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In-laws dislike me

Frustrated wrote:

My husband and I have been married for almost two years, and even before we got married I knew his parents didn't like me - and definitely didn't like me being with their son. They purposely put a lot of unnecessary stress on us in the months before our wedding (just when we needed extra stress); there were a lot of very complicated situations they created for us, and many were by being dishonest with me.

I have caught my m-i-l lying to me on numerous occasions, and for absolutely no reason. I don't like being lied to at all, but if I had maybe asked her a question that she didn't want to answer and she felt like I had backed her into a corner so she lied, I guess I could accept that. But she'll, say, call me specifically to tell me something that is nowhere near true. And my s-i-l called me Jan. 3rd or 4th to tell me she had my b-day gift and she would drop it off the next night, then called the next night to say she was running late and couldn't come by. When she finally got the time to come by ( she lives 2 minutes away, literally) a week later, she gave me a gift card that you have to track the balance on... and after spending some of it and checking the balance, I saw the the card hadn't even been purchased until Jan. 9!!! Perfect example of lying for no reason.

But here's the thing that really gets me, and for me, it confirms that my in-laws don't like me: My m-i-l has a full album of photos from our wedding, and she's been taking pictures out of it to frame and display around her house... and not one of the pictures she framed has me in it. It bothered me a little when the only framed photo from our wedding she had was of my s-i-l and her boyfriend, but once she kept going and just happened to choose only pictures that I, the bride, am not in for her framing I really started to see clearly. Do you know how few photos in a wedding album don't include the bride?

I just see it as a subconscious thing that shows how she really feels, and what she says doesn't matter anymore. Actions definitely speak louder than words. And of course, my husband wants to stay out of it. He'd rather I "grin and bear it" around them than stand up for me.

I just really want to know what someone else thinks of this, I guess.

Dear Frustrated

.... But your husband doesn't!

Don't blame him for them, or the marriage is over!

Try not to make him choose - he loves you, he's married to you, but they are his family. You can bet he's under pressure from them, don't double it for him!!

You have a choice, and the best choice is probably "Minimum contact"; it is important that your husband understands your feelings, but it's just as important that you keep him out of it. That makes it easier for him to say to them "keep me out of it", and that makes it harder for them to be silly.

If you try to make him 'stand up for you', he will - and they will find ways to make him suffer, and order him to 'stand up for them' ... and so it goes on.

Keep him out, keep contact to a minimum ... what can they do?

You might consider a parallel approach ... Talk to them! Think long and hard about why they don't like you; however silly it all is, there may be a grain of truth in that you unwittingly upset someone; if you did, put it right. If you are reasonable, it makes it harder for them to be unreasonable.

Think of the future .. if you plan to have children, say to m-i-l "look I'm concerned about involving you with the baby with all this unpleasantness".

If all else fails, cut them out of your life; no law says you have to like them (or them you) But ... Don't Blame Your Husband!!

Good Luck!

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