15 answers

Your Husband's Family...

How well did you know your husband's family prior to marrying him? (Immediate and extended family...)

What is your relationship like with them now? And how long have you been married?

I'm just wondering because I was thinking about how I don't know my fiance's family very well. We see his parents relatively often, the extended family members that live close on occasion, but I don't really know them well. I've been with my fiance for only about 1.5 years now, although I knew him prior to dating him. Also, bear in mind that my basis for comparison is the 16 year relationship I had with my son's father. I knew his family very well. I felt (and still kind of feel) like one of them. Weird? His mother and I became very close, and still maintain a friendship. Like, I'll call her just to catch up. We might go shopping together with my son. I don't know. It's just weird. I wouldn't feel at all comfortable calling my fiance's mother just to chat, or to go shopping with her. Don't get me wrong, she is a really nice woman, and we seem to be developing a nice relationship, but it's just nowhere near the relationship I have with my ex's mom. I know it takes time (like 16 years!) to develop the kind of relationships I have with my son's father's family, but I feel weird that I am nowhere near as close to my future in-laws as I am with my ex's family. I guess it's important to note that I became far closer to my ex's mother after I had my son. Our relationship prior to that was much more casual. But since him, we've gotten really close, and enjoy spending time together. I think that could happen with my fiance's mother too, if the time comes when we share a child with her. Kids seem to up the ante on bonding, I guess. In a way, I guess I kind of long for the closeness and comfort level I have with my ex's mother, and wish I had that with my future mother-in-law, although cognitively, I know that level of comfort in relationships takes time.

Is any of this weird?

I suspect this is probably a somewhat common issue. Just wondering what it's like for those of you in similar situations. Can you share your stories about your relationships with your husband's family, and/or your ex's family?

Thanks for any thoughts...

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I don't have that much in common with my in laws be it hobbies, political views, or just general life philosophy so that relationship has just never developed. I don't know if they hate me per say but it's clear they wish their son had married someone more like them. I have more in common with my brothers in law but because they live far away and travel a lot I rarely see them and can't say I know them that well. In fact two of them are identical twins and I still can't tell them apart because I've only seen them together a handful of times. Talk about embarrassing....

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Common issue? I don't know about that! My husband's family (mother and father) hated me so no relationship could ever get established~ they vowed to ruin our wedding day. To this day, my husband and I have been married for 18 years, we have 3 children, with another on the way. His mother died two years ago. She never saw any of my children, except in pictures. My father in law has a desire to see the children...if my husband leaves me home. Since I will not allow my children to see my husband's father without me, he wont' be seeing my children anytime soon, that's his loss, not mine. My husband's sister lives in the same area as we do but does not see my children either. She has made numerous excuses for not stopping by. One Christmas she left the gifts for my children outside our front door! She called after she put them there to let us know the gifts were "dropped by." That's when I told my husband I didn't care to exchange Christmas gifts with his sister any longer. We get no Christmas cards, no phone calls.

You have a long history with your ex's family and it sounds like a wonderful and positive history. Give it more time with your fiance's family. Sometimes these unions work out great, unlike the relationship I have (or don't have) with my husband's family, sometimes they don't work at all.

2 moms found this helpful

HAHA I knew my hubs family for bout 6 months before I married him and believe me I had no idea what I was gettin myself into. At first everything is all Peachy for a few months now Ive been married to my husband for 2 years and his mom is the majority of our fights we had to move in with them when we were finishin up with our house they decided to breed English Mastiff's which are HUGE dogs and then the puppys started peeing in the carpet so they rippped up all the carpet out of there house and left a bare concret floor for my 11month old (learning how to walk) crawl around on,she doesnt clean house so unless I kept up on the dishes they was always stacked up a mile high it was not how I was raised at all!!! I walked into the house one afternoon when I had got off work went to turn on my light in our room the electricity had been cut off due to someone not payin the bill so guess who had to fork out 350.00 for the electric to get turned on..yea I wasnt happy! Needless to say my relationship with my mother inlaw isnt the best but my father inlaw is awsome hes a hard worker great dad and a great grandpa!!! Always give it time and there true colors will come out :)

1 mom found this helpful

It's not weird to want a relationship with someone who will be "family" in a blink of an eye!

My husband and I dated for about 18 months when we got engaged. He has a twin brother, a much older sister, parents, two nieces who are both married and one has children. He has two aunts and a ton of cousins (all of whom are married with children). Here's the break-down...
- My relationship with my brother-in-law.... very close, in fact more like natural siblings than "in laws". This is primarily because he lived with us for over a year when he went back to school & our son was a newborn. The four of us became a little family "unit" and have remaind close since he moved into his own place. LOTS of time spent together, many "difficult" discussions and disagreements, but worth it in the end.
- My sister-in-law... we get along well, but don't seek-out time together. She's closer in age to my mother and we are just at different points in our lives.
- My nieces... more like my little sisters. We talk all the time and they (and their spouses/children) are at my home all the time. This was NOT always the case. They were not close to my husband due to their ages (he was in college when they were at home). We made a concerted effort to invite them over monthly for take-out and to catch up. Five years later, they come to us with everything... good or bad.
- My in-laws... we are not close. Their marriage is not healthy and we have pretty strict parameters around the time we spend with them b/c I don't want my son around their craziness. I make a point of calling them once a week to check-in, but they have very little to do with us spontaneously. I've tried, but their own "issues" make that a challenge.

I am still close to my high school boyfriend's family and my husband talks regularly with his college girlfriend's family (she was killed in a car accident). Those relationships took time to build and effort to maintain, but I now focus my energy and time on building and maintaining relationships with my in-laws.

My husband was an "instant member" of my family... immediate and extended and speaks to them more than his own family. Strange dynamics, but you just continue to focus on remaining connected, at whatever level works at that time!

1 mom found this helpful

Great question. When I met my husbands family when we were in high school, I thought they were great and really liked his mom. As we came to know each other better, I noticed she was involved but before I was married didn't really comprehend how that would influence things. My parents and I laugh now as they even tried to talk to me or warn me but I was too young and excited to get married. We didn't marry until 6 yrs. after we met --I was 23(some yrs. of being broken up and having other relationships, doing school and travel in between). Now we have been married over 13 yrs. and she is quite difficult to deal with, possibly has a personality disorder. She is alway lying but we don't usually call her out as she will cry, call over and over, justify and talk about it for hours as to why and it isnt worth it b/c she wont take responsiblity... she just wants to explain why it was ok. I am generally kind and agreeable but it's almost like she still wants alone time with her son. We have 5 kids and if she comes to visit, may talk for a minute with them but really just wants to follow him around and talk with him.
You are lucky to have had the relationship you had with your ex-motherinlaw. I would love to have that and kind of thought I would if I went off the first 6 six yrs. of knowing her. As I got older and had kids, it has been more strained and difficult. I realize I can't change her and we still spend time with her but I don't confront her or ruffle her feathers as I know she isn't open to other ideas on anything. I am sad for her and the relationships she is missing out on with her daughters in law and her grandkids. I am just grateful for the great man she raised and so happy to be married to him that I will take her along with it and try not to complain to my husband as it makes his life harder. He is frustrated with her too but it really isn't possible to change her. I would just say love her and keep getting to know her but recognize personalities are different and even if you don't get close to her, you love this man and it will all be good.

1 mom found this helpful

I didn't know my inlaws at all before i married my husband. I litterally only knew my husband for 4 months before we married. We met on a dating website in October of 2008 and we met in person in Dec. 2008. He is in the army and was stationed in Ft. Bragg NC. His parents live in PA. We married Feb. 18th 2009 at the Cumberland County Court house. :). My husband didn't tell his parents we were married until after it was done and he did it through a text message. I met them for the first time that April and they loved me. They were all great. The only one I hated was my husband's sister who is a spoiled 21 year old brat now. His mom and dad are really nice down home people and we talk often, or at least we used to until my husband, our son and I moved to South Korea since my husband was stationed here for the next 3 years. And we've been married now for over a year and a half.

1 mom found this helpful

Truth be told, I met his 6 sisters and mom (had seen her before but not with the awareness that she'd be my MIL!) at my bridal shower the week before my wedding! His dad I met the night before our wedding day. I LOVE his mom! She's a great MIL- because she knows how to mind her own business and not pry. She's a great listener & very supportive and never pries, never pushes her opinion on anyone (the total opposite of my mom).

I think the reason to observe family relationships is important because it shows you how he treats his family members with respect (or lack of) and how their dynamics could come to play in your own. ie, does his family scold by yelling, do they fight by withdrawing and giving each other the silent treatment, do they blow up and call each other names, or do they argue privately and respectfully? It is highly likely that those interaction patterns will arise in his marriage to you and in his/your family. (same to be said for YOUR upbringing.)

I don't think it's weird that you will visit your child's grandmother more easily than your new/future MIL because after all, you have had 16 years of time to nurture that relationship, and this new one is only beginning. Nurture this new one too and it can be great.

1 mom found this helpful

I've always told my friends and sisters to be sure to meet your partner's family and get to know them before you commit yourself to marriage because you aren't just marrying the man but his entire family in a sense. I love my husband very much but I wish I would have known his family better. Although I really don't know if it would have changed anything because of my love for him. I think all it would have done was prepare me for what was to come. To avoid going into a long story, we've been put through He** and back because of his grown kids. One more than the other, whom we no longer have contact with due to the severity of the situation. I could write a book about all that I've been through, but the problem would be people would think it's fiction when in fact it's a true story - that's how bizarre it is! Get to know your fiance's family well before you do so you can get a sense of what is to come. Every family has it's "crazies", some have more than it's share but it'll be good for you to find out ahead of time so you'll know how to handle them. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

I had not met anyone in my husband's family until our oldest was about 5 months. Granted, we got pregnant soon after we started dating and then his family lives 1500 miles away. My relationship has never been great with his mom, everyone else I get along with fabulously :).

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