Post # 1
My in-laws are about two hours from us. We go visit them monthly. I really care for my in-laws. They are nice people and really care about their sons (husband has two younger brothers 23 and 21 years old), but I never expect to have a strong relationship with them.
It most likely is hurt speaking on here. On our wedding day, they wanted to drive by our house to see it on the way home because it was “just too far away and they were never going to be back this way anyway.” I was incredibly hurt. First, my parents had come up and seen the house a few times and made no bones about it not being that far of a drive (it is about an hour for them). His mother and brothers had helped us move, but I was DYING for them to come down, have a meal, and see how the place turned out. I am so proud of our house that is now a home and I couldn’t believe they don’t care enough about their son (let alone me) to come and see it.
They dote on the other brothers and give them money left and right in addition to paying their credit cards and cell phones. The purchased a home for one brother to stay in instead of a dorm and he has flunked every semester of college (he should be graduating now, but is barely a sophmore), but they keep sending him back because they don’t know what to do. The other brother is their dad’s favorite and they have given the entire family business to him (oil and gas wells and timber).
At Christmas last year, they purchased multiple presents for the two brothers and husband got a Sam’s box of candybars. He acted like it wasn’t that big a deal, but I saw red and wanted to go to battle for him.
Bees, I am an only child and don’t really understand the sibling dynamic. I know favorites exist, but isn’t that a bit drastic?
This has caused more than one fight. Should I bite my tongue (which I do more often than not) and let it go, or what?
Has anyone else experienced this kind of family situation and what did you/or would you do?
Post # 3
this is weird, but it’s your dh that should stand up if he wants to. it’s not your place to accuse them of having favorites or to start a battle over the presents (i know it’s more than that, but still). what does your dh think?
Post # 4
He knows it happens. The gift thing was more of an example of what goes on. They travel regularly four hours or more to go to a junk auction (they drove to Texas last summer just because and were gone a couple weeks because the middle brother wanted to see oil wells out there).
I definitely am never going to argue with them. It would be so disrespectful that I’d hate myself the next day. The fights I mentioned were between my husband and myself. I have never said the first bad word to anyone else regarding this situation besides my parents (who are my best friends and I tell everything to and to get the “parent” perspective).
I know I rambled like mad, but I want to know if this is more normal than I realize. It is hard. I value them as the people that raised my husband, but I don’t like seeing his parents just not engage with this new aspect of their son’s life (new home, new wife, etc) and not reach out.
Post # 5
My inlaws CLEARLY treat Future Brother-In-Law differently than they treat Fiance. I won’t say it doesn’t bug me, because it does. But if Fiance notices it or cares, he never mentions it.
I’ve done a lot of soul searching on this. I’ve been tempted to bring it up, but have decided not to. If he REALLY doesn’t notice it, then I would feel awful for calling his attention to it. And this has been his family dynamic for years, and it seems to work so I’m going to leave it be and not cause trouble. If Fiance every mentions that he is hurt by it, then I’ll totally support him if he confronts them. Otherwise, he and I will focus on building our life together and not focus on his relationship with his family.
I’m can’t tell you if this is the BEST way to deal with things, but it is what I’m doing.
Post # 6
My Mother-In-Law treats my husband like a sack of dog crap. I used to get mad about it but he kept telling me to just let it be water off a ducks back. It was SO frustrating (and still is) but he’s an adult and if he doesn’t want to stand up for himself, what good would me doing it for him be? It has only made things a litte worse with Mother-In-Law when I’ve questioned things so I don’t anymore.
Is it right? Absolutely not. But backing off has helped us. Now when his mom pulls crap, I go on with my day and it doesn’t take over like used to. I do imagine the future and putting my foot down when the time comes but for now, I stay back and let Darling Husband handle it.
Post # 7
Oh, I have issues with this BIG time. I’m not an only child, but my mom has always done a great job of treating us all very equally.
However, my Mother-In-Law doesn’t. And I have spoken out about it and gotten into a very large arguement/discussion about it. She admits that she treated them differently, but argued that “circumstances were different when Darling Husband was younger.” However, that says nothing about the huge difference I see NOW.
His half-siblings have had cars handed to them over and over, college paid for, weddings paid for, every extracurricular they wanted as children, furniture, money sent left and right and my husband could be chopped liver for all they seem to care. I remember a time when he was sleeping on the floor as a teenager when he had no bed of his own and a sibling received a full bedroom set – brand new.
I’ve written about this before because I’ve been outraged by it and I still am. I still cope with a lot of anger every day. My husband just ignores it and has written them ALL off because of it. It is the number one reason he seeks to distance himself from them, so clearly it’s really hurtful.
Something that hurts him so much makes me see red and I’ve written letters and emails and made phonecalls to his mother and half-siblings to try to make them see his side, but all it did was make me look like a liar in their eyes. They absolutely don’t see it and when you point it out – they don’t believe it. And they certainly don’t want to change.
I haven’t figured out a solution. Many have said that you should take a cue from your husband and handle it the way he handles it, but ignoring a problem is never an easy way to handle things.
What to do when your husband is NOT the favorite?
Post # 8
i agree with Kitzy.
My in-laws paid for the down payment of my husband’s sisters house yet I know they definitely would not offer us that sort of money because we both work hard and save.
I get a little annoyed that the two sister’s expect so much and take so much. At the same time, I am happy to do my own thing and keep out of the problems.
Post # 9
@Pia2010 that is something my husband has said. We were talking about it one evening and he stated that he feels his parents do more for his brothers because they can’t “do” for themselves and that they don’t worry as much about us because we have proven we can take care of ourselves. On one hand, I am flattered if that truly is the case, but on the other, I can see that it hurts his feelings at the same time.
Like I said, that is his family and I if keeping my mouth shut keeps the peace, I will continue to do so, but it doesn’t mean I’m going to turn a blind eye either. I don’t think there really is anything to do about the situation, but it helped to type it all out and know I’m not the only one who is experiencing it.
Post # 10
I think you should look at the bright side of all of this — do you really want them visiting you constantly when they will continue to favor the other brothers — the more you see them, the more obvious it’ll be! I suggest that you ignore it and not fight with your husband about it, perhaps it’s been this way his whole life and pointing it out won’t make things any better.
Enjoy each other and take this as all the more motivation to show your hubby ways you appreciate him! Pffft at his parents!