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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Husband takes a long time to warm up to other people in general but he gets easily annoyed with my family. Some of the things they do are not such a big deal but he lets it bother him and I can tell how his behavior is 'different' around my family. It upsets me especially because they have helped us (and still help us) in many ways. They have always been good to him but he is more reserved (in general) and it's a big effort for him to make small talk with them. He is usually polite (saying thank you for watching our toddler etc) but I feel like it's the bare minimum.

He acknowledges he has to work on it, but we've been married for 10yrs! He says it's just not that easy for him to be social with other people in general and with my family he has to learn to not get annoyed with small things. I don't think it's fair we accept their help but husband still has issues communicating with them.

Any ideas?
 

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Examples of small things please. They may not be so small from his perspective.

Right wing evangelical rants by my FIL are not a small thing to me. Distasteful, obnoxious, mean Rush Limbaugh "jokes" are not funny to me, especially when trapped at the in-laws. Tea Party Birtherism comments are not a small thing to me.

I was not able to communicate with him beyond hello, please pass the salt, how are you feeling and thank you until that stuff stopped.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Examples of small things please. They may not be so small from his perspective.

Right wing evangelical rants by my FIL are not a small thing to me. Distasteful, obnoxious, mean Rush Limbaugh "jokes" are not funny to me, especially when trapped at the in-laws. Tea Party Birtherism comments are not a small thing to me.

I was not able to communicate with him beyond hello, please pass the salt, how are you feeling and thank you until that stuff stopped.

Nothing like that AT ALL, in fact my family has been super helpful, babysitting our kid for free, helping out while we moved, watching our dogs for us, etc. The most I've seen them do ever that is only slightly annoying is give our daughter extra snacks and treats (but hello! My mom is her grandma, grandmas do that stuff!) and sometimes my brother doesn't use his common sense when doing stuff with us or helping us--but again, my brother is late teens! Like coming over and eating a bunch of food here, but that rarely happens. But husband gets annoyed about all of this.

I told him tonight there are some things I'm willing to let go of but how my family is treated is a deal breaker for me. That words will not be enough anymore, him telling me "I'm sorry I will do better next time" or "I don't know why I did that, I will try to talk more next time" and that actions is what I want. If he is going to make these gestures/actions to show me he knows how much it bothers me and because my family has only been loving towards him, then things can work. Otherwise I am not going to let this go...
 

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Mmmm.. Not sure what to say.

The Indians used the "peace pipe" to help the communication with strangers. We all know what was in that. It certainly helped me and my FIL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just to add, he's not super social with anyone unless he knows people A LOT better and likes them (which is not many people, like a handful total). He is just more reserved in general. A lot of this stems from his own personality and his parents way of raising him (dad was abusive, mom cowered to everything, husband tried to do whatever to keep the peace for mom and younger siblings, wasn't allowed to 'express' himself or feel free or safe to say whatever). I hate his parents for doing that to their children :mad: His younger siblings are not so much like this, maybe because they softened up over time plus they are girls (and his dad was much harsher to my husband). He is more quiet and reserved around others in general. He has improved slightly with talking to my mom but I don't like any kind of behavior from him that seems rude or disrespectful towards my family.

When my mom talks to him, he responds but doesn't look at her when he's talking. I said I think it's rude. He said he didn't even realize that was rude and he'll try. I see at his parents house that's the way his parents are :mad::( They really did some damage to how husband communicates. We've been married for 10yrs, I know this isn't new, but I probably noticed it a lot less before we were married. Plus I thought it would change over time. But that is husband's personality, I just want him to not come off rude and try a bit harder to communicate and socialize with them (instead of being there physically but not saying much).
 

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Husband takes a long time to warm up to other people in general but he gets easily annoyed with my family.
Basic psychology.

We kiss up to people we need to impress.

We ignore, take for granted, and treat like **** those who we don't care if we impress.

Why does he think he doesn't have to impress your family?

Because YOU ALLOWED IT.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Basic psychology.

We kiss up to people we need to impress.

We ignore, take for granted, and treat like **** those who we don't care if we impress.

Why does he think he doesn't have to impress your family?

Because YOU ALLOWED IT.

Maybe there is a little bit of truth to that but if you read my other posts in this thread it will give you more info. I can also say I have never EVER seen my husband try to kiss up or impress anyone. Maybe slighly with my family friends but thats it. My mom and him have disagreed with some stuff in the past and maybe what I see is respect for each other but not like really friendly with each other.

And when we first started dating husband always felt like no matter what he did or said wasn't enough. Partly because husband is a different race and partly because is my mom is an almost impossible woman to please/impress etc.
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Some people find it harder than others to make new friends but they are in general the same people who will have friends for life. Not necessarily a bad think IMHO as a few true friends are worth a bucket full of acquaintances.
Is your husband one of those?

Do you know if other members of your family have a problem with the way your husband acts with / around them? If so is there any particular thing he could do to make things better? As long as your husband is being polite and welcoming to your family that should be all right after all.

I have no personal experience of a mixed race marriage but I did marry into a Catholic family and that did lead to a few problems early on (my wife and I married in my local C of E church and her grandfather at first refused to attend).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Some people find it harder than others to make new friends but they are in general the same people who will have friends for life. Not necessarily a bad think IMHO as a few true friends are worth a bucket full of acquaintances.
Is your husband one of those?

Do you know if other members of your family have a problem with the way your husband acts with / around them? If so is there any particular thing he could do to make things better? As long as your husband is being polite and welcoming to your family that should be all right after all.

I have no personal experience of a mixed race marriage but I did marry into a Catholic family and that did lead to a few problems early on (my wife and I married in my local C of E church and her grandfather at first refused to attend).

His friends he was closer to were from his hometown and since we moved after getting married he hasn't kept in touch. He would be someone who has a few friends over a lot (that is more me) but he doesn't really have any friends. He was kind of friends with his coworkers before but it bothered me at the time because they are mostly female and I was pregnant at the time. Since the. He has backed off and only kept a work relationship with them. I don't know, at this point its hard to make new friends as a more quiet and reserved guy :(. He says most of the time it doesnt bother him and he does like the few couple friends we have.

No one has a real problem with how my husband acts. My family friends who are like aunts to me (my moms best friends) like my husband. They have gotten used to his personality and he does talk a little bit with them. My mom has said in the past she wishes he would talk more to her. My family is very talkative loud etc. my dad is not in the picture.

Husband doesn't talk to his family much, we'll spend time with them at the holidays etc but its me talking and husband just listening to his parents talk. He'll share a little bit with them when asked by his mom or if I encourage him to share stuff with them. I really believe the way he was raised has SO much to do with hos communication problems now. In our marriage he has gotten a lot better with communication. Hima d I are very close and have done stuff in the past (read some books together) to improve the way we communicate.
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Yellowstar,

It is great to hear of other couples who have been able to accept the differences in each other and make allowances (you are accepting his quiet nature; he backed off from friendships that made you uneasy). You still find ways to improve your communication and through that strengthen your relationship.

I wish you both the best for the future.
 

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Maybe there is a little bit of truth to that but if you read my other posts in this thread it will give you more info. I can also say I have never EVER seen my husband try to kiss up or impress anyone. Maybe slighly with my family friends but thats it. My mom and him have disagreed with some stuff in the past and maybe what I see is respect for each other but not like really friendly with each other.

And when we first started dating husband always felt like no matter what he did or said wasn't enough. Partly because husband is a different race and partly because is my mom is an almost impossible woman to please/impress etc.
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What I meant is that he doesn't CARE if your family likes him, so he has no desire to treat them better. His social issue notwithstanding.

Or else he's just incredibly shy and has no context with which to know HOW to deal with them. You showing him the cues like looking people in the eyes should help. My nephew can't look people in the eyes; he's 29 now and getting better at it as he matures and feels more confident.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
What I meant is that he doesn't CARE if your family likes him, so he has no desire to treat them better. His social issue notwithstanding.

Or else he's just incredibly shy and has no context with which to know HOW to deal with them. You showing him the cues like looking people in the eyes should help. My nephew can't look people in the eyes; he's 29 now and getting better at it as he matures and feels more confident.
Yes, these are both true, especially the second part. I think it's more of a 'not knowing' and if you live 25yrs like this and open up to your then gf (now wife) it's going to take time (I guess) to be more warm, or really to KNOW what that really means. It's not like he's this warm friendly guy with everyone except my family, it's just how he is all the time.

Today he texted my brother asking if he wants to come over for dinner (he just showed me), maybe what I said the past 2 days is at least showing him I'm serious and he now knows it. Thank you. :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yellowstar,

It is great to hear of other couples who have been able to accept the differences in each other and make allowances (you are accepting his quiet nature; he backed off from friendships that made you uneasy). You still find ways to improve your communication and through that strengthen your relationship.

I wish you both the best for the future.
Thank you, we both make each other better. I truly believe so (and he says the same). I personally feel like marriages ebb and flow, so when it gets tough (which I think happens a lot when little kids are in the picture), the least we can both do is try to work together to improve. Thank you so much for listening.
 
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