Help, am I socially inept or are they?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-07-2003
Help, am I socially inept or are they?
5
Mon, 07-07-2003 - 3:20pm
Greetings, I am new to this board and it is always so great to get someone's opinion about an issue knowing it is genuine and still keep my privacy.

My issue is many but first, is it "normal" that the inlaws rarely call and some never at all? These people are my DH's brother and sisters and they don't call him to chat either. Weird? DH mom and dad call to chat with him and rarely with me and never with my DD & DS. What gives? I call them but some never return it at all-no exageration. A little history. DH moved to out of state after college, married me, had kids, living away from them for 8 yrs. We move back to DH's home state and no one said anything for at least a month after we moved. No help adjusting to the new place. I had no friends and DH's family sure didn't help. My DD had cancer removed from knee and even then they showed very little concern. It was no big deal, just like our presence in this state. I was raised by a single "bar-fly" mother and related only with my brother so I do not have much referrence in dealing with family issues. High self asteem is a problem at times becaus of this.

I am invited to be a Brides Maid in a wedding of the sister in-law that never returns calls and interestingly, I found out that I was in the wedding through another family member. Furthermore, sister in-law did not formally invite my DH in wedding; I just found out because my mother in-law was asking for his shirt size and I asked why. This wedding is in 8 weeks, the planning has been in the works for two months. Is this behavior odd or am I missing something?

I have a Bachelorette Party to attend which is 24 hours long with various activities and I will be alone with these women whom do not converse with me beyond the weather. They converse about people and places that I know nothing about. They grew up together, went to college together and I have no history with them. Can't they see that they leave me out of the conversations all of the time? I don't know how to say this to them diplomatically and I am concerned they will not validate my concerns anyway. Any advice to phsych my self asteem up to make it through the party? BTW, after two years of this social environment, DH & I have decided to leave the state. He is sad, hurt & angry too that his own family can't socialize with him. Thanks for any replies to this.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2003
Tue, 07-08-2003 - 2:30pm
I understand what you are going through to a leser degree. I had a close relationship with my stepmom's family when I was little, and when I went away to college they dropped me like a hot biscuit. I have never returned in their eyes. I asked my stepmom why, and she said that they formed a "clique" after my cousin died. When my cousin died our family was devastated. I was starting my sophomore year in college when it happened, I had nightmares for months and would cry everyday. The worst part was that I was all alone in a college far away, and the only reprive would have been to be with my family in this time of need. Lots of friends dropped me because I couldn't socialize like I used to.

For whatever reason, they seem to have formed a "clique." I do not see an answer to this. My suggestion is to go to attend the bachelorette party with an open mind, and do not criticize them. If they start acting "cliquish" I suggest ask them questions in a non-threatening manner. If an inside joke is told say something like, "I'm sorry, I didn't understand that joke could you explain it to me?" Take this as an opportunity to get to know them. If you walk in with a bright smile and your shoulders back, they will want to talk to you. Do something cool, like bring your the bride a funny gift. Do not expect long-term results. It sounds liek it will take a lot of effort for them to include you in their circle. I am very sorry. I kow what it is like to have no family. I have very little family, if any. Just my mom really.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-07-2003
Tue, 07-08-2003 - 3:58pm
I am sorry that you can relate because I know you feel lonely, but at the same time I am glad to have you to converse with.

I wish they could see how rude and hurtfull they are acting. When DH & I announced that after being back here for two years that we were moving out of state, we really thought that some family would wake up and appreciate our existance. No such luck. This makes us realize that we are definitely making the right decision to move away from them.

Your advice about the party is good especially the gift part. I will get a gag gift to sort of break the ice. As far as the bright smile, I will be smiling at least at first. I wish I wasn't so bitter and angry though, as I know that it can come through with my attitude at times which does not help. I need to take some acting classes to pretend that I am not hurt and just thrilled to be ignored in their presence. I will begin the montra over and over again. "I am happliy being confident" yada yada yada.

I actually can't wait to move away from DH's family, I would much rather be an island unto our selves; at least I am with people who unconditionally love and appreciate me. My kids and hubby are wonderful and mean so much to me.

Thanks for your take on this...

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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2003
Wed, 07-09-2003 - 11:35pm
Thanks for writing back! I hope the bachelorette party goes well, write an update after the party, let us know how it went.

Do you think you and your husband can throw a goodbye party/bbq/picnic for your relatives before you move away? Send written invitations, remind them that you guys are leaving and this is the last opportunity to see you. (I don't know how poorly they behaved, and if this idea is any good). This way you can say your goodbyes to them, and let them know what a hospitable/nice/loving family members they are losing.

take care

Avatar for cl_starrzz_n_moonzz
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 07-11-2003 - 12:55pm
First off I can say I totally relate to this. Me and DH have been married going on six years this July my inlaws RARELY call him. He has always been the one to pick up the phone to call. We are in the miltary so we are always far away, so guess who foots the bill for the phone calls lol? My MIL calls around once a month but she usually sits back and waits for my DH to call her. As for his brother and sister they have called my house a totally of two times in six years and then he had to hang up and call them back. We now have a telephone plan that gives us unlimited long distance but that isn't the point. The point ( he says this all the time) that they don't call period. So yes I know it is hurtful especially when you see your DH sit back and wish they would just call. It makes me angry sometimes, all I can say is at least my family always calls to chat so he is getting some "family time" I just wish his could call him once every blue moon.

Now as to how to "break the ice" I htink a really funny gift was a great idea. Alos just try to get yourself ready as looking at it as some time for yourself. I know we all need a little time away fromour lives and try to look at this as the reason to have that time. Even though it is for someone else try to get as much out of the trip for YOU. I am sure once you all get there it will go great. I just know the getting there is the hardest part always wondering if there will be anyone to talk to or do things with, but there is always soemone. Just try to get you some time too.

Finally I wanted to welcome you to the board. We have a great group of people here who are always willing to lend a cyber ear to help out anyway we can. Please feel free to post as much as you can. There are so many people here who can relate to what you go through. I found out we are not alone in this. You are always welcome here.

Michelle

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-07-2003
Mon, 07-14-2003 - 6:46pm
Hi Michelle, So should WE be the ones trying to keep in touch or should it be them? For us, if we stopped calling the family all together; there would be no relationship at all. This just makes it so awkward when the family does get together. DH & I don't even know how to talk to family. DH brother & sisters are close and talk about themselves. DH & I just sit and smile. We have discovered that we will keep all family gatherings to a minimum. So the question on the table is if we should just stop trying to stay in touch. We are tired of being the ones who call. What do you think?
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