In-law problems

metafascinatingSeptember 15, 2007


This is my first post on this topic. I could use some advice and I really need to vent. DH does not get along with some of his siblings and since we've been married he's been trying to pull away from the family and he doesn't enjoy family functions anymore. When he stopped attending events they assumed I was to blame and started saying that I control him and that I don't "let him" go etc...he stopped playing softball and that was because I "wouldn't let him play" or if we turn down a family vacation it's because of me. DH has tried to explain to his mom that it's not me and that he doesn't want to be around the siblings, but she can't believe that it's true. BIL and SIL asked us to go on vacation with them two years ago to a place that we had already been and didn't care for. DH told them no thanks and then said something like we didn't really have a good time when we went. They were insulted by that and took it personally because they love this vacation destination. That was two years ago and DH is still hearing about it. Most recently he has been hearing about it from people that he works with. BIL works with DH and has told their mutual friends. This was also blamed on me of course. Also, two years ago when we bought our house we had BIL and SIL and some friends over for dinner. A couple of days ago DH's friend that he works with said that BIL was talking about the dinner from TWO years ago and said that we tried to make it "too fancy and sophisticated." OK. DH said that BIL and SIL eat in front of the TV and do not ever sit at the table and because we served dinner in the dining room it was deemed "too fancy." We had just moved in and I tried to make it nice because they were the first people we had had over, but I didn't pull out all the stops with the fine china and silver--I just used my everyday dishes. In fact since we had just moved in we still had boxes piled up in the dining room so I don't know how "fancy" that is. But even if I had pulled out all the stops why would BIL badmouth us to co-workers two years later for trying to make something nice?

Also, about a year ago they asked us to go on a weekend trip. Mutual friends were going so DH said we would go. Well, we told them to let us know what hotel they chose and we would make reservations. BIL and SIL changed their minds and said they couldn't go. DH was training a new person at work--she had only been there a week. So she says to DH that BIL told her that we were supossed to go out of town with them, but that I didn't like the hotel they chose because it "wasn't good enough" for me. DH could not believe it. They never even told us what hotel they chose because they were the ones who cancelled the trip. That was it for me. I have no desire to be around any of them. DH has had it too. One of DH's friends at work wants us to go to dinner with him and his wife and I haven't met them yet and the wife asked the guy if he thought I "was as bad as BIL said I was." So they already have a preconceived notion of me from what BIL has said. Luckily the friend knows how BIL is and explained to the wife, but I'm still upset that I have to meet someone for the first time in this kind of situation. Besides the petty things like that DH's family is also racist, homophobic, narrow-minded, hypocritical, the men don't respect women, etc...etc..DH said that last Christmas at dinner(I didn't go) his uncles were watching football and using the N-word when talking about some of the players. If I would have been there I don't think I could have stopped myself from saying something. I don't even want to put myself in that situation anymore. There's so much more I could say, but this post would be as long as a book.

My issue with DH is this: I want him to confront BIL and tell him that we are both well aware of what he's been saying and to stop being a hypocrite and asking us to do things with him and SIL and then trashing us beind our backs about things that aren't true. I'm just so sick of DH complaining about all of this to me, but then not doing anything about it. I'm just beyond frustrated. I'm afraid if DH doesn't say something that I'm going to end up exploding because I've kept all of this in for so long and I think DH would much rather handle it than me going off on them.

Thanks for letting me vent. Aren't in-laws fun?

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controlling, manipulative, jealous, spiteful, disapproving, obnoxious.

They don't like you because they've lost control over your husband since his marriage, & they figure if they can make you miserable enough (trashing you to everybody, etc), you'll cave in to their control...or you'll go away.

& remember, hubs grew up in this environment:

It's hard for people who grew up with it to confront the people who pull the strings.

(He's doing very well indeed to even muster the strength to avoid them rather than give in to their hounding.)

My brother's wife is the best thing that ever happened to him:
he never has been able to take up for himself (I now realize it's because of the environment in which we grew up-any time he took up for himself, the "punishment" or mistreatment became about 4 times more severe).

His wife, while normally very calm & level, has taken up for him & confronted our abusive brother & sister-in-law a couple of times (my other brother, the manipulator/fault-finder/"disapprover", found a wife who's a female clone of his toxic self).

& guess what?

Although there are now very few occasions when they would have the opportunity to do so anyway, the 2 of them have stopped chewing on my brother!

I do think your hubs is right to want nothing to do with them.

There's just no way to have a healthy or enjoyable relationship with troublemakers, & toxic people are called that because they will poison your lives.

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 9:51AM
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You have opened my eyes to toxic people.

We just had one such person on the phone, he blamed, he yelled, he had a tantrum, he was rude, this was all over his 15 year old boy who didn't like the sports team he has been put into !

It takes an amount of skill to recognise these terrible traits in people. You can do that once you have gotten over the shock of the verbal assault.

Thanks for the insight.


    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 4:08AM
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"I have no desire to be around any of them. DH has had it too."

There. That's your answer. Everything else is just continuing to play this game. The name of the game, by the way, is "Uproar" a very popular family pastime. It should be copyrighted by Mattel or something. Funny thing about Uproar, the only way to win is to stop playing.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 9:00PM
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