Post # 1
Hi! My DH’s family used to love me, that was, before we got married. His parents are in denial that he is growing up, and is going to extreme measures to guilt trip him into seeing them every week and living close by. We love to travel and recently lived abroad for a few months, during which time they e-mailed frequently asking when he would be home and if he could leave earlier because they miss him. Then when we got back, they never asked about our trip, or asked to see our pictures. They wanted to pretend that we didn’t even go.
He tells me they bitch to him all the time about me. I have never done anything wrong, and I am always nice and friendly to them. It’s not just his parents either, his sisters send him nasty emails about us not seeing them often (we just got back and they haven’t invited us for anything). One said we are ruining her life by not seeing her. His parents are rude to me now, and won’t even look me in the eye. I am still friendly, but I’ve had enough.
Now his family wants us to get together this weekend – we just saw them last week (but apparently that is “forever” ago). I tell him he needs to stick up for me because he is my DH, and he says he does, but yet he still calls every few days and asks them to hang out so he “fulfills his quota”. To me, if they aren’t listening then he needs to speak with actions. Him calling and going to spend time with the shows them that they can treat me however they want, and they still get to see him. He says he’s “caught in the middle”.
I am mad at him and his family. What do you think is reasonable for him to do in this situation? And me?
Post # 3
@PARISviaROME: You’re going to get alot of “He’s your HUSBAND! He should tell his family off and STAND UP FOR YOU!”
That is a really, really nice idea, but not always super practical in real life. No one likes confrontation, *especially* when they’re being put in the middle of a spouse and family.
If it were me, I wouldnt expect him to ‘tell them off’ or arrange some kind of family sit down/’come-to-Jesus’ meeting. The best I’d hope for is him to ignore their comments about me OR politely say “hey, I don’t appreciate that” and hope they get the hint.
I know this sounds stupid, but do your best just to ignore it: if you KNOW you havent done anything wrong, then you can’t fix what’s not broken. And don’t get mad at him, this probably really sucks on his end, too.
Post # 4
@PARISviaROME: You should expect him to be on your side, always.
It’s unfortunate that there are sides, but there are. And I don’t necessarily think it’s a good idea for him to create problems by asserting his support for you at inconvienent times, but if there’s a direct conflict, he needs to stick up for you. He needs to let his family know that he is drawing clear boundaries, and if they’re not willing to abide by those boundaries, then they’re going to have a problem with you two.
Good luck! 🙂
Post # 5
@PARISviaROME: Souunds exactly like the situation i was in with my xhusband and his parents. They were ALWAYS around…at least 4-6 days a week. they treated me like crap…a few months before we decided to get divorced, my evil xMIL admitted that she didn’t like me the past 15 years. What? Ok. whatever. But that ended up putting more stress and strain on our already breaking marriage. Made things worse.
Try to fix it before it gets worse.
Post # 6
I’ve been on the “family” side of this for over 10 years with my brother. Not necessarily the exact same, because we don’t really beg him to come around or anything, but I will tell you that I think having the mindset of him seeing his family is rewarding them and they should be punished is only going to cause you more issues. Fixing this should be a big priority and with the least amount of drama possible. I don’t really see your hang-up with any of this, if he’s ok with going to see his family then I guess I don’t see the big deal?? My FI doesn’t really spend a ton of time with his family, but I make a point to tell them that I encourage him to as much as he wants to, I just think that’s a good middle ground to be in. If he chooses not to for long enough, I make him, because I’ve seen how this has worked out for my brother, and he pretty much has zero contact with his family and it’s taken a HUGE toll on his marriage, and I never want to be in that situation. I don’t have the right advice, I just encourage you to fix this and fix it respectfully, it opens up a whooooole new can of worms if it goes on long enough.
Post # 7
I agree. Any ideas on how to “fix it”?
Post # 8
@PARISviaROME: I’ll tell you what “didnt” work for my family, and that’s basically making yourself the outside and speaking through the husband, I think bringing up the topic casually like “hey I’m really sorry you guys are feeling like I’m keeping you from him or whatever, I never want you to think that, we’re just at this point where we’re trying to figure out this marriage thing and I never want you to feel like you couldn’t talk to me if something was bothering you…”… do you see where I’m going with this? Just be sure not to let your emotions rise too much or get angry, just keep calm and be understanding and talk it out. This is one of those situations that I think I’ve seen the absolute worst end of, and I’d really hate for someone else to have to deal with it, it just becomes a huge huge issue down the road.
Post # 9
OH and one more thing, even though you might be mad at your husband, keep in mind that it’s probably really hard on him, it’s hard on my brother, he HAS to stick up for his wife at the end of the day, but it’s also his parents, it’s just a weird place to be in. I also think guys aren’t as sensitive to things, sometimes, so they may not be making the situation any better, but instead he’s just trying to make SOMEONE happy, ya know? Idk… I doubt I’m helping here. LOL
Post # 10
@PARISviaROME: These are seperate issues.
With regards to them talking bad about you, he should absolutely not tolerate it. He should be standing up for you and telling them it’s unacceptable for them to bad mouth his wife.
When it comes to spending time with them- if he wants to call them & spend every weekend with them but you don’t, then you have to come to some kind of compromise. It sounds like he is reaching out to them… so he must on some level want to hang out with them.
Post # 11
@PARISviaROME: He’s your husband and should do his best to have your back, however these are his parents and siblings. They have been around longer then you and will still be around if your marriage ended. They are and always will be, permanent fixtures in his life. His family dounds like they are fairly close, it would be wrong of you to ask anymore from him then to defend you and call them out when they are being rude anddisrespectful. Try to remember, withou his parents and siblings he wouldn’t be the man you love.
Post # 12
@PARISviaROME: This is definitely a tough situation and I sympathize with you but I also sympathize with your FI and even his family.
I come from a close knot VERY small immediate family. I talk to either my dad or stepmom almost every day. They live in Boston and I live in Milwaukee so we don’t see them much. But I have cousins that I am very close to that live in Milwaukee. My FI has a large immediate family that he is very close to which is a big reason why I love him so much since those are my values as well.
It is hard to see all of these people as much as possible and still find time for your relationship and have time for yourself as an individual.
I really believe that everyone has a truth in every situation and that no one’s “truth” is more important or more “right” than anyone else’s (for the most part – there are always rare exceptions). Sit down with FI and his family and talk it out. Hear them out and make yourself a part of the family. Once you get them to see you two as a unit and to see you as a part of their family, there will be more understanding and openness. Don’t keep him away from his family though…you’ll regret that as it’ll strain your relationship with him and them even more.