Referred to as in laws

posted 12 months ago in Family
Post # 31
Hostess
1590 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

I think this just makes it awkward for those people who are wondering when the wedding took place/ logically it doesn’t make sense some times. For instance my friend was at a party and an old friend of ours introduced his girlfriend as his “wife”. My friend automatically congratulated them and asked when they got married and they weren’t which led to some awkward moments haha. 

Post # 32
Member
2254 posts
Buzzing bee

I don’t like it when it’s done seriously. People joke around with it sometimes which I don’t have a problem with.

These terms have to do with the law, so using them incorrectly — because that’s what that is no matter how long you’ve been together unless common law marriage rules apply — gets on my nerves. 

It would be like someone repeatedly saying they’re, well, anything that involves signing and submitting actual legal papers without actually having done so.

“I’m a dual citizen.”

“Really, for how long?”

“Yes. Well, I’ve never gone through the process, I just go back and forth between both countries a lot.”

It’s the same thing with “in-laws”:

“That’s my father-in-law.” 

“Really? I didn’t know you and so-and-so were married.”

”Well, we’re not actually married, but (insert justification here).”

Post # 33
Member
35 posts
Newbee

Lol who cares?!?!

Don’t people have better things to be annoyed about?

Post # 34
Member
1392 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2018

For the public it doesn’t bother me but when my dad does it with his partner, he calls her his wife even though legally she’s just a girlfriend, they aren’t engaged or married but they are in a long term relationship that started when he was still married to my mom legally…I feel bad for her b/c clearly she wants to be his wife legally but doesn’t want to upset him so she settles for long term “wife”. She’s not my stepmom legally so I have a hard time describing her to someone else. Right now I’m just saying partner but that sounds wrong too…

Post # 35
Member
6158 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2016

sboom :  That’s awesome. I’m glad to hear we aren’t the only ones who enjoyed the playfulness of the title!

Post # 36
Member
725 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

soexcited123 :  I don’t really care as long as people aren’t annoying about it. I think it’s usually said out of endearment/ not wanting to spend 5 minutes explaining your relation to that person. I haven’t called his parents my in-laws yet but his niece is already “my niece”. 

Post # 37
Member
536 posts
Busy bee

Why would that be annoying? We don’t have a good easy term for the relationship and it can be a deep and meaningful one. Family is not about what the law says. I have aunts and uncles and nieces and nephews who aren’t LEGALLY in that role——good family friends, my college friends children etc. that’s no different.

Post # 38
Member
1141 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

Doesn’t worry me at all. My fiance’s mom started referring to me as daughter in law as soon as we got engaged because she’s excited. I think it’s nice.

Post # 39
Member
510 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

I was referred to as DiL before we were even engaged.  It was a bit odd at that point, but didn’t really bother me.  It more told me that they cared about me that way.

Post # 40
Member
1935 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

personaperson :  The same thing doesn’t apply to terms like aunt/uncle because those aren’t legal terms. An aunt is a blood relation, or some people refer to a close friend as such, but there’s no law behind it. But for husband/wife, those are legal terms. Someone legally pronounces a couple in a ceremony. Legal paperwork is filed or a couple meets the legal requirements for common law. Its all law. It’s not the same as familial relationships, so that’s not a good comparison. 

Post # 41
Member
536 posts
Busy bee

Actually, as estate planning makes clear (and also laws about, say incest, there IS a legal definition for those relationships. Just as there is for grandparent (family law is very clear on these things.) And yet there is a clear role of “grandparent” that does not match that legal definition but rather it’s social equivalent. I had many grandparents to whom I had no blood or legal marriage relationship ship. They were grandparents just the same.

Why insist the law defines our relationships. Why does it make any difference? 

knotyet :  

Post # 42
Member
1935 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

personaperson :  For grandparents, and other familial relationships of that type, those people are not legally yours by choice. Unless it’s adoption, which the parents choose to make that relationship legal.  At least in the US, your legal spouse is your choice. So, I guess in my mind that’s the difference. If you want to call someone your wife, legally make that person your wife. Why play pretend?

Post # 43
Member
394 posts
Helper bee

I’ve been happily unmarried for over 15 years, and we all refer to each other as in-laws. Nobody here (UK) seems to find it weird or care. I’d never do it for anything formal/official, though!

It is inaccurate but I don’t see why anyone would care what I call my partner’s parents or vice versa…

Post # 44
Member
6588 posts
Bee Keeper

I don’t mind the term for parents, because its a lot easier to say “visiting the in-laws” vs “visiting josephs parents” or whatever. 

that said, I hate it when unmarried couples call each other wife and husband. Those don’t seem easier, and it seems to me like, if you want her to be your wife, marry her? If you want him to be your husband, get down to the courthouse! But then again, as a long time gf (now wife) I HATED it when he called me wife so probably just my own feelings there haha. 

Post # 45
Member
345 posts
Helper bee

I do refer to my boyfriend’s parents as in laws and his sister that I know as my sister in law (though not the two that I don’t know because that feels uncomfortable to me for some reason!) Honestly for me it’s just a convenience thing – “My boyfriend’s mother” is trickier to say than “My mother in law” 

I didn’t begin calling them this until after my boyfriend promised a proposal was coming – not sure if that makes sense? 

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