the other side of the country for half the year. Point blank, now living in NYC (a place that’s supportive to an isolated lifestyle,) I am missing having a family.
When the in-laws do something that I feel is isolating, and when FI goes along with it (for a small ex/ FIL offered to let me go to their family accountant for tax season, but only when we’re married,) I get really upset. I’ve asked FI not to tell me things his parents say, but they always get discovered eventually, and then we find that ignoring it has made it worse.
As FI’s parents don’t really treat me in a way I’d consider familial (also treat FI badly sometimes,) I can’t imagine taking on their last name. My parents were so amazing, I feel like I’m somehow forsaking my history to now be associated with such rigid people. Also, especially because my father is dead, I can’t ever imagine a time where I’ll want to call them “mom and dad.” FI says the in-laws always wanted a daughter, and they want me to call them “mom and dad.” I say tough.
I’m a bit afraid of what life has in store for my relationship. Has anyone else had this problem? How do I deal with this?
Post # 3
It sounds like you need to have a serious conversation with FI and tell him everything that you just told us. When you marry your fiance, you marry his family as well. Not taking his last name as one thing, but saying that you’re “afraid to see what life has in store” for your relationship? That’s a red flag to me.
I’ve been very blessed with my in-laws, FI’s dad’s side anyway. I don’t have any family of my own left. They’re all abusive and psychotic, and my life is much better without them. His dad’s side has always been so warm and welcoming and I have a better relationship with them than any of my own biological family. His dad truly was my father, and after he passed away in November, I finally knew what it was like to lose a loved one.
His mom’s side I cannot speak for, but I do know that I don’t get along with his mother. She’s controlling, talks to us like we’re 5 (seriously, baby voice and all) and genuinely just gets underneath my skin. However, we see her only twice a year so I figure that ti’s a small price to pay.
My point is, that most everyone has in-laws that they aren’t particualarly fond of. It’s a matter of can you deal with this for the rest of your life (or at least as long as they are around) and be okay with your relationship with FI? These are decisions that only you can make hon.
As far as the “mom and dad” thing goes, they can’t tell you what to call them. They can wish all they want, but if you aren’t comfortable with it then it doesn’t need to happen. I called FI’s Dad, “dad”, but I will never refer to his mother as my mom. In terms of the last name, that’s also up to you, but I really do think you need to have a serious conversation about all of this with FI before it all comes out at a bad time and turns into an arugment.
Post # 4
I agree with PP that saying you are afraid of what life has in store for your relationship isn’t a good sign.
That being said, if you don’t want to take his last name, then don’t! There are a ton of women out there that don’t change their last name after marriage for various reasons. Just don’t think of it as changing it to your FIL/MIL’s last name, but changing it to your FI’s last name. If you still don’t like the idea, then don’t do it.
I will also never call my in-laws “mom and dad” (at least I can’t picture it). It’s not because I don’t love them or get along with them. It’s just because I already have a mom and dad that raised me and I couldn’t ever call anyone else mom and dad. I don’t think it’s a big deal.
Post # 5
I’m sorry you don’t feel supported by your in-laws.
If you don’t want to take their last name or call them ‘mom’ or ‘dad’, you don’t have to. I kept my maiden name and call my MIL by her name still (and DH calls my parents by their names).
If you’re more traditional and *want* that name change when you get married, maybe think of it as your DH’s name rather than theirs, and move forward with a new meaning for it?
But I don’t think you have to call your in-laws by parental terms if you’re uncomfortable by it.
Post # 6
i don’t call my inlaws mom and dad. they aren’t my parents and i’ll never call them that. don’t feel like you have to just because they’re going to be your MIL and FIL. i did take my DH’s last name but it’s because i wanted to. if you don’t want to, then keep your maiden name. nothing wrong with that!
Post # 7
I don’t consider my changing my name to my IL’s name, I consider it my DH’s name. I also don’t call my IL’s “mom” and “dad”, I call them by their first names.
You can’t be forced to do anything, call them whatever you want. FWIW, they can’t stop you from doing anything. If you want to use their tax guy, call him up and use him. 🙂
Post # 8
You do not need to call them Mom and Dad! That is so old-fashioned and odd, don’t worry about that!
It seems like a complicated relationship. The example you gave about the accounted, to be honest I would just ring the accountant, introduce yourself as your FI’s fiance and ask if they would be able to help you, it’s not really up to your in-laws.
I suggest you hyphenate your surname. If you really don’t want it, don’t take it! It’s completely your decision, especially as there are not siblings to carry on your name anyway.
They sound like typical in-laws to me, I am lucky to have not had any issues with mine yet but I think you need to discuss with your FI that you need him to take your side when it matters. Other than that though, you should try to take the high road and learn to live with having them in your life if you want to stay close by to them and stay with your future husband
Post # 9
i can’t give you a lot of advice about their behaviour other than talk to your FI, and hopefully he can help you but – if you don’t want to take their name, don’t!
my parents are the amazing happy and have been married for 33 years – my mum will also tell you that she wishes that she hadn’t taken my dad’s name. her dad also died young, and she still regrets ‘giving up that link to him’. when she says this, my dad smiles and rolls his eyes – he could care less if she took it/didn’t.
as for mum and dad – that’s wierd. they’re not your parents, and your FI isn’t your sibling – yuck!
Post # 10
I think wanting to keep your last name makes complete sense, especially since you lost your father. If your fiance truly loves you, he will understand and not be upset or offended. And I think the same should be true for your soon to be in-laws. Technically, it’s none of their business whether or not you change your name. But if you think they will be somehow offended by it, just tell them it’s your way of honoring your father’s memory. I can’t see anyone who is a decent person having a problem with this.
As far as the “mom and dad” thing goes, I have never in my life met someone who calls their in-laws mom and dad. I think it is extraordinarily old fashioned and …. weird. Sorry. lol
Do you know for a fact that they expect you to call them mom and dad? If so, tell them you don’t feel comfortable, especially since your father has passed on. Or turn the tables: would your parent(s) expect your fiance to call THEM mom and dad if the roles were reversed? I can’t see this being the case either.
Bottom line, I think if your fiance and his parents care about you, they will be totally understanding and have no problem with this. But if you think they are going to flip out over this issue, there may be deeper rooted problems you want to deal with first.
Post # 11
- Wedding: August 2013 - The Liberty House
You don’t have to call them mom and dad or take their last name if you don’t want to. However, I think that you’re being a little too sensitive. Since you want them to see and do things the way that you do, I think you should meet them half way and try to realize that not everyone is as emotionally open and “caring” as your parents were/are. They may just have a different way of expressing it. I obviously don’t know the situation, but your example didn’t strike me as something that is “uncaring”. I would see it as them offering to pay for your taxes after you’re married, which is a nice thing, not saying “you must not contact our accountant or be associated with us until it’s legal.”
If you want to marry your fiancé, you will have to be associated with them because they are his parents. If you can’t be associated with them because they are too “rigid”, maybe you aren’t a good fit for their family.
Post # 12
I like my in laws and am not taking my Fi’s last name nor do I call them Mom or Dad. If you have issues with them speak to him about it.
Post # 13
Thank you Caroheart. I wish I was being too sensitive, but thankfully, over sensitivity is not in my nature (I’ve seen way too much of life for that!) I appreciate you giving me the benefit of the doubt in acknowledging you don’t know the situation! I find that airing out the more serious details, even on the internet, unproductive for moving on, aside from being painful to repeat. As I explained the tax thing was a small example, it should be taken as just that. Also, while concern in my relationship sometimes occurs (something I think is totally normal and healthy) my FI and I are a good fit for each other.
Post # 14
@asc341: First of all, you don’t have to call your in-laws “mom and dad.” There was a poll on the Bee awhile ago, and many felt it was unnecessary/not expected. Plus, they don’t treat you like a daughter now, so you shouldn’t have to call them “mom and dad” just because you’ll be married to their son.
As for your last name, try to think of it as taking your FI’s last name instead of taking your in-laws’ name. That’s what it is, right? However, given your situation, I can totally understand why you would want to retain your maiden name. Changing your last name isn’t a requirement to getting married, and it certainly doesn’t mean you love your FI any less.
Post # 15
I’m so relieved to see so many people in support of me keeping my last name! FI and I have discussed it, and he is also very supportive. We were curious how things would work out once we have kids (i.e. if it would be confusing) but it seems that it won’t be a problem.
Post # 16
@asc341: We were curious how things would work out once we have kids (i.e. if it would be confusing) but it seems that it won’t be a problem.