Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Out-Laws Anxiety

I've tried to come up with a way to talk about this without 'bashing.' My husband's parents are not nice least not to me. They have bad-mouthed me to my husband's friends as well as their own and their family members. Why??? Because I don't do what they want, when they want. Well, they like to control what he does through a 'well-intentioned' guilt trip. But, I wasn't raised with such passive aggressiveness. When my parents didn't like something, they told me straight out. There were never any guilt tactics used,

But.....wanting your son to be over your house all the time 'hanging out' is a portion of what has torn me and my in-laws apart. I don't like to be told what to do, nor do I like being guilted into doing anything or guilted for not doing anything.Its almost as if they think since I married him, now they can just assume that I'm going to do things their way. As opposed to 2 different people coming together and compromising with mutual respect.

My husband is such a passive person, that he pacifies their complaining by just giving in. That's hard to bring a new person, like your wife, around who has never been around that type of interaction before. Needless to say, words have been exchanged with them and my husband  and somehow.....I'm to blame. His parents have been married for 27 or so years. He's also adopted. I've noticed that in the urban communities, adoption is kept as a taboo secret. This definitely has something to do with the guilt tactics used and felt.

I wish they could see the actions of themselves and not feel like they're entitled to feel the way they do because their his parents. So many boundaries have been crossed and this has been going on for 6+ years. I faked it until my first son was born. Boy.....motherhood really jumpstarts that 'don't treat me like a child, nor tell me what to do" attitude. They don't like that attitude. All they want is for us to spend more time with them than anyone else, go over their sister's and cousin's houses and visit their this and that. If we have not established a prior relationship with those individuals, then I will not be going over there just because you want me to or told me to.

Now, I have to go home and be around them while we ignore each other's attitudes for hours at a time. Prior to having my boys, it would be me talking to a wall for the first hour of the visit while my husband was in the basement. I'm always treated nicely in front of him though. I really hate being around them and it doesn't help that they make snide comments about me to his elementary school friends regularly.....those friends don't prefer me because of what his parents have said.

I refuse to play the same tit for tat gossip game (so I stay quiet - which appears to be seen as a weakness)......but I also would like to refuse to be around them. I really hope I don't lose my cool on them when one of their snide comments is made.

Please pray for my anxiety. Any advice is appreciated.


  1. You have to think up your own responses when the comments are made. Not nasty or snide, but I don't want you remaining quiet either. It's strange when adults act this way (to me). Just say it, be done with it, and let that be that. You need a heart to heart w/your husband. Surely he knows the angst you feel, but he feels powerless to defend you b/c they're his parents, adopted or not. I hope it doesn't come down to you refusing to see them; it's not worth it. As for the elementary school friends...screw em. They are of no consequence to your life, right? If they were truly interested in knowing you, they'd learn his parents were wrong. Without that effort, we won't assign them any power in your feelings. I'd say write it all out in a non-argumentative or accusatory manner but more like It hurts me when you do/say this, acknowledge their role in your husband's and sons' lives and see where it goes. You know we can't change anybody, so it may just come down to you not being around. But, maybe that'll jar them into realizing how special a person you are.

    I sound so professional (when in all honesty I want to tell you to say, at the first snide remark, "Kiss my entire ass." OK not really, but, well, kinda).

    LOL That'll be $75.

  2. Oh no :( so sorry to read this. i can't imagine how hard that must be. i seriously don't know what i would do if i were in your shoes. i wish i had this great advice to tell you to make things easier but i don't. all i can say is that hubs is going to have to stand up to his parents for you. if you do, it might not make things any easier. actually it might makes things harder.

    i am thinking of you and praying that things goes well this holiday. stinks that you even have to worry about that.

  3. It's so hard when you have difficult inlaws. I really think your husband needs to man up to his parents. He can be firm with them without being disrespectful. He needs to be behind you and stand up for you with his parents. They need to realize that he is a grown man and that they can not control him (or you)!

    I hope they don't ruin the holidays for you!

  4. This IS a touchy subject. And I hate that you have to be, literally, pinned in the middle. looks like hubby has to step up to take the heat of of "bad you!" HIS parents must understand when the two of YOU....began your OWN family, that is becomes priority. But again, hubby is gonna have to step up and set his parents straight....or YOU will continue to be the bad one, the one that keeps him from his family, etc. The sooner the better. Good luck....I wish I could mail you a xanax! lol.

  5. Awww hun, I'm sorry you have to go through this. I feel your pain. This used to be me every holiday and every weekend when hubs and I lived near his family. That passive-aggressiveness and guilt trip stuff is the reason often do separate things for the holidays :/

    People say your husband should do this and you should say that, but it's much easier said than done. Feelings are involved and saying the wrong thing may cause problems that aren't easily fixed.

    But things can get better! Most often we have to be the one to to make the change, though. Over the years I have learned to pick my battles and celebrate small victories. For instance, instead of saying nothing (which my in-laws view as weakness as well) I stand up for myself, my husband, our children, etc. I firmly state my opinion and if they don't like it, oh well. Saying nothing got me no where, so I tried something different.

    Also, you can't let them see you sweat. I often laugh out loud when mine bring those attitudes with them and try to make me feel bad. My being assertive and laughing out loud at their catty behavior has caused them to let off a bit (partially because they think I'm "crazy")but it's still not perfect. Hopefully you can find a way to be around them without being anxious.

    And if not, keep a small bottle of wine or a flask in your purse ;-)

    I wish you very happy holidays and the best of luck!

  6. oh you poor Deia..i can't even imagine someone being so mean like are such a sweet person but i guess it has nothing to do with you but everything to do with your in-laws...i don't know what to say either..just wish the hubby would become a little more verbal but i will be praying for you to have a relaxing a time as possible! bring a good book and your phone to distract you! Have an awesome holidays regardless of the at the chocolate knot had some great books on in-laws awhile back...maybe looking at some resources online may be helpful! good luck heart so goes out to you!!

  7. Awww Shawty! I'm praying for you for sure. I worry the same thing is going to happen to me since my man is always "the nice guy". You are a strong individual and you know it. You can laugh out loud when they say incredibly rude things. Sometimes that holds the mirror to the people being evil. Also, it's not what you say it's how you say it. So you can acknowledge there rudeness with a sweet little voice. Like "Wow, that was rude!" (with a smile and a chuckle) or "My, that crossed the line!" can be sung out sweetly like you just said "wow, great weather we're having!". All in all this is NOT easy so the best thing I can do is pray that God gives you the Spiritual Endurance to handle this situation. Love you and Happy Holidays!!

  8. As you try to change family dynamics people are going to get upset and they are going to do whatever they think it will take to bring you into line with their way of thinking. As humans we cannot change or control anyone but ourselves. So be polite but stick to your boundaries and protect your kids.

    I'll be praying for you!

  9. Hello Lovely friend.. BIG HUUUGS!!!!! Stopping in for a quick moment to say **MERRY CHRITSMAS** Wishing you a joyous and HAPPY day.. xoxoxo.. Marilyn...Cheers..

  10. what happened to my post???? man! i said a whole lot and it just disappeared :( - - the bottom line - - don't let evil win - - separating you and anything that keeps you from loving each other, supporting each other, standing up for each other - - is evil. Keep that out and away. Don't let pride, ego or fear keep both of you from stepping up - - . Recognize each other when they're good and remind each other to keep it good when the %$#! shows up. And above all - really try not to harbor stuf inside. Kids hate it when their parents are off track or out of whack - - and nobody should be forced to deal with that if they simply can't do it. If it means THAT much, then make SURE people you love, don't hurt people you love! My prayers are with you always.

  11. by the way - - I love your updates, and your pictures are beautiful

  12. I am just catching up on my favorite bloggers and girl you know how I feel about this topic already. I hope you didn't have to deal with any snide comments on this holiday. I am surely in the same boat as you in some ways, except its his sisters not his parents (ugh) What sucks about it all is that there is so much history with he said she said and people believing non truths! Its tough. All that matters is you and hubby ... bump everybody else ... just be happy you don't have to live with them!! xoxo


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