(Closed) How do we bring FILs together when FI's parents don't approve?

posted 6 years ago in Family
Post # 3
12247 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

I would get them all together at your place, have a neutral dinner, and hope they will all be adults about it!

Post # 5
4518 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

This makes me sad. I don’t think a private get-together is a good idea. It seems like FI’s parents don’t really want to know your parents, which is too bad since they’re neighbors. I’d have your patents just invite them to the party– I don’t see how that’s insulting. You guys are getting married– if they want to be part of the celebration, they need to get over it. But only they can bring themselves to that point. Don’t try to force a relationship when they’re not ready. 

Post # 6
4046 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I don’t think they need to get together, if they don’t approve of the relationship, I’m not sure how it could help to get everyone together. If you really want to, perhaps get them together at a restaurant or something.

Post # 7
1844 posts
Buzzing bee

I don’t think they need to get together either, but I will say this:  When your FIL’s are in your parents’ home they need to respect their Christian ways.  When  your parents are in your FILs’ home they need to respect their Jewish ways.

In the back of my mind I foresee grandparents of different faiths trying to pull their grandkids in their direction.  Do you think that will be an issue?

Post # 8
5778 posts
Bee Keeper

If your parents want to have an engagement party for you and invite them, they should. It will only reflect poorly on his parents should they choose not to come, but being a part of a larger event would most certainly be easier than a more intimate dinner.

Have a casual party and include close friends and family members from both sides, and maybe it will be fine. I really wouldn’t try to force any of this,tho, as it may not end well.

Post # 9
1844 posts
Buzzing bee

Thinking more on this – if your family wants to have an e-party then let them host it.  Invite the FIL’s and, as pp mentioned, let it fall on them to decide what they want to do.

In my house, we would be praying over the food in Jesus name.  If I were in a Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, or Buddhist home for an event and they prayed over the food, it surely wouldn’t be in Jesus name.  I would be polite and deal with it.  

Sooner or later each set of parents are going to have to deal with this.  It’s like Ben Stein said in an op-ed – when his Christian neighbors wish him a Merry Christmas he knows they mean it with a kind heart.  He also wished them a Happy Hannukah and it is received in the same spirit.  The basis of the op-ed was people getting in a snit over the term “Merry Chriwstmas” and replacing it with “Happy Holidays” so no one would get offended.  He thinks everyone needs to get along.

Post # 10
495 posts
Helper bee

@kerensa:  Agreed. Just because you love each other doesn’t mean your parents have to.

I grew up with Jewish (dad’s) and Catholic (mom’s) relatives. Let’s just say my grandparents were never close. My dad’s parents even “disowned” him a couple of times over the religious split. There were vicious fights. My mom was called horrible names by her own in-laws (who believed, as many Jewish people do, that the Jewish line is passed through the mother, so she was basically cursing any offspring). Her parents mostly just fumed but didn’t let it all out. They had two weddings. My Jewish grandparents only attended the one in the synagogue. They did both attend the same reception and both were doting grandparents, in their own ways, to the grandkids they were initially SOOO worried about. They were practically KIND to one another at my high school graduation (the last big event they were all alive for)!!

It was horrible, in so many ways, and caused hundreds of fights between my parents. … But it was also kind of fun, growing up, to have two religious heritages to draw on, very culturally rich and lots more holidays to celebrate (our parents didn’t pick a faith to raise us in, but let us decide for ourselves).


Anyway, I would try to be minimally forceful. Your parents have had their turn getting married, and they’ve had their say about who you’re marrying. Now it’s time to start your OWN traditions, and if anyone wants to grump about it, tune them the heck out! Start your life together on the highest possible ground (and do, please, for the love of pete, consider how it’ll affect any potential future kids).

As far as the specific situation at hand: Do invite them to an engagement party (if you want to have one), but don’t get in a snit if they don’t show! Enjoy your party!


(P.S. A few years ago, dad got engaged to a Jewish woman; he was to be engaged for 6 weeks; at week 4.5, my grandfather died, and some of his last words were along the lines of, “I didn’t want to die until I knew you were going to marry a good Jewish girl!” … So, yeah, they might NEVER let it go!)

Post # 11
1177 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@hermom:  +1

Have the party and invite the Future In-Laws. If they decide to take something as an insult, that’s on them and it’s not your problem. You can’t manage the relationship between the two sets of parents; all you can do is give both of them the chance to act like civilized adults, and hope they take it. Sounds like right now one set is doing a better job of that than the other, but sometimes it just takes people a while to adjust, then they come around.

Post # 12
167 posts
Blushing bee

@OvercomingObstacles:  It’s natural to want the families to get along and get to know each other. But it might not reflect the reality right now.

You may have more opportunities to do this when the grandchildren come along. 

Post # 13
1129 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

It is not your responsability to make them be confortable with each other. You have to do your thing, invite them when you have dinners, make them a part of your wedding, etc… but they are adults, they are the ones supposed to behave like respectfull people.


Post # 14
7208 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2015

@OvercomingObstacles:  I would just get them together for Sunday dinner. His parents can go out because it isn’t Sabbath and it’s pretty typical for Christian families to eat a meal together on Sunday after church activities are over. You don’t have to frame it at all— just invite them to dinner. The less you try to explain it, the less pressure there is. 

And I’m sorry you’re going through this. It really stinks! Is there any way you can show them that you respect and value their beliefs without compromising your own? Would you be willing to participate in a Sadar with them? Can you talk to them about how you will raise your children? I had a friend in elementary school who had a Jewish father and a Catholic mother. They were CONSTANTLY celebrating holidays! 🙂 

Post # 15
8871 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

agree with what everyone said before, neutral location is best.  either you and your FI’s place or a restaurant.


it doesn’t have to be fancy, dessert and coffee would be fine or have everyone over for brunch to keep it casual.

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