Post # 1
I love my Future Brother-In-Law and his wife, I really do, but sometimes it’s hard for me to deal with them. It’s not that they’ve done anything wrong (for the most part), it’s mostly just that they exist. I realize this is totally crazy but being an only child, I just don’t understand the sibling dynamic. It’s only always been all about me so having to share special times with other people (i.e. our wedding and the birth of their baby happening pretty close together, among other things) is not fun for me. I know these are my issues and not their fault (I would never expect anyone to put their lives on hold just because we’re getting married) but it’s been hard to deal with having to share the spotlight. Go ahead and tell me I’m selfish, I’ve heard it all before. I don’t want to feel this way but I just do.
I’ve spoken to other only children who have had similar issues so I know it’s not just me being a complete nutcase but I wonder if it’s more common than I think.
Fellow only children, have you had these issues? How did you overcome them or do they still bother you?
Post # 3
I’m not an only child and I *still* find it difficult to deal with DH’s siblings!
He is the youngest of 4 and while I am the oldest in my family, my sister got married first. Everyone has been very “been there, done that” about our wedding and it has definitely hurt my feelings 🙁 We have gone out of our way for everyone else, and now that it is our turn, no one really seems to care.
His family is also very high drama and everything is always about “them”.
Honestly, the best I can do right now, is basically ignore the comments, share details when they ask, and let Darling Husband deal with their drama and issues.
My Mom is very excited about the wedding and all of the details, so I try to share and dish with her the most, because I get the best responsive that keeps my spirits up.
Post # 4
I am an only child, and so is my Fiance. He has three half siblings, but they are much, much older than him, and he was raised between his dad and mom as the only child, since he was the only one between them.
It can be difficult dealing with the sibling dynamic because they do create drama at times and we can get sucked in. On the day to day, we are very quiet people, but there have been occasions when crap his one sister was pulling was getting in the way of us living harmoniously. I guess it depends how close the Fiance is to his siblings and how much they will be in your life. My Fiance rarely sees his siblings, so typically it does not make a difference.
I dont’ know if I feel the same way you do, except for the fact that being an only child made me like quiet and being alone a lot more than friends I had growing up that had siblings. I don’t feel the need to be around people very often. Fiance and I are naturally loners and are very quiet, and I do think this is b/c we were only children. We just…dont’ feel the need to have other people around constantly. I know others view us as wierd, but that’s just how we naturally are. It’s really a miracle that we are even together, haha.
Post # 5
I am only child as well. The sibling dynamic between ANYONE has always been one of the only things in life that leaves me baffled. My Fiance has a younger brother, that doesn’t live in Houston with us, but there have been a few things, particularly when we got engaged, that I had to work through. He felt like I was taking Davey (FI) away from him. So for a week or two he was really bent out of shape. So in turn so was I. I didn’t understand why he felt this way, and that he should be happy for his brother. So I voiced this at a family dinner and his parents said the same thing. They said they also felt a little sad (but happy of course) that Davey would now be coming to the new Mrs. Jeans instead of the original, my future Mother-In-Law. I think sometimes I get a little “i’m not going to try and understand” because I am a bit jealous. I have always wanted siblings, but they weren’t in the cards, you know? My mom only wanted one! So now, 4 months after the engagement all is well. His brother won’t be getting married anytime soon, so I won’t have to deal with sharing the spotlight on special occaisions. However, all my BM’s are getting engaged, like now, during my wedding planning, so i’ll be sharing the spotlight with them instead! Also something I’ll have to wrap my head around! 😉 Good luck, keep a positive outlook!
Post # 6
This is interesting to me as I have just one cousin who is an only child,of divorced parents. Not only is she an only child, but her parents are the only ones of eight siblings that were divorced. Everyone else had at least 3 kids, so when she was around or visiting, she was always like a fish out of water. She really had no idea how to relate to anyone other than the adults. Understandable, I guess, as she spent all her time with either parent, and mostly alone.
She and I are the closest in age, so our parents were always trying to get us together to be better friends. It didn’t happen, as she always acted like she was more ‘adult’ than me and it seemed like she always found everything I did as silly or beneath her. We tried for many years at their urging, but that closeness never happened.
I think she enjoyed being the center of attention too much and was really terrible at sharing anything. Not her fault, but it was what it was, and even now she’s still completely self-centered and has difficulties with many relationships. After 2 divorces, she’s again alone…and I think that’s how she likes it!
In your case, I hope you can find a way to deal with his family and learn to enjoy their company. They’ll be around for a long time.
Post # 7
I’m not an only child, but I get super frustrated with FI’s brother and sister. His brother is incredibly flaky. He offered to do our wedding invites and I haven’t seen anything since March .
I also get really frustrated that all of the family stuff has to be planned around them. And I hope I don’t get flamed for saying this, but it’s drives me bonkers that his sister is vegan and everything food related has to revolve around her. If it’s a group thing, like a holiday dinner, fine. But we’re celebrating FI’s birthday this weekend, and the restaurant choice has to revole around his sister, as opposed to what he would like to do for his own birthday. We also can’t have the birthday cake he’d like because it’s not vegan. IMO, at least as far as the cake goes it’s not her bday and she can just choose not to eat it. But I can’t suggest that because then I’ll be the bad guy.
Post # 8
Again, I am not an only, but I think in part is because its not YOUR family. If you had to share a special occasion with a close cousin, aunt, your mom, or friend, would you feel the same?
I think when there isnt an automatic or natural closeness to someone, no matter how much you like them, its not guaranteed you wont feel some selfishness about a situation.
My DH’s sister (he has two) drives me up a wall so when something happens that focuses on her it drives me nuts and sometimes I feel the same as you. However his other sister doesnt effect me the same way (although at the same time this other sister isnt a drama queen).
I think it is in part about learning to share your life with others, but it also depends on who those people are.
Post # 9
@Future MrsB: Well that’s annoying. People like that drive me bonkers. If you choose to lead a vegan lifestyle then that’s awesome for you, but it shouldn’t affect everyone else!
@lefeymw: I think you’re right. My friend recently announced her pregnancy and she’s due a few weeks after our wedding. I didn’t even feel a twinge of jealousy towards her. I imagine that’s because she’s “just” a friend and her big event won’t really affect mine in any way.
I thought I had been doing good at trying to be open minded but I think I’m back at square one now. Future Sister-In-Law is due any day now and my bridal shower is on Saturday. With my luck she’ll go into labor then which in turn will cause my Future Mother-In-Law as well as who knows how many guests from FI’s side to miss my shower (that my family and bridesmaids have been planning for months). I know it’s nothing that she can control and I know that I’m selfish for even being upset over this but I can’t help it. I can honestly say that I will be disappointed if my Future Mother-In-Law isn’t there.
Like I said, I wish I didn’t feel this way but I just do. I blame my parents for not teaching me how to share.
Post # 10
I’m an only child, and I don’t feel that way. In fact, I’m the one who pushes for more contact with DH’s brother and SIL. But for some reason they’re just not that close. In fact, my Darling Husband isn’t close to anyone in his family. No animosity, and they love each other, just – they’re really different people.
Whereas I’m the one who’s ALWAYS reaching out to people, building and maintaining connections. I chalk that up to being an only child of an only child – I have virtually no “real” family, so I try to build it where I can.
Post # 11
@lefeymw: I agree with the whole, not your family part of it – i def feel this way..
I am not an only child, im actually one of five – and my husband is one of 13 – and while it has nothing to do with sibling dynamic (because i totally get it, my brothers and sisters are seriously my best friends in this world) i honestly prefer my family over his as im sure he prefers his family over mine. I get really pumped when things are planned with my family while sometimes i find myself dreading spending time with his. It has nothing to do with my feelings towards them, i love them and usually once we leave i find i have enjoyed myself more than i thought i would. it just peaks my interest more to do things with my family.
Post # 12
I’m in a reverse situation, my Fiance is the only child with 2 cousins, and I am the youngest of 3 with bunches and bunches of cousins. Lots of people to keep happy. He gets frustrated but I think it’s out of jealousy, he knows I talk to my sister and brother all the time and I think he wishes he had that bond. He’s also thrilled to marry someone and get siblings, neices and nephews out of the deal!
I’m going to say this without an ounce of judgement, because I am not judging you or saying anything bad about you in any way. I don’t think you’re selfish. You have a right to feel disapointed if your Mother-In-Law can’t be at the shower, who wouldn’t? But the best thing about having siblings is that you learn that you don’t always come first, sometimes they do, but when you need them they’ll be there. Maybe that’s something positive you could take away from this? You’re saying you wish you didn’t feel this way and you see that you could be more understanding about it, well what an awesome learning experience to have. Babies trump everything in a big family. I traded cars with my sister when she was about to have a baby because mine was safer and bigger, and of course she got all of my parents’ attention because she needed it. Look at it this way, maybe your shower won’t go the way you had planned but a neice or nephew is a wonderful gift you may not have every gotten to experience had you married another only child.
Honestly I think it’s cool that you’re working to improve something in yourself rather than projecting it all onto other people.
Post # 13
I am an only. My ex-husband was one of four and my new husband is one of 3. Honestly, it depends on the sibling. I like some and not others- just like anybody else in the world. I do get annoyed at all the family functions though as since there are more people, there are more birthdays etc. Like in my family- there was only mom, dad and me- so 3 birthdays a year to celebrate. DH’s family: mom, dad, Darling Husband, 2 siblings who each have several kids of their own- I feel like we are doing something ALL THE TIME.
Post # 14
I’m not an only child but my fiance’s siblings drive me crazy. I think it’s because my family lives on the other side of the country (where I grew up) and my fiance’s family lives much closer, so I feel like his family monopolizes all of our holidays/three day weekends. Neither of us likes his brother’s wife, so that also puts a strain on things.
Post # 15
I am not an only child, but for some reason, I don’t like doing family things with FI’s siblings. All of his siblings drive me crazy, for one reason or another, and I don’t like to be around them. As far as sharing the spotlight, FCIL is sort of like a fifth child for my Future Father-In-Law and Future Mother-In-Law. After I got engaged, she just had to get engaged too. Then, she got married. Now, they’re thinking about a baby. She keeps telling me she wants us to get pregnant at the same time. But, I know how that will end up and I don’t want her to get all of the attention the whole time (like she did with the wedding thing). I don’t want to share a baby shower with someone else, etc. That may sound selfish, but I don’t care. FCIL makes everything about her and doesn’t like to share her spotlight, so I’m surprised she even came up with the crazy idea for us to have a baby at the same time.
Post # 16
Hmm, I feel like I’m the odd one out here. I’m an only child and Darling Husband has an older sister. We get along really well!!