Your parents not agree with your marriage?

nadastimerMay 21, 2002

Recently my friend's mother decided she wanted nothing to do with her daugher because she chose to be with her boyfriend. Her mother says she chose him over her family. I keep telling my friend to wait it out. Something will happen and her mother will be sorry and they'll be close again. She won't hear of it.

I also heard many stories from my mother about how her parents tried to stop her from marrying my father and his parents tried to spilt them up many times. Did this happen to any of you? Did your parents come around eventually and realize your spouse wasn't all that bad? Did you find out your parents were actually right about him? OR was it the other way around and his parents hated you? Is this pretty common or rare?

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My greatgrandmother succeeded in splitting up my uncle's first marriage. This is family lore, but apparently my ex-aunt used to take my Mom to bars to drink and dance. Mom was pretty young and my ex-aunt enjoyed running around on her husband. I think my greatgrandmother was a control freak who should have kept her nose out of her son's marriage.

My family loved my fiance (now husband of 22 years) and were happy to see us married. If I had chosen someone they didn't approve of, they would have mentioned it to me, but they wouldn't do anything childish like freeze me out of the family.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2002 at 8:16PM
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I guess I myself experienced this to a some extent. I met my fiance' 4 years ago and well ended up pregnant a few months later, the family was pretty shocked. I wasn't the type you would expect to get pregnant, especially not at 19. They were really disappointed. So for quite a long time my fiance' did not feel welcome. He even still has some problems with my family memebers because of things they said and did years ago. The person who was probably the hardest on him was my father. My Dad and I weren't close in my teen years and really it was because I didn't agree with him ignoring my brother and I to care for his girlfriend's kids. (It was pretty bad and it wasn't that I was being a jealous teen) He gave my fiance' the meanest looks in the delivery room on the day our son was born! Everyone thought that if looks could kill, my fiance' would have been dead. However, they're now pretty close! My Dad will call here to talk to us and in most cases ends up on the phone with my fiance' chatting for close to an hour. I just keep telling my fiance' that they just didn't know him when everything happened and they made assumptions. Over time they realized he was a good guy and a wonderful father. Things turned out fine. I keep telling me friend that someday that will happen with her family, but she's tired of waiting. I feel so bad for her because she feels so alone and left out. If anything, though, she'll learn something and not be this way with her kids.


    Bookmark   May 22, 2002 at 10:09AM
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It's an adulthood challenge to be able to have the experience and possibly aknowledge that a first impression (however well informed and intentioned at the time) might not have been entirely correct. It might be even more of a challenge to alter a pattern of behaviour and thinking based on what might have been an error in judgement. Changing in general is difficult for adults once they get into established patterns.

I don't know how often than particular challenge is centralized around the relationship choices of children (even when those children are adults); but it's probably not that unusual. It probably also happens between siblings or even friends.

some people seem to be inherently more obstinate than others and the other side of the challenge is how much can or will be tolerated in terms of letting the person be themselves even if they don't/won't agree with a relationship choice; even if they don't seem to just naturally 'click' with or even like one's partner

    Bookmark   May 22, 2002 at 1:21PM
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Thanks, Amy but what about you? Any stories? You have lots to say but you never really share anything about you. Just wondering...

    Bookmark   May 22, 2002 at 4:18PM
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There is no question my MIL likes me...thank Goodness. I would hate to be on her bad side. However, she does sometimes do things to try to influence my husband. I still contend that the only reason DH didn't buy me a bigger diamond was because MIL was with him and only wanted him to spend X amount of money. I mean, I like my ring, but yes, he could have done better. When we picked out the wedding rings, I chose a white gold band with nine diamonds totalling 1/4 carat - in other words, nothing huge - and she asked how much money it was, "it HAD to be the same quality diamond as the solitaire," and all this garbage. I was really p'oed. But then it's like a light bulb went off in her head and she backed off immediately.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2002 at 9:54PM
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Nothing personally probably because of communication style when perceiving or expressing such doubts about relationship choices.

The practical tip in that area is to confine critiques to actual behavioural incidents or general phenomena. Give relevant information to convey the area of concern and explain why it is of concern. Then, back away from the adults making their choices such as they are.

People are usually able to determine for themselves whether a relationship is working for them or not, and are sometimes able to get at good helpful strategies when they are not. On occasion, a lack of experience or knowledge or development can keep a person from being able to make an informed choice. Those things can also increase the odds of a person making a choice that might have problems they did not and do not foresee. Sharing relevant concerns when relevent concerns exist is a reasonable way to communicate doubts without undue alienation of people.

if people have disorders or just really strong opinions or feelings, sometimes those things in effect end up speaking for the person and that can create problems that won't be resolved easily and which might benefit from relationship counseling (even between parent and adult child)

P.S. The second and third hand experiences I've seen have involved situations where the people involved (one or the other or both) have had mental health issues. 'Issues' because some problems have been related to basic personality issues even without any kind of full-blown disorder. Disorders of personality or in mood regulation or of thinking can cause problems that pretty much have to be adapted to by the 'normal' people who have to cope with the apparent lack of positive support and with an apparent inability to make 'good' decisions consistently from their near and dear. Most people are, by definition 'normal' and most problems are resolvable.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2002 at 7:09AM
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Thanks for your professional experience, it's really helpful. But, please join the forum and share about yourself too. We don't so much need your couseling skills as we would like you to step out of your teaching/mentoring role and become "one of us."


    Bookmark   May 23, 2002 at 4:03PM
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My parents gave my DH & I their blessing. However, my oldest daughter got married at age 17 to a guy that we totally disapproved of because he was a controller and we knew he would eventually hurt her. After three years of marriage he started physically abusing her leaving bruises on her and she left after the first time. I am happy to say she divorced and remarried and now has two beautiful children.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2002 at 11:42PM
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My father wanted nothing to do with my husband when we were dating. He had been married TWICE before & therefore defective merchandise in his opinion. He came around - he DID come to our wedding! He also helped us financially (several thousand a year) when I was staying home with DD.

My MIL, who acts like a jealous ex-wife rather than a MIL, did not agree with our marriage. We had some problems early in our marriage (step kids told her) and her advice to me was "just divorce him." I pointed out that DH was doing the same things HIS dad had done & "why didn't you divorce him over it?" She didn't have an answer to that question. The woman hates my guts - her sister says it's because I see right through her.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2002 at 3:00PM
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My family loves my DH almost as much as I do. He's just that great of a guy. My brother's wife causes us all grief, but it's hard to blame her because she is manic depressive and her parents always bale her out of every situation. But my brother loves her, and they have 2 wonderful kids, so she is always welcome and loved. Unless my brother changes his mind, nobody will ever say or do anything to make her feel like less than family. She has never done anything deliberately to hurt my brother, if she did, he would hear an earful from us. She is trying to be good and is taking her meds, and that's all we can hope for.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2002 at 9:37PM
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My mother and father absolutley adored John when they met him as well did my 4 siblings and there spouses we have a very close family my sister and 3 brothers all call him brother not brother in law..Its great!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2002 at 9:52PM
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my parents hated my first husband and after 13 years i realized that they were right i was wrong but i did get 4 great kids out of the deal lol. however they adore my current husband so much that i dread telling that im leaving him too. he has just gotten way to heavy into the drugs and alcohol (they arent aware of that)

    Bookmark   July 2, 2002 at 11:59AM
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My MIL is a total control freak--she is currently not speaking to either of us because I had the audacity (gasp!) to plan a surprise college graduation party for my DH w/o her involvement (keep in mind that we're both in our mid/late 30s, and are financially and emotionally independent). She acts like an emotionally stunted 14yo/jealous ex-wife combo-- She is jealous of me b/c I have a career and a mind of mine own, friends and an active social life, while she sits at home and stews in her own misery (of her own making). And I see right through her line of BS that she stuffs down everyone elses throat. She is a first class drama/trama queen that simply must stir up trouble or else she gets bored. She refuses to work or do voulunteer work; her excuse is that she is just soooooo tired (from what????? Breathing all day????)

She is childish, petty, immature, vindictive and ignorant. And so is my cheating FIL.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2002 at 10:27AM
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I think your MIL may be like mine. I've realized that she's gotten mean and harsh and is always stirring up problems because she's not happy with her life. All she does is work and go home. She doesn't have any friends, doesn't get along with her brothers and sisters most of the time, has no hobbies and can't get along with more than one of her 4 boys at once. She also has to be in control of everything and you can't believe how my FIL is! He doesn't say a word about anything no matter how unfairly he's being treated because it won't do him any good. I can't believe some of the stuff this woman says to her she told my fiance' that she never wanted him or his older brother, their father did! Despite all that we still try to be civil with her so that our son can see his grandma and we're not at war with her for 10 years or something. It's hard some times but once you see through a person it makes it easier to cope with them.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2002 at 11:46AM
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Egads! We do have the same inlaws! My FIL never utters a word towards that vindictive harpy that he's married to. My MIL blames him for 'knocking her up' when she was 14 and he was 15 and 'ruining her life' (now keep in mind that this is my DH she's talking about), so I finally got tired of listening this this line of cr@p, and asked her if FIL raped her or was it consentual? Consentual, was the reply, then I had to ask if she was really that stupid or did she have to work at it not know that unprotected sex can cause babies? In 1968! Scheeech! (I know this sounds harsh from me, but d@mn! I am so tired of listening to her whine, whine, whine!!)

    Bookmark   July 8, 2002 at 3:09PM
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