Fiancee hates my family. Can you help?

I'm at a very tough moment in my relationship. I have been with my fiancee for almost 2 years now, we are engaged 6 months and having our engagement party on Saturday. For a while at this point my finacee has felt that my parents do not accept her, they hold her below my brother's wife, and that they do not like her and are not happy about our engagement. She feels they constantly talk about my brother and his wife when speaking to her parents, and when we are mixed company, and that they do not bring any support behind me. I have tried to be as unbiased as one could be in such a tough situation. I think I am a reasonable person, I am pretty laid back and easy-going, I work hard, and I try to be as understanding and supportive as I possible can be. She feels that whenever she is around my family that they are disinterested in her, cold, and unresponsive. To me, I feel this is untrue - and that has caused the friction. I understand that it is not my job to analyze her thoughts and feelings, and if someone feels a certain way that I need to understand why she feels that way and be supportive of that - which I try to do my best of.

She comes from a family where her parents are very open, expressive, and direct with their feelings. They share everything and have no boundaries, or very minimal ones. For better or worse you will know how they feel. Her mother asks many questions about many things whenever I am around, and my fiancee has a great relationship with her wherin she tells her just about everything that goes on. Her mother calls her when she is out at night and multiple times when we are away. They are very protective and caring parents, but she grew up in a household built around how you present yourself, pleasing others, constant correctness in manners, and very black and white. This is not my family. My family can be a bit more quiet, but it simply signifies they are reserved and content. They are not always overly energetic or engaging, but

Updates:
(Continued) - that does not mean they not interested or engaged and do not like you. She feels they don't support me the way they support my brother, and don't accept her the way they accept my brother's wife. Our parents went out to dinner together a few weeks ago, and apparently this dialogue occurred, "your son is great we love him and are so happy he is marrying our daughter" the next response from my dad was apparently completely unrelated and describing why they love my brother's wife
(continued) and having nothing related to my fiancee and nothing to say about her. This seems to make no sense and I'm still baffled by why this occurred, and apparently it was awkward and my mom forced a, "well she's great we love her" about my fiancee. But that quote seems completely absurd and makes no sense. I grew up in a household that was relatively normal. There were no issues, no abuse, just a normal upbringing by most standards. My dad is a very easy-going, good natured, happy guy.

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What Girls Said 1

  • I would guess that your family just doesn't feel like they know your fiancee very well yet? Maybe present that possibility to her gently. They know your brother's wife well, and they love her, and in telling your fiancee/her family why they love your sister-in-law, I might take it as "we don't know you and can't relate to you but we love this other girl who joined our family and hope maybe you can fit like that and we'll love you and know you like that too one day."

    BUT it could also be that they don't like her or don't think she's good enough for you, and they're comparing her to your sister-in-law and hinting at "we wish you were more like this girl." That's an equal possibility, and probably what your fiancee is picking up on. Ask her if this is more like what she's feeling, and let her explain her position without getting defensive of your family.

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What Guys Said 1

  • As her romantic partner, and as a thoughtful friend, it IS your job, in a sense, to analyze her thoughts and feelings. That's number one.

    If what you're saying about the four parents' meeting is accurate, then your parents, especially your father, really fucked up horrifically. I'm not judging the man, I'm judging the behavior, as you have retold it. No one should be surprised at your fiancee's feelings here. It's alarming that your father could be quite that oblivious and borderline cruel.

    Again, if what you're saying is accurate, then I'm not getting the impression that you have the distance from your upbringing and family which would be necessary to thoughtfully and empathetically evaluate how their behavior is affecting the woman in your life. If your relationship with her is to be successful, and if she is to feel valued and supported, then you must be someone who can critically evaluate behavior, including your own and your family's. This doesn't mean choosing sides, blaming, shaming, any of that bullshit. It means expecting decent standards of interpersonal respect, and responding accordingly when those standards are, for whatever reason, not met, regardless of who is falling short or what the rationale is.

    If you do nothing, and continue to be worried but oblivious (because this is the impression you're giving), then that will make you nothing more or less than ordinary. Most humans do not possess the ability to thoughtfully evaluate, and most do not care enough to work for truly healthy home and family lives.

    On the good side, your fiancee sounds killer, so congratulations. :) Good luck man.

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