(Closed) Confront the In Laws?

posted 7 years ago in Married Life
Post # 16
9129 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

I wouldn’t really care what the inlaws think but I would be upset to know that my husband thinks the same way and doesn’t defend me.  What kind of husband throws his wife under the bus like that?  I would be more concerned about the how’s and why’s of your husband’s opinion of you than your inlaws’ opinions.

Post # 17
1722 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 1998

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.

Post # 19
9538 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

Your husband absolutely should not be tell you about this. It serves no good. He should defend you, not listen to them saying bad things about you and then keep his mouth shut.

Similarly, confronting them serves no good. It probably won’t change their opinion and will just create more drama.

Instead, I would continue to work on your relationship with them. It takes awhile for people to really get each other. They’ll come around. But calling them out will just set things back. And tell your husband that he needs to defend you to them but that you don’t need to hear about what they say because it hurts you without helping anything. Then just keep being the nice, awesome person that you are. It can take longer to know people who are quiet. But it’ll happen.

Post # 21
43 posts


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sassyt:  I’m more worried that you say he defends you, but only for show. I mean he knew you when he met you, right? Have you changed? As far as the IL goes, kill em witb kindness…if that fails and youd really like to be close with his mother, then ask her how to maje DH favorite meal. It works out better than you think. However, at the end of the day, HE LIVES. WITH. YOU. If he REALLY thinks like his family, then maybe he shouldnt be married. Afterall, we are supposed to leave the nest and make our own families. DH needs to take the set hd was given and stand up…JMHO…afterall, YOUR his family now…hard thing for immature boys to understand. HE. CHOSE. YOU.the IL dont matter..

Post # 22
1111 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

View original reply
sassyt:  I know how you feel. My SIL and I are like oil and water. I don’t understand her, nor do I care for her and vice versa. I put in 8 years of trying to get to know her, relate to her, and find any common ground. We had it out earlier this year, and I thought by finally telling her how I felt and her telling me how she felt I would feel better. But honestly, I don’t. Im the outsider in their family (I come from a very different cultural background also, so adjusting is hard enough!) and now I definitely FEEL like it. My In-laws are great and they assure me that they don’t think less of me, but things with my SIL are awkward, and I wish I could go back and just keep up the “it’s nice to see you” act. 

I honestly don’t think its worth what may come of it. Just be who you are, and with time when they get to know you, I’m sure they’ll understand you better in time also.

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