Post # 1
I feel like I can do fake polite around older people that I’m related to or my husband is. However, I feel like there is some sort of expectation for me to be buddy buddy to BIL/SIL. We did hang out some at first, but it became pretty clear that we have different lifestyles, etc (such as me being a “church goer” type). They are only a little younger than me, but I feel like they act a LOT younger. (I have had this problem a lot; my siblings are way older than me, and I’ve always felt old for my age.)
Lately, it is beyond just the normal “if we weren’t relatives we wouldn’t be friends”, stuff. I am actually really starting to DISLIKE them due to them talking about me AND Darling Husband to his parents, etc…basic drama and poor communication. They live close (my family doesn’t), so I’m still stuck hanging out with them at the parents’ house, and I just feel so awkward now. I am always very polite with them, but I feel like I am getting to a breaking point when their behavior is now affecting my *baby, so I’m having a hard time being cordial.
Specifically, is it too clingy to make Darling Husband stay by my side when we are around them? Sometimes he wanders off with his parents or something, and I am left with BIL/SIL to “chat”.
Post # 3
Why do you have to go? can’t you just be “busy” on some of those trips and stay home? Clean, make dinner, enjoy your time?
Post # 4
Uhhh… what do you mean your “*baby”… I was following the asterix for follow up clarification.
I think it’s fair to reduce your visits with him and request that he try to stick close to you. We have that rule when we visit my husband’s parents somewhat. He used to sleep until noon when we visited, and I’m not down with sleeping that late at someone else’s house, so I’d be up and having to visit with them for like 4 hours by myself. And we get along just fine…we just need a buffer since I don’t know them that well.
Post # 5
I feel you. SIL and I aren’t the best of friends, though things are much better than the used to be! You can always ask your husband to stick close to you. Other than that, I can say from experience, just do your best to be civil. It’s SO much more difficult when there’s drama and tension around. Just try to let go over it and be the bigger person (I know how much easier said than done this is!).
Post # 6
@Sapphire – I have a newborn, and I guess I just put the ‘*’ for emphasis.
We have had a lot of family events lately with birthdays and holidays, so that is why I couldn’t really avoid them. (For example, they caused drama on Halloween, Thxgiving & Christmas.) All of that will be slowing down, soon, so I think you are right that maybe if it is just a regular hang out, I can not go. I feel bad for Darling Husband, too, though, bc he is even to the point of not wanting to be around his brother, and they used to be close. I think now that we have a baby, we have much less of a BS limit, bc we don’t want him involved in it!
Post # 7
I think my answer would depend on what, exactly, they’ve said and done. Have they been actively, intentionally hostile, or just thoughtless? If the former, I think you would be justified in avoiding them and *maybe* asking your husband not to leave you alone with them. Otherwise, although you can cut back how much you see them, you probably should maintain your polite, friendly-but-impersonal approach.
Post # 8
I understand your woes. I do not enjoy DH’s SIL. She’s not my SIL; she’s his. IMO, I did not inherit her, just his blood relatives. His SIL in law is 9 years younger than me, 11 yrs younger than DH; 17 yrs younger than her hubby, you get the point. But she knows it all. She came from another country and I befriended her at the suggestion of my Mother-In-Law. Big mistake. She became a tremendous burden- intrusive, meddling, jealous, and overall a mean spirited person because she was in an unhappy marriage. So when I felt that she was merely making conversation by asking what me and Darling Husband (then boyfriend) did for wknd, it was “reported” back to her hubby as “did u know (DH) took hissoon2be on shopping spree?” “Did u know ur parents invited them over to dinner and not us?”. Meanwhile, they live 10 hrs away. Wtf, rt? We summize that’s she’s crazy. So to solve the problem, I stop taking her calls and just avoid her. The end. There’s too much risk of drama by continuing to talk with her. initially I felt bad for her having no family near and no friends. I now know y she has no friends. Of course, Mother-In-Law can’t see why I could quit DH’s SIL cold turkey but I’m better off not communicating with her. She calls. I send it to voicemail every time. She only
calls after major even
ts just to b nosey. She calls Darling Husband when she can’t get me and really wants to know- “what did hissoon2be get for Xmas? What’d you guys do for NYE?” Etc etc. Nope nope, access denied!
I say all of this to say-
Be cordial when you are forced to be in same room but avoid em. Risk for drama is high. Who needs it, ya know.
Post # 9
okay let me say this… thank god Darling Husband only has one sister but she usually takes my side LOL i agree sometimes i get mad at some of the dumb stuff she says but we get over it. And for me i guess it is different DH’s parents moved to a different state so its him stuck going around my family and even though he really gets along with my parents. there are times he just doesnt feel like hanging out over there so there are times i drop by my parents without him. he usually just stays home or goes to the gym.
Post # 10
Even though I get along with all my IL’s very well so far (knock wood), it can still get a little awkward when DH leaves me alone, which happens quite often since they don’t get to see him a lot, so he’s always being pulled in a million directions when we go visit.
This is what I do. If it’s an overnight visit (which it usually is) I will bring a book with me and if there isn’t anything for me to help out with (cooking, cleaning, etc.) I usually just sit out somewhere in the open reading my book so no one feels obligated to entertain me. It works really well, I can almost see the relief on their faces when they see I”m entertained. And it actually leads to more real bonding time instead of forced convo, since they no longer feel obligated.
But if it’s awkward to sit and read, then try to open up a dialogue with the other women. Usually during a party with my IL’s, it takes about 5 minutes for the house to divide the men and women. The men go play cards and drink while the women chat about books, hobbies, weddings, etc. Maybe you could even bring a deck of cards and ask people to play or try to organize a game. Keep trying to help with chores to have something productive to do and if there genuinely isn’t anything then talk to the hostess as much as you can. And if you are left wiht your SIL, try to engage her as much as you can. If that doesn’t work and things are still super awkward, then avoid visits when you know you will have no one to talk to.
Post # 11
I understand you as well!! Although BIL lives far away and don’t see him often whenever we see him I try my best to get along beyond just being polite. Thing is Darling Husband tells me that he still thinks I hate him. I don’t! I do think he’s pretty disrespectful towards their parents and does have some crazy ideas and lifestyle things going on. But I don’t hate him! He is very argumentative and always seems to push my buttons but next time I’m just going to agree to everything he says so he’ll think I like him. I know its totally stupid but someones got to be the grown up. He’s also 6 years older than us but still lives at home with no job.
Post # 12
@moderndaisy- I’m not dissing your idea at all (because brining a book along is a great suggestion) but I did this with my Mother-In-Law once after she made several comments about how I like to look around at my environment (OMG how terrible to look at the paintings on the wall that I’ve never seen) and how rude that was and don’t talk so much (maybe I would if I could get a word in if you would shut up for once). So her next visit I brought a book so I wouldn’t be staring at a wall. I was available for questions, I was listening to her and Darling Husband and even asked them questions and was asked questions. I didn’t have my head in the book, per se. But alas, I was still rude according to her.
So just be careful is all I’m saying. Some think reading a book is rude.
Post # 13
I have one of those. I ask a question about her (open ended) and let her ramble on and ask a few generic follow up questions. People like to talk about themselves if given the opportunity. This way all I have to do is listen and nod and I she likes me because I ask about her, but I actually really don’t like her.
After an appropriate amount of time I offer to help mom in the kitchen, go the bathroom get a drink and find FH, go for a walk, grab a magazine because I have “done my duty” and they wont consider it rude at that point.
Post # 14
@nyebride: I see your point, that’s why I only use it when I’ve been there for at least 24/48 hours and there’s nothing going on. It would be kind of an awkward/rude thing to pull out if you were just attending a party or something. And I guess if you don’t know your IL’s that well it would be kind of a strange thing to do. But I guess if you are going to be critisized for anything you do then at least you’re entertained while reading!
Post # 15
But I guess if you are going to be critisized for anything you do then at least you’re entertained while reading!
It was a good book, LOL.