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"Marrying the family..."

I had lunch with my MIL the other day and said "You know... what they say is true, when you marry the man, you DO marry the family..."  (Of course, they become part of my family, I accept them for who they are and vice versa... but marrying the family???)

I blew it off then.  But now it's pissing me off!  (Don't get me wrong, at this point I wouldn't bring it up again).  But what are your thoughts on this?  To me I think - I didn't chose the family to be my life-long partner, I don't share a bed with the family, I can't make babies with the family, I don't rely on the family, I don't share my most personal thoughts with the family, the family doesn't pay our mortgage...  You get my drift.

This is more or less a rant but I wanted to put it out there/Get everyone's opinion on this one. 

Re: "Marrying the family..."

  • Eh, it's just a figure of speech.
    Unless she starts expecting you to do out of the ordinary daughter-in-law things (share personal awkward details, etc..), I would brush it off as her meaning becoming apart of the family.
    Some people don't do well with figures of speech in terms of using them smoothly and it may sound strange, haha. This sounds like the case to me.
    White Knot
  • Marryme - I hear what you're saying.  But it was in the context of a conversation about an in law she doesnt like... because said in law "never gave her the time of day."  (I should add, she constantly calls me this person's name, despite that I've been in their lives 8+ years).  This whole lunch/conversation was actually about if she was happy for me and her son.  Ever since the engagement/impending wedding, she's been kind of nasty.  My guy deals with her his way (i.e. ignoring her) but I felt compelled to talk to her about it, get her fears out on the table, etc.  So it came up in this conversation. 

    I don't know... sometimes I feel she's trying to force a relationship with me beyond what it is now, and I just can't give her what she wants.  I think she wants me to share more about our relationship/life with her, ask her for advice... just be all around more involved.  But it's hard to give her that when she's not very nice, you know? 

    Lot's of stuff at play here, I think that's why the comment bugs me the more I think about it.  I should just stop thinking about it!

  • Hm, knowing that information, it does sound a bit odd.
    Just as a thought, and I don't know this woman so I could be off, maybe she just really want to be important to you. It may be a good idea to bond with her about one thing (like a hobby), so she would be more likely to back off when it comes to other aspects of your life (like your relationship with her son!) For example, if you're both into reading, try starting your own "book club" together, or joining one. That way you have something to talk about other than your marriage and she can experience a bond with you. Also, with a book club, you have something to talk about that doesn't involver her opinion of you.
    I would probably have been weirded out/annoyed to if I thought she may have meant it in an "i'm-totally-judging-you" kind of way.. that situation is never fun. I hope she calms down soon!

    White Knot
  • My MIL told me that once. I replied, "no, I married DH, not all y'all. If that was the case, we wouldn't be sitting here now." She was shocked at first, tried to say something else on the matter, bringing something in the bible up, and I replied to that, that in the bible it also says that the husband leaves his family, and the wife leaves hers, and they make a new family- the whole 'leave and cleave' bit. She's yet to bring it up again.
  • I get what you're saying.  In my view when you get married, as when I did, that (Your husband, any kids you might have, ect is your immediate family.  Both of the families have to except this.  I know its hard with my husband because his mother never left her family.  My MIL thinks that she still has his full attention and should have mine too.  Its difficult but I think that setting firm boundaries is the only way to get over this.  For example, I had to tell my MIL that she could not show up at our house unannounced and that she needed to limit calling us to once a day.  

    I will not be able to give my MIL what she wants by having a totally one on one relationship with her.  I married her son, not her.  

  • My in-laws are mostly wonderful.  They do things differently, and I'm a bit nervous around them still.  My DH can totally relax around my parents tho.  The last three weekends (which is the only real time I see my DH due to his job schedule) they have asked us over for meals, which take up the entire day.  It's frustrating to be sure, but I don't want to rock the boat.

    And you marry INTO the family, you don't marry the family.

  • Thanks for this comment, I am currently in almost the exact same situation except my fiance's parents live a few hours away so we only see them on long weekends and holidays. But my feelings about them are identical to yours!

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