In laws don't think we're properly married. AIBU to stop making any effort.(235 Posts)
DH is a very lapsed Catholic. I am not. We live in NI and had a non religious wedding ceremony five years ago. We have DC together and I am pregnant. When we announced our engagement, my inlaws did tell DH that they hoped we'd be getting married in church, DH said no, that wouldn't be happening, and there was no further comment.
We were round at the in laws today for lunch and they were talking about a cousin who is getting divorced. MIL then said "well it doesn't count anyway, they didn't get married in church, Cousin can always do it the proper way if she wants". There was a bit of an awkward silence, and DH said "mum, you do realise what you've just said?" MIL looked awkward then began to bluster, saying "well I did tell you before you got married, I asked the priest and he says it doesn't count". DH was really cross and said "I think you'll find it counts in law regardless of what the fucking priest says"
We left soon after. DH is fuming, I'm just hurt really. What have they really thought my role is all this time?
I do quite a bit for pils - nice presents, making sure they see the DC, just always tried to make the effort to maintain a good relationship with them. AIBU to stop making the effort, seeing as I'm not really their sons wife in their eyes?
We are totally non religious and had a non religious wedding but your in laws are catholic and as far as they are concerned you aren’t married in the eyes of God. Bit insensitive of mil to say it but it’s how she genuinely feels
How are they with you generally? And with the kids?
Let her have her view, she knows your legally married and I’m sure she didn’t mean it to be hurtful, just religious nuttiness
I don’t think you’re being unreasonable to be upset, but it doesn’t sound like MIL was trying
to hurt you, she has likely been indoctrinated from birth and that’s very, very hard to shed.
My mum is Irish and the Catholicism and reverence for priests (massive eye roll!) is so hard to shed even for an otherwise logical and intelligent woman.
It doesn’t sound like the intent is malicious but you will have to accept she may never believe you are truly married.
Did they come to your wedding? Are they usually kind, thoughtful, inclusive and respectful?
I’ll never understand how beliefs can be more important than the love people should feel for their close family members, if they otherwise have good relationships. But what can you do. If they’re going to behave in a way that they know is hurtful to you both then they’re wankers.
Their comment was rude and views silly, but if they’re otherwise kind and ok company, care for the DC and reciprocate effort it’d be U to punish them.
DH should be leading on arrangements with his family, however, don’t do “wifework”!
You think some religious belief of theirs entitles you to stop making an effort? What's the full story? Do you like them? Otherwise YABU. I know it stings. XH and I had a humanist ceremony and his folks didn't think we were married properly. Didn't change a thing and the fact the ceremony wasn't religious didn't make it easier on them when we divorced.
It was thoughtless but it doesn't sound like it was meant maliciously. It sounds like she is traditional/religious and that impacts her thinking. Did she make a big deal about it when you got married? If this was a one-off, I'd try to forget about it.
Well your MIL is completely tactless but those are the teachings of the Catholic Church!
I'd be tempted to ask her whether she considers you to be married, advising her that this is a one-time question, and however she chooses to answer it is likely to have on-going consequences because if she doesn't see you as DH's wife and your children as legitimate children, then you will respect that and understand that in doing so she does not consider herself to be your MIL and does not consider herself to be a legitimate grandmother, and will therefore adjust your interactions appropriately to respect her views. It's her call.
Then let her squirm
Assuming your children aren’t baptised, maybe best not to get too far down the rabbit hole of her thoughts about them.
If it's literally just this one comment then YABU to stop making an effort with them. How is your relationship generally?
I agree with everything that @Loopytiles just said.
DH is a devout catholic and had a conversation with his priest about a registry office wedding - which is all I was offering - and the priest had no issue with the marriage not being recognised by the church, all he wanted was a commitment that any children were brought up in the church.
Did your MIL actually talk to the priest or is it simply her opinion?
They are catholic in NI. You didnt marry in the eyes of God so to strict Catholics it's not the same. In law yes. But since religion is so important to them, its nor surprising they feel this way.
Does it matter what they think your 'role' is?
The inculcated views on Catholic marriage I find slightly frightening. I think you have hit one of the bumps in the road you get with any set of in laws but particularly where theres a cultural difference, however minor it seems. It is hard to realise just how much society has changed in what is a relatively short time.
I would just cool off. You and your dh are married, you're fine, nothing has changed. Bring it up another time if you really want to but tbh I would just let this one go.
We were in the same position over 30 years ago. Since then mil has had to deal with all the usual family drama, babies, divorces, unmarried couples living together, suicide, mental health issues... I think she's forgotten that we aren't properly married! Moving away from the province helped too.
Oh and by the way I am from am Irish catholic family and from Derry.
I just let my very religious relatives think what they want. We just agree to disagree. Doesnt impact how I feel about it.
But they are two different points to her, you are married in the eyes of the law but not in the eyes of her religion. If you’re Dh is so lapsed why does he care what the religion thinks?
I would say they clearly do disapprove of the way you married but they have tried to accept it. It's not like they made a huge fuss and refused to come to the wedding. MIL made what sounds like a slip if the tongue. Unless they bring it up again and start to make a big deal out of it I would probably just leave it now. You know that you are married in the way that counts to you so it doesn't really matter unless they start to make a huge issue of it now.
I’m not surprised your feeling hurt, I would be too.
It does sound like they’re just a bit stuck in their ways though, rather than it being anything personal about you. They’re obviously very upset that DH doesn’t share their faith, which most strongly religious parents would be, and aren’t handling it well or sensitively.
YWBU to stop making any effort with them unless there are other things going on. Lots of people disagree about religious beliefs, it doesn’t need to affect the relationship. You can just be the bigger person, you don’t need anyone’s approval because you are, as you said, married.
Mil isn't saying you are worth less in her eyes, just that your marriage is worth less, in God's eyes, because that's what her religion tells her. Don't take it personally. It's not about you, it was the wrong building and the wrong magic words, that's all.
I’m from a catholic family but atheist and yes, because I was married in a registry I’m not married before god so I could divorce and remarry. If I’d been married in a Catholic Church that would be absolutely not possible.
Doesn’t bother me because I dint give a shit what Catholicism thinks or believes.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Get started »
Please login first.