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vol_gal74

In-laws

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Netherlands
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My inlaws have arrived for their first visit to the States. Today is their fifth day here, and I still find myself feeling uncomfortable with them. They know English, although not as well as my husband does. I am learning Dutch, but am nowhere near confident enough to speak it yet, and I can only catch a word or two when they speak. I try to start conversations with them about various topics, but really just feel like a fifth wheel. Dear hubby really hasn't been a help...he's too busy talking to them so I wind up being left to myself (which is really bad when you're taking a road trip!).

I want him to enjoy the visit with them, but I want to get to know them too. Anyone else have experience with how to deal with this? They seem like good people, I just don't know what else to try. I don't want to constantly hang out with my family and friends while his family is here.

Thanks to all!


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Filed: Timeline

They are rude to speak another language in your present.. Implement the English speaking rule when you are all togather.

:lol: yah that should help w/ future relations.

OP-aside from what john said-'Just smile and nod your head a lot.' there isn't a lot you can do w/o making them & your husband uncomfortable. maybe use your limited dutch & their limited english into some sort of game & help each other learn your languages a little better....how do you say 'xyz' in dutch?


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Grown adults understand, that it is rude to exclude someone when you are able to communicate with them in a common language. Only those with selfish behaviors or intent would have exhbited the behavior that the OP mentioned above.

In my life I have had the opportunity to work and live with individuals of different nationalities. The one common cuourtesy that I have always been extended when I am in their presence is that the common language that we all understood is spoken.

So, if the husband doesn't respect the wife enough to implements such a rule, then maybe she needs to check him.

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Grown adults understand, that it is rude to

be assy to your in laws, over their limited english. it will only cause friction in the future. its better to work with them than against them. if she goes hitler jr on them, its likely to be their last visit w/ their son & his wife in the US.


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The will always come up in any agruments b/w the husband and wife, so why would you create something that will be a major discomfort in YOUR OWN HOME.

It is not being bass to the in-laws, in most countries English is spoken as a secondary language, even if it is limited.

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The will always come up in any agruments b/w the husband and wife, so why would you create something that will be a major discomfort in YOUR OWN HOME.

It is not being bass to the in-laws, in most countries English is spoken as a secondary language, even if it is limited.

whatever. its her husbands home too & going off on his parents WILL cause a problem.

lets both leave this thread, we've given our opinions. lets let the OP get some different responces.


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SMOKE,you are not understanding the dymaics of a couple. The wife is looking for the husband to defend and honor her exsting with his parents. He has not done that, he has made her feel as if she is not welcome in her own house. This was implied by her statement that maybe she should go out and spend time with her friends while her inlaws are here, since they are not acknowleding her by speaking only to each other in their native tongue.

So, would it be okay, for the wife to feel left out, or should she let them know that she wants to be included in every conversation, by stating that they can only communicate in English. Even if it is broken English.

It was never implied that the OP goes off on the parent, but she can request that they RESPECT her by speaking a common language that they all understand.

Edited by LIFE'SJOURNEY

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SMOKE,you are not understanding the dymaics of a couple. The wife is looking for the husband to defend and honor her exsting with his parents. He has not done that, he has made her feel as if she is not welcome in her own house. This was implied by her statement that maybe she should go out and spend time with her friends while her inlaws are here, since they are not acknowleding her by speaking only to each other in their native tongue.

So, would it be okay, for the wife to feel left out, or should she let them know that she wants to be included in every conversation, by stating that they can only communicate in English. Even if it is broken English.

It was never implied that the OP goes off on the parent, but she can request that they RESPECT her by speaking a common language that they all understand.

yes i do understand the dynamics of being in a marriage w/ each person having a different native language & being more comfortable speaking that language. she is not under attack & he doesn't need to defend her, include her as much as possible. yes. i highly doubt its intentional. we're not talking about people that are moving in, we're talking about people visiting their son. they spoke dutch at home & are more comfortable doing so....thats where the playing a little game to help each other could be both helpful in learning the languages & making everyone feel more comfortable.

'Implement the English speaking rule when you are all togather.' maybe not going off, but not very welcoming or understanding of her husbands family either.


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Have you told your husband how you feel? Maybe he isn't aware how excluded you feel and maybe he could include you in convos more by taking time to translate, I know that's a pain for him but it would help with the 'bonding', I'm sure they must not be very comfortable with their English skills...but if some barriers were broken they might feel more at ease to try to speak English with you more often. Try being more assertive, when there is a conversation going on be interested and actually ask what is being said.

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That's a tough one. We're kind of in the same pickle. Neither of our parents speak much English and we don't speak each other's native language. So, when the folks are in town, there's a bit of a communication issue going on. We're starting to make some progress, though, since our little one now starts to act as a translator (at 3.5 years). When my parents were here back in January, Naomi sensed that Nani didn't catch the conversations my parents were having with her and among themselves and then she told her mommy what Oma and Opa were talking about. She did the same for me on my recent trip to Ethiopia. There were conversations going on that I wasn't part of but Naomi sure filled me in on the details. It's quite impressive.

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