(Closed) do you REALLY not marry the family?

posted 8 years ago in Family
Post # 32
Member
853 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

To echo some previous comments, you don’t “marry” them, but if they are in his life, then they’re going to be in yours.  It’s going to be work, but it isn’t going to be work all the time.  It’s going to be like so many other things in life that sometimes flare up and become issues and othertimes fade into the background.  But if you and your Fiance are unified in the idea that you are creating your own family, then it’ll work.

You’re not going to change his family.  They’ve been this way too long and honestly they will not change.  Any changes in his relationship with them will likely be met with resistance.  You choose how you interact with them, but you cannot change them.  It’s workable.  It’s doable, and it’s a process.  It will take years.  It may never completely be “fixed” but life isn’t perfect.

For us I’m the introvert, DH is the extrovert.  I have to force myself to go out and when I do it’s draining.  I socialize and go out more than I would on my own because it’s important to DH, but I will never be the one to organize an event or plan an outing.  DH would never expect me to be that.  But are you upset that this is how your FI’s personality is, or is he trying to make you into an introvert himself?  Don’t try to make him something he’s not. 

Growing up DH’s family interacted with almost every branch of the family tree frequently (I say ‘almost’ because you only go back so to like same great-greats or whatever).  While I interacted with family on one side of the family, my father’s side we had nothing to do with.  They were toxic, but that wasn’t really apparent until I was much older.

I don’t really understand your concerns about your FMIL’s hording.  How is that something that is going to impact your life?  If she collects everything in sight and keeps them in her house, that doesn’t mean it will affect yours.  If she (like my MIL) has piles and piles of things that she just “needs” and then always wants to give you clutter and crap for your house, it’s inconvinent, but really it’s just a couple of hours of sorting and trashing or donating.  Like everything else, if it is an issue, it’s not going to be a daily issue.

Here’s the thing: I grew up in an immediate family that I thought was perfect.  My parents and family were perfect.  My extended family (mom’s side) while crazy and a little annoying growing up were great.  I thought I had the perfect family.  Then DH and I started seriously talking about getting married and I realized that he thought he had the perfect family too.  While I saw all the crazy wierd things about his family (and I see them very starkly), the good wasn’t as easily apparent and it was different to my “perfect” family.  And even more insane, he didn’t think my perfect upbringing was perfect at all.

So really, there is no such thing as a perfect family.  You didn’t have it.  I don’t have it.  No one has it.  There are only varying levels of insanity that we judge differently depending on how their craziness aligns with our own.

It’s good that you are thinking and talking wtih your Fiance about this, but be careful not to overthink.  There are problems we can dream up that will never manifest and sometimes imagination can be a dangerous thing.

These are conversations to be having and working through with your Fiance.  The longer you worry about all the potential major pitfalls, the more you set yourself up for anxiety or failure.  This from an introverted fatalist who’s extroverted optimist of a husband has been trying to get her to see silver linings for about six years now.

All the best!

ETA– sorry, I didn’t mean to write a book.

Post # 34
Member
853 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

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@nutsoveru:  I hear that.  It makes me a little sad that DH will never be as open with his parents (or mine) as I am with mine, and I will never be comfortable being at my in-laws house.

Your Fiance may never be as expressive or open in public, but as someone who clams up if the group size is over three, it does mean something to be included.  Even with my crazy, insane in-laws and their huge, enormous extended family, I’m extremely uncomfortable there, but at the same time, I’m happy to be included, if that makes sense.  Just if he’s anything like me, time at home away from the activity is how to recharge.

It’s just life, honestly.  It’s evolving and learning to adjust to a set of norms that aren’t your own.  Not embracing them, just recognizing that they’re there.  It’ll be a process and some of it happens gradually over time.  I know when DH and I start having children there will probably be uproar because I don’t agree with Mother-In-Law giving dozens of gifts for every calendar holiday, nor would I want one set of grandparents “buying” the affections of children who aren’t mature enough to separate the number of gifts given to how much someone loves them.

What I’m trying to say is, I think this is a natural and healthy concern that you’re having.  You’re going into this with your eyes open and realizing that this will be a challenge, but it’s best to know that now rather than thinking everything will be easy and the balking when trouble comes.  These concerns are healthy as long as you don’t allow them to eat away at you and you allow your Fiance to help with this emotional burden.  Know when to hang on and when to let go, as it were.

As long as you and he remember you are teammates in this and will work together to find your path.  And sometimes plans change– you can’t map out your entire life (I tried and it really didn’t work out).  And that’s okay.  Just because things change doesn’t mean you failed or that you weren’t good enough, it just means that the circumstances evolved.  Change will come, and the two of you will work through that too.

Post # 35
Member
62 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

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@nutsoveru:  From experience…. after a while if the family is disrespectful to you or continue doing something negative towards you and your Fiance, once married its a different story. The husband usually tend to realize and start separating from them. thats what happened with my father, he steers clear from his family unless its an emergency, and my husband has also cut his family off but them cause they are crazy…. set your boundries if he is the one for you anything can be worked out.

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