Post # 1
Bees I know I can count on you to give me some advice on what you would do in this situation and to tell me if I’m being ridiculous.
I’m 10 weeks pregnant. DH and I basically weren’t preventing and figured things would happen when it happened. For the most part our families started out very excited for us until this past week. We spent last weekend with my grandmother, who is my absolute biggest support system ever. We came home Sunday settled in, watched some football, and went to bed. Monday morning after I was at work DH called FIL to talk to him about a specific football game. MIL answered the phone and immediately went off on a tangent about how we’re mean because we want to do two seperate baby showers (the distance between our families isn’t practical to expect them to all go to one place, especially my older relatives) and also that we were mean because we spend more time with my grandmother than with them. She accused him of not caring about his family anymore and saying we only want them for their money (we have never taken a dime from them, so we’re not sure where that came from) FIL got on the phone and started screaming that we were white trash and going to be living off the government forever (we’re financially sound so once again not sure where this came from) and all kinds of other nasty things. DH called me at work in complete hysterics absolutely freaking out. I told him if MIL messaged him online just to tell her that he didn’t appreciate being treated that way and we would discuss things with them later. To make a long story short they continued harassing him most of the morning. When I got home from work that evening I sent them a very polite email (I read it to both my husband and my mother to make sure I wasn’t overstepping my boundaries and can post here if anyone is interested). In the email I explained that we were all adults and we would appreciate if they would kindly keep their opinions of our lifestyle to themselves. I told them that I was very hurt by their accusations that we don’t care about their family and by their anger of us spending time with my grandma. I also told them that while I would never hold their grandchild over their heads I will not allow my child to grow up in such a negative environment and that I will make whatever choices necessary to protect my child. I asked that they please work on showing unconditional love and support because that is what is best for the upcoming baby. MIL refused to respond to my email and two days later spoke very badly about me to DH. DH told her very nicely to leave him out of it and please adress things with me if she had any issues. She immediately changed her tune and said she didn’t want to discuss things online and they wanted to come over Sunday (today). DH said he would discuss it with me and to check back with us. On Thursday MIL sent me a message online and started talking as if nothing had ever happened. She then asked about coming over and I told her that I didn’t feel as if the stress of a face to face confrontation was healthy for me at this point and that I wasn’t comfortable with that. She said fine and left. Today she talks to DH and goes off on how I don’t let him make any decisions and how they aren’t excited about the baby anymore because I won’t let them be involved at all. DH totally stood up for me but its almost impossible to get through to them. He also made it very clear to them that I was not preventing him from having a relationship from them but that they were the ones putting the strain on the relationship by disrespecting his wife.
I guess what I want to know from you guys is am I wrong? Should I suck it up and just deal with it knowing they won’t change? Is there a way that I can stand my ground on whats best for my family and still have a good relationship with them? What would you do differently in this situation? Thanks in advance
Post # 3
I’m sorry you’re going through this! I think you’re handling it fine. It sounds like they are upset about something else, but no way for you to know if they’re acting unreasonable like that. Elevated stress isn’t good for you or the baby, so I would try to let FH deal with this more, especially since they are his parents. Hang in there!
Post # 4
I’m sorry this is happening. I know what it’s like to have your spouse be the “bad guy”. My father is constantly blaming my husband for everything he doesn’t like.
I honestly think you need to stand your ground. The way it sounds, their accusations are completely unjustified. You can try to work on it with your in-laws, but if they refuse, it’s their own issue from there. I would try to reiterate the points you’ve already made, but from there, it’s their decision how they want to react. That’s what really helped me, knowing that if they didn’t want to respect the boundaries I made, it was out of my control.
Post # 5
I also got a similar awful response from the MIL-to-be while engaged (not about pregnancy–but I could see that happening too). Hubby stood up for me in a looong talk with his mom and emphasized what we are trying to create as a new family unit, she backed off and slowly tried to re-establish support. I have to say, although I’m trying to forgive and forget ..it’s very hard to trust her after the shakeup and I never ever email her b/c I don’t want to go down that road ever again. I do think that it’s important for DH to have a connection with his family (crazy as she is!) so I have to be sensitive to long-term ties. I think if he wasn’t so up front and clear about ‘protecting’ our relationship, then things would be different. Give it some time and try not to respond (to them) in a way that lets you get sucked into any emotional drama that in laws are going through.
On the brighter side, I’m glad DH is standing up for you. I think his mom is learning how to let go of her son. It’s an emotional process for some mothers/sons. (Maybe he was such a great son!!!) Also sounds like FMIL is ‘trying’ to change her tune since you both asserted yourself.
I feel ya and hope for things to turn around sooner than later!
Post # 6
It sounds like you did a good job-and that MIL heard you and is trying to change her behavior-and just wants to see you (her son) and have a relationship with all of you. It sounds like you just need a little time (maybe no get together with them today) but since MIL is trying to be more respectful, I think it would be good if you could extend the ILs a little invitation/visit as soon as you feel up to it, to get beyond the hard feelings. Best Wishes
Post # 7
You are totally NOT wrong. There is always going to be a balance between spending time with family, and she needs to learn to let go. I think it’s great that you have a supportive husband who is on your side in this and is really standing up to his parents as needed. I would continue to stand your ground, doing what feels comfortable. You do not need the stress of being around them when they are like this while you are pregnant. It should be a joyous and happy time, and if they can’t be supportive, then you don’t need to see them or talk to them.
Since your MIL did want to talk, I’d see if after some time, you and your husband can invite them over to talk things out. I wouldn’t hold a grudge, which it doesn’t seem like you are doing. Good luck.
Post # 8
I think that your in-laws sound like they really went off the deep-end and are out of line. But I had a few thoughts. First, I would end your direct contact with them, except when you are with your husband in person. That is, I would stop speaking directly with them on the phone, stop sending them emails/messages/texts or whatever. These people are your husband’s family, and he should be the one to tell them when they are out of line. That allows you to be protected from any crazy things they do or say, and it forces the in-laws to deal with their son, who they love, rather than their daughter-in-law, who they will never love in the same way (even if you had a great relationship). Your husband probably knows best how to “deal” with his parents, so it just seems like an all-around better way to communicate with them. Sometimes “directness” isn’t the best route, expecially with in-laws, in my experience. Since it sounds like your husband has been great about standing up to them, it shouldn’t be a problem for him to be the “face” of your marriage to his parents.
Second, although they are totally out of line, I would NOT threaten (even implicitly) cutting them out of your lives, or your child’s life. Chances are that won’t happen, and it simply escalates the situation hugely, ratcheting up everyone’s emotions and defensiveness. Always try to diffuse rather than escalate — long term you’ll be better off. And sadly, it sounds like you’ll have to be the more mature party in this long term relationship.
Best of luck hon!!!
Post # 9
I agree with others, I think you should ‘stay out of it’ by ending your direct communication with them. I HATE it when people don’t respond to emails like the one you sent your MIL, it’s so passive aggressive and really pisses me off. Unfortunately since your MIL chose not to respond, she is building a barrier between you two that only she can break down. I would send all communication through your husband from now on and possibly tell him to say that the two of you won’t meet up with his parents until they apologize or MIL at least responds to your email.
I know from experience unfortunately that a normal message coming from you is more likely to be taken the wrong way than if it was delivered by the son, your DH. Everything should come from him, even if it’s just working out little things like logistics. And if it’s a decision you two have made as a couple he has to stick to his guns and not back down.