What do you do? This person in dh's family is seriously sabotaging our relationship with one of his parents and some other extended family. They do all sorts of passive aggressive hurtful things to us but they have painted such a masterpiece that when we say something about our ill treatment they play the innocent victim. The lies they tell are not huge whoppers but more omitting of crucial facts and vagueness. I am so upset about this right now. It is sickening to see that they have ever so cleverly pitted people against us for no clear reason other than to be the favorite. We aren't perfect people of course but we haven't done anything to warrant this type of behavior from anyone. We've tried talking to this person and get told we are attacking them. We walk on eggshells because any little thing we do they view as an attack and the whole family backs them up. We've tried talking to the parent that just doesn't seem to like us all of the sudden and they act like everything is fine but it's clear it's not.
Some events transpired today that made it clear to me that for the past couple of years, tied to one incident, this person has been slowly working on blacklisting us from the family. What can you do?
Springmama, I'm so sorry you are going through this. How often do you see your DH's parents and the other relatives who are being turned against you?
I know something of where you're coming from as I had something somewhat similar happen in my family a while back. My dad is an alcoholic who got dry through AA after I left for college, something like 23 years ago. But he's still a jerk. My mom was always extremely critical (and still is), as is my dad. I moved six hours away 15 years ago. I've not seen my parents since 2002 or so. They are not nice people, although they put on that face to other people.
I'd not seen any of the extended family (aunts, uncles, cousins) pretty much since I moved. Although some Christmas cards and such were exchanged.
I was in their area in 2006 to visit a friend. I went to visit a favorite aunt and uncle. They went to call my parents to come over so we could all have a nice visit. I requested they not. I told them why. Turns out my parents were telling the entire family that I was a selfish snob who had moved to the big city and refused to associate with anyone as a result. They didn't say it was because of my dad's being a "dry drunk." still behaving as he did while drinking, and essentially drove me away. My aunt and uncle were floored.
I was very happy I had gone to visit them, as about six months later, my uncle died.
So, if you're seeing the relatives on a regular basis, I think there will be more foundation for them seeing that the info they are being given about you is wrong. It's harder when you're not seeing them often or are at a distance.
Huga, mama! Hope it works out. My quality of life improved so much when I moved away and put distance between the nasty parents and myself. It's wonderful that my parents hate the congested traffic in my current area, so they've never come to visit, other than to help me move 15 years ago.
With family it is sometimes better to work on individual relationships outside of the group dynamic. So people can build personal relationships and trust individually. That way when the troublemaker attempts to frame or lie about you, the other person already knows you better than that.
You might want to avoid group family situations for a while, if the troublemaker is there. And avoid the troublemaker all together! Do not see this person, do not talk to them or about them.
The people you care about, who have been misled – seek spending time with them alone. If you can explain any misunderstandings and tell them you want to build a good relationship with them. If they have any issues with you, please contact you directly. You value their opinion and friendship.