I haven't posted on here in a long time, but recently something has come up and I need somewhere to get it out. Advice and insights, please.
My parents and my IL's have known each other for over 10 years now, and they appear to get along well. We all live within about an hour of each other, so my IL's and my parents often invite each other to holiday gatherings and big family functions.
A year and a half ago, my parents made an effort to hang out with the IL's, just the four of them. The IL's kind of blew them off. Eventually, after my parents had asked a few times and my IL's kept canceling and/or putting no effort in, my parents gave up. (I've posted here about this issue before). My parents confided to me that they were disappointed and hurt, but they were going to accept that my IL's apparently didn't want to be best friends with them. In the end my parents are just glad that my family and DH's family can all be in the same room together, and they're not going to do anything to cause drama and jeopardize that.
When all of this happened, I talked to DH about it. He offered to talk to his parents and see what was up with them, but I asked him not to.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago. DH is hanging out with his mom and they're having some deep conversations, and DH finally comes right out and asks her if there was some reason she doesn't want to spend one-on-one time with my parents. MIL told my DH that the problem is my dad. According to her, he "won't talk" to her and FIL. She said that they've both made a lot of effort with him at parties, asking him questions, etc., but he simply won't talk to them or have a conversation, no matter what they do. She said that after years of trying, they simply got "worn down" and gave up. And this was why, when my parents asked about getting together, the IL's just didn't feel like putting any effort in. MIL made DH swear not to tell me about any of this, and he didn't. But it all ended up getting back to me anyway, because apparently no one in the family can keep their mouth shut (long story).
Once all the secrets were out, MIL and spoke about this subject directly, so I got to hear it all straight from her. Honestly all these years I had no idea that they thought my father was distant. I think my father would be very surprised to hear this, too.
To be fair, my dad is an introvert. And he definitely does have a tendency, in large groups, to hang and talk with people he feels more comfortable with. So yeah, when we're all at a Christmas gathering, for example, he's likely to spend more time with me than with the IL's. But I've been to all these gatherings and I've seen my dad in action, and I think that the IL's are grossly overstating things when they say he won't talk to them at all. From where I'm sitting, my dad enjoys the IL’s company and has made a lot of effort with them (as much as he can, anyway). And HE'S the one who actually invited them at first to go out to lunch a year and half ago (I know because I was in the room when it happened). Soooooo...if my IL's were really upset that my father wouldn't talk with them, why wouldn't they view his invitation as a nice gesture and a step in the right direction? If the whole problem was that they wish they had a closer relationship with him, why not just accept his invitation? Why blow it off?
When we talked, MIL suggested that I secretly try to "nudge" my dad into talking to them more. She also said that maybe she and FIL could invite my parents out to dinner, and added, “If it’s just the four of us, maybe he’d HAVE to talk to us.” Gee, thanks, MIL. How brilliant of you to come up with this idea all by yourself. *sarcasm
DH thinks that his parents have handled this whole situation badly, but he thinks they do have a point because he’s noticed my dad’s introverted behavior, too. He agrees that I should try to “nudge” things along a little. I think I should do nothing. Frankly, It’s tempting to come right out and tell my parents everything because I hate keeping things from them, but I don’t want to get further involved and cause more drama. And yeah, it would be nice if my IL’s and my parents do go out and do improve their relationship, but I’m not even hoping for that at this point; I just want everyone to continue being capable of being in the same room with each other.
So, two questions:
Am I out of line to feel annoyed with my IL’s over all this?
And I should definitely stay out of this in the future, right?