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In-law issues

(9 Posts)
speakyourmindkindagirl Sat 13-May-17 15:09:29

Anyone else have a weird or non existent relationship with mother in law, father in law and their daughters? Mine are so so different to me, and are very selfish, self absorbed and so critically judgemental of others I just can't bring myself to be in their company and avoid them at all costs. They give all their time to the daughters kids and not to ours which is also an issue. I love my husband dearly, he is so different to them and both of us struggle with the above.

scottishdiem Sat 13-May-17 16:18:35

I dont speak to my MIL at all. She is very different from my DP and my parents. My DP and parents love my DP so its not really a problem.

I have never really understood why people invest so much time in in-laws or parents who are so disengaged or problematic.

packofshunts Sat 13-May-17 16:22:30

Same situation here except in-laws don't make any effort with ANY of their children or grandchildren.

They are a selfish, self-absorbed and bitter. I can't bear either of them and afternoon a recent incident I will only communicate via email.

Staffers me that DH came from them.

Seav Sat 13-May-17 17:11:42

Sadly yes - that is the bare bones of it. Took a while to see it underneath the fake sugary coating. The interesting thing is that whilst they lavish their time and energy on their daughter and her children - the line they feed us is that they are her victim and she 'make them' do it. Odd. Very odd.

I've become very detached from them now (DH was before but though the DC would be a fresh start - just same old different generation though - the favouritism) and taken to playing mental bingo when I spend time with them.

One 'bingo number' they ALWAYS call is being judgmental/highly critical of someone else (often people I don't even really know)...they spend about 30 mins every 6 weeks with their grandchildren and they choose to spend their time doing this. Speaks volumes.

speakyourmindkindagirl Sat 13-May-17 20:14:15

Seav very similar to us, they are the victims and they complain and bitch about the daughters to us about how they put on them but are always having their kids, yet when we ask you are made to feel it's a chore and a problem. MIL is most miserable, negative woman I've ever met, only happy when she's made a purchase and FIL very cynical and critical of others, both seem jealous of mine and my husbands success ( due to damn hard work) as neither can pay a compliment nor ask and show interest yet chose to ignore it instead. Only interested in talking about their own stuff, and constantly compare the grandkids. Glad it's not just me. I think grandparents in a way don't have a right to a relationship with grandchildren, they need to earn it. At the moment they cause me such anxiety that I dread seeing them as we always come away feeling hacked off. Why are we made to feel that we need to have these perfect relationships when sometimes they just make life so miserable you'd be much happier if you just cut them out altogether?

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 13-May-17 20:26:44


There is no law to say that you have to spend any time whatsoever with dysfunctional family members. You are doing the right thing in avoiding these people; all you can do here is keep shoring up your own boundaries. I would certainly keep your children well away from them because by association with their dad they are being scapegoated as well. It will not do them any favours for them to see you as their mum and dad being so disrespected.

Re your comment:-

"Why are we made to feel that we need to have these perfect relationships when sometimes they just make life so miserable you'd be much happier if you just cut them out altogether?"

Perhaps societal convention is playing a part here. Also such things are rarely mentioned in real life conversation. How would your DH feel if you were both to lower contact further to a point where actually no contact was being made?. Does your DH on some level still seek their approval, is he still very much in a FOG (fear, obligation and guilt) state when it comes to them?. Does he still think they will apologise and or accept any responsibility for their actions?. Does he think on some level that they will one day change.

People from dysfunctional families like your DH's end up playing roles; his is likely to be one of scapegoat and made responsible for all their inherent ills. This dynamic goes back many years and certainly predates you. The fact too that his sisters and their associated family members are more favoured happens an awful lot in such families.

I would suggest you read "Toxic Inlaws" by Susan Forward as a starting point for your own self.

Seav Sun 14-May-17 11:11:45

The similarities are striking Speak - I was amazed the first time I stepped into stately homes and started reading - there were actual names for the things thing did and the dynamics being displayed. Looking back I am horrified how much I let it affect me and for how long.

Atilla always explains things so clearly (I have read a lot in relationships although don't post that much) - I've learnt a great deal from her, and others, over the last couple of years. It still took a good couple of years from the penny dropping fully about them and me being at peace with my response to it all though. It was a surprisingly hard road but they may have been because of my own family background too.

Interesting how you mention your husband's success and jealousy. My husband has been considerably more successful career wise than their daughter, and both of them, and I believe they struggle with that (so have I to a much lesser extent - and my job is belittled every now and again). That wasn't the box they had made for him! Although I they love to boast to the neighbours and church friends so and get reflected glory so...

If your DH isn't in the FOG with them (or at least sees there is a very real issue) then that is a major plus. Mine does not think that they will change or apologise (and he has tried several times to point things out to them - doesn't bother now) but there is still a tiny bit of manageable FOG left. We do the minimum required now to keep the peace, make no effort to force a relationship with the DC, help with reasonable requests and say no to unreasonable ones, don't ask for any help at all, don't get swayed with emotional blackmail (including MIL crocodile tears), don't accept badmouthing of others.

speakyourmindkindagirl Sun 14-May-17 21:21:18

I think a lot of it is down to jealousy, and with the sisters. Their brother has done well and they can't handle that, whilst they struggle to get by. But the parents are jealous too!! If they babysit (which is an absolute rarity) for myself and hubby to go out, MIL will never say 'oh you look nice', even if I don't, you just say it don't you? I think they dislike the fact that hubby and I don't depend on them for anything whatsoever where as the daughters are so dependant and needy, even though both over 30 and married! When my son was a baby we asked for support once a week with him, for her to have him a couple years of hours and she refused. That was it, never offered to take him, or my daughter who was born a year later so 2 under 2's and all my family miles away. Hubby and I went through a tough time and I can't forgive them for that. Yet they were at their daughters beckon call every minute of the day and still are. They all irritate they hell out of me and I feel better when I don't see them.

Seav Mon 15-May-17 12:04:37

That's really sad speak. What we've discovered is what a common dynamic it is though - DH has discussed it with two friends and they have had similar with their families.

My children are older and I still get annoyed about it now. They won't change though! I have found the last two days that I have been ruminating about it again - not good! Probably because I've discussed it in here.

My only advice is to be distant, stay polite when you really must see them, make no effort but support your DH if he feels he needs to, avoid mentioning them, avoid asking them for any help at all and take care of yourself. Seek counselling if you find yourself thinking about it too much. flowers

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