Post # 1
So their is alot of posts about bad inlaws and whatnot but my SO’s parents are totally awesome! His mom is one of the most generous, kind people I’ve ever met and her and his dad are super funny together and just overall great people. I really admire and respect them and want to be comfortable with them.
We’ve been dating for almost four years but his parents live halfway across the country so we only see them once or twice a year. However this week we are staying with them at their cabin on Lake Tahoe for a whole week. I was super excited at first but now I’ve just been feeling so socially awarkward with them and need help! I feel out of place since I know nothing about boating or really being on the lake like they have and alot of the time I feel like they talk about the past or people that I don’t know so I can’t add much to the conversation. Ive tried giving complements and asking questions to his parents but each time it comes out feeling forced and awarkward. Ive also tried helping out but alot of the time theirs not enough to do but I’ve asked my boyfriend to give the some tasks to do next time so I’m not just standing around. Finally the biggest thing that I feel uncomfortable with is the fact that they are very generous with money and paying for EVERYTHING. We offered to cook twice during the week but they insist on paying for all the food, resturants, beer and liqour, all the boating costs and even gave my SO 700$ just to cover gas costs to come out here. So essentally I feel like a freeloader who really can’t contribute anything 🙁 Any advice?
Post # 3
@ash064: Everyone has got a different way of doing things, some people don’t really care about money, and have no problems spending it on people they care about….be gracious, say Thank you and let it go…maybe you can bring a gift or a couple of bottles of wine in thanks.
As for being awkward, I totally understand, I got thrown into a remote cabin family retreat with my boyfriend at the time’s family….it was insane and I felt SOOOO out of place…but I just hung back, watched, listened, enjoyed….and then little by little, I got to know everyone, they showed me this crazy solitare game where you play on everyone else’s cards, we started cooking meals together, the kids showed me the dock, the adults all went dancing one night…
Its ok to be the odd man out, because if you don’t know whats going on, people are always going to be really excited to show you and teach you and literally experience it all anew with you again…
Just remember, interested is interesting…and be yourself!
Post # 4
I wouldn’t worry about it too much – parents are often just so happy to see their kids and their SOs that they want to be generous. It always takes some time to get used to a family, especially if you don’t see each other that often. Have you tried playing a game together – something like a family game of frisbee, or board games (whatever is your SO’s family’s speed) can help break the ice and give you something to talk about, rather than just make conversation.
As for the generosity – my parents (and my SO’s) always say they want to treat because one day they’ll be old and we’ll be making more money and then it can be our treat. They say it jokingly but it’s true. We are both starting our careers and even though we have money, we will have plenty of opportunities to pay later on. What I do is bring along a tray of baked goods or flowers when I see my SO’s parents – for instance a pie in a nice dish or flowers in a cute pot – and then tell my SO’s mother that the pot/dish/etc. is a gift. They are never expensive but it’s a way to say thanks and is always appreciated.
Hope this helps!
Post # 5
It took me a long time to get used to DH’s parents always paying. My dad and I don’t really do things which involve paying, unless maybe he buys a pizza from an awesome place downtown. My mom does not pay 99.9% of the time for anything, we always have paid our own way. In fact she’s kind of a ‘to the penny’ type person (wonder how that will work now that the penny is gone lol)
His parents, will pay for anything and everything. If we casually mention something we’re planning on buying, it magically appears in our home the following week when his dad stops by. It was really awkward for me, because it’s not even close to what I’m used to. At first it bothered me, 5 years later I have learned to just say thank you and move on. They even insisted on paying for 95% of the wedding.
I’ve learned that it’s what makes them happy. They would rather see their son and DIL happy now, than keep it and leave it in a will. And I’ve gotten over it, I mean who doesn’t want a new wine aerator for free? Or that new frying pan you were going to buy, showing up in your kitchen like magic? And really, I know it makes them happy to do it, so I just let it go.
Post # 6
I can be a slow to warm type of person…like every time I’m around someone if some time has passed lol. It’s weird but eventually I come around and you will too. Take their generosity and return the favor by being grateful. My parents are the same way, they’re extremely generous with money and gifts because that’s the way they know how to show their love. Growing up I was super spoiled and then I was resentful as a young adult because I saw it as very controlling but now, in my late 20s, I get it. It’s their love language…just accept it and be yourself!