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MIL favors other son and bride elect

Started by alicewonder007, June 19, 2011, 02:11:57 pm

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Good post, Pam!

Alice, that's priceless that your BIL has offered to "help you out." Yikes...
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


Good one Pam!  Yep, very uppity that an entire family still hasn't decided about you?  I'm with Pam, I would have been hard pressed not to say, "I'm supposed to get a jury of my peers."
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


It was actually quite liberating. It made me kinda not care anymore just by how absurd the whole thing was. (In his defense it was towards a long night of celebrating, but really is the type of conversation he has had with me on other occasions). The truth is that, him actually having such a conversation is him beginning to open up to me and accept me more. Otherwise he can be standoffish and doesn't really care to talk much. Even though my husband and I dated for two and a half years before getting engaged, until the engagement he kept his distance.
I told him that I appreciated the fact that he felt able to share his feelings for me and that I do consider them all family. I told him that I loved him and his bride to be and that if there was ever anything that they needed, just ask. He did ask me to go ring shopping for her ring. I told him that meant a lot to me. As for helping me out...that is just his arrogance and swagger. It is a quality I at first really hated, but now that I know and feel I understand him better (it's been six years), I just find his "tough guy" act endearing. His bride to be is the sweetest thing in the world and I know how kindly he treats her and the things he does to make her happy like wearing matching Halloween costumes and spending every New Years' Eve at her family's house.
As for the family, I know that part of what would get them to like me better would be me using my influence over my husband to help him succeed as they want to see him succeed. My BIL told me so by saying "you should make him do x, y, z" as he has before in the past along with other family. My response? I would only encourage my husband to follow and pursue the career, path, etc. that works for us and makes him happy. He already has a B.S. and is working on a Master's. I know that they are afraid that he will "squander" his potential to be successful and make good money. I did assure my BIL that our path includes financial stability, something that the family is concerned about and that I have certainly shown that I can manage money well. I think that this is one of the things that they like about me, in addition to my loving heart (I work with children and the homeless) and strong work ethic. I also know that with my background working with children with special needs, that they think I will make a great mother. I worked and managed all our bills when my husband was suddenly out of work twice for a total of 12 months the first two years of our marriage. Yet, I know that they are afraid my "good heart"  may allow me to sacrifice in the money department, as I have always worked for non-profits. They know that  I have the potential to make lots of money using my intelligence and skills but often opt for things that instead pay less and make me happy despite working so hard and at times struggling financially. I do know that there are some in the family that do admire that though, not many but some (about the non-profit work I mean).
They see how hard he is working at a dead end job at this moment and forget that it is to support us while he is in school again and I attend graduate school. I think they are afraid that he will work hard to make my goals come true, I won't ever be motivated to go after bigger money if I don't feel that the job is the do good type I want, and that he won't ever get the education to get the type of job that they think he needs to have to ensure our happiness and financial success.  I know that this worried them as he HATES his current job and works all the time. They see how it makes him unhappy. I did remind my BIL that he chose degrees that should assure him lots of money, but that he himself told me he hates his job as well. He thinks that is just a part of life we all have to accept.  I told him that not hating something you must spend 40 hours or more a week doing was worth a certain amount of money to me and that if it wasn't to him, that was fine. We have different motivators that influence what makes us happy. His is wealth and appearances.  I know that is a part of what he loves about his bride to be- she is beautiful (even though I know that he was on the fence about her face the first year they dated -no  joke- because he does not typically find Asian women attractive), has a great figure, smart, successful, cultured, mild mannered,  dresses well and is from an EXTREMELY wealthy family. I know that before our wedding he told my husband that sure I was smart, pretty, and kind but that he could hold out for a girl who was better looking, with money, and a better family. 
Speaking with him made me realize that I am full of great qualities that if they don't see or embrace, I don't really care. It will be their loss. I know that in the end they don't dislike me as they all have kind hearts. They just do not value all the same things that I do and therefore we may never really mesh at times. Also because I am loud, a little rough at times, and outspoken, at times I rub them the wrong way.  Mostly, I am not as much of a 'good influence" on my DH as they would wish. I have pushed him to succeed, grow up, and be more responsible but not in the exact way that they would want.  I wish the whether or not they feel it, they would treat me more like "family" In the end I guess I know four things:
1.   My DH and I are very much in love, support each other, and will end up in a place that we are happy with our careers, family, and income, though it may not be where they think we should be.
2.   That I am family regardless and I will continue to remind them of that by; attending events, involving myself in their lives by showing interest and support, making sure others know and seat me accordingly at events etc.; treat them as such; appreciate all the good things that they do for us; and try to ignore all the other stuff. After all, I am the first new family addition. Like it or not the family dynamic will be shifting. Soon, I will seem like an old addition that may help. There will be many more to come in the next few years (two just this year alone) and I will no longer be the only one. I will also do my best to welcome these new people into the family and do my best to help them not experience all the same things as me.
3.   That I have great qualities and that I know they all appreciate at least some of them. 
4.   It is better to have a kind family that I love but doesn't quite accept me or count me in than one that adores me that I don't want as a family. I should count my blessings, even if I feel like throttling them at times.