Family Matters
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Future In-Laws Heartache

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Re: Future In-Laws Heartache

  • image zitiqueen:
    image MeganAngela:

    As for this being cultural, it absolutely is.  It is very much the way that a lot of super small town families are.  Very distrustful of anything or anyone that comes from "outside".  The counselor we saw, who is from the same area as FIs parents, have said that this is absolutely just the way things are where he grew up.

    Wow. I was with you up until you said that.

    I'm sorry that I offended you with that.  I grew up in a very VERY small Southern town myself, so I'm aware that not every family is like that, but, in my experience and even before I knew FI, a lot were.  My father's side of the family is also like this, but I haven't spoken with most of them since I was 16 for a lot of reasons.  I'm not necessarily trying to change FIs family.  I want to find a way to maneuver within it so that FI doesn't feel he has to cut off his family to live the life he wants and so I don't feel like I'm unwanted or a mistake to his family because I don't embody the values set forth in their community.  Does that make more sense?

  • image MeganAngela:
    image zitiqueen:
    image MeganAngela:

    As for this being cultural, it absolutely is.  It is very much the way that a lot of super small town families are.  Very distrustful of anything or anyone that comes from "outside".  The counselor we saw, who is from the same area as FIs parents, have said that this is absolutely just the way things are where he grew up.

    Wow. I was with you up until you said that.

    I'm sorry that I offended you with that.  I grew up in a very VERY small Southern town myself, so I'm aware that not every family is like that, but, in my experience and even before I knew FI, a lot were.  My father's side of the family is also like this, but I haven't spoken with most of them since I was 16 for a lot of reasons.  I'm not necessarily trying to change FIs family.  I want to find a way to maneuver within it so that FI doesn't feel he has to cut off his family to live the life he wants and so I don't feel like I'm unwanted or a mistake to his family because I don't embody the values set forth in their community.  Does that make more sense?

    I'm not sure why saying that super small town families have a different culture than not super small town families is offensive.  They have a different experience of life, they have different types of relationships with each other than those families who live all over the country - it's not a judgment or a criticism, IMO. It's just a different type of culture. I agree with that. Culture doesn't only have to do with ethnicity or social standing or finances, it also has to do with the way a person or a family experiences normalcy, and to a small town family that all lives nearby each other and is enmeshed to that degree, that is their normal.

    That said, OP, I see what you're trying to do, but the problem is that considering what their "normal" is and how different is is to yours, it's always going to cause and create friction. That's your shared normal, particularly since they're playing power games. Problems occur not when people are different, but when they don't respect those differences in each other. It sounds to me as though you respect theirs, but they don't respect yours. So all you can do, as has been said before, is build those boundaries and keep them strong and consistent. It's going to be tough to navigate those waters, I'm certain, but talk to your FI and decide, together, that you're in it together and that you will talk things out when new things come along. Very rarely is there going to be such a situation that you will have to know, right away, how to respond. "Let us get back to you," is, in 99% of cases, a perfectly valid response. And as you and your FI stay together and become more familiar with each others' emotional reactions and triggers over the years, you'll each learn - as time goes by - what the reply or reaction should be to any given question or issue.

  • JoEsther, thank you for this response and advice.  I agree with it completely, and you've said how I feel much better than I have!  In the end, respect is all I want. I'm not asking that they agree with everything I believe or do, but it would be nice to have them respect me as an adult and respect that, whether FI and I do things they way that they would or not, that we do the very best we can.  In the end, if I can not earn their respect for whatever reasons, your advice will help FI and I navigate those rough spots.  I really appreciate your wise words!
  • I am in a very similar situation with my ILs.  Everything seemed fine up until the "wedding" (we got married at a restaurant with immediate family only, 10 people total - including my husband and I!).  They actually left our wedding.  We have seen them one time since our wedding (a VERY toxic and explosive encounter, including screaming about how I have ruined their family and am keeping their son away from them) and have had some toxic phone/online encounters and we had to cut them loose.  I'll spare you the details but I have shared this situation with some of my colleagues (social workers and therapists for 10+ years) and they have said they have never seen or heard of such dysfunction.

    It's very difficult but it's not your fault.  I'm a little encouraged and saddened to see so many young couples struggle with this difficulty (encouraged that I'm not alone and now have a source of support but saddened that so many couples have this problem).  We need a support group, yes?  

    Be strong, do not tolerate abuse, you do not deserve it.  Good luck friend! :)

  • This post has been edited by a moderator
    to remove the redirecting hyperlink spam

    PLEASE STOP SPAMMING THE BOARDS
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