(Closed) Another holiday, another heartwound.

posted 8 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
2090 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

We don’t always get the parents/friends/sisters/brothers/etc. that we deserve. You two are grownups – I’m *sure* it hurts to have her act this way, but it is what it is. You can either let it eat you up inside of focus your attention and energy on it, or not.

Some people are just toxic, hurtful people. Whether you think her behavior is normal or unnatural isn’t really relevant – she is going to behave how she wants to behave. Create your own family holiday traditions, invite her to join if you like, and then proceed with her. If you don’t enjoy yourselves, you’re letting her win.
Good luck.

Post # 4
5778 posts
Bee Keeper

Look….I’ve lived without my husband’s family in our lives for over 20 years. Things have never gotten better and after 10 years of trying, we decided they really weren’t worth the constant hurt they caused. They weren’t interested in our marriage or our kids, so how many years do you have to waste on people who really don’t care? I did nothing wrong except to be their son’s second wife when his first is the one who wanted the divorce. His family decided it was to be his permanent punishment for remarrying. I think he was delusional when he said how great they all were!

I never prevented him from interacting with his family and even encouraged his visits with them. I just stopped going and finally stopped making my kids go too. Our story is pretty involved so I won’t bore you with details, but I can honestly say that just because people are related to you does not mean they can’t be toxic. Sometimes they just don’t deserve to be in your life.

It sounds like you’re agonizing over things that may never change, and while its hard to see someone you love be hurt by those who should always love and care about him, I think you have to accept what it is and try and move on. I’d hate to see you waste as many years as we did, hoping for something, anything positive to happen. 

Post # 6
5778 posts
Bee Keeper

@coconutmellie: I don’t regret it and neither does my husband. His parents and brothers and sister chose his ex-wife over him, and never thought anything of it. They loved me while we were dating and always told me how thrilled they were that he found me, but three days after our wedding they told us his ex would always come first with them and that we’d never be number one. What can you say to that? We tried…believe me,we tried. I sat there through every holiday and family celebration, knowing if we couldn’t make it, they’d invite her. After a few years they invited both of us at the same time, and let me tell you how awkward THAT was.

I actually decided that nothing I did would ever make things better, so why bother trying anymore? They certainly weren’t the family I hoped I’d marry into, but thank God mine is normal. I think that made my husband hurt less, knowing how much my family cared about him and thought he was the great guy he is.

It’s all over now, as both of his parents are now gone. His Mother died this summer (in July) and no one called to tell him. I saw it on Facebook! They also excluded all of us from the obituary, and one brother followed up with a note telling us how much he ‘pained his Mother’ all these years….funny how his Mother got what she wanted and it became our fault.

I really wish you luck in dealing with them. My kids didn’t miss what they never had, and for a minute I felt some guilt about it, but I figured that they were the losers in missing out on so much of their lives.

Stay strong! It hurts less the longer time goes by.

Post # 7
638 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

@coconutmellie:  You really do seem super sweet and love your husband with all your heart, which is a wonderful thing to read.

I’m going to come at this from the perspective of having a family like your husbands. After dealing with a mother and father who really don’t make any effort to be part of my life or put aside their dislike for each other, I have had to really just do what is best for me. And many times, that means cutting down drastically on the amount of interaction I have with them. It is still very difficult, and I find myself wanting them to be the type of parents they will never be, but that really is counterproductive.

I have dated many men who have come from a stable, supportive family and they just have not been able to understand and have tried to force me to try to work out the “issues” with my family, thinking they were doing what was best for me. In reality, this was a huge stressor on me, because they didn’t understand that some people are just toxic and it is much better for your self worth to just step back and do the minimum that is required to maintain whatever type of relationship is possible with them.

I understand you feeling his pain acutely, but he really just needs your support in dealing with his family in the way he sees fit.

Hopefully this will help in some way. 🙂

Post # 8
3539 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

@coconutmellie: Just lending my support… hang in there! if it makes you feel any better I dont have any contact with my inlaws. We dont talk, hang out or whatever and its not really wierd, its just that we dont have anything to talk about. My hubs had a pretty hard teenager growing up years and he has just accepted that, thats the way it is.

First I was angry.. then I was hurt. Now im like…. well he has my family now and we are a family together and he seems pretty content with that. I figured my time was better spent putting it into us and working on our relationship than working on the one with the inlaws that was going nowhere!

You will get there, it just feels… odd? right?

Post # 9
6015 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: March 2012

I would totally ignore them and focus on the people that are good to you.  My grandmother (moms mother) was an etiquette queen and rule stickler, and an absolute bitch. Everything was surface and she was vindictive and spiteful, but no one looking in could see that.  She sounds alot like your in-laws.  My parents moved three states away and focused on themselves and their children… thank god.  She was just a bitter old woman and she missed out on so much but that was her choice.  That’s why i think you focus on your family and you, your husband and future children.  what do you think your kids can get from that relationship? Lifes WAY to short to put up with BS.

Post # 12
2373 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

I think sometimes there comes a point when you have to say enough is enough and move on with your life. Is what they are doing hurtful? Yes. Can you change the situation for your husband? No, saying something to his family will only drive whatever wedge there is deeper.  I think the most important thing to do is make your husband feel loved and maybe have a conversation with your parents about what’s going on. When my husband was having problems with his parents my parents did a little more to make him feel welcome- he appreciated that.


Post # 13
1730 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

@coconutmellie: This may sound strange, but if you come from a pretty healthy family, you’re not in a place where you are used to the coping methods kids from dysfunctional families have to employ to stay sane.

You Mother-In-Law sounds to be a kinda shrew, and I have no probalme believing she favors the others over your H.  I don’t doubt it hurts him… BUT  the best thing you can do for him in this case, instead of trying to point out how strange and unnatural it is (he knows – having it pointed out hurts him), just make plans to be with your family who I’m sure love him just fine.  Let him get his love from you and your family – sometimes if family members are poisonous to your health, it’s best to limit your own interaction with them.  I mean, do you think your H actually enjoys being around them?  I bet they make off-hand comments all the time without thinking that hurt to the core, and nothing – NOTHING you say in his defense will help.  Dysfuntional parents and siblings can’t change unless they admit they should and then decide they want to – and if it was that easy, there’d be a whole lot of happier people out there now.

I’ve strived my whole life for “normal” because I was ignored by my grandparents and beaten and verablly and emotionally abused by my parents.  These people, except on paper since I’m not yet married, are not my relatives.  My grandparents I met when I was 15, and found them to be ugly, hurtful people.  My parents divorced when I was 15, and I had no contact with my mother for 5 years, reuinited with her, tried to help her with her bipolar disorder, got a bunch of hot checks written by her in my name instead, and had to tell her to shape up or leave me alone, so for 6 more years we hadn’t spoken.  My father decided he was tired of having a daughter when I was 19, so he disonwed me in writing, in triplicate, and sent notice of the cancellation of my car and health insurance along with wished for me to have a miserable life to my dorm, BF’s parents and BF’ apt.  I have not spoken to him in about 15 years now, and I feel I am better for the distance I have maintained from these people.

My BF’s family has its own problems, but in the midst of their errors and things they say and do that hurt, I can SEE they care about my Boyfriend or Best Friend, they’re just not very good at it. 

You can’t fix the problems with your H’s family.  I know it hurts you to see him hurt, but the best thing you can do is show him he is a great person and you love him and will be there for him in a way they never have.

Post # 14
971 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

All families are different.  Not all of them feel the same way about their kids as your parents feel about you and your siblings.

My Darling Husband and his family are tight.  My family and I are tight.  My Darling Husband is tight with my family and I am with his.  We were lucky that we both came from families with similar feelings/backgrounds/ties/notions about what a family means.  It’s not always like that, and from what I’ve come to learn in life, what we have is rare.  I hear so many in-law gripes on this board that I just SMH.  I have the best, most understanding and loving inlaws in the world.  I couldn’t be any more luckier and appreciative to have them.  They’ve always supported us, have always been there, and have been nothing but wonderful to me.  Even when I was so embarrassed when we had to tell them that I was pregnant and I was so afraid they’d be disappointed in me and their son … they were nothing but loving, kind, and supportive. 

You need to realize that you will NEVER change these people.  NEVER.  You can do everything in the world and they’re not going to change.  The minute you realize that you cannot change his family into what you want them to be, the the better off you’ll be.  Try as hard as you might, they are NOT going to change.  Nobody but nobody has that kind of magic. 

The ONLY thing you can do is raise your children to be a tight family unit.  They will carry that onto their children and so on. 

Post # 15
3148 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

@coconutmellie: Im in the same situation as you, I just havent talked about it yet because i didnt want to hear the “cut them out of your life” comment. Its all easier said then done, and I want to make stuff better not just walk away from the issue. I realize that walking away might just be the best option.


I can see the my Darling Husband family loves him, they way they go about it is just odd though. There is deff some favoritism going on and he isnt close to being the favorite. What i have noticed though is that the more I talk about it and the more I point out these faults, the more i sturggle with my relationship with Darling Husband. So i applaud you for not bringing it up to him (and will try from now on to not do it as well).

Since other posters here (all) have said that they seem toxic and cut them off…if you were going to do that, would you feel better talking to them first. Saying what you think about the way they treat your Darling Husband and then cutting them off, as opposed to just simply cutting them off. My relationship with my family is the same as yours, we talk about everything and call people out on their issues…(I dont always know if this is the best approach) Either way, if you decide to cut them off, would it be better to get everything of your chest first?

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