how to stop in-laws and parents from thinking we are one giant family??

posted 2 years ago in Engagement
Post # 2
Member
1012 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

Sorry, but I don’t think you can ask your parents to violate social norms just because of your own issues. The fact that you “can’t be close with your fiancé’s parents or sister for personal reasons”, whatever that means, is your problem and not theirs. If they’ve done something unacceptable, cut them out, but otherwise work on being more yourself around them. Maintaining a fake persona around your inlaws just isn’t going to work in the long-term.

My mother generally likes to keep to herself and would probably be happier not socializing much with the inlaws. But she does it because it would be rude not to. If you all live in the same area, it would be really strange to deliberately avoid getting both sets of parents in the room together at holidays.

Post # 3
Member
5778 posts
Bee Keeper

View original reply
gretelq :  If you’re a Seinfeld fan and your parents have a sense of humour, you could try George’s ‘worlds colliding’ theory. There is Daughter Gretelq, the Gretelq they’ve come to know and love- Extrovert Gretelq, Uncensored Gretelq, FUN Gretelq….but if In-Law Gretelq walks through that door, Daughter Gretelq ceases to exist! 

 

Post # 4
Member
2693 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

I’m sorry OP, I fail to see how this is an issue. Can you elaborate as to why?

Post # 5
Member
99 posts
Worker bee

Everyone here sounds adult enough to chose who they spend their spare time with. Im sorry that having such a big family bothers you I would be annoyed too but I dont think theres anything you can do about it. 

The having two personalities with parents and in laws is a disaster waiting to happen. Be yourself but obviously be respectful. Your in laws are going to be your family too soon and you cant put on a conservative act for the rest of your life. 

Telling your parents that you dont expect them to be like your aunts and uncles with your new in laws doesnt sound difficult but be prepared that they might enjoy each others company and be close anyway. FHs mom and mine had known eachother for years before we met and have only recently gotten much closer when we started talking marriage. Now they hang out and talk about me and FH which is a little annoying but theyre both grown women who have a common connection so if they want to be friends I cant stop them  

Post # 8
Member
1646 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Need more specific examples. What you define as too close could be fine for other people. The whole background actually doesn’t give enough context. How frequently are they inviting over? What’s the context? What do you guys do? Where do you go? That sort of stuff.

Post # 10
Member
5210 posts
Bee Keeper

Your parents are simply following basic good manners/social behavior. There’s nothing wrong with what they’re doing. The fact that it bothers you so much might be worth exploring. 

Post # 11
Member
5832 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

Honestly it sounds like you are the problem here.  I get if you don’t mesh with certain family members and can’t maintain a friendship style relationship with them but thinking a large close family is this abnormal just isn’t true.  

If you act so differently around your inlaws that you are terrified of these circles overlapping then maybe you should have a look at your own behavior.  Attempting to maintain a fake personality will only last so long. 

My post clearly states that this way of doing this makes it so it blurrs the lines between my family and my fiance’s family at all times– and that is frustrating to me.

I just don’t understand what is so frustrating about this, it seems completely normal to me. When you get married and decided to commit your entire life to your spouse it is typical for the lines to blur between “my family” and “your family” and merge into the “our family” category. 

Post # 12
Member
1012 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

Bee, you’re the one missing the point here: you can’t change other people, you can only change yourself. Your parents can be friends with whoever they want.

You might be able to suggest some minimal changes (“could we have some more quiet Sunday afternoon visits with just us, instead of inviting the whole family?”), but you can’t reasonably ask your parents to just not become close with your inlaws in general.

Post # 14
Member
1646 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

View original reply
gretelq :  Honestly? I think that is amazing. See how different contexts read differently? Look at how many effed up, dysfunctional families there are out there. You need to focus less on the differences and more on – they are making an effort, and if they can get along – not BEST friends – but get along cordially, that’s a blessing. 

Post # 15
Member
1012 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

Also, it’s completely normal for new friendships to develop when circumstances change. Your parents and inlaws suddenly have something major in common that they didn’t share before. Of course they’re more likely to become friends now.

I became really close to an old acquaintance when we both happened to move to the same new city. My sister and cousin used to see each other only at holidays, but now they work close together and get lunch all the time. I’m friends with one coworker who has vastly different values and political views, but we bonded over being new hires together. Friendships are shaped by external circumstances, not just absolute personality characteristics.

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