My relationship with my inlaws has always been difficult They have been critical and controlling in the past In the beginning all I wanted was their approval and therefore did all the things they wanted me to do and never confronted them when the insulted me or were too intrusive. I wasn't true to myself but we got along at first I was very much a people pleaser As my self worth began to improve so did my behavior I began to object to their criticism of me and controlling behavior It seemed that my words always fell upon deaf ears or they reacted angrily This led to a big argument After things calmed down we had a therapy session in which I apologized for losing my temper with MIL but she did not reciprocate I learned from my husband's brother after the fact, that there is something clinically wrong with their parents, where they are unable to acknowledge wrong doing and that they were a fragile facade of superiority.
They moved away shortly after and I chose not to accompany my husband to visit them but instead donated my airline tickets to our grown kids so they could visit. Still my inlaws complained that I didn't visit
They eventually came back here for visits and stayed with our grown daughter and I joined in some of the family activities This went well for a couple of visits.
Their last visit however did not go so well. We recently moved to a different house and they wanted to come and see it. I agreed to let them stay with us for the first 2 days because my daughter was unable to accomodate them the first couple of days
As my husband and I showed them our house we told them about things we planned to change For instance "We plan to extend this patio" MIL responds "this patio is plenty big " Similar response to each thing we planned to do. I wish I could say I was a confident enough person to just let these little comments roll off my shoulders but I am not. Even into the next day they were saying things like "everythings already perfect " MIL then went on the next day to say she liked my flooring much better than wood floors (I already told her I planned to get wood floors" I reacted and said "We may do some things you don't approve of or don't think are necessary"
Then she went off about how she would never tell me what to do. I never said she was telling me what to do. (wasn't she expressing that she didn't think any of what we were doing was necessary?) She wouldn't leave it alone and I lost my temper and so did she. I left and when I came back my husband was about to take them to the airport. I stopped them and said I thought we could talk more calmly in the morning.
One thing my MIL said that was true was that I have a low self esteem and I am too easily offended That is my part of the problem in the relationship.
The next morning I apologized for losing my temper and admitted that due to my self-esteem struggles I was more sensitive than other people I admitted that I am particularly sensitive to her and that in the past she actually talked me out of doing things I wanted to do with my house, hair, clothes etc. Then she said in a condescending voice, almost baby talk " I really want you to have a better self esteem.
I went on to say that when she repeats an opinion contrary to mine over and over again it comes across as you trying to talk me into your opinion. Her response to that? "ok I'm not to give opinions. "
She did not admit that anything she did was wrong and let me take the entire blame.
I did not respond because I just wanted to get through the weekend without another argument, but after this weekend I am done!
I don't think my reaction to her responses after I was vulnerable with her, is just me being sensitive. She has been unkind
C, I haven't had a similar issue with my MIL. However, what I can relate to is what I think of as 'oil and water' relationships. Personalities that don't mesh. Expectations that aren't met. Impasses.
Others may not agree with me on this and that's as is should be but/and I would be done, too. Needs aren't being met...energy is being drained. Years come and go and nothing changes. You aren't the DIL she wants and she isn't me MIL for you. So be it.
We all have short suits and limitations. Perfection is the great illusion. I can work on mine when I receive support but when I meet opposition, not so much. Life is too short. That's my take. You have tried really hard at times and no so hard at others. You are still going to be you. And so is she. Enough is too much.
I'm unclear about how you and your husband see this, as a couple...and where he is regarding you drawing a line in the sand and saying, I'm done. To me, that's much more important. Can the two of you align on this and move on in peace, getting that you have given it your best shot? Hugs...
Really 'AMAZED' that this Topic is such a Common one.!!!
Having struggled over the many long years of 'Trying to be that 'Other Person' when dealing with In-Laws' has been my most worrying situation.
Wondering 'if' this relationship problem happens on 'Both' sides.??
Starting off with loving hugs Etc., then somehow the realtionship starts to slide into Oblivion.
Efforts being made to hold onto those relationships take up our daily thoughts as to HOW to mend each of them in turn.
Until we find these efforts a Total Waste of our Time & Energy then give up entirely.
Birthdays & Christmas are difficult without the Family members to celebrate with.
Can it start off with JEALOUSY.??
Posessiveness is often part of the problem too. Being into our 90's could also influence their opinion's.?
Each Family Member seeing their own point fo view, then their Off-spring become part of this Stand-off.
"Oh to see us--as others see us"--springs to mind oftener than not.
Faults on both sides, without any exchange of assuring Love & affection.
Showing up, when our Beloved Daughter passed away SUDDENLY quite recently, with Son-in-law taking FULL Charge of our Daughter's Funeral without any contact with us her Parents being taken into consideration.
Having to read of this event by messages on the Internet by a rather estranged Gr-daughter obviously influenced by her Father's Opinion of us.
Thankfully I am still Blessed to have my Husband, to whom our Darling Daughter was Really Close to & always kept us up to date with her daily life, where the miles have kept us apart. Being her Husbands Home Territory.
Missing this Daughter's Love & her communication is very noticable each & every day.
We just have to cope with our situation, realising that her Siblings aren't favourable to-wards us either.
Somehow family Members choose to Take Sides without any discussion's on 'how' those situaitons have arisen.
No such thing as a PERFECT Parent or any RELATIONSHIP's either.
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Luisa, My husband is angry with his parents because of the way they have treated me, but he they are still his parents and he still loves them. I feel supported by him, when we are alone, but he rarely confronts his parents. He is wise enough to know it does no good. His brother is a Psychologist, and advised us in recent years that they have some kind of disorder that prevents them from acknowledging fault. I have a problem with forgiving when the offender won't admit to wrong-doing. When I've tried to be honest and talk about how I am feeling they become indignant and throw it back at me. They are his parents and he will forgive them. I tried again for him, but now I"m stepping out for him. IF I am out of the picture they won't be fighting over me so he will visit them without me. I even suggested that he tell them not to talk about me, so he doesn't feel the need to defend me and start an argument. My husband argued with his parents after this last incident and it's hurting their relationship. Also I think it's been hard for him to face the fact that his parents have this disorder and behave this way.
I feel like we are as much on the same page as we can be. He loves me, he loves his parents. I love him, but honestly I have no love for his parents. I care for them in that they are his parents and grandparents of my children, but they have never been my friends.
Their feelings of superiority extent to their son because he is a reflection of them, so no one was ever going to be good enough. And for me with my feelings of inferiority, I like you, do better with people who support me. I think everyone does. Since my self-esteem has improved and I have been more assertive, all of my other relationships have improved.
In spite of my feelings, when my kids lived at home, I never excluded my inlaws from holidays and kept the peace for my family. It was after my kids were grown that I tried talking to them about my feelings and things went south.
Thank you for clarifying that. I'm so glad you and your husband have solidarity in such unfortunate circumstances. At age 91, I see life as a journey and since we are all different, so are our life-paths. Leaning that we matter and that we get to choose is a wonderful gift to my way of thinking. My hat is off to you!
Wilsonmary, I am so sorry about your daughter
Thank you Luise There is one thing my inlaws and I have in common We both love my husband and think he's the greatest....and our children too