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mrswinteriscoming
Rockstar December 2021

aita for expecting fh to attend family events more?

mrswinteriscoming, on October 23, 2020 at 12:57 AM

Posted in Family and Relationships 30

TL;DR - FH doesn't like attending family events with me/acts like it's a chore. I expect him to come to them with me as my partner. I come from a very tight-knit family. We are all up in each others' business (the good way) and love spending time with each other. We are always celebrating the little...

TL;DR - FH doesn't like attending family events with me/acts like it's a chore. I expect him to come to them with me as my partner.

I come from a very tight-knit family. We are all up in each others' business (the good way) and love spending time with each other. We are always celebrating the little things in life and regularly see one another (we're only a 10-15 min drive from my side of the family, FH's family live 8 hours away).

FH grew up in a rural area with only his immediate family. His family are completely different to mine, aside from the geographical distance, they aren't as open toward one another and are generally more quiet and distant. I.e. I call my parents daily/every second day, they speak to each other once a week or less.

Since FH and I started seeing each other years ago, I was always conscious of the fact that my family's craziness is not what he is used to. Because of this, there are a number of times I see them on my own, which is totally fair.

With that said, he always acts like I'm asking a lot of him or that it's a chore to come see them. For example, we last saw my parents (together) on Oct 2 when we all went out for dinner (I also on my own see them weekly when FH is at football practice). I found out just now that my sister's boyfriend is coming over tonight to meet our family and they've asked if we want to join. She's 16 so it's not serious (at least not yet) but I thought it would be nice for us to both go over and be part of their pizza/meet-the-boyfriend night.

I told FH and he said he feels quite tired/flat. I said we didn't have to stay late, and if he wanted to bring his own food instead of pizza he could (he's quite health conscious). He doesn't 'really feel like it' and I could go alone. I told him I didn't think it was that big of a deal since we're staying home tonight and didn't have any plans to do anything. I am totally ok with him not coming to everything but it really upsets me that he doesn't see the importance of family things the way I do and doesn't want to make a slight effort to come.

AITA for expecting this of him?

30 Comments

  • Katie
    Super August 2021
    Katie ·
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    I'm not saying when something comes up spur of the moment that he should be expected to go. I'm saying that he knows it's important to his future wife that he goes to some of the family stuff, and since it's important to her and he loves her he should go because simply put because he loves her. And he shouldn't be giving her a problem about it. When you truly love someone you do things for them without them asking and begging because you know they would love it and you want to make them happy. If she has to beg him to go see her family every now and then, that's just wrong on his part. Yea after she begs he goes but she shouldn't have to beg him, like I said before he should just do it because he loves her and knows it's important to her.
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  • Natalie
    Expert November 2020
    Natalie ·
    • Flag
    Family matters always take some work, and it’s important to find some balance. I’ve realized that as comfortable as FH is at my parents, it is not second home to him as it is to me. The same with me at his parents’ homes. While we do typically go to family events together, there are times we go by ourselves. I’ve learned that if I make him go when he’d rather get something done at home, I’m not going to have quite as much fun as if I just go by myself!
    • Reply
  • J
    Master 0000
    Judith ·
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    In order to get the typical stereotype of a non criminal exuberant Italian American family, a screenwriter could have vosited H family in Brooklyn any of the 3 Sundays a month when 4-6 of the 13 grown kids ( hubby and siblings) and Spouses and their 5-8 kids each come keep Grandma company while she cooks for 30-36. It is intense.
    • Reply
  • Kristin
    Dedicated October 2021
    Kristin ·
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    Compromise is important, but that goes both ways. He told her that he was feeling burnt out, and she should respect that. It sounds like he goes to plenty of family events. So as long as he's not using his mental health as an excuse every time, him telling her that he needs a break should be honored.
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  • Katie
    Super August 2021
    Katie ·
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    Again like I said plenty of times before, I'm not saying he needs to go to every family thing or spur of the moment stuff. He is aloud to not go because he feels burnt out. However she said everytime she asked him to accompany her to her families he always acts like it's a chore. And I'm saying it's not wrong for her to want him to come with her some of the time.
    • Reply
  • Katie
    Super August 2021
    Katie ·
    • Flag
    If he loves her he shouldn't give her problems over going with her ever now and then because it's important to her so he should want to go because he wants to make his girl happy.
    • Reply
  • mrswinteriscoming
    Rockstar December 2021
    mrswinteriscoming ·
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    In his own words, he’s a fish out of water when around his own family and it’s even more pronounced with my family. Not because they’ve ever done anything to make him uncomfortable but he just has always felt like the black sheep.


    He accompanies me to all the important events (ie birthdays, holidays etc) but doesn’t want to attend every single thing (as stated, our family gets together regularly). While I’d love for him to come to all events happily, I can acknowledge that my parents have instilled in me an outlook that my partner should accompany me to every single thing. Given how regularly our family get together I can (now) fully see his perspective that it is quite a lot and more than he’s comfortable with, and I’d never want to make him do something against his will.
    Ultimately, he’s there for the important things (and then some) and I need to respect his boundaries when it comes to casual events on a whim.
    • Reply
  • J
    Master 0000
    Judith ·
    • Flag
    A college boyfriend, sigle child of 2 parents who were only children themselves, was uncomfortable with the fact that I had so much to do with family, at college. But my 3rd year, 3 sibs and 5 first cousins from 3 families, were also in college or grad school in Boston. A 5 hour drive home, alternate months I drove home, next my parents went to Boston. 3 sets of aunts and uncles/ cousins fid the same. And odd sibs and cousins would pop in. One time he would be friendly as could be. another, grouchy. I finally said, just tell me, what your threshhold is, and I will go without asking you the rest. And he said, like your period? You are really happy to start, once a month ( not pregnant) and after that you want it to go away ... The thing is, now with my inlaws, I can't stand 7 of hubby's sisters in law or sisters, though I like several of the guys, a couple SIL, ( brother's wives) and the rest of the family in moderation. Moderation being, I am glad they live 6-7 hours away. And more than 1x a month is too much. I think of that boyfriend now and then.
    • Reply
  • Susan
    Devoted October 2021
    Susan ·
    • Flag

    Maybe prioritize the things that you and your family do together, and that will help.

    Holidays: you and your FH need to decide if you're going to alternate holidays, if you're going to have holidays at your place, or some other set up.

    Weddings and family milestones: these are generally once in a lifetime (if you're lucky and do it right!) events that should take priority, regardless of whose family they come from. Think also bridal and baby showers.

    Birthdays: Going to a parent or sibling's birthday celebration is one thing. And as you get older, they fade in significance. Grandma's 90th is a BIG deal. Your brother's 43rd might not be. A cousin, a sibling's non-serious partner, those are not as important.

    Dinners/Sports Events/Concerts/Plays: find a balance. You are building a marriage and future with your FH now. Your attention needs to be turned towards making that your primary relationship. That hole had been filled in your life by your family. But part of getting married is saying "Hey, I've got this new relationship that is at least as important as those relationships and I need to give that space and time in my life now." Meeting a 16 year old's new boyfriend falls squarely into this category of "not important enough to spend time away from my partner" from where I stand.

    It is a growing experience. It is hard. You're not an AH for not doing it before--you didn't need to. But you do need to grow now, take a step back from your family, and start to commit to your FH in different ways and times. Sounds like going to something while he's at a practice is a great way to honor those commitments without forcing him to attend. Perhaps your family can fit these 'meet and greets' and other commitments into your 'he's at practice dinners' and then it all works out and doesn't require extra time apart on your side as a couple.

    • Reply
  • Marcia
    Devoted March 2021
    Marcia ·
    • Flag

    I am in the exact same situation. I have a super close-knit extended family that is all up in each other's business, while FH's family is very low-key and gets together a few times a year. Because my family is so close, the events tend to be super rowdy and a ton of fun for me--but no fun at all for FH and the other fairly new significant others. The only SO that really feels comfortable with us is one that has now been around for more than 4 years. My cousin's wife still doesn't feel totally at home at these events. We are full of inside jokes, loud babbling, dancing, all kinds of nonsense.

    Now enter my already introverted FH. He is such a good sport, but I can tell that he really doesn't enjoy the events, especially when people start getting drunk. So I leave early with him sometimes, and, yes, I go alone sometimes. If I ask, he will always go, but sometimes he just deserves a break.

    It's hard when you can't see their side of it because they don't have a family like that. My cousin's wife's family is also rowdy, and he told us that he never understood until he went to her family party and was shocked. It is so hard to be a newcomer to a close family. We really can't discount it.

    So I say it's okay if FH doesn't want to go sometimes. He could be a better sport about it. You could also acknowledge that his feelings about it aren't bad and are totally valid. Sometimes, you could let him take the night off and tell your family he is overtired or working or whatever it is. You could also ask him what he thinks is a reasonable amount of time to spend with your family, and take his input seriously, even if it means you miss some family events (and trust me, I know how much this hurts). Maybe once a month is what is fair.

    Your FH is going to be your new family and your new #1. This is a good time to learn how to make that transition.

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