(Closed) In laws

posted 10 years ago in Married Life
Post # 3
234 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

I married my ex without having met the in-laws prior and then went for a visit a few months later (oh to be young and dumb again!).

While we were married and living in the same state, I felt the same way.  You know I sometimes wonder if it is me, because I was raised to differently and I’m very quiet and shy and they are VERY loud and in your face. 

I tried because I really wanted to have that wonderfully fun relationship with my Mother-In-Law but it never really happened – I always felt she didn’t think I was good enough for her son.

I’m sure if we were still together and living close (we are 3000 miles away from my ex and his family) things may be different.  I try to keep in touch with them and keep them involved in my daughter’s life because it’s not their fault my ex and I are no longer married.

I say just keep an open mind and maybe try to do things that are only for you and your Mother-In-Law – maybe a shopping day, lunch, or a trip to the spa?  What about trying to plan things that are more one on one and maybe ask the in-laws to share thier funniest stories of the husband?

Good Luck!! I know things will work out and one day you will wonder if there were ever a time you all weren’t close!

Post # 4
2007 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

You can definitely work and look forward to it getting better!  My mom said her mother-in-law/my grandmother was rather judgemental to start but they became very close and kept in contact even after my parents divorced.  There’s definitely hope, just give it a bit of time. 

 Personally, I’m extremely lucky.  All of my future-in-laws love me (even if it seems like a little too much sometimes 🙂 and his mom has said that if anything happens between us they’re keeping me and getting rid of him!  (Not really as she is head over heels for her only child, but it’s still a sweet thought.)

Post # 5
164 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2007 - Hyatt Lodge, Oak Brook IL

I can sympathize… except I have been married over a YEAR and don’t feel much closer to my MIL/FIL! One big thing is the language barrier – they don’t speak much English, so our "conversation" is very limited. (and uhm, I kinda like it that way! Shhh!) I see my Mother-In-Law at least once a week and its still a bit awkward and I don’t particularly look forward to these times. Luckily, I rarely see the Father-In-Law, he is an intimidating and gruff man. But his older sister and i are pretty close, so that’s one silver lining!

I don’t really have any advice for you… you can try, but don’t try TOO hard. That’s just my opinion, haha. Sometimes you can’t force what’s not there, ya know what I mean. As long as they like you and you all "get along"… sometimes thats good enough! It would be great to have a fantastic relationship with your in-laws, and sometimes I envy those in that position. But just be glad that your relationship is the way it is =)

Post # 6
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

Maybe it’s just me, but I never had any expectation of being "close" with my in-laws.  I like my MIL; she’s a wonderful lady.  But I don’t expect her to be like a girlfriend, any more than I expect my mom to be.  And I particularly don’t expect her to be like another mom – I wouldn’t even want that.  I have a wonderful mom of my own.  Mother-In-Law and I treat each other with respect, and are friendly, and I think that’s great.  We see her 4 or 5 times a year, generally for a day or an overnight trip on the weekend – so honestly I doubt we will ever be really close.

My family does really like my husband.  He and my dad have become great friends – although it’s really just a nice friendship.  I’m sure he wouldn’t describe it as like another father-son type of relationship.  And while my husband likes my sister, the one member of the family he probably feels the most friendly towards is my sister’s husband.

I’m sure that over time you will feel closer to your husband’s family.  But really, they’re not your family – you don’t have any history in common, and their background may be quite different from yours.  If it’s never like spending the day with your sister, I think that’s probably more common than not.

Post # 7
596 posts
Busy bee

maybe you can try with his siblings first?  since siblings are closer in age, it’s usually easier to be friendly with them.  once you are closer to at least one person other than your Darling Husband, you can branch out from there and hopefully it will feel less awkward. 

my in-laws live overseas so i only see them 1-2 times a year.  i’m definitely not close to them at all but i stay friendly and find things to talk about.  usually we talk about work, my family, and just what we’ve been doing lately.  if all else fails, i talk about Darling Husband and ask questions about what he was like when he was younger.  maybe that will help you to bond with his family more?  especially if they like telling embarrassing stories about his childhood. 🙂  

Post # 8
5398 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Just because you got married doesn’t necessarily mean all of a sudden you’ll be more integrated or comfortable with them than before. I’m like you and don’t have much to talk to my inlaws about, but just ask them simple stuff like how work has been.  My Mother-In-Law really LOVES her orchids and knitting/crocheting type projects, so I ask her about those and she can go on and on forever about that.  I’m not into it, but it’s to be nice and show interest in things she likes.  When she cooks, I usually am fluttering around her helping her out and asking questions…makes her feel good to teach me things and even though I know how to cook you do learn different tricks from different people.  

What is your relationship like with his siblings?  I’m pretty friendly with my husbands twin brother, I would even consider him a brother.  Usually the siblings are easier to get along with.

I don’t feel too close to my inlaws or anything, but we are friendly.  Honestly, much of the time I don’t enjoy spending with them because my Father-In-Law likes to always talk about the same things over and over.  He also likes to talk about my personal family problems with my dad even though I don’t like to talk about it, but he likes to dig.  I just don’t like to share too much of my personal stuff with them because I honestly feel like they are a little judgemental.  Plus, we got into what I’ll call a real estate disagreement with my inlaws and since then I’m a little untrusting of them and we’ve both been a little less close to them as a result.   There have been a couple times where I felt like they weren’t respectful in their actions with me or us, but at the end of the day they are family.   They are really nice people and all, but I don’t expect to ever be best friends with them and either way, I try to be as friendly, respectful, and cordial as possible when we are together. 

Post # 9
208 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

I agree with previous posts that there’s not an immediate connection after marriage (unfortunately, right?) What it really comes down to is simply spending more time with the ILs. Like with anyone else, it takes time to develop a relationship. The previous advice to try to connect with a sibling is good; sometimes it’s easier to make a connection with someone closer to your age. And don’t worry about becoming BFF with everyone in one trip. Being comfortable with one or two relatives can make every visit easier, and then you can build from there. For me, I first got comfortable with my school-age niece and nephew first, who are very outgoing and whose mother appreciated that I’d play with them. And if the going really gets tough, accept that you can’t win them all but always remain civil and polite. I get along amicably with all my in-laws except one SIL. Our relationship is terse, but we mutually try to keep our distance so that it’s not an issue. I hold my comebacks and eye-rolling until we get home.

Finding conversation topics can be a challenge some times. In general, try to go along with whatever is already being talked about. Notice what your ILs like to talk about. For my ILs, it’s the weather, so I always ask what the weather has been like and comment on what weather we’ve been having. Also ask about things they are interested in. For example, my Mother-In-Law is an avid quilter. I know nothing about quilting, but always ask her about it. My Brother-In-Law is really into hunting. Again, I know nothing about it, but I’m learning (“oooh… a 7-point elk you say? Good job!”) and at least nod with interest. And everyone – including myself – gets a laugh when I respond in a totally inappropriate way (“Oh, the city girl who married into the country family said/did something silly again!”). And try to find anything that you both are interested in. For example, one SIL is an English teacher, so we always talk about our latest reads. You can also ask about your DH’s childhood, as most parents love to relay funny stories.

And when in doubt, always ask to help (particularly at meal time). Distracting yourself with slicing the bread, tossing the salad, or clearing the dishes can take the pressure off trying to hold on a conversation, plus your ILs will appreciate that you want to help. And ALWAYS complement their cooking!

Post # 10
1718 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2008 - Winery in the Gold Country

I’ve always tried not to have many boundaries when it comes to my in laws.  It might come off as forward right off the bat but it really worked for our relationship.  I have really great in laws, but there is always a bit of awkwardness with people that you are ‘forced’ into relationships with.  But I just tried to dive right in and be one of their kids, and it worked pretty great!  Like peachypear mentioned, it always scores points when you’re helpful as much as you can be, with cooking or cleaning up messes, or whatever it is that your Mother-In-Law is doing. Be helpful and useful and loving, and I think that in time you’ll be just one of their kids!

 While I don’t quite feel comfortable just calling up my Mother-In-Law to chit chat (except when it comes close to us coming over for vacation), I email both my Mother-In-Law and step Mother-In-Law a few times a month just to update them with our everyday lives… they really like that!  And its nice to know what they’re doing too.  My in laws read my blog too so thats a nice passive way to keep up with eachothers lives.  But anyway, by keeping up with eachothers lives on a bi-monthly basis or so, I find it much less awkward when we actually DO get together, because we all feel like we know what’s been going on with eachother, and it seems like a lot less pressure.

Post # 11
1573 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I am lucky my in-laws are very nice to me, my sister-in-law tries to invite me out every week. His dad is a gem and his grandad is very friendly.


the only problem is I moved to Europe and I miss my family especially my sister and my cute baby nieces which I cant see grow up anymore so it makes me feel bad I have to be with his family and cant be with mine, I get a little jealous too he gets to see his family and I dont; I understand this is where he comes from, so I have to adjust so now, to compromise I just hang out with his family occasionally not two weeks like my hubby does, my hubby has also toned down his attachment and what I think over-involvement to his family and their overinvolvement in his, I had resigned myself they would be calling many times, but am actually relieved he toned down, I thought he was calling them outside of the house. I knew he was attached before but didnt know how much it would bother me til after especially since mine wasnt as accessible. But I am adjusting and my hubby is slowly releasing his family. 


So we are slowly adjusting to in-law life. I should be thankful I dont have the usual inlaw fights and  animosity, it’s just a  different type of challenge. Good luck to all of us.


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