I've known my wife for a very long time (since we were a little under 2 years old), and I've known her family for just as long, although not quite that well. I knew of them would be more accurate.
When we started seriously dating (not like middle school dating where you get dropped off at a theater and you're scared to death), I was introduced to her entire family. And it's big.
Look, I come from a small white family, because almost all of my grandparents passed before I arrived. I've never been used to massive families, crowded Christmas', or stuff Thanksgivings and reunions. I've never known really what it was like to be showered with love and gifts and opinions. I also never had to figure out what cousin or aunt or uncle everyone else was talking about.
That is not to say that I wasn't loved or blessed growing up. My family (and loved ones from all around the country) took care of me and loved on me so much, and for them I am forever grateful. I also had my church family (my Dad is a Pastor) that literally raised and supported me, and were always there. So please, do not think I am complaining.
I guess what I'm saying is that I just wasn't ready for the acceptance and love that was going to be shown to me from my wife's massive family. It caught me off-guard.
All you hear about is how hard it is to get along with another family and dynamic, but mine couldn't have been more simple and easy. Sure, we really standout. The average height for her immediate family is like 5'6 or so, and I'm 6'4, so you can always tell I'm the married-in one.
But, if I think about it, if I raised and loved on my wife like they did, I'm not sure I would be so okay with another guy jut waltzing into the picture. If I have a daughter (and I really do), it might be hard to invite another BOY into the family. So, I completely understand where they might have had difficulty. But I especially appreciate the love they chose to show me instead.