Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Rude inlaws

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  • #878575 Reply

    Again, the fact that his parents behave quite differently than yours does NOT mean that they don’t like you.

    #878577 Reply

    Another growth exercise in this area: ask your partner what he finds uncomfortable, unnerving, or just weird about spending time with your family. Listen without judgement.

    This conversation changed a lot for us. After several years together, my partner shared that he sometimes finds my family gatherings awkward because, in typical white suburban fashion, we don’t argue or express negative emotions when we’re together. We bottle feelings up and vent to each other in small groups later. He’s used to family conflict laid out for all to see. In my mind, “normal” is: always have fun together and don’t argue in front of Mom. Talk shit with siblings later about some dumb thing Dad said, or why cousin can’t hold a job. “Resolve” conflict through sarcasm and jokes. That’s just HOW IT WORKS. But obviously that’s not the only way, and definitely not the best way, to be.

    I bet you have some similar blind spots like I did. If you’re up for having that conversation calmly and with a genuine curiosity for your husband’s experience, it might help you two have better dialogue around these issues.

    #878581 Reply

    Like everyone is saying, families are different. My parents and step-parents play a fairly active role in our lives (nothing overbearing, though, mostly), so they ask about BoA* all the time. BoA’s mother, however, barely speaks of a word of English (and my Spanish needs to be vastly improved). She seems polite enough when I’m around, but I have no farking clue whether she’s ever asked about me. But his family, for various reasons, probably won’t ever play a big part of our lives, so I don’t mind at all. She knows I exist. She’s not a bitch to me. That’s the best I’m going to get. You just have to know your audience.

    *BoA- Boyfriend of Allornone

    #878589 Reply

    I agreed with others. Just different people. My folks never just ask how my husband is doing unless I told them he’s sick or hurt, and then they will ask about his situation or update. I don’t find anything out of the ordinary…

    #878601 Reply

    I agree with everyone here, your expectations need to get toned WAY down. They probably trust that if something is going on with you your partner will tell them (which he does). Just because your parents act a certain way doesn’t mean his parents should. Stop trying to cause a fight. It could be they like you, they’re just reserved. Regardless they’re NOT ignorant and you’re already being a drama queen by harping to your guy about this.

    #878607 Reply

    MaltaKano nailed it: there are SO many ways to be! Every family is different in their styles.

    #878643 Reply

    Thanks everyone for the helpful responses.

    It is useful to get outsiders’ perspectives, maybe I am being over sensitive or whatever.

    #878647 Reply

    You saying you wanted the perfect relationship with them was a big clue. You have an image in your mind of how the relationship should be. How you think they should act and how they should feel, and how they should demonstrate those feelings. And you’re angry and disappointed and hurt because they’re not following the script.

    Some people just aren’t demonstrative, and some are kind of reserved around people they don’t know really well. It doesn’t mean they don’t feel, ar that they don’t care. And it certainly doesn’t mean that they’re “ignorant.”

    Take a look at your own behavior towards them. If you’re showing your resentment the way it comes through in this letter, that may make them uncomfortable and standoffish. They probably don’t even understand why you don’t like them.

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