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Old August 23rd, 2014, 08:15 PM
quinoa quinoa is offline
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Moving past the hurt - ILs

When I met my in laws I did everything I could to meet their expectations, to gain acceptance, it was never enough. We had the wedding they wanted, I tried not to react to the slights and insults levied against me, husband tried to reason with them. To get them to act better and accept me. They denied everything and refused to change.

After four years of this I started speaking up and stopped coming around. They always treated me like a second-class citizen, never as part of the family. Of course, they would say I was “family” to strangers and my husband, but that’s not how they acted towards me.

I grew up poor, had been on my own from a very early age. Put myself through school and grad school – but have struggled financially due to the economy. ILs have money. Shower their daughters with attention, gifts, and advantages. They punish husband for marrying me and for his refusal to be controlled.

I took a stand and stopped coming around. MIL tried to break up our marriage once and for all. She tried to convince my husband that I was mentally ill, and that he needed to cut me off financially and divorce me. She tried to conspire with him behind my back to do this, by sending him messages with information on how to meet with her secretly and ruin me.

This was not the first time she had tried to pit my husband against me. She did it before we were married as well. Husband and I went to counseling… counselor said to try harder and she would accept once we were married. MIL did not.

My husband and I cut his whole family off when this happened. Told them to go into therapy and stopped all communication. MIL wouldn’t take heed, kept calling and emailing husband for months – mostly manipulative crazy things – saying she was having nightmares that he was dying, and that she was “concerned for his welfare.” As if I had taken him hostage…

After a year of not speaking with them, my husband decided to talk to his parents. I wanted nothing to do with it. He saw them and MIL apologized to him. FIL did not apologize, and told my husband that he had wronged FIL and SILs. My husband came home in tears.

MIL sent me an “apology” email. It was all about her and how painful the cut off was for her. She never named what she had done in the email nor did she refer to previous acts of hurt. I wrote back a list of many of thing things she had done to drive me away and stated I could not trust her or her family. She still did not acknowledge her actions, but merely said she was “sorry” I felt that way. As if it were just my feelings and imagination. She wanted me to go to counseling with her… I can’t think of anything more horrible than that.

The ILs behavior has been incredibly traumatic for me. Even after almost two years of not seeing any of them I am still in pain. I am angry. I do not understand why they would do this to us, to their son, to me. I want to let it go and never think of them again, but I am still reeling from the hurt.

I do not see how I can ever get past it. Husband is the only family I have. The only person I can trust who will be there for me. Yet he is and will always be linked to them – and they are the last people in this world I want to encounter.

Has anyone been able to move past this type of hurt? How can we completely detach when something cuts through us so deep and changes our life forever?
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Old August 23rd, 2014, 09:04 PM
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KayKay KayKay is offline
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Re: Moving past the hurt - ILs

Welcome quinoa. I am sorry for your pain.

I think you have handled everything so well up to now that I completely trust that you'll make great decisions moving forward! About the only thing I can think of that will help is (1) counseling for you to help you heal from this pain and (2) passage of time.

Is your husband asking you to encounter them? It sounds to me like he is on your side.
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Old August 23rd, 2014, 10:14 PM
quinoa quinoa is offline
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Re: Moving past the hurt - ILs

I've tried counseling. Two different counsellors essentially just told me to get over it... none of them seem to want to talk to me about how I feel. I wish I could just erase it all from my mind.

DH is now on my side, but it was a process. Sometimes he tries to get me to see them, but then backs off. A lot of the hurt resulted from him not wanting to stand up to his parents for a long time. Also, his insistence that I keep encountering them even after horrible things had happened and them refusing to acknowledge/fix/apologize.

He still sees them sometimes now... I know they hope our relationship will fail. They live nearby and there is always the chance of encountering them. They've bad mouthed me to their family and even some of the locals. Its all nerve-wracking...

Anyway, maybe there is nothing to say about it or no way to feel better. I'm at a loss.
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Old August 24th, 2014, 04:23 AM
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Re: Moving past the hurt - ILs

Hello There, I am so sorry your being made to experience this kind of pain and wish there were something to take it all away, but unfortunately, there is not.

You should continue to find a counselor, that is going to help you, someone who is going to be able to work thru this with you....willing to lisen, if nothing else. it always angers me, when your paying someone who is so inefficent, as to say, "get over it".

Do you and your husband play together (what I mean is) take week end get aways together? It doesn't have to be extravagant, just to get away, take a drive and experience some history, or shows, or culture of any kind, to help take your mind off of this. Is he onboard with understanding your hurt and feelings? I'm

What I'm trying to reinterate is, anything positive which complements your lives....

Personally, to go to counseling with your Mother in law might be benefical, but I don't totally trust her....but if you find a counselor, maybe you could include her, however, she doesn't get to know or talk about your past....she needs counseling and perhaps the pain of being detacted from her son, has opened her eyes a bit? Only you know that....and believe me, as you probably know, there are cruel and vindictive jealous people in the world.

This problem is not going to go away, there is no quick fix, all you can do it try to incorporate some really positive events in your lives....like plan to go to some musical concerts, together, get oiut to dinner and a movie, together.

Do you have close friends who will allow you to talk when your down about this, or can you discuss with hubby?
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Old August 24th, 2014, 07:30 AM
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Re: Moving past the hurt - ILs

Quote:
Originally Posted by quinoa View Post
I've tried counseling. Two different counsellors essentially just told me to get over it... none of them seem to want to talk to me about how I feel. I wish I could just erase it all from my mind.
Please continue to try different counselors. Telling you to "get over it" when the reason you're there is because you CAN'T get over it is the sign of a bad counselor.

My hurt from my ILs wasn't as deep as yours, but the thing that got me past it was living my life as *I* wanted it. I stopped being afraid that my MIL would get what she wanted and started having confidence in myself. It wasn't a quick process.

Is there any way you can move farther away from your ILs? That would help. I think that constant fear of running in to them isn't doing you any favors.

Do you have children? I am worried that your problems will intensify when "her grandchildren" are involved.
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Old August 24th, 2014, 09:16 AM
quinoa quinoa is offline
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Re: Moving past the hurt - ILs

Thank you so much for your responses KayKay and Creme.

I'll think about trying to find another counselor. Maybe I'll try again. The last few were quite expensive and really unhelpful. This made me feel that perhaps there is nothing that a counselor could do for me. Past advice from counsellors has also been bad.

When the first premarital counsellor told me to do everything the in laws asked of me so they would accept me that was VERY bad advice. ILs took advantage and then deliberately hurt and excluded me even after our marriage took place. Is there a type of counsellor or counseling that is more focused on talk therapy or something? I seem to be failing big time at finding one who is interested in helping or understands why I would still be hurting. I honestly wish I wasn't hurting, but perhaps they think I'm being melodramatic or self involved for complaining about something in the past?

My husband isn't much of a dweller and talker. He also really doesn't like talking about how his parents have acted, because I think it is painful for him. My friends, well the few I use to talk with I think tired of the topic a very long time ago. I'm not one to impose myself on others... Also, most friends are unmarried - which means they really don't understand why I would still feel this way.

As to counseling with my MIL, I have a few serious concerns. One, the apology she gave my husband and the one she gave to me were quite different. That is to say, she seemed truly apologetic and remorseful to him about THEIR relationship. She also told him, that she considered repairing the relationship with me to be secondary and less important than the relationship with him. I understand he is her son, but that made me pretty angry since I feel she's done everything she could from day one to make me feel like a servant class person in their family.

The email MIL sent me was superficial and extremely self involved. She suggested seeing HER counsellor, which was another red flag. She has been seeing the same counsellor for the last 20 years (since her divorce, when her kids were very young) and I am certain she has shared her fabrications about my sanity and supposed evil nature with that counsellor over a long period of time. MIL has come up with some pretty crazy things about me over the years - I know because other people in her family have confronted me about these imagined scenarios to justify MIL's behavior towards me and put me in my place...

Based on content of MIL's email to me I'm pretty confident she does not care about my feelings. Not once did she say she was sorry she hurt me or even indicated she was apologizing for hurting me. It was all about what she wanted and how painful everything was for her. She also tried to justify her behavior... saying she "did what she did" because our relationship was crumbling... seems pretty OBVIOUS to me that being inclusive, loving, and accepting opposed to tearing into me and excluding me constantly would be a better fix for a crumbling relationship, but what do I know. She's just grasping for straws.

I think she wants to do the bare minimum to sweep things under the rug, get a relationship with my husband back, and look like the "bigger person" for having "apologized" to me "the bi polar" crazy woman... Then continue treating me as she had before all along - a second class unwanted member of her family.

Maybe my view of her sounds paranoid but after years of her being passive aggressive, criticizing me to my face (appearance, personality, weight, lack of money... etc), spreading false rumors to family about my integrity (I'm a gold digger, I married my husband for citizenship, telling one of my bridesmaids she wished my husband was marrying her instead at our WEDDING, telling her friends that there was nothing likable about me, telling my husband he should be free to have sex with OTHER WOMEN after we were engaged in front of me... I could go on) I mean some truly outrageous and hurtful things have happened... I don't see myself going to counseling unless she can at the very least articulate the nature of her poor conduct that forced me to withdraw and acknowledge her hurting me. I also think a NEUTRAL counsellor or one screened by me would be necessary.

Creme --

I think distractions are helpful.
We've taken some trips and I'm doing a demanding training program to try and make myself more employable. However, the feelings seem to be deep-seated and reappear frequently. I often have stress dreams about the ILs.

If we go to a wedding it is difficult for me not to cry because I see ILs talking lovingly about the brides...

Kay Kay -

The worst part of it is that we moved here after we were married, because husband insisted being close to the in laws would be helpful.
The economy has been really hard on us, and ILs are quite connected. He just never imagined that ILs would go out of their way to hurt me instead of help me. ILs dont seem to grasp that husband and I are a unit and by refusing to help me they are refusing to help us... I honestly wish we had never ever moved to the area, but I didn't know them that well at that point and counsellor and husband both strongly believed they would shape up after our wedding. WRONG.

Anyway, husband refuses to move again... we may in time be able to make a move out of the immediate area... maybe when I finish this program I'm in and he gets a different job. I begged for a long time to move out of state but he says we can't afford it and he wont let his career take another hit with a move.

In the meantime ILs are just a couple miles away... we've run into MIL twice. Once she didn't see me and the other time she did and came right up to me trying to talk to me like nothing had ever happened... The worst is the friends of my SILs in town who try to act like 12 year old mean girls. I volunteer with various organizations and sometimes I encounter these "friends"... its really unpleasant as they will try to heckle me or refuse to acknowledge me. I do not know what SILs have even said to these "friends" that would cause them to pick on a total stranger. It's all so stupid.

Last edited by quinoa; August 24th, 2014 at 09:36 AM.
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Old August 24th, 2014, 09:27 AM
quinoa quinoa is offline
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Re: Moving past the hurt - ILs

Also children...

We do not have children yet. Mostly because IL behavior totally derailed my trust in the marriage and safety of having children in this situation. I'm at that age where I feel pressed to have kids, but I'm terrified husband will become less supportive of the cut off once kids are in the picture.

I know ILs will treat my kids worse than children of their daughters. I know they will treat me badly in front of my children. I don't want my children around these people.

Having children is a stressful topic for me already as I've been on my own since I was very young. I don't have good parenting role models and I want to do a good job for them. Offer my kids something better than what I had. I fear now I cannot give them those things.

I still do not know what I will do. Am hoping I'll get a job at some point and will have more bargaining power in the relationship.

Last edited by quinoa; August 24th, 2014 at 09:33 AM.
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Old August 24th, 2014, 10:01 AM
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Re: Moving past the hurt - ILs

quinoa...
I was wondering if you had children, thanks for including that....
Here is my take, and please, anyone, I won't be offended if you believe I am wrong, and you chime in.

If I were you, first and foremost, I'd definately find a counselor, one worth their weight in money....perhaps you could look for a good marriage counselor, with refrences, and do follow thru in checking refrences out. The last thing you want is to pay money to someone who is going to just sit there and not give you any feedback.

After you find one, your husband has to go, he needs to be onboard in understanding (before you have any children, b/c if you do, it will get worse) he needs to realize, while they are his parents, they are so wrong in their beliefs and treatment about you. Just the fact that she said, you were secondary, made my skin crawl, b/c now you ARE HIM, regardless, you two are a team. He has to understand this treatment of you is wrong, and must learn to listen and communicate...communication is essential in a partnership.

He needs to go to counseling, b/c after being raised by someone like that, there has to be problems within him b/c of it. Not only that, but he also needs to learn to tell his mother, you are his companion and if she refuses to identify you as such, then he needs to break it off....any decissions made regarding his family need to come from him and he has to learn how to deal with her, if he does, he'll be mentally healthier for it.

And after all that, and he is onboard with you, not his family, then maybe children might be a thought, but if you bring children into this now, it would mean sheer heartache, b/c she would want that child a lot...and your living way to close....I fear for that scenerio...truly I do.

Believe me, his mother knows him well, and knows exactly how to manipulate him and she will, especially if a child comes along. These are all things you and he need to counsel about....but right now, first and foremost, he needs to get onboard with his wife...and stop trying to be a peacemaker. Sure, it's got to hurt him, but that is not your fault or his, this is completely their decission.....their choice. There is no amount of money on the face of this earth that can give you peace, and peace at all costs, is no peace at all.

As far as his sisters are concerned, they got that way from her....do you realize that? She was the mother and served as example and trainer to her kids....

Last edited by Cremebrulee; August 24th, 2014 at 10:08 AM.
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