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People with excuses

(15 Posts)
JadeFeather Fri 27-Jan-17 15:08:53

What's the best way to deal with in laws who seem selfish and always have excuses for not making an effort?

I haven't ever really asked anything from them but in the last year my only brother has got married and a very close family member died and they made last minute excuses that they weren't well and did not attend the wedding or the funeral. They are healthy 60 year olds with some minor health issues but nothing serious. They manage to travel to the USA about 4 times a year and if something is a priority to them I know they will be there for it no matter what, somehow their health seems to fail only on the days when it comes to doing something for me!

It also bothers me because when their other son got married I travelled to USA for the wedding and recently when my mother in laws friend died I drove her to another city several hours away for the funeral, yet when I have had a wedding and funeral in my family which is not very far at all they can't be bothered. I think they pick and choose who they want to make an effort with. They will make a lot of effort with my SIL (they travelled abroad just for her sister's wedding). On the other hand recenrlt my MILs sister has been going through a really hard time and has asked her for some help but MIL has refused because she's too busy with her own stuff!

I've done quite a lot for them over the years because DP is a lovely person and I wanted to develop a good relationship with them, however I guess this has meant I also have some expectations that it would be reciprocated and I feel hurt that it's not.

DeathStare Fri 27-Jan-17 15:18:18

Were your ILs close to either your brother or the family member who died? Apologies if they were but your post reads as if you expect them to attend events in your family just because you are with their son.

If it's the latter then yes you are being (very) unreasonable.

If they are close to your brother then I really think it's for him not you to be upset that they didn't attend his wedding. If you were the next of kin for the person who died (if it was one of your parents for example) and your ILs were very close to them, then I understand you might be upset by their non-attendance but please remember that everyone deals with grief differently

JadeFeather Fri 27-Jan-17 15:29:50

Sorry I guess I should have mentioned I come from a culture where family values are considered very important and Marriage means the joining of the two families... so yes my parents often have my in laws over and my in laws would be for example invited to all extended family events just as my parents would be invited to all DPs extended family events. Absense at close family events on either side would be seen to be bizarre. It's just the way things are in our culture and I suppose to someone who's not from that culture it might seem strange. I guess this is probably not the right place to ask.

NuffSaidSam Fri 27-Jan-17 15:30:21

I wouldn't expect in-laws to have attended either the wedding or the funeral, unless they were very close to the people getting married/family member who died.

Maybe they use excuses rather than just saying 'No', to save a falling out or hurting your feelings.

KERALA1 Fri 27-Jan-17 15:33:21

Wow you must spend a lot of time at family events

Birdsgottafly Fri 27-Jan-17 15:33:24

They shouldn't have made last minute excuses.

However, are you making them feel obligated to accept the invitation? As said, unless they are close to your DB and know those who would be attending the Wedding, they shouldn't be expected to go.

Also whilst they might be well, your energy levels do start to drop and it's their right to pick and choose what they want to do.

I'm a MIL and its only been the Grandmother or Sibling/Parent funerals that I've gone to.

You can still have a close relationship, if you lower your expectations.

DeathStare Fri 27-Jan-17 15:34:17

If this is a cultural thing, I think it's very difficult for anyone from outside of that culture to offer an opinion on whether it is you or them being unreasonable. Sorry.

KERALA1 Fri 27-Jan-17 15:37:04

I cannot imagine my in laws at my sisters wedding - so seems reasonable to me for them to bail on your brothers can't relate sorry.

JadeFeather Fri 27-Jan-17 15:55:55

Yeah it's a culture thing. I know I'm not being unreasonable because DP is the first person to defend them but in this case he just shrugged his shoulders and told me it's sad that they are this way.

Will delete the thread as I guess for everyone here it's probably bizarre ... like if I said my next door neighbor had been invited to my brothers wedding or something lol

DeathStare Fri 27-Jan-17 16:03:36

I don't think you need to delete the thread. Maybe if you ask MNHQ to put some reference to your culture in the title then people from the same/similar culture may well be able to offer you some good advice?

Iloveswears Fri 27-Jan-17 16:05:54

Without understanding the cultural context, i'll just respond with how I would react to this personally.

Your in-laws don't sound like they're as invested as you in forging these family bonds. Whether or not this is counter to cultural expectations is irrelevant. If they don't see fit to attend events that are important to you, then you need to take a step back and think about whether you want to continue to make the effort for them?

If you can accept them as they are and not be resentful, then carry on being helpful, and doing things for them in good grace.

However if it's starting to make you dislike them or you feel like the relationship is very one-sided then I would slowly withdraw offers of help, attendance at events of theirs that aren't convenient or enjoyable for you.

No need for a big drama, just accept that they aren't who you want them to be and adjust your expectations and behaviour accordingly.

JadeFeather Fri 27-Jan-17 16:09:20

Thanks iloveswears. That's helpful. I wish I didn't, but I do feel quite resentful. I don't want a big drama. It's difficult for me not to be helpful because that's been a big part of my own upbringing but if I carry on I think I will continue to feel hurt.

haveacupoftea Fri 27-Jan-17 16:11:08

You cant force them to care about your family.

JadeFeather Fri 27-Jan-17 16:16:24

Yes you're right. You can't make people care if they don't. I suppose the question is how do you deal with those people if they have to be part of your life because they are family.

KERALA1 Fri 27-Jan-17 16:55:32

My in laws are rubbish with their own sons and grand children let alone my siblings! Lower your expectations and try not to care - whether people give a stuff about your family or not is one thing you have absolutely no control over

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