Well, since you asked....
DH and I have been together as couple for 10 years, married for 5.5. We have a 20-month old dd. Dh and I have always known that his brother (BIL) and his brother's wife (SIL) have never really liked me, but we never thought muh of it. It's just a difference of personality, really. They're very party-hardy, extroverted, and mainstream folks. DH and I are not. I'm generally quiet and reserved, introverted, and off-the-beaten track in my beliefs. Dh is very much like me, but he tends to try to blend in with them because he does whatever it takes to keep the peace. I find that hard to do and cannot pretend that I am something I am not.
So, for whatever reason, in June of 2005 when my daughter was barely 3 months old, they said we needed a "family meeting" to "clear the air." We had no idea what was coming but said OK. Basically, MIL, SIL, and BIL said that they hated me, and now that FIL had passed away (he died of brain cancer 6 months prior to that) they felt like they didn't have to pretend to like me anymore. (FIL, DH, and I had been very close.) For 2 hours, they told us everything they hated about us. It was one of the most horrifying experiences of my life; we had NO idea they were so hateful and that they had been storing this stuff up for so many years. Their complaints and insults are too numerous to list, but what it seems to come down to is that they disapproved strongly of our pregnancy and birth-related decisions -- MIL and SIL both had C-sections by choice whereas DH and I had a Bradley birth, something they said I was doing just to show off
: They told me BFing was disgusting and that I should be grateful it didn't work out for me because formula is so much better
: -- and we suspect they feel threatened by us in some way. Since then, here are some of the ways they have antagonized us:
Last year, they sent us a Christmas card but addressed it only to DH and dd. That was devastating to me, and I wanted it so badly not to get to me, but it still bothers me.
Last year, MIL dropped by around Xmas while a bunch of my family was present. She asked my mom to take a "family picture" of her, DH, our dd, etc. When my mom said to me, "Oh Sarah, go get in the picture," MIL said, "No, I said I want a FAMILY picture." WOW.
MIL has a bulletin board full of pictures of BIL's child and our dd. Naturally, some of these feature other family members as well, but MIL allowed BIL to remove all the pictures of DD in which I am also present.
DH chooses not to call BIL anymore because of the way they have treated me, but BIL and SIL have accused me of keeping DH from them and told MIL that I manipulate DH. (As if DH can't make his own decisions!)
MIL brags about all the expensive gifts she buys for BIL's DD, but only gave our DD a $20 bill on her 1st birthday. It's not about the money or the gifts, but the inequality there shocks me.
MIL bought BIL a $30,000 country club membership and then told DH that he hadn't "earned" anything like that from her. Again, it's soooooo not about the money and dh wouldn't even want something like that, but the inequality and favoritism is just amazing.
DD is allergic to milk, but SIL makes fun of that and claims that I am just depriving her of milk because of my freaky ideas about nutrition. (HUH?!?! Having a kid with allergies can be kind of nuisance; why would we INVENT an allergy?!?!) Meanwhile, their dd subsists on Wonder Bread and bologna, but we've never said a word about that....)
We continue to invite them to big things like Thansgiving dinner, but they make plans amongst themselves and so far in adavance that no one ever comes to anything we plan, so we're totally alone for everything. That just hurts.
Seriously, that's just the tip of the iceberg. I just don't know how to get past all of this. I hate to admit it, but I'm actually TERRIFIED of them. Truly terrified. They have such power to devastate us, and no matter what we do, it's wrong. We try to ignore them and to live our own lives, but they always find a new way to antagonize us and to remind us of how much they hate us. It's soooooo hard to get past it all when they just push and push and push. I'm already afraid to see what will happen over the holidays.