(Closed) Do you believe you "marry the family"?

posted 4 years ago in Relationships
Post # 31
1919 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

redmango:  Have you and your Boyfriend or Best Friend talked about marriage? If so, these actions by his family ARE an issue. Dear Boyfriend or Best Friend needs to take a stand with his family that the rudeness needs to stop.

Remember, you want a MAN that will stand WITH you and support you. Not a boy still stuck to his mommys nipple. Just because she is his mother does not mean she can do no wrong.


Post # 32
1919 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

redmango:  Oh, and I wouldn’t say anything to anyone about what your SIL warned you about. It was nice of her to warn you, do not throw her under the bus for this.

Post # 33
1320 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

redmango:  Yes, I believe when you marry someone, you marry their family too. I do NOT, however, believe that their family should be a dealbreaker in the relationship (but it would be a dealbreaker if my partner could not stand up for me against his family when necessary). My Darling Husband and I struggled with this type of criticism from his parents for years, and I distanced myself from them. Now he has cut off his relationship with them, so I have too. That doesn’t mean they’re not family. I’m just not of the mindset that you “owe” a certain relationship to someone just because they’re family.

Post # 34
589 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

To an extent yes you marry the family. My husband considers my family his family and vice versa. But I’m also a firm believer that your husband should be your biggest advocate and supporter and if there is a conflict between you and your in-laws (assuming you eventually marry this man) he needs to stand up for you and let his family know that their behaviour is inappropriate. For example my Brother-In-Law often makes rude inappropriate comments at family functions (not directed at me but that make me uncomfortable) and my husband ALWAYS says something to him so I don’t have to be uncomfortable and listen to him. By the same token, if my parents or siblings were ever rude to my husband, undermined him or made some inappropriate comment I would stand up for him and tell them it was unacceptable. 

I would have a very hard time maintaining a relationship with someone whose family was rude towards me but it would be bearable if my SO at least stood up for/defended me. If your Boyfriend or Best Friend sees this as “not a big deal” now and his brother also has the same attitude when Mother-In-Law is rude to his wife I would have a really hard time continuing the relationship. 

Post # 35
5954 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

redmango:  Yes, I do believe you marry the family, at least to some degree, unless the Fiance has cut them out completely. Even if they live in another state there will be visits and there will be let downs and put downs (speaking from my experience anyway). Like that time we were in a hurricane and his(my ex) mom didn’t call to find out how we were. Or when the (ex) Mother-In-Law started talking to me about some money her son supposedly owed her (I was under the impression he didn’t). I said a few times she’d need to talk to him about it and she finally got so mad she was shaking, called me some name (in front of her grandkids mind you) and stormed out of the house to drive back to her city. I never saw her again. I could go on and on. Yes, you will have to deal with some weirdness. The whole turkey thing was ridiculous and uncalled for. I’m glad the SIL at least verified that you’re not the crazy one.

Post # 36
1401 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

You absolutely marry the family unless your SO plans to sever ties with them…

My in laws live states away and still find a way to be meddling, offensive, and downright rude consistently. Darling Husband addresses it, but it doesn’t stop their ways. 

I’d have a candid conversation with your Boyfriend or Best Friend and just say… This isn’t going to fly. it’s going to need to stop, or I’ll need to move on. 

I am super independent, but also am traditional when it comes to respecting elders, etc. This whole hateful inlaws situation has been insanely difficult because I want to respect them but also stand up for myself.

All that to say, I love Darling Husband, but his family can be a serious nightmare. I wouldn’t stick around if this continues for an extended period and/or if your Boyfriend or Best Friend refuses to stand up for you. 

Post # 37
3868 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

That is so awkward OP. I had a similar thing happen to me at an Easter brunch. My best friend’s father in law was appalled that I didn’t take any bacon and proceeded to make the rest of the bruch about me HAVING to have bacon. I’m a vegetarian and told him as much. I became a vegetarian because my body stopped being able to digest meat and I would get really sick. I have eaten it in the past and love it, but I can’t have it. He kept putting it on my plate and goading me to eat it until I eat a piece to shut him up. Of course that made things worse (“see you can eat bacon!”) and I spent the afternoon sick. Some people have a lot of nerve. Definitely stand up for yourself next time. No one should be policing what you eat.

I’d also be a bit concerned about your boyfriend not standing up for you. My future in laws are the passive type so it hasn’t really come up for us, but it’s really important that your boyfriend is on your side if his family is doing something that makes you uncomfortable. One of my friend’s Fiance can’t eat red meat due to his religion and her family would always serve steak when they came to visit knowing that he couldn’t have it. She stood up for him every time and reminded them that they knew he couldn’t have it. I know you mentioned it’s a new relationship, but I’d be concerned that he caves too much to his family. I do agree that you marry the man and his family, but you and your spouse should still be a unit and stand up for each other when family is out of line.

Post # 38
556 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: City, State

redmango: Just replying to the title (sorry, traveling, had a long day, so winding down and don’t feel like reading much) so I’m sorry if this isn’t at all what you’re looking for. You most certainly marry the family. However, I’m a big member of the “if it’s true love and meant to be, you will be able to overcome almost anything” club. I think that while you marry the family, it shouldn’t matter too much whether or not you get on with them. I don’t get on perfectly with my inlaws, but at the same time, I don’t really care what they think about me. I’m always friendly and cordial, but at the end of the day, they don’t really like me and I really don’t like them. All I can do is shrug and say, “It’s an inlaw thing!” I am married to my husband, and we love each other deeply, and that’s all that should matter. If you aren’t someone who can handle your inlaws not liking you, then don’t marry the guy whose family despises you. But if you want to marry someone enough, I wouldn’t think twice even if the family is a bunch of douchebags. 

Post # 39
2805 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

Yes you marry the family, but that doesn’t mean they rule you. My Future Mother-In-Law and I absolutely have a power struggle in play, and  I can deal with that. I don’t put up with her meddling into my parenting and I let her know. She also tries to dictate holiday dinners that I host and so we butt heads, but I won’t back down from her. I Try hard to be friendly and include her in things, but I make sure that she is well aware that she does not control me. I have done this for some time and it works for me. She has gotten a bit better. Establishing that you won’t allow to be treated a certain way in the beginning is best, that way they are less inclined to mess with you as time goes on.

The SIL should have spoken up long ago. If someone judged me on my thanksgiving plate, they would have heard back right away. 


Post # 40
1188 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

Whether or not you “marry the family” depends on the man.  I didn’t marry my husband’s family.  They were very *very* judgmental and intrusive when we met.  We moved out of the area and limited contact for years over things that happened.  We now see them once every 2-3 years and yes, we do have children.  My kids never talk about them or ask about them.  

However, had my husband been a different man, I may still be living near them and having their judgy intrusive ways exerted on me on a daily basis (they were walking distance from his house).  I think it really REALLY depends on who the man is and you need to figure out now if he’s a man who is always going to choose mommy and daddy over you.

Post # 41
3580 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2016 - Manhattan, NY

I agree that it depends on a number of factors, but in ways, you are definitely joining each other’s families while also becoming your own family as a married couple. I’m fortunate in that I get along with FI’s parents and siblings (and their significant others) and my family loves him as well, but at the end of the day, we put each other first. 

With that said, his brother and sister-in-law are on the conservative side and we are not. His sister-in-law has made some political posts on facebook that I do not agree with at all, and I choose to ignore them and try not to be judgmental about it. They live in another state (not that far though) so we don’t see each other often, and she’s always been kind to me in person, so I try to overlook it. 

I hope that you and your SO put each other first. His mother’s behavior sounds very unreasonable, so you need to decide if you even want to put up with that kind of behavior and talk with your SO about your expectations moving forward. 

Post # 42
228 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2016

I believe every situation is different – so to answer your question is a bit tricky. In my situation, I don’t feel I am marrying his family, but I do feel he is marrying mine. The reason for this is that in the past (almost) 7 years we have seen his mom’s side and his dad’s side of the family each twice (both once for a wedding and once for a funeral/memorial), we also only see his parents about 4 times a year. His parents live about 30 minutes from us and the rest of his family live about 3-4 hours away from us. My family on the other hand we get togeher with my entire Dad’s side of the family about 6-10 times a year (and they all live in the same city as we do) and we see my Parents at least once a week if not more frequently. My Parents live less than 5 minutes from us in the same neighborhood so we stop by frequently for various reasons. Fiance and I both get along swimmingly with everyone in my family whereas neither of us have much of a relationship with anyone in his family, including his parents; we do our get togethers with his parents but there is no substance to these visits so there isn’t much of a relationship.

Post # 44
4238 posts
Honey bee


Why take full ownership of the pumpkin pie or the blouse/scarf? Your Boyfriend or Best Friend helped pick those out. And Costco pies are great; they’re being petty, IMO.

Anyway, I agree with you that you have some decisions to make. It sure sounds like the family has grown accustomed to her divadom and they don’t rock the boat. If you’re not willing to join in, you might as well move along. That’s a real bummer, though, since you really like this guy.



Post # 45
688 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

What an unpleasant situation! I’m so sorry, bee! I do think you marry the family and the most important thing is that your partner stands up for you in family conflicts. My ex’s family hated me (he made a lot of money and I made very little, so they thought I was a gold digger, even though we had totally separate finances) and he never stood up for me. He’d tell me he thought they were wrong and being mean, but he never told them that. I put up with four years of his grandmother drunk-dialing him to tell him to break up with me and his dad warning him that I would try to get pregnant to trap him into marriage (ha!). We broke up for unrelated reasons, but after the dust had settled I thought: Wow, what was I thinking? If he let them treat me like that, I was clearly never his priority. 

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