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

posted 3 months ago in Family
Post # 16
16 posts
  • Wedding: October 2020

I feel this on so many levels….. my fiancé has a big family and they have never made me feel welcomed to the family, especially his mother who also babies him despite him being 27! she even tried to talk him out of proposing to me…….. so yeah i’m not feeling the love. the hardest part for me is that my parents LOVE my fiancé and he loves them (calls them mom and dad) so he has a hard time with me not feeling the same towards his family. 

Post # 17
1246 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

The in-laws are never the real problem. Even if they are overbearing and boundary-stomping and petty and passive aggressive and whatever else, there’s no reason for you ever to have to deal with that if you have a good Darling Husband. In-law problems are usually Darling Husband problems in disguise.

Post # 18
461 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

Like others have said, you don’t have to, but it makes life a lot easier. Assuming that they’re overall nice people, I always think it’s worth the effort. Nobody’s parents are perfect, but we tend to turn a blind eye to the (minor) faults of our own parents, whereas you have to learn to do that with your ILs. My experience has been that it’s worth it. I adore my soon-to-be-ILs, and I’m very glad I put in the effort to get to know and love them.  

What really matters is that you and your Boyfriend or Best Friend are on the same page. I’d be really hurt if my parents lived down the road and Fiance wanted to see them once a month. My parents live 4 hours away, and we see them once a month. If he’s not super close to them and has no desire to see them more than once a month, then it’s not a big deal. 

Post # 21
461 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

dmtbgbeee :  Like I said, what matters is that he’s on the same page. FI’s parents are local and we see them every Sunday for dinner. We both like that amount of visits, so it works for us. If he wanted to see them every week and I wanted to see them once a month, then there’d be an issue. 

Post # 22
2069 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2019

I agree that you don’t have to love your IL’s and there’s no reason to feel guilty if you don’t. The important thing is to be on the same page with your future husband. As long as he has good boundaries in place, then you don’t have anything to worry about.

I personally like my Mother-In-Law and we get along okay (she can be overbearing sometimes and can be entirely too intrusive), but my SIL is a pill. Unfortunately, they are always together right now. Its really hard to see my SIL as she is very narcissistic, and it always has to be all about her, if its not she pitches a fit. Plus she is straight up a bitch to me sometimes. It has caused some issues with my husband (and it caused a lot of issues in his past relationships), but after going to therapy to try to change my response to her, and having a heart to heart with my husband about it our relationship is currently improving. We will never be best friends, but that’s fine. With my brothers’ wives, we get a long and have fun together, but I’m not super close with either of them. It works for us. 

Post # 23
84 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2020 - Upstate NY

I am in a similar situation! I like my fiances parents, i definately dont love them though! Quite honestly his mother and a few other family members make me feel uncomfortable. Its not that they do anything to outright make me fee out of place, but i know i am and i know they all know it. He comes from a *nice* family. and right before we got together he was in a relationship with the perfect,to them, girl from also a nice family. then there is me- 3 years older than him, 2 kids, from a dysfunctional family that is poor. i think they think he can do better and they are obviously not thrilled about us being engaged. This is really hard for me because i have always had a great relationship with my SO’s parents and they always love me right from the start. His dad is a lot more easy going but i havent been able to connect with his mom on a good level yet and its really discouraging! I dont think you have to love your inlaws to make a marriage work as long as you and your significant other are on the same page. And from the sounds of it, there could be a lot worse! Good luck, bee, i hope things get better/easier for you! 

Post # 25
2923 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

dmtbgbeee :  Even though it’s early in your relationship, I think you’re smart to look and see what your future might look like.

If your future in laws are overbearing and nosy, it’s important for your boyfriend to set those boundaries now.  You cannot change them, but you can change your response, and you see many times on this site the Bees saying you don’t have an in law problem, you have a boyfriend/fiance/husband problem.  So if your boyfriend is good with boundaries now, that bodes well for the future.

I like my in laws a lot but I wouldn’t say I love them and don’t really consider them my second parents.  Part of it may be that they live out of state and we see them only a few times a year.  My husband is the middle of 5 kids and the only one that lives out of state from his family.  He gets along with them well, he loves them, but he needed that separation because his mom is waaaayyyy to involved in her adult kids’ lives.  She’s not a bad person at all, just too involved.  And it’s interesting because her and I were talking once last year and she admitted to me how she now realizes that she is an enabler to her other kids, preventing them from cutting the apron strings, and how my husband was her one kid that she never had to worry about.

It certainly makes life easier if you can get along but I don’t think “love” is necessary.

Post # 26
1488 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2019 - City, State

I don’t love my inlaws.  They’re very nice people but are very anxious and overbearing about things, so having a close, wonderful relationship with them is just not going to be an option.  I have no issue with them at all, but they’re more of a relationship to maintain than one to enjoy.  It is what it is.

Post # 27
1369 posts
Bumble bee

I love my in-laws, but in a superficial love kind of way. They are lovely, selfless people that I mostly enjoy seeing once every month or so. But fact of the matter is, I just don’t have the deep relationship with them and that’s okay. And sometimes they annoy me just as my own parents and family do, and that’s okay too. 

Post # 28
8830 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

dmtbgbeee :  “I’ve heard many people saying that you must love your in-laws” — Stop hanging out with whoever is saying this. They see in black & white and aren’t very realistic. I’ve never heard anyone say this, and I’m pretty old and have been on the bee for like 20 years so I’ve seen a lot. Life is easier and more pleasant if you get along well with your in-laws, but it’s not a disaster or tragedy if you don’t. Like everyone else says, if you and your partner are on the same page, that’s way more important than loving your in-laws.

Post # 29
244 posts
Helper bee

Who’s saying you *have* to love your in-laws? Or that you *have* to love anyone? That’s a real strange thing to say.

That being said, I can relate to not feeling super warm and fuzzy about your SO’s parents. My SO’s parents and mine are polar opposites. He doesn’t communicate with his dad all that much (fine relationship between them, they’re just not talkers and his dad is quite into his own things/life that, according to my SO, he just didn’t get to live out when he was married to his mom) and his mom is… a lot. She was dealt a really tough hand in life very early on, and I know a lot of her sometimes-erratic behavior can be attributed to this fact, but it definitely drains me to be around her for long periods of time. SO is very aware of her behavior and the pitfalls of his childhood and adolescence. I’m very aware (as is SO) that I’m not going to have the PIL-are-my-second-parents relationship with them, or be as open and close with them as SO can be with mine.

Upon reading a lot of this site, DWIL nation (I reccommend it for anyone who doesn’t know about it), and from spending time with her that I likely/potentially won’t face too many issues until we have kids. I’m working on establishing boundaries with her and defining these boundaries with SO now in order to set all of us up for a healthy relationship down the line.

Post # 30
4 posts

My suggestion about in-laws is this. I hope you love your boyfriend and you should respect his relationship with his family. You don’t need to love his family but you should always treat them with respect the same way you expect your boyfriend treats your family. And if you ever have a problem never argue with them directly, you would only sandwich your boyfriend. Instead tell your boyfriend to deal with the situation and remain calm. 

So you don’t have to love them but you should respect them. After you get married they are as much his family as you are.

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