My in-laws are going to ruin our marriage - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 24 Old 01-27-2010, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DH and I have been together for 7 years (married almost 5), and my relationship with his family has been bad from day one. I was 19 when we met, and I certainly made some mistakes those first few years (as did DH, who was 24), but we've grown together and moved on. There were a lot of angry words said during our engagement that I don't think I'll ever completely get over; basically, they made me feel I wasn't good enough to be a part of their family. I'm black, DH is white, and I did (and sometimes still do) wonder if that played a role.

We are very happy, and the only thing we argue about is his family (occasionally housework, but nothing comes close to these arguments). This is the latest:

After a long discussion about how to spend the holidays (prompted by his dad and step-mom expressing their expectation that we would come to see them, it's a 2 1/2 hour drive), DH and I decided that Christmas Eve and Christmas Day would always be spent at home with our kids (just one right now, but we want to have more). That's how I grew up, and I loved the holidays. DH was always made to travel and he couldn't stand it. He agreed he didn't want to do that to his own kids. So we went to see his family on the 23rd - they threw a Christmas party. We drove down that afternoon, and let them know ahead of time we would need to come right back the following morning to prepare Christmas Eve dinner (my family was coming to see us). We offered to spend the entire weekend before Christmas so they could have more time with the baby, but they were busy. Two weeks later, his sister called and berated DH - she was angry that we didn't stay longer, didn't discuss our plans with her before hand, and demanded that we come visit more often. When I spoke to her that night and told her why we were leaving early the next morning, she said ok, smiled, hugged me, and walked away. Then she started an argument about it with DH downstairs right after. I find it disrespectful that she bypassed me like that when I gave her the opportunity to discuss it. We ended up staying a few hours later than planned, while my family was waiting for us at our house.

I work from home and I have always told his sister that she can come to see her niece whenever she likes. Even though it is only a 2 1/2 hr drive, and DD is pretty good in the car, it throws off her sleep for up to a week afterward, which makes it very hard for me to work and deal with a cranky baby. We've visited my family on two occasions - once because my grandfather had a stroke, and we wanted him to be able to meet DD in case anything happened. The second was 6 months later, for my brother's baby shower. Both visits were for one night. My family comes to visit very frequently. His family did for the first 3 months, but now seem to feel that we should come to them, and are holding it against us that we went to see my grandfather when he was sick.

DH is a people pleaser, and thinks we should just give them what they want, no matter the inconvenience to us. I told him his sister could shove it up her . That's where we are after 7 years of this. I feel like his family is disrespectful of our time and space; they want things to be the way they want them, want us to bend, but make no effort to do the same for us. When they disagree with a choice we've made, they tell DH how they feel it should be done, and he - wanting to make them happy - tells me we should just do it that way. It's very difficult to make a marriage work when every choice we make is subject to his family's approval. We had a fight about paint for heaven's sake - his dad didn't like the brand I chose for our house.

How am I supposed to handle this? It will begin to get worse when our parenting decisions are questioned. It's already starting ("Doesn't she eat real food?" ). I'll admit - I'm stubborn, and his family's behavior just brings out the worse in me in that regard. But I make compromises with DH. I am NOT willing to compromise a decision that WE make together just to suit his family. This is not their life, it's ours, and we're the only ones who have to be happy with it.

Am I really supposed to spend the rest of my life bending over to accomodate these people? Or do we just argue until it ends?

WAHM to Ladybug (13 months) and Bumblebee
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#2 of 24 Old 01-27-2010, 05:12 PM
 
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this is hard. i don't see it getting any better for you as a couple until he decides / figures out that the family he needs to please first is the family he created, not the one he happened to be born in to.

mom to Andrew   born Feb 6th, already a mom to child with fur; and still missing and still wondering about the lost possibilities Mar 17, 2009
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#3 of 24 Old 01-27-2010, 05:50 PM
 
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Yep, it doesn't really matter what your in-laws do or say or think if you and your DH are on the same page. This problem begins and ends with where your DH's loyalties lie.

+ = and .
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#4 of 24 Old 01-27-2010, 06:03 PM
 
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this is hard. i don't see it getting any better for you as a couple until he decides / figures out that the family he needs to please first is the family he created, not the one he happened to be born in to.


I went through this a lot with my DP, from the other side of the fence- I was the one who needed to draw major boundaries with certain family members in order to protect our newly created family.

It is a work in progress even now, but it has gotten a LOT better, and it all started with a conversation where he basically said I could either respect his feelings as my partner and his position as my DD's chosen dad and he would help me set boundaries and deal with my crap with my family, or I could keep disregarding his feelings and disrespecting him as a parental figure to DD, and he would step out and let me deal with it myself. I chose the former, obviously, and while it has been hard distancing myself from my family of origin, he's the one who is there to love and support me at the end of the day.
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#5 of 24 Old 01-27-2010, 06:13 PM
 
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My MIL is like that, sorry your entire set of ILs seems to be!

DH feels that he is loyal to me, he supports me, loves me, comes home to me every night ... but when his mom starts arguing for doing things her way he doesn't feel it's an issue of loyalty. I do. We fight more about that than about what she actually wants us to do.

If he comes to me wanting to change something we already agreed on as a family, I have found one way to address it (that he understands) is to ask "Is that what YOU want, or what SHE wants you to want?" Family pressure has a way of making some people feel like little kids again, and sometimes he needs to just be reminded that he doesn't HAVE to live with her choices anymore. He's an adult now and he can do what HE wants.

Anyway, HTH some, it doesn't stop her but it does stop our fights more often than not!

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#6 of 24 Old 01-27-2010, 06:59 PM
 
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this is hard. i don't see it getting any better for you as a couple until he decides / figures out that the family he needs to please first is the family he created, not the one he happened to be born in to.
I agree with this. I believe that you and your child should come first. However, I think it would help the situation greatly if you visited his family more often, even if it is inconvenient.

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#7 of 24 Old 01-27-2010, 08:49 PM
 
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DH is a people pleaser, and thinks we should just give them what they want, no matter the inconvenience to us. But I make compromises with DH. I am NOT willing to compromise a decision that WE make together just to suit his family. This is not their life, it's ours, and we're the only ones who have to be happy with it.
It sounds like your dh wants to visit his family more often. No matter whether that is because his family wants him to visit (and he is trying to make them happy), or whether he genuinely wants to visit--you still have the reality that your dh wants to visit his family more often.

Would thinking about it that way make it more palatable for you to compromise with your dh on this issue? There is room for compromise about when and how long (not on Christmas day, as per your family decision).
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#8 of 24 Old 01-27-2010, 09:49 PM
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Yep, it doesn't really matter what your in-laws do or say or think if you and your DH are on the same page. This problem begins and ends with where your DH's loyalties lie.



Totally this. BTDT.

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#9 of 24 Old 01-27-2010, 10:19 PM
 
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I'm black, DH is white, and I did (and sometimes still do) wonder if that played a role.

I'll admit - I'm stubborn, and his family's behavior just brings out the worse in me in that regard. But I make compromises with DH. I am NOT willing to compromise a decision that WE make together just to suit his family. This is not their life, it's ours, and we're the only ones who have to be happy with it.

Am I really supposed to spend the rest of my life bending over to accomodate these people? Or do we just argue until it ends?
If your ILs are racist then I wouldn't want my kid(s) around that. But I wouldn't cut your dp's parents and sister out of his life on a wonder.

You can keep the stance that you and dp are the only ones to consider in decisions. But you cut off your nose to spite your face. You said this is ruining your marriage, and mentioned fighting til it ends. Is that going to make you happy? Is that best for your dd? Is it your right to make any decision you want, and see his family less than they want - sure. Is it a smart decision that will work for YOU in the end - maybe not. Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?

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this is hard. i don't see it getting any better for you as a couple until he decides / figures out that the family he needs to please first is the family he created, not the one he happened to be born in to.
Or it could get better when the OP decides to go halfway towards more time with her dp's family. It honestly makes me sick how quick some people will toss out the idea that the family that raised their dp is expendable. How will you like that when your kids are married and THEIR spouse doesn't want your child to see you??

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This problem begins and ends with where your DH's loyalties lie.
I respect and admire a man (or woman) who doesn't drop his family of origin when the marriage license is signed. If my dp ignored his mom's feelings and wishes to see us, I'd think he was a tool. All the hard work we are doing to raise our kids day after day after day? SHE did that for HIM. Remember that someday each of us on this thread may be the MIL - do you want to see your adult kids and grandkids or be relegated to a rare visit?

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I think it would help the situation greatly if you visited his family more often, even if it is inconvenient.
Ditto. My dp and I CHOSE to live almost three hours from where we grew up, and where his parents still lived for the first 16 years of our marriage. I believe that with that choice, we also took on a responsibility to go home to visit them. Pre-kids it was once a month - a six hour round trip. With dd1, it was still once a month. She was MIL's (FIL had passed away by then) first and only grandchild, and MIL was in her 70s. When dd2 was born (by then we'd been going once a month for eight years), it went to probably once every other month. With dd3, it was once every two or three months.

MIL did drive or take the train up to see us for holidays - because like you OP, I think Xmas eve and a.m. should be at home. When dd1 was little, we still did Easter and Thanksgiving at MIL's - but transferred all holidays up to our house as MIL got older and less able to do big family dinners. My sister and brother also made the six hour round trips to be at her house for all holidays pre-kids, and most after dd1 too. Because we are FAMILY. Driving is a small price to pay to be with family.

I hope that my kids and their spouses are willing to travel to see us on holidays. It is a time to be with family. Not just the family you formed when you married but also the one that loved and took care of you from birth.
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#10 of 24 Old 01-27-2010, 10:57 PM
 
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Or it could get better when the OP decides to go halfway towards more time with her dp's family. It honestly makes me sick how quick some people will toss out the idea that the family that raised their dp is expendable. How will you like that when your kids are married and THEIR spouse doesn't want your child to see you??


I respect and admire a man (or woman) who doesn't drop his family of origin when the marriage license is signed. If my dp ignored his mom's feelings and wishes to see us, I'd think he was a tool. All the hard work we are doing to raise our kids day after day after day? SHE did that for HIM. Remember that someday each of us on this thread may be the MIL - do you want to see your adult kids and grandkids or be relegated to a rare visit?


I hope that my kids and their spouses are willing to travel to see us on holidays. It is a time to be with family. Not just the family you formed when you married but also the one that loved and took care of you from birth.
she didn't once say she was trying to keep her husband from seeing his family, and she didn't say she was unwilling to go visit.

they were willing to travel and offered to come the weekend before in order to spend more time with them but the IL's turned them down.

they also told the IL's in advance what their plans were - which they had agreed upon as a couple - but her hubby got grief about it later.

the fact that her husband still wants to bend over backwards and try to please them after the IL's seemingly aren't interested in doing things any way but the way that they want it to go would drive me up a wall too.

yes, they are still his family, and yes, clearly you should still make time for them. but for them to expect that she and her husband change their agreed upon plans just because that's the way they want it to be (and give him grief when he doesn't) is overbearing at best, and turning it into a power struggle over her husband's "loyalties" at worst.

you're right on one thing - i really hope none of us are that kind of MIL in the future.

mom to Andrew   born Feb 6th, already a mom to child with fur; and still missing and still wondering about the lost possibilities Mar 17, 2009
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#11 of 24 Old 01-27-2010, 11:29 PM
 
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This hits home for me. My in-laws would like us to visit them very regularly. they have three mansions and will pay most expenses for us to travel around the country and world to see them. We are very uncomfortable in their wealthy scene. We farm and live simply and that makes them very uncomfortable. We built our own house with our hands and we had to overly encourage them to see it once after many years. i love them as people but seeing them regularly rips my sanity apart. Never mind how hard it is for us to find someone to milk our cows while we are gallavanting in their scene.

This is your family your creating. Honoring and respecting your husband's family of origin is important but you are creating your own life with your husband and they must respect that. I also think it HIS family and HIS problem. So he must step up to the plate to explain your family's truth (that he has equally realized). I see no reason why they should not equally visit you. If this is ruining your marriage you must find a marriage counseler that can empower your husband and you to create your own sacred family.

Extraordinary Relationships is a book that was gold in helping us differentiate ourselves from our families of origin and become our own beautiful family. I highly reccomend it. We also used a marriage counseler briefly to puzzle through this same problem. After creating clear loving boundries with my in-laws we have a functional relationship but it took a ton of work and effort to get there.

I also want to say that their racism towards you really sucks and must really hurt and I am sorry.

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#12 of 24 Old 01-28-2010, 02:48 AM
 
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I think it has to go both ways. You each need to make an effort to see each other if you want your DD to have a relationship with your IL's. I have such a close relationship with my sister's kids but not as close with my brother's. They live an hour away and they call when they need a babysitter and once in a while I'll go down and see them but because they rarely ever come up it's hard to want to make the effort.

Is it possible for your DH to take DD to his family more often? Maybe make an overnight trip once a month and they can do the same.
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#13 of 24 Old 01-28-2010, 12:35 PM
 
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Great advice already given, so just a little additional thought about the race and parenting angles to this.

My strong advice is even if you think race is playing a part in their attitude to you, do NOT own that. Don't accept it, don't try to figure it out, don't define the situation yourself that way. I'm not saying ignore or deny that it could/is a factor, just saying your response should not be based on that.

Keep focused on what your'e already focusing on, mainly what a respectful loving, supportive family DOES and DOES NOT act like. If his sis hugs you and then goes and argues with DH, that sucks and is rude but maybe just next time if it happens again ask her, calmly, sweetly, "Did you feel like you couldn't discuss your real feelings with me? It feels like you just wanted to make me feel ok about it and weren't honest. Why is that?" Stay focused on the problematic behavior, and it's amazing how even if they're acting that way because of your race, it gives them an opportunity to start acting right OR they may keep being rude.

And similar with the parenting choices: stand strong and confident in your choices. If they ask if she's not eating "real food" yet, just smile and say "actually there's a lot of awareness now that breastmilk is the BEST real food for her until she's ____ months old". And if they do the whole "We did it this way and we're really healthy" you can continue to smile and say "Isn't that great? We can both learn from what worked for others and also learn from new discoveries" or whatever. But stand strong and don't even leave room for changes. And if your husband starts suggesting you follow your IL's parenting desires, that becomes part of the bigger conversation everyone else has mentioned. I say it to my DH all the time: I've researched and thought a lot about these choices and discussed them with you. If you're suggesting a change, what new info do you know about how it would be best for the baby that makes you want to change it? Because is there any other reason to do something that's as important than what's best for the baby?"

Good luck!
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#14 of 24 Old 01-28-2010, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for all of your ideas, I appreciate the varying viewpoints.

I strongly dislike visits with his family because something always happens; there is always an issue to deal with afterward, and it just causes so much stress. I do want DD to have a relationship with them despite how I feel, so we will go (we have a trip planned for next month actually). I can't let DH take DD without me because I don't trust that they will respect the choices we've made for her while she's young, and DH struggles to go against them. I don't expect to be able to control everything, but they go to the extreme sometimes...while I was pregnant and explaining that we'd found a great midwife and birth center nearby, FIL interrupted and literally barked to DH right over my head, "Make sure you see a doctor, and go to a hospital." I also find it disturbing that his (younger) sister thinks it's ok to talk to him the way she did. If they don't even treat him well, how will they treat our kids? I just can't feel comfortable with her being there without me right now.

The visits are only a small part of the overall problem - they simply don't respect us or our decisions. It's as if we are still children in their eyes, in need of someone to help us make the right choice. I think it's time for a serious conversation, maybe counseling if we can't reach an agreement on our own. DH knows it is a problem. He'll express his anger and frustration with me, but he completely caves in front of them, and they seem to know just how to push him to get the results they want. He once told me he was afraid he would lose them if he didn't just give in. There's something very wrong with that.

Lynsage - I really like the way your DH started the conversation, saying he would help you set boundaries. I need to let go of some of my anger and try to see this a problem we can work through together.

to anyone dealing with similar issues.

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#15 of 24 Old 01-28-2010, 12:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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If his sis hugs you and then goes and argues with DH, that sucks and is rude but maybe just next time if it happens again ask her, calmly, sweetly, "Did you feel like you couldn't discuss your real feelings with me? It feels like you just wanted to make me feel ok about it and weren't honest. Why is that?"
This is exactly how I want to go about things! They try to not leave me an opportunity - in this case, after she argued with him, she left for the night. DH came to me and asked if we could stay a few hours later, and after some back and forth, I agreed. I did not find out what his motivation was until later. If his Dad takes issue with something, he'll wait until we leave and call DH on his cell a few days later. That's why I gets so anxious about visits - everything will seem fine until his phone rings several days later. Once his Dad even drove up here, chatted with us both, waited until I'd left the room, then took DH outside to express some complaint he had. They go out out of their way to avoid me! How do I get around that?

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#16 of 24 Old 01-28-2010, 12:56 PM
 
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Have you addressed it directly with them? Have you tried saying "I really appreciate that we're a family and that you guys are great grandparents to our child. And because I value this relationship I want to understand something and make a request.

I've noticed......... (describe that thing you've noticed about them pulling DH aside to complain)

Why is that? (let them answer!)

I'm hoping we can work this out where if you have a complaint/concern that involves me or the baby, you can discuss it with me and DH. I know he's your son, but now that we're a family (you DH and DC) and we're all a family (you guys and your ILs), shouldn't we be able to be honest with each other and discuss things reasonably?"

See what they say, maybe just naming it and asking in a positive-focused way that it change may work? It often does.
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#17 of 24 Old 01-28-2010, 01:04 PM
 
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I haven't carefully read all the replies.

But, FWIW, exH and I lived in the same town as both my parents and his. However, his mother would plan visits by saying "I'll come by this Sunday and pick up the baby for a while." My family would plan visits by asking "Would your family like ot come and have dinner with us Sunday?" Needless to say, MIL was miffed when my answer was "We have plans, but you're welcome to come over any time for dinner."

Finally, she and I had a really frank discussion about my expectations and hers. She did not enjoy the conversation. However, her attitude toward us grew greatly more respectful after that and our relationship improved dramatically.

xH was never the kind of man who felt comfortable having a confrontation with his mother; it was something I needed to do.

It might help to talk with whoever is the primary decision maker there (dad or mom) and say "Listen, dh would like to visit more often with you, and I would love to have you involved in LOs life, but it takes a lot out of us to travel with a small one. How can we make it more convenient for you to visit more often with us here?" Or plan to meet in the middle -- 2.5 hours is an overnight trip. 1.25 hours is a day trip.

Hugs!
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#18 of 24 Old 01-28-2010, 02:47 PM
 
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Counseling is a great idea. Just because ILs want to put him in the middle doesn't mean you have to be on the "other" side. I'm sure he feels very torn and a counselor, and your support, will help you both navigate one of the thorniest parts of most marriages.

Don't waste anymore time feeling like he has to choose "sides." This doesn't have to be adversarial between you two and a counselor will be a great help for him (and you as a team) to renegotiate the relationship - he isn't a child anymore and they need to learn to respect him and his family. When they accept him for the adult he is then it can become simple, heartfelt requests that they want to see you more often instead of whining and pouting about it like children.

If they cannot accept it then the counselor can give you guys the tools to set boundaries and then you can move past these circular arguments you've been having for years.

Best of luck!
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#19 of 24 Old 01-28-2010, 02:57 PM
 
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This is exactly how I want to go about things! They try to not leave me an opportunity - in this case, after she argued with him, she left for the night. DH came to me and asked if we could stay a few hours later, and after some back and forth, I agreed. I did not find out what his motivation was until later. If his Dad takes issue with something, he'll wait until we leave and call DH on his cell a few days later. That's why I gets so anxious about visits - everything will seem fine until his phone rings several days later. Once his Dad even drove up here, chatted with us both, waited until I'd left the room, then took DH outside to express some complaint he had. They go out out of their way to avoid me! How do I get around that?
They go around you because you have different responses. IMO, it is fine and even appropriate for her to speak directly to her brother, but he should be representing your common interests--not a leaf blowing in the wind depending on who is speaking to him (you or his family).

I understand that your conflicts are about his family, but your conflict is with your dh--not with his family. He has a difficult time standing up to his family, but you can't do it for him. He has to do it himself.
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#20 of 24 Old 01-28-2010, 03:08 PM
 
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Ya know, even though my advice was to address them directly, I actually really and truly think the above is the best approach. It really is about DH representing your JOINT interests to his family and standing up for your joint choices.

Me, I'm just a direct person and I would have said what I said above to them right off. But it is better relationship building and important for your relatinship with your DH to address this with him. Have you had a direct, honest conversation with him about it? Asked him why he has these conversations and caves to their desires all the time even if you've already discussed it and agreed on a different decision? Is "making it easy" truly the most important outcome, or is honoring boundaries and your decisionmaking as a couple actually much more important?
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#21 of 24 Old 01-28-2010, 05:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Adallae View Post
This is exactly how I want to go about things! They try to not leave me an opportunity - in this case, after she argued with him, she left for the night. DH came to me and asked if we could stay a few hours later, and after some back and forth, I agreed. I did not find out what his motivation was until later. If his Dad takes issue with something, he'll wait until we leave and call DH on his cell a few days later. That's why I gets so anxious about visits - everything will seem fine until his phone rings several days later. Once his Dad even drove up here, chatted with us both, waited until I'd left the room, then took DH outside to express some complaint he had. They go out out of their way to avoid me! How do I get around that?
In my experience, you can't have a rational conversation with an irrational person. All of the suggestions on how to better communicate directly with the in-laws, and all of the suggestions to try and compromise with the in-laws are wonderful, but will only work if you're dealing with rational people who are motivated by building solid family relationships. Since they act one way around you, and then wait until you're not around to manipulate their son into doing exactly what they want regardless of how it will impact his family, their motivations seem to speak volumes. And they aren't saying anything good.

Like others have said, this needs to be addressed directly with your husband. There's not really anything you can do to get around the devious and manipulative way your in-laws are behaving, and I wouldn't bother wasting my time trying to reason with them until there are some firmly unmovable boundaries set up. This has to be done by your husband though, not you, since the person they are manipulating is him (because they know they have no control over you). If your husband is "scared" to lose his original family because he's not doing exactly what they want the way they want him to do it, then that is a major stumbling block to a successful marriage. I'm curious, did you ask him how "scared" he was of losing his wife and child?

Sounds like it's time for some counseling. I'm sure a secular counselor will help a great deal, but also, don't ignore any counseling offered by whatever spiritual community you might be a part of, if you're part of one, that is. It's often free, and they are very likely to support the message that people in a successful marriage can only be successful if they put the new family they've created first on the priority list, while still showing respect for the original families both spouses came from, of course. Any older couples you know with successful marriages might be able to help you as well.

s

Good luck on dealing with this. I'm dealing with this on a minute level in comparison to you, but fortunately, my DP completely ignores the most destructive stuff that comes from the most destructive person in his family. Plus, both our families are over 3000 miles away. Which helps beyond belief!

Wait...can you move to, like, Hawaii, or China or something?
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#22 of 24 Old 02-09-2010, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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BIG thank you for everyone's help. DH and I had a good, productive conversation (no arguing) about this, and we will be working together to set some agreed upon boundaries. He does want to put us first, he just needs some help on how to change some of the relationships with his family. I'm sure it will be a bumpy road, but we're taking the first steps.

WAHM to Ladybug (13 months) and Bumblebee
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#23 of 24 Old 02-11-2010, 08:39 PM
 
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I've had 15.5 years dealing with in-laws. And I have to say I'm the happiest now not doing any in-law gatherings

I would tell dh if he wants to get together with them, go for it. If he wants to bring your child, go for it (unless you want to wait 'til an older age if she's a frequent-nursing infant/toddler). And then you could just do your own thing, enjoying your break. (With no hard feelings towards dh, he's a grown adult and can make his own choices--I think you can eliminate the "choose me or them" approach.)

If they want to visit you overnight, I'd make a list of the nearest inexpensive hotels/motels for dh to give to them.

It's so not worth dealing with this sort of stress. Maybe one day, you can be around them without them getting to you. But that time isn't now. Don't try to be something your not/do something you don't enjoy.

I'm totally for not being around people that don't make me feel good. I don't believe in blind loyalty and yucky obligations.

Not sure what everyone else has told you, but thought it'd be good to give my non-PC response.
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#24 of 24 Old 02-11-2010, 11:12 PM
 
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I think there is a whole ball of issues.

My sister was the white woman married to a black guy. His family's treatment is why he had not hard feelings moving. My brother is married to a Japanese woman. IMO in both situations some of the issues were culture and culture expectations, and race can play a part of the cultural difference.

It also can be deep seeded family issues. My dh has this issue. The only difference is that his desire to not be lonely made him cling to me harder and put his mom/sisters in their place. I would think maybe the younger sister has always treated him that way.

Also, my in-laws have pulled my husband to the side like you described.

Remember it is hard to stand up to your family. Especially if they have grow up in an environment of inferiority. My bil had issues setting boundaries. I had issues and my dh had issues.
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