Since I've been married for going on four years now, but in a relationship for almost 10, our life is one big stressball due to in laws.
they exhibit more cultish behavior than "family" behavior. Where do I begin?
There has been a total disregard and lack of privacy. They've walked into our bedroom without any consideration to knock first, there are friends of family who repeatedly ask us when we last had sex, how often we have sex, to the point that they will follow me around at a party repeatedly asking me when I'm going to have a baby, etc. and now that person's friend has taken me to a separate room and discussed invitro fertilization (referring to his sister) though I've never discussed anything of the likes with any family members or their friends, nor do I know this person on or near this level. It's to the point that I now avoid attending family gatherings around the holidays, I don't know how to deal with it anymore.
The sisters have "pretended" to be lesbians when out in public situations in order to attract attention to themselves, and they've sat around at their uncle's parties, literally twisting and fondling their girlfriends nipples in front of everyone, completely inappropriate behavior. The parents conveniently turn a "blind eye" to their behavior.
The sister has invited us out to her home, has gotten completely drunk and had sexual relations in a loft where all her guests, including her own brother, had to stay in the bathroom so that they (we) didn't have to listen to her having her ever loud relations with her coworker in the open loft. It's appalling. The sisters get naked in front of male relatives, including their own brother, walking around (in their 20's and early 30') without clothes on like it's nothing unusual. I want nothing to do with these people. And the family is in complete denial. The mother basically called me a liar, though she's SEEN her daughters getting undressed in the middle of the uncle's living room, in front of the father and my husband. The sisters lie about any other behavior I mentioned to the parents.
It trickles down from the grandmother. I'm told that if I don't do what they want me to do, when they want me to do it, how they want me to do it, and don't totally conform, they immediately feel threatened, they are so against any sense of autonomy it's completely abnormal, and I am told, "You are not the Christian girl I thought you were" and they find fault with absolutely EVERYTHING I do. It's complete hypocrisy in every sense of the word.
They stand over my shoulder telling me what to do, when to do it, how to do it, something as trivial as if I rinse a recyclable can, they tell me I don't have to do that. The grandmother will make condescending remarks in front of guests, and she will literally talk to me like a child, "did you say thank you?" Yes, I did. "well I think you should say it again" or, "You should say thank you, they do a lot for you" referring to her family as if they are on a pedestal and everyone has to bow down to them like they are godly. I'm not a child, I don't need to be told what to say, or when to say it and I am NOT the type of person to take anything for granted, everything I've had in my life I've worked for myself, and I certainly didn't grow up with a silver spoon in my mouth, yet they continually tell me what to say, how to behave, etc.
I feel like I'm walking on eggshells.
They devalue any and every outsider in the family, i.e. in laws, and treat the same their friends significant others. Everyone is the enemy and not to be trusted. It's to the point that it's similar to a prehistoric nature.
We purchased furniture for our living room, and the family got upset that we didn't consult with them first.
We got a dog, we heard about it endlessly for a year straight, from every family member, and every family member's friend. It's our home, it's our life, we can afford it and our pets are spoiled to death, it's not a matter of not being able to take care of an animal, and yet they constantly dictate how we should live our lives.
We had the wedding they wanted, including the guest list. We purchased a home before the wedding, because that's what their family endlessly insisted every time my husband picked up the phone to call them. This went on for months, did you buy a house yet? Did you buy a house yet? Then, when we did buy a home, they insisted that my name NOT be put on the deed. Can you believe that?
I have been bashed, ridiculed, ostracized, humiliated, manipulated to the point that we don't even know how to deal with it anymore.
We have dealt with family members who would get upset with us whenever we didn't do what they wanted us to do - Uncle would call us up every Friday evening to go out, though he was aware that I'm working full time and in accelerated courses on saturday mornings, yet, he'd get more and more upset if we wouldn't go out with him to the point that he'd threaten us and tell us, "It's going to reach a point where I won't ask you anymore". It's a constant use of "guilt" as a means to manipulate and control us.
My husband, when I met him, had this unnatural fear of saying no to people. To the point that he'd LIE for fear that people will be upset - something as trivial as a friend asking us to go out on a night that we already have plans, my husband would have to say we have plans, and then he'd add three other lies on top of that as "excuses" why we can't go out with them, as if saying we already have plans isn't a good enough reason.
When my mother was dying of cancer and I wanted to spend my last Christmas with her, the Grandmother sat there angry that I wasn't spending Christmas with HER family, and kept saying, "She should be here with the family". It's outright sick behavior with complete disregard for the needs of anyone else.
Can you believe that? I was furious, appalled, and there aren't even words to describe. I have spent MORE holidays with their family than with my own. If I do spend a holiday with my family, I get the constant guilt trip the next time I see them, and 101 questions about what I did. What business is it of their's what I do with my family and given their nature, I no longer share anything personal with them.
They have ridiculed my own family, without reason or just cause, and without ever meeting them. My husband once told them that my family doesn't have a lot of money, something as simple as that, and then Grandma kept talking about how, "What if her family wants to borrow money from you once you are married?" and constantly degrading my family. Again, it's putting their own family on a pedestal, and my family is just this lowly family so beneath them. My family has never asked to borrow money, it's ridiculous. That's how they think.
They have ridiculed me from the beginning, and immediately began to devalue me as a person, comparing me to another family member (in-law), saying "She's just like so and so, she can't be trusted. She's too quiet". This happened in the first month I met them, they hardly knew me.
Because I'm a reserved person that makes me a bad person? Because I don't conform to what they want me to be, do, and say I'm a bad person?
They treat you bad, and then they ridicule you for not wanting to be around them. It's this never ending self-righteousness about them.
The grandmother has criticized a pot of homemade chili I made for her a year and a half ago, EVERY TIME I see her. She continually tells me what she didn't like about it. It's never ending emotional abuse and ridicule and treating me like everything I do isn't good enough. Or, it will be innuendos, such as, "that's what GOOD families do..." as if my family is god awful.
If I want to take my car and drive separately, I get comments like, "we ride together because we are a family". This promotes insecurity and dependency, as if driving a separate vehicle makes you any less part of the family. It's lack of freedom, and control over your ability to come and go as you please.
Again, if you don't conform, they treat you like you've done something wrong.
They have absolutely no respect for anything we say. If I say don't feed my dogs, they'll do it in front of me, or turn their back and feed my dogs, turn around and tell me they didn't. It's so completely frustrating.
When I finally had enough with the two evil sisters constantly bashing and shunning me and treating me like I don't belong and like I'm not welcome (during a trip to their home out of state I was screamed at and told that I'm a piece of crap and I'm not good enough for their brother, just because my husband and I were upset with eachother and not talking to eachother much, not necessarily appropriate for a social situation, we could have handled it better, but nonetheless it was our situation to deal with), and they left all the lights on at night so I couldn't sleep, left the music on loud, etc. I was so appalled as I've never been treated that badly before. Upon arriving home, I sent an email stating how I felt about how they treated me, and in turn, they slammed me to ALL the relatives, and went around the entire family bashing me attempting to turn everyone against me, and then this sister forwarded the email on to every relative - cousins, uncles, mother, father, etc., which they later blamed ME for because I should have "communicated by phone". I was ridiculed and critized for the way I communicated by email, and I was told I should have picked up the phone and called instead, and yet the sisters never called me to discuss anything, and that was four years ago, we haven't spoken since. It's no repurcussions or responsibility for their own actions, it's always someone elses fault. Who are they to dictate the means by which I should communicate?
Then the nasty sister had the audacity to call my husband recently and ask him to pick her up at the airport when she comes to town here, implying that she's going to stay at our home. I said, no way. No apology, no contact with me whatsoever, the only thing they've done for the past years was leave messages on our voice mail during the holidays, and they'd pass the phone around from one family member to the next, saying hi specifically to MY HUSBAND, without any respect or regard for the fact that they are also calling MY house and MY answering machine. We finally had our home phone disconnected and they can contact my husband via his personal cell phone, as I will not tolerate them leaving messages, specifically ostracizing me, at my home number at this point. Not long after the sister event, other family members would approach my husband and say, "Don't you love your sisters?" as if he was supposed to "brush it all under the carpet" and forget that they treated his wife like a piece of garbage. Again, it's cultish behavior and they're trying to promote "total conformity". They don't want to take accountability for their own actions, it's like dealing with five year olds.
By the time we got a second dog, we made up a big elaborate story about how we "ended up" with the dog, as opposed to admitting that it was our free choice to get another dog, as pathetic as that sounds, just to avoid the family's badgering about getting another animal. I love animals, I've had animals my entire life. Every time I sneeze, I hear from the grandmother that my allergies are because of my animals, though it's completely unsubstantiated, and no matter how many times I state otherwise, it's never ending comments over and over and over, they don't shut up. It's ridiculous how they try to control every thing we do, I just can't deal with it anymore.
Then when our dog got old and started having health problems, which we took VERY good care of him and he was on appropriate medication for arthritis, etc., they badgered us for six months straight, you have to put him down, you have to put him down, and we'd hear it from every family member, every time we talked to them, including friends of family members if we attended a family gathering, to the point that we've avoided family gatherings because they just aren't pleasant, period. What business is it for anyone except a qualified professional to tell us when to put OUR dog down? I would NEVER do that to anyone.
When my mother was ill, and this was during my wedding planning, they would actually come into my house, which is a fixer upper by the way, and make ridiculous comments like, "what are your guests going to think about this? What are your guests going to think about that? Well, when I was your age, I'd come home from work and work on the house until 10 pm..." as if to imply that I'm just a lazy piece of crap. Are you kidding me? I didn't get home until 10:00 pm sometimes. Also, I'm working full time, I'm taking classes at my church to get confirmed so I can get married, I'm taking care of my dying mother, going to her house every morning before work, every lunch break, every day after work to feed her, give her medication, take care of her house, her dogs, etc., and they'd have the audacity to come over and complain that my house isn't "perfect" as if cleaning, painting and remodeling is a priority at this point in my life. Who in their right mind does that? And THEY were the ones planning on THEIR relatives to come over to my house before the wedding, nobody even asked me a thing about what I wanted, or if I was okay with that. It was so unbelievable, words can't even describe what I felt or the complete humility I felt at that time in my life. I cried every day.
I am a good person, I treat everyone with respect, I have good morals and good intentions, I don't believe in judging anyone that you haven't taken the opportunity to get to know, and if I don't like someone, they do not know it, I make everyone feel welcome in my home. I am at a total loss on how to cope with these people. It's total cult behavior, and I'm not conforming. I've never experienced anything like it in my life. It's so overbearing that it adds continual stress to our lives, and add to that the fear of having children in this family with every family member treating us like we're five year olds, attempting to control, manipulate and disrespecting us. I was raised in a household where people treat eachother with respect and courtesy. I don't have a clue how to deal with this. My husband is nothing like them, he is the odd man out.
And now, the family is trying to "push" me into having a relationship with the sisters, which I have no desire to do EVER. They try to manipulate me, when they are on the phone with the daughters they tell them that I said Hi, when in fact I did not, nor would I, and that is so inappropriate. Then when they have me on a call, they tell me that the sisters said hi. I say nothing. I've never gotten an apology from these god awful people, and their attitude is to just brush it under the carpet. No way. The sisters have treated me this way three times too many. Forgiving once is one thing, but repeated inappropriate behavior is outright abuse.
Now one of the sisters has a new boyfriend that she's moving in with, and the other sister is in a complete tizzy that she has no control over the situation, and has drilled the guy for three hours straight to the point that the other sister started crying. I mean, there are no boundaries, no respect for anyone. It's this innate fear of new people, new people are the enemy. And then she bragged to my husband that this guy was "respectful" the entire time that she was being disrespectful to him - i.e. she's proud of the conformity, or that he's not resisting her. It's appalling that she's PROUD of this. Words can't describe.
On top of this, the stress of this family is probably the reason for us not having children, but on top of that it's the fear of having children around such disrespectful, rude, controlling overbearing people.
Look up the traits of cult behavior, and there are so many things that point to this family. It's unbearable, and I've felt like I'm losing my identity because they're always treating me like I should be what they want me to be, though I have no desire or intent to change who I am. I just don't know how to deal with this.