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Topic : Getting Along With Your In-Laws

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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 31, 2005, 1:20 pm CDT

Getting Along With Your In-Laws

Quote From: despwife15

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.
thank you very much for you opinion, yes i do believe she has definite issues, im just sorry he can't see past the lust. Time will tell, all i can do is hope for the best and be the loving supportive mother he has always known.  There is no chance of drug use, his job requires drug testing. and he has always been very against them.  Thx again i will let things ride and try to stop the constant worrying.
 
September 1, 2005, 8:05 am CDT

Hurting mom...........

Quote From: faith1106

thank you very much for you opinion, yes i do believe she has definite issues, im just sorry he can't see past the lust. Time will tell, all i can do is hope for the best and be the loving supportive mother he has always known.  There is no chance of drug use, his job requires drug testing. and he has always been very against them.  Thx again i will let things ride and try to stop the constant worrying.

How long has he been with this girlfriend? You are right- time will tell. All you can do is smile and be kind to her- otherwise you could push him away. Your son has to learn his life lessons himself, if you try to help, he could become resentful- don't do that to yourself. I know its hard, you want to help him to be happy and have a fulfilling life- but the best thing you can do is to keep your opinion of her to yourself.  Have you thought about inviting them over for dinner once a month or something like that- doing something to try to reach out to her and break through her icey personality? Be as warm and genuine to her as possible. Time will tell!! 

 
September 1, 2005, 12:37 pm CDT

Am I being oversensitive?

Sigh…I’m the type of person that pretty much gets along with everybody and it bothers me if I think someone is thinking badly of me or doesn’t like me.  It all started a few months after I met my now husband on the internet.  We got along great.  After a few months he told his parents about me.  They cautioned him of course, which is understandable it was his first relationship.  However, it bothered me that the main issue they mentioned was the the fact that I was black and hispanic, they thought it would cause issues.  He is white, but grew up in another country mostly because his parents were missionaries.  Anyway, he assured them it wasn’t an issue, that I had grown up here and there really weren’t any big cultural differences.  So that was over…but then he tells her I have college loans.  (We met when we were in college).  She flips out, tries to get him to promise he won’t marry me with debt and wants him to get a masters degree first…yada yada yada…his family is super anti-debt, they paid what he couldn’t get in scholarships and live in  a half built house cause they are paying as they go as opposed to getting a mortgage to finish it.  Which is fine for them.  Anyway, he came to visit me after we spoke on the internet for 7 months and we spend the summer together and at the end of the summer, I flew to meet his family.  I barely know this woman and she is pulling me aside and telling me how awful it will be if we get married as soon as he gets out of college and that he’s not ready and the whole week talked about getting married too soon and debt and money…it was just really stressful.  We dated the next year, that Christmas, he tells his parents we are planning to get married in a year and half and she completely flips out and threatens not to come to the wedding because of my debt.  (Which mind you…I tried hard not to get in the first place and had moved home after college so I can put all my income towards paying them off).  So anyway, he graduates and moves here.  We continue with our wedding plans, trying to pay off the debt as quickly as possible, however due to car problems and the wedding costing more than we hoped, there are still some loans left, but we don’t have credit card debt, car loans…anything else…and I’ve paid them so far in advance I don’t even have to make a payment for years if I wanted.  Anyway, my husband made it clear he didn’t want me to work after we got married, that it is too stressful with two people working.  For a while we worked at the same job and easily worked over 10 hours every day…and besides that I’ve always wanted to be a writer and this was my chance to try it.  Anyway, before the wedding she visits and makes some rude comments that I tried to brush off…about not being ready to be a mother-in-law and that I should make sure I’m not the fattest person at my wedding.  She always asks me about getting a masters degree.  Anyway, we got married and shortly after we got married she calls and starts bothering me about looking for a job and looking to go back to school.  So my husband called and told her that we wanted a one income family.  So she was supposedly fine with that and loved me…whatever.  Anyway, whenever she can’t reach us, she calls my parents.  So my mom calls me and tells me that she was asking her if I was going to get a job.  My husband told her maybe 4 weeks ago that we wanted a one income family.  So I don’t understand why she is doing this…she stresses me out.  She’s always telling me what I should do and is very opinionated.  I feel like we told her what we wanted and it’s really not her business and just when I think we are finally getting along ok, she does or says something to make me feel like she doesn’t like me…while telling my husband she loves me..and I don’t understand.  I”ve never done anything to her.  I just want to get along and not have her try to run our lives.  I feel like we are both out of college and doing fine…it’s not really her business if and when we will get our masters degrees or if and when I will or will not go back to work.  I’m trying to make my husband happy…not her. But I just always feel so hurt when stuff like this comes up.  Am I being oversensitive?--sorry so long...

    

  

 

   

    

 
September 2, 2005, 2:40 am CDT

Read Susan Forward's book Toxic Inlaws

Quote From: anabanana

Sigh…I’m the type of person that pretty much gets along with everybody and it bothers me if I think someone is thinking badly of me or doesn’t like me.  It all started a few months after I met my now husband on the internet.  We got along great.  After a few months he told his parents about me.  They cautioned him of course, which is understandable it was his first relationship.  However, it bothered me that the main issue they mentioned was the the fact that I was black and hispanic, they thought it would cause issues.  He is white, but grew up in another country mostly because his parents were missionaries.  Anyway, he assured them it wasn’t an issue, that I had grown up here and there really weren’t any big cultural differences.  So that was over…but then he tells her I have college loans.  (We met when we were in college).  She flips out, tries to get him to promise he won’t marry me with debt and wants him to get a masters degree first…yada yada yada…his family is super anti-debt, they paid what he couldn’t get in scholarships and live in  a half built house cause they are paying as they go as opposed to getting a mortgage to finish it.  Which is fine for them.  Anyway, he came to visit me after we spoke on the internet for 7 months and we spend the summer together and at the end of the summer, I flew to meet his family.  I barely know this woman and she is pulling me aside and telling me how awful it will be if we get married as soon as he gets out of college and that he’s not ready and the whole week talked about getting married too soon and debt and money…it was just really stressful.  We dated the next year, that Christmas, he tells his parents we are planning to get married in a year and half and she completely flips out and threatens not to come to the wedding because of my debt.  (Which mind you…I tried hard not to get in the first place and had moved home after college so I can put all my income towards paying them off).  So anyway, he graduates and moves here.  We continue with our wedding plans, trying to pay off the debt as quickly as possible, however due to car problems and the wedding costing more than we hoped, there are still some loans left, but we don’t have credit card debt, car loans…anything else…and I’ve paid them so far in advance I don’t even have to make a payment for years if I wanted.  Anyway, my husband made it clear he didn’t want me to work after we got married, that it is too stressful with two people working.  For a while we worked at the same job and easily worked over 10 hours every day…and besides that I’ve always wanted to be a writer and this was my chance to try it.  Anyway, before the wedding she visits and makes some rude comments that I tried to brush off…about not being ready to be a mother-in-law and that I should make sure I’m not the fattest person at my wedding.  She always asks me about getting a masters degree.  Anyway, we got married and shortly after we got married she calls and starts bothering me about looking for a job and looking to go back to school.  So my husband called and told her that we wanted a one income family.  So she was supposedly fine with that and loved me…whatever.  Anyway, whenever she can’t reach us, she calls my parents.  So my mom calls me and tells me that she was asking her if I was going to get a job.  My husband told her maybe 4 weeks ago that we wanted a one income family.  So I don’t understand why she is doing this…she stresses me out.  She’s always telling me what I should do and is very opinionated.  I feel like we told her what we wanted and it’s really not her business and just when I think we are finally getting along ok, she does or says something to make me feel like she doesn’t like me…while telling my husband she loves me..and I don’t understand.  I”ve never done anything to her.  I just want to get along and not have her try to run our lives.  I feel like we are both out of college and doing fine…it’s not really her business if and when we will get our masters degrees or if and when I will or will not go back to work.  I’m trying to make my husband happy…not her. But I just always feel so hurt when stuff like this comes up.  Am I being oversensitive?--sorry so long...

    

  

 

   

    

I'm rereading it at the moment and I think it would help you.  MIL sounds like a textbook controller to me.  My personal experience is that losing the social aspects of work can be a problem in the long term but if that happens a part-time job is the obvious answer. 
 
September 2, 2005, 9:27 am CDT

Toxic In-laws..............

Quote From: anabanana

Sigh…I’m the type of person that pretty much gets along with everybody and it bothers me if I think someone is thinking badly of me or doesn’t like me.  It all started a few months after I met my now husband on the internet.  We got along great.  After a few months he told his parents about me.  They cautioned him of course, which is understandable it was his first relationship.  However, it bothered me that the main issue they mentioned was the the fact that I was black and hispanic, they thought it would cause issues.  He is white, but grew up in another country mostly because his parents were missionaries.  Anyway, he assured them it wasn’t an issue, that I had grown up here and there really weren’t any big cultural differences.  So that was over…but then he tells her I have college loans.  (We met when we were in college).  She flips out, tries to get him to promise he won’t marry me with debt and wants him to get a masters degree first…yada yada yada…his family is super anti-debt, they paid what he couldn’t get in scholarships and live in  a half built house cause they are paying as they go as opposed to getting a mortgage to finish it.  Which is fine for them.  Anyway, he came to visit me after we spoke on the internet for 7 months and we spend the summer together and at the end of the summer, I flew to meet his family.  I barely know this woman and she is pulling me aside and telling me how awful it will be if we get married as soon as he gets out of college and that he’s not ready and the whole week talked about getting married too soon and debt and money…it was just really stressful.  We dated the next year, that Christmas, he tells his parents we are planning to get married in a year and half and she completely flips out and threatens not to come to the wedding because of my debt.  (Which mind you…I tried hard not to get in the first place and had moved home after college so I can put all my income towards paying them off).  So anyway, he graduates and moves here.  We continue with our wedding plans, trying to pay off the debt as quickly as possible, however due to car problems and the wedding costing more than we hoped, there are still some loans left, but we don’t have credit card debt, car loans…anything else…and I’ve paid them so far in advance I don’t even have to make a payment for years if I wanted.  Anyway, my husband made it clear he didn’t want me to work after we got married, that it is too stressful with two people working.  For a while we worked at the same job and easily worked over 10 hours every day…and besides that I’ve always wanted to be a writer and this was my chance to try it.  Anyway, before the wedding she visits and makes some rude comments that I tried to brush off…about not being ready to be a mother-in-law and that I should make sure I’m not the fattest person at my wedding.  She always asks me about getting a masters degree.  Anyway, we got married and shortly after we got married she calls and starts bothering me about looking for a job and looking to go back to school.  So my husband called and told her that we wanted a one income family.  So she was supposedly fine with that and loved me…whatever.  Anyway, whenever she can’t reach us, she calls my parents.  So my mom calls me and tells me that she was asking her if I was going to get a job.  My husband told her maybe 4 weeks ago that we wanted a one income family.  So I don’t understand why she is doing this…she stresses me out.  She’s always telling me what I should do and is very opinionated.  I feel like we told her what we wanted and it’s really not her business and just when I think we are finally getting along ok, she does or says something to make me feel like she doesn’t like me…while telling my husband she loves me..and I don’t understand.  I”ve never done anything to her.  I just want to get along and not have her try to run our lives.  I feel like we are both out of college and doing fine…it’s not really her business if and when we will get our masters degrees or if and when I will or will not go back to work.  I’m trying to make my husband happy…not her. But I just always feel so hurt when stuff like this comes up.  Am I being oversensitive?--sorry so long...

    

  

 

   

    

The suggestion to get the book "Toxic In-Laws" by Susan Forward is an excellent one- that book is great and it really helped me and my husband alot.  

  

Your MIL sounds like your typical manical controling mother in law-- she doesn't know when to quit. You and your husband are adults and you know what you want, what you don't want- and his mother needs to accept that and keep her opinions to herself. But it sounds like she doesn't want to do that, thats because she needs to be in control of all issues at every time, and if she isn't, it causes her great anxiety. This isn't your fault, there is nothing that you can do to make her (or anyone else, for that matter!!) like you.... your own happiness and your  husband's happiness is your primary concern. We all 'dream' of getting married and becomming one big happy family with our in-laws, but thats rarely the reality. When someone has to be controling and dominant, it takes your personal power away, and you can't afford that.  

  

I also used to be the type of person who would be very bothered if someone didn't like me, other people's opinions of me mattered alot. But there comes a time when you will realize, as I did, that its impossible to please everyone all the time, and its not right to sacrifice your own needs and desires for someone else's wishes, like your MIL. That will make you resent her forever. If you can stand up to her now, the better off you will be in the long run. You plan on being married forever, right? That means she is going to be doing this forever, unless you say something. I think that your husband did the right thing by telling her your wishes as a couple, but since she is dismissing it, now its your turn to speak to her. Next time she asks you about a master's degree, ask her, why do you always ask that? That isn't being rude- you deserve to know why she is so concerned.  

Good luck to you! 

 
September 2, 2005, 12:46 pm CDT

In Laws

 I have gotten along with my inlaws for the most part, someitmes I have issues with my MIL, and budding into my husbands and my personal life, and our own business, but for the most part we get along now which is nice,and My husband and I just talk with eachother about what bothers us, and it usually helps out a lot to have him on my team.
 
September 2, 2005, 5:18 pm CDT

Getting Along With Your In-Laws

Quote From: jenoc99

The suggestion to get the book "Toxic In-Laws" by Susan Forward is an excellent one- that book is great and it really helped me and my husband alot.  

  

Your MIL sounds like your typical manical controling mother in law-- she doesn't know when to quit. You and your husband are adults and you know what you want, what you don't want- and his mother needs to accept that and keep her opinions to herself. But it sounds like she doesn't want to do that, thats because she needs to be in control of all issues at every time, and if she isn't, it causes her great anxiety. This isn't your fault, there is nothing that you can do to make her (or anyone else, for that matter!!) like you.... your own happiness and your  husband's happiness is your primary concern. We all 'dream' of getting married and becomming one big happy family with our in-laws, but thats rarely the reality. When someone has to be controling and dominant, it takes your personal power away, and you can't afford that.  

  

I also used to be the type of person who would be very bothered if someone didn't like me, other people's opinions of me mattered alot. But there comes a time when you will realize, as I did, that its impossible to please everyone all the time, and its not right to sacrifice your own needs and desires for someone else's wishes, like your MIL. That will make you resent her forever. If you can stand up to her now, the better off you will be in the long run. You plan on being married forever, right? That means she is going to be doing this forever, unless you say something. I think that your husband did the right thing by telling her your wishes as a couple, but since she is dismissing it, now its your turn to speak to her. Next time she asks you about a master's degree, ask her, why do you always ask that? That isn't being rude- you deserve to know why she is so concerned.  

Good luck to you! 

Thank you very much for your advice a n other and jenoc99 =)  I appreciate the book reference.  I plant to talk to her directly in the future, I'm finding part of the problem is miscommunication issues.  My husband is great at trying to make things better, but sometimes things just get mixed up in the process and feelings get hurt for no reason.  Thank you again!
 
September 3, 2005, 8:01 am CDT

Getting Along With Your In-Laws

I personally get along wonderfully with my MIL however problems arise with my SIL and BIL and their child as they tend to be jealous and although I can never replace or want to replace my MIL relationship with them they continue to alienate me and my children.  They always have something to say if my husband is not there to back me up and when he is there nothing is said.  I've learned to let things slide and to keep quiet but for how long does the constant toxic relationship need to go on?  Does anyone have any ideas on dealing with sibling in laws?
 
September 4, 2005, 9:53 am CDT

My brother's girlfriend is effecting my relationship with my brother

Hello,

  

 

 

  

 

I'm at a loss with my brother. He has been seeing a woman for about four months now. During the first three months the relationship was on again / off again every other weekend. My brother who is so desperate for a relationship went through major highs and lows. When they were on the outs, he would come crying to my and our mother. He was extremely demanding wanting our undivided attention, asking to come stay with us, you name it. For the most part we did everything we could to be supportive, talked him through many upsets and tried to show him that the relationship was toxic.

  

 

 

  

 

This woman is really a manipulative!@*#@!. Twice in the past four months she has claimed she was pregnant, only to find out she wasn't. Last time she said she was but didn't want to know who the father was cause it would be too difficult to abort if it turned out to be my brothers. Oh yeah.... try convincing my brother that she is having sex with other people... he refuses to believe it!!! What does she have to do show him the home movie?

  

 

 

  

 

I have seen her text messages to him like "Don't hate me". Then minutes later "Well if you don't hate me now, you will hate me after the weekend, I just called Joe to come over and F me". Honestly!!! I'm stunned by her behavior. On top of that, this woman has five children, four live with her and there are four fathers for these five children.... and she's only 24! BTW he's 34

  

 

 

  

 

I have tried talking to him, I've told him to forget this woman and move on. At the time, he agrees, says he's through... then a day or two later he's right back into that same toxic relationship.

  

 

 

  

 

Three weeks ago he said he doesn't want to talk to Mom and I, he feels he needs time to himself. I think the truth of the mater is he doesn't want to hear what we have to say. Well anyway, this morning he calls our mother and announces he has asked her to move in with him.

  

 

 

  

 

Mom and I are totally shocked and at a loss. I personally feel confused, I love my brother very much and don't want to loose our friendship. However I also want nothing to do with this woman who has hurt him so many times.  If he is going to be with her I just don't see a way for me to maintain my relationship with him. Of course I could hide my feelings about her, and maybe my brother and I could maintain some sort of relationship... but I'm not really comfortable hiding my feelings about this woman.

  

 

 

  

 

A month ago I figured this whole thing would burn out... but as I see him working so hard to maintain a relationship with her, I'm concerned that this relationship will go much further. I'm also concerned about what it will do to my relationship with my brother.

  

 

 

  

 

If anyone can relate to this story, or if you have some suggestions. I'm all ears. Please provide me with the benefits of your experiences.  

 

Thanks in adavance. 

  

 

  

  

 

 
September 4, 2005, 1:13 pm CDT

Your brother.......

Quote From: whatanidea

Hello,

  

 

 

  

 

I'm at a loss with my brother. He has been seeing a woman for about four months now. During the first three months the relationship was on again / off again every other weekend. My brother who is so desperate for a relationship went through major highs and lows. When they were on the outs, he would come crying to my and our mother. He was extremely demanding wanting our undivided attention, asking to come stay with us, you name it. For the most part we did everything we could to be supportive, talked him through many upsets and tried to show him that the relationship was toxic.

  

 

 

  

 

This woman is really a manipulative!@*#@!. Twice in the past four months she has claimed she was pregnant, only to find out she wasn't. Last time she said she was but didn't want to know who the father was cause it would be too difficult to abort if it turned out to be my brothers. Oh yeah.... try convincing my brother that she is having sex with other people... he refuses to believe it!!! What does she have to do show him the home movie?

  

 

 

  

 

I have seen her text messages to him like "Don't hate me". Then minutes later "Well if you don't hate me now, you will hate me after the weekend, I just called Joe to come over and F me". Honestly!!! I'm stunned by her behavior. On top of that, this woman has five children, four live with her and there are four fathers for these five children.... and she's only 24! BTW he's 34

  

 

 

  

 

I have tried talking to him, I've told him to forget this woman and move on. At the time, he agrees, says he's through... then a day or two later he's right back into that same toxic relationship.

  

 

 

  

 

Three weeks ago he said he doesn't want to talk to Mom and I, he feels he needs time to himself. I think the truth of the mater is he doesn't want to hear what we have to say. Well anyway, this morning he calls our mother and announces he has asked her to move in with him.

  

 

 

  

 

Mom and I are totally shocked and at a loss. I personally feel confused, I love my brother very much and don't want to loose our friendship. However I also want nothing to do with this woman who has hurt him so many times.  If he is going to be with her I just don't see a way for me to maintain my relationship with him. Of course I could hide my feelings about her, and maybe my brother and I could maintain some sort of relationship... but I'm not really comfortable hiding my feelings about this woman.

  

 

 

  

 

A month ago I figured this whole thing would burn out... but as I see him working so hard to maintain a relationship with her, I'm concerned that this relationship will go much further. I'm also concerned about what it will do to my relationship with my brother.

  

 

 

  

 

If anyone can relate to this story, or if you have some suggestions. I'm all ears. Please provide me with the benefits of your experiences.  

 

Thanks in adavance. 

  

 

  

  

 

Wow I can't believe how much of what you wrote sounds just like what my family went through with my own brother!! 

Very, very simular situation... my brother is 25, he was friends with a guy he worked with, the guy's wife would come to pick him up from work and they started to offer my brother a ride home, too- and then within a couple of weeks, the wife had left her husband to be with my brother!! Then she proceeded to cause chaos constantly. It drove my mother absolutly crazy, he would come to her house all depressed when she would start some kind of stupid fight just to get him to leave so she could have other men over. She had 3 children and they talked about trying to have one of their own together- and every month she would be "pregnant" and then...oops...she had a miscarriage!! Every month??!! It was crazy, but my brother bought it all, he believed her. Even though he knew she manipulated other people for money, he thought she would never do that to him. It was crazy the things she could get him to believe, the most ridiculous stories... just crazy!! 

What ended up happening is that this woman went back to her husband. She strung my brother along for awhile- kept telling him that she was only with her husband because of the kids, because of money, and he believed her, he wanted so badly to be with her and have a baby with her. She had him believing that she was pregnant again, only this time didn't know if it was my brothers or her husbands...and well of course she had a "miscarriage".... My brother would have done anything for her, she ended up moving to Texas with her husband. Thank goodness!! He hasn't heard from her since. 

 My only advice to you is to ride this out. It is definatly hard, I know-- you can't say anything negative or it will push him away-- and then this woman will have what she wants, she would love to have your brother isolated and completely under her "spell."  You don't have to hide your feelings, but you can try your hardest to see something- anything- good about this woman. Thats what my mother did. When your brother wants to vent to you about this toxic relationship, stop him and tell him that you care about him but it hurts you to keep hearing that he is hurting over and over, the same thing, and tell him that its up to HIM to make his life happy. This woman isn't going to make his life happy. It sounds like, at this point, your brother is addicted to the chaos that this woman offers him. Perhaps his life was boring before she came along, I know my brother's life was very mundane- and this toxic woman offered him excitment. A kind of excitment that most of us have no interest in!! 

I wish you the best, keep being there for him, he will come around sooner or later. Hopefully it is soon! 

 
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