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Husband and in laws

(27 Posts)
Ickythumpsmum Sat 30-Jan-16 23:29:58

My husbands brothers and sisters frequently change their mind to whether they are prepared to talk to me or not, without ever explaining why or giving a reason. Sometimes they resolve the problem and start talking to me out of the blue, but I am left pretty confused as to what is going on. Any time I see them, I have no idea who will be prepared to talk to me.

Due to this, I don't see them much. The last time was at my DS2s baptism. Nobody from my husbands side of the family had even uttered the words congratulations to me. DS2 was 1 year old. Out of the three of my husbands sibling who came, only one spoke to me nicely. One was very aggressive saying 'he (ds2) doesn't know me now, but he will get to know me, don't you worry' and the third said nothing at all, despite me starting to try a conversation. I spent most of the time crying in the toilets alone.

Anyway, we have recently moved to nicer house. My husbands sibling who didn't speak a word to me now wants to come and stay with us, bringing her own husband and son. I have had another child since I was last ignored by them at DS2's baptism.

Tonight I asked my husband how this was going to work. I don't want to come between him and his siblings, but are they really going to come to my house and ignore me?

Apparently, he will be dammed if he keeps quiet and dammed if he speaks up, and somehow any bad feeling that comes from this is all my fault.

I don't know what I'm asking. I just want to say - fucks sake!

pippistrelle Sun 31-Jan-16 00:01:03

Without knowing the individuals and the back story, it's hard to know why she might have ignored you. Or even if she ignored you, rather than just didn't speak to you, iyswim. Maybe she's just not very talkative, or at least weren't that day.

Whatever the situation, I can certainly understand why you wouldn't be looking forward to it but it might be an opportunity to create a better relationship with your sil. However, ultimately, the behaviour of your husband's siblings should be largely irrelevant to you. The behaviour and support of your husband, on the other hand, is not an irrelevance, and I'm concerned that you and he are in totally different places.

Good luck with all of it, Icky.

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Sun 31-Jan-16 00:02:51

"he will be damned if he keeps quiet and damned if he speaks up"

How does the prospect of being damned, permanently, by you sound to him?

Do not let a single one of his sibling over your threshold! Ever!

This is whole heap of dysfunction to contend with, but it's his family and his shit to deal with. You didn't sign up to being maltreated by them when you married him, and you didn't sign up to be disregarded or maltreated by him either.

He get see them without you if he likes but you do not have to endure their presence in your home if you don't want it. Stand firm!

Joysmum Sun 31-Jan-16 00:03:17

No way of put up with any of my family treating my DH that way. Why is your DH not taking that standpoint? I'd fucking go ballistic if anyone started on my DH!

Tiggeryoubastard Sun 31-Jan-16 00:06:42

Sounds odd, but why would you expect someone to congratulate you on your 1 year old being baptised? Wondering if there's more to this.

coconutpie Sun 31-Jan-16 00:08:37

No way would I allow them stay at your house. You married your husband, not your in laws. You are under no obligation to have anything to do with the lot of them.

Muldjewangk Sun 31-Jan-16 00:24:13

Firstly OP tell you DH you will not have his sibling stay at your home. How dare they treat you like this, I can't understand why you haven't stopped contact with them. Just reading your post makes my stomach churn, how can you let these morons into your and your DC's lives. Your DH sounds as nasty as them.

Starbores Sun 31-Jan-16 00:27:58

My home is my haven and I wouldn't allow anybody who had treated me badly to be welcome there.

There must be more of a backstory to this op?

Ickythumpsmum Sun 31-Jan-16 03:04:00

tigger not congratulating me on him being baptised, on him being born! Normally when people I know have a baby, I say congratulations.

pippi I did directly try to speak to her and her husband. They did not respond.

About 7 years ago, one other sibling made up some bizarre story about me sitting at their family breakfast table and calling them all some horrible names. Bizarre because in this story, my parents in law and husband were all present at the table too, but nobody reacted at all. They didn't react because it didn't happen. When I heard about, almost a year later, the story had been spread and my family in law all seemed happy to believe I had done this. Nobody bothered to ask my husband or I anything about it.

I suspect this is why they wouldn't speak to me, but since they haven't approached it with H or I, I don't really know and I wasn't getting started on all that during the baptism.

AcrossthePond55 Sun 31-Jan-16 04:56:45

I'd tell my 'd'H that if he thinks I'm going to host and entertain people who have been actively rude to me then he has another think coming! And if he didn't rescind the invitation, I'd be booking the children and myself into the hotel that these arseholes should be staying in for the duration of their 'visit'!

Btw, does he agree that they've been rude? If so, how does he justify inviting them to your home? ('Your' as in both of yours) Because if he's pulling out that old chestnut about 'it's my home, too' that won't fly. It's not reasonable to expect someone to host someone who obviously doesn't like them. That should take the precedence.

gottachangethename1 Sun 31-Jan-16 06:35:01

I think perhaps you should tackle them head on. Let them come over to your home and then say 'is there a reason why you ignore me or are you trying to prove a point? Because I can't understand the reason for your hostility towards me?
All this second guessing will drive you mad. It may well be they are simply nasty buggers, but by being open about it you are showing you are fully aware of what they are doing and you are not prepared for it to carry on. No need for shouting it out, deliver it in a calm, controlled manner. Guarantee they will back down.

Ickythumpsmum Sun 31-Jan-16 11:12:46

Thanks for all the posts. I actually don't think this is something I have to worry about now. I decided to toughen up and told H that they were welcome to come but he would have to tell them that they would have to behave in a normal way towards me and that I would be willing to do the same.
The he called his mum to let her know when they could come and she's going to pass the message on to them. I don't understand this method of communication and think there is a lot of room for misunderstanding here. I am now firmly stepping back and if they come I will be welcoming and polite and genuinely hope it will go well.
If they manage to get the message from MIL that ishmm

pocketsaviour Sun 31-Jan-16 12:00:34

The he called his mum to let her know when they could come and she's going to pass the message on to them. I don't understand this method of communication

This is called "triangulation" and it's a favourite strategy of narcissists. It sounds like your DH is the scapegoat of the family but I would guess the mum has them all dancing around to earn her favour.

This book may help: Toxic In-laws by Susan Forward.

AcrossthePond55 Sun 31-Jan-16 15:11:49

You're a better (wo)man than I am, Gunga Din!

Ickythumpsmum Sun 31-Jan-16 15:12:49

pocketsaviour he has recently become the family scape goat - like in the last 5 years. Previously they would chose an Inlaw like myself to dislike, or the spouse of someone else. Now we have all found our barriers (mostly), they seemed to turn on my husband. I will read that book thanks. I am amazed that this is a thing.

CompliantParent Sun 31-Jan-16 15:20:08

Pocketsaviour has nailed it. Narcisstic behaviour. Either your partner or someone in his family is looking to control and manipulate. Do not stand for that kind of behaviour any longer. Either they treat you as an equal or shut them out.

magoria Sun 31-Jan-16 15:35:22

So are you expected to cooking, cleaning, bed making etc for these people who lie about you and ignore you or will he be doing it all?

Fuck off slaving for people like that!

littleleftie Sun 31-Jan-16 16:12:35

Why are you seeing them at all?

Why would you/DH want them in your home?

Ickythumpsmum Sun 31-Jan-16 16:16:21

In all honesty he will be doing all of the house work tasks and is really good at it. It will still impact me though as it will take time away from helping with the kids which will fall to me. I love spending time with them but I do like a quiet minute while they go play with dad.
I don't know who the narcissist in his family is - could be parents in law, could be his siblings. I don't think it's my husband. I'd know wouldn't I?

Ickythumpsmum Sun 31-Jan-16 16:17:50

littleleftie I don't want them here, but my husband loves his sister and is hoping this will build some bridges.

littleleftie Sun 31-Jan-16 16:21:25

OK, well I think if you are willing to give it a go, you need to have really clear boundaries agreed beforehand between you and DH about what is and isn't acceptable.

I agree with PP that all this triangulation with communications having to go through MIL has disaster written all over it. I would tell DH you want to have direct communication with SIL before the visit. So you can discuss sleeping arrangements, meals, activities, timings, whatever crap you think they will buy into. If this is refused then it doesn't bode well does it?

Good luck!

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 31-Jan-16 16:40:29


"I don't want them here, but my husband loves his sister and is hoping this will build some bridges".

I do not blame you for not wanting these people at all in your home. Also you would not have tolerated any of this from a friend, family are really no different.

His actions will not build bridges. It is not possible to have a relationship with a narcissist and your DH (and in turn now his own family unit) will simply continue to be scapegoated by his family of origin. This is what happens in family that are narcissistic in terms of structure and they will not change.

Boundary setting may be far easier for you to achieve as well; your DH has no real sense of boundaries when it comes to his siblings mainly because he has been trained by his parents and siblings to put his own needs last.

Ickythumpsmum Sun 31-Jan-16 17:54:47

You have all got me interested in finding out more about narcissism and I feel like this might enable me to understand / handle things better. Thank you. I am still not convinced they will come, but I will have to deal with my husbands family at some point so it is really interesting to see that this behavior has a label and people have studied it. Thank you so much.

JolseBaby Sun 31-Jan-16 19:07:32

You have a DH problem lovey. He should be standing up for you.

To put this into context, I found out that my DM had been saying some unpleasant things about my DH to other members of my family. I had a blazing row with her, where some home truths were exchanged about A) how wrong she was and B) how it was none of her fucking business anyway. This culminated in me leaving her house, not speaking to her for a month and not actually seeing her face to face for 4 months.

We have reached an uneasy truce as a way forward but she knows that if she oversteps like that again then I won't hesitate to call her out on her behaviour. More importantly my DH knows that he has my loyalty and that I will NEVER put his feelings last. I know that the same goes for me with his family.

Ickythumpsmum Sun 31-Jan-16 20:06:17

jolsebaby I know I have a DH problem. It's crap. If put my foot down, he would say no they can't come. If I made a huge fuss, he would support me. It's just that's not me. I don't want to tell him what to do /how to behave. I am responsible for my own behavior and prefer to concentrate on that.

My husband finds this very difficult as he desperately wants a good relationship with his siblings. After reading some of the postings about narcissism I read up a little on the Internet and I can confidently say that three of his siblings are narcissist, and the one who might be visiting has some but not all traits too. I'm not sure about his parents. His mother a little, and I am sitting here desperate to ask him directly but think that it's probably a conversation that would really hurt him.

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