In laws putting strain on marriage.(126 Posts)
I'm new here, please forgive me for a negative first post but I've come for some advice from you lovely people please if you can be bothered to read this monstrosity.
I moved away from my family to live with my husband and got on wonderfully with his family until I became pregnant at 20. His family got so excited they started getting baby equipment ready etc which got my back up as I planned pretty much attachment parenting and breastfeeding. This worsened when they realised I planned long term feeding and didn't want to leave her at an early age. First small things like wandering off around the house with her, having things personalised with their surname despite us being unmarried. All ignored until my MIL progressed to making comments (to the tiny baby but aimed at me) such as you'll have to go back to be fed as it's the only thing mummy can do that Nanny cant.
I have MAJOR anxiety. It used to be so severe I struggled to leave the house however it was at a well managed stage despite a bit of the baby blues. What I couldn't cope with was being away from home so holidays were near impossible and flying just out of the question. It remains the only thing I haven't conquered. My in laws live half of the year in Spain and always asked when we would be taking DD over. She made comments (again to the baby) such as we'll have to take you to Spain without your mummy won't We whilst i sat horrified, miles away from my own family. My DH found this hard to believe however we moved on from this.
Fast forward 10 years and we have 2 DDs. 7 and 10 who we adore. We also have a happy marriage. Comments have been made to the children from time to time which upset me such as, "there's too many animals.in your house" "it stinks in that room" "your mum is ill due to kissing the dogs "
I'm a vet nurse but despite having family pets our house is clean and hygienic.
I'm vegan and my DDs are veggie and we've had issues of the in laws encouraging them to eat meat. My husband adores his family, they're very close and it ended up being me asking them to respect the girls wishes regarding their diet. They're huge animal lovers and both decided at different time independently to become veggie.
Our recent fall out however is because our DDs have been coming home from grandparents saying they have been talking to them about taking them on holiday. First it was we'll take you to italy, then you can come out to Spain in the summer while you're mum and dad are working (they claim this was to be helpful however it was never discussed with myself or DH before telling the girls) and finally about a cruise for FILs 60th next year. DDs have said on numerous occasions that this has been discussed and they have been shown videos of cruise ships and pools and kids clubs however this has never been mentioned to me.
As I said earlier my anxiety has prevented holidays abroad. We have camped and caravanned and even had 2 holidays abroad however DH felt DDs were still missing out.
We booked a big holiday abroad 2 weeks ago for next year and already I am petrefied and have had panic attacks but we will go and I will aim to hide it from DDs.
The nail in the coffin was when this week he mentioned the cruise and how the whole family will be going and he wants us to go. I said its too much as we havent even got through the first one and i feel very let down about the way this has been discussed with DDs before me and without considering my feelings. I said I couldn't go which led to a huge argument during which DH said it could be the last holiday with his grandparents and as it's FILs 60th I should at least be trying.
I ended up arguing with MIL who claimed the children hadn't worded the conversations to me in the same way they were worded to them. Either way i am angry that this was ever discussed with myself or DH before hand.
DH and I are at the point of separation becoming an option due to all of this as I feel he has never supported me. He admits he should have done a long time ago but claims they mean nothing by it. I feel its very personal as they didnt have free reign with the grandchildren. We can not agree on a way to move forward from this now.
If you've read to the end then thank you so so much. We would both really appreciate your opinions (honest opinions) on this as we both feel we have suffered due to this. I still love DH very much however feel my relationship with the in laws is over. I would never stop DH taking DDs to see their grandparents however DH feels its unreasonable that ive come to a stage where i no longer want to see them. Any advice you may be able to offer is much appreciated.
While I have no doubt the ILs are annoying at times, the real problem seems to be your anxiety. Clearly this is having a bigger impact on your DH than he has let on.
I think you need some professional help to deal with the anxiety. Have you spoken to the doctor?
They don’t sound very nice at all. You should certainly stop seeing them if that’s what you want. But, Sorry op your anxiety is affecting the lives of your children.
If your DH wants to take them on holiday with his family then he should be able to. You shouldn’t be restricting them because you are anxious. It’s unfair.
Also tales are like Chinese whispers. So much is lost in translation so they certainly may have worded it differently to how it’s been repeated to you.
Ok I have anxiety but not as bad as you but if there's something I'm uncomfortable with, I won't go but I always give the option to dh to take the dcs without me because at the end of the day it's my issue not theirs. I agree however they should have spoken to you first
Let your husband take them. You are holding your kids back from living their life and taking advantage of opportunities offered to them.
I’m a bit confused. Are you saying that you don’t want the children to go on holiday with their grandparents without you? Why not?
To be completely honest with you, your in-laws sound pretty standard when it comes to in laws. They have their own ideas on things and relay those to grandchildren, it happens time and time again with mine. It's annoying but one of those things you need to let go of unless it's massively serious.
To be direct, your anxiety is completely taking over here. I have anxiety too and am medicated for it so I do know where you are coming from. It's not fair on your children. Anxiety is such a horrible, soul gripping condition and I'm sure you would hate for your children to grow up developing this. But raising them by the book of anxiety is teaching them to be scared of the world.
I think you are being unreasonable regarding your children and your husband. Are you seriously prepared to leave your husband over this? Please don't allow the in-laws to have such power over you.
I actually think it's you who has been very unreasonable. You have managed to stop your entire family from travelling abroad or being away from you for a decade. I think your dh has been very, very patient with you and has reached his limit. Even those incidents that you have mentioned could easily be made to sound worse than actually is.
Also although your inlaws sound like a pain in the arse, I do think a lot of the fall out is due to your anxiety. The holiday thing is what families do. My ds went to Florida with my inlaws. Although I was anxious when he went he had the most amazing time with his grandparents.
I'm afraid I think you're being quite unreasonable here. Some of the comments you mention aren't great for sure, but ultimately you're looking at potentially breaking up your marriage because grandparents want to take their grandchildren on holiday. Think about that for a moment. You need to deal with your anxiety as it's clearly having a massive impact on everyone and holding you (all) back significantly.
I also just wanted to add that although I completely understand your anxiety, it can come across as controlling. Which will make the people around you quite miserable. Just something to be aware of.
I’d agree that you need to get help to get a handle on your anxiety. It’s adversely affecting your children and husband.
If you are not doing anything pro-active about it, you are being unfair.
If you are, then we’ll done and keep working on it.
In terms of moving forwards, I don’t think there’s much in your post that justifies stopping all contact, but it does read like you’ve skipped over the background so maybe there is. It is your decision and you can / should be able to not have a relationship with them if they are bad for your MH.
However, your husband and children should be able to have a relationship if they choose to.
They should also be able to go on this holiday if they want (it would be lovely if you could get to a position where you felt your anxiety was under control and you could go too). I don’t think it’s fair to stop them.
You might need to agree to disagree in that they go to see them and you stay away. Or maybe you travel but stay elsewhere (not in their house) if you can.
Do you really want to split over this ? If you do, you’ll only see your kids part time and they’ll go away without you anyway. If you still love each other, you’ll have to agree a compromise as it sounds like neither will change the others mind.
Your anxiety should not be a cage for your entire family to live within.
Please seek the help you so clearly need and enable your DH & DC to explore the world as they so clearly wish to do, either with you (if you can over-come your anxiety) or without you (if you can't).
A decade is long enough to have placed restrictions on them, they have all been incredibly patient with you and aren't asking for anything unusual or extreme.
You are both unreasonable and not unreasonable ..
Unreasonable - you want them to miss out on holidays etc because you can’t go - yes you are working on it I agree ... in laws should not be taking digs at your issue
Not unreasonable - the in laws keep getting the Kids hopes up WITHOUT first talking to you and I am assuming hubby .. I would not appreciate that either ...
Please try and get help for your anxiety..
And discuss with hubby and in laws that you would love it if they could talk to you about things before discussing it with the kids ..
Have a heart to heart with hubby and tell him that their words amplify your anxiety .. your kids are like your life line and when the in laws talk about taking them away albeit on holiday alone it probably scares you somewhat ..
You should please go get help asap .. it’s ruining your marriage and relationship with the in laws .. I would hate for it to become an issue with your kids if they start to resent you for not allowing them a bit of freedom ..
I can see both sides as due to agoraphobia I miss out on days out, my husband takes our son instead. However, you are doing lots that make you very uncomfortable and this should be recognized. The argument about your FIL being 60 is rubbish, they will likely be stamping on your boundaries for the next 30 years.
Your children are missing some lovely opportunities bbecause of your anxiety.
Have you sought help? Just hoping you can cope when you take them away sounds a recipe for disaster.
Also, if you separate, they'll be going all over the place without you.
Considering how many years this has been ongoing and that the children haven’t been away I think yabu depriving your children from a family holiday with mum dad granny and grandad. They sound very loved children and you sound quite selfish keeping them away from family without a valid reason
The issue seems to be more around your anxiety. You should try CBT
What are you doing about your anxiety op? To be honest I don't think you should veto the cruise/holidays because of your anxiety, I don't think that's fair. Should they have mentioned it to you first? Yes but if you are that quick to veto holidays then I get this was an attempt to get around you another way. This is one of those threads where i'd like to hear their side, I suspect they would say you were difficult. But maybe your dh and dd having a relationship without you might be better, plenty of people do that, I did it myself for a few years and it was fine, not ideal but it worked
I think you need to understand that your anxiety means your DH and your children are missing out on what for them could be the holiday of a lifetime.
Your in-laws sound pushy and a bit annoying, and of course they shouldn't have told your children about this first, but I do think your anxiety is the main problem here. If you don't want to go, let DH and the kids go without you.
the problem is OP your anxiety is preventing everyone doing something not just you.
Your DH probably wants to go and even though you are expecting him to support you but not him. Your inlaws dont seem that bad just frustrated that your anxiety is controlling everyone.
Why cant they visit to Spain?
Why can't the gp's take the kids on holiday?
Why can't your DH go on the 60th with the kids?
OP if you separated from your husband your DDs would be going on holiday with their grandparents as your DH also has parental responsibility for them.
So you need to let your DH and your DDs go on holiday without you if you are too anxious to go.
Personally I would let them go plus get treatment for the anxiety so you can sometimes go with them. The reason you won't want to go all the time is because your in-laws would wind you up. In fact they clearly occasionally wind your DH up.
I have anxiety. You are your children's role model. You need to deal with your anxieties or they will have them too and possibly worse. Its been hard - but I needed to do it. I hope you can find the strength to do it too.
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