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sad, stressed, and visiting soon

Started by stilltrying2010, July 04, 2010, 07:38:13 am

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Maybe am I those DILs you all speak of... I never thought of myself as trying to "cut DH from the herd" more like circling my wagons to prevent being fired upon by enemies.  I am universally disliked by DHs family.  Have I done things to make them dislike me?  Yes, some intentionally, some not.  I have gone into a speak when spoken to mode... so as far as I can tell they shouldn't be complaining that I don't tell them things about our DD when they do not speak to me.  In addition - in their family they spread and enhance personal information and I do not want all of our business out there for people to know.  I send the appropriate cards, mail just as many pics to them as I do my own parents but effort is just not there on either side.  Am I supposed to just keep giving to them in hopes that they accept me & treat me in a manner that is acceptable to me?  I've been married for 6 years... I did make efforts only to be ignored or disregarded.  How long does it go on?  All the Uncles Wives in DHs Foo are openly talked about in a negative way.  The other DIL (married to DHs step brother) is "below" me intheir eyes - I have heard MIL & StepFIL talk bad about her & their kids!!!  I am just so tired of being sad, hurt, angry, frustrated, and made out to be the bad guy.

And now we're getting ready to visit them. My DH just came in and saw my face asked what is wrong and said I just need to learn when to "deflect them, to zig when they zag, to anticipate when they are coming my way and veer off before they get to me and he doesn't know how to teach me to do it"  Is this how people interact with in laws?  I am just dreading going into a situation where I know I am talked about (they talk about EVERYONE), disliked, will be ignored, all bad is due to me all good is due to them or my DH.  I just need to find the strength to walk in and not care.  Everything that is OK for them is not for me - it IS their family and I don't expect it to revolve around me/my wishes.  But when it all goes down, regardless of what role I've played it is ME they ignore.  Maybe this time I'll just bring books and smile a lot.  I should not care that they STILL know nothing about me, don't speak to me unless no one else left to talk to.  I have tried joining their conversations but they either tell the same old stories (usually humiliating the person they are talking about) or talk about people that I don't know.  I have asked questions, tried to seem interested, voiced my opinion (BIG mistake -will only do that again if they are abusing someone -emotionally/verbally).   All in an effort to find some common ground yet all there is are comparisons.  I don't want my daughter involved in that so I am the wrong one. 

The sad thing is - its like the elephant in the living room tension.  Even my DHs own pain and sadness - always trying to be acknowledged by these people who we'll be travelling 2000 miles to see yet they'll just ignore him. His entire demeanor changes around them.  I boil for how he feels/has  felt since childhood and it seems that's what they reduce him to - a boy. His mom thinks he's shy - he's not, he just learned not to say anything lest he draw their poison towards him.  How am I supposed to go to these people with an open heart?  How am I supposed to honor them as my DH's parents... they don't really talk to each other.   The depth of my DHs sadness that he shows me is unbearable - it makes me dislike them.  Yet I should come and bring our child to them to love?  Put her heart out there to be manipulated, guilted and compared to, talked about negatively by them? 

We leave in a week... not sure how I'm going to do this.


I am so sorry this is happening to you and your family.  These people sound so toxic.  (I cannot believe there are so many of us who are treated so badly by our families.  I thought my situation was rather rare.)  May I ask how often you visit, how long you stay, and why you believe you must visit these people?  Do you and your DH think that you and he do not have a choice?  I understand that this is none of my business and that I should probably just be giving emotional support (which everyone else on this board does so much better than I do  :-[) but after reading your post, my first spontaneous thought was:  Why go at all?



Both our home towns are located in the same state, our parents live about 1 hr apart... so when we see one, we see both.  We have not been to visit in almost 2 yrs (although all parents have been here during that time) but I have 2 sets of grandparents that I want to see as well as other family & friends.

My DH thinks "its the right thing to do" (visit both families)and on a certain level I agree - its just me having to do it that sucks.  I suggested (feeling him out) him to go to see HIS family without me and his response was if I have to be tortured then you should too (said laughing).   In a way I think he likes me there as his buffer but he has had a lifetime of dealing with these people and their craziness, I a mere 7.5 yrs.

It's jsut going to be difficult.  I need to be strong.  I (in my head) think I should be happy, perky & give them what I want them to give me ut after about 24 hrs I am on empty and smoking hot.  Idk..


What a no-win situation. I can see why you are going and I can see why your husband doesn't want you to send him into the lion's den alone. I don't see an answer. The kind of gossip you describe sounds like a habit and there's no confronting that.   

I feel your sadness. This is no example for your children to see and no fun for you. More like torture. The best I can offer is to stay close to each other and hold fast on the love you have and the dignity that you are promoting in your own home as role models. Sending love...

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


There are so many MIL'S on this site who would give their front teeth for a DIL like you.
Trouble is do you want a MIL without front teeth. ;D

It is like I am living in your shoes,going back in time 35 years back in time reliving what you are
going through.

When in-laws say nasty things about other people just say something ever so sweet like""But there must be something nice about her/him" We all have faults.I am the first to admit mine"

It is 50/50 Hubby gets torture so do you. Serious but funny.


Well, Luise and Catching Up have said it all so well.  I don't have anything to add.  I just feel bad for you and your DH.  However, the GOOD thing about this is -- at least you and DH are united in this.  You can share this with each other.  You have each other and can talk about this.

Whatever you do -- don't let them know you're perturbed and hurt.  "Never let them see you sweat."  :-)

And if you have a computer while you're away, we are all right here.



I agree with everyone and might I add, I think you should make DH take you to an opera or ballet and sit thru it with you, 50/50.  ;D
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


I believe you shouldn't go.  Why go, if you know before hand that nothing nice is there for either of you.     As Belle says, they sound pretty toxic family.  The good thing here is that they live very far away (thank goodness lol) and the other is that you and your husband are close and share the same feelings.    As we see many dil's victimizing  mils, we have other mil's torturing their dil.  Just stay far from them, send them ocassional mail, pictures and that is all.  We all have the right to be where we feel good.....loved....appreciated. 

I wish you the best of luck.
Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove:


Good for you, Nana!   ;D  I would never have told Stilltrying not to go, but I agree with you.  On the other hand, she did promise "for better  and for worse", and if DH thinks they must go, well, this is just one of those "for worse" times.    ;)

You are fortunate, Stilltrying.  It sounds like you have a good husband and marriage.  You can get through anything when you have them.  I envy you.   :)



You are in a tough spot for sure!  I really liked how you said you try to be positive and give them what you would like them to give you, but I can see how you would be depleted in no time.  My od is so perky and just as you said you try to be and she is such a joy to be around.  She just lifts my spirits!  I want to be just like her.
Would it be possible to arrange an activity out somewhere when you are visiting so you are entertained and won't have so much time to talk?
Hugs, Hope


I think it's hard to admit to ourselves that we are fighting a useless battle. My dear it sounds like you are in one. I'm so sorry too. You sound like you would of done about anything to get along with your IL's and have a loving family relationship. Like another poster said, there is a lot of MIL's who would give their front teeth to have you as a DIL. But I really believe you and your DH need to sit down and way the good and the bad and decide if it is healthy for you to be around such mean people? Even if they are family. I am a huge believer that one should do what ever possible to have  a good family relationship with IL's. And from your post it sounds as though you have. Really! And you are right in thinking that if people are talking bad about the other DIL they are probably talking about you when you aren't around.
I truly feel for you because it's clear you would love this to all work out for you and your DH and daughter. Good Luck in what ever you decide. But stay true to you and what you know is right. Don't get pulled into their gossip and your daughter will learn from you because you have a larger influence over her than they do. Good Luck!


Ooh Hope.  I love that suggestion about an activity that lessons the amount of one-on-one talk time.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


Thanks, Pooh.  I appreciate your vote of confidence!   ;D


I came to this thread late, and you may already be embarking.  Either way, I wish you a peaceful trip.

What stands out to me most, what I'll address, is the pain you witness your husband suffer at the way they treat him. The depth of his sadness.  I know too well how it feels to hurt less for yourself, than for the people you love who suffer. When I see my DH wracked in pain, I would give anything to be in his place so I could take the pain away from him and bear it myself.  (This is something my own mother has occasionally said to me during some rough patches).  That's love.

I noted DH's unwillingness to visit them without you.  So I am prompted to wonder, that without having a buffer, would DH still be willing to subject himself to the pain and sadness they inflict on him.  If being a buffer enables him to suffer so much deep sadness and pain, then is there a point that "buffering" becomes along the lines of "enabling" him to continue the self-destructive behavior.  Is it possible that if you laughed and demurely declined to be tortured, that DH would be able to decline the same for himself?  Not that it's your responsibility to protect him from himself, from the pain and rejection he knows he'll find when he seeks them out.  But I sure don't know that it's your responsibility to make it any easier for him to expose himself to that depth of sadness and pain.

A strained meal or party is different than 24, 48 hours of continuous exposure.

Sometimes when someone says "it's the right thing to do" it's about avoiding punishment, not following a morality code.  Because really, subjecting yourself to certain ridicule, dismissal, manipulation, guilt, comparisons, and negative talking from those who have the power to hurt you most, cannot possibly seem like "the right thing", in any book.  Perhaps DH fears he would feel more rejected if he did not visit them this year, then as a result in the coming years they did not travel to visit him.  Maybe DH feels by investing his pain in them now, he will help stave off an even deeper pain of rejection later.  My thought is maybe if your DH could talk to a counselor about this, he could find healthier ways to avoid future pain.


July 10, 2010, 10:37:13 am #14 Last Edit: July 10, 2010, 10:41:10 am by catchingup
You are so right.What mother wants to inflict pain on her son?? or do they not realize what they are doing.

My problem with my FDIL and family--mainly her family though-- has inflicted pain on my son. Because I have been a victim of abuse (emotional) over a number of years in the past,I decided to withdraw myself from the family to avoid becoming a victim.
They are a big family and one against many will always become the victim. So I took a stand.
He lives in the U.K. but when he was out here recently I told him beforehand that I would not accept an invite by them. I know it was discussed by them with him because he asked me in the first few hours that he was here to reconsider as he would like us all to get together.
"I just said "What do you want me to do,be a victim"? We had an argument and that was that but I can see the pain in his eyes but hey! I am not the quilty party here.
I dont put his future wife down to him and inflict pain on him so why do his FIL's do it to him by trying to make a victim of his mother.

I will reconsider my decision in time to come but how do we get it across to people that we wont take abuse? or be accused of saying things we have not said.
I am absolutely sure that if I had not taken a stand that I would have become their victim.