What to do if your family doesn’t like your spouse?

by Kristina on March 17, 2014 · 3 comments

spouse, in-laws, getting married, family issues

Good morning Dinks.  I know we love to talk about our spouses here and I am lucky that I have a really great boyfriend.  That’s not to say we don’t have our moments of friction, but overall I feel blessed.  My boyfriend Nick takes care of me when I’m sick, he makes me laugh when I’m sad and he always tells me the truth even if it’s brutal.  This is one of his less lovable qualities but I appreciate his honesty.

Not everyone’s spouse can be perfect

I keep my relationship completely separate from my family.  I do this for a couple of reasons.  The first reason is because it’s really none of their business what happens in my relationship.  The second reason is because in my family everything is a big deal.  By the time a piece of information makes its way through all the members of my family (and it always does) the story is never the same.  I really don’t have time for all that drama.

Unfortunely some of my family members aren’t as lucky in the spouse department as I am.  As you know I don’t like my Dad’s spouse.  I wish she would just go away, but that’s not going to happen anytime soon because my Dad is afraid to be alone.  My Dad admits his wife is not a great person but in his words he doesn’t want to start over and be single at 60.

You don’t have to like everyone’s spouse, you just have to be polite

Not liking someone’s spouse brings stress on a family.  My dad is forced to keep his love life and his family life very separate because none of our family members can stand to be around his wife.  To say family events aren’t fun when she is there would be an understatement so we ask that she stays away.

It’s not expected that everyone will like me and my spouse, just as it’s probably not expected that I will like everyone’s spouse.  But I’m not married to them so it really doesn’t matter.  All I have to do is show up, smile and make the event as pleasant as possible.

This is how I try to keep the peace when I don’t like someone’s spouse.

– Don’t try to make them see it.  A person in love will never the bad qualities in their spouse; just like parents usually don’t see the downfalls in their kids.  Pointing out someone’s less desirable qualities only causes tension in the family. You have to let people realize their spouse’s flaws on their own; otherwise you’re the bad guy.  Even though my Dad’s wife does really awful things right in front of him he just doesn’t see it.

– Don’t force a conversation.  If you happen to be in the same room as someone you don’t like just smile and be polite. Of course it’s awkward, but it’s better than fighting with you loved ones. My Dad and I fought for years over his new wife and we still do.  It’s unfortunate but that will probably never change.  So to keep the peace I smile and move on when I see his wife.

– You don’t have to spend money on them.  My money is precious and spending it on someone I don’t like is a huge waste of money.  I can smile and be polite but I don’t have to send birthday calls and Christmas gifts.

Photo by tahnyakristina

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Daisy March 17, 2014 at 9:26 am

This would be so stressful! I am glad that everyone likes my spouse, and my spouse likes everybody (sort of) in my family. I have had some friction with his family though; we like each other, it’s just been a bit sticky with all of their opinions on things.

Family is a priority to me, and so is my relationship. I wouldn’t want to put my brother, for instance, in a situation like this so even if I didn’t like his spouse, I wouldn’t say anything.

2 Alicia @ Financial Diffraction March 18, 2014 at 8:38 pm

My parents dislike my fiancé, and so it makes things super awkward. I wish they had never said anything because now I feel so pulled each way from in the middle. I don’t expect rainbows and unicorns but I wish there was more than the obligatory forced civility.

3 Ametist May 2, 2014 at 4:46 am

Your life is stressful Kristina. As described this dad’s wife is a monster for you, and there is your lesson. You don’t accept her, she doesn’t accept you, that simple. You don’t let her in, you make everyone stay out and you like to make your dad’s life miserable.
Family drama? What drama…you are too sensitive and consequently you take too seriously. The way it works is: if the information is for everyone to know, tell it. …if it isn’t keep it for yourself. You know why the information changes it’s meaning by the time every relative gets to know? Becouse you don’t talk to them, you just spread the voice. You don’t bother, you try to escape from your family.
If people would talk, a lot of drama, problems would be solved.

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