July 02, 2020, 11:51:58 am


"Welcome to WiseWomenUnite.com -- When adult children marry and leave home, life can sometimes get more complex instead of simpler.  Being a mother-in-law or daughter-in-law can be tough.  How do we extend love and support to our mothers-in-law, adult children, daughters-in-law, sons-in-law, and grandchildren without interfering?  What do we do when there are communication problems?  How can we ask for help when we need it without being a burden?  And how do our family members feel about these issues?  We invite you to join our free forum, read some posts... and when you're ready...share your challenges and wisdom."

Don't know what to do anymore

Started by stilltrying2010, June 07, 2010, 02:24:14 pm

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


I have been married for six years and I am spinning my wheels as to how to get along with these people.  I know I have made mistakes and re-acted to hurts with errors but there has never been any big blow up.  All I can come up with is that we are completely different people, polar opposites perhaps, but I see me hurting my husband because of this dislike.  Perhaps I should be more specific:
We just hosted mother-in-law & her husband for 2 weeks - I thought I would go crazy.  Within 5 minutes of being in our new home they were criticizing it, the weather, everything.  They are always having something negative to say it lust sucks the life out of me!  They paid their flights here but nothing more the entire time.  I prepared dinner & breakfast - they would take day trips out (without inviting me or my daughter) have lunch & come home before my husband returned from work.  I felt like a B &B... this has happened numerous times in the past (in the past 5 years I would guess they have spent 20 wks with us - always same scenario). 
Their number one topic of conversation was my husband's sister kids.  They are good kids, we live "away" and did try to have relationships with them, send them things for their birthdays, Christmas, accomplishments.  Now we don't even have our gifts acknowledged.  Anyway, MIL will go on and on about how the sisters kids blahblahblah. Our daughter had her first dance recital while they were here & they sat behind me criticizing the format saying how much they like the other granddaughters stuff better - who does that?
The sister just sent us a happy anniversary email, it is the 2nd time we have received an email from her this year - the other was when she emailed info for pic ordering from her sons first communion (after the fact).
Father-in-law in a drunken late night conversation (while we were staying at his home) said I was making everyone uncomfortable since I didn't want my daughter exposed to their ways. (He had other company visiting at the same time they were reliving the "old days" for the 4 nights we were there.  Then the next day father-in-law not knowing I had heard him referred back to it with his girlffriend making me the butt of their joke.
I admit to some insecurities but I have never had problems getting along with others in the past.  All I get from these people is "blood relatives" stuff and comparisons and criticism and negativity.  I just don't know how to deal with them.  I feel like I now can recite every wrong that goes back to our wedding. I don't want to be this person. I know my anger & frustration hurts my husband but the more I try the more hurt I get.  It is as if I don't exist - but of course my daughter is "blood".  Some of it is feeling left out, hurt, ignored.
I just don't know what else to do. I can't seem to let it go.
sorry so long


Welcome and you did something right...you came here! I read your post with compassion and so will others. Your ILs are how they are and being constantly put down and used is horrible. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Welcome stilltrying,I'm sorry your inlaws are so rude.It's sounds like they are trying to provoke you to react,i could be wrong,but to constantly be putting you down is,and should be unacceptable to your husband.Does he hear this stuff?or do they do this where he isn't aware?I know this puts him in an uncomfortable position,but he really needs to say some thing about their behaviour.

i'm sure you will get some more replys from a lot of the Wise women here.

Sending Love and a hug


Thank you for your warm welcome.  I know my earlier post was slightly disjointed but after a 2 wk visit I was/am a little off my game.

I am very interested in hearing from MILs because I am not sure I know if I am doing something that causes this.  I understand that in their family, many of the behaviors I refer to are the norm.  However, they are NOT for me.  My MIL compares all her children/stepchildren to eachother and cousins so I am not surprised that it is trickling down to the next generation.  However, I don't know what my reaction should be.  Currently I am getting angry, pressing my lips into a lip while biting off my tongue.  A blind man would see I was mad.  I have waited 6 yrs for my husabnd to say or do something but that is clearly not going to happen. When slights occur he is doesn't hear or says nothing.  He will point out that she has said/done later. 

Sometimes I am the angry daughter inlaw many of other posts refer to but I am not angry for no reason.  All other advise I have got is "its husbands family, he should handle his parents" but the thing is - he's not.  This is the role he's been conditioned to all his life.  No one in the extended family says anything - although everyone will say things like "that's how she is".  Well, maybe if someone had spoken up to her she wouldnt continue to act this way. 

I'm just not really sure how to proceed but I cant go on with this anger and frustration each time I see them (we live a great distance so it is usually for at least a week at a time). THank you for listening.


Welcome stilltrying and I am so sorry for what you are going through.  My first marriage (lasted 21 years), I had a MIL that is exactly as you are describing.  Very negative, constant criticism for anything I did and always comparing her kids and gc.  I also had a husband that knew exactly how she was and would say so "after the fact" when she wasn't around.  It was an issue between us because I wanted him to stand up for me, and talk to her about it, explaining it was unacceptable.  When I would try and talk to him about it, he would say the same thing, "That is just how she is and we are all used to it."  He told me just to ignore her.  That was his easy-out.  Just like you, I wasn't used to it either.  Finally, after about 5 years of marriage, I couldn't take it any longer and during a visit to their house with the gc, I blew up.  She said something criticizing, like she had done many times in the past, and I lost it.  I screamed at her, yelling obscenities and telling her what I thought of her.  It was terrible and something I was not proud of later.  It created a rift between us that lasted years.  It brought me down to her level.

I told you that story to be able to say this.  Later, I wished that I had sat down and had a talk with her when I wasn't angry about how she made me feel.  Doing it the way I did was not right on my part, and I regretted it later.  It was 5 years of buildup that just finally boiled over.  Would it have done any good to talk to her?  Probably not because that was truly how she was and I wasn't going to change it.  But, it would have set clear boundaries on how I felt and what I would tolerate.  It would have allowed me to be able to walk off and ignore her later when she started, without me feeling bad about it.  It would have been her choice to continue her negativity, not mine.  And when she said, "Well, she is very distant and cold with us", at least I could have said, "I talked to you about this and how it made me feel."  It probably wouldn't have changed her, but I could have lived with a clear conscience and not felt bad about it when I didn't react to her statements.  Bottom line, I could have let go of the anger and resentment and not been baited into feeling that way any longer.  And that is the biggest trick of all.  Once the conversation has occurred, truly saying to yourself, ok I have set my boundaries, now I have to let go of the hurt.  Even if she doesn't change, I have to change how I react to her.

It's really kind of ironic now.  I get along better with her now that she is my EX-MIL.  When we run into each other, we have better conversations than we ever did when I was married to her DS.  It took her getting a new DIL from hades for her to go, "Hmmmm, she wasn't that bad!"

Do it for yourself.  Don't do it for DS (if he will not step up), and don't do it for your MIL and FIL.  Do it for yourself so you can live your life without the anger and resentment.  You deserve it!
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


You should talk to your DH about your feelings about this situation.  Particularly about the two-week visits where he expects you to subject yourself to this rather unpaid hostess role, since he knows you're not being treated like family when you host them.   For example, since they want to visit "blood," perhaps they should only visit for a weekend when he is able to be there with them.    If you're afraid to do it, perhaps try in a counselor's office.  My DH and I went to a minister before and after our wedding. 

My DH has also talked to a few counselors since our wedding about his mother.  He has set some limits with her, in relation to me.  Having his support is what keeps me from being angry and bitter.  I feel like he and I are a team, and that solidness between him and me,  is what allows me to keep open to and working on ways to find a solution with her. Not that we have found one, yet, or that we will, but if he was not by my side then it would seem he was opposed to me.  And that would make me angry and feel extremely betrayed by him.

DH made his wedding vows to you.  If you feel DH is putting you in situations where he is not keeping his vows, by allowing others to continue to treat you so poorly, then I wonder if your anger at them, (who are the way they are and not the ones who made vows to you,) is really anger at him.


June 08, 2010, 10:02:44 am #6 Last Edit: June 08, 2010, 10:36:28 am by cremebrulee
one thing I noted, that you wrote something happened while you were staying in they're home....?  I would not stay there anymore, and when they call to let you know they're coming, just say, you can't put them up anymore...if you don't stay in anyone else's home you won't feel obligated to allow them to stay in yours...and how dare they? 

I don't know, I've always had a problem with relatives, who travel to see other relatives and expect to be put up in they're house....?  And then stay for 2 weeks?  How dare people do that?  I mean, some people don't mind...but I sure would...it would drive me nuts to have someone stay at my house that long...I don't care about my son and his family, but distant relatives, no...absolutely not...if they don't have the money to stay in a hotel/motel, how dare they do that....

I know years ago, it was the thing to do...and remember my mother hosting many distant relatives for weeks at a time, and I remember how it put her out.  She didn't care about inlaws...she dearly loved them...but distant relatives like cousins we hardly even knew, would come out our way and expect my mom to put them up, and we kids used to really be put out about it, cuz it caused our mom so much work...and maybe that is why I'm against it....

The longest I ever stayed in someone's home was 7 days, and I will never do it again...that was over staying, it was my son's home...and it wasn't right to do....3 or 4 days is long enought to expect someone to host you. 

So, if you don't want house guests, never stay with them, b/c even though you only might have stayed one time, there are some people who would take advantage, like my mom's cousins...

and if you (writing you, meaning it in general, not you personally) don't have the money to stay in a hotel, motel, I don't think you should go...unless it's an emergency, like a death in the family, that I can understand...where the whole family gets together and puts relatives from far away up....

Oft times I've heard people complaining about relatives coming to stay with them, b/c they didn't have the money, or, were to cheap to stay in a motel/hotel...and that is just awful...then they go around touring, without even as much as asking the people they're staying with to come along...that takes nerve...and if you do stay with family, then I think they should have the decency to take you to dinner a few times, but to expect you to host them, cook for them, is just awful and very bad manners.

You don't have to host these rude people, and I would make any excuse I could think of....to keep them out of my home....

While it's probably very very irritating, they are probably negative people by nature and have no clue that they are offending you, or for that matter, even care....

I tell you true, sometimes I come into this forum and just read, and I just cannot get over how cruel, rude and unthinking some inlaws are...it's awful...and I'm sorry  your dealing with this...

how dare they be so rude to you....



June 08, 2010, 10:34:21 am #7 Last Edit: June 08, 2010, 10:42:45 am by luise.volta
I'm with Creme, only more so. I don't have anyone here overnight related or not...and I don't stay anywhere overnight, either. It's a "energy field" thing, I guess. Their house is full of their energy and mine is full of mine. I don't like the way it feels to intrude on that very long, either way. Short visits are fine...like a nice long dinner, etc. When I go see my son in Hawaii, I stay in a motel. I love being in my own space. (He thinks it's nuts...but he also understands.  :o ;D 8)
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


June 08, 2010, 10:39:15 am #8 Last Edit: June 08, 2010, 10:42:06 am by cremebrulee
Quote from: luise.volta on June 08, 2010, 10:34:21 am
I'm with Creme, only more so. I don't have anyone here overnight related or no...and I don't stay anywhere overnight, either. It's a "energy field" thing, I guess. Their house is full of their energy and mine is full of mine. I don't like the way it feels to intrude on that very long, either way. Short visits are fine...like a nice long dinner, etc. When I go see my son in Hawaii, I stay in a motel. I love being in my own space. (He thinks it's nuts...but he also understands.  :o ;D 8)

I'm with ya, and totally get what your talking about...I want my privacy...
and talking about short visits...when my mom was in the hospital, she had this one friend who came and stayed and stayed and stayed, and my mom was so tired, and falling asleep, trying not to be rude and this person stayed, and I was fuming...so, I talked with her about it...and she assured me, she wouldn't stay long any more, well, guess what, she did...and she probably told my mom I talked to her, and my mom, said, oh, stay....don't worry about it, and my mom is the one who taught me to do short visits...LOL??????
Just goes to prove how sometimes we make our own selves victims....LOL

Luise, I have a girlfriend whom I adore, and she came to visit me, for a long weekend...just 3 days...and I couldn't wait to have my house all to myself again....we just have to be aware of others beyond ourselves...and not impose...or be imposed upon...sometimes we make ourselves victims without even realizing it.