Post # 1
I have heard multiple people say that you are always going to be closer to one person’s family. Now, this is often true because you are closer to one family, but my husband’s parents and my parents live in the same time and we are about 25 minutes away from both of them. Since our wedding, I wouldn’t say our relationship with our parents has changed but the amount of time we spend with them has (and that is expected). Throughout college when we were first dating, we were equally close with both sets of parents and did a wonderful job of balancing them out. During our engagement, I still lived with my parents (I moved back in after college graduation) while he did not. During this time, we were defintely closer with my family because we either hung out at my parents house, at his apartment, only occasionally visiting his family. There was also some “drama” between his side of the family that caused some tension for a while.
Since the wedding, we have had a few arguements (small ones) because I feel like now we are ALWAYS doing stuff with his family and mine get put on the back burner. Individually, we are both still closer with our “original” family and I spend a lot of time alone with my family (I am not currently working, so I often hang out with my parents/grandparents during the day while he is at work). I think that he thinks that since I see my parents a lot more than he sees his, that is fine, but it kind of irks me that he spends little time with my family. I am grateful I get to spend so much time with my family but in the evenings and weekends we are always with his family (we probably spend 1-2 evenings a week with his parents and often Sundays). We also do “extended” things with his family like weekend trips with his parents to see his sister 4 hours away, trips to see his aunts/uncles a few states away, etc.
I said something to him about how I didn’t mind spending time with his family (because I don’t) and I love that I get to spend so much “alone” time with my family (especially with my mom since we are super closer) but that I wish we spent more time with my family together like we did with his. Either one of two things happens, he gets angry and says I am nit-picking) or he says that he will hang out with them whenever I want, which is true, usually if I ask him to spend time over there he does, but he acts SO different around my family. Around his family he is talkative, always cutting up, and I literally have to drag him out the door (it’ll be 11pm and I’m like come on.. you’ve got work tomorrow). With my parents, he talks some (but not a lot) or watches tv/plays on his computer, and after an hour or so sits in the chair by the door like he is ready to go. When I ask him about this, he again either gets mad or denys he does that. Now I do understand our families are different. His stepdad is a hoot and is always cutting up with is easier for him to relate to than my dad who while sweet and always makes conversation with my husband is more reserved. My mom tries to chat with him two but she is raising my 2 nieces so shes always busy cooking, cleaning, doing stuff for my nieces.
I am just wondering if you other bee’s have felt like this, like you are closer to one family than the other and if you ever got sad (and maybe even a little jealous/resentful) that you spend more time with his family (again, individually I do spend time with mine but together we spend more time with his… to put into perspective, I probably am with my parents or grandparents ALONE about 25 hours a week, with his family TOGETHER about 12 hours a week and TOGETHER with my family about 4 hours a week). Is there anyway I can make him understand why it bothers me or am I just overreacating???
Post # 3
Our families live in the same neighborhood/town, which ROCKS and will continue to ROCK for balancing quality time with them. I can’t say I see it being a problem when we go visit the same home and same place.
I do feel torn sometimes because our families are so different. Mine is loud with younger siblings, and his is quieter with one older sibling. Apples and oranges. Sometimes I have to force myself to stay amongst the ruckus of my family when I just want to flee to his parents’ quieter house! haha. I wonder if maybe he’s the opposite, and feels awkward in your quieter home? It sucks that he doesn’t really want to talk about it, but your frustration makes sense. Your favorite person doesn’t want to be with your other favorite people. I don’t know what to advise other than to keep trying to talk it out without making him feel defensive!
Post # 4
I’ve always been really close with my family, so he just naturally got sucked in to that too. Since I’ve been an adult, my parents/aunt/grandma are more like my friends so we have an awesome relationship. My fiancé is an only child from a traditional Chinese family, so strict parents, etc. They get along of course but it’s a very different relationship than I have with my parents.
Post # 5
It’s hard to say. We spend more time with his, although I don’t get along the greatest with all of them. They like to go out to eat a lot and hey, so do we! My parents are health freaks after my dad’s heart attack so they only go out to super healthy places, which is fine with me, but my FH won’t eat it. We see my parents at least once a week, sometimes we go a week or two without seeing his but other times we’re with them everyday!
Post # 6
As far as our immediate families go, I’d say we’re equally close to both. Like you, our parents live in the same town and are about 15 minutes apart.
I voted that we’re closer to my family because we’re closer to my extended family. My mom’s family all live fairly close to one another (and we used to live about 30 min) and they have parties throughout the year that SO and I would attend together. He’s also met some of my dad’s family on multiple occasions (although I’m not as close with them).
I’ve only met SO’s extended family on his dad’s side a handful of times, and I’ve never met any of his mom’s family.
It doesn’t cause problems between us, but it did cause an issue with his immediate family recently. We went to our hometown for Christmas on Saturday the 22nd because I wanted to see some of my girlfriends who were home. The next day (the 23rd…NOT a holiday) he was supposed to travel out of state to my extended family’s party. Apparently his parents (or I’m guessing his mom) were really upset that he “didn’t clear it with them first.” Now…we live together…we are our own social unit, he’s an adult. He should have to clear anything with them. I guess she was complaining that he spends more time with my extended family than theirs….but his family never has parties! We would go to them if they did! Grr…ok sorry to tangent I know this isn’t quite what you were asking, but it really bothered me.
As for your question…I can see why you would want to spend more together time with you family, but maybe he doesn’t understand because he figures you see them enough on your own. Maybe let him know that while yes, you do see them quite a bit, you would like him to spend more time with them because they’re his family now too. It’s very important to you that he feels equally comfortable around your (now his!) family as you both do around his.
Post # 7
We try not to spend too much time with either side, sounds kind of mean but we are really too busy as of late to spend time with them – and they with us. Both sides are doing remodeling projects so they are cut short on time and we are just enjoying being together. We don’t miss any of the drama on either side, it’s actually a very welcoming break.
Post # 8
@Brooklyn55: I know what you mean. We bought a house last year (first time moving out of my parents house) and I’m about 35 minutes from my parents. However, we are about 10 minutes away from his. I’m an only child and close with my parents, especially my mom, so the move for me was rough. I’m still just as close to my parents but it is hard because of the distance. Yes, it’s not terribly far but it’s a lot different than it was before. I’m really close to his family too. He’s from a big family, one of 7, and they are all very welcoming. I already feel like I have a second mom 🙂 But it’s definitely harder living further from my parents because my mom and I will have to see what days we are both free to meet up for lunch or whatever. And yes, my fiancé claims he so talkative but when he goes to anything at my parents he is quiet for the most part. He will make small chat but that’s about it.
Post # 9
@CarolF: Yes I understand what you mean apples and oranges. Even though my parents have 2 kids, my nieces (9 and 15) living with them our house is quieter. The evenings for my parents consist of doing the kids homework, baths, dinner, etc. while when we go to his house, its just his parents but like I said his stepdad is loud and likes to joke around. His siblings also live a few hours away but come into town often and when they are all together, its very loud. I understand him being more comfortable around them, because I am more comfortable around mine still, but when we hang out with his family I really try and put effort into my relationship with his family. I ask his mom to meet up for lunch/coffee, even though his sister and SIL live hours away, I keep in touch with them texting them etc. Sure I would prefer to meet MY mom for lunch/coffee but I try and build a relationship with his family individually as well and guess I just wish he put more effort in.
Post # 10
I’m closer to DH’s family.
I have always been a bit distant with my family, though I try to keep ties with my mom and brother as much as possible. It’s difficult because of the physical distance between us.
I grew up with DH and know his family well, plus they live about an hour from us, so it’s much easier to visit.
Post # 11
As a couple, we’re closer to his. On my own, I’m closer to mine.
Post # 13
I would say my family. The only reason we’re closer to my family is because they live down the street and his parents live in a completely different state.
Post # 14
@MiJeS1104: I feel like you and I are in a pretty similar situation. I am my dads only child and my mom has my half-sister from a previous marriage (but she isn’t around much) so I basically consider myself an only child and I think that often us only children get this special bond with our parents that my husband doesn’t understand having both a brother and sister. I have always been incredibily close with my parents (I came home every other weekend from college and would get upset when I had to head back because I got so homesick missing them). Now before we got married, we only saw his parents a few hours a week and were always seeing mine (since that is where I lived). Now I feel like my husband expects that it be equal, which I think is fine, however he thinks its equal if I spend time ALONE with them yet expects me to go hang out with his whenever he does. I would be totally okay if he spent more alone time with his family and we did EQUAL time together as a couple.
My husbands family is also very welcoming and I do love them all very much. The thing is, I really ENJOY spending time with them and am glad we get to. I never complain about going over there, offer to attend things that I think my husband might want to attend (for example, his brother graduates in August in NY and we weren’t going to go because of cost but i’ve told him MULTIPLE times we can get corners other places to go), offer to stay later because hes having a good time. I just wish he did the same. When we are at my house, he is quiet/plays on his phone, and acts like he is ready to leave. If I had super ackward parents, I might understand but I don’t. My parents have actually done A LOT my my husband (my dad hired him to work for him when he needed extra cash, in college my mom bought most of his groceries/personal care stuff, is is always spending tupperware containers for him to take for lunch to work, etc). I guess I just get upset because I see him act so happy around his family and he just sits on the couch with mine.
Post # 15
@Brooklyn55: Oh, you should totally expect him to put effort into playing nice with your family. I don’t know if he just flat out isn’t interested, or is uncomfortable with them, or never realized you had that expectation…? Etc..? Unless he’s just being a turd, he must have a reason.
Post # 16
My poor Dad. He has four boys, and one girl. He kept saying while we were growing up…. a son is your son until he gets a wife and your daughter is your’s for the rest of your life.
It’s making me tear up, but i’m the one that’s moved so far away. I think he counted on me being around there forever. I live, if i get stuck at the one light, 6 min from my MIL (whom I adore), I live 2.5 hours by airplane from my Dad.
Walking into Ma’s house (my MIL) is alot like walking into my parents house growing up, welcoming, music .. and joking around, so proximity we are closer to DH’s family.