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Old 02-08-2009, 10:08 AM
 
Location: Olympus Mons, Mars
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Default Family background - how important?

How important is family background to you? Say someone comes from a broken family and they don't get along with much of their family for whatever reasons and doesn't associate with them would you still hold that against him/her? The reason I ask is I have heard some people mention how they want a big family on their spouses side Perhaps to have big family gatherings at the holidays?
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Old 02-08-2009, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
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This is a great question. I am not close to my mother and one of my sisters. I have a very small, distant family. I wonder too if an SO would think it strange or hold something against me. (It's not that I haven't tried to mend things)
My ex-fiance didn't hold it against me, which was nice, and he had a big family that I got along with great, so I kind of "adopted" them!
I would hope that people don't judge us for the relations we have with our families, some are great, some are not. Many times it's out of our control. Hopefully, our SO's would see the great qualitites in us and appreciate us for who we are and have become, despite family issues.

For me, as long as the guy is a good person, learns for himself what kind of person to be, then I wouldn't hold it against them because I can relate. I would try to embrace their family as best I could, then know that life is too short to stress and worry over difficult family members.



Quote:
Originally Posted by k374 View Post
How important is family background to you? Say someone comes from a broken family and they don't get along with much of their family for whatever reasons would you still hold that against him/her? The reason I ask is I have heard some people mention how they want a big family on their spouses side Perhaps to have big family gatherings at the holidays?
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Old 02-08-2009, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Beautiful New England
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k374 View Post
How important is family background to you? Say someone comes from a broken family and they don't get along with much of their family for whatever reasons and doesn't associate with them would you still hold that against him/her? The reason I ask is I have heard some people mention how they want a big family on their spouses side Perhaps to have big family gatherings at the holidays?
Some adults talk to their parents and/or siblings daily, others not at all. Some envision a life of, say, giant family gatherings at all the big holidays, while others are more comfortable with quiet holidays alone or with a small network of very close friends. How close is the family -- within two blocks or two thousand miles? Is there a large circle of friends who could provide social support and companionship?

Family is very important to me, but I live far away from most of my extended family. It is an arrangement that works pretty well.
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Old 02-08-2009, 10:24 AM
 
Location: New England
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It's OK If they don't get along with their family. Not everyone does. As long as they are a good person. I prefer a small family on the spouses side. Less in-laws to deal with.
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Old 02-08-2009, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Fiji
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For me, family background is definitely a consideration. It really depends on the specifics of the particular situation
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Old 02-08-2009, 11:28 AM
 
Location: In my skin
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Originally Posted by heatwave13 View Post
For me, family background is definitely a consideration. It really depends on the specifics of the particular situation
Agreed. Sometimes you have to cut ties if your family is toxic. That wouldn't be the potential partner's fault. In fact, I'd respect him for it.
If I can see he's just a bad seed, he's out.
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Old 02-08-2009, 01:45 PM
 
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I gotta tell you that family matters. No, it's not a deal killer. But one has to realize that when you marry the person, you marry the family and all the drama that comes along with it. Some don't have much at all, while others are something straight out of Jerry Springer. And if you're one of those naive halfwits who thinks, "Oh, how could that possibly affect me and Mr./Mrs. Right?" then you're kidding yourself.

Early on, I learned that Mrs. CPG's domineering parents were going to weigh in on everything, and expect us to show up at their house for weekly dinner. I pretty much put the kibosh on that quickly, but it led to strained relations between them and us for a while. Not that I minded seeing them, but I got tired of the family monopolizing every holiday and three-day weekend. What's more, they tried to insert themselves squarely into some important decisions in our life, from the church we chose to whether we painted the house or not. At one point, Mrs. CPG said, "Well, my mom thinks we should put in a new patio rather than paint the house," to which I said, "Well, if you're mother's opinion matters more than mine, then we have a big problem."

After that, we made our decisions in a more healthy fashion, where she and I decided what we wanted, without giving a rip about what they thought. However, her three brothers and one sister seem unable to think independently, and it's really affected their marriages. One brother was divorced after a short marriage, another went through some major stuff before become reconciled, and a third brother's marriage is a horrible shambles--All because the in-laws just could not keep their noses out of things, and were deeply resented by the wives as a result.

And that's a relatively stable family, too. Imagine if you're dealing with even more serious drama such as addictions, financial problems, and a host of other things. You can't turn your back on family, so you'll have to be reconciled to taking care of others in the family, even if they're complete worthless deadbeats.
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Old 02-08-2009, 02:10 PM
miu
 
Location: MA/NH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heatwave13 View Post
For me, family background is definitely a consideration. It really depends on the specifics of the particular situation
Ditto. It really does depend on the situation. His family could be a mess, but how he handles his family would make a difference. If he's able to distance himself from the dramas, then it's not such a big deal. Ideally, his parents are happily married and the rest of his family shouldn't be too dysfunctional. He should have sisters. And how he treats his mother would be important to me. He should be kind to her and show her respect, but at the same time he shouldn't be a momma's boy where she did all his laundry and spoiled him. But it really depends and as long as there is a long engagement period, all the important aspects of what he is about should be revealed and dealt with accordingly. I don't believe in trying to change anyone, so if I see that there will be bad conflicts between myself and his family, then I will walk away from it all.
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Old 02-08-2009, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
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No, it wouldn't bother me in most cases. My first wife was very close to her family, to the point that it interfered with our own. It was more important to her that her parents shared her vacation than I did; indeed, I was asked a time or two to stay away.

They were so important to her that she avoided my family, even though they all lived in the same area -- my parents about a mile from hers. When we'd go back to visit "family" for a couple weeks, she'd limit her time with my family (parents, two brothers, a sister and their kids), to a few hours.

I nearly married a young lady with 14 siblings. I got along great with most of them, but visiting her at her home was like going to a party. There was little alone time, and when there was I could count on it being interrupted by family stopping by, simply because they were in town. I was glad she enjoyed them so much, but it was more than I could handle.

My wife's parents are both dead, and she can take or leave her siblings. We all get along well when we visit, but the visits are few and far between. I like that better.
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Old 02-08-2009, 02:30 PM
 
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I think another huge consideration on the subject of a SO's family is that how they interact typically teach that person how to interact with you.

That's why spouse abusers typically had abusive parents. Unless that person really has the wisdom and strength to rise above how he or she was raised, you'll be battling family history.
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