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AIBU? - inlaws

(19 Posts)
Leah1802 Fri 27-Nov-15 12:23:19

thinking I just want to rant. any advice or opinions greatly appreciated.
DH & I have 2 DC. his mum and his brother and sister live other end of country to us so we don't see them often. when they do come to visit it is always very stressful, but DH and I go along with it because they don't see the kids often. in my opinion they are terrible house guests. MIL decides on a whim whether she will be vegetarian or not (I'm told for religious reasons but there doesn't seem to be any pattern). BIL is vegan. Catering for christmas is a nightmare. I had DC 2 last year and none of them helped with anything, not even to make me a cup of tea. DH and I still did all the cooking and cleaning (he later had a word with them about how unacceptable this was).

every birthday and mothers day I send them all cards from us. and photos and paintings DC have done. in 4 years I have never had a single card from them. I have let this pass until now.

we recently got married few months ago and we didn't receive a card from any of them (we didn't want a gift but surely a card isn't expecting too much). asked DH about it and even he thought it was odd. he asked MIL about it and she said it's not in her culture to send carda but that if it was so important to me then she would post one. SIL told us to get over it.

basically I feel I try to be a good family member to them and keep them involved in the children's lives. but I feel very hurt for the effort I put in.

Leah1802 Fri 27-Nov-15 12:33:22

I realise I sound pretty pathetic or unreasonable. but I could go on with stories of what I have to deal with. DH gets cards and presents in the post for birthdays.

one year MIL brought all her laundry and asked me to do it because her machine was broken.

MIL visited her sister in America last year and broke her leg while there, then called DH to tell him it was our fault because of we didn't live so far away with the kids then she wouldn't need to go to America to visit family (we only live in Northern England and she lives down sputh).

Floralnomad Fri 27-Nov-15 12:34:08

Don't bother to do stuff then , if your husband wants cards sending let him do it , same for presents and photos . When they visit make them stay in a hotel and eat out or better still you go to them .

BarbarianMum Fri 27-Nov-15 12:34:23

Maybe put in less effort - you don't see that much of them so that ought to do it.

If sending cards isn't part of their culture (and it really isn't for many) rthen no need to send them cards.

Provide vegan food for them when they come as a standard.

Offer a cup of tea once a day. For the rest, point out where the tea-making stuff is and ask for a cup too please.

Make less effort to keep them involved with your childrens lives. Let your dh make the effort if he wants to.

Floralnomad Fri 27-Nov-15 12:36:09

Btw ,you don't sound pathetic or unreasonable , they sound like a total pain .

Leelu6 Fri 27-Nov-15 12:51:33

So MIL says it's against her culture to send cards, but sends card to your DH but not you? confused

Why are you going to such effort?

They will never appreciate it, OP.

Concentrate on the people who treat you well as well.

Wolpertinger Fri 27-Nov-15 12:59:28

Let your DH manage them. You do cards/presents etc for your side of the family the way you would like to and let him do it for his. Yes, he probably will do v little but you can be clear that it's their beloved son's doing, plus they said they didn't do cards anyway.

Vegan option for 2 at Christmas. Show them where tea making stuff is, say help yourself from now on.

But generally expect v little of them and direct all requests to DH.

CFSsucks Fri 27-Nov-15 13:10:52


They are taking the piss and seem to make stuff up when it suits them. Why doesn't get their child a bloody wedding present!

Do sod all for them, no cards, presents, pictures nothing. That's all down to your DH, they'll soon complaints when they get nothing, but it's okay, because it's not in their culture so they'll "get over it" as SIL put it so nicely to you. wink

CFSsucks Fri 27-Nov-15 13:11:57

who not why ffs!

WhereYouLeftIt Fri 27-Nov-15 13:13:02

"I realise I sound pretty pathetic or unreasonable."
Oh no you don't! Who told you that?

"in 4 years I have never had a single card from them."
"she said it's not in her culture to send cards"
"DH gets cards and presents in the post for birthdays."
Bloody strange culture where you don't send cards but actually you do. Also known as 'a total lie'.

"basically I feel I try to be a good family member to them and keep them involved in the children's lives."
Why do you want these total tossers involved with your children? Don't you want to protect your children from people like that?

IMO, and I know it may not be a popular opinion - blood is NOT thicker than water. A family connection is not an excuse to treat people badly, not is it a reason to accept being treated badly. These people treat you badly and you let them. Why? Because they are your husband's family? Not a good enough reason. If they don't want to be nice to you and treat you well - like NORMAL family want to do - then fuck 'em. Don't have them in your house. If your husband wants to see them, he can visit them. Or if he insists they visit your house, he keeps them in line, which should include things like giving his mother directions to a launderette and telling her to behave like a real person and not a cartoon.

You don't have to accept their behaviour.

TheWoodenSpoonOfMischief Fri 27-Nov-15 13:21:08

I've not come across a culture yet where they don't buy gifts for family and especially if their son gets married. Maybe not cards but most cultures seem to do gifts or money.
She just sounds horrible.

It's time to take a step back. People like that never appreciate what you do for them and the nicer they are, the more entitled and rude they get.

TheWoodenSpoonOfMischief Fri 27-Nov-15 13:21:30

The nicer you are I meant

captainfarrell Fri 27-Nov-15 13:34:53

Out of interest OP, what is their culture? I have family in Austria and they don't really go in for greetings cards as much as in UK.They will send birthday and Christmas cards just not the get well soon and the thankyous and the good luck cards. They find it quite funny that we have so many card shops here.
Your ILs sound quite rude to me. Let your DH handle it . Don't invite them or be very specific about what will happen, i.e bring a dish each or eat out or just one day etc.

quietbatperson Fri 27-Nov-15 13:35:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CallingAllEmergencyKittens Fri 27-Nov-15 13:41:15

Agrees with PPs saying step back a bit. DH can buy all their presents, send all their cards.

If they come to visit, have a staple vegetarian/vegan set menu you do every time they come, or have appropriate foodstuffs in the kitchen they can help themselves too. Enlist a third party to come round/meet you for coffee if the PILS descend on you.

I do this with SIL, after a couple of years of passive aggressive controlling arseyness at every turn, I just gave up and now let DH take the strain. He buys presents for SIL (I don't mind buying for BIL or her kids as they have always been fine with me). I avoid any family gathering she hosts at if possible and if we do go to something we stay the minimum time that is decent. If we got to a family thing elsewhere I avoid ever being on my own with her. MILS best pal is great at these, she knows what SIL is like as MIL used to get it in the neck before I came along and so is very good at stepping in if she sees SIL up to her usual tricks. At our wedding she stood up and stepped right in between us with her back turned to SIL when SIL started with her "helpful" comments.

I'm not rude, just distant and it's a lot less stressful for me. Any gifts she sends me go straight to the charity shop or local women's refuge, as she is wont to let her passive aggressive selfish pushy bitchy side she doesn't have another side as far as I've seen through in those as she doesn't have any other outlet towards me now.

Leah1802 Fri 27-Nov-15 16:05:38

thanks everyone! I did think just to let DH deal with them now. I suppose just wanted a rant and some reassurance that their behaviour really is weird. I've always had problems with SIL anyway, but I thought her attitude of just get over it was a bit harsh.

whereyouleftit you sound completely right, thank you. blood is not thicker than water, and being family is no excuse for poor behaviour.

captainfarrell they are Egyptian and apparently sending cards is not in their culture, even though DH gets them confused

and I don't mind cooking vegan/vegetarian food, it's just that it changes each time they visit and we usually get no prior warning. last Christmas we didn't have enough meat because suddenly they were eating meat again.

girlywhirly Fri 27-Nov-15 16:10:24

I think you can honestly say you have tried your best, but I think now is the time to stop. DH can send them stuff if he wishes. You can refuse to entertain them in your home. If they want to come to visit, they stay in a hotel and you will meet them at a restaurant. Make it less easy to be a pain to you. I can't help thinking, that if they had to work a bit harder e.g. finding vegan restaurants MIL would suddenly start eating dairy and eggs again.

They are taking the piss when they stay with you. Don't let them spoil your Christmas ever again.

Chottie Fri 27-Nov-15 16:50:50

I'm another one who agrees with letting DH make the contact / cards etc for his side of the family. I finally gave up doing this after 40 years (not a typo!) and I haven't missed it at all. DH has done nothing, his family have not been in touch. It's been a win win situation all round.

HeadDreamer Fri 27-Nov-15 16:57:35

Agree definitely get your DH to deal with all presents and cards for them. Then it'll be inline with his family traditions and standards, whatever that is. I deal with my side of the family and actually we don't buy cards and presents. I just ring them! But that's how we like it. My parents are odd but I'm used to them.

Agree with others, just serve vegan.

As for the tea, maybe they don't do tea? My parents don't. They just drink water. Always has been.

I think the real problem is them staying with you and being very bad house guests. I'm not sure how to do with it, other than bear and grin.

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