MIL and SIL toxic behavior

posted 2 weeks ago in The Lounge
Post # 31
1448 posts
Bumble bee

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@anonanonb33:  I am glad your Brother-In-Law is setting his own boundaries.  However, I don’t think it’s a good idea for him to tell Mother-In-Law and SIL that they can’t come ‘because the house is full already’.  When trying to set boundaries (especially for the first time) never give someone a reason for the boundary because they will just argue with it.  Say ‘the house is full’ and they will likely suggest he can squeeze them in somehow, or that they can sleep at a B&B nearby.  What he should say is “sorry, that weekend doesn’t work for us, what other weekends work for you?”  If they ask why it doesn’t work, just repeat the same sentence until they give in.

Post # 32
2495 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: City, State

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@anonanonb33:  I am glad that everyone is putting their foot down starting with this trip. I think there are a few things that need to happen going forward: 

1) Stop the info train. Your husband should talk to his mom less and tell her a lot less. 

2) Set firm boundaries on how often you see them. If you see them eight times per year, for instance, make it four. Spend your other four breaks from work with your family, your husband’s siblings, or friends.

3) Enact consequences for poor behavior. “Mom, I mean it. You cannot continue to impose onto other people’s vacation time. If you attempt it, the next trip you try to plan will be an automatic no from our family.” 

This is your husband’s family and it is ultimately up to him to set boundaries and break this cycle. The two of you are married and a family unit. The decisions you make together come above the wants of his mom and SIL, period. 

Post # 33
537 posts
Busy bee

Hah, maybe I’m a jerk, but if I were Brother-In-Law I’d wait until they reached to me. If they literally showed up unannounced, I would tell them we cant host them, why didnt they check before? And send them back. If you want to stay at MY house you sure as shit better be asking before just showing up! 

Post # 34
1111 posts
Bumble bee

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Firstly, you need to get comfortable with the fact that your Mother-In-Law and SIL are going to get angry because you are finally putting down boundaries (which absolutely needs to happen).

This is what people do when they’ve had things their own way for a long time and someone finally tells them no – they tantrum and they sulk. They hope this will get you to “change back” to the old ways. It’s called “change back” behaviour.

Don’t fall for it. Just weather the storm and calmly, but firmly, stick to your boundaries. Them refusing to talk to you and whining about being excluded does not mean you’ve done anything wrong.

People like your Mother-In-Law and SIL will get the picture eventually.

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