Etiquette

OK.,..Someone Explain Why Please.

I am confused on something.  It may be because of my background or just the way that I am personally.  Hopefuly, you lovely ladies can help me out.

I would like to know when a bride has an in-law issue why it has to automatically become the fiance's responsibility to resolve said issue when (in most cases) he is not involved with it.  Such as FMIL wants to wear a white dress that matches the bride's dress. (Since when do guys care what people wear?)  or FFIL thinks bbq should be served instead of chicken. (OK, some guys may care about this but goin on)

In my way of thinking-I am going to have disagreements with my in-laws in the future.  Example may be  on how I think my in-laws should or should not punish my kids,  I won't be complaining about it to my husband then have him take care of it.  Most likely, I am going to say hey, in my rules of punishment you do not spank my child.

Or I may not like it when my brother-in-law brings his flavor of the month around and she's being overly rude to me or the family so I will have no problems tell her to shape up or ship out.

I feel the wedding gives you a pretty good idea on how future relations will be.  If you bite and smile now, wouldn't FILs expect you to do it after the wedding? 

Would you like to provide insight on this apparent rule so I can understand it better?

Thanks!
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Re: OK.,..Someone Explain Why Please.

  • I agree with you to a point. There are some things with FIL's that I will handle but there are other more "sensitive" subjects that I let my FI handle. 

    Like his dad always sticks his nose into our financial business.  I understand where he is coming from but its our business. Just bc we say we dont have the money or cant afford it doesnt mean we have $2 to our name. It just means we dont see the point in spending what we do have on it. Or sometimes we do have the money we just are saving it for something else and don't feel the need to explain.

    His parents have money and can buy what they want and sometimes forget we are not in their shoes. So I ask FI to remind them every so often. 
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  • Well, think of it this way. If it's something WR, who do you think your groom's mom would rather hear negative news/feedback from? Her son or the chick he's marrying? I get that you're family once you're married, but before that, I think it's better to let your FI handle his family because he has the benefit of having known them and how to deal with them his entire life. Whereas you probably came into the picture pretty recently, in the grand scheme of things. At least that's the case most of the time.

    It also depends on what the disagreement is about. In your white dress example, you're right, your FI probably doesn't give a rat's ass about what his mom wears. But if it's bothering you that she wants to wear a white dress, I think it would come across as slightly bitchy to address that concern yourself. If you let your FI do it, you're more likely to get the desired result without ruffling FMIL's feathers, IMO.
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  • Because.
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  • Well, I think it's usually in the interests of diplomacy.  Especially if you are new to the family, or if the family has somehow targeted you as the troublemaker, it is important that your fi speak up and say "no, we are a team and we BOTH feel this way."  There's absolutely nothing wrong with speaking up for yourself, but it's important that your fi at least have your back, if he's not going to take the lead. 

    And vice versa, of course.  You take the lead with setting your own family straight, but if your fi wants to take the lead, you at least have his back. 
  • FISHY YOU ARE SO GODDAMN HELPFUL!
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  • In my opinion it's because it's the husband's family. I don't have any in-law problems but if I did I would expect my husband to talk to his own family regarding resolving it. The way I see it is I wouldn't want my husband and mother fighting and if they did, I feel it would be up to me to diffuse the situation. The main reason being I think It would be my responsibility due to the fact that it's my mom. Plus I would know how to handle her better than my husband.

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  • I think this rule comes from two places.  First your Fi should be standing up for you and on your side.  Second, in some ways the way in interact with his family impacts him as much if not more than it impacts you.  If I fight with my FSIL over something, she is more likely to take it out on him, because they have the stronger emotional bond.  If FMIL hates me and won't be around me he doesn't get to see her much.  These things impact him more than me, because while I like FMIL well enough, lets face it, its not like I'm losing my mother, he is.  Because the emotional relationships (and not necessarily the content of the fight) are the more important part, and impact him greatly he should be involved. 

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  • TK said this thread had 20something replies.  Lies.
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  • Mine probably counted for AT LEAST 10 posts.
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  • Yeah, Fish.  That must be it.
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  • I think it depends on what the issue is.  For serious matters that affect both of us I would have FI handle it.  He's known them longer and would have a better idea of how to handle those types of situations.  I certainly wouldn't go crying to FI with every little petty problem I had with his mother.
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  • If my H had a problem with my parents/family, I would take it upon myself to speak to my family.  I wouldn't just hand over the phone and tell him to deal with it himself.  It's just easier.

    Why are you asking, though?  I mean, if you want to confront your IL's, by all means, go for it.  You don't need a message board's permission.
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  • I do also get annoyed when I always see have your FI talk to her.  Sometimes there are some issues I deal with myself.  But as a PP said on more senstive issues like money or anything else I make H deal with it.  Mostly just to save me from getting stuck on the phone with my MIL.  We really didn't have any issues with money for the wedding with them since they didn't contribute at all.  Ours was the guest list and she kept trying to add people after the invites went out.  So I made H tell her becauase I probably would have flipped on her since she never gave us the list like I asked. 
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  • I think it depends what the issue is. If someone is spanking my child, and I'm not ok with that, of course I'm going to say something then and there rather than waiting for H to have a talk with his parents. But there are also things where it's just more comfortable for everyone involved if he talks to his family.

    For example, his mom used to ask us how much things cost all. the. time. She was just curious, but it made me uncomfortable to talk about how much we spent. Saying something to her would have made all of us uncomfortable - she would have felt bad for making me feel bad, I would have felt bad for making her feel bad - but H mentioning to her privately "you know Mom, in Emily's family they don't talk to much about money, so maybe you could try to mention it less or just ask me" worked for all of us. Ditto some stuff that he's butted heads with my dad on.
  • Quite frankly, it's common sense.

    If you feel comfortable addressing the issue, do it.

    If it's going to compromise your relationship with your in laws, better to hand it off.

    If you're doing all the communicating to be a bossy doo doo head, that's not ok.

    If you're doing all the communicating so your fiance/husband doesn't have to, not ok.

    If you're doing it to coddle him, not ok.

    Certainly people are smart enough to gauge what they can and can't address with their in-laws, I would hope.
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  • I think that every situation is different.  And if I feel that it will cause an issue between my MIL and I, then yes I will have my husband say something... he's wonderful, he's perfect, he's the apple of her eye.  It's just easier in the end.

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  • I'm coming from the perspective of rarely having had disagreements with FILs (actually I can't remember any), but we do have some things we do differently. In my opinion, it's up to each spouse to "manage" their own family relations and any potential issues with FILs. They have a lifetime of knowing how a family interacts as opposed to a stranger coming and trying to force her own way in.

    And in all the examples, you mentioned, I can't think of any reason why the woman would care more than the man (except about the white dress, which I think is ridiculous anyway).
  • I don't think FI needs to address every problem with his family. It's just easier with particularly touchy subjects because A) he probably knows how to handle them better B) even if he handles the situation atrociously, they will likely forgive and forget. In fights with my siblings I have said so many unforgiveable things for which I have been forgiven, usually within a day or two. If I ever said anything like that to my SIL, forgiveness would be MUCH more difficult and would probably color our relationship for a long time.

    Also, we know our families better, so it's easier to see through them being manipulative or making idle threats. Sometimes the ILs might bring a problem to the bride because they might think she will be easier to influence because she doesn't want to make waves with her new ILs. Or FI might better be able to tell if his mom’s threat of "if X does't happen I won't attend" is just hot air or not.

    Also, it's important for your ILs to know that his default will be siding with you and that they can't treat you like trash and expect his relationship with them to be OK.  FI saying something to his parents (or you to yours) really nails this in.

    Finally, they don't know you very well, but they know him. Hearing something from your brother’s SO is one thing, but from your brother who’s had your back for the past 20+ years, that’s something you’re more likely to take seriously.

  • I think the idea of him standing up for you (or you for him with your family) is important too. In our case it hasn't been about needing to stand up to some injustice, but it has been a bit of a transition from being our parents' children first and foremost to being each other's spouses above all and all of us - both us and our families - getting used to how that new dynamic works.
  • If they're going to be upset with somebody, better it be their son, withwhom they have a long standing relationship and have weathered previous disagreements, than with you.  Post arguement, their son will still be their son.  If you bring it up, you're liable to be "that bitch" or "bridezilla" when they refer to you. 

    When my BIL made me so incredibly furiously angry by being horribly rude and inappropriate and too many other things for me to list, my H dealt with him.  If he does it again, I'll say something myself, but the first time it was better coming from H.  Now BIL knows we're united on the issue, and that he can't bully me.  I'm perfectly capable of standing up for myself, but it was better for the family dynamics to let H handle it the first time.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_oksomeone-explain-please?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:9e2b95d9-bcb6-48b3-8a39-3c3a989e76e1Post:15829b16-fd22-497a-b00f-6c0811206a35">Re: OK.,..Someone Explain Why Please.</a>:
    [QUOTE]Well, I think it's usually in the interests of diplomacy.  Especially if you are new to the family, or if the family has somehow targeted you as the troublemaker, it is important that your fi speak up and say <strong>"no, we are a team and we BOTH feel this way."</strong>  There's absolutely nothing wrong with speaking up for yourself, but it's important that your fi at least have your back, if he's not going to take the lead.  And vice versa, of course.  You take the lead with setting your own family straight, but if your fi wants to take the lead, you at least have his back. 
    Posted by ohwhynot[/QUOTE]

    This.
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  • As most of us said in one form or another, it's not  a question of knowing how to stand up for yourself, it's a question of knowing when it's appropriate or most effective to do it yourself.
  • >>If they're going to be upset with somebody, better it be their son, withwhom they have a long standing relationship and have weathered previous disagreements, than with you.  Post arguement, their son will still be their son.  If you bring it up, you're liable to be "that bitch" or "bridezilla" when they refer to you. 


    That.  Exactly.
  • Hell hath frozen over.  Kristin and I agreed with each other twice in as many days. 

    Or, maybe that's just Fargo that's frozen.  Fishy, care to weigh in on that?
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  • Ten and Kristin-I was answering someone else's question on why I was asking the question.  Your comments weren't necessary I am smart enough to read between the others' lines on what they are getting at.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_oksomeone-explain-please?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:9e2b95d9-bcb6-48b3-8a39-3c3a989e76e1Post:b0d58399-1525-4e25-b766-2f7120354fa9">Re: OK.,..Someone Explain Why Please.</a>:
    [QUOTE]Ten and Kristin-I was answering someone else's question on why I was asking the question.  Your comments weren't necessary I am smart enough to read between the others' lines on what they are getting at.
    Posted by SeptemberFall2011[/QUOTE]

    They wanted to put their two cents in.  It happens.  I can tell you are going to fit right in around here.  Oh, yes you are.
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  • Dear OP:  You irritate everyone on every board where you post.  At least you are persistent.
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  • I think a lot of this seems to be that you've already stated in other threads that you'll tell people what to do or at least if you approve of what their doing but that's  not really the most appropriate way to handle yourself.

    Just like it's not really appropriate to tell your parents what to do in their home, it's also heading down a really slippery slope when you tell your FI's or DH's family your opinions on a matter.  It's one thing if you're asked something point blank but the bottom line is that you and your FI or DH should be a united front and the best way to convey that is for your FI to deal with his family on those matters. 

    When you become the outspoken in-law you also become "that person my son married".
  • Most of the good reasons have already been given by PPs like squirrly.  Like, obviously you have a mouth and you can use it.  But whatever gets said about a particular situation is more likely to be truly accepted by the ILS instead of dimissed with rollling eyes if FI tackles it as though it bothers him too and not just you.  If it's something real serious like disciplining your children you two can handle that jointly.

    That being said I think there is a way to handle certain things with the ILS yourself in a more passive than aggressive way.  I wouldn't whip out the FI for something like a menu choice or FMIL's dress.

    (1) Re: FFIL's preference for bbq all you have to do is nod your head respectfully, look deeply thoughtful and say something like " Hmm...Sounds good.  Thanks for your input.  I will consider that.  And then go right ahead and do what you want to do."

    (2) Re: FMIL's dress I wouldn't have FI speak to his mom.  Cause if she feels forced to wear something different she will have a shitty attitude.  Instead, speak to her alone like you're confiding in her and make up something like if your wedding colors are pink and green I would say "My colors are pink and green.

    And I've asked my mom if she would wear pink and was wondering if you would wear green as a symbolic gesture of the two mothers representing both sides of the newly joined union.  Tell her you designed this part of the ceremony specifically to honor both mothers.  So you would really love it if she would participate in your plan.  If she declines, ask her if she would be open to wearing a green sash or bolero or something with the color?"

    You know, just be creative when it comes to trivial matters.  Good luck!Smile
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