I am having problems with my IL's and am looking for some advice.
Things have never been great with the IL's. Long story short, they have never like me since day one. There was a two year cut off from 2007-2009 due to their lack of respect for DH, Me and our marriage.
Anway. DH and I have been married 7 years and I am at breaking point with his family.
MIL & FIL show absolutely no interest in us at all. DH has one sister, who is older, and she has always been their favourite. MIL constantly talks about how hard she tried to get pregnant with SIL, and has told us that DH was an accident.
We live about 10 mins from MIL & FIL - yet see them only every couple of months. They never call, and rarely visit, we invite them over but when they come, or usually MIL comes alone, they stay for about an hour and then have to leave. We are never invited to their home. MIL spends several days a week with SIL and her kids. MIL also supports them financially. She is over involved in their lives. Personally, I think SIL is quite happy to trade some personal autonomy and have MIL involved in all her decisions, be at the birth of her kids etc, for the financial benefits. I feel sorry for SIL's DH. I have seen him holding his screaming baby, trying to settle her, only to have MIL rip her out of his arms. She does not understand boundaries.
We are the ones who always have to make the effort. DH calls her every week or two, and when he does, she talks about herself and SIL and the GK's for about 10 mins, then has to go. Never asks about his life. Just does not seem to care.
One part of all this that bothers me is that they will call if they want something. SIL is just as bad as MIL & FIL when it comes to do this. SIL never makes an effort either and anytime she wants a cake for a party, she will send me a message by Facebook - never call - to ask me to make a cake. When her last daughter was born and we went to visit (with gifts for both kids and lunch), she shoved a brochure in my hand that had a picture of a baby quilt on the front and said ' I thought you would like to make something like this for DN#2'. Gee thanks.
Holidays are another problem, MIL & SIL make all the plans and then tell us at the last minute what the plans are. They never include DH and I in planning. We are expected to just come along and do as they say. Last Christmas was the FIRST ever (We have been together 12 years) that they all came to our house and let me cook (Even though I am an excellent cook and every year have offered to help but have been shut down) and the only reason for this was because neither of them wanted to do it this year, SIL had no time because she is too busy with the kids, and they both hate cooking - yet knowing how much I love to cook, they have never let me do anything before - I think they just couldn't be bothered so let me do everything. While I was in the kitchen cooking, they opened all their gifts. Nice.
In October last year, when I was going through some things with my own family, and I just couldn't face going to one of their parties for the kids (Dh went, with a gift and apologies for me) MIL actually called me that night and asked about my absence. I told her I was dealing with some personal issues, and then to my surprise, she asked if they had done anything. I was going to be my usual non confrontational self and say no, but found myself letting loose. I was nice though. I basically said the favouritism had to stop and that she needed to make an effort to get to know her son too, and that just because we dont have kids, was not a reason for her to never see him outside of things for the GK's and other holidays/birthdays. She went on about how she didn't want to lose her son again - okay, well then do something about it!
I understand it's different because we don't have any kids, and SIL has two, but it was like this before their were any GK's in the picture. She has a clear favourite. And it's not DH. I don't understand how someone can do that to their kids. I also see this is happening with the two grankids. The eldest daughter is clearly #1 in MILs book. She goes on and on about her, how #1 did this and how bright she is and what she bought for her. She rarely mentions #2. It's disgusting really. I am not sure if SIL notices at all.
It's become beyond hurtful, to the point where DH has said that if either of his parents died tomorrow, he wouldn't miss them. He has had problems calling them on their bahviour in the past, and his way of dealing with it, is to just pretend they dont exist until we have to see them, then go and put on a face. I don't want to do that. I think he needs to say something. I did though, and it made no difference.
I am just sick of being the one who always tries so hard to be get their approval, and know that I will never get it. Yet I consistently put myself out there. I make the cakes and buy the gifts they want. I tell DH to call his mother and make an effort, and then see the way they reject him.
I need help. Why do I keep putting myself through this misery for such selfish people? How can I help my husband without being nasty about his family?
Thank you for reading.