Author Topic: How much interaction is there between the two sides of your family?  (Read 4705 times)

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AylaM

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A couple of threads I've been reading have mentioned parents and in-laws celebrating together.  I've not really seen this before.   My families barely interact.  I only have a few close friends, and they tend to do the same thing.  But I wondered if maybe others had more interaction between families.  So I thought I'd ask here.

I'm not married or seriously dating anyone, so my view is based on my mom and dads parents.  In my family we usually host either one side or the other, with few exceptions that tend to revolve around extenuating circumstances.  If dad's family is over for Thanksgiving we don't see mom's family at all.  The only time we do tend to have "mixed" parties is when we have big events that celebrate the couple or their kids.  A wedding has both sides.  Baby stuff has both sides.  Graduations have both sides.

Dad is from the North East and Mom is from the South.  They met in the military on the West Coast. Due to timing and money, the only family members that could be at the wedding were mom's mom and mom's youngest brother.  In order to facilitate this, they moved the wedding up by almost a year.  Otherwise no one could afford to fly out.

The in-laws didn't even meet until after I was born.  Some time later my dad's parents moved in with us and they saw mom's family more.  If they hadn't done this, I doubt they'd know more about each other than their names.

Just in case family size has to do with this,  dad has 5 siblings and about 15 nieces/nephews from them and mom has 4 siblings and about 10 nieces/nephews from them.   If we hosted everyone, we'd have to rent a hall.  As it is if we invite dad's side we have to rent or borrow tables and chairs.

I had always thought that my experience was pretty average, but now I'm wondering if that is true.  How much interaction do you see between the two sides of the family?



Specky

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Re: How much interaction is there between the two sides of your family?
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2012, 07:38:20 PM »
Our two sides have never met and, most likely, never will.

whiterose

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Re: How much interaction is there between the two sides of your family?
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2012, 07:49:05 PM »
Some members of my father's side of the family came to my maternal grandfather's funeral. My paternal grandparents and at least one cousin on that side had gone to the country house of the brother my father was closest to. The wife of one of my cousins of my father's side of the family called my house once asking for my mother.
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Sharnita

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Re: How much interaction is there between the two sides of your family?
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2012, 07:54:07 PM »
Growing up my mom's relatives lived in a completely different state so unless they visited it was kinda hard to get the sides together.  When they did visit, we tended to combine.


One sister has kind of the same thing, the other has both grandmothers sharing childcare duties and so they see each other a lot, go out on from time to time.  They still do their own holidays but  interact in regular life.

mmswm

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Re: How much interaction is there between the two sides of your family?
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2012, 07:56:44 PM »
Back before my parents got married, when they were still in HS, there was a target shooting accident that resulted in a member of one side of the family killing a member of the other side. As both sides of the family lived in close proximity for many years, there was some interaction, but none of it was pleasant.

In regards to my own marriage, my ex-husband has had no contact with me and the boys since I was pregnant with the youngest, so the boys don't know that side of their family.
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MommyPenguin

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Re: How much interaction is there between the two sides of your family?
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2012, 08:06:32 PM »
My parents and in-laws get along pretty well and live reasonably close, so they've seen each other a good bit.  When we have one of the kids' birthday parties in their area, both sides of the family usually come (my parents usually host, as they have the bigger and nicer house with more room).  Usually it's my parents, his parents, and his brother and family.  My parents also sometimes invite them when they're having a party, holiday, or nice event, and we're in town.  They don't invite them as much when we're at home (we live in another state), but they do occasionally.  Also, my parents occasionally volunteer to babysit for my BIL/SIL's kids when they need help, or when my SIL is getting run down and needs a break (they have three little boys).  I don't think it's exactly *usual*, but there's nobody toxic and both sides are pretty friendly and outgoing, so they tend to enjoy including each other.  My parents are more likely to invite his than the other way around, but part of that is because his parents live in a house that doesn't have a lot of room for hosting, so they just don't host others all that often.  When his parents were working as missionaries and lived elsewhere and came back for a visit for a month, my parents hosted them *and* us in their house so that we could spend time all together, which was really generous of them.

The extended families don't socialize as much, but his extended family will often invite my parents to larger events and holidays, like the 4th of July crab feast, Thanksgiving dinner, etc.  My parents only go occasionally, as they are often the ones expected to host for *their* extended local family, which is just a few people, and they can't really drag everybody along but if they don't host then nobody will and the rest of their extended family won't have a get-together at all.  They're more likely to go to things that aren't on a big holiday for that reason.  But they do get invited and are welcomed if they come.

I don't think that this is necessarily the usual way that things are done, but I think that since both of our parents live in the same area (about 40 minutes apart) and are friendly, they try to make an effort, which I think is pretty cool.  And it makes things a *lot* easier when we visit and want to see both families.

Bijou

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Re: How much interaction is there between the two sides of your family?
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2012, 10:07:27 PM »
My mother's family and my father's family:  Most of them live several hours or more away from us and didn't visit at the same time, but Mom's family loved my dad and his loved my mom, so it was a very happy situation whenever anyone visited.

I count myself very, very lucky in the family department.
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kherbert05

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Re: How much interaction is there between the two sides of your family?
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2012, 11:10:18 PM »
My parents two families did not have much interaction - because they lived in different countries.


Mom's family was from small town PEI. Most of my Aunts and Uncles married people that my Mom's family already knew. I've never been on PEI during the holidays, so I don't know how they interact then. I do know all of my Aunts' and Uncles' inlaws treated me like family.


Dad's family - My Aunt's MIL was a 3rd grandmother to Sis and I. Sis has Texas Nanny's sideboard in her house. When she passed away, we were given some of her jewelry. My older 2 first cousins were in HS when their younger sister and I were born. Oldest Cousin married her HS sweetheart, Next cousin met the love of her life in University. I don't remember them, their parents and siblings not being part of the family. 


There are several other close connections through marriage. I have two "cousins" who are related by a marriage in our Grandparent's generation have very similar names (Names are different by 2 letters), went to the same HS. Their Mothers have the same name and volunteered for the same organization. This caused several confusing situations. On one occasion nearly got the cops called on one cousin. (Neighbor thought he was a con artist ripping off my grandmother.)
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Luci

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Re: How much interaction is there between the two sides of your family?
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2012, 12:02:50 AM »
My parents grew us about 6 miles apart and went to the same church and were farmers, but there were differences that made them not get along. My parent was an only child, and her mother thought that it was shameful that my dad was one of 10 children.  ;)

Our parents lived on different ends of the state so didn't have any interaction except at the wedding and some polite letters. My brother's in-laws and our parents had many cultural differences, although they lived in the same town and they rarely interacted.

However, our son's in-laws and we get along very well. We invite each other to family celebrations, like the grandkid's birthdays, Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Year Eve. We went to their son's wedding in a faraway state, they have been here a couple of times, and we send baby gifts. We went to Nana's mother's funeral. Oh, and we discussed on our own what the grandkids would call us. Our daughter's husband was raised by his brother who was ten years older than he, but we do invite the brother and sister-in-law to a some occassions, and we attended the niece's funeral.

Shopaholic

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Re: How much interaction is there between the two sides of your family?
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2012, 01:06:05 AM »
My parents and their siblings all went to the same high school, but were in different grades, so they all knew each other.
Nowadays my aunts and uncles rarely see each other, but that has more to do with distance and life than people not getting along. If they do see each other it's because my parents (and more recently my sister who now has her own home) are hosting.

My PILs get along famously with my SILs' families. Every holiday and many family occasions I see them.
My parents get along great with my BILs' families. They often have Friday night dinner together, go see movies, recently they even went to a protest together. Even I love BIL2's family.
With my family they have less of an interaction, due to distance but mostly to the fact that DH and I don't have kids yet. They get along well enough, speak on the phone every once in a while and meet 1-2 times a year.

pearls n purls

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Re: How much interaction is there between the two sides of your family?
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2012, 01:14:10 AM »
We live in the same state as my family.  My DH's family lives far away, so we only get to seem them once or twice a year.

A couple days before we got married, we had our families get together, and everyone said it was like meeting old friends.  My mom will send letters/cards to my FIL every so often.  Some of my DH's family will be coming up next year, and I'm sure we'll have another family get together.

mbbored

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Re: How much interaction is there between the two sides of your family?
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2012, 01:57:26 AM »
In my own family, for the most part the only time my parents' families have interacted were my parents' wedding, my father's funeral and my sister's wedding, but they live several states apart and both sides are large. However, my dad's parents used to stop in and visit my mom's parents when they were on vacation in my maternal grandparent' town.

With my older brother, he and his wife are from different states and live in yet another, so my mother has only interacted with his in-laws at the wedding and when bro's FIL travels to our hometown for work, which is about once a year. Mom and the FIL go out to dinner.

My sister lives 30 minutes from our mom and her in-laws are an hour in the other direction. We get together as one large group for sis, BIL's and the kids' birthdays and major events, but not holidays. We've been invited to my BIL's siblings' weddings and baby showers and they've been invited to events for my siblings as well.

Sirius

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Re: How much interaction is there between the two sides of your family?
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2012, 03:27:02 AM »
My dad lives in California; my in-laws live in Virginia.  Except for our wedding they've never met.  My in-laws ask how my dad is doing, but he never asks about them.  (My mother is deceased.) 

veryfluffy

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Re: How much interaction is there between the two sides of your family?
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2012, 05:29:08 AM »
My mother lives on another continent, DH's mother lives around four hours away from us. They've never met and never will, and neither has ever expressed any interest or curiosity about the other.
   

Phoebelion

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Re: How much interaction is there between the two sides of your family?
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2012, 05:52:08 AM »
Grandparents never even met each other to the best of my knowledge.  I spent all summer from 4 til I was 2 with maternal grandparents - the highlight of my year.

I rarely see my Son's in laws or that part of the family.  Totally different life style, wishes and expectations.

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