Post # 1
What kind of relationship do you have or want with your in-laws?
FI’s family lives 14 hours away. Because of this, I’ve only met them a handful of times. We’re friends on facebook (his sisters, mom, and I) and occasionally we’ll talk on the phone. But the vast majority of conversations and stuff happen when we go visit (1-4 times per year). Our visits are typically 3-5 days and full of family stuff like picnics or dinners with the whole gang. I just don’t know if I should initiate more contact or not. Fiance kind of acts like (though he hasn’t come out and said it) I should pick up the phone and call him mom or sister or whatever. I mean, he doesn’t. He wasn’t even going to send Christmas cards last year! I don’t actively communicate on facebook with them, like send messages or IMs or write on their walls. His sister will comment on my statuses almost every time I post a new one.
I don’t really feel like I want a relationship with his sisters that extends beyond seeing them at Christmas and stuff. I mean, once we have kids, I don’t really want them to expect to be included in everything. (One of his sisters is practically raising the other sister’s children, I mean, she takes them to the dentist and everything. I’m sorry but I want to raise my children the way I see fit and be the one to take them to the dentist or whatever.) I would prefer to carry on the same level of relationship with FSILs as I do with my brother, which is the occasional text or facebook comments and hanging out a few times a year. I just get the feeling that they want more of a relationship with Fiance and I.
What kind of relationship do you have with your in-laws?
Post # 3
well i’m a bit confused why you’re worried about how they’ll interact with your future kids… they live 14 hours away, so i’m pretty sure they won’t be taking anyone to the dentist. it kind of sounds to me like you’re worrying over nothing. you currently have the kind of relationship you want to have with them (minimal contact, random posts on FB) and if you think your Fiance has any problems with that then why don’t you just ASK him? and to answer your question, I have a great relationship with my in-laws. They live only 2 hours away, so we see them all the time. My husband is very close with his family so that has led to me being close to them as well. they are really great! maybe you should give them a chance, if it does turn out they want more of a relationship with you. that’s a good thing! they’re extending a welcome into their family, which is what marriage is all about.
Post # 4
I agree with the previous post. I think living that far away will prevent a closer relationship unless you actively seek one out. If you are not interested in having a closer relationship with them, I would just continue what you are doing (seeing each other at holidays, talking online). If your Fiance wants you to be a little closer, you could just call to catch up every now and agin? I do not think an extra phone call here and there could hurt. It does not surprise me about the Christmas cards. I have been in charge of gifts and cards since FI and I started dating! lol.
To answer your question, I love my future in-laws. I live a few hours away from them, but Fiance and I visit often and for most holidays. I talk to his sister on the phone and sometimes on facebook. They actually bought the land next door to his sister’s house for us to build a house on if we want. If we find jobs out there, I will be neighbors with the in-laws (his parents also live on the street).
Post # 5
I think it couldnt hurt to reach out to them with an additional phone call once in a while. You never know when you will actually want/need their help in the future. And being that you are not next door I think it would be hard for them to be overly involved in your future children. Sister relationships is very different than sister/brother-sister inlaw anyways. Just because the sisters raise their children that way its likely they wouldnt expect the same with you.
Does your fiance reach out to your parents or family? I have to constantly remind my fiance that he has to do the same that I do. A phone call or additional email that he instigates.
My inlaws are across the county. I call his mom every few weeks. When her and my FH talk in skype I pop my head in. We skype together with his sisters, I sent random emails and facebook. I do that because 1) they are nice people 2) when I am there for holidays I want to be part of the family not “just FH’s fiance”.
Post # 6
I would also agree that being 14 hours away will deter them from having any more of a relationship then you want. I’d also say that even if you are close friends with them it’s your choice how much of an influence they have in your life! For instance, my sis in law will give me advice on things, but if I want her to butt out then I let her know and she does. It’s up to you to create the boundries that you want, and you can create those regardless of whether it’s people that you keep at arms length and never really talk to or if it’s family that you that you talk to/see all the time. If you do choose to have a deeper relationship with your in-laws but you let them walk all over you, then that’s because you aren’t setting up boundries.
I have a great relationship with my in-laws. I really wish they were closer and I know I’ll wish that even more when we have kids. My in-laws are 6k miles away, living in Europe (my hubby is Dutch), and we make a point of writing them emails every couple of days. I have most of the family friended on facebook, and most of them are on my MSN as well.
Post # 7
I guess we are total opposites. His fam lives about a 15 minute drive away and my fam is a 5 minute walk away. Once we have kids I suspect there will be a lot of involvement from his fam and my fam. I don’t mind so much. His mom is super looking forward to grandkids. I’ll probably be thrilled if his sis or my sis wants to take ’em to the dentist. I get what you’re saying though. Too much involvement could be a problem. Lay down ground rules early.
Post # 8
@lefeymw: I’m really interested in something you said: “I have to constantly remind my fiance that he has to do the same that I do.”
Could you explain that a bit more? Why do you have to remind him – does he want to talk to his family but forget or is it something else?
Post # 9
He is the type that he doesnt even call his friends from across the country. I have to remind him that relationships go both ways and he has to call/email my family as well as his friends and even his family. He has a tendency to just not do that type of thing. All though recently (as in the last year) he has been really good about it. I think he had to get into the routine of doing it.
Also, I think a lot of people think/assume the female should reach out and manage all the relationships (IE be chummy with ILs), but they dont expect the man to do the same. I think both male and females should make an effort with both sides of the family. I see that often with my friends. The females work hard to make sure they get along with the ILs, but the guys somehow are only required to show up and smile at family events.
Post # 10
I like my future in-laws very much. They live nearby, but they rarely go anywhere other than to work, so we don’t see them very often (we probably see my parents, who live 400 miles away, more often).
My Future Mother-In-Law doesn’t have a daughter, so she sort of dotes on me as if I am her daughter and is always interested in what’s going on in my life. But similar to your situation, because I rarely see them, I wouldn’t call us “close.” I’ve never spent time with her without my Fiance and would probably feel awkward if I did.
My Future Father-In-Law is quirky and a bit anti-social, and four years into the relationship, I still don’t feel like I really know him. But he’s a nice guy.
Post # 11
My in-laws are great. They live about 30 minutes away, so Darling Husband and I see them all the time. Mother-In-Law takes us out for lunch once a week to catch up and once in awhile, she takes us out to dinner just because.
Mother-In-Law, Father-In-Law, and SIL hang out at our house on weekends. My grandmother, who raised me, died when I was a teenager and because of that Mother-In-Law has sort of taken me under her wing. I’m not as close to Father-In-Law because he’s kind of the quirky loner type, but I do like him very much. SIL and I get along well considering she’s eight years younger than me and still in high school.
Post # 12
My family is all in DC and I live in Raleigh, where my FH’s family is. When I moved down here two years ago, I knew no one and my in-laws were really great to make me feel like I had family here, even before we got engaged. So we’re pretty close. We go there for Sunday night dinners each week. FH talks to his parents a few times each week and I will call every now and then, especially with the planning. It’s really important to me for them to feel like they’re my family and for me to feel like a part of their family–we’re getting married after all! At the same time, his parents are the opposite of overbearing. They don’t like imposing on us and always tell us that we need to do what’s best for us, that’s we’re a family now, etc. (They’re moving back up to DC where my parents are as well, but don’t want us to feel pressured to move there too). My parents are the same way with FH. I keep them up to date about what’s going on with them, and everynow and then my dad will call FH to talk about stuff.
Post # 13
Well this is tricky for me, in that technically I don’t have in laws. Mr. G has unfortunately lost both of his parents to cancer. He is close to the Aunts and Uncles he has though, and so am I.
Within hours of meeting one Aunt, she told Mr. G that I was a keeper, and had leant me her copy of ‘The Girl Who Played with Fire’, as she knew I was starting to read the ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’. Mr. G gets on well with my Mum, but has yet to meet my Dad, as he lives in England.
It breaks my heart to read on the boards the troubles that some bees experience at the hands of their extended families. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, life is too damn short! Love with an open heart <3
Post # 14
My IL’s are all long distance, so we communicate via email and facebook. They are the only ones who comment on my FB updates, haha! My own family ignores me 🙂
They’re all really nice and I treasure the time I get to spend with them. The way I see it is they made Darling Husband the person he is today so I am forever grateful to them. And I encourage Darling Husband to stay close with them regardless of time or money concerns. I wish I lived closer to my Mother-In-Law because sometimes I think she’s a much better fit than my own mother! (JK!)
Post # 15
I love my in-laws more than I love my own family. With the exception of my mother in law. She has a problem with keeping her mouth shut. But I love his father, I love his aunts and uncles and cousins. I’m able to be myself 100% and when we get to drinking it’s like we’re all blood related. I love them so much.
Post # 16
I think the example I gave regarding children and the dentist was a bad example. A better example would be them telling my children things behind my back. His sister told her nieces that their mom was bad at talking about puberty and sex and boys so they should come to her with questions instead of their mom. This would hurt me greatly. I may be worrying over nothing but they’ve been very behind-my-back about the wedding. They’ve even lied straight to my face about a few (albeit minor) things.
Given that they’ve been disrespectful and somewhat conniving during the wedding planning process, I don’t know that I want a significant relationship with them. I honestly think that they have good intentions, but they’re just bad at carrying out those good intentions. Like his sister telling the nieces to come to her with questions… I think she had good intentions, letting the nieces know she was a trusted adult should they have questions/concerns they didn’t feel comfortable going to their mom about… But the way it was said was downright awful!
And that’s been the case with the wedding planning. They may have good intentions, but they’ve been disrespectful in carrying out those intentions, if that makes any sense. I just don’t know how to deal with that. They’re completely different from my family. My family is straight-forward and his family beats around the bush. I never know what they’re really thinking and I just don’t know how to improve the communication to improve the relationship or if I should just let it be as it is.