How to prepare for toxic inlaws visiting? Husband is a family scapegoat.

posted 1 year ago in Relationships
Post # 31
881 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

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afternoontea :  I still think sending a long email is over the top and very passive aggressive. An email is not the right format for that conversation. Why didn’t he call or facetime his brother and address this with him directly? 

Also, it sounds like your husband didn’t respond to either email prior to attending the family event? 

Post # 33
1647 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Your husband needs to go to therapy and start cutting them off. This is unhealthy and I would not be further involved. Threatening to call the cops during a “weekend of healing” is not okay. 

Post # 34
86 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 2017

My in-laws are no where near as bad as this, and we asked them to start staying in a hotel a few years ago. It was either them, or me, and I wasn’t being put out of my own house. It has definitely helped. I can tolerate the BS, when I know that there will be a “cut-off” time, when they go back to their hotel, we can relax, breathe, and recharge for the next day of their visit. 

Post # 35
717 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

I understand sibling relationships and dynamics change I have 4 of them! I am not faulting him for wanting his siblings to stop treating him like their kid brother and more as an equal. But the initial email sounds like something you would get from HR if you were innapropriate with a coworker. And way to much for the offending comments. If I hurt one of my siblings feelings and received an email like that I would be on the defensive and like what the….. The language is just off putting. My professional co workers, yes but not family! The first brothers email seemed very rational. And I dont think any of them were outragous in their responses. Is HR style emails the way his family normally communicates? Was the email his idea? Did he write it? The use of we makes me think maybe not. If he doesnt have much of a voice in the family, did he suddenly grow a backbone? Or is this you feeling disrespected for him and trying to get him to stand up for himself? How is your sibling and family dynamic?

I think the initial email just blew everything up and made everyone upset!

A simple text or convo like, “Hey I know I’m your kid brother and you guys tease me all the time and give me a hard time and thats always been our thing but I am not your 10 year old kid brother anymore and I’d like you to lay off the teasing.” That to me is sibling communication. Then when they did out of habit he could call them out, “Hey, I know you don’t mean to but your treating me like a kid again.” “Oh sorry bro”

We’ve had a nickname for my baby brother since he was born and one day in high school he was like, “Hey guys, I know you don’t mean it in a bad way but can you call me my actual name.” And we did.

I would let him take care of the relationship with his brothers and family and back out.

Post # 36
642 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2019

I don’t see why you’d want to see them at all. And there’s no reason you have to. If your husband is insistent on seeing them he can go by himself as they’re his parents. 

Post # 37
2225 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

What’s sad to me, is that some people say this is okay, or that your husband is being sensitive or overreacting. I’ve been teased, and of course when I reacted, it made me “sensitive.” Everyone has a right to live their life without being bullied. And no one should be able to dictate how someone else is treated. I also understand why your husband’s email sounded like that. He was trying to keep his cool and not be overly emotional, and be able to get his point across without someone jumping in and teasing or bullying him for it. If he had gone the more raw honesty route, I’m sure his brothers would have called him a sissy and told him to get over it because it was just a joke to them. You couldn’t have won, no mater how your husband approached this, because his brothers are bullies and they like the status quo. 

I would be wary of meeting with his parents. They might try to spring the brothers on you, and they’ll definitely try to convince you to end the no contact you’ve been maintaining. There’s a reason the siblings feel comfortable acting this way and antagonizing their brother, and that’s because they’ve done it all their lives with no repercussions. The parents never stepped in and taught them how to treat others with kindness and respect, and the parents are still enablers to this day, probably because it’s easier. 

If you absolutely insist on meeting, I agree with PPs, that it should be a neutral place to prevent their verbally attacking you or physically invading your space. 

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