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Oh, I feel the resentment already.

Okay ladies, here's the story. Outside of my WONDERFUL MIL and FIL, my DH's family is making me go prematurely gray. Ive been with my DH for 6 years; we dated in high school, college and beyond. I've seen him through some very dark times. We've essentially grown up together and I've stood by his side as he has mine. 

 The problem? Well, his family really seems to not give a crap about either one of us. His sister did not have me in her wedding at all and even made a face about it when it was suggested by his mother. At the church, she included her other sister in law but, I assume its because we were "only" engaged at the time, made a point to say "This is my family" and exclude me from the family photo.  When our wedding rolled round, a good 3/4th of his family didnt bother to send an RSVP card. Only 8 members of his family came to our wedding. I understand several of them couldnt come because we live several states away, but a showing of 8 is really sad. Even better, a fair number of them didnt bother to send a gift or even a card sending their best wishes. When the SIL had her baby shower, they had a full house and family posting on her Facebook wall about how happy they were to be a part of her special day. Gag me.

Luckily for me, I dont live near these people so I dont have to deal with them on a daily basis. My concern is twofold: 1) My husband seems really hurt by all of this and feels like a blacksheep, not to mention it hurts me a lot too! 2) I dont know how I'm going to deal with these people when we go visit my in-laws. I want to pop off at the mouth by sadly, I have manners. When they say "Oh sorry we missed the wedding", I'm going to fight the urge to say something smart. Ugh, I feel so classy for even thinking such ugly things. I know I've married into this but I'm starting to feel some major resentment and I really need to know how to let this go. Help?

Anniversary

Re: Oh, I feel the resentment already.

  • On the surface, yes, I can see why you're upset.

    But at the same time.... does his sister reach out to these family members on a regular basis?  And if she does, does your DH too? 

    I think to a degree, you have to look past the "obvious".  Is there a REASON why this all is happening? 

    And where does his sister and SIL live compared to you all?  Are they local and you aren't?  If they are, well, you have to put that in the equation.

    Being "family" doesn't automatically mean that everyone is going to act exactly the same way w/ every family member.  Even w/in family- people are going to be closer to some people than others.  And yes, that's going to play a role in how they act! 

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

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  • I understand why you are upset, but at the same time you are being silly.  The RSVP thing was rude.  As far as not being in someone's wedding, no one is obligated to put someone else in a wedding party.  No one is obligated to send a card or a gift either.  You don't seem very happy for your pregnant SIL.  Be glad you have a wonderful MIL and FIL.  Can your DH gently approach his sister and say that you and he feel left out?
  • none of these people did any wrong to you, they are not obligated to come to your wedding, send a gift, include you in the wedding, ask you to be a part of their picture. Would these things be nice...sure, so you haven't welcomed well...but they haven't wronged you.
  • Whew, this is tricky. My 2 cents: Surround yourself with positive family and friends, even if it is just his mother and father from his side of the family. People are RUDE these days. Not even RSVP'ing? If you had a stamp on the RSVP card, this warrants a double "REALLY?!" even a WTF in my book. Did you or your husband have or do something in the past to not have you included in family events? Fights, harsh words, anything? If not, I'd just play the same game.
  • image vjcjenn1:
    none of these people did any wrong to you, they are not obligated to come to your wedding, send a gift, include you in the wedding, ask you to be a part of their picture. Would these things be nice...sure, so you haven't welcomed well...but they haven't wronged you.
    I totally agree. ETA: I hate it when people/family expect me to fly across the country to attend an event or expect a gift.
  • I understand that no one is obligated to send a gift or card however I do feel that some kind of "welcome to the family" gesture would have been nice. I would have even taken a "regrets" RSVP card at this point.  I suppose if anything this post has shown me that not everyone feels the same way I do about family. That's fine; I guess I'm just going to have to adjust my expectations.

     

    Anniversary
  • And yes, I am very thankful for my MIL and FIL. After looking at some of these posts, I'm realizing even more how amazing they really are.
    Anniversary
  • So, based upon your post you would feel loved and included if you got a bunch of cards rsvp'ing 'no' to your OOT wedding, a bunch of cards saying 'best wishes', and where in a picture at someone else's wedding.

    Really? That's the difference between all these hard feelings and warm fuzzies?

    My darling daughter just turned 4 years old.
  • Your MIL and FIL are the ones who you're probably going to interact with the most. If they're kind to you, then you should count your blessings and move on.

     The wedding was four months ago. I get why you're peeved but you really need to let this go. Especially since these extended family members are people you probably won't see all that often, if at all. 

    If anyone should be confronting them (which I wouldn't advise in the first place), it should be your husband since it's his family. Let him deal with it. 

    image
  • image d0ri:
    image vjcjenn1:
    none of these people did any wrong to you, they are not obligated to come to your wedding, send a gift, include you in the wedding, ask you to be a part of their picture. Would these things be nice...sure, so you haven't welcomed well...but they haven't wronged you.
    I totally agree. ETA: I hate it when people/family expect me to fly across the country to attend an event or expect a gift.

    I totally agree.

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  • image laurakaz13:

    image d0ri:
    image vjcjenn1:
    none of these people did any wrong to you, they are not obligated to come to your wedding, send a gift, include you in the wedding, ask you to be a part of their picture. Would these things be nice...sure, so you haven't welcomed well...but they haven't wronged you.
    I totally agree. ETA: I hate it when people/family expect me to fly across the country to attend an event or expect a gift.

    I totally agree.

    Ditto here.

    That said, I know how hard it can be to not feel included or involved in family events. But keep this in mind: you married him and he married you - you both had a choice in the matter. His family did not. You're incredibly fortunate that you and your PILs get along - enjoy that, and nurture that relationship. If the SIL et al eventually want to make you a part of your family, keep in mind that this is how they've behaved before and decide based on that.

    Your H knows what his family is like, and sure he can be hurt and offended by it, but if it really bothers him, he can do something about it. He's an adult. My recommendation is, don't add fuel to the fire here. Try to ignore it or laugh it off and don't make it into more than it is - not all families or IL relationships are golden. It's just how it is.

  • I know I am gender stereotyping, but a LOT of times, young men (like it seems your dh is) do not spend a lot of time developing relationships with family.  From the teen years, they skip the parties, don't RSVP, send TY notes or holiday greetings, don't feel obligated to keep in touch in any way.  It's unrealistic to expect people to go the extra mile when they don't have that kind of relationship.

    DH rarely attend family events (like Christenings, first communions) unless it was for his immediate family.  It's not a shock that when we had a family, not many showed up for our children's baptisms.  Since we have married, dh has made more of an efforr - I send Christmas cards, we go to graduations, etc. but it has taken a while for me to feel "connected" to his extended family.  They are great people, but they didn't know me, and there are so many of them, I couldn't keep everyone straight!

    Decide if you want to try to make the effort to cultivate relationships with these people.  If you don't, then that's a choice but quit complaining about them.  If you do, skip the snark, and start sending out holiday cards, going to THEIR children's baby showers, etc.

    And be happy you have great MIL/FIL.  Not everyone is so lucky!

  • image MFEO2906:

    I understand that no one is obligated to send a gift or card however I do feel that some kind of "welcome to the family" gesture would have been nice. I would have even taken a "regrets" RSVP card at this point. 

    To some degree, I can understand this. No one from my dad's half of my family attended our wedding. Only half of them RSVP'd, one passing on the sentiment to my father that she understands why she was invited, but I can't have expected her to come (suggesting it was unnecessary for her to RSVP). Hurtful, yes, especially since all these family members had to do was check a box and drop the RSVP in the mail. Also embarrassing come the wedding day, when my new ILs asked to meet my various family members, and not one member of my dad's family was present.

    image MFEO2906:

    I suppose if anything this post has shown me that not everyone feels the same way I do about family. That's fine; I guess I'm just going to have to adjust my expectations.

    True that not everyone feels the same about family. Also true that not everyone defines "family" the same way you do. Some people have a very strict definition of "family" and would only include blood relatives. Personally, I don't think "family" means anything unless you cultivate the relationship, and therefore I'm much closer to my best friend (who is more like a sister to me) than to my dad's side of my so-called family. I have wonderful ILs who have gone out of their way to welcome me to their family, but unfortunately my H hasn't had the same experience with my family, immediate or extended. While geography does play a part, personalities and family dynamics seem more at play; we are closer geographically to my family than to his.

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  • His sister doesn't have to have either of you in her wedding, and no one has to put you in a family picture when you're not married yet. So I'd drop this aspect of the complaint.

    How many people, numberwise, on his side did  not respond to the wedding? You say three fourths; are these cousins, second cousins, far distant relations etc who never come to anything anyway? Have you ever met them? Would you know them if you saw them on the streets? Would your dh? When's the last time dh ever initiated a contact with them prior to the wedding? 

    Ideally, you'd send a wedding invitation to people who you can anticipate would look at it and say "Awww! Little Bill is getting married! What shall we send them?" instead of "William Smith? Isn't that your mother's sister's husband's stepson's boy? Didn't we last see them in 2000 when we ran into them by accident at the Denver airport? I wouldn't know them from a hole in the ground".  Families aren't just dna connections; the relationships must be nurtured just like any other, and if many of your invitations went to virtual strangers, I'm not shocked at the lack of reply (though yes, they should RSVP).

    I'm not sure what you mean by a welcome to the family; is this a particular kind of event your family does, or did you just expect everyone to call/write to you? You are fortunate  that your dh's parents like and welcome you; adjusting your expectations of what others should do for you seems like a good idea.

    SO SINGS MY SOUL *WHAM!* MY SAVIOR GOD TO THEE *WHAM!* HOW GREAT THOU ART *WHAM!* HOW GREAT THOU ART *WHAM!*
  • When DH and I were engaged, my family took a (very informal) family picture on Easter.  DH was the one who held the camera.  He was not family yet and that was fine for all of us.  We have several "family" pictures that include people who are no longer in our family and it is weird to have them there.  So, this is what we do and DH was perfectly fine with it.  That may be how their family is too.

    Your SIL does not need to invite anyone to be in her wedding that she doesn't want to invite.  No one is obligated to invite family to stand up for them.  You need to get over that.

    I do think it is extremely rude for people to not acknowledge a wedding to which they have been invited, but at this point, you really have to let it go.  You have other people in your lives, including your MIL and FIL, who care about you.  Cultivate those relationships and you will find yourself letting go of that resentment.

  • Sorry to hear about your situation. Focus on your life with your husband and your future. Put your energy into the family members (yours or his) that really love you guys.
  • I would feel weird being in a family pic before we were married. In fact, I was and I felt weird. I also don't get why you were upset about not being in her wedding party. The only bad thing was people not RSVPing. The rest wasn't rude at all.
  • image EastCoastBride:

    On the surface, yes, I can see why you're upset.

    But at the same time.... does his sister reach out to these family members on a regular basis?  And if she does, does your DH too? 

    I think to a degree, you have to look past the "obvious".  Is there a REASON why this all is happening? 

    And where does his sister and SIL live compared to you all?  Are they local and you aren't?  If they are, well, you have to put that in the equation.

    Being "family" doesn't automatically mean that everyone is going to act exactly the same way w/ every family member.  Even w/in family- people are going to be closer to some people than others.  And yes, that's going to play a role in how they act! 

    I'd like to know the answers to these. My bro and SIL complain about this all the time but they never return my parents phone calls. I call my mom 3x a week and we have brunch sometimes, we email from work etc. So yeah, my parents show up at my house more. Is your DH naming an equal effort? It's nothing to be offended about, just make an effort.
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  • I can see where you are hurt, but if you lower your expectations I think things will roll off your back easier.

    My SIL was not in my wedding, and only 6 of H's family showed up at our OOS (for them) wedding. Our feeling weren't hurt. We were sad, yes, but it's expensive to travel and his family doesn't rake in the dough. They also didn't RSVP one way or the other. Whatever. My point is my expectations weren't high so I wasn't massively upset.

    If your H wants to say something to his sister, tell him to go for it. But it's his place to do that or his with you by his side because it's his sister.

  • You're getting awfully upset over a whole lot of nothing.  If this is the worst thing that ever happens to you, count yourself lucky.

     

    Is anyone else wondering what her husband's "dark times" were?  

    image
  • Aside from not RSVPing to your own wedding, I don't see anything wrong with the choices that the family members made.  Having said that, I can understand how comparing one's self and circumstances to another opens the door to resentment.  Stop doing *that* and you'll be fine.
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  • SIL had no obligation to have you in the wedding or photos, what if you two had split up?  It is common practice to have family only in the photos, you need to get over that.

    Not RSVPing was douchey, but if you live several states away it's no surprise people didn't come. It is expensive to travel and some people just don't like weddings and do not make them a priority.

    You can't change these people, be nice/courteous to them and take opportunities to deepen your friendship/relationship with them when they come up, but don't be surprised if they continue to hold you at arms length.  Focus your time and energy on people that want you in their life and write those that don't off. 

    image
    Gretchen Evie, born 7/8/2012 at 35w5d
  • image d0ri:
    image vjcjenn1:
    none of these people did any wrong to you, they are not obligated to come to your wedding, send a gift, include you in the wedding, ask you to be a part of their picture. Would these things be nice...sure, so you haven't welcomed well...but they haven't wronged you.
    I totally agree. ETA: I hate it when people/family expect me to fly across the country to attend an event or expect a gift.

    This.

    Seriously.  Nothing bad has happened here.  Get over it.

  • >>>>You can't change these people, be nice/courteous to them and take opportunities to deepen your friendship/relationship with them when they come up, but don't be surprised if they continue to hold you at arms length.  Focus your time and energy on people that want you in their life and write those that don't off. <<<<<<<<<<

    This...plus I agree with you that not RSVPing is rude but don't stoop to that level. Consider yourself free of a lot of future obligations when it comes to these people. When you don't attend a wedding, you are not obligated to send a gift.

    BTW, when I was married, DH and I only invited people we were close to. I didn't want a wedding with a bunch of cousins that live OOS and who I hadn't seen in years.

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