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Topic : Getting Along With Your In-Laws

Number of Replies: 2467
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Created on : Thursday, July 07, 2005, 09:13:41 am
Author : dataimport
Love them, tolerate them, or despise them? Dealing with the in-laws can be stressful to a marriage. Share your stories and coping strategies.

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August 29, 2005, 8:05 am CDT

Getting Along With Your In-Laws

Quote From: a_n_other

I'm immature enough to want to hand out the Christmas presents using an old english parlour game my husband's family discovered.  I'm also controlling enough to expect to carry on doing it AFTER my brother married his wife.  THE NERVE!  Civilised adults just don't make a game out of giving presents.  (It's just as bad, if not worse, as liking to watch sports on holiday and being territorial about the cooking.)   

  

Some families are impossible but most can be put up with for at least 5 or 6 days a year so your spouse can have EVERYONE he/she calls family in the same room.   

  

Well, Honestly, I don't have to worry about this anymore. My husband and I sat down and talked about how they treat me. He went to his sisters the other day and since I have not been talking to them and have been avoiding their remarks on the phone or other wise it finally got to them. They screwed up and showed themselves to my husband. Now my husband was hurt by their words about HIS Wife and how Selfish they are. She was trying to tell my husband who I should have as friends and who I need to get rid of, She told him he needs to mow the yard and not me trying to control how our house is ran, and then topped it off by calling his mother and lying about what he said to her about minding her OWN BUSINESS.  

        Now you see as far as the holidays go, I will explain to you that IN-LAWS need to understand that before the OUTSIDER came into thier family, they had traditions of their own, lives and beliefs of their own, that need to be incorporated into the in- law family if you want them to visit your home on the holidays Or any other time of the year. It's not all one way and IF it is, this is what the results are. Sports are not what Christmas is about to me or my children. Christmas is for the kids in my oppinion. All they have done is ran my husband off now. And... as for being territorial about cooking christmas dinner. Don't invite someone to your home that wants to be involved in the events of that day if you are going to be territorial.  

      BUT... My main point to my original Email is, IF you want to be considered family in my eyes ( of course this is just my rule and now my husbands) don't just call on the holidays, Don't just care on the holidays, don't just be family when times are good, BUT instead... ALL THE TIME. I would NOT let a stranger treat me this way and go to their home for holidays and that is what they have made themselves to me. STRANGERS. I don't know them because they don't get to know me... and I WILL NOT have my holidays ruined by gossip, and traditions that are carrying no values. Now see you brought a tradition YOUR HUSBAND discovered so now why shouldn't your sister, or sister-inlaw have the same respect as far as the way She wishes to spend the holidays. Don't be selfish in this matter, you could have a really good friendship there possibly if you would learn to give to her just as you did your husband and his family's beliefs. 

 
August 30, 2005, 7:00 am CDT

continued from previous post.....

My husband and I tried to talk to my MIL because it has been obvious that she has a problem with me because of the way her and her 10 year old daughter have been treating me. Her daughter has done a couple of things to me in a secretive way to let me know that she doesn't like me. When we ask my MIL about why she was doing these things and what the problem is with me she all together denied that her daughter did them. She lied right to our faces to cover it up. So last night we brought these things up to try and mend the relationship and she tried to put it all off on her daughter by saying that she is probably just mad because we don't allow her to carry the baby around. But the baby is 1 now and we wouldn't let her carry her from the start so it didn't make sense that she would be acting angry about a rule we made a year ago. We refused to let her off the hook with that excuse and so we brought up more situations (her lying to us about things her daughter has done) and she tried to continue to lie about them again. We were addressing the issue as politely and as nonconfrontational as possible. We didn't just come out and say "you lied". But she got really angry anyway and said "I'm not going to argue the point" and then she yelled at us to get out. My husband asked her why she had to act like that because we were just trying to talk about what is going on and she told us to leave. When we walked out the door we heard her screaming and crying. Anyone have any ideas on where to go from here? Is she acting like that because someone finally stood up to her and called her on her actions for the first time? She obviously has a problem with me but she won't talk about it.
 
August 30, 2005, 10:24 am CDT

MIL's DENIAL!

Quote From: despwife15

My husband and I tried to talk to my MIL because it has been obvious that she has a problem with me because of the way her and her 10 year old daughter have been treating me. Her daughter has done a couple of things to me in a secretive way to let me know that she doesn't like me. When we ask my MIL about why she was doing these things and what the problem is with me she all together denied that her daughter did them. She lied right to our faces to cover it up. So last night we brought these things up to try and mend the relationship and she tried to put it all off on her daughter by saying that she is probably just mad because we don't allow her to carry the baby around. But the baby is 1 now and we wouldn't let her carry her from the start so it didn't make sense that she would be acting angry about a rule we made a year ago. We refused to let her off the hook with that excuse and so we brought up more situations (her lying to us about things her daughter has done) and she tried to continue to lie about them again. We were addressing the issue as politely and as nonconfrontational as possible. We didn't just come out and say "you lied". But she got really angry anyway and said "I'm not going to argue the point" and then she yelled at us to get out. My husband asked her why she had to act like that because we were just trying to talk about what is going on and she told us to leave. When we walked out the door we heard her screaming and crying. Anyone have any ideas on where to go from here? Is she acting like that because someone finally stood up to her and called her on her actions for the first time? She obviously has a problem with me but she won't talk about it.

Your MIL doesn't like to be confronted about her actions...I guess she thinks that you are just supposed to "take" it! Her reaction to you and your husband's questions just goes to show you how immature this woman is, it sounds like she is emotionaly stunted or something- like she didn't mature past the age 14. 

You guys just want to make things better, but she would rather hold a grudge for unknown reasons- probably something petty- this way, in her eyes, she gets to be the 'victim'...obviously its a role that she is  very comfortable playing. You guys want to help her by talking about whatever the issues are, but she would rather deny it. You've done your best! Where has this left your husband? Has he talked to her since then? I wonder what the 10 year old sister would say if your  husband talked to her alone...when mom wasn't around? Is that possible? That could shed some light on the subject. Thats my only suggestion as to where to go from here... Otherwise, the ball is in his mother's court, as the saying goes, to try to mend things, because you can't mend things if you don't know what to mend. 

 
August 30, 2005, 11:11 am CDT

kmlett - Sorry - You caught me at a bad moment

Basically I'd just sat in front of a gift and the wrapping paper and realised that whatever method I used to send it to my 5 year old niece there would be a problem.    

  

Could we add to the above that new in-laws need to negotiate?  The SIL in question joined in with no problems at first.  Then one year she marched into my mother's on Christmas Eve and from a standing start - no-one had said anything other than "Hello" and put the children to bed - she started on my immaturity and controlling nature re my husband's family party game.  Basically we all live 100 miles plus from everybody else in the family and I suspect my brother had insisted she came to the family christmas as he hadn't seen anyone for 6 months.  My mother is very good at manipulation and guilt but recognises that times change and has never said anything other than "Oh well.  Have a nice time at X, Y, Z" when told people won't be appearing at a family event.   

  

As for gossip my mother will laugh at the odd flippant joke my brother-in-law makes about the situation but the one time I really sounded off she said "I don't think I should listen to this." and walked out of the room.  Basically it's my other brother, my sister and myself swapping horror stories with our partners.  My sister also gets people she and my brother have known for 15+ years telling her about over the top responses from SIL to things like badly addressed christmas cards. 

  

Mind you this SIL isn't my worst one!  That distinction belongs to my husband's side of the family.  Only a complete idiot would have a joint christening with her best friend and think it could go ahead without the paternal grandparents, great-grandmother and uncle. 

 
August 30, 2005, 1:21 pm CDT

So true

Quote From: jenoc99

Your MIL doesn't like to be confronted about her actions...I guess she thinks that you are just supposed to "take" it! Her reaction to you and your husband's questions just goes to show you how immature this woman is, it sounds like she is emotionaly stunted or something- like she didn't mature past the age 14. 

You guys just want to make things better, but she would rather hold a grudge for unknown reasons- probably something petty- this way, in her eyes, she gets to be the 'victim'...obviously its a role that she is  very comfortable playing. You guys want to help her by talking about whatever the issues are, but she would rather deny it. You've done your best! Where has this left your husband? Has he talked to her since then? I wonder what the 10 year old sister would say if your  husband talked to her alone...when mom wasn't around? Is that possible? That could shed some light on the subject. Thats my only suggestion as to where to go from here... Otherwise, the ball is in his mother's court, as the saying goes, to try to mend things, because you can't mend things if you don't know what to mend. 

My thoughts exactly! Mu husband is very upset by this. This happened just last night. We actually left our daughter with her for an hour because we had no other sitter and we had an important appointment. When we picked up our daughter we sat down and talked to her as planned and like I said, she kicked us out of her house. My husband couldn't sleep last night because he is so bothered by all of this. At first he started thinking that maybe she wasn't lying about what her daughter did, maybe she really thought that she didn't do it. I told him "no, don't even start to doubt yourself, that's what she wants and we both know she has been lying". He agreed. But other than that he is seeing how messed up this lady is. He said that she is going to counseling and he's hoping she will bring it up there. I have tried to talk to his sister a little when I watched her once. I just casually asked her things to see why she is mad at me or whatever. She was very short and avoided any conversation just like her mom. I think she knows when to keep her mouth shut. I'm sure she would be a little more open with my husband but I don't see how he could get the chance to talk to her alone with the way the situation is now. We're guessing that if and when my MIL does talk to us again she'll probably tell us that her daughter confessed that she did do those things and that she had just lied to her. We'll just have to wait and see, but we are not going to contact her. Like you said, we did our best.
 
August 30, 2005, 9:58 pm CDT

hurt mom

Not sure if this is the right place for this, but here it goes.  Quick and to the point.  What is a mother to do when her loving, caring son starts to push his mother away.  For no other reason i can see other than his girlfriend has problems with me and is convincing him to turn on me.  I am not overbearing or bothersome, this is so out of character for him.
 
August 31, 2005, 8:35 am CDT

Getting Along With Your In-Laws

Quote From: faith1106

Not sure if this is the right place for this, but here it goes.  Quick and to the point.  What is a mother to do when her loving, caring son starts to push his mother away.  For no other reason i can see other than his girlfriend has problems with me and is convincing him to turn on me.  I am not overbearing or bothersome, this is so out of character for him.

In what way is your son pushing you away? What is his behavior? 

 
August 31, 2005, 8:43 am CDT

Getting Along With Your In-Laws

Quote From: a_n_other

Basically I'd just sat in front of a gift and the wrapping paper and realised that whatever method I used to send it to my 5 year old niece there would be a problem.    

  

Could we add to the above that new in-laws need to negotiate?  The SIL in question joined in with no problems at first.  Then one year she marched into my mother's on Christmas Eve and from a standing start - no-one had said anything other than "Hello" and put the children to bed - she started on my immaturity and controlling nature re my husband's family party game.  Basically we all live 100 miles plus from everybody else in the family and I suspect my brother had insisted she came to the family christmas as he hadn't seen anyone for 6 months.  My mother is very good at manipulation and guilt but recognises that times change and has never said anything other than "Oh well.  Have a nice time at X, Y, Z" when told people won't be appearing at a family event.   

  

As for gossip my mother will laugh at the odd flippant joke my brother-in-law makes about the situation but the one time I really sounded off she said "I don't think I should listen to this." and walked out of the room.  Basically it's my other brother, my sister and myself swapping horror stories with our partners.  My sister also gets people she and my brother have known for 15+ years telling her about over the top responses from SIL to things like badly addressed christmas cards. 

  

Mind you this SIL isn't my worst one!  That distinction belongs to my husband's side of the family.  Only a complete idiot would have a joint christening with her best friend and think it could go ahead without the paternal grandparents, great-grandmother and uncle. 

I wish people could just realize that on holiday's or any other time of the year to be respectful enough to deal with their wants and needs. I am not saying that My in-laws are wrong for what they want to do on the holidays. I was just saying I didn't feel a part of any of it because I have been in this family for 5 years and I don't know them.  

          Your SIL seems like she needs to stop worrying about others and stupid small stuff and start worrying about herself. Hopefully it will work out for you. I wish I had some advice for you but honestly the only thing I know to tell you is what I did and that is just back off some and let her hang herself. My in laws weren't getting to me anymore so they turned up the volume a little and then my husband had to see the facts as they are. Maybe that will work for you and your brother will see what your SIL is all about. 

  

 
August 31, 2005, 10:45 am CDT

Getting Along With Your In-Laws

Quote From: despwife15

In what way is your son pushing you away? What is his behavior? 

i should give a little more history on the girl.  She has no family.  They disowned her at 15.  Apparently over religious differences.  She is very motivated and independent.  She refuses to call us by our first names, insists on mr and mrs......  even though ive ask her not to, she says thats just how she was raised, its respect.  I think its disrespectful to not call us what we ask.  When i say hello to them both i have to say hello twice to her just so she will respond.  She has taken my sons last name in emails, wears a ring on left hand that he has not given her.    

His behaviour has changed in small ways, but very noticable.  He seems very evasive with me and even the simplest question seems to make him quite defensive.  He used to call alot just to see what i was doing and how i am.  That has stopped completely.  However in his defense i must say he is still very close with his dad, they always have been.  They do alot of guy stuff together.    

Do i let him go for awhile, treat him like he's treating me.  I can't say anything to him about her becuase im afraid ill loose him forever.  I think she is playing head games with him, she seems quite good at it.  

 
August 31, 2005, 12:03 pm CDT

Getting Along With Your In-Laws

Quote From: faith1106

i should give a little more history on the girl.  She has no family.  They disowned her at 15.  Apparently over religious differences.  She is very motivated and independent.  She refuses to call us by our first names, insists on mr and mrs......  even though ive ask her not to, she says thats just how she was raised, its respect.  I think its disrespectful to not call us what we ask.  When i say hello to them both i have to say hello twice to her just so she will respond.  She has taken my sons last name in emails, wears a ring on left hand that he has not given her.    

His behaviour has changed in small ways, but very noticable.  He seems very evasive with me and even the simplest question seems to make him quite defensive.  He used to call alot just to see what i was doing and how i am.  That has stopped completely.  However in his defense i must say he is still very close with his dad, they always have been.  They do alot of guy stuff together.    

Do i let him go for awhile, treat him like he's treating me.  I can't say anything to him about her becuase im afraid ill loose him forever.  I think she is playing head games with him, she seems quite good at it.  

That gives a better picture of the situation. I wouldn't read into him not giving you as much attention now that he is in a relationship. I also wouldn't take offense to it. I know that once I married my husband and we had a baby he started communicating less with his mom because he now has more responsibilities and less time to devote to his mom, but he does come to her aid when needed and keeps in contact with her of course. His close relationship with his mom was one of the things that I admired about him. But once I had a baby it was like, alright, we need some boundaries here and you can't let her demand too much of your time because you are already overwhelmed. I would keep from asking him questions or trying to pry, that will just drive him further away. This girlfriend obviously has some personal issues that may be affecting things. Maybe she is jelous of his relationship with you and is demanding all of his attention. I would just give him space and let him figure things out for himself. I don't know your son at all but one thing that would be a concern to me (this is just a guess) are drugs. I would be concerned that maybe she has gotten him into drugs because of the behavior that you are describing. This is just a shot in the dark though because I don't know enough to say for sure. If he has significant changes in his mood (defensive, quick temper) and is distant from family members (out of guilt) then it is one possibility. But these are just my opinions here, I hope it helps.
 
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