Author Topic: Son In Law's Parents are Overly Friendly...  (Read 8469 times)

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buildingjoint

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Son In Law's Parents are Overly Friendly...
« on: June 24, 2011, 04:31:27 PM »
Sounds like something I shouldn't complain about, but it's really starting to be an issue.

I am fortunate enough to live close to my daughter and her family. Her's husbands parents live a few hours away. Every couple of months they visit. Which I think is great, they are very nice people. I stay away and let them visit and love on our grandson. But everytime they are visiting, they make an issue of wanting to see me. They want to visit, or go to dinner or something. I'm fine with the fact that at different times in the future we will all be at different "life events." But I don't care to get together just to visit, go to dinner, or join their family functions. I don't want to be unfriendly or rude, but what can I do to make them understand and just enjoy their son and his family without making seeing me an issue?

Offline Pen

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Re: Son In Law's Parents are Overly Friendly...
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2011, 04:41:39 PM »
Welcome, Building. If it's an issue to you, it's legit. I don't have any words of wisdom on this since my DIL's FOO has made a big point of shunning us...but I'm thinking maybe your SIL's parents just want you to know they aren't the shunning kind of ILs. Perhaps it will actually be a bit of a relief to them if they knew you weren't expecting a visit? It sounds like you've got different personalities; they're more social and outgoing, and you enjoy your peace and quiet. What does your DD say about it?
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Son In Law's Parents are Overly Friendly...
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2011, 05:14:50 PM »
My take is that is they live a ways away and don't come often…that you should bend, for good will. You are deciding for them what they are going to do when they are visiting. Let them decide…a meal or two out isn't going to be that hard. Sending love...
« Last Edit: June 26, 2011, 10:10:42 AM by luise.volta »
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I'll try again tomorrow." -- Mary Ann Radmacher

Offline lancaster lady

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Re: Son In Law's Parents are Overly Friendly...
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2011, 01:35:05 AM »
hi Building and welcome :
How would you feel if it was them who didn't want to see you when visiting ?
why cause a problem when there isn't one ?
You say they are very nice people , so a meal together every couple of months or so shouldn't be a problem .
I have only met my F/DIL's family twice , but if they invited me out for a meal , I think it would be
rude to refuse .
Usually we have battling families on this site , not overly friendly ones . Perhaps the odd refusal
would be ok , but to continually refuse would be a rebuff in my book .

Offline pam1

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Re: Son In Law's Parents are Overly Friendly...
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2011, 08:55:36 AM »
Welcome Buildingjoint :)

If you haven't already done so, please read the Forum Agreement in the category Open Me First.  We ask all new members to do so not b/c there is anything wrong with your post.

My parents have had similar issues with my in laws.  But for different reasons, MIL doesn't like us spending time with my family.  Long story.  Anyway, I think there are a couple different ways families deal with this and they are all valid.  Your reasons and feelings are valid and I think the best way is to remain polite and just decline.  When you do see them I'm sure you are civil.  Hopefully they'll get the hint!
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

buildingjoint

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Re: Son In Law's Parents are Overly Friendly...
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2011, 09:28:37 AM »
I've read the forum agreement as suggested. Thank you, this is just what I was looking for. I do prize my peace and quiet when I'm not working. I've moved around my entire adult life and very seldom get involved in my own extended families events, let alone someone else's family events. I guess it just makes me very uncomfortable. I think I know what I'll do now. I want to thank everyone for their thoughtful, kind responses.

Offline Pooh

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Re: Son In Law's Parents are Overly Friendly...
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2011, 10:01:53 AM »
Welcome buildingjoint.  I think this is a tough one.  You are entititled to not have to spend time with them if you don't wish to, but then I'm afraid it will seem like you are being rude.  You're not, but it may be perceived that way.  I think it is very nice of them to include you in a dinner or something during their visit as it sounds like they are nice and want you to feel included.  It is more common it seems around here to have inlaws that don't like each other, and that causes problems in some cases.

I personally would go to a dinner and beg off anything else.  I think that shows civility and that you are not shunning them, but also allows you to set a precedent of not attending tons of things.  I would feel differently if they were mean and rude to you, but since you said they were nice people, I truly think that it is the nice thing to do for them and your DD/SIL.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline Scoop

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Re: Son In Law's Parents are Overly Friendly...
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2011, 06:05:29 AM »
Buildingjoint - is there a way for you to compromise?  Do something with them, but make it something YOU want to do.  Or have your DD host you all for supper and then beg off for the evening.  You can even make a point of explaining that you know they get so little time with the little family that you don't want to take ANY of it away from them.

But really, if you want a relationship with them, you will have to put in a little bit of 'work' maintaining that relationship.   You can't just let sleeping dogs lie for, what?, 3 years or so, and then when there *IS* a significant event, meet up with them and say "So .... what have you been up to for the past 3 years?"

Just my 2 cents.

Offline luise.volta

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Re: Son In Law's Parents are Overly Friendly...
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2011, 06:37:35 AM »
I was just reading Scoop's comment and wondering how your SIL might feel sensing the coolness toward his parents, BJ. He might take it personally. And then how might your daughter take it. IMO - Anyone might see it as a vote of disapproval when you really didn't need to pass your judgment on to them.
"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I'll try again tomorrow." -- Mary Ann Radmacher

Offline Pen

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Re: Son In Law's Parents are Overly Friendly...
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2011, 09:15:30 AM »
Our situation is a little different than yours, Buildingjoint, because we do not invite DIL's FOO to join us; we got the message loud and clear long ago that they do not like us.

I know I have a tendency to take it personally when my DIL's FOO doesn't want anything to do with us, because they're quite outgoing and social ordinarily. I'm not sure how my DS feels about it now, but when they first shunned us he was furious.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Sassy

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Re: Son In Law's Parents are Overly Friendly...
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2011, 10:23:54 AM »
Hello building joint and welcome.  They are nice people .   They want to know their son's family. You :)  .  If you have them all over for dinner or dessert once it would probably go a long way.  If your budget allows dine out after that.  Traveling and visiting goes hand in hand.  Having nice people in your family who want to spend a bit of time to get to know you is a luxury.  Welcome

CrystalBall

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Re: Son In Law's Parents are Overly Friendly...
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2011, 10:55:13 AM »
I like all the helpful compromise ideas people have advised so you will be able to spend the amount of time that seems possible without being overwhelming to you.

How blessed to have lovely in laws, good to your daughter and grandchild.

Lightning struck twice for me....two sets of people that are wholly users, shrewdly paying minimal attention to their grandchildren as they are only out and about in a purely opportunistic fashion. 





Offline elsieshaye

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Re: Son In Law's Parents are Overly Friendly...
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2011, 11:58:23 AM »
BuildingJoint, I am extremely hermit-like.  I don't like people in my home, and I don't like to socialize with people I don't actually know.  I could feel myself tense up at the idea of meeting my son's friends' parents, let alone his future wife's parents, so I do sympathize.

That being said, I'd end up just going ahead and socializing anyway.  Consider it a gift you're giving your son and his wife - demonstrating acceptance of her family. 
This too shall pass.  All is well.

Offline pam1

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Re: Son In Law's Parents are Overly Friendly...
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2011, 12:47:57 PM »
I think it's pretty common that in laws do not mix.  It seems like only very rarely there is enough in common that would make several social events a year enjoyable.  It's been in my experience that in laws normally meet around the wedding planning and then just life events like baptisms and communions.  It doesn't seem awkward at all, they have their kids to talk about.

I can understand not wanting to set a precedent for meeting up several times a year.
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

cpr

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Re: Son In Law's Parents are Overly Friendly...
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2011, 11:34:55 AM »
In the family that I grew up in ILs were family too.  It made it really hard for me when later I had IL issues as it had never occurred to me that I might.  We have my Aunt's two BILs over for every family event b/c her DH's FOO is very small and they have no one else.  I always referred to them as my 'Uncles' and it never occurred to me that they weren't really family.  My cousin had her DH leave her a few years ago for another woman.  It was horrible.  She and her new DH (a wonderful loving man) go to the movies with her children, his children, her former MIL and FIL, her former SIL and BIL and their children.  When her former SIL needed someone to take her daughter on a last minute trip cross country due to some unexpected emergency she called my cousin and my cousin was happy to do it.  My grandmother divorced her husband in the 60's.  She is spending today with his sister at the nursing home as it is her former SIL's birthday.  My grandfather on the other side was jokingly referred to as the 'favorite son' of his MIL.  Yes, we did have some IL issues along the way (grandma had it rough!), but for the most part family is family in my FOO.  I think it all depends on where you come from as to what seems 'normal'.

No, you don't have to spend time with people if you don't want to.  But in this case, what could it hurt?  You don't have to make plans with them every night, but these are the ILs to your son, the parents to your DIL and the other grandparents to your GK.  One day you may very well appreciate taking the time out to get to know them.