Post # 1
How do you handle it?
Long story short, my hubby’s parents are pretty awful people. He was repeatedly belittled and verbally abused as a child all the way through to adulthood. His mom is a quiet, passive-aggressive mouse who lets his dad run all over the family like a bulldozer. Now that we’re married, they’re trying to do more family functions–every holiday, birthday, etc. Hubs is REQUIRED to call his mother every week (he’s 35) and if he doesn’t, his dad calls and yells at him that he’s hurting his mom’s feelings. FIL is an outspoken, racist (I’m Asian) bully who monopolizes every conversation and I’m getting really close to not ever wanting to be around him… ever. He’s always asking for hugs too–it’s effing creepy. Hubby doesn’t want to be around them, but goes because he’s obligated and it’s easier than dealing with his dad.
I finally took back Thanksgiving after 4 years, but we’re still required at Christmas Eve, New Year’s, Easter, 4th of July, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and all of the birthdays. I’m turning 40 next year… how do I take back my holidays?
Post # 3
I hated my ex-IL’s, we’re talking wouldn’t piss on them if they were on fire kind of hate. She was a hypocritcal bitch who used to hide behind religion and he was an arrogant prick with an anger problem, they were open about their dislike for my family because we were immigrants. If you knew where we were from it would be even more ridiculous to you! My ex-MIL was also a bully with her kids and had stupid rules too, but, I was married to their son and I had to suck it up a lot. I wouldn’t attend anything where I would be alone or anything I was uncomfortable with, but I did have to go to some things with him.
I think you do need to set some ground rules with your husband and his family. Let them know that you are not willing to spend every single Christmas with them, and compromise on every other year, etc. Good luck!
Post # 4
@orchidaloha: They sound like my in-laws! FIL hates all immigrants (probably my family included).
Post # 5
Any advice from the evening bees?
Post # 6
My favourite saying when it comes to ILs (and I’ve already had two sets) is “Your parents, your problem”
I liked my last set of ILs…they lived in reality, they understood that I’d had a completely different upbringing from my ex H, and didn’t hold it against me. My ex MIL died 2 years ago, and I was/am still sorry.
Present FI’s parents can go piss up a rope though. FMIL is all talk behind FFIL’s back, constantly talking about how miserable he is, how miserable he’s making her life, how she wants to divorce him…but when push comes to shove she’ll go along with whatever he says. She’s the professional victim type. FFIL doesn’t like me because I’m divorced, foreign and don’t have much to do with my family.
One of the great advantages of being nearly 45 is that I’m able to limit my interactions with them, as there isn’t going to be any grandchildren. I see them when I feel like it/want to. So the bare minimum to be civil, basically. I don’t interfere or say anything about FI’s relationship with them – if he wants to put up with their BS, that’s up to him. He is old enough to have the sense to not let them get in the way of our relationship.
Regarding holidays, I made it clear to my ex H that just because I didn’t have any family, it didn’t mean that we were going to spend every holiday with his parents. It was strictly down the middle…one Christmas with his, the next we did what we wanted. I also made it clear to his parents that they didn’t get to have a say in this arrangement, as we were now adults who could make our own plans without needing parental ‘permission’
Post # 7
So I voted compromise, but mostly because I feel like an opportunity should be given before severing ties. I would still stop seeing them if things don’t change though, because they sound like assholes.
I would have DH tell MIL/FIL that we can do every other holiday, like to a maximum of half of them. First, because it’s not fair to your own family if you’re always with his family for the holidays, and secondly because you’re your own family now and should be able to start your own holiday things. Hopefully they’ll agree, but otherwise I would just stop attending their events.
Has your DH ever talked to his dad about his racist crap?
Post # 8
This topic was easier when I worked holidays! Then there was an excuse why I couldnt go.
Now, not so much. My family doesnt celebrate a ton of holidays..
We seperate on mothers day and fathers day right now, to see our respective parents. Once we have kids, I will be putting my foot down and that will change.
His family has been doing Christmas on Christmas Eve which has been nice. Then we have Christmas morning together and then head to my parents for awhile.
Holidays like Easter, we spend with his because my family really doesn’t do anything.
Then 4th of July we go to my parent’s lakehouse… and if they ever try to change that on me, they WILL feel my wrath.
So holidays arent bad… but they have events EVERY FRIGGIN WEEKEND. They have both their birthdays and their anniversary in a two week span. They expect us to devote two weekends to them for it. 🙁
Post # 9
- Wedding: June 2013 - Upstate NY
In your case, I would not compromise. I would simply not go. You’re an adult. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want, especially when it’s with a bigot like your FIL.
Post # 10
I mostly adore my FILs! There are some topics on which we REALLY REALLY do not see eye to eye and some past things that upset me when I remember them, but I know there will never be closure or agreement so just avoid those and do the “grin and bear it” thing about those things, because it’s not worth an argument that won’t go anywhere or help anything. T_T. I would get a little miffed if they started trying to monopolize holidays or too much of my FH’s time, but that’s not a thing I’ve had to worry about so far what with FH and I moving all over the globe and not usually being around anyway. (Also, I love going to their holidays when I can because my family is usually really boring around that time.)
Post # 11
@Baal: We are our own family now… excellent point! That’s my rationale for taking back Thanksgiving. Our cases are so similar!
@bunnymama: No, he’s never confronted his dad about being racist. Our last encounter, FIL was digging into the president.
FIL: He just has that job because he likes bossing white people around.
Me: Uh, you know he’s half white, right?
FIL: That’s what they SAY…
Me: Mm, no, his mom was white.
FIL: Whatever, it doesn’t matter because they’re going to take over the country anyway.
Me: (batting my eyelashes) Who? Presidents or white mothers?
Post # 12
@MrsLongcoatPeacoat: Hugs. Compromising with toxic in-laws is so difficult. I’m also asian and my in-laws can be racist to varying degrees. But that’s the least of the issues. They also, to make a long story short, seem to make my husband feel like he wasn’t deserving of a family who cared and loved him enough to make him feel good about himself. It seems like he really can’t spend time with any of them without me coming along, but the thing is I don’t want to spend that much time with them. And MIL is just a toxic, toxic person. She’s like an extreme version of a sour patch kid, but a lot more sour than anything.
Have you two had a serious talk about the possibility of doing what YOU guys want to do? I know it’s easier said than done. I’ve been wanting Christmas to ourselves for years and it hasn’t happened yet. H always ends up feeling guilty and I do feel like it’s not fair sometimes.
Post # 13
@Baal: haha my MIL is a professional victim too. Everything has to be about her and 90% of the time she cries it’s so fake. She’ll make the noises, but there are no tears. Sometimes it astounds me how a grown woman can’t understand that if you treat people like garbage, they will not want to be around you anymore. So many people have had this reaction to her you’d think she’d figure it out eventually.
Post # 14
@tmsing: Thank you for the support! Yes, DH and I have talked about it, but he’s always been pretty passive about his parents. He’d prefer to not rock the boat. This past year, though, our first “just us” Thanksgiving, he loved it so much, I think he may be more willing to help on this front. I don’t think he DOESN’T want to hash it out with his parents, I think that he doesnt’ think about it very much until we’re right up on the holiday weekend.
Post # 15
@MrsLongcoatPeacoat: How did you guys manage to have Thanksgiving to yourselves? I could use some advice on how to do that for the future lol.
Post # 16
I don’t think you should attend out of obligation. I believe wonder you put your foot down and tell him that he can go, but you need him back by a certain Tim, he’ll eventually stop going as well. Mean people shouldn’t be able to get away with stuff because their bark is louder. You can silently protest by removing yourself from the situation.