Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

In Laws. Never felt welcome and now they want to go on holiday! HELP

Home Forums Get Advice, Give Advice In Laws. Never felt welcome and now they want to go on holiday! HELP

Viewing 12 posts - 25 through 36 (of 38 total)
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  • #850874 Reply

    I have a feeling there’s more to the story here, but if it’s truly everyone that they’re like this with, I don’t know why you’d expect them to be different with you. Some people don’t like you, it’s fine. Just let it go. They’re certainly not going to be more friendly if you keep turning down their invitations.

    #850875 Reply

    You’re taking this *extremely* personally, and it’s not personal. They’re just rigid in their habits and not comfortable with people outside of their little family group. That’s not hostility. Hostile is “Don’t you dare bring that bitch along on our family vacation!”

    Like I said: You can be an adult, understand that it’s their problem, not yours, and don’t take their awkwardness personally. Or not. Your choice.

    #850876 Reply

    Are they just inviting the two of you along because they need drivers?

    I’d go but have low expectations of them. Spend your time with your fiance and his siblings. Be gracious to the parents but don’t go out of your way to impress them. Be polite. Say things like good morning but don’t expect much in the way of reply. If they would sit in the same car as you and ignore you as if you weren’t there then avoid being in the same car. If you need to get your own car.

    #850877 Reply
    avatarMiss MJ

    I think you just have to suck it up and deal with them. The alternative is to take their general disinterest/reservedness and turn it into actual hostility by causing a scene and demanding them be different and creating a rift. That’s … not going to help them be friendlier toward you. You said yourself, you hardly have to see them, so just smile, be friendly and find something that you enjoy on the vacation that takes your focus off of them and what they’re doing or saying. Obviously, they’re not that concerned about what you’re feeling or up to. A distant, but cordial, relationship can be mutual.

    #850883 Reply

    It’s been 10 years, what you’re getting is what you’re going to get. I think setting up covert contracts where you decide that *this* thing is going to be the thing that gets them to like you is only ever going to lead to disappointment. You’ll probably feel so much better once you take the reigns of indifference and go along to get along. Who cares if they like you? Do you like them?

    #850931 Reply

    How long is this vacation? If it’s a long weekend vs, say, 10 days that makes a difference. And what will the setup be? Will you all stay in a house together or in separate hotel rooms? Will everyone have their own bedrooms and baths? Who is paying for this vacation? I think you have some options to go and support your partner while still not having a miserable time. You can go for part of the trip if it is a long one and beg off with a work related excuse. If it’s shared quarters or you want your own car, why not go under the condition that you’ll pay for an extra car and your own room. You dont have to be with them 24/7, stay back while they go do some sightseeing and read a book by the hotel pool. overall, I think the others are right. You’re making something personal that isn’t. Indifference is pretty low on the list of flaws your in laws can have. If your overtures haven’t been well received, stop making them. Stop expecting them to act differently then they always have. Stop worrying what they think of you. Give them a polite hello, stick to talking/ hanging with the siblings you like, and be a good houseguest. Never give them a reason to dislike you, always be courteous and kind, and that way however they act is on them

    #850932 Reply

    LW, I think you don’t get this because your own family are cool, but this is an important thing a lot of people have to learn about their own parents or family members: They’re not going to change and suddenly act how you want them to act. You have to stop having expectations or you’re going to be constantly disappointed. Taking their behavior personally is another way to drive yourself crazy. While their behavior may not be great (but hey, at least they invite you to do things!), it’s your reaction that’s the real problem here.

    #850947 Reply

    If they’re just disinterested in you and don’t treat you like family, then that’s a relatively easy thing to learn to let go of. Just accept they won’t see you as a daughter or be super into you. Your in-laws don’t have to see you that way.

    Assuming your examples are a general idea of how they treat you, it’s not that they do anything to you, they just don’t really care/ignore you. That’s really easy to tolerate on a vacation, compared with people who are always in your business.

    #850997 Reply

    Agreed that his family is not *hostile* toward you. What you’ve described could easily be my immediate family. All families are different, not all are warm and enthusiastic.

    Anyway, can you and your fiance go on the trip but pay for your own car so that you can go off and do things together?

    More general advice: When your fiance is on the phone with them, do you ever ask him to say you say “hi” or otherwise say that you’re curious how they’re doing? (My boyfriend sometimes takes calls from his dad when we’re together and I’ll always wave at him when he does, which he knows is his cue to tell his dad hello from me.) Do you proactively reach out to them? You complain that they don’t do these things for you, but you could instigate to see if that changes things. Other than that, be friendly, pleasant, and likable… and yes, stop taking it so personally since it doesn’t even sound like they’re truly rude to you.

    #851000 Reply

    I think I probably grew up in a family similar to your fiancé’s. My parents were disinterested at best, extremely difficult and negative at worst. Kids were meant to be seen not heard, etc.

    On the other side of that, my husband’s father made a point to fly out ASAP as soon as he announced our relationship and I didn’t get it. I couldn’t understand why he wanted to visit us and meet me. It’s actually funny looking back, because I was just waiting for the disapproval…but my FIL was interested in me, as an actual person. He took time to get to know me and he and I have a great relationship now. He’s actually more like a father to me in many ways than my real bio dad or stepfather, which sounds terrible but it is what it is. I don’t blame my dad or my stepfather for being aloof and distant and even cold…they were brought up that way. I’m also not saying this is something you ever have to feel comfortable with (it’s taken me many years to come to grips with this stuff) but it would be pretty easy to just mentally prepare yourself and set realistic expectations when you do see them. Feel good that you have a warm and loving relationship with your fiancé.

    #851194 Reply

    LW, they just sound more reserved. Sometimes demonstrative people feel slighted when spending time with extremely reserved people. I would guess this is just their personality. I may be wrong of course, but that is the feeling I get from what you write. I would be adult about it and go on the vacation and work on not taking things personally. Try to get to know them…ask about their interests. Just hang out. We are good friends with a couple…at first I thought one of them didn’t like me but as I’ve gotten to know them both better I now know it’s just her personality to be very very reserved, not smiley or enthusiastic, and kind of quiet. Her spouse is the opposite…very gregarious, enthusiastic and affectionate. I know she does like us very much…she is just reserved in nature. PS – In a marriage think long term. Think 30 years from now. It’s always good to take the high road and be kind to the in-laws and get to know them better. I think you should go on the vacation. Don’t expect anything from them. My in-law are EXTREMELY different from my family and it has taken a lot of time to get used to them. 26 years later and I can say we get along great.

    #851197 Reply

    I disagree that LW needs to suck it up and go. These people sound unpleasant at best, and even if it’s not personal, spending extended periods of time with unpleasant people is not a requirement for life. In fact, most people avoid spending time with unpleasant people. Just because they are “faaamily” means nothing; some families are toxic.

    LW needs to have a deeper conversation with her fiance about the trip. Some possible outcomes include: declining to attend. Attending, but renting your own car and accommodations. Attending, and not renting your own car but finding your own accommodations. Attending, and not renting your own car and staying where your in laws stay.

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