Unfortunately, all kinds of weird dynamics and feelings can creep into families. I have experienced them all with the different guys I have dated.
Here are some dynamics I have experienced, and I’d be willing to bet that some of these are going on in your situation too.
My mom gets a bit huffy and jealous if I and my SO spend any significant occasion with his family – even if we do it fairly, for example, one Christmas with his family, one Christmas with my family. Even if I relent and spend Christmas Eve with my family and Christmas Day with his family, she still gets a little tearful. She somehow feels that any time spent with another family is time taken away from her. There’s nothing to be done about this kind of mindset – you just have to stand your ground and stay calm and firm.
I’ve dated guys whose family got irrationally jealous that he had someone significant in his life aside from them. Even though I went out of my way to put them at ease and be kind to them. They still resented his relationship with me and this made him feel torn.
Some families are overbearing. My ex-husband’s family was like this. They were very loud and overpowering and very hard to say no to. Sometimes families use their influence over their members to get them to do what they want, even if it’s not really fair or doesn’t make sense.
Don’t take the irrational feelings of family members upon yourself. Think water, think duck’s back. Family is family, and they get over stuff. Make a decision that works for you, and stick to it. That is how you will be happiest. Ultimately, you and your SO are going to have to figure out a way of organizing family time that works for you, and someone is going to be upset. LET THEM. It’s your life, and you guys just need to be happy with whatever you decide.
That said, I completely agree with pp’s who have made the point that you can’t control your SO or his family. But you can show them how you feel with your actions, and you can take care of yourself and do what works for you. If you feel that you see your SO’s family too much, don’t visit as often – let them sulk, they’ll get over it. Unfortunately, you can’t stop him going though.
You also cannot make him spend significant events with your family. You can explain how much it means to you, and you can ask him. But before you overthink things here and interpret his actions as a sign of disrespect, I would encourage you to think about whether you can live with him exactly as he is now, because it’s possible that things won’t change. Do you want him in spite of these family dynamics? You’ve got far more chance of things working out the way you want in the end if you don’t give these things power which they shouldn’t have and don’t let them upset you unnecessarily.