Do you *have* to love your in-laws?

posted 3 months ago in Family
Post # 2
Member
484 posts
Helper bee

It helps to like your in-laws, but you don’t have to love them.  I like my Brother-In-Law a lot, but I don’t love him even though he is wonderful and he and my sister adore each other.  I like my Mother-In-Law a lot, too, but I don’t think it rises to the level of love, not the kind I have for my sister and family or my husband.  Love develops over time as the relationship develops, but in-laws are not necessarily people who ever get to that deep family love stage, especially not right away.

At the same time, some people don’t even love their own families, or like them much, so there’s that.  Whatever you feel, you have no need to feel guilty or worry that your marriage won’t work if you don’t love your in-laws.  Most people are lucky to at least tolerate them, lol.

Post # 3
Member
531 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

Love isn’t enough. That I learned once I got older. Love is the easy part of a relationship. 

The hard part is figuring out if you are actually compatible with someone else. Because it is the compatibility or lack of it that makes a relationship a joy and a blessing, or a drain and a nightmare. In-laws can 100% lead to divorce or even just general unhappiness in a relationship. It is a huge thing to consider when deciding on compatibility or not. 

Ask your SO questions to figure that out. 

– When you have kids how often does he plan on seeing his parents?

– When you two get married and or have kids will you be independent and sometimes do holidays just you and your nuclear family? ( meaning you, him, and any kids you have)

– If his mother steps on your boundaries is he prepared and willing to stand up to her?

 

Honestly for me i would have a really hard time if i didnt’ enjoy spending time with my future in laws. My fiance’s family is really great and I am lucky. They are a bit louder than I am used to, and so i am also grateful that my fiance is very independent from them and has no issue not seeing them if we don’t want to on a weekend etc. 

If I thought for a second that my future in laws were going to be pushy, and boundary stomping, and that there was even a chance that my fiance was going to allow them to behave that way, or force me to have more of a relationship with them than I wanted? Then i would absolutely not marry him. Compatibility is 99% of what makes a relationship successful and this falls into that category. It is up to you to ask the questions you need to get clarity on the situation, and then decide if you can spend a lifetime dealing with that or not. 

Post # 4
Member
270 posts
Helper bee

I think it’s fine not to be best friends with your in-laws. I would shy away from a relationship where there are major problems with in-laws because i wouldn’t want to deal with it, but that isn’t the case here. I love FHs mom, dad and Brother-In-Law (there are still a few small things that can annoy me at times but nothing major, similar to what you mentioned with your in laws). His sis and I “get along” but I’ve started liking her less the more I’ve gotten to know her , so I stay civil and friendly but don’t really engage her otherwise like I do with his mom. Although I would love to be closer with her i think it’s fine since we get along well enough at family gatherings. 

Given how happy you are in your relationship I wouldn’t see this as a flag at all! 

Post # 5
Member
443 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2019

dmtbgbeee :  I don’t think you *have* to love your in laws.

I am on a bit of a rocky path with mine, mainly due to my Mother-In-Law having some narcissistic and emotionally abusive tendencies. My husband understands and supports me (90% of the time, sometimes he gets guilted into defending her, but he eventually sees the light). I love my Brother-In-Law though, I have no idea how both of this woman’s sons turned out so caring and balanced. 

Post # 6
Member
7904 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

dmtbgbeee :  my in-laws are not second parents to me but I do get along with them. The relationship has changed over time and my husband and I have always been in agreement on boundaries. If they cross them he stands up for me (particularly when they were making me crazy in the immediate aftermath of having our daughter). The real issues come when you and your spouse aren’t in agreement on boundaries with your families. 

Post # 7
Member
309 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

My in laws are A LOT different than my family in a lot of ways but I appreciate them and the hospitality they offer when we visit, I care for them and like them all for the most part,I see my Mother-In-Law mostly out of everyone even more than my own family. I love my Mother-In-Law but I get annoyed with her from time to time like any normal family! I don’t feel you have to love everyone but getting along is def important!

Post # 8
Member
5565 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

How long have you actually been together? Right now they aren’t your inlaws but rather your boyfriends parents and I think that’s an important distinction.

A lot of the time the ‘love’ for people like in-laws or anyone we meet older in our life comes from time spent together and shared experiences. I don’t think everyone immediately loves their in-laws because they are basically strangers for a long time, it is something that often develops.

Post # 9
Member
9172 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

you don’t *have* to do anything.  some people don’t even love their own parents.

 

Post # 12
Member
9688 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

My in-laws are fine. They can be over-bearing and nosey (thankfully my husband is great with setting boundaries, his siblings not so much and they are way over involved in their lives) but they are generally nice people. I don’t love them but I don’t dislike them at all. 

I don’t think you need to feel guilty for not loving them. 

Post # 13
Member
511 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

dmtbgbeee :  My Father in law is great but unfortunately he lives in another country so I see him once every few years and we video chat. My Mother in law isn’t so great… over the years I’ve witnessed her say terrible things to her children, neglect them and the stories my husband has told me about his childhood makes me furious. I come from a family that believes parents should put their kids first so the way she treats her kids is unacceptable to me. Because of some of the things she’s done to my husband he isn’t close with her. He obviously loves her because she’s his mom but he doesn’t like to talk to her often or see her often. So me not being a fan of her is fine. I treat her with respect and am always kind but ultimately we would never trust her to be alone with our future children or count on her for anything. 

So no, you don’t need to love them but you have to respect how your significant other feels about them. It’s not a red flag if you aren’t fans of your future in laws, BUT it is a red flag if you significant other always takes their side over yours and doesn’t defend you if his parents ever were to say something negative about you. So as long as that isn’t the case, don’t worry!

Post # 14
Member
127 posts
Blushing bee

I like my partner’s mum. That’s about it. His dad and I don’t see eye to eye on many things. He thinks I’m “complex” and “controlling” and I think he’s racist. Lol. So there’s that. His brother is a user. Just only wants to know my partner when he needs something. 

My partner’s family are just very different from mine. And while I don’t think you have to LOVE your partner’s family, getting along can help. 

Post # 15
Member
6357 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

dmtbgbeee :  My Mother-In-Law is insane.  I tried to get along with her, but it couldn’t work because she would literally go out of her way to make our lives miserable.  We cut her out.  So, no, you don’t have to love your in-laws to make your marriage work.  You just need to be on the same page as your husband regarding your relationship/boundaries with them.

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