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Looking for support about cutting out toxic in-laws

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 

My DH and I have been together for over a decade, and over that time I've gone from thinking his family was eccentric to realizing they are toxic.  They are passive aggressive, emotionally manipulating, FIL's a narcissist and misogynist, MIL's codependent and sees nothing wrong with that.  It hasn't been until recently that my DH has been able to accept that this is true, because in their hearts they do everything out of love for us (their version of it) and so he's excused and defended them his whole life. 

 

  I was doing ok with keeping fairly distant from them and not getting overly worked up about their behavior before my kids were born.  Then I had my first child, and I saw my in-laws in a new light.  I realized that my kids are going to grow up seeing me treated in this condescending way, being marginalized and looked down on and pushed aside and hushed up.  That is unacceptable to me.  It's the opposite of the values I am trying to teach them.  To make matters worse, FIL has started being rude to my kids, too, in that back-handed way that makes it hard to confront him about it.

 

So finally, after all this time, earlier this year I put my foot down and stood up for myself and my kids, in their name.  I told FIL that the kids and I can't be around him anymore unless he agreed to be more polite to us and start working on those (and several other) ways he acts towards us.  The result was an epic, months-long temper tantrum, where he's somehow twisted this into me being abusive and him being a victim.  The sad part is that the kids haven't asked for him once during this absence.  Meanwhile, I've been bombarded by irrational and hurtful emails from all the in-laws for months that has been really stressful and draining to me.  (I've since stopped reacting to the emails.)  DH is being 100% supportive of my actions, but is really struggling.  He feels the pull of that dysfunctional, codependent dynamic and is having a really hard time resisting.  I'm proud that he's finally taking a stand, and is doing so with me.  Unfortunately, his parents' health is spiraling downhill (FIL has heart issues) and they aren't trying to make themselves better, and I'm sure their addictions aren't helping any of that. 

 

Here's my problem:  I am so scared that if FIL passes away before there is a resolution to this, that my DH will resent me forever for taking that last period of time with his father away from him.  We've talked about it, he logically knows that this is his dad's choice and he agrees with me, but he acknowledges he'd still probably feel some resentment about it if something happened to his dad.  It's their old emotional manipulation, still at work.  Having them be my in-laws makes this so much more complicated.

 

 

Has anyone been through a similar situation, where you were the one who drew the boundary on unhealthy in-laws?  How did your DP come to terms with it?  Thanks for any support or insight, this is getting really difficult in the holiday season.  :(

post #2 of 41

Your DH's relationship with his parents can be completely separate from your relationship and your children's relationships with his parents. Why not be open to your DH communicating and visiting with his family, while protecting yourself and kids?

 

If it's possible, your DH should find a therapist to help him work through his childhood, his relationship with his parents, and his parents poor health. He'll need to learn healthy behaviors and boundaries.

 

My family went through something very similar with my inlaws. Therapy helped my DH a LOT. And we're all at a place now where we all get along pretty well. I never thought it would be possible! I'm glad, though, since now my DH is on better terms with his father, who's slowly dying from emphysema. And my kids like to visit them now as well!

 

Good luck with whatever you decide!

post #3 of 41
Thread Starter 

That is so hopeful, I would love us all to be able to move forward and grow from this.  Did your in-laws actually change?  I have trouble imagining mine doing anything different, but I think with narcissistic personality disorder it's just a low likelihood of him changing at this point.   Which means MIL can't change, because it would in effect end her marriage.  It's a very sick cycle.  :(

 

To be clear, I have encouraged DH this whole time to do what he felt right about seeing his family.  I'm not telling him what to do, I've encouraged him to go speak with his father in person, and I have actively worked at us all continuing to have relationships with the other family members still, just not FIL.  I'm really trying hard to be realistic and reasonable, not acting on anger or spite.  Though at times I admit it would feel good!  ;)  He's been so angry at how his dad's been acting that Dh hasn't wanted to see him.

 

I will have to bring up the idea of therapy to DH again.  He's been very hesitant to go although he knows it's a good thing.  His parents never learned or taught coping skills, so I think it's just a scary thing to have to face this stuff for their whole family.  He's been reading some self-help books to relearn a lot of the dysfunctional ways of thinking, but that's a lot to do on your own.  With 3 small kids!

post #4 of 41

Susan Forward wrote two books (more, but these particularly come to mind):  Toxic Parents, and Toxic In-Laws.  One or both of them might be very helpful.  We've been struggling for over 20 years to maintain boundaries with MIL, and it's *hard*.  (Hah.  Thanksgiving dinner with her made me wonder if Forward wrote something about Toxic Grandparents.)  DH will never stop grieving the parenting he didn't get, and I'll never stop being furious about that, but we're finding our way to making a happy life the answer.

post #5 of 41

My FIL did actually change. He learned some self-restraint. He's a narcissist as well. But, he managed to learn that we won't tolerate certain behaviors around us or our kids. We did cut them out for a few years, which may have helped. My DH wanted the distance because of his issues with his father, and I didn't want to be abused anymore, or have my son witness it.

 

My inlaws moved to another state, so we only see them once a year now, and I'm sure that helps as well. And when my FIL starts to cross the line, I've learned that responding with a look and silence reminds him that there are things that aren't acceptable. He still exaggerates his own importance an awful lot, but I've learned to smile and nod. When he starts saying racist or sexist things, I excuse myself. He has definitely learned not to say those things around the kids! I create my own emotional boundaries. I refuse to let him get under my skin. He loves to get a reaction out of people, and I won't give it to him. That makes it a lot less entertaining for him to pick on me.

 

I think it makes a lot of sense for you to keep your and your kids away from the inlaws. Let them learn that you mean what you say. And let your DH decide what's best for him in terms of his relationship with them. Listen to his complaints and concerns without pushing him one way or the other. He needs to own his decision, whatever that decision may be.

 

 I was angry with my inlaws for a while, and definitely encouraged my DH's anger. But, as time passed without us speaking to them, I realized that my DH might never have a chance to build a better relationship with his father, or at least have a real talk with him about his feelings. Since I lost my father when I was 20, during a time that I was angry with him, and never had a chance to make amends, it really worried me that my DH would have to live with the same regrets. So, I talked with him about my own experiences and concerns, but let him decide what to do. I tried to remain open to restarting a relationship with the inlaws for my DH's sake. And that's what finally happened. I wish I hadn't let my own feelings push my DH in the beginning, but I'm glad that he and his father have resolved some of their issues and are speaking again.

 

I hope my experiences help in some way. It sounds like you're off to a good start. Your DH just has to make some choices, and take ownership of them so that he doesn't end up resenting you.

 

Good luck! I'm sorry you're all going through this. :(

 

 

Edited to add: Those Susan Forward books mentioned by MariaMadly are terrific! I second the recommendation! They helped us as well.

post #6 of 41

I just have a second, but my in-laws are very very similar to yours.  Also, everything was "okay" until I had my son, at which point I realized we needed some serious boundaries.  I had tried to ignore my own instincts and negative feelings towards them prior to our son being born because I really wanted to have a good relationship with them and not rock the boat.   DH didn't get boundaries or that anything was really that wrong...he thought something was wrong with me initially and that we should just appease ever wish his parents ever had.  It is hard to see sometimes when you are so close to a situation and when you grew up with something being "normal."   I convinced him to go to therapy and it helped a TON.  I think deep down, he knew it was okay to set boundaries with his parents and siblings, but having a professional tell him that lifted a huge weight off his shoulders.  He didn't have to feel guilty about it anymore.  He still struggles with setting boundaries with them, but we've gotten to a point where our visits are at least semi-tolerable with his family instead of being completely insane.  I would definitely suggest therapy.  My husband went maybe four times total and each time he came away feeling much better.  He desperately needed an outside perspective. Good luck!

post #7 of 41
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much, for each of your posts!  They really were what I needed to hear.  It is really difficult to have the weight of all this on me, when the weight should be on FIL.  But that's part of the codependent system--find a scapegoat, guard the person with the real problem.  I think partly I'm angry at FIL for how much he's affected DH's, my kids, and my lives, but also that if he dies, I will be furious at him.  I understand about the narcissism, about his deluded reality, but emotionally to watch my husband go through this...it's hard not to feel angry.  I hate giving the guy power, but his childishness has really had an impact on my marriage.  I'm scared it will get worse if he dies.  I think I need to again refocus my energies in getting DH to consider counseling. 

 

I ordered those two Susan Forward books at my library and DH has agreed to read the Parents one while I read the In-Laws one, so thanks for those recs!!

 

Any further advice, stories, or PMs are mroe than welcome.  smile.gif

 

post #8 of 41

I had similar issues with toxic in-laws.  FIL was a total alcoholic who comitted suicide and MIL is just the pits.  She tried to push her way through and with our very first meeting realized that for the first time in her entire life she was up against a no-nonsense woman.  My BF, now my hubby, is totally petrified of her.  She really took all the Big Guns out at the wedding, and had to accept her fate that I will not her allow to have the show.  Strangely enough, the big problem is not the toxic MIL, it is her son.  Woman-to-woman I managed her well and she knows it, even in the presence of her son.  My husband is so scared to open her lips.  She now hides behind her son.

post #9 of 41

How do you convey to a MIL that everything is not her "show?"  That is my main problem.  My MIL makes everything about her, she's always the victim.  It drives me insane because I can't stand the pity party. 

post #10 of 41

How do you convey to a MIL that everything is not her "show?"  That is my main problem.  My MIL makes everything about her, she's always the victim.  It drives me insane because I can't stand the pity party. 

post #11 of 41
Thread Starter 
Wow, old thread! I guess I can give an update since it popped up. DH came around eventually and we ended up going to therapy with his parents. the therapy sessions ended up being all focused on his dad of course, and anytime we tried to talk about other things he did all these things to get attention back on him. (Which the therapist eventually pointed out.) Finally he quit therapy because he didn't believe he should have to do anything differently. We're moving on with our lives without him. DH is very, very angry at him but will never give up all hope that things won't work out. I'm in a much better place because I've let go of having to plan the outcome of all this. We are here now, DH & I are on the same page, so we'll deal with the future when it happens.

Quote:
How do you convey to a MIL that everything is not her "show?" That is my main problem. My MIL makes everything about her, she's always the victim. It drives me insane because I can't stand the pity party.

You can't make anyone understand something about themselves if they don't want to. They'll block it out, deny, or attack you because they feel threatened. What I've learned is you have to learn what you can and cannot control, take action for what you can and let the rest go. Or, as someone said it much more eloquently, the Serentity Prayer:
"God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference."

You can't change your MIL, but you can change the conversation if you're not comfortable. Or you can limit your time with her, if nothing else works.
post #12 of 41
This original thread is pretty old but I just found this site and that post struck a chord. My in-laws are toxic too. Father-in-law is abusive and a bully. He became uncomfortable around me because he doesn't like smart people(he is a dropout who never got the chip off his shoulder) and he doesn't like people who are not afraid of him(I don't like bullies). The fact that I am a woman who is smart and not afraid of him drives him nuts. I stand up to his aggressive remarks and warned my husband that he should be the one to do that. He claimed his parents were getting older and he did not want to make waves. What if something happened to them. Well....guess what.....my husband was diagnosed at 43 with a rare and incurable cancer. NOW, he finally sees that our holidays and vacations should not be ruined by his family because life is short for us too. Unfortunately, the toxic behavior continued and resulted in a huge blow-up a few months ago. We are now not speaking to his family. I really wish my husband had listened to me years ago. If he had set boundaries with his father, maybe things would have been different but he left me to fend for myself and by the time he spoke up, the relationship between his father and myself was ruined. Unfortunately, my husband lives facing his mortality everyday of his life and now has lived to see himself and our family screwed over by his family. Very sad. I think a united front from the beginning of problems is ESSENTIAL. I've seen what happens when that isn't there and it just gets worse and worse. Even if we get back on speaking terms, there is no way things will ever be the same and my husband has paid a very high price now for not speaking up way back when. His family is now paying a price because I don't know how long my husband will live but he is so disgusted with them, he does not want them around. They were warned several times that their behavior was not going to be tolerated. I guess, like 2 year olds, they wanted to test us and see if we meant it.
post #13 of 41

Wow, I'm not alone!  I had a falling out with my FIL/MIL last year.  They hit our daughter while we were vacationing to see them in another state.  I was shocked and appaled at how they treated us and vowed then that I would never visit them or stay in their home again.  I did, however, continue to be nice to them on the once/twice yearly stop in they did at our house.  Well, fast forward a couple years and they want us to take another vacation and stay in their home again.  Absolutely not!!  I informed my husband that we'd visit, but would be staying in a hotel.  They threw such a fit that I decided the kids and I weren't going at all.  They have made my life miserable ever since (we live in NY, they now live in Florida).  I got the emails, letters, blaming us for THEIR actions, etc.  I informed them that I felt we were treated better on our own turf (our house) and that they were still welcome to see the grandkids (they also are financially able to make trips more than we are).  Anyway, big mistake on extending an olive branch on my part because ever since that, FIL has made multiple surprise trips from FL to NY and no longer speaks to me when he comes to visit, etc.  Also started taking pics of our kids and threatening to take me to court (as in if I ever divorce like their other two spouse in-laws have done).  Unfortunately, my husband just can't seem to stand up to him or recognize the abuse that takes place when he is in our  home.  My husband always gives the same excuse...his "poor" father didn't have the best childhood growing up, etc.  The making excuses part is not acceptable to me.  He has no right to manipulate us.  He is disruptive ot our lives, he's rude, and the last time he was here he snapped a pic of me behind my back and I exploded and told him to leave...this because I stopped trying to speak to him when he'd show up.  When he stopped visiting, the Jehovah's witnesses started showing up repeatedly at our door (trying to convince my husband to go back to his parents' faith).  Yes, they actually send THEM to try to convince my husband to leave me.  I contacted the sherrif's dept and had to sent the local Kingdom Hall a certified letter telling them to stay off our property!  I am just so disgusted with them.  They don't care about the kids or I, beginning to think they don't even care about their son.  They just always have to have their own way.  I've been on the verge of divorce many times over the past year and think I have finally convinced my husband to go to marriage counseling with me.  We get along great, until they try to intertwine our life with problems.  The mere thought of my FIL just makes me sick and my blood pressure rises, and I found out he may be attempting to stop by this weekend (hence my finding this forum).  I hate feeling this way, but I refuse to be manipulated by him.  He's nothing more than a bully and manipulator.  Being a grandparent doesn't give one free access to hit our kids and scream that we are rotten parents in front of our 2 little girls.  Quite frankly, I don't want him around the kids or myself at all after the way he behaved during his last visit to our home.  Anyway, I needed to vent...sorry if I'm rambling.  

 

By the way, they never showed any interest in our girls (FIL actually got in my face when I was pregnant and told me I could raise "that" baby without my husband (he thought his son was being tied down).  This is the same baby that he hit when we visited them.  And when they lived less than 20 minutes from us before they moved to FL, they NEVER visited or called.  Lucky if we saw them once a year, so I find the need for him to visit the grandkids very unnerving as well.  I've also watched them interfere in my BIL and SIL's failed marriages.  They are very selfish.   

 

  

post #14 of 41

Wow, I'm not alone!  I had a falling out with my FIL/MIL last year.  They hit our daughter while we were vacationing to see them in another state.  I was shocked and appaled at how they treated us and vowed then that I would never visit them or stay in their home again.  I did, however, continue to be nice to them on the once/twice yearly stop in they did at our house.  Well, fast forward a couple years and they want us to take another vacation and stay in their home again.  Absolutely not!!  I informed my husband that we'd visit, but would be staying in a hotel.  They threw such a fit that I decided the kids and I weren't going at all.  They have made my life miserable ever since (we live in NY, they now live in Florida).  I got the emails, letters, blaming us for THEIR actions, etc.  I informed them that I felt we were treated better on our own turf (our house) and that they were still welcome to see the grandkids (they also are financially able to make trips more than we are).  Anyway, big mistake on extending an olive branch on my part because ever since that, FIL has made multiple surprise trips from FL to NY and no longer speaks to me when he comes to visit, etc.  Also started taking pics of our kids and threatening to take me to court (as in if I ever divorce like their other two spouse in-laws have done).  Unfortunately, my husband just can't seem to stand up to him or recognize the abuse that takes place when he is in our  home.  My husband always gives the same excuse...his "poor" father didn't have the best childhood growing up, etc.  The making excuses part is not acceptable to me.  He has no right to manipulate us.  He is disruptive ot our lives, he's rude, and the last time he was here he snapped a pic of me behind my back and I exploded and told him to leave...this because I stopped trying to speak to him when he'd show up.  When he stopped visiting, the Jehovah's witnesses started showing up repeatedly at our door (trying to convince my husband to go back to his parents' faith).  Yes, they actually send THEM to try to convince my husband to leave me.  I contacted the sherrif's dept and had to sent the local Kingdom Hall a certified letter telling them to stay off our property!  I am just so disgusted with them.  They don't care about the kids or I, beginning to think they don't even care about their son.  They just always have to have their own way.  I've been on the verge of divorce many times over the past year and think I have finally convinced my husband to go to marriage counseling with me.  We get along great, until they try to intertwine our life with problems.  The mere thought of my FIL just makes me sick and my blood pressure rises, and I found out he may be attempting to stop by this weekend (hence my finding this forum).  I hate feeling this way, but I refuse to be manipulated by him.  He's nothing more than a bully and manipulator.  Being a grandparent doesn't give one free access to hit our kids and scream that we are rotten parents in front of our 2 little girls.  Quite frankly, I don't want him around the kids or myself at all after the way he behaved during his last visit to our home.  Anyway, I needed to vent...sorry if I'm rambling.  

 

By the way, they never showed any interest in our girls (FIL actually got in my face when I was pregnant and told me I could raise "that" baby without my husband (he thought his son was being tied down).  This is the same baby that he hit when we visited them.  And when they lived less than 20 minutes from us before they moved to FL, they NEVER visited or called.  Lucky if we saw them once a year, so I find the need for him to visit the grandkids very unnerving as well.  I've also watched them interfere in my BIL and SIL's failed marriages.  They are very selfish.   

 

  

post #15 of 41

Wow, I'm not alone!  I had a falling out with my FIL/MIL last year.  They hit our daughter while we were vacationing to see them in another state.  I was shocked and appaled at how they treated us and vowed then that I would never visit them or stay in their home again.  I did, however, continue to be nice to them on the once/twice yearly stop in they did at our house.  Well, fast forward a couple years and they want us to take another vacation and stay in their home again.  Absolutely not!!  I informed my husband that we'd visit, but would be staying in a hotel.  They threw such a fit that I decided the kids and I weren't going at all.  They have made my life miserable ever since (we live in NY, they now live in Florida).  I got the emails, letters, blaming us for THEIR actions, etc.  I informed them that I felt we were treated better on our own turf (our house) and that they were still welcome to see the grandkids (they also are financially able to make trips more than we are).  Anyway, big mistake on extending an olive branch on my part because ever since that, FIL has made multiple surprise trips from FL to NY and no longer speaks to me when he comes to visit, etc.  Also started taking pics of our kids and threatening to take me to court (as in if I ever divorce like their other two spouse in-laws have done).  Unfortunately, my husband just can't seem to stand up to him or recognize the abuse that takes place when he is in our  home.  My husband always gives the same excuse...his "poor" father didn't have the best childhood growing up, etc.  The making excuses part is not acceptable to me.  He has no right to manipulate us.  He is disruptive ot our lives, he's rude, and the last time he was here he snapped a pic of me behind my back and I exploded and told him to leave...this because I stopped trying to speak to him when he'd show up.  When he stopped visiting, the Jehovah's witnesses started showing up repeatedly at our door (trying to convince my husband to go back to his parents' faith).  Yes, they actually send THEM to try to convince my husband to leave me.  I contacted the sherrif's dept and had to sent the local Kingdom Hall a certified letter telling them to stay off our property!  I am just so disgusted with them.  They don't care about the kids or I, beginning to think they don't even care about their son.  They just always have to have their own way.  I've been on the verge of divorce many times over the past year and think I have finally convinced my husband to go to marriage counseling with me.  We get along great, until they try to intertwine our life with problems.  The mere thought of my FIL just makes me sick and my blood pressure rises, and I found out he may be attempting to stop by this weekend (hence my finding this forum).  I hate feeling this way, but I refuse to be manipulated by him.  He's nothing more than a bully and manipulator.  Being a grandparent doesn't give one free access to hit our kids and scream that we are rotten parents in front of our 2 little girls.  Quite frankly, I don't want him around the kids or myself at all after the way he behaved during his last visit to our home.  Anyway, I needed to vent...sorry if I'm rambling.  

 

By the way, they never showed any interest in our girls (FIL actually got in my face when I was pregnant and told me I could raise "that" baby without my husband (he thought his son was being tied down).  This is the same baby that he hit when we visited them.  And when they lived less than 20 minutes from us before they moved to FL, they NEVER visited or called.  Lucky if we saw them once a year, so I find the need for him to visit the grandkids very unnerving as well.  I've also watched them interfere in my BIL and SIL's failed marriages.  They are very selfish.   

 

  

post #16 of 41

Wow, I'm not alone!  I had a falling out with my FIL/MIL last year.  They hit our daughter while we were vacationing to see them in another state.  I was shocked and appaled at how they treated us and vowed then that I would never visit them or stay in their home again.  I did, however, continue to be nice to them on the once/twice yearly stop in they did at our house.  Well, fast forward a couple years and they want us to take another vacation and stay in their home again.  Absolutely not!!  I informed my husband that we'd visit, but would be staying in a hotel.  They threw such a fit that I decided the kids and I weren't going at all.  They have made my life miserable ever since (we live in NY, they now live in Florida).  I got the emails, letters, blaming us for THEIR actions, etc.  I informed them that I felt we were treated better on our own turf (our house) and that they were still welcome to see the grandkids (they also are financially able to make trips more than we are).  Anyway, big mistake on extending an olive branch on my part because ever since that, FIL has made multiple surprise trips from FL to NY and no longer speaks to me when he comes to visit, etc.  Also started taking pics of our kids and threatening to take me to court (as in if I ever divorce like their other two spouse in-laws have done).  Unfortunately, my husband just can't seem to stand up to him or recognize the abuse that takes place when he is in our  home.  My husband always gives the same excuse...his "poor" father didn't have the best childhood growing up, etc.  The making excuses part is not acceptable to me.  He has no right to manipulate us.  He is disruptive ot our lives, he's rude, and the last time he was here he snapped a pic of me behind my back and I exploded and told him to leave...this because I stopped trying to speak to him when he'd show up.  When he stopped visiting, the Jehovah's witnesses started showing up repeatedly at our door (trying to convince my husband to go back to his parents' faith).  Yes, they actually send THEM to try to convince my husband to leave me.  I contacted the sherrif's dept and had to sent the local Kingdom Hall a certified letter telling them to stay off our property!  I am just so disgusted with them.  They don't care about the kids or I, beginning to think they don't even care about their son.  They just always have to have their own way.  I've been on the verge of divorce many times over the past year and think I have finally convinced my husband to go to marriage counseling with me.  We get along great, until they try to intertwine our life with problems.  The mere thought of my FIL just makes me sick and my blood pressure rises, and I found out he may be attempting to stop by this weekend (hence my finding this forum).  I hate feeling this way, but I refuse to be manipulated by him.  He's nothing more than a bully and manipulator.  Being a grandparent doesn't give one free access to hit our kids and scream that we are rotten parents in front of our 2 little girls.  Quite frankly, I don't want him around the kids or myself at all after the way he behaved during his last visit to our home.  Anyway, I needed to vent...sorry if I'm rambling.  

 

By the way, they never showed any interest in our girls (FIL actually got in my face when I was pregnant and told me I could raise "that" baby without my husband (he thought his son was being tied down).  This is the same baby that he hit when we visited them.  And when they lived less than 20 minutes from us before they moved to FL, they NEVER visited or called.  Lucky if we saw them once a year, so I find the need for him to visit the grandkids very unnerving as well.  I've also watched them interfere in my BIL and SIL's failed marriages.  They are very selfish.   

 

  

post #17 of 41

Sorry for the repeat posting....got a server down message as I hit send...

post #18 of 41

I would start documenting your in-laws' behavior. It is VERY hard to win in court when grandparents sue for visitation. Even when women try to keep their kids safe

from ex-husbands, the judges think it's just sour grapes and lies and have many times approved visitation/partial custody with men who really were dangerous. My father-in-law hit my nephew years

ago. The poor kid was only 2 or 3 and FREAKED out. His parents were too afraid to confront the f-i-l(or don't want to mess up their chances with an inheritance). My mother-in-law told me, when our daughter was a toddler, that they would hit her while babysitting if they felt it necessary. I disagreed with her and told her they did

not have that right and she said "tough". I never used them to watch her again until she was much older and I knew there would not be behavior on her part where they would hit her. Also, after years of not sitting for her, they knew if they layed a hand on her, she'd be out of their lives and they did NOT want that. Our daughter is almost 14 now. If she were younger, I would be documenting things with a digital recorder etc. God forbid something happens to my husband, I would not put it past them to sue me but since she is older,

she knows not to get in the car with f-i-l if I tell her not to (has a history of DUI and falling asleep at the wheel). I also think they know they would not beat me in court. His temper is too well known though getting people to testify to that could be a problem. His arrest for DUI would hurt their case though. You sound like you have the same bully f-i-l that I have, but even worse. They hate it when they can't manipulate and intimidate someone, especially a woman. I hope your husband learns to speak up. After years of this, my husband just tore his father another "you-know-what" three months ago

after witnessing the f-i-l say something so obnoxious to me. I don't think his family thought he was on my side because he had not said too much. He did warn his father to knock it off about 2 years ago. He improved for a little while but has no control over his anger so he went back to his old habits. They know now that my husband was behind me and are paying the price for not respecting me or their son. My in-laws are very selfish also, like yours. It is sad that my husband has had to witness the things they have done and said. I'm sure it is very hard to admit/know what jerks your parents are, and that so many people know that too. In the five years since my husband's cancer diagnosis, we have found out who of our friends, neighbors, and family are REALLY there for us.

It has been a sobering experience, to say the least. The people you think will be there, may very well not be, even if you have been there for them countless times. Selfish people really don't want your tragedy to muck up their lives,so they make themselves scarce. I realized, too late, that being too much of a giver attracts takers to you. On the other hand, sometimes

neighbors or even strangers show you such compassion, it restores your faith in people. Wishing you luck Nicnic. If you ever want to vent about in-laws, my e-mail is tdos59@optonline.net and

I'm right next door to you in Jersey.

post #19 of 41

I have an issue with my inlaws and it seems to be made for complicated as they r divorced.  My MIL is continuously rude and makes not nice comments about myself and my family. My FIL is okay until he's in the same room with my MIL and then he acts just like her.  For example: my mom is not a traveller. She is scared to death of planes.  When my MIL asked her why she doesn't do more travelling like she does my mother simply said I don't like to travel a lot.  My MIL said some crack about how my Mom couldn't afford to travel as only people who can't afford to travel say that.  My years at university are constantly undercut and I am told that the years I lived away from home to go school don't count as living away from home. Mind you, I only learned how to function on my own and totally be self sufficient there...but what do I know!  Things were always bad in that department but once our first child was born things got a lot worse.

I find the relationship between my MIL and my spouse a bit wierd. He clearly isn't comfortable but he does nothing to stop her either. Everytime we get together with his family I feel like I am in a play and everyone around me is acting and trying to hide something. That something is just out of reach and I'll be darned if I can figure it out.  

The latest is our son's most recent birthday party.  It was all family. His cousin was there. The 2 children r very close in age.  My son is a late talker.  We are getting him help, but everyone is fairly certain he will talk when he is good and ready. Nothing else is wrong.  My MIL wants these 2 kids to be besties.  I have said just let them be and let the kids figure it out.  She likes to hug and hold my son even when he clearly doesn't want to be held.  anyway, at his birthday party, my FIL brought a gift for the cousin. which I have no issue with except that at the cousin's birthday there was no gift for my kid. but whatever.  I wouldn't expect anyone to bring a gift for my kid at another child's party. Nor would I expect anyone to give my kid a bunch of attention at another child's party. That is just wrong. But that is not what happened recently.  My FIL's camera died so we told him he could take pics on ours and we would make him a CD of the pics to take home b4 he left.  Both my FIL and MIL focused all their attention on the cousin.  So much so that when I looked at OUR camera at the photos taken, they r all practically of my son's cousin.  I heard them calling her name and taking pics. My son loves having his picture taken.  If they took a few pics and he realized that "hey they r taking pics of me" he would have taken all the pics they wanted. but no. I have lots of pics of the back of my son's head.  I finally had to stop opening gifts and ask where OUR video camera was. I found it behind my MIL's feet. She made no effort to help me find it. I grabbed it and gave it to my cousin who and asked her to film. I said I am not opening another gift until we find that camera. I want some pics of my kid at HIS Birthday party.  At one point one of the grandmas was getting a hug from my son. My son's cousin walked up and wanted up too and they shoved my son off the lap and took a pic of the cousin. Finally my son went and played by himself with his trains and later crawled up on my Mom to play.  My MIL and FIL got upset that he wasn't playing with his cousin.  Well why would you?! I wouldn't if I was treated like that.

My MIL wants to take a big family trip, but I really don't want to go. Not when I am ignored and my kid is treated like some sort of pariah.  I am sick and tired of this.  My husband has issues confronting his parents and I usually am the one that is forced to do the dirty work. Consequently I am public enemy number 1.  I understand why he won't. Neither one of them listen anyway. But doesn't the point have to be made.  I am concerned for our son. He only just turned 3 and I don't want him to think that he isn't as good or as loved as someone else.  My MIL is concerned that she isn't getting to know her grandson like she should. but we have an open door policy. All we ask is that she call b4 she comes over. She seems to be bothered by this.  We don't let her babysit for obvious reasons and she doesn't respect how we choose to raise our son.  We have witnessed her blatently do the exact opposite of what we have asked her to do in front of us. We have called her on it and she just laughs it off and says we are over reacting.

My husband is doing what he always does, which is let them have their way so there is no turmoil. but I cannot sit by and let this happen any longer. what do i do? any advice would be great.

post #20 of 41

Wow, so glad I am not the only one with crazy in-law issues!!  Mine have always kind of driven me crazy, and when we didn't go visit or do what they wanted they would throw temper tantrums and we would just do whatever they wanted in order to keep the peace.  That was "fine" until my daughter was born.  Last Christmas they wanted us to go visit (they live 1.5 hours away) and be there for Christmas morning!  We said no, that we would be home to open our presents, then maybe travel later that day or the next day.....well you would think we committed a crime or something!  DH's dad told him off and hung up on him, and didn't talk to us for 3 weeks leading up to Christmas.  We also invited them to our house to spend the morning with us, but that was completely unacceptable, and how dare we ask them to travel blah blah blah....

 

On Christmas morning, we called because we had given them a photo book with an announcement in it that we were expecting our second baby, and they hadn't opened it yet.  We asked them to call us once they opened their gifts and they didn't bother to, no call on the 26th, and on the morning of the 27th he called to tell us how rude it was that he had to find out about the baby from a stupid book, and also that it was completely insensitive of us to be having a baby when my SIL had a miscarriage 3 months prior....so my DH stood up to him, and told him that we were hurt by his reaction, and by the way we were being treated, and that things would have to change from now on if they wanted a relationship with us.  FIL hung up on DH and hasn't responded to our calls/emails since Christmas. (This was the first time DH had actually stood up to his father, and I couldn't have been prouder!!)

 

Things have honestly been really calm since then, we have almost enjoyed the break from them and the manipulation.  We hear from other family members though about how we were totally the bad guys etc...whatever.  The only thing we are worried about is the birth of our 2nd baby.  They have made it clear (via other family members etc) that they don't want to talk to us, and they feel we were completely in the wrong....but do we call them when the baby is born (due date is in 2 weeks)?  Send a text? Let them find out via other family members?  We have seriously tried calling about 10 different times since Christmas, and left messages and emails, and they have not responded....we have reached a point where we are done, and the ball is obviously in their court....but do we look like huge jerks for not bothering to call when their 2nd grand child is born?  I know they would not come to meet him, and are very upset that I am pregnant in the first place as they were really upset when my SIL lost her baby.  They blame me for being pregnant, and her not....even though that makes no sense.  We have no idea what to do when he is born.  Ugh...this sucks!

 

Also, we are both reading Toxic Parents, and the in-laws are in there to a T - it's scary!! 

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