I'm feeling a minor need to vent about DH's family. They're crazy in an entirely different way from my own family's crazy, much as I genuinely love them. Just hard to deal with their way of being sometimes, and DH, in addition to being a particularly sensitive boy all his life, has also been heavily influenced by me and my family for coming up on 18 years now, so it's tough for him, too.
The best words I can use are... denial, drama, two-facedness (as my mom's family would say), coldness, judgment, hypocrisy... Well, okay, that makes it sound worse than it is, and they have some awesome qualities, too-- but it all comes from MAJOR insecurity. Because their mom has her issues, but my FIL is fundamentally a bully. How can you not feel majorly insecure when you're always being picked on... and you don't know what "mood" you're going to encounter in your parents from day-to-day?
DH's parents have retired back to the Philippines, and there was some major drama between us last year (crazy, not started by us, though we could have theoretically done more to "prevent" it). Anyway, we went to visit and cleared that up, at least in the superficial way his family does things, but maybe a bit more than that, as we mended fences that we really hadn't broken in the first place... but anyway.
In general, his family doesn't stay in touch as much as you'd expect (or I'd expect, anyway). Though there's not LOADS of communication on a regular basis, we are pretty cool with his younger sibling, who lives on the opposite coast, and his oldest sibling (to whom DH was always the least close-- also on that coast) does keep in touch by phone, quite a bit, if in an awkward, somewhat superficial way (but hey, I give props to the effort).
Then there's his older brother, who is 2 years older than DH. We have always been pretty close to that family-- and DH was his Best Man, DH is his oldest daughter's Godfather, I am his next daughter's Godmother (even though I'm not "blood!") and both my BIL and his wife (to whom I have been close) were in our wedding party. We are definitely asking BIL to be one of Buko's Godfathers (most Filipinos have 2 Godmothers and 2 Godfathers).
Okay, great. Now, over the past 18 years of our relationship, BIL and his family lived about 1000 miles from us. For 4 of those years, in the mid-2000s, we actually lived 30 minutes from him, and we especially spent lots of time together then (though before that, we also took turns flying to visit, at least a couple times a year). In July, BIL gets a 1-2 year work assignment and moves out here, about 30 minutes from us (his wife and daughters are staying in their area for at least the school year, and he gets to fly back about 1x/month).
Okay, awesome! Except I have seen him like twice since he moved here, 7 months ago-- and once was when SIL was visiting and she and I coordinated a dinner. DH has seen him maybe 2 additional times. We invite him to all sorts of things, and he begs off... and it's not like he has a big social life (much at all) or really has to work crazy hours. The last time we saw him was very pleasant... but it was in early December. He sort of acknowledged-- of his own accord-- that he hadn't been touching base with us enough, and was all gung-ho about how he was going to be hanging out with us more, volunteered to babysit Buko once s/he is here, and then... nothin'. I mean, not even phone chats, emails... Maybe a text or two when we have invited him to do something and he had some excuse. He didn't come to our big co-ed family baby shower 3-4 weeks ago, saying he had to work (from 3-7 pm on a Saturday). Thus, in fact, there was no one from DH's, even extended, family there (just my family/DH's friends/my friends). Ehhhh... knowing his job, his "having" to work seemed really unlikely, though I guess anything is possible. Even if so, you'd think he'd then make an effort to see us separately after that, before baby is here?
IDK. I know how he is, and I know I'm a bit like this-- as an oldest child (he's not technically the oldest, but was treated like one), he likes things (like get-togethers) to be his idea. And I think he feels a little insecure about his position, being away from his wife and kids, and possibly feeling weird about US being his "hosts," when he's more used to that position. Plus DH is convinced that he now looks down on us a little, since we're being kind of hippie, and not so degree-and-job driven as his family tends to be... and we did luck out and, as of about a year ago, are living in my parents' house rent-free (though we do pay major utilities) for the next year or so. (Since my parents retired elsewhere and weren't ready to sell the house, and my 24-y-o brother needs a place to stay while he finishes school, and they'd pay for his housing anyway-- he lives in the basement.) So, IDK, it's like we're losers or spongers, even though we've always paid our own way before now, will do so again within a year or so, and didn't ask for this awesome blessing. IDK if that's DH's own insecurity, but I wouldn't put it past any of his family members to think that way, either-- someone always has to be the "loser" in the family, the one they all talk about behind that person's back, and it's probably our turn.
But it makes me sad/angry/frustrated how little we've seen of my BIL, anyway. I mean, get a clue. We were literally in the hospital when his kids were born. We made major efforts. *sigh*
Okay, just had to get that out. There's a major contrast between DH's and my family when it comes to this baby. Not that they don't seem excited for us on a fundamental level or whatever-- and not that my own families don't have their major issues!-- but...