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Legitimate, yet flameful, question re: ILs/FILs

A spin-off of neilly's post below... I am genuinely curious as to how you - or your FI/H, if your parents are the "problem" - could have gotten this far in your relationship with your FI/H if you do not like - or downright hate - his parents and the rest of his family (or your family as the case may be)? I realize you don't have to live with them on a daily basis - most of the time - but I am truly of the belief that when you marry someone, you marry their family as well. You can't escape them, unless you live across the country or in another country, since there are things as holidays and other family gatherings that come up from time to time. All families are dysfunctional. I can certainly attest to that, between feuding SILs on my mom's side and my dad's family betraying him over money. Even my H who had the perfect (in his eyes) ever-functional family has seen, after the death of his grandmother earlier this year, that what is on the surface is not all there is. Before my H was in the picture, my parents certainly didn't dictate who I could or could not date, but I could tell their approval or disapproval right away the first time they met the person I was dating at that time. I honestly, in good conscience, do not feel I could have married - spent a life with, had children with - a person they hated, if for nothing else than I dislike discord. Marrying a person they did not approve of AT ALL would have been difficult for all involved and IMO is not fair to your partner. Thoughts?
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Re: Legitimate, yet flameful, question re: ILs/FILs

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    edited December 2011
    It was VERY important to me that my parents like who I marry and I had their full blessing.I never really cared much about DHs family, they were fine to me but true colors showed after we got engaged and I have nothing nice to say about my father in law.
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    edited December 2011
    Our relationship was great and I accepted the dysfunctionalness (word?) while dating.  Then the proposal happened and in a short nutshell: a) I was good enough to date but not good enough to marry and be associated with them. b) Money...they were not happy (mildly stating) my parents were not spending $100k (not exaggerating) on the wedding, yet they were unwilling to give anything towards it.
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    edited December 2011
    Another part of it, I forgot to add but now going off of Einat "not caring" about them, how can you not care? They raised this person you love. They had input into that - good and bad. He may have turned out this way in spite of them, but that is still influence. How does that translate into your relationship and when/if you have kids?
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    Angie550Angie550 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    It was very important to me that my family like my FI and vice versa.  I have a very close family and it was important to me that my FI be excepted with open arms, that he liked my family as well and that one day both our families could spend time together.  I know this sounds corny, but i wanted two families that could become one.  I see it often with couples that hate their in-laws and their parties are akward with families on each sides of the room - like a 6th grade dance.  Both of our families are laid back and dont really over step boundaries so it all works (for now :)).
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    edited December 2011
    If FI supported his parents we would be in a much different boat but he and I are mostly on the same page.  He has said to me numerous times "Whatever you do please do not do anything just to please my family because it won't happen.  The will always find the negative.  So promise me you will always just be yourself"  His understanding of the issue IS our saving grace.I should be fair and say  they can be pleasant to be around, they are paying for the band at the wedding and the rehearsal dinner,  their biggest problem is they are overwhelmingly negative people and are never happy with anything.
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    edited December 2011
    From what I've seen issues with ILs come into play after you're already in too deep. For example I get along with my IL's and my parents like FI but if all of sudden it came to light that there was an issue (kind of like caketime's situation) I wouldn't end things with FI. I would just find a way to deal with it at that point.
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    Danes983Danes983 member
    Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited December 2011
    My IL's are great!  Like any other set of family including my own they have their things that drive me crazy.  I am the type of person that doesnt take any crap, so when they say somthing that bothers me or whatever I nicely tell them that they hurt my feelings or whatever.  I feel that honesty is the way to go.  If I didnt like my IL or my FI didnt like my FI I probably would think twice just because they will be attached to you forever and it can cause major friction between me and my FI. That i dont want.
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    edited December 2011
    From my experience the "not caring" is easy (well not all the time because I am a person) when certain words are said.  Some things are just to hurtful and horrible to be ignored.
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    emt16emt16 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I get along great with my FMIL. I really havent had too much experience with FFIL due to him not really being in FI life. FI though does not get along well at all with my mother but that isnt an issue with me because I have never gotten along with my mother. FI and I both have the same problems with her so it really isnt a problem between us. (The funny thing is my mother has loved FI from our first date.) FI and my father get along great and that I think could have been an issue when we were dating if they didnt. I guess it all has to due with when you realize there is a problem and exactly what the problem is.
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    edited December 2011
    Well I would see them maybe once a month max for a various holiday or birthday, what more did I need to do. There was no instant bff-ness type bond with me and his mother and I knew that would prob never happen but it was all just neutral.
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    kle0113kle0113 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I have to say that I really like my IL's.  Yes, they do things that I do not agree with as my parents, sister and brother do things that MH do not agree with, but in the end though they are family.  The thing is though too is that MH would say something to his family as I would do the same if they honestly did something that hurt the other party. Now I will say that I was married before and I could not stand my IL's and it was hard.  Yes, I married their son and I always would tell myself that I married him not his parents, but I still had to deal with them.  His mother was an outright witch with a "B".  I will never forget when we got engaged and not even a congratulations was muttered from her.  So, I have seen both sides of this question; so I know how hard it is for some of the girls on this board when you have IL's that are very hard to deal with.  I am just so happy that I now have IL's that I honestly really like and care a lot about. 
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    edited December 2011
    I guess I can agree in some way with Seabass. If it were a week away from my wedding and my IL's "true colors" came out I wouldn't cancel or postpone the wedding or break it off entirely with my FI. BUT the girl my H dated - for SIX YEARS and lived with - before me... my ILs hated her. She knew it, he knew it, my ILs knew it although my FIL was nicer than my MIL was. Yet, they never got engaged or married and my ILs were not a reason for them breaking up. My H had me sick for DAYS before meeting my now-ILs b/c of what he told me about his mom and her not liking a single girl he brought home to meet them from the time he was in HS til when he met, when he was 27. I was certain after I met them, I'd have to break it off with him b/c she'd hate me too. I just could not spend my life with someone who was the spawn of someone who didn't like me, plain and simple. I was fortunate that was not the case.
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    LarissaAnnLarissaAnn member
    5 Love Its First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Couldn't care less what my parents think of ANYONE. I only care that my sis and my H get along, and they mostly do. I do wish H's parents liked me, but that's not for my sake, it's for his. But he was more than ready to sign off his mother. And I don't plan to have kids.
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    edited December 2011
    I should add this post was also precipitated by a comment on the Money Matters board earlier today where a Nestie said that in 10 years with her H (not all of them married, of course) she has never been invited to her ILs home, and how they for the most part, ignore her. My eyes seriously bugged out of my head. That is not just torture for her, it HAS to be hard on her H as well, and that is just not ok, IMO.
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    leah2bleah2b member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Larissa - I'm with you.  I really only care that my sister likes my boyfriend and gets along, as she is and always will be the closest person to me. I also don't think the relationship with parents makes or breaks relationships these days.  Personally, my parents have alot of issues and problems.  I love them anyway but it can be very difficult at times.  I am glad that none of my boyfriends have ever judged ME based on my parents as my situation certainy is not traditional or ideal.    
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    Heater020780Heater020780 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I love my MIL but, my FIL would never give me the time of day.  I think he disliked me from day one and we never formed a bond.  It is sad because he did pass away in 2006.  He is probably rolling over in his grave because his son married me.  
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    melissa82melissa82 member
    5 Love Its First Comment
    edited December 2011
    but I am truly of the belief that when you marry someone, you marry their family as well.I couldn't disagree more. Family to me is a relationship and one that is built--it is not a piece of paper.I don't believe in punishing a person for who their parents are. No one can help who their family is. Of course their childhood has shaped them, good and bad, but at a certain point in adulthood you become responsible for yourself and your actions. If they've become a good person, that's all that really matters. And I think you're assuming that if your parents didn't like your H, there'd be a valid reason why. Most times, that's probably true. But you can't put that reasoning on everyone's parents. Some parents are just off their rockers or think that no one is good enough. Other times a small thing gets blown into a huge problem that doesn't get resolved. It's not so black and white. Plus not everyone sees their in laws much, and not everyone is close to their own family. Everyone is different. If you saw your ILs twice a year, you might not have the same opinion.I wouldn't say I hate my FILs, I just don't have much in common with them. They have a completely different outlook than I do on almost everything in life...so it's like, there's not much to really say? A lot of times when one of them says something, I think to myself, "I couldn't disagree with that more." LOL. FMIL is just very...PC? Always wants to say and do things for the sake of appearances and how things "ought" to be without much thought to how they actually are. I just can't be comfortable with that.
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    alliecarrie41alliecarrie41 member
    First Anniversary First Comment Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    i could never marry someone or even likely date someone whose family i did not at least get along with on a civil friendly level.  DH's family is my family, and we all have our differences, but we love each other and get along just fine.  i couldn't imagine it any other way. 
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    edited December 2011
    I couldn't disagree more. Family to me is a relationship and one that is built--it is not a piece of paper. And I guess I disagree with that. In terms of my family, I can't change them, I have to accept them. They're not going anywhere, they've been there since I was born, my H has not. Same with his family, and rightfully so. I may not have the best relationship with all of my relatives but we have our rallying points. I may dislike certain things my aunt does or says, for instance, but she's my aunt, my mom's sister, and I can't avoid her even if I wanted to. I don't believe in punishing a person for who their parents are. No one can help who their family is. Of course their childhood has shaped them, good and bad, but at a certain point in adulthood you become responsible for yourself and your actions. I don't believe in punishing either, that's not what I am saying. What I am saying is how does this affect your relationship with your FI/H if you disagree over your/his family's actions? It can't be healthy. You are building a future together, you have to show a united front. Those who want to have children, if it is that bad, will you deny your ILs from seeing/interacting with them b/c of the things they do or say? As someone who never got to meet my grandparents (deceased prior to my birth) I just can't imagine that. A relationship with our parents is one of the primary things I want for our children. And I think you're assuming that if your parents didn't like your H, there'd be a valid reason why. Absolutely, I consider my parents to be relatively reasonable people. They may not agree with someone 100%, but they'd probably be able to see what I see in them, kwim? If they didn't then maybe I am overlooking something? Some parents are just off their rockers or think that no one is good enough. This is what I think happened with my H and his mom re: his exes. Plus not everyone sees their in laws much, and not everyone is close to their own family. Everyone is different. If you saw your ILs twice a year, you might not have the same opinion. True, I see mine every week. We're both only children. We see my parents about as often (maybe once every 10 days, averaged out) as well. I can't imagine it any other way. I wouldn't say I hate my FILs, I just don't have much in common with them. I don't feel I have a lot in common with my ILs either. That doesn't mean I respect them any less or feel their opinions are less valid, save being offensive (which they aren't.)
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    alliecarrie41alliecarrie41 member
    First Anniversary First Comment Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    I don't believe in punishing a person for who their parents are.this is a valid point... and i imagine i am just super lucky i don't have to deal with this.  if anything it's my family that is a little off their rockers, but at the end of the day, they are family and we figure it all out.  i dated a few people who "ddin't get along" with their families, but it was college mostly, and it never got that far along where i really knew them or cared.  i have enough stress with parents we DO get along with around holidays, etc... i can't imagine the stress of not getting along, so i am sticking to my theory if we were not both civil at least with family sides, it wouldn't head towards marriage, period.
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    melissa82melissa82 member
    5 Love Its First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Kate, I just think you're not getting my point. Everyone's family dynamics are so, so different that to post the question, "how [people] could have gotten this far in your relationship with your FI/H if you do not like - or downright hate - his parents and the rest of his family (or your family as the case may be)?" is almost offensive. There are so many situations where parents aren't rational, or don't have a relationship with their son/daughter, etc., etc. There are so many possible reasons why parents/ILs might not get along with your SO/you, so I think to say that it's "not fair" to one's partner or children just doesn't take those situations into account at all. Sure, if everyone had great relationships with their parents who were perfectly rational people, that might be true. But that's not reality.I don't mean to sound defensive because it's not really my situation at all. It just seems like you're applying one situation to everyone.
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    edited December 2011
    I realize there are a lot of irrational people out there. I'm not trying to be offensive, I am genuinely curious. I guess I am not familiar with not being close to my family in a way that they have some influence (and not in a bad, controlling way) over me, the things I do. I guess I see myself as shaped by them and the experiences they showed me. That is why I asked the question. I also wonder what people and their FIs think about the relationships that are had if there is a disconnect. Like, if I thought my mother was crazy, and my H loved her and thought she was the greatest thing since sliced bread I'd be like, huh? WTF? I'd also wonder what he thought the "problem" was as to why she and I didn't get along. Again, it is simply curiosity. I have experienced only 1 type of family dynamic first-hand. Well, now 2 since meeting H. I realize there are others out there and that is why I asked the questions. I may not have worded them properly to include all those other dynamics. I had a period, post-engagement to my H, that I didn't speak to my parents for 3.5 months. It was due to us moving in together, coupled with our (in their opinion) very fast engagement. Fine, I understood it. I didn't agree so I distanced myself and it was THE HARDEST 3.5 months of my life. For me, it was not a healthy way to carry on so we mended fences, even though the root - me leaving home pre-marriage - never truly resolved itself, until after we were married and living "at home" in their eyes wasn't acceptable.
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    melissa82melissa82 member
    5 Love Its First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I guess the way you worded the question didn't come across as curious to me, but judgmental. It's hard sometimes to tell on here.
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    edited December 2011
    Not judgmental, at least not in its intent. I am sorry if it came across that way.
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    edited December 2011
    I know I have been complaining in my past posts, but I FI's family is not horrible just different than me as the pp said.  I think that these situations I talked about hurt me so badly because I always dreamed of being close to my FI's family and I Love being close to my family. I don't think they will ever view me as family.  Whereas my family already treats fi as there own.  FI and I know this and have talked about it and will need to work through situations as our lives continue together. It will be a challenge but all marriages have challenges and at least we know it is coming before it hits us.
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    edited December 2011
    *their*
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    edited December 2011
    I'm happy to see that I love FI's parents as if they were my own. (Yes they have their issues and stuff) but they treat me like their own daughter. FI is the first boy I introduced to my parents as my boyfriend (Had other bf's but I never brought them home for several reasons) When I started dating him I knew that I would marry him. My family adores him and after only a year of dating he was included in my sister's wedding. My sis loves him which means the most as does my brother in law. The four of us hang out all the time. As for Fi's sibling... lets just say his true colors came out. Got engaged a few days after us and at first I was pissed but then got over it because I am not marrying him so I don't have to deal him. That is who he is.. he has disrespected me in the past and now we have a very weird relationship. It's sad bc I know he can be a good person but somewhere along the way he lost that side of him. Oh well!
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    kewltifkewltif member
    First Anniversary First Comment Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    I'm lucky. My inlaws are very nice people.  We might have some different world views, but we get along very well and have never had an argument.  They are good people.I don't know how I would deal with marrying someone whose parents didn't like me (or didn't treat me well). Right or wrong, I think it would be very hard for me to deal with.  I guess at the end of the day, it would come down to how supported I felt by my husband.  I'm sensitive though, so I do think it'd be hard.Kate- you do come across as very judgmental a lot of the time. You come from a very personal view on things. I'm one of 5 kids and my parents are divorced. It's simply a different dynamic.  I've gone years without speaking to my dad (not at this point in time).  Not everyone is fully focused on their parents and not every family spends a lot of time together. 
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    edited December 2011
    Oh and btw  my FILs actually really like me! I cannot imagine what it would be like if they didn't.  see things could always be worse!
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    edited December 2011
    Unfortunately, many of you know I married against my parents' will.  My mother never attended our civil ceremony, which was the main event (although last minute, she did become involved in the smaller Indian wedding).  She didn't tell me she wasn't coming until the night after the Indian ceremony, so I was in complete hysterics the night before my real wedding.  I didn't sleep, and didn't think I could even function all day Sunday, but thankfully I got swept up by all the love I was surrounded by and that was all that mattered.In my case, even though my mother disapproved - I guess in a sense I stopped trying to seek her approval when I knew she would never approve of anyone that I would want to marry, lol.  I tried it "her way" for a little while, allowed her to set me up on some dates, but it was just an awful awful experience.  I disagreed with her CRITERIA for who she approves of (Hindu Brahmin Kannada-speaking boy from a nice family - who cares if he is devoid of personality, or a serial killer), so on principle I really couldn't hold myself to that standard.  That just isn't what makes someone marryable!
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