Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Inclusion/Exclusion

I got to thinking a couple of weeks ago when I went home to visit my Mom for a couple of days - about family, and when your children start bringing home their significant others, and it's serious.

Most families - at least, I think, accept their new daughter or son in law as an extension of their children, and welcome the opportunity to include a new member to family events or functions.

And that's certainly the case with Keith's side of the family. His mom & dad accepted me fully into the family, as part of them, and included in all major decisions (especially when Della passed away). Part of the family. Because I was important to Keith, and therefore important to them.

My side? Not at all. Not that there is any precedent to the matter; my older brother, although being 31, will probably never marry and is currently in an on-off again relationship for the past decade (and my mother has only met her once or twice in that time). I am the first in my family to be engaged, and the first one to try to actually include my significant other with trips home/family functions.

My mother has - quite bluntly - told me that she has no relation to Keith, no duty to include him in any family functions, anything of that nature. Quite simply, she does not see him as having any ties to her family, despite him being engaged to her daughter and one day the father of her grandchildren. My father, while on the surface seemed to include him, the Mexico fiasco proved otherwise. And I know it isn't just because it's Keith, it'd be anyone I brought home.

And it breaks my heart. Because he is my family. Because I know it should be different. Because he is the single most important person in my life, and my parents can't/won't see that.

I don't think what my parents are demostrating towards Keith is normal. Do you? What are your experiences with in-laws, or your parents inclusion of your significant other?

3 comments:

Jess said...

No, I don't think it's normal. In fact, I think it's shocking and quite offensive. One of the things Torsten likes most about my family is that they have made him feel included from the very beginning. And while Torsten's parents aren't quite that inclusive with me, they do absolutely make an effort. I can't even imagine a situation in which a parent would just say outright that they have no relation to a child's significant other and felt no compulsion to include them in family events. ESPECIALLY once they were engaged.

xoxb said...

That's definitely their issue. I would be beyond angry and hurt if my family did that to T. I don't even know what to tell ya. I guess I surround myself with family that is supportive. That doesn't include many family members (my dad for example, and all of his family). You are making your own family - the one you choose - with Keith and they need to respect that, even if they can't support it.

As for me, my mom and step-dad love T - often I think more than me ;) and while T's mom was a little slow to be thrilled about us getting married, she always was kind, accepting and interested in me and my relationship with her son.

Cathy said...

No, it's not normal and it sucks. I'm sorry :(