Fiance resents my parents

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-21-2011
Fiance resents my parents
Fri, 10-21-2011 - 1:29pm

My fiance resents my parents and I don't know where to go from here or how to move forward.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-19-2010
Fri, 10-21-2011 - 2:06pm
I'm sorry to hear that you're going through this. This is very similar to what my DH's sister had to go through when she decided to marry her now husband of 13 years. He was from a family that was not very well off and when my MIL went to his place, she made a comment to the effect of "How will be daughter be able to live in a small place like this?" My BIL has a big ego and that had created a huge issue at the time with his family feeling like my in-laws are disrespectful.

Fast-forward 14 years and that problem has yet to be resolved. Everytime my in-laws go to visit SIL and family, BIL wakes up late, stays in his room and gets really offended by in-laws (and sometimes they are slighly offensive). He makes snide comments. While SIL ignores them, I know it really hurts my FIL (MIL just pretends like she didn't hear anything). When I first got married into the family is starting observing the behavior, I thought it was just a relationship issues between SIL/BIL and MIL/FIL and that they just rubbed each other the wrong way. But the more I see things, I realize that BIL has personality problem - a huge ego that inhibits him from developing relationships with others who he may feel slighted by. He feels like in-laws look down upon them because they don't live in a big city and aren't as well off (although I would SIL and BIL are doing fine for themselves!). He is always assuming that our family looks down on them and so behaves very rudely (sometimes without any provocation).

Anyways, my point is that this situation hurts everyone - the entire family. As a result of these family dynamics, the entire family dreads holidays when we all get together. Between MIL's and SIL's mouth, BIL's ego issues and FIL's sensitivity, everyone is always on the edge and it has affected relationships between us, DH's brother's family and SIL/BIL.

To answer your specific question, I think you really need to work with your fiance first. Sure, your parents may be in the wrong but your fiance is the person you will have children with and live the rest of your life. He MUST learn to deal with different personalities otherwise you're in for a challenging ride. He needs to deal with his emotions, especially around people that make you happy. I'm glad to hear he has agreed to counseling - at least he's acknowledging that he has a problem. (Our BIL never admits that he may have made a mistake!)

As for your parents, I've learned that as folks age, it is a lot harder to change them or have them alter difficult aspects of their personality. We have tried for so many years with MIL and FIL and have learned that they are who they are and will not change. The only thing we can change is how we react to them.
Avatar for chimichanga
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-08-2000
Fri, 10-21-2011 - 4:48pm

My dad was like your fiance with regard to my mom's parents, ie, dad's in-laws. According to my mom, the early years of marriage was horrible with my dad always being rude to his in-laws and this rudeness abated only when dad himself grew old and in his 60s!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Fri, 10-21-2011 - 6:10pm

I would wait a while before marrying this guy. He sounds way too immature and petty

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-19-2004
Sun, 10-23-2011 - 10:55am

My advice - go to couples counseling and make it a VERY VERY long engagement.

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Sun, 10-23-2011 - 6:17pm

Proceed with caution. The way that your fiance holds a grudge is a huge red flag.

While its honorable that fiance asked your father for permission to marry you, he had to know that there was a chance that your dad would have an objection of some sort, esp. with his debt and employment problems. Your dad was looking out for his daughter's best interests by pointing out his concerns. So for fiance to then get upset because dad stated the obvious, and still not get over it after almost a year and your dad's attempts to apologize--shows a rigidity that doesn't bode well. Your dad knows that since you're an adult you get to choose who to marry regardless if your parents like him, and it sounds like they have been supportive and have taken the high road. To an objective third party it all makes fiance sound kind of petty and immature.

That's great that he has agreed to couple's counseling and hopefully he will not only get insight into his behavior but also have the maturity to work on changing. In marriage and parenthood it is important to be able to put other people's wants and needs ahead of your own, so I think you'll want him at that point before tying the knot.

Remember that once you're legally married you're stuck with his issues...and kids and neighbors and in-laws all have a way of sometimes doing and saying things that offend. If you are the one stuck playing interference because your husband insists on apologies or holds grudges could be a looong marriage, and not in a good way.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-19-2008
Mon, 10-24-2011 - 12:31pm

Hi Gatorgator,

Everyone has given you such very good advice.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2004
Tue, 10-25-2011 - 3:26am

My SIL was my best friend through school.

Avatar for deenow17
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2004
Sat, 10-29-2011 - 9:08pm
Beware of anyone who holds a grudge, you will live your life constantly worried about what you say or do.

My BFF's DH hasn't allowed her sister (her only family) in his home for 7 yrs. Apparently, the sister said something while the 2 couples were on a cruise for a week. She has no memory of what was said, neither does my BFF and I'm willing to bet that neither does her DH but he won't back down.

This man has been moody since I met him at my wedding over 30 yrs ago. He will rarely go to anyone's house for a meal but is fine with my BFF inviting people every night if she wanted to. You just have to be aware that he may not talk to you or acknowledge your existence that night. He will literally sit in a chair beside you & act like you are invisible. You may not have upset him, he may just be in one of his sulks about something. My BFF spends a lot of time alone because she doesn't want to bring people around who won't accept her DH as he is. She visits & travels with her sister but isn't spoken to for a a couple of weeks after her return. Too bad she believes marriage is forever or she could get someone else. Really sad thing is that when he isn't sulking, he is a great guy & would do anything for you. He is the first person I would call if I needed help urgently. I'm just not sure if he would answer.

fyi, he does not suffer from depression nor is he bi-polar.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-17-2007
Mon, 10-31-2011 - 12:10am

I feel for you.

I don't blame your dad for talking to your Fiance the way he did. Your dad is older he knows what debt can do to a relationship and a marriage. Been there done that kinda thing. He thought I would imagine that he had a good relationship with the guy and felt that he could sit down and talk to him frankly about his fears not only for you but the marriage.

The fact he took back his fears or put them aside for your sake is a good point for your dad. Him "getting down on his knees to your Fiance" and saying he is sorry for stating his fears. Is petty in my book.

I have a daughter in law that has done everything she can do to separate us from our son. In fact she has pretty much separated him from all the family. She started with his friends and co-workers when they were dating. Once she got the ring on her finger she really started on us. Mainly me.