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What do you / should you call your in-laws?

 
 
Reply Mon 11 Oct, 2021 06:20 am
My wife has this issue that is seems that she's the only one who has an issue with this. My wife and I have been together some 20 years. When I met her parents I addressed them and Mr. and Mrs. (Fill in the blank). It seems that every couple of years my wife will resurface this argument with me. "Why do you keep calling my parents by Mr. and Mrs.? I told her that that's what I've always called them so it's no big deal to me. I'm not sure why this offends her so much. Now, when I introduced her to my parents she addressed them and Mr. and Mrs. but my mom told her that everyone calls her Ma (Insert last name). That was fine with her. When I met her parents they didn't tell me to call them anything different so I've always call them Mr. and Mrs. This past Sunday we were getting ready for church and we were talking about something and my wife just stuck in the middle of the conversation, "and I still don't understand why you call my parents Mr. and Mrs." My response to her was a 2 fold response. I looked at her and asked, "what do you want me to call them and what do they want me to call them?" I even said to her, why don't you just ask them what they want me to call them. And her response was "why do I need to ask them, you ask them." Not once in the 20 years since I've known them have they ever said, "please, call us..." I suggested to my wife that I call them by their first names and she immediately cut me off saying that would be too disrespectful. And more importantly, I refuse to call them mom and dad. I have a mom and dad who are both still alive and I will not call them by that name. My question is this. For those who are married, what do you call your in-laws? Did you start off with Mr. and Mrs. and they told you to call them something else? Do you call them by their names? Or do you call them mom and dad? Again, no one seems to have a problem with this other than my wife.
 
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Mon 11 Oct, 2021 06:37 am
@Barry2021,
Honestly you should call them by what works for the both of you.

I have an extended family as far as in-laws as a result of divorce. So my husband's mom had re-married and his dad as well. So typically for the "step" in-laws I call them by their first name (kind of a cue of what my husband calls them) - my kids still refer to them as grandpa, grandmom (maybe with their first name after it if they are around multiple grandparents) - this seems to work.

Unfortunately my husband's dad passed on right before our marriage so I have not had the pleasure to refer to him directly by any name.

For his mom - it kind of came about organically. I was writing a Christmas card for them and I addressed it as "Mom/Grandmom and R-/Grandpa" - she happily responded to my husband that I addressed her as mom (even though this was signed by all of us) - she probably realized I filled out the card and it was me that wrote a few things. This seemed to make her very happy so I call her mom.

I do have my mom around and I don't think she takes this personally and she certainly is my mom! I figure there is enough love to go around and no one feels petty or upset that you could also love another mom.

I think you two as a couple make mountains out of molehills. Really does it matter what you call someone (on either side of things you or your wife). As long as the parties (the addressing the person and the person receiving this reference) are comfortable with it - would the h*ll really cares?

Just be happy that they are around so you can call them something.
jespah
 
  3  
Reply Mon 11 Oct, 2021 06:39 am
@Barry2021,
I called my inlaws (may they rest in peace) by their first names.

I didn't call them Mom and Dad because that's what I call my parents; and that would continue to be true even if my parents had predeceased my inlaws.

I find it truly bizarre that you call your inlaws by the same title you would use for your kids' teachers or some work acquaintance.

Rather than waiting for them to say, "Oh, call me ___," why don't you, oh here's a wild idea — ask them what they want to be called.

Your wife is right in this instance. You've known these people 2 decades and you're all adults. You're not a teenaged boy taking their daughter to the Junior Prom.

Ever since you got here, you've been complaining that your wife is standoffish to your church, your granddaughter, and your family.

Pot, meet kettle.
Barry2021
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 11 Oct, 2021 06:53 am
@Linkat,
I fully agree with you. Her parent's have never told me to address them any other way so it seems to bother no one but my wife. No, I'm not comfortable calling them mom or dad. And even when my parents do leave this earth I will not be looking to replace them in title by calling my wife's parent's mom or dad. Like I said, my wife seems to be the only one who has a problem with this.
0 Replies
 
Barry2021
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 11 Oct, 2021 06:55 am
@jespah,
Thanks Jes for bringing up old stuff. It just seems that you want to constantly bring up old forums to get everyone riled up. No, I'm not going to ask them because it doesn't seem to be a problem for my nor my in-laws, only my wife.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Oct, 2021 07:40 am
My wife's father died before I met her.

As for her mother and her husband, I called them by their first names.
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Oct, 2021 07:40 am
How about “Mom Smith” or “Dad Smith”? That keeps it somewhat formal but recognizes that they are your mother and father in- law.

It seems you don’t want to budge on this. Your wife doesn’t like it, but won’t speak up. Would it hurt you to ask them what they’d like to be called?


0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Mon 11 Oct, 2021 07:50 am
@Barry2021,
Jespah is a moderator who does a thankless job very well.

All you have ever done on here is attack your wife, if you don't want people to mention it, perhaps you could try talking about something else.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Mon 11 Oct, 2021 07:53 am
I call my in laws by their first names. My wife and her brother always called their dad "D", I imagine for Dad and also David. I called him that and he turned and said "just call me David". Never had a problem again.

When next you see your in laws, just ask them. "Your daughter doesn't seem to like me calling you Mr and Mrs, is there another way you'd like me to refer to you?"
Barry2021
 
  0  
Reply Mon 11 Oct, 2021 09:28 am
@izzythepush,
That's the thing, I've never called them by their first names as my wife thinks that's disrespectful.
0 Replies
 
Barry2021
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 11 Oct, 2021 09:45 am
@engineer,
As you guys well know, my wife thinks that if there's anything she doesn't like it's supposed to be changed to suit her. Again, no one seems to have a problem with what I call her parents other than here. In my mind, this should have been something she address 10 or 15 years ago, especially after we got married. No, I'm not calling them mom or dad but according to her, I can't call them by their names either. I'm thinking that at this point, if her parent's don't mind then so be it.
Mame
 
  2  
Reply Mon 11 Oct, 2021 10:09 am
@Barry2021,
Wondering why you even brought this up. Seems a tiny issue to me.
Barry2021
 
  0  
Reply Mon 11 Oct, 2021 10:36 am
@Mame,
It is, but my wife is making it a major issue.
0 Replies
 
 

 
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