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Topic : Competitive Family Relationships

Number of Replies: 395
New Messages This Week: 0
Last Reply On:
Created on : Thursday, July 07, 2005, 09:13:13 am
Author : dataimport
Does someone in your family always have to one-up you? Or are you tired of watching your family members try to outdo one another?

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March 21, 2008, 1:05 pm CDT

family trouble

Hi everyone, I really need advice. I have an eleven year old son (who is my world), and he slept over a friends house last night and had a great time. I was planning to take him out today as a family since his dad had the day off, my mother calls and says his cousins are over and it would be fun for him to  see his cousins, i told her of our plans and then she spoke to him and  he went over her house to see them. I am always being undermined by mother and sister who live three and four houses away from us. I feel like i have lost control of being his mom and they have taken the control. I am here crying because every word out of his mouth, is Baba this and Baba that about my mom. She and my sister criticize how i raise him. He totally disrespects me when he is over my moms house by telling me to leave and my mother totally backs him up. I am a good mom, i have him registered in boy scouts, band , drama and the schools extra gala band. How can i deal with them? I would appreciate any advice. My mother always favors my oldest sister who has two sons in college and they can do no wrong. Thank You.
 
March 22, 2008, 6:06 pm CDT

Its really hard for all

Quote From: mom559

This is my first post.  I couldn't find a blended family section, so I"m posting it here. 

  

I have so many concerns about my stepchildren's mother.  I am at a loss for new ideas on convincing her that I'm not interested in "replacing her" as she keeps saying.   

  

Do anyone have any advice on how to help an insecure mom accept her children's stepparents (her own husband and me), 

My ex husband recently married a younger gal who has a 10 year old girl.  Our marriage produced two wonderful sons.  To top it off, my ex's new wife claims to be pregnant...they are 43 and 54 ( a tad aged for that).  Neither of my sons, especially my 25 year old, who was very close to his dad, want anything to do with ex's new wife and this new baby that is coming, they won't even acknowledge.  It feels like this woman is really trying to push herself on what used to be our family.  Our oldest son, who is in FL, where they live, is having a child of his own and has been in an accident that left him permantely disabled.  My ex, his wife an dher daughter com espend the weekend donw ther with my former MIL and this new wife is literally trying to take my place.  Seriously.  I know it sounds like jealousy and sure, part of it is, but she seems to be popping up everywhere where I should be, trying very hard to push me out of all of their lives and just take over.  So, I can see what is going on in your new family and the problems there.  As far as advice, I haven't figured out how to handle this situation and I am a 53 year old medical professional.  Maybe time and keeping her involved will help this problem of your's just work itself out.  I am hoping with time, that this woman will realize that she has no business doing what she is doing.  Granted she is my ex's wife, but don't be letting her try to horn in where its my place.  Make any sense?  Its all just a hard thing for all of us on both sides of the fence.  I am sure things will work out for you.  Be strong!!
 
March 25, 2008, 12:55 pm CDT

Grandparents playing favorites with a twist.

I've been married for a little over a year now.  I came into the marriage with two boys. My husbands son died young, but left behind a daughter.  My husbands parents have a very close relationship with this little girl who will call Tresa.

 

The last incident that sent me reeling was "Tresa" came over to say hello and showed me her new IPod she got for an Easter present. My son saw this, and I had to lie and tell him Tresa wouldn't be around for Easter so that's why she got her present early. When Easter came,  there were no presents for them.

 

 

Tresa gets taken out shopping every other weekend and then out to lunch.  Key word "shopping"

 

I know they favor Tresa and why, but I do think they should keep that to themselves. I understand that it's not going to change and I'm not going to even attempt going down that road..

 

I guess in my perfect world when you marry into a family, you embrace everyone. It shouldn't be, we do this for her because she's blood and their not. I'm learning the family I married into is not open to treating anyone not related by blood the same. But here's the catch, they expect and insist I treat Tresa the same as if she were my own daughter, and her own Grandfather (my husband ) doesn't even have a relationship with her! He didn't start seeing her until we got married. Tresa must have the same amount of gifts for Christmas as my boys do. But the in-laws will only buy one gift each for my kids. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE I ASK YOU.

 

Then I get left with the dirty job of trying to explain this to my boys. Am I wrong???????

 

I resent parents, grandparents, in-laws any anyone who shows favoritism in front of children.

 

 
March 25, 2008, 11:45 pm CDT

Resentment

Quote From: crsauls

I've been married for a little over a year now.  I came into the marriage with two boys. My husbands son died young, but left behind a daughter.  My husbands parents have a very close relationship with this little girl who will call Tresa.

 

The last incident that sent me reeling was "Tresa" came over to say hello and showed me her new IPod she got for an Easter present. My son saw this, and I had to lie and tell him Tresa wouldn't be around for Easter so that's why she got her present early. When Easter came,  there were no presents for them.

 

 

Tresa gets taken out shopping every other weekend and then out to lunch.  Key word "shopping"

 

I know they favor Tresa and why, but I do think they should keep that to themselves. I understand that it's not going to change and I'm not going to even attempt going down that road..

 

I guess in my perfect world when you marry into a family, you embrace everyone. It shouldn't be, we do this for her because she's blood and their not. I'm learning the family I married into is not open to treating anyone not related by blood the same. But here's the catch, they expect and insist I treat Tresa the same as if she were my own daughter, and her own Grandfather (my husband ) doesn't even have a relationship with her! He didn't start seeing her until we got married. Tresa must have the same amount of gifts for Christmas as my boys do. But the in-laws will only buy one gift each for my kids. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE I ASK YOU.

 

Then I get left with the dirty job of trying to explain this to my boys. Am I wrong???????

 

I resent parents, grandparents, in-laws any anyone who shows favoritism in front of children.

 

I'm a little confused by your message, so  I apologise if I've misunderstood the problem.
Are you saying that Tresa isn't part of your family unit, that she is your husband's grandaughter and lives with her Mother, your husband's dughter-in-law? If so and her great grandparent's (your parent's in-law) buy her presents then I think you really can't  do much about that. The child is their dead Grandson's child and it's human nature to want to have a relationship wih this child and give her special attention due to her losing her Father, their Grandson. So if that is the circumstance I really don't think you can expect them to treat your children, who presumably have their own blood relatives, the same way. I would explain to your boys that Tresa's Daddy died and that is why her Great Grandparents treat her in a special way.
I'm not sure why you should be expected to treat her as your daughter if your husband is her Grandfather. If your husband has chosen to have little to do with her then take his lead, it's not really your problem you have your own children and the important thing is that he has a good relationship with your boys.
No one can tell you what to buy for someone else, well they can tell you but you have the freedom of choice. You naturally will want to treat your own children better than a step grandchild, so do so. That is what your in-laws are doing after all.
 
March 26, 2008, 8:35 am CDT

More details on the resentment of Tresa

Quote From: mmcturk

I'm a little confused by your message, so  I apologise if I've misunderstood the problem.
Are you saying that Tresa isn't part of your family unit, that she is your husband's grandaughter and lives with her Mother, your husband's dughter-in-law? If so and her great grandparent's (your parent's in-law) buy her presents then I think you really can't  do much about that. The child is their dead Grandson's child and it's human nature to want to have a relationship wih this child and give her special attention due to her losing her Father, their Grandson. So if that is the circumstance I really don't think you can expect them to treat your children, who presumably have their own blood relatives, the same way. I would explain to your boys that Tresa's Daddy died and that is why her Great Grandparents treat her in a special way.
I'm not sure why you should be expected to treat her as your daughter if your husband is her Grandfather. If your husband has chosen to have little to do with her then take his lead, it's not really your problem you have your own children and the important thing is that he has a good relationship with your boys.
No one can tell you what to buy for someone else, well they can tell you but you have the freedom of choice. You naturally will want to treat your own children better than a step grandchild, so do so. That is what your in-laws are doing after all.

Tresa is my husbands granddaughter. I'm proud that my husbands parents have taken an active role in her life since my husband did not, which was confusing and disappointing to me. But here is a little bit more detailed information. When my husband an I married, I did not expect his parents to embrace the new grandchildren automatically, this would have to come over time. BUT..... When the first Christmas rolled around as I said, Tresa received the same amount of gifts as my own children, my husbands parents gave Tresa clothes, perfume, gold jewelry, make-up cases etc.  Then she received my gifts. Tresa also received gifts from her mom, dad, her mom's parents, her dad's parents and a great great great grandmother, aunts and cousins. My boys only have my husband and I . I am a stay at home mom and we are on a tight budget.

 

 

My husbands parents gave my children a 25.00 gift card and said they didn't know what to buy them because they didn't know them. My boys are 15 & 8. My husbands parents didn't bother to ask, so I gave them some suggestions, they responded by saying they didn't have time to shop. Keep in mind Tresa comes to their house every other weekend and they go shopping and out to lunch every time. The key word being EVERYTIME.

 

Everything is planned around the weekends when Tresa can be here. Birthday's, Thanksgiving, X-mas etc.

We celebrated My husbands birthday, his mom's birthday, his grandmothers birthday and Tresa's birthday. Then it was my son's turn, they couldn't make it and he got nothing. This past Christmas, my husbands mom gave me a Wal-Mart catalog and ask me to circle some things my children would like. Knowing they are on a budget I made sure I was careful with the price tag, I returned it to his mom, four days later she came over to pick up her mother in law ( yes my husband's grandmother lives next door ) to take her shopping at Wal-Mart. but stop by to return the catalog stating she didn't have time to go shopping. SHE RETURNED A WAL-MART CATALOG ON HER WAY TO WAL-MART?????????  When Christmas came around, again we gave Tresa the same amount of gifts as our own children. My boys received a sweater and a board game. Tresa on the other hand received collectable porcelain dolls, more jewelry, more expensive perfume and the list goes on and on.

 

Then came Easter, my husbands mom picked up Tresa to spend spring break with her, went next door to pick up the great great great grandmother to once again go shopping and out to lunch, then when they returned that's when Tresa came over to show off her new IPod. What made me so mad is when my mother in law said it was an early Easter present because she wouldn't be here for Easter ( making it sound like the boys would receive theirs on Easter ) and of course Easter has come and gone with nothing for the our boys.'

 

My boys are well behaved, polite and don't ask for anything, they grew up having very little since I was a single mom, so they don't know what it's like to have things. When I suggest a gift for them, it's no more than 15.00 to 20.00 MAX. My children get along with them very well, my youngest boy just loves my husbands dad to death. My older son goes next door all the time to visit my husbands grandmother, mowing her yard, tilling her garden without asking anything in return.

 

All I have ask it that if my husbands parents are going to invite us over for birthdays and holidays, to at least hide the extra gifts they give Tresa and she can always open them before or after we leave, and not ask that I take from my own children in order to give her twice as much, especially when they can't do the same. I also understand that this is their deceased grandson's daughter, and I'm so sorry for that, but if you knew  how Tresa takes advantage of that you would soon dry your tears. Again, things aren't going to change and I know this. But I refuse to put my children into anymore situations that causes them to have hurt feelings, they already have been rejected by their real dad.I don't need this added on too. My solution to my husband is that if his parents give the boys one gift each, Tresa will receive one gift. If they can't make it to their birthday parties, don't expect me to be present at theirs. Does this help????

 

Thanks for your response, now that you have more information, I hope you write back with your thoughts.

 

  

 
March 27, 2008, 10:01 pm CDT

Consolation

Quote From: crsauls

Tresa is my husbands granddaughter. I'm proud that my husbands parents have taken an active role in her life since my husband did not, which was confusing and disappointing to me. But here is a little bit more detailed information. When my husband an I married, I did not expect his parents to embrace the new grandchildren automatically, this would have to come over time. BUT..... When the first Christmas rolled around as I said, Tresa received the same amount of gifts as my own children, my husbands parents gave Tresa clothes, perfume, gold jewelry, make-up cases etc.  Then she received my gifts. Tresa also received gifts from her mom, dad, her mom's parents, her dad's parents and a great great great grandmother, aunts and cousins. My boys only have my husband and I . I am a stay at home mom and we are on a tight budget.

 

 

My husbands parents gave my children a 25.00 gift card and said they didn't know what to buy them because they didn't know them. My boys are 15 & 8. My husbands parents didn't bother to ask, so I gave them some suggestions, they responded by saying they didn't have time to shop. Keep in mind Tresa comes to their house every other weekend and they go shopping and out to lunch every time. The key word being EVERYTIME.

 

Everything is planned around the weekends when Tresa can be here. Birthday's, Thanksgiving, X-mas etc.

We celebrated My husbands birthday, his mom's birthday, his grandmothers birthday and Tresa's birthday. Then it was my son's turn, they couldn't make it and he got nothing. This past Christmas, my husbands mom gave me a Wal-Mart catalog and ask me to circle some things my children would like. Knowing they are on a budget I made sure I was careful with the price tag, I returned it to his mom, four days later she came over to pick up her mother in law ( yes my husband's grandmother lives next door ) to take her shopping at Wal-Mart. but stop by to return the catalog stating she didn't have time to go shopping. SHE RETURNED A WAL-MART CATALOG ON HER WAY TO WAL-MART?????????  When Christmas came around, again we gave Tresa the same amount of gifts as our own children. My boys received a sweater and a board game. Tresa on the other hand received collectable porcelain dolls, more jewelry, more expensive perfume and the list goes on and on.

 

Then came Easter, my husbands mom picked up Tresa to spend spring break with her, went next door to pick up the great great great grandmother to once again go shopping and out to lunch, then when they returned that's when Tresa came over to show off her new IPod. What made me so mad is when my mother in law said it was an early Easter present because she wouldn't be here for Easter ( making it sound like the boys would receive theirs on Easter ) and of course Easter has come and gone with nothing for the our boys.'

 

My boys are well behaved, polite and don't ask for anything, they grew up having very little since I was a single mom, so they don't know what it's like to have things. When I suggest a gift for them, it's no more than 15.00 to 20.00 MAX. My children get along with them very well, my youngest boy just loves my husbands dad to death. My older son goes next door all the time to visit my husbands grandmother, mowing her yard, tilling her garden without asking anything in return.

 

All I have ask it that if my husbands parents are going to invite us over for birthdays and holidays, to at least hide the extra gifts they give Tresa and she can always open them before or after we leave, and not ask that I take from my own children in order to give her twice as much, especially when they can't do the same. I also understand that this is their deceased grandson's daughter, and I'm so sorry for that, but if you knew  how Tresa takes advantage of that you would soon dry your tears. Again, things aren't going to change and I know this. But I refuse to put my children into anymore situations that causes them to have hurt feelings, they already have been rejected by their real dad.I don't need this added on too. My solution to my husband is that if his parents give the boys one gift each, Tresa will receive one gift. If they can't make it to their birthday parties, don't expect me to be present at theirs. Does this help????

 

Thanks for your response, now that you have more information, I hope you write back with your thoughts.

 

  

 My suggestion would be to try to let your feelings of resentment go, regarding how Tresa is treated. The chances are with all this attention and all these material gifts she gets she will grow up spolied and with a feeling of entitlement. Whereas your kids will not be materialistic,  realise you have to work for what you need and appreciate what they have. They sound lovely kids and you have raised them to have the right sort of values so take comfort in that. Never voice this opinion though, just keep it as your consolation, when things seems unfair. You can't make your in-laws act or think differently that would only cause conflict. It is early days in this new family unit.  If however you really think your children are suffering by this lack of attention you could take the initiative and get a part-time job and use that money solely on things for your own children, so that if your husband is questioned on why his step children get better presents than Tresa  his Grandchild, he can say the extra presents come from their Mother's money.
It is your feelings that are being hurt and so it is up to you to deal with the hurt by either taking action to get your own extra money for your children or accepting you can't change your in-laws actions, which are probably going to spoli this child  however your own kids will have a healthier attitude to life.

 
March 31, 2008, 6:41 am CDT

Thank you

Quote From: mmcturk

 My suggestion would be to try to let your feelings of resentment go, regarding how Tresa is treated. The chances are with all this attention and all these material gifts she gets she will grow up spolied and with a feeling of entitlement. Whereas your kids will not be materialistic,  realise you have to work for what you need and appreciate what they have. They sound lovely kids and you have raised them to have the right sort of values so take comfort in that. Never voice this opinion though, just keep it as your consolation, when things seems unfair. You can't make your in-laws act or think differently that would only cause conflict. It is early days in this new family unit.  If however you really think your children are suffering by this lack of attention you could take the initiative and get a part-time job and use that money solely on things for your own children, so that if your husband is questioned on why his step children get better presents than Tresa  his Grandchild, he can say the extra presents come from their Mother's money.
It is your feelings that are being hurt and so it is up to you to deal with the hurt by either taking action to get your own extra money for your children or accepting you can't change your in-laws actions, which are probably going to spoli this child  however your own kids will have a healthier attitude to life.

Thank  you for your response.  I'm sorry, I must have sounded so petty. There are so many people dealing with real life tragedies and I feel ashamed for sounding off.

 

I will take your advise thou. 

 

Again, thanks for listening. Blessings to you and yours.

 
April 1, 2008, 2:09 pm CDT

What to do when you're stuck in the middle?

My fiance and i are set to get marries this Saturday, (the 5th). We have been engaged for going on a year and 5 months and have been together for five years total. My family is driving me batty! Part of this is my family are all Yankees (no offense to any of you northerners :-p)and his family is all southerners. It is such a difference, i was born in NY and he was born in Alabama.  Me, having been raised in NW Florida for almost all of my life, do not consider myself a Yankee, nor do i act or carry myself in the same manner my family does. Mom and dad are up tight, high strung, and are very demanding, myself, i am laid back, calm, and to put a modern label to it, very "zen". I rarely get mad and it really takes alot for me to really get angry, i am too content most of the time to worry with drama, anger, or the like. think Buddhist Monk, and thats me, at one with the world and myself. Nature is my Mother, the sun is my Father.  Time is nothing. The world is my aura, so on and so forth. My parents on the other hand, always trying to start stuff. My wedding plans changed 5 times, i kid you not, FIVE times. Mom and dad had a stroke of bad luck and lost over $10000 in lost wages that they still haven't been compensated for, plans change, no problem, i understand. Mom and dad get back on their feet, mom switches jobs, not once, not twice, but three times, all in a matter of 5 months. We change the plans again, no problem, i understand. 1 year until our wedding, dad changes jobs, switches back, changes again, and again, and again, and goes back to his original job. He loses 2 weeks worth of pay. OK, no biggie, plans change yet again. Mom starts to dislike my plans of having it on the beach, tried to get me to change the plans again. almost secedes. and here we are now the last week of march. mom shot all of my ideas down, i made three choices out of the million things that had to be done .they were my dress, my husband and where i was going to have it. I tried to make things easier on mom by reducing guests, changing the menu from a sit down affair to light   hors de vours and one toast, no, mom blew up in my face. Not to mention one of her friends threatened to B**&h slap me if i stressed mom out again, i told her to come on with it. On top of all of this, even though i tried to make things easy on her, she took to openly calling me bridezilla, and all of her friends and co-workers started calling me that too.

 Finally i got mad. I said that we were changing it. I called dad and told him that everything was off, and we were doing our own thing. He told mom and mom didn't talk to me for 3 days. She finally talked to me and has been playing this drama queen, drunken would-be-southern-lady routine that i have tolerated for too long. (If you have ever seen Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, my mom is a wonderful  version of Vivi, the older Vivi. And that is all that has really stopped me from being hateful, is the fact that i know she has a problem, and i have tried and tried to help her, but i am a firm believer in "you cannot help those who dint want to help themselves") I am to the breaking point now, i had lost so much sleep, my hair was falling out, i was losing and gaining weight like a yo-yo. Now this, its 10x worse!!! She went off the handle today, i know that she is my mom, and i love her without a doubt, but i don't think i can take her losing it at the service on Saturday. she told me that she has been talking to my sisters and that they have been listening to her cry over this whole thing and she made it sound like i was such a bad daughter, and i haven't been. I had conceded to everything she wanted, from the stupid garden club to the damn BBQ that i didn't really want, to her blaming the whole change in plans on my fiance's mom (who had nothing to do with it). I hate to say it but if she keeps it going, there wont be a ceremony at all, we'll go to the court house or have a ceremony in secret. i don't want to have to do that but what do i do??!how do i fix this whole mess? Mom and i got along great until just before Christmas, and now, she doesn't even act like my mom.

 
April 16, 2008, 6:36 pm CDT

Feeling a Little ouf of Place and in need of advice.

My fiancee and I have been together for 2 years, and before that we were really good friends. Throughout our friendship and the first year of our relationship, I got to know his family very well and we became close. On a regular basis I would do things with his mother and sisters, like go to the movies, go shopping, have "slumber parties," girl stuff. We also did things together as a family unit; like go to family get togethers and dinners. It was the same for him; he spent the same amount of time with my family. However, in the last year things have changed.

 

We got engaged last June, and since then things seem to have changed a bit. When I go to my inlaws, I feel awkward and out of place. I truly am beginning to feel like I don't belong. It is only around the women of my fiancees family that I feel this way.

 

The last year has been extremely busy for me. I am just finishing up my last year in a four year history program in university, and I have been accepted to teacher's college and begin classes in the fall. I have had a lot of school work to do in the last year, and have juggled 2-3 jobs (depending on the time of year) with studying and wedding planning. The time I have spent with my MIL and my SILs, aged 20 and 16, has suffered. I used to see them 4-5 times a week and now its only about 1-2 time a week. I feel like they resent me sometimes because of the fact that not only am I not able to spend all my free time with them but that I am now going to permanently be part of the family. There have been times when the four of us have made plans to do something, and my MIL and SILs have changed the plans or their minds without telling me and gone off and done whatever it was we had planned when I was unavailable. I'm hurt by this but I try not to let it show because I really think they don't care.

 

I used to talk to my MIL and my SILs almost everyday via email, instant messaging or telephone. Now, they deliberately ignore me. I have not done anything to insult them, nothing that I am aware of. I haven't changed other than the fact that I have been busy. My fiancee has a couple of aunt's who have come out and told family members they do not like me.

 

I don't know what I have done to insult these people. I have never been rude, I have made it a point to attended family gatherings, send birthday cards, phone on occassions when I have been unable to be there. There were times when I did not agree with they way they were treating one another (they do alot of criticizing and talking behind people's backs) but I have never said anything. I mean, once his grandmother actually told his 16 year old sister she was getting fat and should fix that problem.

 

All of these problems seem to have started once my fiancee and I got engaged. Everyone was thrilled to begin with, but once the wedding planning started, the problems started. I am not being a controlliing bride; I have tried to include them all in the wedding planning. They are never interested but if I make a decision without asking for their input they get insulted. My youngest sister in law, for example, doesn't approve of the wedding colours I have chosen, thinks that she should be able to drink at the wedding (she is 16 now and will only be 18 when we get married; the legal age in Canada is 19. Besides that, she gets quite rude when she drinks) and doesn't understand why we won't give her a certain number of invitations for her friends. The hall we booked holds 300 people, so we decided to give our parents each 100 invites and kept 100 from ourself, and from that 100 included the wedding party, which leaves us with about 75 invitations. My MIL told us that once she made her list, she would give us the remaining invitations, but now the younger SIL is claiming that her parents said she would be getting all the leftover invitations. I don't think this is fair as there are people my fiance and I have left off the list because there is not enough room; as well I have included both his sisters in my bridesmaids and had to tell a few friends they would not be standing because of it (I want to avoid a fight and I know that if I didn't ask both of them to stand, there would be a fight) My MIL think its too soon to discuss it as the wedding is still 2 years away and my SIL throws a hissy fit everytime it comes up saying if she doesn't get to wear the dress colour she wants and if her friends aren't invited she's not coming.

 

I am so frustrated and have asked my fiancee to talk to his family about it. He says he has but nothing has changed.  More and more I am feeling isolated. Recently, they have become upset with me because I will be attending school out of town next year; I can't help it! They have started to exlude me from things and act as if I'm not there; like I don't exist. I don't understand their hostility toward me. I am 21 years old, up until three months ago I was working 2 jobs, I have a university degree and have been accepted to one of the best schools of education in the province. I am at every family function, and if I can't be there I make it a point of sending a card or calling just to chat.  Is there something I am doing wrong?????

 
April 17, 2008, 10:15 am CDT

Sorry

Quote From: ashleykendall

My fiancee and I have been together for 2 years, and before that we were really good friends. Throughout our friendship and the first year of our relationship, I got to know his family very well and we became close. On a regular basis I would do things with his mother and sisters, like go to the movies, go shopping, have "slumber parties," girl stuff. We also did things together as a family unit; like go to family get togethers and dinners. It was the same for him; he spent the same amount of time with my family. However, in the last year things have changed.

 

We got engaged last June, and since then things seem to have changed a bit. When I go to my inlaws, I feel awkward and out of place. I truly am beginning to feel like I don't belong. It is only around the women of my fiancees family that I feel this way.

 

The last year has been extremely busy for me. I am just finishing up my last year in a four year history program in university, and I have been accepted to teacher's college and begin classes in the fall. I have had a lot of school work to do in the last year, and have juggled 2-3 jobs (depending on the time of year) with studying and wedding planning. The time I have spent with my MIL and my SILs, aged 20 and 16, has suffered. I used to see them 4-5 times a week and now its only about 1-2 time a week. I feel like they resent me sometimes because of the fact that not only am I not able to spend all my free time with them but that I am now going to permanently be part of the family. There have been times when the four of us have made plans to do something, and my MIL and SILs have changed the plans or their minds without telling me and gone off and done whatever it was we had planned when I was unavailable. I'm hurt by this but I try not to let it show because I really think they don't care.

 

I used to talk to my MIL and my SILs almost everyday via email, instant messaging or telephone. Now, they deliberately ignore me. I have not done anything to insult them, nothing that I am aware of. I haven't changed other than the fact that I have been busy. My fiancee has a couple of aunt's who have come out and told family members they do not like me.

 

I don't know what I have done to insult these people. I have never been rude, I have made it a point to attended family gatherings, send birthday cards, phone on occassions when I have been unable to be there. There were times when I did not agree with they way they were treating one another (they do alot of criticizing and talking behind people's backs) but I have never said anything. I mean, once his grandmother actually told his 16 year old sister she was getting fat and should fix that problem.

 

All of these problems seem to have started once my fiancee and I got engaged. Everyone was thrilled to begin with, but once the wedding planning started, the problems started. I am not being a controlliing bride; I have tried to include them all in the wedding planning. They are never interested but if I make a decision without asking for their input they get insulted. My youngest sister in law, for example, doesn't approve of the wedding colours I have chosen, thinks that she should be able to drink at the wedding (she is 16 now and will only be 18 when we get married; the legal age in Canada is 19. Besides that, she gets quite rude when she drinks) and doesn't understand why we won't give her a certain number of invitations for her friends. The hall we booked holds 300 people, so we decided to give our parents each 100 invites and kept 100 from ourself, and from that 100 included the wedding party, which leaves us with about 75 invitations. My MIL told us that once she made her list, she would give us the remaining invitations, but now the younger SIL is claiming that her parents said she would be getting all the leftover invitations. I don't think this is fair as there are people my fiance and I have left off the list because there is not enough room; as well I have included both his sisters in my bridesmaids and had to tell a few friends they would not be standing because of it (I want to avoid a fight and I know that if I didn't ask both of them to stand, there would be a fight) My MIL think its too soon to discuss it as the wedding is still 2 years away and my SIL throws a hissy fit everytime it comes up saying if she doesn't get to wear the dress colour she wants and if her friends aren't invited she's not coming.

 

I am so frustrated and have asked my fiancee to talk to his family about it. He says he has but nothing has changed.  More and more I am feeling isolated. Recently, they have become upset with me because I will be attending school out of town next year; I can't help it! They have started to exlude me from things and act as if I'm not there; like I don't exist. I don't understand their hostility toward me. I am 21 years old, up until three months ago I was working 2 jobs, I have a university degree and have been accepted to one of the best schools of education in the province. I am at every family function, and if I can't be there I make it a point of sending a card or calling just to chat.  Is there something I am doing wrong?????

I can sense your frustration, and it's justified.  I've been married for 13 years, and in the past few years, (since grandchildren have been introduced into the situation), it's been a mess.  I also feel like I'm purposefully made to feel uncomfortable when I visit....MIL and her  daughters (my SILs), watching what I do w/ my kids, making faces at each other, huddling together whispering.  I feel like I'm in a bad movie about mean high school girls (only we're all 30+ y.o.)!  LOL!  SIL's stopped coming to our kids birthday parties, but then when we decide not to have  big party and just take our kids to Chuck E Cheese, they complain.  I guess if you want to find something to b*tch about, you can.  You get my point, sounds like you're living it, too.

It's a shame that families treat each other and new members like this.   Some women raise their kids in that environment (cutting each other down, playing favorites, etc), it's hard to overcome that.  It becomes the prevelant culture in the family; like the "Family Legacy" Dr. Phil talks about.  And if you have his aunts, mother, and siblings acting like that -- then that's likely been the family culture for several generations. Do you see what I'm saying?    That's difficult for an outsider like you to overcome / have any impact on.  As I see it, the best course of action is to try to minimize the impact on your own life.  It sucks to seem so helpless, or at least that's how I've felt - powerless to change the situation.  I even asked my MIL, "have I done somehting to offen you?"  "Oh, no, no everything's fine." But obviously it's not fine; I am being treated very differently  But if nobody else wants to acknoweldge it or work to solve the problem in some way, there's not much you can do.  The only thing you can control is you, so that's what you've got to deal with. 

Just try to keep your expectations in line with what you know they have to offer you.  And, also, you might want to limit the wedding talk w/ them if you know it's a point of conflict. 

Hope this helps in some way.

 
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