Post # 1
I had been dating my fiancé for 2 years when he proposed… His family lives in a separate state, but I have met them a few times (including staying with them a week this summer). We were engaged a few months ago, and neither his mother nor his father have called me personally, sent a card, etc. I am so hurt by this! They are a little “strange” (confirmed by other members of their extended family) but I can’t help feel slighted. To top it off, they are coming down for Christmas in a few days and I don’t know how to act. His sister arrived yesterday, and made absolutely no mention of our engagement. She herself has been engaged for over a year with no definite plans, so maybe it is a jealousy thing? I just feel so unloved by this sister and his parents—I always thought the family of the man I marry would love & adore me! My family absolutely loves him, as well as the wife of my brother. Should I feel they do not want him to marry me? I also know his mother made a comment about us having children (THE DAY BEFORE HE PROPOPSED), because of my brother having a degenerative illness (that is NOT hereditary). Should I talk to her about this and my feeling in general? Or just plaster a smile on my face and see what happens when they get here?
Post # 3
I know this hurts. But, you have to remember that all families are different. Some just show love in different ways. I honestly do not think they don’t want you two to get married. They are coming for Christmas, which tells me that they want to spend time with you. Have you talked to your FI about your feelings? Maybe he can have a word with them. My advice is to just smile, enjoy the holiday and see how things go. This is going to be your family for the rest of your life, so I would try your hardest to make this work.
Post # 4
I would have a positive outlook this Christmas. Try to forget the past and start fresh. They will be at your home so try to make them feel welcomed and loved, including his sister, even if she is a little stand offish. If they still act strange after you put your best foot forward at least you can say you did everything you could do. Stay positive.
Post # 5
I think that maybe your expectations are a little high. You really have not spent much time with these people, and to expect them to “love and adore” you after only a handful of visits is a bit much. Not to say that they never will! But I dated my FI for 4 years before we were engaged, visited his family MANY times, sometimes for a week at a time, and still do not get (nor expect) an outpouring of affection from them. Also, I have met my brother’s girlfriend of 1.5 years many times and spent a lot of time with her, yet I do not really love and adore her although I do like her and enjoy her company. I agree that his sister is acting strangely, but I would not hold the comment your FI’s mother made about your future children against her. She probably just doesn’t know that much about the illness. I would just relax and not force an unnatural progression of your relationship with his family. If they are a little strange then it will just take a little longer to get to know them and for them to be comfortable with you.
Post # 6
I wouldn’t say anything. I think the sister might be jealous…and the family might not know what to do or say. And they might indeed be WEIRD. I had a lot of different reactions from people…and sometimes NO reactions from people. Try not to take it too personal. Although I know it is hard 🙁 I think eventually they will come around though as it gets closer..
Post # 7
Don’t go borrowing trouble. Every family really is different. It’s possible that they don’t like you, sure. It’s also possible that it never even occurred to them to get in touch with you personally. And about the sister not saying anything- I would most definitely not take that personally. It’s been months since you were engaged, so it’s probably not the foremost thing on her mind. Unless this family has ever given you reason to think that they are hostile, why don’t you give them the benefit of the doubt?
Post # 8
These things take time to develop and every family is different. Just go and be your charming self and try not to overthink things.
I have a bad habit of setting expectations WAAAY high in the sky but trust me, not everyone can read your mind and understand what kind of reaction you’re looking for (or rather, what would make you happy)
This is going to sound harsh but it’s not all about you. Yes, I’m sure they are very excited for your wedding, but, like most people, they have a million other things going on in their world. It doesn’t mean they don’t love you or even like you, it’s just, your engagement and wedding are not the center of their worlds right now.
Post # 9
I feel your pain. Believe me, I really, really do. Mr. BrassBand and I had been together for over four years when we got engaged. I have spent countless hours at his home (we began dating during his junior year and my senior year of high school and are now a junior and senior in college, respectively), including holidays and other “family” events, but I have never really felt like they truly wanted me there…it’s a very complicated situation that basically boils down to the fact that we are fundamentally different people, in that I’m a very enthusiastic/emotional/strong-willed person, and they don’t really express their emotions…at all. :/ Seriously: when we told them we were engaged (BrassBand had invited his parents and my parents to dinner at a fabbity-fab restaurant and proposed to me just before we met them; they all knew it was coming), their response was a faint “congratulations”. No hugging, no asking to see the ring, no “yay”. By comparison, when we told MY parents, they basically mobbed us (and the ring, lol)…even though they knew it was coming too.
My advice to you is this: plaster that smile on your face as big as you can, and every time you feel bad/left out/unwanted, remind yourself that your fiance chose to marry you! If you’ve got a ring, look down at that sucker and remind yourself of the commitment and love that you guys share and be confident in that. If they are not excited for you, it may just be because they experience and express emotions differently than you do. And even if they aren’t happy about you becoming a part of their family. remember that their son IS, and that is what is really important. (FYI–this is the same pep talk I will be giving myself on Christmas morning!)
As for the disease issue–I can imagine that her comment is hurtful to you, but I would say that it is best not to discuss it unless she brings it up. The eternal optimist in me wants to believe that she is just a) curious or b) clueless, but at the end of the day, your genes aren’t really her business. I would share information about your brother’s illness if she asks and you feel comfortable doing so, but otherwise you may just be stirring the pot more than you need to.
Good luck, and have a happy first Christmas as an engaged woman!!
Post # 10
Thank you all so much… this was my first time posting and now I understand why these boards are so popular! I actually had a heart to heart with my FSIL last night (after 2 bottles of wine) and she basically said the same thing—her family is different and they don’t feel they know me that well yet. She also said her parents gave her a hard time about her fiancé because he had diabetes, which (sadly) made me feel a bit better…
I will be seeing the rest of the family tomorrow and will try my best to plaster a smile on my face and not let them get to me (and if they do, I know I can come vent here!)
By the way, I ordered a “Mother of the Groom” guide and a “Mother of the Bride” guide to give to our moms at the same time… hopefully that makes her feel a little more connected…
And MissBrassBand, it does sound exactly like the dynamics in our respective families!
PS—So embarrassed about the major typo in OP! :X
Post # 11
Just wanted to let you know that you’re not alone. My fiance and I have been together for four years, I met his family very early on and we see them fairly regularly. While they’ve always been polite to me, I know that deep down, I’m not the type of girl they wanted their son to marry. They’re devout Christians (my fiance is as well, but he’s not as uptight as they are) and I was raised in an Agnostic household. So when we got engaged, there were no congratulations, no hugs or any of that stuff. When my fiance called to tell his mother that he asked me to marry him, all she said was “Oh…. so, you did…” and the next time I saw her, she asked to see my ring but that was the extent of her acknowledgment of our engagement. Sometimes it hurts to know that I’ll never be super close with my in-laws and sometimes the difference in beliefs makes for awkward feelings, at least on my end, but I usually just smile when I’m around them and pretend everything is peachy.
That said, your situation isn’t exactly the same as mine and I’m sure his family will grow to love you. Best of luck to you!
Post # 12
I know how you feel!!! My mother-in-law offendes me and my family. My sister also has an illness that is not hereditery. My MIL has bluntly asked about that not just in front of me but also to my parents. Last night, she yelled at me saying that my feelings are not so important and I should not talk back at elders. She even screamed out that she doesn’t like me and that me and my FI’s relationship can be over any second but not her and his because they are blood. Well, that is true but my FI say is willing to cut her out of his life if she keeps behaving this way. It is so hard to deal with in-laws. While she was yelling and screaming at me, I almost cried, then she screamed and said “where do you think this is? Who do you think you are to cry at my house?” Not sure how I am going to deal with this… but at least your in-laws didn’t yell at you and told you that your feelings are not important so that I should keep it to myself. I never thought getting married would be this tough. My FI thinks she is acting this way because she feels like she is losing her son to another woman and that no woman is ever good enough for him. Your in-laws might be thinking that way too. Did you every try sending them a card or calling them just to say hi? Maybe they are waiting for you to do that.
Post # 13
My husbands parents are very “weird” (and this is an opinion of everyone who has ever met them, including my husbands friends.)
It has taken some time, but I have accepted that they are not like me, they are not like my family. They are a little more closed off then the norm, not very warm and inviting, and not very affectionate people. But this is who they are. I don’t take the “uptightness” personally b/c its just who they are, its their personality.
Over time your relationship will develop a little more, but also realize that nothing changes their personality; and just as long as you remain respectful, cordial, and inviting; your husband will appreciate it and you will have as good of a relationship as you can with your in-laws.
Post # 14
In my last major relationship, I was super close to my boyfriend’s family. I truly loved his mother and dad and one of the worst things about breaking up with him was breaking up with them.
My FI’s family and I are not nearly so close. Probably never will be; I don’t feel the same connection to them.
Sometimes it’s just a matter of different strokes for different folks. My best answer for you is to just BE YOURSELF. Stop worrying if people don’t say what you think they should say or act how you think they should act. Nobody has this script of life down pat and we’re all terribly obsessed with what’s going on in our own heads.
Don’t stress about the things you can’t change. Just go about your life and business and I bet that your FI’s family will see and really like the person he’s chosen!
Post # 15
In my first marriage- I thought I was the beloved “daughter” they had never had. I remembered birthdays, bought presents, arranged family re-unions, vacations, etc etc ad nauseum. When we got divorced I truly thought we would stay in touch. Fast forward to ex bringing new wife to meet them. I was trashtalked- and actually they suggested I just “didnt like men”. ( not that there is anything wrong with that) I never heard from them again, including a thank you for flowers sent to ex- fil funeral ( which I donated my ff miles so my ex could attend). This hurt a LOT. I cried more about losing the “parents” I had for 25 years than the marriage ending.
MM was great- he accepted my pain, and held me while I worked through it. He did warn me not to take his family into my heart that far. And from the wedding process I can see why. Luckily I am older, wiser, and more jaded. I am marrying HIM and not his family (except for his two older children and even them I am simply their fathers new wife- not their stepmother)