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I have many many problems with my mean spirited, gossipy, manipulative in-laws (only the women). That is pretty mean spirited of me to say, I realize that. It's only out of absolute end of my rope frustration that I even say it. I'll try to be short with this. My MIL and 2 SIL say many nasty nasty things abt me behind my back. Yet, they insist on being very involved with my children. My problem with them is simply that they are nasty behind my back. Their problems with me are many, ranging from how I parent my children to how I don't do what their mother wants, to how I "control" their brother. The list goes on and on. The issues have been discussed many times. No amount of talking seems to change anything. They just immediately go and have a big gossip fest between the three of them abt whatever I said. They also believe the problem is me.

DH says he supports me but I know there is a part of him that blames me for everything. He has said this, more than once.

I have to drive 5 hours to have t-day at SIL house. I have to go. After tons of discussion, lots of arguements, many nights of lost sleep, I have decided that I have to do this for my marraige. I love DH. We are at a wall with his family. He thinks I need to just get over it. They are who they are.

I want to find a place in my heart where I can just feel nothing for them. I have to see them if only for my dh and my children. They will always be nasty to me behind my back. Somehow it needs to stop bothering me. That seems to be the only answer. Have others experienced this? Have you been able to just move past it to a point where you just don't care what they think anymore???? I am a sensitive person, and it's hard for me to be around people who just plain think I'm bad.

Michelle
 

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Unfortunately I don't have much advice for you, as I have been in the throes of IL horror for a year now. And, like you, I'm unable to just let all the hurtful words pass. The main thing that has brought me some peace with all of it is my dh's unconditional support. It would be difficult for me to move on and leave ILs behind (metaphorically speaking) if I knew dh thought there was some truth in the mean and manipulative things they have said about me. We still see ILs about once a month and he talks to them frequently, but I really think I'm able to handle visits because I know dh supports me ~ and thus, I don't feel like I'm 'alone' on the visits.

Maybe you could talk with your dh to find out more about how he agrees with your ILs on some things and blames you. Let him know how you feel and what it's like for you to be in this situation. His lack of understanding may be the thing holding you back?

I'll be lurking to hear any words of wisdom others may have to share. I'm very sorry your ILs and being so mean and hurtful to you.
 

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I too am sorry to hear how these women are treating you it just is not right.

My advice is to try and detach from them. Perhaps you can look at them as people with a mental illness (which is kinda true...their behavior is really unhealthy) and try to have have compassion for them. You know that their behavior is wrong and unhealthy and there is nothing you can do to change them so all you can do is to detach from their behavior. I like to say to myself that " What other people think about me is none of my business" .

Really be kind to yourself and give yourself daily affirmations ie; "I am a good Mother and Wife" , "My mothering choices are for the benefit of my family as a whole" , "Nothing worthwhile is easy" .

When we live our lives differently from others in our extended family they can sometimes take offense to it because they have weak boundaries and see it as an insult to their own life styles. Clearly this is not your intention so you can only just work on your own self esteem and realise that they are never going to be on your side because they don't know how to be loving human beings.

You don't need their approval to do the job you are doing as the Mother of your children. You don't need their approval to be a loving wife to your husband. What is important is that you have the love and support from your dh and vice versa.

Keep these unhealthy gossipers at an arms length and don't let them get under your skin. It is ultimately your choice how you react to their unhealthy ways.

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change (inlaws), The courage to change the things I can (Myself), and the wisdom to know the difference"

hugs and Peace sista!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mom2littlebean
Keep these unhealthy gossipers at an arms length and don't let them get under your skin. It is ultimately your choice how you react to their unhealthy ways.
I think this is great advice.

Also, I disagree w/the pp that you should talk to your dh about it. You can't change your dh's relationship w/his sisters, no matter what you do. You can change your relationship w/your dh, however, and if it is a source of contention you can decide not to discuss it with him. Try viewing them as coworkers, people you have to get along with but don't want to get too intimate with, people you know you wouldn't really like, but fortunately don't have to know well enough to like. Keep your conversation with them as light and unimportant as possible, view yourself as benignly disengaged, uninvolved and neutral.

Then, when you get back from T-giving, come here and complain about them. Your dh will thank you because you did what they should have, you removed the burden of having to choose between them and you by staying true to yourself.

Now, if only I could take this advice myself!
 

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mamapajama, I'm sorry you have to deal with this kind of situation. Why can't people just be nice!?!

I've had my share of in-law - and birth family - grief. I've developed a few mental mantras that help me deal with sticky times. One is that I remind myself that I only have to deal with them for a few hours/days, but they have to live with themselves ALL THE TIME. I also try to view them with pity, if not compassion, because they must obviously be incredibly unhappy in their lives if they have to act that way to people in their families. And if none of that works, when they're horrible to me, I just give them a blank stare and say nasty things in my head. Then I go in the bedroom and scream into a pillow.

There's nothing you can do about how they behave. All you can do is control how you react. That doesn't make it any easier, but it is something to remember.

Oh, and make sure you plan something nice for yourself when you get home, so that you have something to look forward to.

Good luck!
 

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I've been a bad, bad girl. I finally sent MIL an email asking her to butt out, telling her I thought she was mean and vindictive, and to please carry on in her relationship with her son but not to call, email or visit me anymore.

SIL emailed back immediately, requesting I smooth things over with MIL. I probably will send an apology for over-reacting, but hopefully the message has been made clear. My family doesn't butt into my personal affairs and they certainly don't pester dh about his choices. I expect the same respect from his family.

I know. High expectations.
 

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Wow...they do sound nasty, eh? "Toxic Inlaws" by Susan Forward *I think* would have some ideas, but here is my take on it.

Tell your DH that fine. It is just the way they are, but you are just the way you are and you don't want to deal with it. Any time he wants to talk to his family he is welcome to, but you are no longer the social planner. He needs to deal with them and their wants. You must still be consulted as this is a partnership, but you will not longer be the contact in the family. It is now his job. You will answer the phone only to hand it over and all emails will be forwarded to him. His family. His problem. You might also ask him "if this was a friend treating me this way, how would you react?" or my favourite "so my mom can treat you like crap too? How bout I have my brother call you up and tell you what a crappy person you are. Oh...and you have to take it. Cause that is just the way he is"

*I did that with our situation. DH finally got how freaking annoying his mom is. And she is no where near toxic....just a martyr I no longer have the patience for*

You need to do some positive self talking. I am doing the best I can do for my family, if others have a problem that is their problem not mine. I am the way I am and I love the way I am. I refuse to let others belittle me for who I am. I am a good mom who has her children's best interest at heart. I refuse to change myself to make others happy. I cannot make others happy. I am responsible only for my own happiness. I cannot change people, I can only change my reaction. If I do not react, they do not have power. *this came easy...this is what I said to myself many many many days when I wanted to bury my MIL in the back yard*

Come here and joke about it. Joke to your friends. After my MIL visits (from 45 mins away, but to hear her talk we live on Pluto), the first thing my friends as is "do you need help with the hole" or "do you need an alibi" or "how did you dog like the special meal". It is our way of letting it go. And I would never bury her in the backyard.

she would kill the grass
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by PadmaMorgana
And I would never bury her in the backyard.

she would kill the grass

:

This is the place to go to keep things real, I see!

mamapajama: Oh, how I feel your pain, but it's mainly mil and fil. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), dh doesn't get along with them either, nor do many of their own relatives, many of whom they have estranged... but, my sil gave me some advice for when the ILs come to visit (which is very sad that their own daughter has to do this...):

This echoes one of the pp's who said treat them like co-workers. My sil told me that in order for her to get through a visit with her own mother, she treats it like a management issue. She totally cuts herself off emotionally in order to "manage" her mother's behavior. We don't really buy into this because we think it just enables mil, but it works for sil.

Lady Madonna also said it well: There's nothing you can do about how they behave. All you can do is control how you react. That doesn't make it any easier, but it is something to remember.

I find that the more I react to what mil says and does, the worse she is. So, I am trying to use relaxation techniques and even anger management ones to keep my calm and try to ignore her nastiness. that's just playing into her game.

Good luck!!! Stay positive and don't let the bastards grind you down!!

The ILs actually arrive tomorrow morning for a very brief visit (they live in upstate NY, we live in TX). I'm sure I will be on here late every night venting...
 

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Toxic in-laws suck and I am sorry you are dealing with this.

The way we solved it was to talk it to death and finally my dh had enough and we have not seen or talked to them in 10 years!
At times I still get mad that these ppl don't even know or care about my boys, but then I remember what it was like and how it would be like if they were still in our lives. Luckily dh is ok with his decision, as I never forced him to choose, and we are fine that they are not in our lives. They were toxic and they had to go, and doing it BEFORE we had kids made it a whole lot easier. When the kids ask about daddy's parents we just tell them they live far away and they are not nice to us and we didn't want to be around them. The boys are very protective of us and they are gald, for the moment, that we don't see them.

Good luck and I hope you can figure out a way to deal with this.
:
 

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Live far away. Visit once a year or less. That's how I handle mine.

I tried and struggled for a long time with a MIL who cared nothing for me. I sent little notes and art from the children. Still no warming up or appreciation from her. Oh well, I've made great life with friends who treat me just like family. They are better and nicer than I was ever treated by my family of origin and my in-law family.
 

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Somebody told me recently that their defenition of resentment is " allowing somebody else to rent space in your brain" . Don't let these hurtfull people rent any more space in your brain because they can't appreciate what a wonderful daughter inlaw you are.

Perhaps God put these people in your life to teach you how to be a good mother inlaw when your turn comes.

Big hugs!
 

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No, resentment isn't a rental. When someone rents something from you you usually get something beneficial like um MONEY

Resentment is more like having a pack of squatters in your brain trashing it to hell and refusing to get out.
 

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Quote:
How do you get to a place (mentally) where the inlawys don't bother you
Honey, we moved over 2000 miles away and have not spoken to (most) of them in about 5 years and they still bother me.....so I don't know.....if you figure it out, pass it on please
 

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I love my in-laws to bits. But, I have one relative who is utterly toxic and who follows me around - she had a baby because I was pregnant, and she moves onto my block every time I move. She's planning to double her rent, despite always being broke, so that she can move in a block from me again.

I love her children to bits, so I don't want to distance myself too much. It's taken a long, long time, but what I'm finally finding does work is to view her with pity. I think a pp suggested this. She's miserable, probably mentally ill, an my life is so much happier than hers in every respect. I feel sorry for her. She probably wouldn't appreciate that, but it's the truth. She's...pathetic - and that's an honest assessment, not a dig. I find that she doesn't bother me as much, anymore...I just feel sorry for her.

I still need to get my feet planted firmly on the ground again every time I talk to her, though. She makes so little sense that I start feeling as though I'm off-balance.

So...I'd say try some pity or compassion...and make sure you have someone to vent to. We'll do if you don't have anyone offline who understands about toxic people.
 

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OKOK, I was on my way to bed and I saw this post and I just had to read.

Briefly, my IL's probably didn't have someone like me in mind for Dh to marry. Maybe I'm too cruchy for their fragile teeth. Dh says they are aloof to everyone. Their only use for me now is that I am the keeper of Dd. Dd, to whom they seem positively addicted even though they can't trouble themselves to come see very often.

Dh has a business trip that will be nice and luxurious and I was looking forward to some romantic time; Dd and I were coming along. One day, Dh invited my mother on a whim. Not what I had in mind, but my mother is fun and she accepted right away, and with a bit of pep talking myself, I was OK with that.

Then, last week, Dh, knowing that his parents carry an air of tension about them, invited them too. Turns out they were planning a trip for the same time, and close to ours. They accepted. When I talked to Dh about it later (hey buddy, talk to me before you go extending invitations), he said he never considered it a romantic trip.

I had been so looking forward to this trip, and I did not want to let my feelings about my IL's deprive me of enjoying it. I had to do some heavy head work on myself and had no idea how. I called my wise older sister, who was stumped but said I needed to extract a reward for going on this trip, from Dh, such as jewlery or another trip later on.

It's so easy to say, don't let them make you feel that way, or, how you feel is under your control...and I'm very strong minded but I just wasn't making any progress. The trip I was so excited about was now feeling like something to dread.

I was digging in the garden ruminating about what I wanted to get on this trip, why I wanted to be alone with Dd and Dh. Especially Dd, because with my work lately I've had less time than usual with her and my mother gets to have all the fun with her, and I wanted some time to catch up with her...and my IL's are so needy of Dd's attention and energy, it's really weird...and I also realized that my "reward" is that I am Dd's mother. I will outlive all the grandparents (in theory anyway) and will have way more time with Dd than they will ever have.

Surely I can spare some days from her childhood, as I have much more of her life than they do. They may be needy of Dd but they also give her a lot of love, and my relationships aside, I would not want to deprive Dd of chances to be with the other people in the family who love her. This will be a nice time for her to build memories of her grandparents and Dh and I will have other times to be with her on our own time. And Dh also treates me very well when I do things for his parents (see the wake up in the middle of the night thread...)

When I made that realization that these people are, grabby and needy of Dd's time, maybe that's because it is more limited than mine, and that with my good luck to be Dd's mother, I am the one she snuggles back with at night after a day with others, I am the one she will grow up with, nothing anyone can do will ever change that I am her mother...I felt all the anxiety and resistance and gnashing of teeth toward my IL's melt to a fraction of what it was.

A psychic told me that my issues with them would take lifetimes for me to overcome completely, but I think in the garden this weekend, I made a lot of progress.

Good luck.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Curious
...and my IL's are so needy of Dd's attention and energy, it's really weird...

Curious, thanks for your post! Glad you checked in before going to bed. it really helped me, as I'm dealing with the same issue. My DH and DS LOVE the in-laws, so I'm outnumbered when it comes to making the trek to their house once a month or so. But what you said above is what gets to me. My DH just ignores me the whole weekend. I mentioned it gently, but I don't want him going overboard to pay attention to me either. Left alone to read or whatever is OK when they are playing with DS, but talking only to them, about such mundane things, the whole time, in a language that I don't speak....well, it's pretty annoying.
 
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