(Closed) Fiance’s parents expect him to spend birthdays with the family

posted 9 years ago in Family
Post # 30
Member
995 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@Bichon Frise:  It seems like it’s very important to them–and your fiance isn’t bothered by it–and they aren’t excluding you

It’s his birthday, shouldn’t he spend it the way he would like to? As you start to have your own family it may peter out, it may not–but it’s not such a terrible tradition

 

I could see if you didn’t get along with his family-or if he didn’t want to spend it with them but wouldn’t speak up–but this seems like a nice family tradition

Maybe you can start your own tradition by taking him out to dinner the night before or after-or do some other fun activity that is just for the two of you–but I don’t think it’s right to try to interfere with his birthday traditions, especially since you are a welcome guest

Post # 31
Member
1091 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

There’s an awful lot of “I” in your post about his birthday traditions.  Have you talked to him about this to see what he actually wants?

It might be that he enjoys the tradition.  Which means you might have to get used to celebrating with him on a day not his actual birthday.  Seems to me like if he wanted to cut the cord, he could’ve.  My FI’s family is Polish too, and we do get together for everyone’s birthday (FI, his siblings, all the husbands and wives, and the kids- it’s like 15 people).  Yeah, that means a lot of weekends at the FIL’s, but it’s just what they do. 

You need to leave this up to him- it’s *his* birthday.  From an outside perspecive, two meals seems like a lot, but if that’s how he wants to spend his birthday, I think it’s incumbent upon you to go along with it.

Post # 31
Member
14 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: March 2013

I’m sure it really sucks but from their perspective he is their baby, they have been there for every birthday since he was born. I don’t have kids but I can assume not seeing them on their birthday would be hard. Since there are other times you two can celebrate and since you are invited to his family dinner (it would be different if you weren’t invited) I’d say just accept it for what it is and find a different day to celebrate. The only reason to put a stop to it is if your fiance becomes uncomfortable, otherwise it is his decision and should be respected.

Post # 32
Member
875 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

View original reply
@Bichon Frise:  I’m sorry that would annoy me that they didn’t do anything for your birthday. In my situation I am the one with parents in town and I also spend my bday with my family. However I don’t need to spend the actual day with them. We usually have a family dinner/cake on the Sunday closest to my birthday. Also on my FI’s birthday my mom made him cake and the meal of his choice on the Sunday closest to his bday just like all the other kids in the family. What does Fiance think ab the birthday traditions? Does he ask you if you have something planned or just go along with what his mom says and assume its fine w you?

Post # 33
Member
5295 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 1993

View original reply
@sylvia.riggle:  but they are excluding her – she’s not invited to the birthday breakfast……in a few months she’ll be his wife! Very rude, imo, to exclude someone like that. But then again, if her Fiance hasn’t asked her along….well that’s another story.

Post # 34
Member
43 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@Bichon, I’ll be honest and say I was really shocked by your feelings on this issue. 

However, they are your feelings and should be respected. 

It’s clear he and his family have a strong bond, but they do things that are different from what you are used to. 

They are his parents.  They are supposed to make a big deal about his birthday, if they want.  You aren’t their child, so it’s not their responsibility to do the same to you.  

Personally, I don’t make birthday’s about me…it’s about the other person and doing what makes him/her happy. 

I know my Fiance likes attention and being around this family, so for his BD’s I have his family over to celebrate his birthday.

All that being said, your feelings are yours and no one else’s opinions will change that.  They may give you an opportunity to see things in a different perspective though. 

I’m not sure of the laws in NC, but here in Texas, we can get our marriage license for free by attending pre-marriage counseling.  We did a group counseling a few weeks ago, and it was VERY helpful in getting BOTH of us to understand each other better. 

I say this because, one of the biggest things the pastor discussed was reforming those boundaries on family and respecting the feelings of your spouse. i.e., after marriage, your FAMILY is your spouse and children, and your extended family is everyone else. 

I think men have the hardest time with reforming this boundary, especially men with an overbearing mother.  So if you really feel strongly about spending time with your Fiance alone on his birthday, he’s going to have to be the one to see the need for that change.

Post # 35
Member
2231 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I think it’s odd that you’re not invited to the birthday breakfast and that they don’t do anything for your birthday in return. That would hurt my feelings more than the fact that he spends an entire day with his family for his birthday (which wouldn’t bother me at all). To me birthdays are not really romantic occasions, it’s an excuse to get together with our very busy families and eat some cake. 

I think coming up with some sort of compromise or learning to live with certain family traditions (especially if he wants to continue celebrating his birthday that way) is a part of marriage. In this case I don’t really see the point in making a big deal out of it, it’s one day of the year, you can do birthday stuff just the two of you on another day if you know his family wants to see him on his birthday. In the end it’s up to him and what he wants to do. 

Post # 36
Member
250 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

Rather than approach this over the single issue of his birthday, why not have a conversation about expectations for holiday celebrations once you are married?  The geographic distance from your family automatically inequalizes the relationships with your respective families; address this from the standpoint of, “How will we show honor and value to each of our sets of parents in spite of the different distances?”  And examine together what it means to the two of you to have your own household — which holidays are you OK with celebrating with other people (his family, your family, etc), and which holidays and/or at what point in your marriage and family life do you want to spend at home and form your new traditions?  Does this involve inviting either family to come celebrate with you, or will it involve your new nuclear family?  What about the contrast in how your respective birthdays are observed?  Are you individually happy with how your birthdays are celebrated?  What rolesdo you each prefer your and his parents taking in your birthdays?  Your kids’ birthdays?

Post # 37
Member
4044 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I honestly would not bring it up and make your FH choose between you and nis parents. I would just go along and be included. You can celebrate the weekend or day before with him, and on your birthday, do something romantic.

I would draw the line if his family insists you spend every holiday there and you don’t get to celebrate with your family once in a while. You should not have to give up mutual holidays. but I think it’s sweet not creepy that he spends birthdays with his family.

Post # 38
Member
262 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

@Bichon Frise:  Talk to him about it in a gentle way. Personally I can see where you are coming from. I know my Fiance has traditions as do I , but I believe as a new family we have to make some traditions together and somethings must change or at least some accomodation for the new wife/husband.This goes for my family and it also goes for his familye .

For me, I would not be okay with it, I want to spend time with my Fiance on his birthday and so I can understand where you are coming from with this. Ultimately tho, it is your FI’s choice- one which I do not think you should force once you have made your feelings clear.

I can understand a big birthday dinner with FI’s family and that is fine with me, but then I want breakfast with Fiance. If he does breakfast with family, then I want dinner. There might be a third option though, if lunch is availble you know what, why not leave the arrangement as is with your Fiance and family and do a romantic lunch for two?.

The bottomline is that it is about sharing and the acknowledgement of new boundaries. As much as the OP needs to recognize old traditions, the family also needs to cede some time to Fiance and his new bride. 

Post # 39
Member
130 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Your fiancee is lucky to have such a close and caring family.  Many brides would appreciate becoming part of a family like that.

Post # 40
Member
4800 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I get where you’re coming from on this, though I’d be willing to bet the bees who don’t understand or think you’re overreacting do not have boundary issues with their in-laws. I used to not understand these sort of problems…until I started dating my DH and seeing what his family is like! But even they are flexible on birthday traditions. So I’m sure some bees will disagree with this, but if I were in your shoes I would plan a romantic trip out of town for his next birthday, maybe go spend a long weekend (that goes till Tuesday) to a place he loves or to see a band he really likes or something. But I think you’re gonna have to let this year go =/  But next year, you tell his parents that you have a special trip planned for his b-day and the two of you will be out of town. Plus that will be his first birthday where you two will be husband and wife, so that is when I started putting my foot down and planning DH’s birthday celebrations.

Post # 41
Member
262 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

@Bichon Frise:  My Fiance thinks you should let it be and choose your battle. I explained it the way I saw it (family not having breakfast and dinner time) and my Fiance thinks if you do feel strongly enough about to upset the apple cart, ask your Fiance to consider having breakfast with you and spend dinner at the parents since that seems the more important of the two to him and his family.

I think Fiance sees where you/I am coming from but Fiance is of the opinion that if you can join in, you simply make it one big celebration with your FI’s family and then you two can always go home TOGETHER & ALONE and celebrate in private. In my FI’s opinion it is pretyy much  a lot of inflexibility all around

bride-inflexible for not choosing another day to celebrate (of course I do not agree with him here lol)

parents-for still demanding both breakfast and evening

groom-for not trying to achieve a balance in sharing the day between furture wife and family.

Post # 43
Member
7774 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I don’t honestly think this is a boundary issue. It’s ONE DAY, not like they call and expect him to come to dinner three times a week. Birthdays are about families and I know my family always gets together for dinner on each other’s birthdays. Yes, we do it every year. It’s a family tradition. DHs father and brother used to take him out for his birthday every year before his father passed away and no, I wasn’t invited. It didn’t bother me because that’s how DH wanted to spend his birthday. We always do something on another day or later in the evening to celebrate just the two of us.

If this tradition is important to your Fiance and his family… I think you need to step back and just kind of deal with it. I would say this would be a completely different story if this was an all the time thing, but it’s one day. It’s not worth getting on your in-laws bad side or in a fight with your Fiance for.

I do think you might want to get him to do one or the other. I think breakfast and dinner is a little much. That, I do agree with.

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