AIBU to distance myself(22 Posts)
Sorry if this is a little long!
A little back story:
I have always tried to involve my DHs family in as much as possible. I would invite them over, invite them to outings to go out to parks/zoos/restaurants, sent pictures, spend holidays with them, buy them 'just because' gifts, and have truly tried my best to have a positive relationship with them. And despite us never excluding them in the past they continued to demand more of us.
They have demanded more visits, claimed it was their right as grand parents. On top of all of this MIL and FIL make many passive aggressive comments directed at me. This includes sideways comments about me breastfeeding and the choices we make for our children, how my son only loves me because I feed him?, that my husband does all the cleaning/cooking (not true as I do 90% of it), guilt us relentlessly about not seeing them more (we see them every week), comment about my weight and appearance to the point it has had me in tears on many occasions.. including in front of friends who have straight up told them how rude they are right then and there!
I have never wanted to break apart the family, but DH has never been able to stand up to them for me. It is infuriating. I don't want him to cut them out of our life, but to defend me as his wife. It has caused a major rift and I no longer even look at him the same as he's pretty much just over and over again watched his family bully me. It has made me question many things in my life. I love my babies more than anything but these people have practically ruined the first few years I had with them because of the weight of stress they have put on me.
I no longer go to them for their help. They used to practically force their help on me with the kids and we would have them occasionally watch them, but now we get help elsewhere as I cannot deal with the stress of seeing them or hearing from them any more than we already do. I have also slowly began to distance myself from them more and more.. How do other moms cope with this?? At times I feel waves of guilt because I really do want to do what is best for the kids, but it is killing my marriage and my SANITY. I have had many conversations with them to try and improve our relationship, but they basically tell me I am too sensitive and to do whatever DH says. Am I being unreasonable for not wanting to be around his family more often and not feeling comfortable with them watching the kids alone?
Go with your gut instinct, your little family is the most precious thing. Also if you are unhappy the children will be too. Don't beat yourself up over this. You do sound like you have put up with a lot
You've just described my life completely. My oh family do my nut in, constant digs about everything because of course they know better.
All I did was make the absolute bare minimum of effort towards them, leave the oh to take the kids up ect. And take everything they say with a ' yes dear, that's nice' attitude. Hope that's a bit of help, even just knowing your not on your own. X
YANBU. You don't have to put up with that. I'd not want my kids around people like that. And your DH needs a kick up the backside.
Thank you, I'm sorry you go through it too!! I never want anyone else to go through this but it does give me hope that other people survive it.. It is so tough because obviously there are times they can be nice.. but the awful comments and demands far outweigh it. It has had me question my own sanity many times since I am constantly on this emotional roller coaster with them. I remember being 6 months pregnant and looked at straight in the face and told that I was ugly... and then even said that they were being serious. I went in the bathroom and cried my eyes out wondering what I did to these people to make them be so mean to me. I truly just never think they accepted me from the very beginning as I come from a different religious background and family culture. Now I am polite but pretty hardened and cold to anything they say good or bad.
Oh poor you lisa, you have a dh problem, he is gutless and spineless. I would distance myself, for your sanity, you have every right to.
They called ugly.....That would have been my deal breaker right there. They wouldn't have seen my kids after that. What did your husband say after that?
They told you you are ugly and your OH has done nothing!
OP you sound lovely & like you have really tried. Please don't waste time & energy on these people! Your DH needs to stop being spineless & letting his parents bully you. It's unacceptable.
Well when I brought it up to him later in private asking why he did not say anything he basically told me to be strong and not make a deal about it. That is the way of his family, pretend things are not said or minimize them. I guess it is their coping mechanism and its led them to deny the problems all together. Life is easier if they just pretend the dysfunction isn't real I guess.
I can't risk losing my kids even part time to these people so I do the best I can to try and find a compromise I can live with.
My DH's family are so dysfunctional is untrue. Snide comments, outright lies, the works. I've dealt with it by A). Distance distance distance - I only see them once in a blue moon and don't ever feel guilty for not doing. B). DH backs me up 100%. He thinks they are knobs too and wouldn't risk our marriage over it. C). On odd occasions I've flat out told them to shut the fuck up or do one because I don't need them in my life or my DD's life if they're gonna be like that and that if they stay it's because they are civil and I let them. I think too often people put up with this sort of thing because "it's just the way they are"... well no I'm sorry but people being mean or rude shouldn't be justified in that way and I won't put up with it. Your DH needs to grow a pair and support you.
If ever there was a case for cutting people out of your life, this is it. It's not going to matter how much you do or try, it's not going to make any difference with these awful people.
If they're claiming they don't see you/the kids now, then make it a reality.
Your biggest problem though is your not-so-dear husband. He's a gutless, bullying, coward to stand by and let his wife and children be treated this way.
Not defending DH, but I've learned to try and have an empathetic view to his position in this. He was raised by people who are 'never wrong'.. if you call them on it they will lie or deny having done anything to hurt you. I am glad that lately he has been really trying, I know it is really hard for him. They are/were an enmeshed family whereas I come from a family who strongly supports independence. My parents would wish us luck and give us hugs if we moved to Africa whereas his family would cry if we moved to the next city over. It has the reverse affect on me, I want to spend more time with my side of the family because they don't try forcing it on me. Funny how that works .
I hope to move far away one day.
They are as toxic as hell, stop making excuses for your gutless husband. Being called ugly and being bullied by these people, is unacceptable! I would cut them out of your life as much as possible, if your h wants to see them, he can away from the home. By supporting this, he has no respect for you. Be assertive, read him the riot act, and defend yourself, against them, don't just sat and there and take it!
If your hub and does nothing, tgat is a dealbreaker and I woukd seriously think of a future without your husband, this is a big issue.
YADNBU. I wouldn't want to ever be around them and I'd feel differently about my DH too for failing to stick up for me around his own family.
Agree with pps; this is so wrong. Take control, op. You have to be the person in charge of this situation, your dh isn't able to be and your ILs have no right to dictate to you how you spend your time.
Write everything down that you remember about instances of bullying and keep a diary from now on. If nothing else it will strengthen your resolve.
Ask yourself which is more important for your DC: seeing their grandparents, or having a happy healthy mum? Distance yourself as far as you possibly can OP, and don't feel guilty about it.
Yes, put yourself first, most importantly, they need a happy and healthy mum, your h can facitste contact with them himself outside your home. Take control!
Thank you all for the advice. They can be very charming and outgoing when not being total jerks or they will be OTT nice to get you back in the position they want so it is very confusing and manipulative. I've taken steps to see less of them and to keep my kids from being in their care so I think it's a start. DH is supportive of the changes although there is much that needs to be worked on that front.
Good, they are like snakes, they reel you in, then go for the attack. Look at it like that, very sneaky and manipulative. They are not good people, if they are nice, it is to benefit themselves. YOu need to read your husband the riot act, so he should be supportive, that is what a good husband or partner should do at the very least. I am glad you are taking positive steps.
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