- 5 years ago
- Wedding: September 2013
This might get long, so I appologize and let me just summarize by saying I know my finace’s family “loves” him, but he is so obviously not their favorite child, and I think his prior divorce shadows their perception of our relationship and their ability to be happy for us, and I just kind of need to vent a little about how I’m feeling…
My fiance is the love of my life. To speak for the both of us, we are SO happy. We are both a bit older (30), well-established and self-sufficient in very professional careers, own a house and 2 cars with no debt aside from my student loans and a very managable mortgage – in effect we are pretty successful “adults,” I suppose you could say…
My fiance was married before, just out of college, for about a year. They were probably too young, and I don’t want to speak for him about why it failed, but it revolved largely around her cheating on him.
Fast forward about 4 years. my fiance and I met on match.com. We worked in the same building and I had had a crush on him when I was a student, but that was about when he was going through his divorce, so I understand why he didn’t reciprocate my flirty glances back then! From our 2nd date onward we were a “couple,” about 10 months later we were engaged, and about 13 months after we met we moved in together. We have a really supportive relationship, have never had a major fight because we are able to talk things out, and tell each other we love each other like 15 times a day (gross, I know!). We’ve been together over 2 years now.
Well, something that’s bugged me ever since we got engaged is his family’s reaction to our impending nuptuals… He told them on Thanksgiving 2011, just after we got back from our vacation when we got engaged. I wasn’t with him because I spent Thanksgiving with my family that year. He said they were excited and congratulated him.
Weelllll, they never said anything to me. We see them every couple weeks because we live in the same city. They have never really said anything to the extent of “we’re glad you’re marrying our son, congrats, welcome to the family” or anything like that. They have never asked to see my ring. I sent his parents a card last year thanking them for raising such a wonderful son who is the love of my life, and saying I’m so excited to be joining their family, etc. I’ve made an effort.
Again, we got engaged just before Thanksgiving 2011. Come Easter, I warned my fiance that if someone didn’t say something to me soon I was not going to be held responsible for my actions if I blew up aobut it at Easter brunch!… No one said anything, but I behaved. (if you’re wondering at this point why my fiance didn’t say anything, he’s a quieter guy, and non-confrontational. He asked if I wanted him to tell his parents I wanted them to say something about us being engaged, but I asked him not to because I didn’t want to rock the boat or have their comments seem ingenuine)
Fast forward to Mother’s day. SIX months into our engagement. I was spending it with his extended family. Some older woman I’ve never me said to us “so, you’re living together huh? You better plan on getting married then.” I calmly responded “well, we are engaged.” His AUNT said “what?!” Then his GRANDMA said “I didn’t know that!” WTF? I was so irritated. I never sought out and told my extended relatives I was engaged, my parents automatically did that because they were excited. I guess I assumed his family was the same way. Apparently not. I was a little irritated with my fiance too for not telling these people at some point, but again, he’s kind of quiet and introverted and not one to talk on the phone a whole lot. His parents talk to these relatives ALL the time though…
Well, this past summer we started planning more for our wedding, which is in 9/13. I finally just decided I was going to start talking about all the planning details with them, regardless of them never aknowldeging our engagement to me. My fiance made it clear his parents wouldn’t plan to contribute fiancially because of his prior divorce (I can’t wrap my mind around that – whenever I was grounded as a kid I talked myself out of it within an hour, I figured this would be the same thing with his family: they’d see how happy he is and offer to contribute a bit, but no). Fine, we can afford the wedding ourselves (and my family is giving us some money), but all of a sudden his parents were telling us we had to invite their cousins etc. We are having a small wedding. My fiance hasn’t seen most of those people in over 15 years (at least). We’re not inviting parents’ cousins (on either side).
Fastforward to the holidays this year. His brother (who lives far away) is in town and has recently proposed to his girlfriend. Everyone at his parents’ house is excited and congratulating them and talking wedding details (they JUST got engaged and will probably get married 8/14). His great aunt gestures towards us and says “I probably should congratulate you guys too.” OK, we’ve only been engaged 13 months… The whole time his brother was in town it was just so apparent that he is his parents’ favorite (he did better in school, didn’t get in trouble growing up, is religious (see below). Granted, they don’t see him as often because he lives several states away, but still). It made me sad for my fiance.
I invited FMIL dress shopping. A funeral came up so she unfortunately couldn’t go. She did call me that night to get the details. I was really excited and sent her a picture of me in my dress. She never responded to that. When I saw her the next week I asked if she got the picture I sent. “yep” was the answer… No other comment.
I guess I just feel a little hurt. My fiance’s family is very different from mine, and that’s a big part of it I think. My family talks about EVERYTHING (some times too much…), whereas his talks about NOTHING. I was in the car with his mom once and said, “you know, I love your son a lot. Do you feel like he’s happier with me than he was in his prior marriage?” (we had been at a relative’s house where they were talking about marriage). She touched my leg, looked like she was going to cry, and said they didn’t know why his prior marriage failed, but they were afraid he’d never try for love again, and they were glad he found me. I thanked her for saying that (the only comment I’ve EVER gotten around those lines from them) and said “you know she cheated on him, right?, that’s why he divorced her.” She said they had suspected that but had never talked about it. That’s weird to me – my prior long term boyfriend (6 years) cheated on me, and my dad was immediately trying to drum up a posse to find him and kill him… My fiance’s parents are also VERY religious (Catholic), whereas my fiance and I are not. We were both raised Catholic and believe in a higher power, but don’t attend church other than holidays, and aren’t getting married in the church (his first marriage wasn’t annulled). I feel like this might be part of the problem also.
I guess I’m just not sure what to do, if anything. In part I just needed to vent. I am so in love, and so happy with my fiance. My family is crazy too, and sometimes I just am so thankful that when push comes to shove my fiance and I are our own family, and don’t need to inherit any of the weirdness of either of our families. I feel so bad for him though that his parents so clearly don’t favor him. I know they love him, but it’s obvious they wish he was different than he is. And I know they approve of me, I just don’t understand why they haven’t been more excited about our upcomming marriage. Advice?