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Introducing parents to in-laws

The thread about introducing your SO to your parents got me thinking - when did people introduce their parents to their in-laws? My mom and FMIL have met many times over the years; they are probably friends on Facebook at this point. In fact, FMIL has met most of my immediate family, besides my dad. 

What makes me nervous is introducing my dad (very liberal, laid back, Buddhist) to FFIL (very conservative Christian, tightly wound, pretty judgmental). FI and I have been trying to find a weekend between now and June to gather all the parents at FMIL's house for a formal meet and greet, but life is getting in the way and we are not sure if we'll be able to find a weekend that works for everyone - it would involve out of state travel for us and my mom, and a 3 hour drive for my dad and stepmom.

I know that some people's parents meet at the rehearsal dinner, but FI is nervous about waiting that long. He and his dad have had a rocky relationship for most of his life, they have very different life views, and I am pretty sure FI is afraid his dad will say/do something that will embarrass him - like make snarky comments about my parents in front of people, which he his known to do.

How have you all gone about introducing the parents? Has anyone else been nervous about the meeting? Anyone who waited until the rehearsal dinner - do you wish you had done it sooner? Thanks for the advice!
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Re: Introducing parents to in-laws

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    My parents and FILs actually didn't meet until the night before my engagement party.  They live 3.5 hours away, and somehow my parents were always out of town when they came to visit.  So the night before my parents threw us an engagement party, my mom rented a room in a restaurant for us all to have dinner and get to know each other.  My mom cried when she met my FMIL and hugged her and said how happy she was.  It was one of the most moving moments of my life.

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    edited February 2015
    My parents in FIL's met last fall after my FI and I had been together for about 2.5 years. They probably would have liked to meet earlier, but they live about 4 hours apart so there was never any good reason or possibility of getting them together.

    FIL's were up in my parents area for their nieces wedding last fall and FI and I were down for the same wedding so it all kind of lined up that we happened to all be in the same city at the same time which is a very rare occurrence. So my parents had us all over for coffee and snacks before the wedding. 

    It was really nice for them to meet before the wedding, (especially since we are having a longer enagement). Makes it a little less awkward at the wedding if everyone at least has briefly met. But at the same time if we couldn't have arranged it, they would have been fine waiting.
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    Ugh, no advice here.  I am dreading the day I have to introduce my parents to SO's parents.  Literally nothing in common, and they know I already can't stand his parents.  Thankfully (hopefully?) that day is far in the future.   


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    Our parents met after we'd only been dating for a few months.  We didn't really plan it that way, but DH (then bf) was still in school (the same place I attended, and my sister went), I visited for every home football game and it was family weekend, so both our parents were in town.  We felt like it would be more awkward to purposely NOT have them meet, than to just all have dinner together even though it was pretty early in the relationship.  
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    My dad and his wife met my husband's mother at our rehearsal dinner. That is also when I met her. We all live in different states, so getting together was difficult. 
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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    We all went out to dinner together the day my DH (then BF) moved in. His folks helped bring his stuff up and got stuff in, then we all went out to dinner afterward. We all went out to dinner a few times between then and the wedding, and we do a Thanksgiving with his parents and sister and my parents and sister. It wasn't a big deal, even when it felt like it was. Everyone gets along great and we always have a good time.

    Mostly, in my experience anyway, both sets of parents are trying to make a good impression so it all works out in the end.
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    FMIL decided that she wanted to meet my parents and told me I needed to arrange a dinner so that we could all get together. Since we'd been together a year and a half and oh my god she hadn't met them yet (ugh). I was annoyed and anxious about it because my parents aren't the most social people.

    It was obnoxious that she requested it instead of just letting the shit go so that FI and I could make that decision but I knew she would never stop nagging me about it if I didn't just put it together.
    --

    I'm the fuck
    out.

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    My parents and inlaws met shortly after we got engaged (we only dated for 3 months).  It was tricky because I was traveling for work at the time, and my parents were in the process of moving to their retirement home.  So it happened a bit later than we had hoped / planned, but it was fine.  Our parents are quite different, so they aren't super close.  But they get along fine.
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    I don't even remember when my mom met my in-laws because it really wasn't a big deal at all. Probably a few months into us dating, because I invited them to Hailey's b-day party.
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    Our parents lives 500 miles apart. They met the day of the proposal. 

    He surprised me by not just proposing, but having my family there as well. My family had been having a blast with his and I had no clue until that night. 
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    Our moms met at my shower 3 months out.

    Dad met MIL at the RD.

    After the wedding they have never seen each other again.    Mostly for logistic reasons.  They live 5 hours from each other.  We live 5 hour plane ride away from either of them.   






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    madamerwinmadamerwin member
    First Anniversary First Comment 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited February 2015
    levioosa said: Ugh, no advice here.  I am dreading the day I have to introduce my parents to SO's parents.  Literally nothing in common, and they know I already can't stand his parents.  Thankfully (hopefully?) that day is far in the future. --Edited because boxes-----------

    Sorry you're dreading it, but I am glad I'm not alone! Luckily, I enjoy FMIL, and FFIL's wife is actually a lovely person too. But FFIL is... well, difficult. That, on top of the fact that my dad is his polar opposite, concerns us. We have briefed my dad on what FFIL is like, and luckily my dad doesn't take other people's bad attitudes personally. I think mostly FI is just afraid of embarrassment, hence trying to get the meeting over with early. I guess I should probably just go with the flow, and if they meet at the rehearsal, it won't be the end of the world.

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    I was VERY nervous to introduce both sets of parents; it just happened last year after 4th of July since my parents live in AZ and we're in IL. 

    My in-laws are wonderful people.  My FMIL is VERY non-judgemental and well educated (Bachelors and 2 Masters degrees).  What's funny is she was poor as dirt growing up and didn't even have indoor plumbing until she was in high school.  My FFIL is a great person, not quite as non-judgemental as his wife and also has a Bachelor's degree.  They are very modest and kind people overall.

    My parents have a HSD and GED between them.  My mom especially doesn't even know what words like introverted and extroverted mean- to her those are "big" words.  My in-laws don't walk around using "SAT words" every day, but they're capable of doing so...  My mom is also a very black and white kind of person.  She has her opinions and won't be out-right rude about things, but I remember someone making a comment once that she agreed with and she said, "and that's how it SHOULD be;" meaning in her mind, there were no other possible acceptable options according to her world-view.  My dad is more laid back and quiet, if judgy about something, he's better about keeping it to himself.

    I just kept reminding myself that I can't change either group of people; they don't have to love each other, just be civil.  Don't take responsibility for things other people do or others' judgements.  Just because a person's parents are narrow-minded, doesn't mean that their grown children will be too.  I know it's hard to avoid feeling like you are lumped into other people's judgements about your parents, but I think most people are capable of seeing you, as an adult, as separate from them.  Even if they dislike your parents, they are still capable of liking you.

    I also did try to kind of "forewarn" both sets of parents about the other.  I explained to my mom that my in-laws didn't use "big" words to put people down or make them feel inferior; it's simply how they speak. 

    And I warned my FILs that my mom was loud and a bit brash and a bit "child-like" in her black and white view on things.  My dad was quiet- didn't mean he wasn't interested / listening, but he doesn't feel the need to talk a lot.

    I think that kind of helped them as they could think about things a bit before they met and it helped them pause a bit before jumping to a judgement about one another.  And if one was still made, at least it was better informed and not done from a negative mind-frame.

    In the end it went well.  My mom felt very comfortable and my dad and FFIL have a lot in common.  I heard that my mom rubbed FFIL the wrong way a bit because she's so loud (harder of hearing from working in a factory her whole life), but there were no hard feelings.

    I'm glad I don't have to stress about them being together for long periods all that often, but happy with how it turned out.

    Remember- how other people feel about your family is their problem.  How your family acts / responds is theirs.  Don't borrow other people's hurt / anxiety / whatever.  And do a little prep-work if you think it will help.  Good luck.

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    Ours met after we were already engaged.  Fi's dad and stepmom live across the country so when they were in town last summer and my grandma also happened to be in town I planned a cook-out.  Honestly though if they were also local I'm still not sure it would have happened any sooner, just because, well until we were engaged I don't see much reason. Now if we happened to have hosted a party that both sets were invited to that would make sense but otherwise a specific meet the inlaws probably wouldn't have happened.
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    I think think we were just living together when ours met, but I can't really remember. 

    His family lives in another state, so it ended up just being convenient that when they were here for a visit, we all went out to dinner. 

    MY parents are the ones I was worried about. My mom gets verbal vomit when she has too many glasses of wine and there's inevitably a foot-in-mouth moment. My dad has a really snarky sense of humor that some people don't get. But that's them. Maybe it helped explain to my in-laws why I'm a snarky chatterbox when I've had too much wine.
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    Our parents didn't meet until DH and I had been dating for about 6 years, and it was a brief meeting after a funeral. I think the first time they spent more than 30 seconds with each other was about 3 or 4 years ago, so 9-10 years into dating DH.
    ~*~*~*~*~

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    My mom met bfs parents just before bfs brothers wedding. We'd been dating for 6 or 7 years, and lived 5m apart haha. I purposely kept them apart, because it felt awkward to me. His parents invited my mom to everything (christmas, random parties, etc), but she's kind of a hermit so would never go, even when I passed along the invite (I didnt always...). Honestly, it went fine. It's not like they hang out at all, they have nothing in common except their kids are dating.
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    No really help here. They have not met yet and we have been together for over 7 years. I don't think they will met before the rehearsal, or just a day or two before the wedding. One side of his family is a 9 hour drive from mine and the other is about a 4 hour flight. 

    My only worry is my dad getting drunk and saying something horribly inappropriate at the wedding, but I cannot control him. He is an adult and his own person so if he makes a fool of himself i know his family will not think it reflects on me. I have know them now for years and they were pushing him to get the ring more than I was.
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    My parents and my ILs have NEVER met. DH and I have been together for almost 9 years, but because we eloped, his parents don't travel because of age, and everyone is scattered all over the country, we have never had the opportunity for them to meet. 

     







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    My parents met my SO's parents pretty early in our relationship when my parents helped me move to Colorado. They all get along really well even though they are very different. Honestly, they don't see each other enough for there to be any sort of drama between them. My mom and his mom do text and e-mail some though.

    Keep your expectations low. All they need to do is be polite, they don't need to be friends.



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    No clue when they will meet, maybe the engagement party my mom is considering throwing? FMIL has been nagging since our first Thanksgiving together that we need to do all the holidays together at my moms house because they are going to be family. The first two years I just ignored her demand, but finally last year I talked to my mom about inviting her. She wound up declining because she was going to her stepson's for the holidays.

    Honestly I would be happy if they never met. FMIL has no brain to mouth filter and I can see shit hitting the fan within about 15 minutes. I know she has plenty to say about how young my mom was when she had me, how close my parents and FI are in age, the fact that I have a huge family is because we're Catholic, and how there's no reason FI and I should be saving since my parents HAVE to pay for the wedding.


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    My dad met his mom when he went to FFILs memorial service. My mom was out of town.

    My mom and his mom met during the very low key engagement dinner that my parents hosted for us a few months later.

    Neither of my parents got to meet FFIL before he passed away.

    My parents invite FMIL over for holiday dinners and such. So they see each other a couple times a year. That will change when my parents move to WA this summer.

                                               

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    Our wedding day will be the first time (and probably the only time) my parents and my FMIL will be in the same room together. I have not yet met FMIL and she is being invited to the wedding only because it would cause more difficulty to exclude her. But she lives on the other side of the country and knowing what I know about my FI's relationship with her, I think it's unlikely we'll see her much ever again. This does not upset me at all.

    My point is that the importance placed on forming relationship between the two sets of parents is very different for each family and depends on many factors, including relationships between you/your FI and your parents, physical distance, and cultural differences between the two families. In most cases there is really no need for the two parties to have anything in common, or even for them to get along.
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    madamerwinmadamerwin member
    First Anniversary First Comment 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited February 2015
    FeeleyToBe said:
    I also did try to kind of "forewarn" both sets of parents about the other.  I explained to my mom that my in-laws didn't use "big" words to put people down or make them feel inferior; it's simply how they speak. 

    And I warned my FILs that my mom was loud and a bit brash and a bit "child-like" in her black and white view on things.  My dad was quiet- didn't mean he wasn't interested / listening, but he doesn't feel the need to talk a lot.

    I think that kind of helped them as they could think about things a bit before they met and it helped them pause a bit before jumping to a judgement about one another.  And if one was still made, at least it was better informed and not done from a negative mind-frame.

    In the end it went well.  My mom felt very comfortable and my dad and FFIL have a lot in common.  I heard that my mom rubbed FFIL the wrong way a bit because she's so loud (harder of hearing from working in a factory her whole life), but there were no hard feelings.

    I'm glad I don't have to stress about them being together for long periods all that often, but happy with how it turned out.

    Remember- how other people feel about your family is their problem.  How your family acts / responds is theirs.  Don't borrow other people's hurt / anxiety / whatever.  And do a little prep-work if you think it will help.  Good luck.

    --------------- ETF boxes---------

    Thank you! This is a great thing to remember. How FI's dad behaves will not impact my parents' opinion of FI (whom they love), nor will FFIL's opinion of my dad impact how he feels about me (I think he likes me, except for the fact that we're liberal hippies living in sin, or something). And even if it does, I guess it doesn't really matter.
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    Since my MIL lives in Florida, we got everyone together on one of her visits up here (this was back when FIL used to live in NY too). My parents had to drive 1.5 hours from PA. We all went out to dinner. 
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    Our parents didn't meet until the shower 3 months before the wedding, when we'd been together for over 7 years. They hate each other but they behaved well so I guess it worked out fine. 
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    Our parents met just shortly after we got engaged. We had planned a group outing for this summer (which apparently had also been a potential proposal day for FI) just because we like Segway tours, and we wanted our family to have fun at them too. But since the tour got rained out we cancelled all the meeting plans.

    After we got engaged my parents drove to the our city (about 2 hours) and we all had lunch. FI's parents live nearby so it wasn't hard to do. I was a little nervous, but it went really well. I think my Mom and FI's Mom email now. They both came to the tasting since my Dad couldn't make it. They probably don't have that much in common but they're able to be polite and have a conversation.
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    Our parents met briefly when we moved in together after dating for 6 months. When we started planning the wedding they all decided that they needed to meet. DH and I live across the country from them so ILs called my parents and arranged a time for them to travel 4 hours to meet each other. I was really nervous because DH and I wouldn't be there to buffer things but it went well. They email each other about once a month or so now, and visit each other when DH or I go back to visit.

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    We planned a dinner a couple months after we got engaged. We had been dating 2.5 years at that point.  It was weird for my parents because it was the first "meet the parents" they had. My sisters are both married/engaged to guys they met in HS, so my parents already knew their parents. 
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    edited February 2015
    Our parents met a few days before Christmas this past year. I was not a bit worried about my mom. I was quite a bit worried about my dad. Mom is welcoming and kind, although she's rather shy. My dad... not so much. I mean, he's friendly, but he's opinionated and loud, and he thinks he knows everything about everything, and everything is a status symbol with him.

    FILs are fantastic and I adore them, but they're very ... churchy. We aren't churchy people, and I was very afraid about my dad and FFIL getting into it over something in the realm of theology and their opinion of me being affected by their opinion of my parents.

    All went smoothly, thankfully. It was a blast.

    Edited to finish. Hit the wrong button. Damn you mobile.
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