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To think its weird to refer to your partners parents as in-laws?

(77 Posts)
montgomerymadison Wed 26-Feb-14 00:42:09

My colleague has been with a guy for one year. They are not engaged, nor do they live together yet she refers to his parents as the in-laws. His parents also live a few hours away so it's not as if she sees them frequently.

I'd understand in more long term relationships where you've lived together and had children and for whatever reason not been married to call partners parents in laws then.

Aibu to think the first however is rather odd?

TheRoadLessTravelled Wed 26-Feb-14 00:45:54

We always called them the out-laws at that stage smile

YABU. It's easier to say in-laws then DPs parents.

2cats2many Wed 26-Feb-14 00:49:01

YABU. Each to their own.

Bogeyface Wed 26-Feb-14 00:53:21


She probably uses it as a short cut rather than saying "My boyfriends parents".

This is one of those things I find it hard to understand people getting worked up about!

BumPotato Wed 26-Feb-14 01:07:57

I used outlaws until they became my in-laws, too.

BumPotato Wed 26-Feb-14 01:09:25

I cringe when people use stepdad and step mum or step kids when technically they're not.

Bubblegoose Wed 26-Feb-14 01:10:17


BOFtastic Wed 26-Feb-14 01:13:06

I don't really see the problem. If they are in a serious relationship, it's just shorthand really.

What does make me a bit hmm is when people on here talk about their 'DP', when it transpires that they have been dating for about six weeks.

FrancesGlass Wed 26-Feb-14 01:13:21

YABU. Most likely it's conversational shorthand.

FrancesGlass Wed 26-Feb-14 01:14:48

Xpost BOF

And yes, 'partner' is an odd term to use in a fledgling relationship.

RandomInternetStranger Wed 26-Feb-14 01:16:32

I don't think you are BU.

I was seeing someone for 10 months who referred to my parents as his in laws and I really did not like it at all. But then he was doing a lot which I would only expect after a long time together but at that stage was taking liberties and it was all very weird and he was far too into us as if we were married. Very odd. I wouldn't refer to my partner's parents as in laws unless we were married and they were my in laws!

Topaz25 Wed 26-Feb-14 01:28:06

I cringe when people use stepdad and step mum or step kids when technically they're not.

So by your reasoning I can't refer to my mum's longterm live in partner, who has been a part of my life for over a decade, as my stepdad just because they're not married? He helped raise me and my brother but because they didn't have a ceremony he's not a stepparent? What should I call him?

Blueuggboots Wed 26-Feb-14 02:03:25

Well clearly Topaz, "that bloke that lives with my mum and helped raise me" is much more accurate??!winkwink

BumPotato Wed 26-Feb-14 02:12:45

Topaz call him what you like, and I can cringe if I like.

Pumpkinpositive Wed 26-Feb-14 02:41:19

Topaz call him what you like, and I can cringe if I like.

But why are you cringing?

MrsMook Wed 26-Feb-14 03:49:36

YABU. It's a short hand with fairly clear meaning.

Most of my family are described by the "wrong" title as I was brought by grandparents with step family involved. The titles I use are true from the heart and the technical titles are too remote and confused to describe the meaning of my relationships.

crispsanddips Wed 26-Feb-14 04:00:59


People call people what they are comfortable with and how they see that person.

My mum has been with her partner for 15 years. They have lived together for 12 of them. They are not married. "Stepdad" sums up our relationship perfectly. Why would you cringe at me using one word to describe him, rather than saying "my mums boyfriend who ive lived with since I was nine, so is pretty much a parent"

pricklyPea Wed 26-Feb-14 04:07:00

I call mine 'that woman'"and we're married. .but that's a whole other story. .

Yabu. Who cares. Unless it's been a week of casual dating..then it's weird.

TamerB Wed 26-Feb-14 06:30:46

It is just simpler- nothing more than that.

WottaTheOdds Wed 26-Feb-14 06:48:30

Mr Odds came into my life when my children were in their twenties and we married about a year later (no time to hang around at our age grin) and it seems odds to refer to him as their stepfather so we tend to call him them father/dc in law.

They have a brilliant relationship btw, but he wasn't involved in their upbringing so in law seems more suitable somehow. But probably wrong, so cringe away all those who can be arsed to do so!

perplexedpirate Wed 26-Feb-14 06:54:57

Agree with Topaz. My mum has been with her partner for 17 years. He is more of a parent to me than my own father, or her ex husband, or indeed my own mum is.
He walked me down the aisle and my son calls him grandad.
The only reason I don't call him my step-dad is if I call him Dad.
I can't begin to imagine how cringeworthy that is! hmm

TheRaniOfYawn Wed 26-Feb-14 07:14:13

My mum's partner raised my sister and me from when we were two and seven years old and was a parent to us in every way except the biological one. They weren't married. They couldn't get married. What should I call her if not my stepmother?

FreyaFridays Wed 26-Feb-14 07:20:56

I've been with my partner for six years, and Mum now refers to him as her son-in-law. It doesn't bother him, and when she sends him stuff she always signs it off as "from the mother-in-law". We think it's quite funny and endearing, though I think it's a bit of a shove towards a wedding from her end!

Winterwardrobetime Wed 26-Feb-14 07:25:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ithaka Wed 26-Feb-14 07:27:25

I have the opposite problem with step parents! Both my parent's remarried, but I hate using the term 'step mum' or 'step dad' as i don't feel they really raised me (or gave that much of a shit about me when I was younger).

I felt I had a mum & dad, so I had a full set of parents. But then I had a step mum & dad too - but they aren't my parents.

If you say 'my mum/dad's husband/wife' it makes you sound rude and resentful, even though that is the accurate description of their role in my life. Modern terminology is tricky.

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