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Kind of "disappointed and offended" by FMIL's response


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#1 Vikki

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    Posted 14 May 2009 - 11:44 AM

    Ok-the background.

    My fiance and I have been together for a little over 2 years. We met while he was still married but because we lived on opposite sides of the country there was no inappropriate behavior. But, he did leave his wife to move in with me. There were a lot of marital issues in their relationship, an affair and some other ongoing things. His leaving had been a probable thing without me but I gave him a reason to do it at that time. The divorce was filed as soon as his residency became official in our state.

    So he's been living with me for the last two years and he proposed in March. His parents were out for Thanksgiving the year he moved here and then his Dad came out last summer and did a backpacking trip with us and my Dad. So I've had a chance to interact with them and they've met my parents. They were very uncomfortable with me in the beginning and still don't really like me (implied by my fiance). They did however LOVE my parents so that helped a little.

    The entire time we've been together my fiance has talked about his family with disclaimers -
    "they're a bunch of crazy rednecks"
    "my mom is nuts"
    "you won't like them"
    "my mom says one thing and does another"
    "I've been married before so they've already had to go through this"
    "don't expect anyone to really get excited since I've been married before"
    "I think my Mom liked ( his ex) better"
    and so on. This is 90% of what comes out of his mouth when he talks about them. He does say he wants me to meet his family and he misses spending time with them but then he sets my experience up to be a negative one. So my reactions and perceptions of his family are based on these communications he has with me.

    Last Thanksgiving he flew home. I stayed here because we had just returned from Taiwan and I also had a friend staying at the house and wanted to spend time with him. The only times his family gets together are Thanksgiving and Christmas-with the main hoilday being Christmas. I'm sorry but it's freaking expensive and irritating to travel over the Christmas Holiday. Especially when I'm being told how miserable a time I'm going to have. Unfortunately my family is very close and totally awesome and we spend a lot of time there. Keep in mind I have never implied anything negative about my family in my discussions with him and they love him.

    So-finally my point.

    I emailed his Mom (I'm trying to build a relationship with her) and told her my mom is putting on a little AHR for us sometime in January when our extended family visits and asked if we were to come home for Christmas if she would like to do something small so I would have a chance to meet the family. I asked if it would be easier over the holidays since everyone gathers (from what my fiance has said). She said she would have to think about it and talk to his Dad.

    So I get this email last night and it just really rubbed me the wrong way.

    "We are glad that you are getting married and we know that getting to know the family is important. We are proud of both of you but we hope that you will not be disappointed and offended by us not wishing to do a reception at this time. We think it would just be good for you to come and be a part of the family. Maybe we could plan something nice for you and Brandon on your first anniversary and include the family."

    And I'm like wtf-is it only worth celebrating this event after we've proved we can make it a year? Do I have to prove something before we get the opportunity get some sort of recognition? I don't care at all about gifts. We don't need anything. But I feel that because I'm the second wife that I'm being treated differently. They had a decent sized wedding and reception for his first marriage, all I'm asking for is a small AHR. FFS it could be a casserole in somebody's living room. Just somewhere we can have this event be acknowledged. I'm sorry but we only get to have a wedding reception once-it's not like a random thing you just do.

    And of course I'm reading more into it because a) all I know of his mom is that "she's crazy" B) "she says one thing and does another" and c) "she likes (his ex) better". So between that and all the stuff he's said that makes me feel like I won't fit in with his family, they won't like me, I'll have a miserable time I'm getting the impression that they're not really all that happy about this wedding. I think they're only coming to Jamaica because they feel obligated to and probably they feel forced into it because I'm the one that made the decision to get married there.

    So I didn't email her back. I talked to both of my parents and they think I'm going a little overboard. I tend to agree but I can't help that it makes me feel like I'm not an important enough part of his life to deserve attention. I know I'm being selfish but isn't this supposed to be the time that we're recognized for cementing our future together? I feel like if I was his first wife the family would be excited to meet me rather than curious and aprehensive. He's frustrated with me because he thinks I'll never want to spend time with his family (I wonder why) and can't understand why I'm being so selfish.

    So, I guess I need the rest of you to tell me I'm being ridiculous too-I just can't help but feel "disappointed and offended" about it.

    #2 boscobel

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      Posted 14 May 2009 - 11:52 AM

      What about throwing your own AHR with his family when you go to visit for the holidays? I had never heard of asking someone else to throw one for the couple, usually it the bride and groom that plan it. So what about just booking a restaurant for the night or something equally low-key? Find out how many people are on his side, find a restaurant that will allow you to partially or fully shut it down and then send invites as you normally would for a party.

      Taking the responsibility out of your MIL hands, takes away her ability to make you feel unwanted/unloved/or 2nd best.

      Good luck with whatever you choose!

      #3 tylersgirl

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        Posted 14 May 2009 - 11:57 AM

        Vikki-I am really sorry you are going through this. I would be upset and have hurt feelings too, but it sounds like she does want you to be a part of the family and she is glad y'all are getting married-so that is a good thing. I know that you are upset that she isn't going to have a get together, but maybe they have other issues going on right now that y'all aren't aware of. Just a thought. ex: finances, time, ect...I know it was a let down, but at least she didn't say that they don't want to do anything for y'all at all...maybe right now is just a bad time for them. I wish you the best!!!

        #4 Amarillis

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          Posted 14 May 2009 - 11:58 AM

          Quote:
          Originally Posted by Vikki

          So he's been living with me for the last two years and he proposed in March. His parents were out for Thanksgiving the year he moved here and then his Dad came out last summer and did a backpacking trip with us and my Dad. So I've had a chance to interact with them and they've met my parents. They were very uncomfortable with me in the beginning and still don't really like me (implied by my fiance). They did however LOVE my parents so that helped a little.

          Ok, so the part bolded above is my first major issue with your problem. WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOUR FI TELL YOU THAT
          The entire time we've been together my fiance has talked about his family with disclaimers -
          "they're a bunch of crazy rednecks"
          "my mom is nuts"
          "you won't like them"
          "my mom says one thing and does another"
          "I've been married before so they've already had to go through this"
          "don't expect anyone to really get excited since I've been married before"
          "I think my Mom liked ( his ex) better"
          and so on. This is 90% of what comes out of his mouth when he talks about them. He does say he wants me to meet his family and he misses spending time with them but then he sets my experience up to be a negative one. So my reactions and perceptions of his family are based on these communications he has with me.
          With the way you have explained it (especially bolded sections) it truly does sound like he isn't giving you half a chance with his family in the first place. He is trying to skew your perception of them before you can make your own decisions. -- the Ex thing, that is totally uncalled for.


          Quote:
          Originally Posted by Vikki
          And of course I'm reading more into it because a) all I know of his mom is that "she's crazy" B) "she says one thing and does another" and c) "she likes (his ex) better". So between that and all the stuff he's said that makes me feel like I won't fit in with his family, they won't like me, I'll have a miserable time I'm getting the impression that they're not really all that happy about this wedding. I think they're only coming to Jamaica because they feel obligated to and probably they feel forced into it because I'm the one that made the decision to get married there.
          I think this whole thing is nuts, and if there is anyone to 'blame' or call out on this it is not your FMIL, it is your FI... he is not giving you the chance to shine, make your own opinions and get to know his family. I understand that they only get together at Thanksgiving and Christmas, but this is no reason that you and FI can't go there for a non-holiday time, to visit with his parents and simply get to know them better. I really think you need to develop a relationship with his parents yourself, and rather not through FI.

          I think you are blaming the wrong person.

          #5 tylersgirl

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            Posted 14 May 2009 - 11:58 AM

            I agree with Carly! Plan your own get together and then she will not have an excuse!

            #6 jk1101

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              Posted 14 May 2009 - 12:04 PM

              Quote:
              Originally Posted by carly
              I had never heard of asking someone else to throw one for the couple, usually it the bride and groom that plan it.
              Taking the responsibility out of your MIL hands, takes away her ability to make you feel unwanted/unloved/or 2nd best.
              If you want an AHR for your FI's family, go ahead and make one. Invite everyone in the family you'd like to be introduced to. You think they liked his ex better but if they don't know you they can't love you - let them get to know you by doing this - if you can't afford a big AHR, do a dinner, a lunch, a brunch, a cocktail party....something for people to get to know you and how fantastic you are and how good you are for their son/nephew/cousin etc.

              Good Luck!

              #7 foxytv

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                Posted 14 May 2009 - 12:06 PM

                Vikki - Honestly, I don't think you should have asked your FMIL to throw an AHR for you. Instead, I would have asked for a list of names (unless you already have that from the DW invitations) and made plans for an AHR on my own. DH should know of places to have it (heck, at the park is fine if you want it to be informal - make it a potluck).

                I think I would have been taken aback if someone 'asked' me to have a party for them. Now, I know your reasoning is to get to know the family, not to get gifts, but I do think that maybe you went about it the wrong way. Although, I can imagine how difficult it must be to figire out what the 'right way' is when you are getting push-back from FMIL.

                I hope my response isn't hurtful, but you asked, so I wanted to give you my honest opinion.

                Good Luck! It sounds like you are trying everything you can to form a bond with his family. Hopefully they will let down their guard soon and let you in. xoxo

                #8 JOSIE

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                  Posted 14 May 2009 - 12:10 PM

                  Well of course I'm going to say I understand, being that (you know) I'm dealing with a lot of the 2nd wife issues myself. I was hurt and offended when my FMIL said they would not contribute to our wedding, not because of the money, but because he's already been married- which they contributed for...but again, they have the money.

                  It's hard to swallow because its really the one time that you want and feel the need for some attention and acknowledgement and positive experience considering you will be spending your life with their son. You are clearly self-aware and know that because of your FI's previous statements about his family, its making this situation more offensive. He probably just doesn't want you to get your hopes up that the family will ever be like yours is :)

                  Is it worth going furthur and expressing your concerns to the FMIL? How well do you know her? Is it worth spelling out that you do not want any gifts and were only hoping for a small inexpensive gathering (IE casserole in a house). Is there any chance it IS about money or her thinking they need to do any sort of "production"? When I look at my situation (my FMIL is religous) I think she feels embarassed calling attention the 2nd marriage, because it inevitably means he had 1 marriage that failed, and I don't think she likes to broadcast that. Again, I'm just trying to put any POSSIBILITIES out there for you to analyze.

                  At the end of the day, I had to completely tell myself that I am so lucky my own family is so loving and generous, and willing to do these things for me. I said while I am disappointed and hurt that his family is not partaking, there are many people out there where both sides give NO support, and that would be crushing. I said I wouldn't let it ruin our marriage or honeymoon dammit!!

                  I just want to finish with the fact that email is SO annoying. You know damn well when you write an email how it sounds. It frustrates me that she gave you no explanation as to "why". It's also obnoxious that anyone has to feel like they need to "prove" themself. IMO, you are living and loving for you and Brandon, and not for his family. Nobody ever goes into a marriage HOPING it doesnt work out, and some try harder than others. (sorry that was a random tangent). At this point I'd be thankful that you are far away and won't have to be constantly reminded (by living close by) that you have to prove yourself.

                  Good Luck- Keep me posted! I competely understand your feelings and my heart goes out to you!
                  11.28.2009

                  #9 mich999

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                    Posted 14 May 2009 - 12:10 PM

                    With the background story, I understand why you're upset, why does FI tell you these things? But FMIL's email doesn't sound like she doesn't want to include you in the family or celebrate, it sounds like she doesn't want to plan and host it, which could be for any number of reasons having nothing to do with you - she probably has no idea what it would entail or that you don't care if it's only a casserole get-together. I agree with Carly - host your own AHR for his family.

                    #10 DanielleNDerek

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                      Posted 14 May 2009 - 12:26 PM

                      Sorry but I agree with Carly and Tami. and now Mo. I dont think you should ask someone to throw an ahr for you. My parents and his parents split the cost of our reception but we didnt ask them to do it, they both offered it to us.
                      ***Married November 6, 2008***Gavin Born February 28th, 2010***
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