I have a bit of a different take on this than some of the others — because I’ve lived it with my own sister-in-law. Your husband actually said this is because you’re “quiet,” and his family prefers for you to be louder, right? Or is it simply he voiced that they’re not keen on you…and you’ve concluded this is the case (even if this is so, I’m not saying you aren’t right — you may well be right on the money).
But, I come from a loud family. My sister-in-law is very quiet — by her admission and by the family’s. Where things get tricky is that she has no problem speaking up to be rude (“Oh thanks, everyone bought that for him already,” after receiving a gift for her son recently. The gift-giver stood there awkwardly as my brother stepped in to quickly thank the other person).
She also never says please, thank you, hello, good-bye. In 15 years and well into the thousands spent on her for her baby shower, birthdays, holidays and so on, I received a thank you once…and it was very blunt, coerced and curt. Otherwise, she sits in complete silence on every visit, and if you directly ask her something, she either stares at you with a headshake or a nod, or the answer comes out of my brother’s mouth.
I’m all for being yourself, and obviously no one but you, your husband and your in-laws have the kind of perspective into this situation necessary to make a real judgment call. But COULD you use some improvement? Do your manners get lost in the silence? Do you take the time to occasionally ask how they’re doing or what they’re up to?
I only say this because I find it very peculiar that a husband would agree with his parents’ interpretation about your quiet personality. Presumably, he likes and loves you (he married you, after all). While I can believe that he may to a degree pine for a louder partner, I’m just not convinced that this is the entire story. It seems highly unusual that a husband wouldn’t immediately say, “Janette’s a quiet person, it’s nothing against anyone.” To me, it seems like this situation would come up more often when that personality is causing problems — a la my sister-in-law’s “shy” personality.
While my family is “loud,” I’m not. But I make sure to bring up light topics with my in-laws — ask about their grandkids, work, some of their hobbies — to show a general interest in their lives. I always make a strong effort to show appreciation and gratitude for kind things they’ve done for me.
Maybe this family simply needs more time to acclimate to you. Maybe this is a conversation worth prying deeper into if it hasn’t been fully explored already — ask for a specific event that has apparently triggered his family’s dislike for better perspective.