@justeen: I totally agree with what you said. I have seen similar issues with Fiance that are definitely based in her family of origin, just like you mentioned.. running away from confrontation, communication problems, pretending everything is fine when its not, because she comes from a family where nothing was addressed, and expressing yourself was not encouraged, her opinion didn’t matter, and nothing was ever out in the open.
I, on the other hand, come from a very small but close, open, and VERBAL family. Yes, even the yelling. 🙂 But things were never ignored or swept under the rug, they were hashed out and never left to fester.
We have been together 7 years now and it has caused problems but we are aware of the issues and working on all of it to improve which is what matters most I think.
FIs family is just weird and I too still have a problem understanding it (after 7 years) because I come from such a totally different background. My mom and I have a very stormy relationship but my FIs mom is so screwed up; we lived a mile from her for over a year and she never made any contact with us until she needed something from us, like rides places because she had no car. She never called for FIs b-day, sent a card, or anything. Ignored the kids’ birthdays totally. When our daughter was 2.5 she was KIDNAPPED by her bio father (long long story), FIs mom never once called to see how we were or how things were going or anything.. my mom was calling me daily asking about progress with the lawyers and police and so forth, and my mom isn’t even “okay” with our relationship (we are a same sex couple) but she was there and concerned and showed it!
Yet when we do see FIs mom from time to time (she works at the community college we both attend so its inevitable) she is all “Oh I love you honey!” and “I miss you” and acting interested in the kids. It’s nauseating.
This same woman also had her first 5 children taken by social service and never bothered to try and keep in touch (they were placed with their father) and my Fiance, being the youngest, never met any of her sibs or knew anything about them.. but her mom told her lies all her life about why they were not with her, said her ex took them and she’d been searching ever since, she didn’t find out the truth until she was grown and contacted them herself. Truth was, CPS took them because of her neglect and drug use and she knew where they were all along and just didn’t bother. All of her older kids hate her and want nothing to do with her.
Her whole family on her mom’s side is like this. Creepy-indifferent. When her grandma and aunt lived here in our town we would see them from time to time and even get together for holidays, but when they moved out of state, they didn’t ever contact us and never even sent their new address/phone info. They were gone for 2 years then came back here and never got in touch.. my Fiance just happened to find out via Facebook! They are totally “out of sight, out of mind” people and I just can’t grasp it.
All of this is just so different from how I was raised. My grandma lived several states away when I was growing up but we talked on the phone all the time and she sent me “care packages” and I went to visit her every summer. My mom (now) is really changed and has some serious issues… but I can’t imagine not talking to her and at least wanting to know she is okay and vice versa even though we fight a lot. My brother and I talk on the phone every day, sometimes for a few hours, and he only lives 45 minutes away!
Overall I am glad my FIs family isn’t coming to the wedding and she has realize that family is not about BLOOD but about creating your own family. Because she never knew her father, she didn’t realize or find out until a few years ago that she has a very big family on that side that never knew where she was when she was growing up but ALWAYS wanted her to be part of their lives and she has connected with some of these family members, in particular her awesome and amazing aunt who is about our age, just a bit older, and who has embraced her wholeheartedly.. and her grandmother who cried when they first talked on the phone and talked about how she remembered her as a little girl and has longed to find her (FIs mom moved away from them without any further contact when Fiance was tiny)… so there is some good there, even if it took that long for Fiance to find it!