Post # 1
I’m going to try to make this short and to the point:
I absolutely love my in-laws- they are very kind, want the best for us both, and love me dearly. Sure there are annoyances here and there…but overall I’m super lucky to have them as in-laws.
However, I am Greek-American (I grew up in the States) and they are 100% Greek…our cultural differences are leading to some issues right now.
- I am an only child and my parents live in the States still. They tell me things like “Live your lives, don’t worry about us, enjoy your private time as newlyweds, etc.”- My Father-In-Law said to me two days before the wedding “I hope you don’t forget us.” They have two children that live no more than 30 minutes away. Thanks.
- Mother-In-Law called us twice on our honeymoon. I’m sorry but to me this is downright STRANGE. We called them from the airport. I think that should have been enough for 7 days until we got back.
- When Darling Husband went by his house to pick up some more of his clothes when we got back from our honeymoon, Mother-In-Law was suggesting he just eat there since they had food ready. He of course said he would eat with me (our first night in our home together as newlyweds for God’s sake!!)
- She calls every. day. Once a day. One day Darling Husband didn’t answer his phone, and the next day she was asking why he didn’t answer his phone and she was hurt.
Darling Husband and I had MANY talks about this before we married and I was VERY VERY clear about what I wanted our boundaries to be with both of our families. Boundaries and space are really important to me.
We agreed to have Sunday lunch with them once a month. This is ideal for both me and Darling Husband. But I don’t like her calling everyday and her asking all the time when we are going to stop by.
Darling Husband has said that it has only been a few weeks and they are probably going to get the hint after a few more weeks that we want our space. He says its still super early and he is hoping after a little more time passes, it will stop. His mom still gets all teary about him leaving the house. (He lived in an apartment below hers in the same building).
I’m so annoyed.
The good thing is, that Darling Husband has promised to set boundaries if things don’t change. Also, he would never ever eat there rather than with me, etc…I don’t have issues with him…but his parents are annoying the crap out of me.
It really bothers me that they are thinking more about their own desire to have their son around, rather than thinking of us and our desire to have some space and private time. My parents are the opposite so its REALLY hard for me to tolerate.
Do you all think its normal for Mother-In-Law to call once a day every day??? It strikes me as so odd.
Post # 3
ha! my Mother-In-Law is greek also and has called us while on our honeymoon, on vacations etc…. but then again so has my italian mom and both have learnt that we wont answer the phone and rarely return phone calls unless the message is its urgent/someone is sick. oh, and my Mother-In-Law & Father-In-Law live right next door and both hubbys brothers live in the same street
as a result of not over sharing with them we only have about 2 lunches per year with them and i can go weeks without seeing them, hubby drops over next door about once a week to say hi – im not ignoring them but im busy and tired and just want to go home and relax
his married brother on the other hand, who never set boundries is at their house almost every day, the inlaws have a say in almost everything they do (MIL picked my SILs e-ring and their furnishings including the hideous white and gold bedroom furniture).
my inlaws are lovely people but you have to set boundries NOW. to start with dont answer the phone, dont return the call for a few hours and when you do say you have other things to do and are busy. her phoning every day is a habit and its time to break it
Post # 4
Omg. Your Mother-In-Law and my Future Father-In-Law are the same people.
Except Future Father-In-Law calls Fiance several times a day (usually to say nothing and/or to ask a pointless question). I don’t mind Fiance answering, unless of course we are doing something else…in which case he’ll ignore it. However when he ignores it, chances are Future Father-In-Law will then call ME! We’ve sort of curbed this over the years but it’s still somewhat of an issue.
I just wanted to share that you’re not alone in this. My parents are exactly like yours unless they have something important to talk about – like right now, my Mom and wedding stuff. It’s just super strange to see how others do it. I wouldn’t say one way or another is normal/abnormal, because who knows? But we do all have what WE consider normal and what others do. Adapting to it is sometimes strange.
And also, random addition regarding the don’t forget us comment? We got one too! Not at the wedding (obviously) but when we moved into our house. We had been living 2-ish hours away and when we decided to finally buy a house we wanted one close-ish to our parents. My Mom’s is about 25 mins away, his Dad’s is about 25 mins away. Future Father-In-Law says, “I’ll probably see you less now that you’re closer.” Um…….*crickets*
Post # 5
Maybe I’m the odd one out, but I don’t see the big deal. I speak to my parents at least once a day, and so does he, sometimes multiple times a day. When we go on vacation, we either call or email daily just so they know we are still alive. We live about an hour away now but still try to see our parents at least twice a month. Then again, we both come from typical Russian families and it seems to be the norm. My parents speak to my grandparents multiple times a day, and they live in the same building so they se each other every day.
Post # 6
@eloping: You understand! 🙂 Greek moms with their sons…lol.
Darling Husband promises to set boundaries with them at the end of the month if it continues. He thinks it may fade out on its own, and that they’ll get the hint. If they don’t he’ll say something.
A month after marriage isn’t too long to wait to set the boundaries, right?
@AmeliaBedelia: Sigh. I understand parents love their children, but when they are needy like that it just makes kids want to run the other way. Its so great that my parents respect the fact that we are newlyweds and the more space they give us, the more I want to call them.
Its dangerous I think when parents continue to want to be fulfilled by their children after they are married!
@Monkey68: I actually like extended families being close. Im happy to see DH’s parents once a month for lunch which is pretty often and to talk once or twice a week. I want them to be a big part of our children’s lives as well.
However- the combo of calling on our honeymoon (im sorry that’s just weird to me), calling every day, being upset that Darling Husband didnt answer one day, asking him to eat at her house instead of at mine, getting weepy when he stops by… no no no no no. Its too much.
Post # 7
I am getting married to a Greek Man (or should I say a Greek family) next week. I don’t mind that they speak everyday, but I have put my foot down at personal things being discussed, like the time I went to the gynecologist and Fiance decided that was something appropriate to share with his family. I have lived away from my country from years and am very independent and it is hard for me to accept that level of interest and input in our lives and have discussed boundaries with Fiance which are now in place (I asked him how he’d feel if I started discussing him going for a private-parts checkup with everybody left, right and centre and he got it).
I don’t think his mother would be able to sleep without asking him what he had to eat that day though! lol!
Just a question, why does it bother you so much that he speaks to them daily? Are they usually long telephone conversations, or just a quick catch-up? Does he call her at all? The honeymoon calling and the weeping when he leaves is a bit OTT though, especially if you visit regularly.
Post # 8
I am not on good terms with my mom at the moment when I was I talked to her everyday. I still talk to my dad a couple times of week. That is what normal for us. I think as long as she is calling your hubby and not you and he isn
t bothered by it dont make a big deal out of it. I think how he is is dealing with it is fine. Other things sounds inconsiderate like asking him to dinner but not malcious or mean on her part. I think its an adjustment period and hopefully she learns to adjust quickly.
Post # 9
@Cariad: LOL at Future Mother-In-Law needing to know what your Fiance eats everyday!
I think everyday is too much…especially when he gets upset f one day goes by that e doesnt answer. Seriously? One day goes by without talking and youre upset?
Also its the calling in combo w/everything else…I want her to stop needing him and to get used to the fact that we will get together pretty regularly and other than that she needs to give us some space.
She gives me the impression that she relies on her kids too much for her own happiness.
Post # 10
I also don’t find this too strange, although can be annoying. Fiance talks to both his parents and his sister at least once a day, oftentimes more. They’re very close, and enjoy talking to each other. It may be different for us since we don’t live near them at all, so he doesn’t see them as much as he’d like. On the other hand, I talk to my parents only once a week, and his family finds this strange. But regardless, I don’t think it’s weird. At least they’re being nice and supportive, and not calling to criticize things!
Post # 11
@TwoCityBride: If some time passes and she adjusts we’ll be fine. if this continues, we’re going to have an issue.
I just want to emphasize as I said in my earlier post- it isn’t just the calling. Its the overall impression (and even Darling Husband agrees) that she relies on her children for fulfillment. She has a husband and a job- and a grandchild….Darling Husband and I are newly married and I want her to think of us, not only herself.
I feel like my parents are so selfless in the way that their only child is across the ocean and they still want to tell me not to worry about them, and for us to live our own lives, etc…
When they live 25 minutes away and get so needy..I find it…troubling.
Post # 12
Sorry, I know Im going against general consensus a bit but I think you are being a bit selfish.
My parents are super relaxed too, I went travelling with my fiance for 5 weeks in bali, malaysia and hong kong. My parents were happy with the odd text to say I was ok and I think I spoke on the phone to them once. My fiances Italian mum called every day. She was also constantly worrying about any activites we were doing, whether the food was clean, what we were we drinking. She even called us in the middle of the night once to tell us there had been an earthquake in Malaysia and were we safe – we were about 300 miles away and it was so tiny it didnt even get reported on the news. The way I see it is that its a cultural thing first of all – he always speaks to her every day and whenever we travel she always wants to know the flight number and when we arrive.
Shes been a stay at home mum all her life and doesnt have a lot going on in her life, hobbies etc. The way I see it is thats her son who she spent 18+years loving and caring for and who she basically loves more than anything in the world. 98% of the time hes with me, I really cant begrudge her the 2% of the time she gets his attention if it makes an older lady feel happy and secure knowing her baby is safe and happy.
Post # 13
@Mrsvbtobe: I definitely appreciate your perspective. We’ll have to agree to disagree though.
The thing is, I am not being extreme. I want to get together with them once a month for lunch, I would love to chat with them once a week. If we are visiting stores around their house, we’ll stop by.
I’d appreciate a little respect for our space.
Post # 14
I think you need to get your hubby to have a word with her and let her know where the line is, she has to cut the apron strings at some point
Post # 15
@Evie19: I also may not have an opinion that is popular, and may even sound harsh. I am very much not a fan of the whole clingy-mother-to-her-son thing. I think it’s a bit off-putting. I am very fortunate that Future Mother-In-Law is not at all like this with Fiance, they are a very independent family, have had some hard times in the past decade which sort of caused them to distance themeselevs (not from each other and not for hostile reasons, just because things are very hard for FI’s parents and they both work a lot, etc).
That being said, I am very much of the opinion that when two people get married, they are now the new family. I realize people still have other family members and I’m not saying once you get married screw everyone and never see your parents again. But the obsessive need to gain a sense of fulfillment from your son is–for lack of a better word–kind of creepy IMO. I think some IL’s, regardless of culture, need to understand that they need to let go and let their sons grow into their new families and roles has husbands, because like it or not, MIL’s, the wife is now the highest priority, the most important, and the central figure in your son’s life. Just like he is now the central figure in her life. That’s how I was raised, and that’s what I believe. I think it’s very apporpirate to set boundaries. I think your compromise to have a set amount of time to visit them for lunchest, etc, is a really good step. I think with clingy mom’s like his, if you give her an inch, she’ll take a mile. If she is just calling to worry him or talk about nonsense, or lay a bit of a guilt trip that they don’t see you enough, etc. It’s your marriage and it’s about what makes you comfortable
Post # 16
Well it depends totally on you if this is too much. I can see why you would think so, but I dont think so.
I talk to my mom usually once a day and sometimes more than that. I talk to Mother-In-Law often and if we lived within driving distance I would guarantee that we would see them at least once a week. That is what family is to me.
I also get that some people just ask questions that seem totally too prying, but they usually come from the right place. This is just how they interact. My aunt is like this and it doesnt bother me, but drives my mom bonkers.