(Closed) Does anyone feel like their relationship is judged bc they don't have a ring?

posted 6 years ago in Waiting
Post # 61
Member
679 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

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ellagrace:  I went back and read your original post, and you said yourself that your SIL came from a very different background than you.  Since that’s the case, why can’t you understand that she may have a different viewpoint about relationships than you?  Besides not including your name on an invitation, what has she and Brother-In-Law done that is shunning you?  How are they not accepting of your relationship?

My family is quite old school.  My grandparents, and older aunts and uncles, and even my parents to some extent, treat boyfriends and girlfriends differently than fiancees and spouses.  No one is actively shunned or left out, but you can tell that these same people are treated differently once they are married.  It is what it is and I cannot change the way they feel.

Marriage is more than a legal piece of paper.  Will the day to day things change once I’m married – probably not.  But, to me, there is no doubt that having that commitment will make me feel more secure.  Some people don’t need “that legal piece of paper”, but I do.

I have to ask, since your boyfriend is 34, what kind of relationships did he have before you?  Was he very close to another girl and did his brother act the same way toward her?  Are you his first serious relationship?  I had a serious boyfriend before my Fiance – lived together, talked marriage and he even had bought a ring.  My parents loved him.  Then one day he decided it was over.  No warning, nothing.  So when I started dating my now-FI, my parents were naturally a little aloof at first.  They were never mean or not friendly, but I could see the difference in the way they felt about him once we became engaged.

 

Post # 64
Member
2873 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

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ellagrace:  You are awesome and SIL doesn’t know what she’s missing. Your willingness to think about, discuss, get advice, listen to other viewpoints proves that. 

I know that you’d like to be closer, but at the end of the day, she’s the one missing out, not you. ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 65
Member
2873 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

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Aklove: I agree with everything you’re saying. I can understand why my family’s perspective and approach can be hurtful, but it’s really really hard to change generations of conditioning. (Believe me, I’ve tried)

That perspective isn’t personal to the OP (or anyone else’s family who shares that perspective) because it is what it is. If any of my siblings had a relationship like OPs, I’d hope s/he’d be open to discussing what she wants. If I’m not nice to any siblings’ SOs, that’s on me.

Like I’ve shared, the OP seems awesome so I hope she figures out a way to move past it and her SIL realizes that OP should be a more meaningful part of her life. 

Post # 66
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2389 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

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Totalkaos1983:  Actually, you’re wrong.  NOT everyone who wants to get married can do so.  And to say that, along with the “it’s just a piece of paper” bullshit, is making a mockery of something that IS important, and that our gay friends are not allowed to do in many places.

Post # 67
Member
1863 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

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ellagrace:  I hope after you get married, their behavior changes for you! I can relate to how irritating their actions are. I really would love to be close to my husband’s family but it just doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen. I hope I’m wrong. 

My husband’s immediate family is very close knit to one another; he has six siblings. It’s very hard for them to let someone else in. They’re welcoming because they have to be, but they’re not… arms wide open welcoming me into the family. His mother actually never told me “Welcome to the family”. We’re married and sometimes I still feel like an outsider when we visit them. I’m actually a lot closer to my BIL’s wife than I am to my husband’s sister. She’s just very closed off to me and doesn’t try to get to know me at all. She keeps things very formal between us and it’s annoying. She doesn’t let down her wall and just have girl talk with me like she does with her girlfriends. I just don’t get it. I’m her sister-in-law now. I’m forever in her life. Why would you not want to get to know me? You’re gonna be the aunt to my kids and I the aunt to yours. And we’re literally like 1 or 2 years apart. It’s just so stupid. I’ve given up trying to be close to her. It’s unfortunate because I have no sisters and was looking forward to having a close relationship with her. Oh well.

ETA: And I did think things would change after we officially got married, but that wasn’t the case. My husband says they just need to get to know me better before I’ll officially “get in”. But how will I ever “get in” if they keep me at arms length? We’ll never be close if that’s the case. I personally don’t care either way anymore. 

Post # 68
Member
1444 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

 

ellagrace:  I haven’t read all the replies, but just going to give you my opinion, for what it’s worth.

Without knowing your inlaws, I can’t say whether they are doing it intentionally or not.  I can tell you that I never called my uncle’s girlfriend “Aunt” until they got married, I was an adult at the time they got married and they were together 15 or so years (maybe a little more!)  I just always called her by her first name.  However, something shifted and when they got married, I did start calling her “aunt”. 

Now if they’re not including you on thank you notes when you have given a gift to their children, that’s just rude.  I would definitely talk to your SO about that.  But that would be rude regardless of your status in the “family”.

You seem very upset about this and for that I’m sorry.  But you do have to realize that other families do things differently (I definitely had to learn that between my family and my FI’s) and to them, it may just be “normal” for them not to address you as such as you are the girlfriend, even if you are uncomfortable with that title (which it seems like you are).

Post # 69
Member
505 posts
Busy bee

I’ve never said it wasn’t important 

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oneofthesethings:  I said that the piece of paper doesn’t make someones relationship better or more committed, more important, more recognizable then a married like relationship without the legal aspect of it! I have allot of gay family and yes they abd I as well as the rest of our friends and family would luv to see and be able to have them marry, their luv isn’t any different or less deserving so dint put words in my mouth and play the gay card here! That seems to be your issue and thought not mine! However just because my GAY AUNT AND SISTER AND COUSIN all can’t legally marry their spouse doesn’t mean or make their long time, committed relationships less valuable or important then my grandparents and other marriages. It’s just as valuable if not more so in some situations. The paper IS ONLY FOR GOVERNMENT REASONS. I think it should be everyone’s right if they want it. But a any unionmade under their religious or beliefs made and declared in front of loved ones and their higher power is just as valued. What do you think people did before the government took over? You just declared your love and had a ceremony then presented yourself to the world as married and everyone treated it as such!

Post # 70
Member
989 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

It definitely has a lot to do with where your from, family dynamics, upbringing etc.

I’m from the UK, not religious and from a very open minded modern family (as is FI). We have been together over 9 years, lived together 8 years, and only just got engaged in February so will be getting married to celebrate our first decade together in 2015. Fortunately for us, our families are super supportive and we have both been welcomed with open arms…we have been featuring in each others ‘official’ family photos for years, are referred to as aunt/uncle/DIL/SIL etc and are completely entwined in each others lives already….marriage won’t change anything for us, it’s just the icing on the cake for us. In fact, people were surprised when we announced our engagement and most peoples reactions have been ‘that’s fantastic but we already think of you as a forever couple anyway’

Around here, i would say the average length of time a couple wait before getting engaged is 5 or 6 years and the average age for a woman is about 29 or 30! Every couple I know lives together first and quite a few have children out of wed lock…one of the happiest couples I know have been together 25 years, have 3 children and have no intention of ever getting married whereas I also know happy couples who were married within 12 months of first meeting who are still together. There really is no right or wrong and I don’t think it’s anyones place to judge anothers relationship.

I’m sorry you feel unfairly treated and ignored by some of your SO’s family, that really sucks and says a lot more about those individuals than it does about you or your relationship. i hope things get better for you soon.

Post # 73
Member
505 posts
Busy bee

Be the great loving aunt to get children you want to be and know you can be 

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ellagrace:   you don’t have to wait for her feelings about you to do good things for her children. What really matters most is how you view and think of your relationship with her children and family. If you treat her kids as a aunt weather you get married or not they would grow up and see you as such. Your a wonderful woman it seems, don’t let one tiny fraction of the SO’s family ruin what you have with the rest of them. Your not doing anything wrong, it’s not a problem with you! It’s a thing with your SOs sisters thoughts and/or feelings about you! You can’t change how they treat you, but you can decide how to treat them & no matter how his sister feels towards you the children will grow up seeing how you treated them and love you and view you as they want! ๐Ÿ™‚ it makes me mad to think people still get stuck on your not blood or married to blood so your not family! Family isn’t always so cut and dry! Family’s what you make it, you could have no blood family, but your family is all friends. If you view your friends as your family, guess what? Their your family! ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 74
Member
8437 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

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ellagrace:  In my family/social circle, it’s very common to call someone auntie or uncle ____, even if they don’t hold that title legally.  However, I was in a longish relationship (3 years, living together, etc) and was introduced to my ex’s little cousins, nieces and nephews as “auntie.”  While it was wonderful getting to interact with the children, I really wasn’t that serious about the guy I was dating (or any guy I had dated) and was definitely NOT looking to settle down/marry him.  As our relationship progressed I developed some pretty close bonds with the kids in his family, which made it so much harder to break up with my ex.  It wasn’t until one of the kids asked me, “when are you and ex-bf going to get married so you can be a part of our family?” that I realized I was in way too deep.  It was honestly more heartbreaking for me to say good-bye to those kids than it was to break up. 

I’m not trying to justify your FSIL’s behavior, but maybe this is something she’s just trying to avoid?  It sounds like you and your SO are pretty serious about each other, but no one really knows a relationship unless they’re actually involved in it.  Hopefully with time your Future Sister-In-Law will see that you really are a part of the family and will welcome you in that way.

Post # 75
Member
604 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

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ellagrace:  I’m with KatiePi:  here. While I understand your BF’s family not wanting little ones to use the term Aunt (technically you aren’t yet), they should treat you as part of the family. He is bringing you to family functions and you’ve been around a long while now, they shouldn’t treat you like an outsider. Addressing cards to him and not you is a little rude but… again, there is no etiquette rule to say they shouldn’t (unless it’s a wedding invite right bees?).

In my family, serious BFs/GFs brought into the fold are made to feel like part of the family. We are a hot mess and anyone who wants to be a part of us, is gonna have a good idea of what we’re all like before marrying into it ๐Ÿ™‚

That said, my own Boyfriend or Best Friend is more than “just my boyfriend” to me and to my family. I’m not 16 thanks. He is my partner, we live together (in a city hundreds/thousands of miles from our families), support each other, and by god I’m going to marry that guy some day. BUT he isn’t my husband yet and to me there is a distinction. I choose to think of myself as his partner, not girlfriend, and not yet wife. To me, that convey’s the seriousness of our relationship and where we’re at now.

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