- 3 years ago
I am recently engaged and am very excited about my upcoming wedding. However, I am dealing with a problem that is new to me and hoping to get some insight and advice. The main issue in my relationship is with my FI’s family. I have known them for years (albeit not very well) because I actually met my FI’s brother years ago and we are very good friends. FI’s brother is openly gay with all of his friends (including me) but has not come out to his family for fear of rejection, mostly from his parents. Everyone assumes (except his parents, who are in complete denial) that he is gay since he has never had a GF, and has never expressed interest in having one. He lives in another country and hides his dating life from his family. When we first started dating, FI hinted at the fact that his brother was gay, but I just said that I wasn’t interested in discussing his brother’s life with him. For the record, FI doesn’t care at all either way; he just wants his brother to be happy. But ever since FI and I became serious, I feel like his brother has grown really distant from me, probably because he’s terrified I’ll out him to his family (I wouldn’t…it’s not my place). It’s to the point that when he recently came to visit, every time my FI and would would kiss (we’re very affectionate with each other, regardless of who is around) his brother would make gagging noises (really mature, I know) and it turned into an arguement. So there’s that.
The next issue is my FI’s mother. She can be very unpleasant and downright rude sometimes (making fun of peoples’ appearances behind their back, etc), and she is also a gossip and drama queen. I find it very draining to be around her bacause she can be extremely negative, and I also feel like I have to keep her at arm’s length because she loves to gossip and discuss her kids’ lives with whomever will listen. My FI and I have both decided to limit what we tell her because of this. I also get the sense that she is threatened because I am taking her “baby” away from her, as she relies heavily on my FI to do things for her (house maintenance, etc) despite the fact that he has 2 other brothers that live in close proximity to her. My FI is super-reliable and always willing to lend a hand, which is one of the reasons I love him so much, but I feel as though his mother is threatened by the fact that he is not always available to be there at the drop of a hat now.
The last issue I have is that my FI’s youngest brother and some of their friends have been giving him the gears about how he’s “changed” since he’s been with me (ie he’s no fun because he’s not interested in partying like an 18 year old with them anymore). My FI works away from home and prefers to spend his time with me when he is on days off. I have never dictated to him what he is/isn’t allowed to do, or that he spends every second with me, or anything like that, which is probably part of the reason he wants to spend so much time with me. We attend family events when we can, and I always encourage him to attend events even if I can’t go (I’m a full-time university student who works part time so my schedule is pretty hectic at the best of times). If he doesn’t attend them he gets flack for it and I think there’s an underlying resentment toward me because his family thinks I’m telling him not to go or something. It’s frustrating for me because I feel as though his family thinks I tell him what to do, when nothing could be further from the truth. He’s also told them this. We talk about it and he thinks that it’s just people being petty and jealous, because we’re very happy together and he’s not afraid to say it. Either way, I really don’t like being perceived as something I’m not. I know ultimately it doesn’t matter what people think, people will think whatever they’re going to think anyways, but it does get me down sometimes. Luckily my FI is wonderfully supportive and would never let anyone bad mouth me…he also recognizes that these issues are present and doesn’t try to defend his family’s odd behavior.
I’m just wondering how all of you out there cope with your in-laws and if anyone can offer me some insight into how to deal. Thanks so much!