{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Married 🐠: What are things you do to develop a better relationship with your mother in law? My husband & his fam are quiet, disconnected & don’t really check on each other. I wnt this this to change!", "post_id": "5e94b35e8d9a740024b2414d", "reply_count": 15, "vote_count": 1, "bowl_id": "59e88be7e2808e00149b0443", "bowl_name": "Women In Consulting", "feed_type": "bowl" }

Married 🐠: What are things you do to develop a better relationship with your mother in law? My husband & his fam are quiet, disconnected & don’t really check on each other. I wnt this this to change!

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This may be difficult for you to hear but unfortunately I don’t think it is up to you to change the family dynamics between your husband and his family. I have personally tried to do this with no success, and while it is ok to talk to him about it, ultimately how he deals with his family is his business. I have to accept that myself - that he is not going to have the kind of relationship I want him to have with his family just because I want it. If you want to be closer to your in-laws and want to initiate more contact, that’s great. If they respond to you, that’s even better. But ultimately, how they interact with each other is really their business.

likesmart

Oh yea I totally understand. I have come to grips that the dynamics will never change. But as far as making sure he checks in on his aging parents enough and ensures they are fine and vice versa can definitely be improved; hoping I can aid in that. I really took notice during COVID-19. I’m like um you should check in on your parents to make sure they don’t need anything. Also, my hubby is a healthcare worker and none of his fam checked in on him - I just view it as puzzling. I will try to navigate with my mother in law - I think she is open to it but they just aren’t used to that type of consistent communication.

My mother-in-law is a southern lady at heart. From the beginning (6 years ago), I would jump in to help her in the kitchen, handle many of the side dishes with no instructions from her. I invite her on shopping dates. I don't usually need anything but I use it as a way to hang out. She loves gardening, so I call her to talk about flowers, what she is planning to do in her garden this spring. The best thing you can do is just try to have interest in her hobbies while being yourself.

likehelpful

Please don’t try to force dynamic changes of her/your family. You are coming in ‘late in the game’ so to speak, you need to respect their interaction. I am the complete opposite of how you interact with your parents and if my MIL tried to force that level of interaction on me I would not appreciate that. She does that with my SO and I love that they have that relationship, but I have no desire to have daily communication with her and she respects that which in turn makes me like her and appreciate her that much more.

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Appreciate your viewpoint @KPMG1

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Seconding KPMG1. I think there’s some value judgements embedded in your post last where you refer to them as disconnected. Maybe they don’t feel especially responsible to each other now that they’re all grown. That may not be your cup of tea but that doesn’t mean it’s not valid. You’ve assigned yourself responsibility for them now since COVID came on the scene. Nobody is obligated to play along with your impulses though. If you proceed, take care to disabuse yourself of any notions that your way is more right than their “disconnected”ness.

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I talk to my parents almost everyday. I realize the dynamics of our families are different. But I always wanted to have a close connection with my in laws especially my mother in law - and given the family dynamic it really seems like it’s nearly impossible 🙁

Just continue reaching out. It’ll probably feel like you’re putting in like 70% of the effort at the beginning but staying connected with family eventually pays off imo

There is a big difference between her talking to her friends (which I assume she does by choice) and having her daughter in law call her to check in all the time. You have to defer to what their norms are and it sounds like regular phone calls just aren’t it. Frankly if my mom called me I’d assume somebody was really sick or dying lol

Why do you feel the need to change their family dynamics?

Don’t do it sis! Keep things how they are. Keep the MiL right where she is.

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