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Husband Doesn't Mingle With My Family And Friends

Discussion in 'Married Life' started by BhumiBabe, Dec 25, 2016.

  1. BhumiBabe

    BhumiBabe Platinum IL'ite

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    I grew up in the US, so when I agreed to an arranged marriage to a man who grew up in India and came for masters, I somehow assumed that our families would integrate and my husband would be like a son to my parents, just as I am a daughter to his parents. Despite the culture differences, I have integrated into their family, but on the otherhand, despite the proximity of my family (my parents live 4 hours away, cousins are in US too), he finds a way to avoid being around them. Sometimes, he would use travel expense as an issue or work conflicts. Anything to stay away and not get near my "weird" family.

    We are having marital problems anyhow, so it's not like he is very understanding that this issue is making me dislike him and resent him even more. We are going to counseling.

    Now, I can't force him to be interested in spending time with my relatives, but at the same time I feel like I'm being taken advantage of, because I end up going to India annually and staying at my IN laws place for 4-6 weeks, with a couple of days to a week with my relatives. This time, despite my new employment (and how interested I am to get back into working) he tried to make me stay longer in India, because he wants our son to spend more time with his parents (who at this point, stay at our house annually for 2 month stretches). I really decrease the number of times I meet my family, because it always makes him angry when I'm with them, so I have visited my parents twice for 1week stretches, this year. I'm trying to be fair, but I still feel like I'm begging for a chance to be with my family and it's unfair.

    How should I deal with the India trip, so that it is fair to me as well?

    I should also share that he is very particular about my actions toward his family, but he expects me to lie and give him a good face when he is missing during my family events. I have often been asked where my husband is, because it's the holidays and families normally stick together at that times. He never actually has a good excuse to not come.
     
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  2. madras2018

    madras2018 Platinum IL'ite

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    You are right that you cannot force him to enjoy spending time with your parents. While you fret that you dislike him avoiding your parents, you are helping continue this behavior by covering for him. Futhermore you yield to his requests for you and your son to spend more time at his parents' place.

    The only way you can handle this situation is by leveling the playing field. You could stop covering for him and instead let your family know the real reason for his absence. He must also know that they know. He has no incentive to change when he gets to keep the status quo with your help. If any uncomfortable questions arise, dont rush to his defense. Just keep mum and let him do any explaining. Who knows, maybe people may even stop inviting him knowing his tendency to decline. This may prompt some rethinking on his side.

    Similarly stop being unfair to yourself and stop doing things that are inconvenient & tiring for you. You want to reduce time spent at your in laws place ? Do that. If you want to spend more time at your parents' place ? Do that too. If you cannot and should not force him to do what he dislikes, he likewise must not and should not get to dictate your travel plans.

    While these may appear to be countermoves, they are not. They are just things that are just a bit more convenient. You wont be saving face for him and likewise you can do some diplomatic explanation to your inlaws for less time spent at their place. Be sweet voiced about the whole thing rather than tit for tat...

    Reduced expectations on both sides should allow some equilibrium to emerge and a middle ground may be found. Time and patience are essential.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2016
    dsmenon, MNR, nakshatra1 and 3 others like this.
  3. BhumiBabe

    BhumiBabe Platinum IL'ite

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    Thanks for the advice. I'm trying to equal the playing field. Somehow, now that I just got offered a job, I'm suddenly getting more respect about my opinion on family matters. At least, my stance on spending equal time seems reasonable to him.
     
  4. arpha

    arpha New IL'ite

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    Nothing can be forced. By doing so you will loose your peace of mind. Let him be happy where ever he wants to be and you be where you want to be on your vacations. Make sure he makes his presence in some mandatory events on your side.
     
  5. BhumiBabe

    BhumiBabe Platinum IL'ite

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    The thing is, he will make my life miserable, if I don't do what he want me to do. He is currently angry that my family uses different words for Maternal grandma and grandpa, than his, so he has expressed that if my family keeps using "our" words, he doesn't want me here, because I clearly favor my family. :neutral: At this point, I just stop trying to please him. It's impossible.
     
  6. shri0218

    shri0218 Silver IL'ite

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    He is getting angry for such things?! Every family had their own way talking. Now that you know that he is capable of making your life miserable ..have a long talk with him.
    Tell him that you have certain expectations from this marriage as well and the effort has to be equal. And tell him you are done lying for him. He may get angry initially but eventually he will get it. And for your family events just walk away from there in the sense let him learn to talk and mingle with your family.
     
    guesshoo likes this.

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