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In-Laws that despise you - what do you do

(10 Posts)
YellowWallpaper Tue 23-Aug-11 21:16:53

So what do you do when your in-laws think you are a crap mum, shit wife and all round disappointment but expect you to remain involved in all family occasions. How do you deal with regular interaction knowing all this is simmering under the surface and that all your interactions with your children are being judged. I am trying to stay polite and cool but I am not coping. Very non-vocal family who pretend everything fine but I am very unhappy. I have next to no family of my own so it is easy to think I am as crap as they believe. Every encounter with them saps my confidence. But staying away will provoke more problems. What do I do?

freddy05 Tue 23-Aug-11 22:19:28

You tell your husband that you can't put up with their behaviour towards you any longer and if he wants you to continue to see them and be involved with them then he has to tackle the issues with them. He then needs to sort things out with them and ensure they respect you as his wife and the mother he chose for his children whatever their other feelings towards you.

Inlaws issues are an awful drain on the mind.

AliceWyrld Tue 23-Aug-11 22:23:55

After many years what I do is visualise myself in a protective bubble that no-one can get into. I spend a little while visualising this each time before I see them. Then I essentially switch off to it, engage minimally, reply politely but never engage on a personal level. It's a joy wink

But this is after lots of water under the bridge, and knowing that my husband does support me. I agree that its important to talk to him and get him to take some responsibility.

nje3006 Tue 23-Aug-11 22:34:45

Does H support you? What's his view of how they are towards you?

liquoriceandtomatoes Tue 23-Aug-11 23:42:29

Poor you! This sounds horrible (I like your name by the way) and unfortunately I can relate. My dp's family is all typical repressed and I always felt certain female members just didn't like me from the start but it was all rather furtive and difficult to put a finger on or they'd say something unpleasent and it was always out of anuone else's earshot. I regret smiling sweetly and trying to please through many a family event as last year (long story) his sister took all her IMMENSE anger out on me, everything flooded out, seems like she has loathed me for years - sadly this was while I was pregnant.
So motto being you just won't please them if they feel this way, just be yourself and don't try too hard. My thinking is that in my case the family was/is pretty damn dysfunctional and instead of looking to their past or themselves for their own relationship with DP, it's easy just to blame the partner. I think it's suited my dp in a sense that I've been his fall guy for family issues eg MIL rings me up and gives me rubbish if HE doesn't return her call - obviously I allowed this as did dp. Anyway we're trying to change - with therapy.
Lots of luck, trust your gut instinct. Don't let them dump their stuff onto you - easier said than done and I second what others have said 'get dh on your side', this is his stuff you're taking.

middleage3 Wed 24-Aug-11 10:28:20

snap.

my OH says its between me and them and stays completely out of it or takes their side.
Its hard when like you I have no family of my own
its very devisive and I feel for you.
most of the time I accept they will never like me and I avoid all contact with them if at all possible

I hope your OH is supportive-because mine sure aint :-(

Ragwort Wed 24-Aug-11 10:34:21

Wow middleage3 that is a horrible attitude of your DH - hope he has lots of other redeeming qualities.

I see it from the other point of view as I no longer have in-laws grin but I am very aware that it is not easy for my DH when we spend time with my parents (they are very intense and OTT - but well meaning) so I try to see them alone with DC as much as possible (without being rude!) also at my age - early 50s - I have got to the stage when we can all speak honestly to each other. I know my parents aren't that fond of my DH but they do make an effort to be polite and friendly.

I think in the OP's place all you can do is be polite yet remain detatched, you don't have to be 'best friends' with your in-laws.

redexpat Wed 24-Aug-11 21:52:55

Can you limit the number of family occasions you go to?

We re-examined how much time we were spending with IL extended family a couple of years back. My DH has 25 cousins and 2 sisters, and we were automatically saying yes to every invite. Now we say yes to the immediate family, FILs famly (because there aren't that many of them so our presence means more), grandparents, and the youngest generation. That's 13 birthdays a year, plus biggies (weddings etc). The others depend on if we have plans, time or energy.

Spending less time means that we generally enjoy the time much more and actually have things to talk about.

Bogeyface Thu 25-Aug-11 00:37:29

So you are involved in these family occasions because people who openly despise you, expect you to?

What about saying no? You dont want to go, you have no intention of going and you will not bolster their image of a happy family when they treat you like shit.

You owe them nothing. And everytime you cave to their demands you are showing your DC that its ok for your ILs to treat you (and them) like that. what will happen if you DC suddenly dont behave as expected, will the ILs be nice and kind and forgiving? Or will they turn on the DC as they have on you? Do you want to risk that?

Keep these vile toxic people away from you and your DC and make bloody damn sure that your DH and your ILs know why you are doing it.

BambinoBoo Thu 25-Aug-11 08:31:43

Yellowwallpaper I really feel your pain. Best advice I can give you is: do not go to any more family events, do not see them again. Let DH go on his own. You will not change these people, but you can change how they make you feel. They do not deserve to have a relationship with you or your DC. This was the advice given to me by some lovely MNetters when DS was small. I didn't take it until the damage was done.

What they are doing to you is out and out bullying. My MiL and Sil bullied me like yours are bullying you for almost 2 years. It was all very passive to begin with; little comments about my parenting said in a jokey way through DS, then gradually got worse, culminating in them calling me a C* in my own home because I put DS in nursery instead of letting MiL look after him (I always intended to put DS in nursery but they'd had other ideas).

On top of this, DH buried his head in the sand so I had to cope with all this with my first baby. I used to sit on the sofa when DS was napping and sob because they made me feel like I was a bad mother; they made me feel that I wasn't any good at what should be the most natural thing in the world. I was eventually diagnosed with depression and it took that to make me see sense, so I got a job move through my company and moved us 200 miles away. I feel better but it has taken time, and there is still much resentment towards my DH for not supporting me, but we are trying to work through that. Gosh, I have gone on so much, but reading your post, could have been me 2 years ago. Please, put yourself and YOUR family first. They will not change. Best of luck!

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