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Old July 5th, 2015, 01:16 PM
Pebbles Pebbles is offline
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Smile Dealing with the female in laws

Bear with me on this please as it could be long winded. I shall try to condense it.
My husband and I have been married just over 2 years. Before we got married my husband was living away from his family but for most of his life had been single or in relationships that meant he was available to his family at most times. He acknowledges this has made things tricky but says he was mostly just towing the line because he had nothing better to do. His parents,particularly his mother has always been clingy and he could never really do anything without them being involved. Even watching him play sport for his entire life,until he eventually gave up ,with a local team ,embarrassing him with his friends. It caused issues with his ex wife and eventually she couldn't handle it anymore and left.
Anyway,fast forward to now.I have tried desperately to understand their behaviour and make allowances,encouraged his contact whilst making it clear we needed to set boundaries,I've acknowledged his family has invested a lot of time in his life,gone for the endless lunches and meals out when I've been well enough and answered the constant text messages from his mum to assure her we care.
My husband and I actually have a wonderful relationship and I'm lucky in that he completely supports me and knows how trying they can be.
They all seem quite controlling and are easily stressed out and offended if you don't tow the line. Even to the point of causing a huge scene with tears,dramatics and family confrontations if they feel you are even slightly pulling away. Recently we were again pulled into a massive emotional situation where his sister basically inferred my husband didn't need them anymore to be happy and that she would 'let him go'. This was because we'd apparently not attended enough family events and that him prioritising me and my illness meant he didn't care anymore. His mother also constantly says she had done much the same thing with him when he was married previously and that she knew he would come back to her. This wasn't helped by the fact his marriage was about to end and he did in fact have to go back to the family home,meaning she believed shed got what she intended.
I felt so awful about the situation that I did my best to sort it out (even blaming my illness to take some of the heat off him) and calm them,reassured them they were loved but spoke with my husband about how I'm struggling with it all.
Anyway,I suppose I've realised there's not much I can do except accept this is how they are and not feel as though this is my fault. I genuinely believe,in fact I know,that he moved away to escape them. Obviously they don't know that and I'd never say that to them. He moved back near them for work,where he met me. I thought this would make them happy but instead seems to have just made things worse. When he was away he could blame the distance or work or his sport,but now he can't and we get the guilt trip if we say we aren't going to lunch every week. He gets the 'oh..we thought you'd come..I miss you..is she ok? Oh..alright then..I suppose I'll see you soon' , with a sniffle and suggestion of being hard done to. We have talked about this a lot and he is very supportive. He has said on more than one occasion that they will not come between us and he is sorry I have to deal with their overbearing and controlling ways. It must be difficult for him. He loves them all,as do I,but frankly I'm scared that I'm starting to resent them. Not because they exist or because they need their son/brother but because I cannot understand why they have to be so involved and in control of his every move. i know his mum loves him. I have children. Adult girls to be precise. I have what I consider a healthy relationship with mine. I also have a healthy relationship with my parents. His mother constantly tells me she knows her son best. The sad thing is if she truly did she would know he loves her but desperately needs space. He has tried to break away but knows he should have been honest earlier in his life. We have stuck to the boundaries we have discussed,as in attending family events we want to,letting the phone go to answer machine when we want our own time,replying to texts when we have the time and not continuing the conversations for hours,explaining to his mum and sister that we are not pushing them away and they are loved but that they must understand we have our own lives and want to do things that don't always include everyone of them. It hasn't gone down too well and I know they all talk about me behind my back,assuming I'm the evil one making my husband 'abandon' them. They say things that upset me a lot because they infer I control my husband or manipulate him. This is not true and actually I encourage him to be patient with them. This is becoming harder to do I have to admit. Especially when they are so harsh about me. If we decide to change plans I've stressed out and made him,if we go somewhere on holiday it's been my choice and it's not one he would pick,if I cook him tea it's not what he would like because she knows his favourite. Etc etc.
Any tips or advice would help. I'm doing my best to be a good daughter and sister in law but sometimes I feel like giving up. It feels like nothing I do is ever right or good enough. My husband has said I can't allow it to worry me because they have issues and I've done all I can to keep them happy. It's hard. I'm frightened I will lose patience.
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Old July 5th, 2015, 01:33 PM
Catwoman Catwoman is offline
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Re: Dealing with the female in laws

The only thing you can do is tell your husband it is wearing you down, and you are losing your patience honestly. He already knows what the problem is so he should understand. You just have to tell him you have had enough basically and you think that its interfering in your relationship with him now. You need to discuss how you will go forward in the relationship with future measures that will keep his families intrusion inline. Just tell him you cant stand it much longer, these new rules must take place now.
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Old July 5th, 2015, 01:53 PM
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LucyVanPelt LucyVanPelt is offline
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Re: Dealing with the female in laws

Luckily, your husband and you are a team; he isn't expecting you to make them happy! Continue to move forward as you've been, attending what you want and not attending what you don't want. They will respond however they choose to respond. You have no control over that, and you aren't responsible for it.

I would suggest that you read Susan Forward's book, Emotional Blackmail.

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