Post # 1
I am a long time lurker but a first time poster. I dates my husband for five years and have been married for three years. I am 34 and he is 36. Just to give a bit of background, growing up in laws were treated as family and in our family family was family meaning in terms of celebrating birthdays or just generally being treated as a member of the family. Not so much the case with my in laws. It is very hard to get used to. I know I have to get over this because every family operates differently but it still stings and it makes me feel like I’m treated like an outcast or something. My husband has one sister who is single so I can’t really compare it to how another in law is treated.
An example is when my birthday comes around I never get any acknowledgement I am lucky if I get a simple happy birthday text. We live about a half hour from my in laws so it’s not like doing a dinner or sending a small gift would be unreasonable meanwhile my husband and his sister’s birthday comes around they give them big huge expensive gifts and take them out to dinner on top of it where as I barely get an acknowledgement. They are big bday people. Where as in my family once you’re married in you’re family and that means you get a birthday celebration as well they do one every year for my husband.
Another example is my Mother-In-Law will text or call me to only ever ask questions about my husband for example, “how did hubby’s doctor appt go?” It’s really irritating because I feel like she never asks how I’m doing or reaches out if she knows I’ve been sick or am going through something in my life it’s always info strictly about my husband as if I’m his secretary. Not even a hey how are you how is your job? How are your migraines doing and also did hubby go to the doctors yet? It’s just straight to asking questions about him without even so much of an acknowledgement of me again like I’m his secretary.
Believe it or not her son isn’t the only person that has things going on and it would be nice if she could be reminded of that. I always respond politely to her texts but I am so tempted to text back do I look like his secretary call or text him if you wanna speak to him or even a sarcastic I’m fine thanks how are you before answering her question.
Whenever she goes away on vacation she will come back with a souvenir for my husband and nothing for me.
Again I know this is my issue because like I said I was raised differently where growing up my family was considered family so it’s hurtful that I’m being treated differently in a sense. How do I get over this and do I address it with my husband? Btw these are just a few examples I can give more if needed.
Post # 2
Bee, I disagree that this is just “your issue”. Your husband is part of your family now, and you are part of your husband’s family.
If I were in your shoes, instead of fuming quietly about this, I would directly ask my mother-in-law (in a kind, respectful way) why you are not treated as part of her family since that’s what you are now. I would mention a couple of the examples that you have given here. I would be honest about the fact that I feel hurt about being excluded. She is going to be your mother-in-law for a long time, and why suffer in silence? I believe things like this should be openly discussed.
Post # 3
My Mother-In-Law shoots me a text on my bday, for my husbands bday she does a gift and will try to arrange dinner with us. My mom is the same way- no grand gestures for my husband but she’ll always get me a gift and try to plan a get together.
Personally I think you’re expecting too much and I wouldn’t assume that they don’t consider you family just because of this.
Maybe she texts you to ask about your husband becaue she’s trying to make conversation with you and isn’t sure what else to chat about? Because why else wouldnt she just ask her own son how his own doctor appointment went?
It doesn’t sound at all like she dislikes you, if I were you I would not confront her and cause issues out of nothing.
Communicate with your husband and let him know how you feel, see what he thinks. I just think it would be so awkward for you or him to tell her that you don’t like what she texts you about and you wish they made bigger efforts or your bday or whatever else.
Post # 4
I feel like there could be a pass on birthdays since it could be habit. I don’t expect my in-laws to remember my bday. honestly, the only person that really remembers is only my mother and she forgot this year (but I dont mind). but she shouldn’t treat you like a secretary – you are not your husband’s minder. I’ve been told by fellow friends they usually reply back with, I asked ‘husband’ and he’ll let you know or oh, I’m not sure, why don’t you ask him?
As for bringing back souvenirs, is it pretty obvious it’s for him? Like a shirt? Or more like food item/decorative? your husband should be the one to bring it up to his parents and could start with thank you for OUR gift, ‘wife’ will love this very much. this could also be the segway into HIM helping them plan something for your birthday rather than expecting they will do something on their own – helps build a new habit
Post # 5
OP, I think you’re expecting too much. Some people don’t care to get close to their in-laws beyond polite conversation for a lot of good reasons.
Your family embraces your husband and that’s great. There’s no requirement for his parents to embrace you as their daughter, just that they respect you as their daughter in law.
I do have to ask- how often are you reaching out to the in-laws to invite them to things on your own? How often do you call to have a conversation about your MIL’s interests? Do you have things to talk about with her? Do you share hobbies? If you’d like to develop a warmer relationship/ friendship, this is not all on them.
Post # 6
I’d only be annoyed at her texting you to ask questions about your husband. If my Mother-In-Law did that I’d definitely bring it up somehow, like ‘if you want to know about your son you could just ask him yourself? How’s that quilt for nephew coming along?’
But being upset bc parents buy their kids bigger presents than you is a bit silly. She gave birth to them and raised them, they’re her kids, you just happened to marry one. Not really something to be upset about imo.
Post # 7
I thought about that maybe asking about my husband’s doctor’s appts was her way of making convo with me but if that’s the case why not just ask me how things are in my life like with my job or whatever. There is more to my life and me as a person than me just being married to my husband, KWIM? I feel like she could maybe get to know me as more than just an extension of her son instead and get to know me as my own person. I mean I work, I read, I journal, I take different classes I like to think there are some interesting things about me to ask about.
I don’t plan on having my husband or myself address it with her since I agree that would be awkward I just wanted to get a gauge if this is normal or not.
Post # 8
I think it’s pretty normal, a lot of families that I know are like this. I also know a lot of families that are like yours and I can understand how it may be off putting to you since you’re not used to how they function as a family/in laws.
Next time she texts you and asks something about your husband, I’d probably say something polite like “You know I’m not really sure, we havent had a chance to talk about it yet, I’m sure he’d appreciate it if you reached out to him about it though” and then try to direct the conversation elsewhere and see what happens.
Your in laws might just not be the type for small chat or maybe they don’t really enjoy having long text convos… I know my Mother-In-Law doesn’t, and I personally don’t either.
Post # 9
I love the idea about having my DH segway my in laws into acknowledging my birthday! That way it isn’t an obvious drama filled of OMG you never acknowledge my wife and she is hurt by it. Maybe next year I can ask my husband to invite my in laws out to eat for my birthday or something. I also like him saying my wife will love this it might click with them like she is a member of the family too.
Post # 10
This is definitely normal family differences, IMO. My ILs have never acknowledged my birthday; it never occurred to me that they would. My mum sends Dh a card on his birthday, but that’s the way she is; it doesn’t mean they’re wrong for not doing the same. I think it’s weird that it bothers you.
As for calling to ask about Dh, I agree that I’d politely tell her that we hadn’t had a chance to discuss it, but that I’m sure he’d be delighted to hear from her himself.
Post # 11
Yeah I guess this falls under the category of just the way different families operate. Like I said growing up once married in laws were family there wasn’t an obvious difference between a person born into a family and someone married into the family family is family. I guess it bothered me a little because my husband gets this huge thing and I get nothing. I don’t expect it to be equal to his but at least something. But I do feel better reading that not really doing much for an in laws birthday is normal. I don’t plan on addressing that any further. I do plan on just telling my Mother-In-Law to just contact him directly but I might put it a little bluntly to get her to stop because otherwise if I’m too nice or polite it may continue to happen and my goal is to get it to stop because it’s really annoying and grating.
Post # 12
I feel like this is something your husband should be addressing head on with his family. I think it’s pretty standard to expect to be treated like family after you are married. If they do things differently, now is the time for H to let them know it’s no longer acceptable to him. He ought to have your back and if it comes to it, let his parent know that if they can’t treat you equally, then he wants nothing from them, either.
Post # 13
Tbh I’m genuinely surprised that a fair few replies find this normal. To me it’s quite strange and I don’t know anyone’s family in laws who act this way. Of course they will always love their own children more than you, but imo spouses are always to be treated as part of the family – I mean, you may be raising their grandchildren fgs!
I would understand if this is the case if your husbands relationship with his own mother is extremely strained or kept cordial but not warm because of issues they have. But if they get along well this would seem like very strange behaviour by her to me and honestly I would be asking him wth was going on? Cos to me, if they get along but shut you out, that’s weird as hell.
Id definitely feel very put out by this too want an explanation.
Post # 15
Since I would love to respond to everyone unfortunately I just don’t have the time so I will answer some general questions the bees have been asking. To answer the question of do I ever reach out myself yes I do about once a month I will call my Mother-In-Law to reach out and they and build a relationship and while we will talk but it’s always centered around my husband and never getting to know me as an individual separate from my husband. I will also text my Mother-In-Law each time my husband tells me she is sick or has something upsetting happen to check on her and see how she is doing so this isn’t me not putting in an effort and expecting effort to be made in return.
In regards to the birthday thing I plan on letting that go and maybe requesting that my husband invites them out for dinner with us to celebrate my birthday to kind of kickstart a birthday celebration because again I would really like to foster a better relationship with my in laws.
It seems like there is such a different variety of opinions on my post some people are saying I’m expecting too much because they aren’t my parents which is fair that’s why I came on here to ask and then some posters are telling me I’m being treated unfairly and I need to have my husband address the issue.
To the poster who just simply stated I’m not their child that’s quite a simplified response to a whole post. Of course I’m not their child but that doesn’t mean they are entitled to strictly use me as my husband’s secretary without remembering that I am a human being who might want to be acknowledged as more than the gate keeper to info on my husband. Which is exactly what a secretary does takes messages for people or answers questions about people. I do have a life too you know! Like I said the birthday thing I realize ok fine.