(Closed) hard to establish relationships?

posted 8 years ago in Family
Post # 3
612 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Oh I feel the same way about my in-laws. They really don’t care one way or another who marries into the family. It is really weird! I mean they all like me, but are pretty aloof and don’t like talking on the phone, emailing, or keeping in contact.

I just decided that “Hey, it is nice not to have a meddling Mother-In-Law I have to fight with for her son’s affection all the time.” It makes it a WAY better situation!

Post # 5
183 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I’m struggling with this, too.  My FI’s family is Japanese, so there’s a whole cross-cultural layer there, too.  As well as the fact that there are only sons in his family, so they are a little awkward about other women around, too.

From my own experience (having two older sisters married 20+ years), I have seen how my BILs have grown to be important parts of our family and my sisters a part of theirs.  I’m sure that over time the awkwardness will wear off. This kind of bonding doesn’t happen overnight.

Post # 6
570 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

Oh no, we love each other. We met the first week that my Fiance and I got together, and it has been smooth sailing ever since. Actually both families get along famously. I am one of the lucky ones, lol.

Post # 7
7173 posts
Busy Beekeeper

Well, I think you should count your blessings on what you DO have with them – which sounds like a great and amicable relationship (which is a lot more than most can say).

The reality is that your FI’s family is just wired differently.  It doesn’t mean that yours is ‘incorrect’ or his is… they are just completely different.

I think if you shift your expectations to having that ‘bond’ with your own family (instead of wanting it to be similar with his), then perhaps it won’t feel as strange.  I’d say just acknowledge that you won’t have relationships with FI’s family in the same way you’d want to, and try to find those relationships elsewhere.  Or, perhaps there is one person in the family you’ll bond with on a different level than the others.  

There’s nothing you can really do – except  manage your expectations and related disappointment.

But, again – you are SO lucky that you like all of them!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 8
67 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 1993

I know how you feel!

My family tells each other everything, and we raise voices frequently (but it’s all out of love). FI’s family is very, very polite and informs each other of major news only if it’s a convenient time. They are very, very nice (with some exceptions) but I just don’t know if I’ll ever trully (in my view) connect with them.

This doesn’t bother me as a stand alone issue, but when we start a family, there are 2 concerns: 1. How close are they going to be to the grandchildren? Is there going to be a major difference in their level of involvement v. my parents’ (just purely because they wouldn’t want to intrude) and 2. is our family going to resemble mine of FI’s?

Post # 10
218 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2006

My Hubby is the outcast of his family.  His mother makes no concession about that fact that he wasn’t really wanted and has been telling his this since he is old enough to remember.  Consequently they know him very little, especially the adult he has become, largely due to his own devices.  My Mother-In-Law is also about 7 years younger than my Grandmother would be if she were still alive and my Grandma and Mother didn’t have kids to their mid-20’s, so there is very much a generational gap.   Plus my Mother-In-Law immigrated here from Europe, but not until her 30’s; moreso than anything it is like speaking to the Queen when you speak with her.

My family is big, loud, very involved and very opinionated.  We joke with one another and are a bit lax with manners.  We kind of believe in “letting it all hang out”.  It’s a bit much for husband at times!  My mom calls probably every other day and my siblings/cousins once a week  or a couple times a month to “catch up”.  If my Hubby talks to his sister more than twice a year there is a crisis.

Bottom line, Hubby loves me, I love him and my family has welcomed him with open arms.  His family seems to like me well enough in their way and I try to be a bit more reserved around them out of respect for their sensibilities.  This may be all of the realtionship they are capable of having, and I accept that.

Post # 11
516 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

I definitely understand- but I guess you just need to be happy that your family is they way they are. Not all two families are alike!!

Post # 12
649 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2010

Angela83 – I could have written your post. My husband and I dated for 10 years before we got engaged, and all through that time I was never able to break through that “white toast” barrier! We got a long fine, there were a few bumps here and there, but now that we’re married I’m hoping those will smooth over.

I wonder whether the game has changed and I just haven’t realized it because we live miles and miles away. I mean, I wonder whether they were just stand-offish because we weren’t “officially” married, and now that we are they will warm up a little. But, I’m not really counting on it a whole lot.

What was mentioned above is true: we have to accept, if necessary, that the kind of relationship on a personal level that we want and need from people just may not come. This is the hardest thing for me to deal with myself, because somewhere along the line I formed all these expectations that we would all be the bestest friends and truely love each other.

Is this their version of that? Maybe it is, but at the end of the day it’s irritating. There’s only so much small-talk about the weather and the family cat that you can handle before you’re screaming out for a deeper connection!

Post # 13
429 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I had horrible experiences with my ex’s sister, so when I met my Fiance I made a point of ‘friending’ his sister so we got off on the right foot. I asked her to be my Maid/Matron of Honor. FI/me don’t talk to his family a whole lot because his parents just divorced (after 25 years) and it’s a little weird right now. I haven’t broken the barrier with my Future Mother-In-Law or Future Father-In-Law because of all the drama, but I know they love me.

I think all families are a little different. I’m accepting it all and know that we’ll all be closer when either A) we live closer; or B) we have kids.

Post # 15
9 posts
  • Wedding: May 2010

I thought I would share something wonderful about family here.  I just married a sweet man (we have both been married before), and we have lived together for a couple years.  He has two grown children (I have two grown, and two that are still growing that we are raising together).  My hubby’s daughter traveled a ways to be here for our wedding which was neat since she does not generally travel/visit, and the son who is local was at the wedding also, as were my four kids.  It was so unexpected and fabulously sweet that the combination of the six kids was such a UNIT!  It was crazy–they were so happy being together (having four children myself–I had no idea that they longed for more siblings!!).  We spent the day after the wedding going to the zoo altogether before his daughter had to head back home.  It was something special.  I never really pictured what my role as “step-mom” would be to grown children, I guess.  The kids are all swapping pictures via email and joining each other’s facebook, and such.  My husband and I are so happy together and thought a lot about the family at home (with the younger two), but it was a sweet surprise that our marriage has made the grown kids happy too.  (PS–my older daughter has two little girls and his daughter was completely thrilled to be an Aunt!)    

Post # 16
649 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2010

Oh, I’ll add something else: it may definitely be a family trait with my in-laws. My husband is extremely close to his grandmother, he says, and loves her to death. She came to our wedding (lives away and we see her once every 2-3 years maybe) and her behavior could be characterized two ways: she either was completely content with him marrying me or couldn’t care less.

The thing is, she doesn’t know me as a person very well at all since we’ve seen each other a handful of times and we haven’t gotten to talk deeply or anything. So, it seems like she meet me a few times and was cool with her grandchild marrying me and doesn’t feel the need to connect with me at all.

WHY she doesn’t feel the need, I’m not sure. I don’t know anything about grandparents, I didn’t have any.

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