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Do you say I Love You to your IL's?

Lanie

Brilliant_Rock
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Feb 20, 2008
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Just wondering...my DH accuses me of being territorial of my family. My MIL always ends phone conversations with "I love you" and I never know how to respond. Thanks? I just say "love ya too" but it makes my skin crawl. She also leaves me phone messages like "Hey Lanie, it's mom...". I have one mother and she's the only one I'll call mom. I really think my MIL does it to form a bond with me and I know there's no harm, but I just can't help feeling weird about it.

Also, is it weird that I think it's weird to call my DH's step dad Grandpa? It's the name he wants our son to call him, but I feel a little weird calling him that when my DH calls him by his first name, not Dad. Again, my DH has one dad and one dad only. Am I a terrible person? He is a lovely "grandpa" to our son, don't get me wrong. Maybe I'm putting too much stock into my words.
 

Tacori E-ring

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Aug 15, 2005
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No. We do not exchange "I love you"s. The thought of it makes me laugh. However, my daughter calls them the names they have requested. Even if I hate the names, I respect that.
 

Pandora II

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Aug 3, 2006
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Lanie|1307315413|2938581 said:
Just wondering...my DH accuses me of being territorial of my family. My MIL always ends phone conversations with "I love you" and I never know how to respond. Thanks? I just say "love ya too" but it makes my skin crawl. She also leaves me phone messages like "Hey Lanie, it's mom...". I have one mother and she's the only one I'll call mom. I really think my MIL does it to form a bond with me and I know there's no harm, but I just can't help feeling weird about it.

Also, is it weird that I think it's weird to call my DH's step dad Grandpa? It's the name he wants our son to call him, but I feel a little weird calling him that when my DH calls him by his first name, not Dad. Again, my DH has one dad and one dad only. Am I a terrible person? He is a lovely "grandpa" to our son, don't get me wrong. Maybe I'm putting too much stock into my words.
My MIL always ends with 'love to you all' which is much more appropriate than 'I love you'. You could always try that as a response.

I find it very creepy when people refer to their IL's as Mum and Dad. You're not their child and they are not your parents. I use first names for all my IL's. My parents worked hard for 39 years to be called Mummy and Daddy - you don't get that just because I married your son (that said my IL's would find it creepy as well if I called them anything other than first names).

My husband's parents are divorced and remarried, but they did so when DH had already left home so we don't regard the new spouses as step-parents. My daughter calls my MIL and my mother 'Granny', my father 'Grandpa' and my FIL 'Grandad'. We will leave it to her to decide what she wants to call their spouses.

I wouldn't like her to call FIL's wife 'Granny' but that's because I don't care for her... on the other hand, I do like MIL's husband a lot. Daisy's cousin is 4 and she calls him 'Grandpa Train' as he collects trains and I would be quite happy with that.

We have issues with FIL's wife's family in general. She has 3 kids who get very annoyed that my husband and his brother don't regard them as their step-sisters and step-brother - despite them being more than 10 years younger and not even being present in their lives until they had left home. One of them has a child that is 5 weeks younger than Daisy and I refuse to consider her as a cousin. I do do xmas presents as we see everyone then but I'm not doing birthdays like I do for actual cousins.

MIL's husband also has 3 daughters from his first marriage and we all get on great with them. There is no thought of step-sisters/brothers etc, they are just P's kids. They are all older than us, but our kids are a similar age. We have a policy of not doing presents etc but all enjoying seeing each other.

Families can get very complicated! I am a huge boundary setter in relationships with SO's families and it has stood me in good stead, that said I have the best MIL you could ask for - which is a good thing since FIL's wife is a nightmare!

ETA: I would be very hurt if my daughter eventually called some other woman 'Mummy' - that name belongs to me and I am not sharing! :praise:
 

fieryred33143

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May 18, 2008
Messages
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I don't call them mom and dad but his dad always refers to me as his daughter. When I call he answers with "hola hija".

As for "I love you" I have a hard time saying it to anyone in person except my daughter. His mom says "Los quiero" or I love you all. His dad says I love you a lot. I usually say igual ("same to you"). My future SIL says I love you to them all the time which I think is weird since she has only known them and BIL for 8 months.

I also let Sophia call them whatever they want. I used to have an issue with it because it was so close to mama and papa (she calls them mima and tata) but she's never been confused on who her mom and dad are so whatever.
 

packrat

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Dec 12, 2008
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I don't. If she says it I say "you too" if I'm feeling nice, "okay" if I'm not. The kids rarely see her and I call her "daddy's mom" to them, so usually they call her that too. They call my parents grampa and gramma. They call my gramma's the same thing I call them, except for Gramma Maybelle, they call her Mimi. I confused myself when I tried to call my Grammas "Great Gramma" so I still call them the same thing and the kids do too.
 

somethingshiny

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Jul 22, 2007
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I get along really well with my IL's (thank God) but no, we don't exchange "I love yous." If we or they are going on an extended trip, someone may say it, but definitely not a regular thing for us. I don't tell my own mom that I love her regularly let alone my dad who I rarely even see. (no, they're not divorced. Just not home often)

That being said, DH and I have decided that we want our children to be more comfortable expressing emotions and sentiments than he or I were able to as children. I hope to be the mom who still gets hugs from her kids when they're grown. Our children get lots of "I love yous" from the whole family. My sis and I also make sure we say it to our nieces and nephews to help them be more comfortable with it as well. It kinda sucks when there is no physical or verbal affection in your family.
 

Skippy123

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Nov 24, 2006
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My family always says I love you. I started saying that to my IL's but never called them mom and dad. I asked them at one time what they wanted me to call them and they said their names. haha Are your IL's outgoing and affectionate? Do what makes you comfortable; I think they would get the hint if you don't say it back and that should be no biggie imho.
 

mtjoya

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Sep 1, 2008
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we never say i love you. it's more like oh k take care bye! lol.
 

dreamer_dachsie

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I don't say I love you to my ILs and I would never can my MIL "mom" or my FIL "dad". They don't say they love me either, though we have warm feelings for one another and get along well.

My mom does have a long-term partner, and since I don't have a father around, he is sort of the 'grandpa' for my side of the family. But he won't be called "grandpa". That would not feel right.

ETA: I also don't really bug them much either. I am just not that type, I reserve hugs and I love yous for select people in my life ;)) I do hug them hello and goodbye when we visit and have not seen one another for like 3 months, but otherwise, it is a friendly relationship but not family by any stretch for me. My husband is fine with it, I assume. I have never asked! But he knows how I am so I assume he accepts it.
 

swingirl

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Apr 6, 2006
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I grew up in a family where the sons-in-law and daughters-in-law were considered sons and daughters so everyone called their in-laws Ma and Pa. I call my MIL by her first name but she has been like a mother to me and I don't have to fake it when I tell her I love her. But she usually says it first.

I hope I will feel that was about my SIL and DIL but I am guessing they'll call me by my first name and even though I may love them as people, I will not end our phone conversations with, "I love you". I don't want to hear crickets — and then, "me too".
 

pennquaker09

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Nov 2, 2007
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Okay, so I feel kind of weird because I totally love my IL's. I talk to my MIL just as much as my own mom and stepmom. From the first time I went to Atlanta to meet his Nate's family, they welcomed me without hesitation.

Now, I don't call my ILs mom or dad, but they treat me like a son. I tell them that I love them all the time.
 

sba771

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Jun 1, 2008
Messages
887
I feel like I have said it, but I hate doing so. Usually if they say it on the phone I just say yup and hang up fast. In an email I do sign everything love, but I sign cards and thank you notes to friends that way too. My DH seems much more comfortable saying I love you to my mom and to my aunt and uncle (they are really really good to us) than I would if the situation were reversed. He also has a cousin who is like 37 and ends every interaction with I love you. That I find weird.
 

zoebartlett

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Dec 29, 2006
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I don't say "I love you" to my Ils, but then again, I don't really say it to my own parents often.
What does your husband want your son to call his step dad? Does he have a preference?
 

ImperfectGirl

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May 27, 2010
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I don't say I love you to my ILs nor do I call them mom & dad. I actually still call them Mr. last name & Mrs. last name. I don't know why I can't call them by their first name after we've been married almost 3 years...maybe it has to do with how I was raised. DH on the other hand calls my parents mom & dad and has done so since we were dating. Maybe that has to do with proximity? My parents live 15 min away and DH's parents live 1500 miles away so we see mine quite often.
 

blacksand

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Mar 31, 2010
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My FMIL just said "I love you" to me for the first time yesterday, actually! I thought it was very sweet and made me feel special. I know she always says it to FI, her daughter, and her son-in-law when she says goodbye, but yesterday was the first time she said it to me. I love FI's parents, and I have no issue telling them that. I was definitely raised to tell the people I love I love them. I still call them "Mr/Mrs. [last name]," though, and I feel a bit awkward about that. I'm not sure I'd want to call them "Mom" or "Dad," but I'd like to call them something a bit less formal. Maybe after we get married that will change, who knows?
 

Lauren8211

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Apr 25, 2008
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11,073
Nooo!

I'm not an "I Love You" person to begin with. DH complains I don't say it enough, and I never say it to my own mom unless she says it first. I don't know why, but I just don't feel comfortable with it.

I also call my ILs by their first names.
 

dreamer_dachsie

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Lanie does your husband love your parents and call them mom and dad?
 

Octavia

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Oct 28, 2007
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When I was growing up, my parents were both close to all my grandparents and would say "I love you" to all of them. I always tell my parents I love them when we get off the phone or at the end of a visit. So it wouldn't squick me out on principle if I had that kind of relationship with my in-laws. However, they live in a different country and I don't feel like I know them all that well, plus DH usually talks to them while I'm at work due to the time difference. So I generally don't have to even think about it. I don't think saying "I love you" is really expected in their culture anyway, so they might find it odd. But I'll usually tell DH to send my love to his family when he talks to them, and they always do the same. It's just not quite so direct to say it that way (and to pass it through DH as a middleman, too).
 

Puppmom

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Dreamer, glad you don’t *bug* your in-laws!

No “I love you” here and not calling the in-laws Mom and Dad. It would be super awkward if my in-laws said that to me. My sister calls her in-laws Mom and Dad but refers to my Step-dad (who raised us) by his first name. It really irks me.
 

dreamer_dachsie

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puppmom|1307376258|2938986 said:
Dreamer, glad you don’t *bug* your in-laws!
I was like "whaaa??" haha.. funny typo. I think maybe I DO bug them sometimes too though ;))
 

merilenda

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Ahh, my FMIL does this too! I'm actually one of those people who has trouble saying "I love you" in general, and it takes me a while to get to that point even with a significant other. So throwing it around makes me really uncomfortable. I have to force myself to respond with "love ya too" or whatever, but like you, it absolutely makes my skin crawl.

FI's family says it ALL THE TIME though. I mean, after every interaction it seems like. Whereas my family hardly ever said it. I don't think FMIL will expect me to start calling her "mom" after we're married though. I've only heard people in his family refer to in-laws by their first names. I'm not close to my own mom, so that's not really the issue. It's just that...FMIL isn't my mom, and I'm not going to call her that.
 

Lanie

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This is so interesting! I thought you were all going to jump on me for being selfish or territorial.

My DH calls my mom and Dad by their first names. I can guarantee that he loves them. They are very close. He would never say I love you to them, nor would they say it. In my family we don't say it that much but in his they say it all of the time. Any step children they embrace as part of the family, even if they joined the family much later in life. It's very interesting.

I don't have a problem calling his step dad Grandpa, we just didn't plan on calling him that. But we are respecting his wishes and I think I'm the only one would would think about it more. DH does it more out of respect for his mom than anything else, although he really loves his stepfather.

One of my friends is 34 and has a step father that has been married to his mom for 3 years. My friend just had a baby and they refer to the step dad as Grandpa Butch, which I think is appropriate. My DH's stepdad came into the picture after DH graduated from college and we were planning on calling him Grandpa Firstname too.
 

PilsnPinkysMom

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Oct 11, 2008
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I call my ILs by their first name and DH does the same, but we all say "I love you" all of the time. I even say it with most of DH's uncles and aunts, sisters, grandparents, etc. Often it comes out as, "We love you guys!" which is a bit more informal. I really do love my ILs, SILs, etc, so it comes naturally.

DH and I were both raised in very affectionate families, though, so I'm sure that makes a difference.
 

iheartscience

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Jan 1, 2007
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Sigh. I feel you, Lanie.

My MIL says "I love you" occasionally and I'm always so caught off guard that I say it back awkwardly. But I do NOT like it. It just seems very forced. I have no problem with saying "I love you" out loud and say it to my parents, sisters and husband pretty much every time I talk to them. But I'm very close with them and I just am not that close with my MIL. ETA part of it is just because she lives far away so I only see her once or twice a year, max. My husband is much, much closer to my parents because until a few months ago we lived about an hour away from them and he saw them at least once a month, if not more, for a good 8 years. I think my MIL wishes we were as close as my husband is with my parents, but due to proximity that will likely never happen.

She sort of hinted about doing the whole mother/daughter thing but I can't do that. I just will never call her Mom-I have a mother, we're very close, and I could never call anyone else Mom. So I basically don't call her anything. :cheeky:

My husband is very close to my parents but they don't say "I love you" usually. He's exchanged the occasional "I love you" with my mom but that's it. And he calls my parents the same names the grandkids call them. He lucked out with that one! He felt weird about calling them by their first names because they really are like a second set of parents to him.
 

MichelleCarmen

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Feb 8, 2003
Messages
15,880
One IL does and I know she doesn't actually love me b/c one time she told me she hates me and I'm "nothing to her," so it's all a big joke to me so I avoid saying it except in cards.

I have other family members who say it and it bothers me b/c I'm just not that way. I only feel comfortable telling my kids and my cat that I love them, not grown adults.
 

MichelleCarmen

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Lanie|1307315413|2938581 said:
Just wondering...my DH accuses me of being territorial of my family. My MIL always ends phone conversations with "I love you" and I never know how to respond. Thanks? I just say "love ya too" but it makes my skin crawl. She also leaves me phone messages like "Hey Lanie, it's mom...". I have one mother and she's the only one I'll call mom. I really think my MIL does it to form a bond with me and I know there's no harm, but I just can't help feeling weird about it.

Also, is it weird that I think it's weird to call my DH's step dad Grandpa? It's the name he wants our son to call him, but I feel a little weird calling him that when my DH calls him by his first name, not Dad. Again, my DH has one dad and one dad only. Am I a terrible person? He is a lovely "grandpa" to our son, don't get me wrong. Maybe I'm putting too much stock into my words.
With the "grandpa," can you call him that when you're talking to your son in reference to the stepdad (when your son is in the room)? But, when directly addressing the stepdad, call him by his first name (when you're talking to him, yet son is there...so you son sees there's the grandpa name for him and the adult name that you use)? This is what I do and it works.
 

dreamer_dachsie

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Lanie|1307377811|2939007 said:
...My DH calls my mom and Dad by their first names. I can guarantee that he loves them. They are very close. He would never say I love you to them, nor would they say it...
If he does not call your parents mom and dad, I wonder why he is saying you are territorial? Is it because his mom *does* say I love you? Does he want you to respond in kind? Whereas he is not faced with the issue because your parents don't say it to him.
 

Lanie

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pennquaker09|1307344297|2938768 said:
Okay, so I feel kind of weird because I totally love my IL's. I talk to my MIL just as much as my own mom and stepmom. From the first time I went to Atlanta to meet his Nate's family, they welcomed me without hesitation.

Now, I don't call my ILs mom or dad, but they treat me like a son. I tell them that I love them all the time.
Don't feel weird at all! I think that's great you love them so much! Having said that, I guess I "love" my ILs, but not the same love that I feel for my own parents. For me it's not a matter of loving them or not. I just don't feel comfortable with it. But when someone says I love you, you are forced to respond. I don't like that. If I just didn't say anything it would be rude. If I said thanks, that would look self centered. So I'm forced to say something I feel weird about for the sake of making her feel good. But it's not enough of an issue that I'd sit her down and discuss. I physically shudder when I say "love ya too" and DH always points at me and laughs!

Thing2--I could have written your post myself. The distance stuff is identical in our relationship!
 

Lanie

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Dreamer_D|1307414347|2939533 said:
Lanie|1307377811|2939007 said:
...My DH calls my mom and Dad by their first names. I can guarantee that he loves them. They are very close. He would never say I love you to them, nor would they say it...
If he does not call your parents mom and dad, I wonder why he is saying you are territorial? Is it because his mom *does* say I love you? Does he want you to respond in kind? Whereas he is not faced with the issue because your parents don't say it to him.
This. I think he doesn't have to do it himself but thinks it's funny how I get uncomfortable. His family is generous with affection and he knows mine isn't. I don't know if that makes sense but I actually agree with him that I can be territorial. Esp when I say that I only have one mom.
 

Bliss

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Hi Lanie! No, you are not being territorial in any way. :twirl: It's only natural to want to call only your own parents Mom and Dad. And saying "I love you" should be something that comes naturally as well. It should never be an obligation. I think most people think like you do. I thought I'd never call anyone else Mom and Dad but I actually do with my in laws and that surprised me. I also tell them that I love them. But this is because they've earned it and we have grown to love each other. Heck, they even get on my nerves sometimes just like my own parents! Ha!

Of course my MOM is my true heart's MOM. But DH's mom is also my mom. Just a second tier mom, but she still gets the same brand of good gooey love I give my own mother, just not quite as much! I love FIL as well and tell him so. I feel they love me as their own daughter so we've kind of adopted each other, I guess. I think they've always wanted a daughter so we have a special relationship.
 
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