(Closed) Relationship with your in-laws.. What do i do?

posted 5 years ago in Family
Post # 2
2403 posts
Buzzing bee

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diana11206:  I’ll be honest with you Bee, I think it’s unrealistic to expect to have a close relationship with your in-laws when (1) your husband isn’t close to them himself, and (2) they don’t live nearby.

Furthermore, It’s a little strange to me that you’re “making this about you.” What I mean by that is this: Your husband doesn’t have a close relationship with his parents, and therefore you don’t have a close relationship with your in-laws. You didn’t mention that HE’S unhappy with the relationship. If he’s happy with their relationship, why does it bother you so much? 

I’m sure you’ve heard other Bee’s say that you can’t expect your boyfriend/fiance to change just because you get married – you can’t expect your in-laws to change (or your husband to change his relationship with them) just because you’re married either.

I think you should do some internal searching to try and figure out why it’s so important to you that you have a close relationship with them. You said they’re kind, polite, they care about you – why is this not enough? 


Post # 3
202 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

Neither my in-laws or parents were present during wedding prep, dress shopping, etc. In my opinion, they are not required to be there.

Nice, yeah, but people have their own lives. Relationships take work and if you want it to work, then put in the effort. Skype or FaceTime once a month. That doesn’t sound unreasonable. And maybe the routine of it will get them to be more involved. Because they are out of state, they may feel like they are intruding or getting in the way of their son’s life. At least, that’s how my parents explain it.

I don’t talk to my in-laws too often. We talk on the phone maaaaaybe once a month, emphasis on maybe. Any more than that would be excessive for all of us.

It sounds like your personal family is really close, which is why you feel so down about the in-laws? But it almost makes you choke to call them family? That doesn’t sound very nice. Family is family, regardless if they call you every night. If my husband said/thought that about my family, I would not be happy at all.

In my circle of friends, it’s normal to have separate lives from in-laws. We all do our own thing and catch up randomly. Just keep showing your love 🙂

Post # 4
965 posts
Busy bee

i think if you want a close relationship with your in laws then you can try and form one but this doesn’t improve overnight. It takes effort. Let me ask you a few questions. 

1. Do you visit them on your own when your dh isn’t there? 

2. Have you tried calling them first? 

personally a good first start would be for you to call them first and by doing that you are showing them how serious you are about building a relationship with your inlaws. Next up if you are visiting them, ask your mother in law to have coffee with you just the two of you. Get to know her on a personal level if you hang out with her one on one I.e. Having coffee or going out to lunch. Also on her birthday send her a gift or card or better yet Mother’s Day send her one too. 

Post # 6
47439 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I would encourage you not to judge your relationship by your own definition. You have a vision of what the perfect relationship with the inlaws looks like. Their definition of a perfect relationship with their daughter-in-law may be quite different. They may think that by staying out of your business, they are the ideal in laws.

Keep reaching out, encourage them to call when they can “We’d love to hear from you!” but don’t expect them to change their basic nature.

Post # 7
603 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

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diana11206:  I honestly think I’ve seen my Father-In-Law less than 10 times since DH and I have been together – which is just shy of 5 years, and he lives about 20 minutes away from us. Two of those times were for our rehearsal dinner and wedding. He and DH aren’t close and honestly I don’t really worry about it.

The only thing that upsets me is that my mom recently invited my Father-In-Law and his gf to our family thanksgiving (we invite both DH’s parents), and we found out this year that he and his girlfriend host holidays and have their friends over and don’t invite my husband. I haven’t said anything to DH because I don’t want him to be upset, and he hasn’t expressed any emotions over it. TBH, it does make it easier because it’s one less place we have to split time, but I do wish for DH’s sake that he’d at least extend the invite. It’s weird to me especially because my parents are always there for us and a big presence in our lives.

My Mother-In-Law on the other hand is kind of clingy but she’s coming from a good place, it just feels slightly suffocating. She’s the same way with DH, he’s the only child, and it’s gotten way more intense now that we’re expecting our first baby.

I agree with PP’s that you should expect whatever relationship they have with their son to be similar to whatever relationship you’ll have with them. They’re not close, so I don’t think they’d go any extra mile to be close to you either. It’s a shame that parents can be so uninvolved in their childrens lives – even as adults, but again… different strokes!

Post # 8
3436 posts
Sugar bee

I firmly believe that the only expectations the married couple should have about in-laws and vice versa is that everyone be nice, polite and respectful. Anything more (I.e., how close everyone is) is a solely a function of the person who has the expectation that is not being met. Remember, that expectation was set before anyone even knew who would be the in-law (for example, moms who say “I’ve always dreamed of a close relation with my FDIL since I only have sons” or whatever.) In-laws have been living with their personalities and forms of communication for at least 50 years. The bride/groom has been their own person for decades, too. Everyone comes from a different background, lives somewhere else, whatever. All anyone is obligated to do is be a nice, respectful person to their new family member. Expecting the in-law to conform to a preconceived notion of what the relationship should be may not always be successful but that is ok.

Post # 9
9840 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

They’re just not that into you.

Some people are just not that close with their parents. That’s okay. They are respecting you as adults and peers and I think that’s way better than some clingy, nosy inlaws.

Post # 10
2849 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

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Westwood:  +1

This is how it is with my Mother-In-Law and honestly its perfect 🙂 My Fiance and I are both kind of loners who mainly prefer just the company of eachother… so any more involvment from his or my parents would probably easily annoy me.

Post # 11
569 posts
Busy bee

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diana11206:  I could have written a similar post to yours but I wouldn’t because I’m so grateful that my in laws are kind and respectful.  They don’t even have my phone # and I don’t have theirs.  I’ve heard and read so many horror stories about in-laws.  My cousin’s Mother-In-Law once told her “if you were my daughter, I’d slap you.”  I’ll take my quiet little Mother-In-Law any day over that!

I think you have to accept that if you want to have a closer relationship with them, you are going to have to do the work.  They are probably just busy and going about their lives.  They tell you they love you and your Father-In-Law said he would try harder so they want to have a good relationship with you.  I’m sorry it’s not what you imagined but I think you should be grateful.  There are so many worse alternatives.

Post # 12
155 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

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Soon2bmrs1:  I agree with this completely!

I can also offer some perspective from the other side – my husband’s older sister is always saying that she wishes she and her family were closer to us, however, other than a few random text messages and Facebook messages and seeing her on holidays, that’s about the extent of our relationship with her. I feel like if she wants us to be closer, the burden is kind of on her to make plans to hang out. I’m certainly not opposed to being closer with them, but I feel like in order to do that, we would have to spend time together and that just hasn’t happened. You mentioned phone calls, but do you go visit them? At least to me, I’m just never going to feel all that close to someone I talk to on the phone or via Facebook but never spend any time with them in person.

Post # 13
2180 posts
Buzzing bee

Last I checked phones work both ways. You said it yourself, it’s really easy to stay in touch when you want to–and it sounds like you only initiated contact when you had to during wedding planning and assumed they would suddenly start being more involved in your life. If all you’re doing is occasionally liking a facebook status now, why are you expecting them to be your best friends?

Post # 14
1385 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

It sounds like they may think that’s what a good relationship is! I’m sure they are loving you in their own way. Honestly, that sounds kind of nice to me. My Future Mother-In-Law lives REALLY close and she comes over nearly every single day unannounced and is very opinionated about every single aspect of my life and my fiance’s life and it drives me a little crazy lol. My fiance’s parents are divorced, and not remarried, and have a lot of time ;). Just tell them how you feel 🙂

Post # 15
1399 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

From the sounds of it, I think I’d kill to have your in laws… 

Grass isn’t always greener – I promise!!

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