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In-laws Problem

Martha wrote:

I'm having problems with my in-laws. My husband and I stopped talking to them almost a year ago. It all came down to a question of family.

They allow a women from the past get in between us, someone my husband dated in his teens, I saw no problem with her as this was his past, so I tried to be a friend but she wanted nothing of that, so I took the hint and stopped trying. Now if she was with us and the inlaws, she would not look nor speak to me, and I saw that as a problem.

But what made me angry was they would call me by her name and say it was a mistake, once or twice I can see, but not every other week. They say that she has done nothing wrong, but when my father in law told us that she went crying to him asking why they were spending so much time with me that sent flags in the air for me.

Why can't they see that? My husband and I tried on numerous occasions to talk to them but nothing, we've asked them to respect the fact that when were together don't speak about her or let her bother, but this hasn't worked either. They just find more reasons to keep her in their lives, even if it means not seeing us, and their three grandchildren. I've even tried to keep the children in their lives by bringing them by to visit, but unless I initiated contact nothing would happen, they wouldn't phone or anything, even on their birthdays and such.

So we finally told them to stay out of our lives and our childrens. They say that we should all be friends but I can't see that happening, since the other women likes to play games and their totally blind to that. We've been married for 8 years and together for 12 years and the mother in law always made jokes at my expense and what not, I'm tired of it and not willing to put up with it anymore. Please help

Dear Martha

You say you have ended contact with them, so I am not sure what help you seek.

It seems to me that both you and the In-laws are being a bit unreasonable. You have been trying to insist that they stop being friends with this woman; they have been insisting you all should be friends.

In the real world, they can be friends with who they like - and I suspect you'd agree, if they were not ramming her down your throat.

But you, too can choose your friends, and if you choose not to be friends with your in-laws, you will not be the first (or the last).

The only problem I can see is that your husband may feel he is being forced to choose; you must accept that he is still entitled to his parents, even if you and they cannot get on.

You need to reach an understanding that allows him to stay in contact (if he wishes) with no ill feeling from you. You may feel, and I'd be tempted to agree, that it would not be wise for him to take the kids with him; your in-laws may choose their friends, but they are not entitled to undermine you and your husband's family, and until they can stop the mind games, they are not safe to be around children.

But if they wish to stay friends with the sad lonley lady, that's fine.

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