(Closed) What to do for holidays when I have NASTY in-laws?

posted 10 years ago in Family
Post # 3
1675 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I totally understand where you’re coming from. My in-laws are terrible people (I’m not even going to go into it), but you get it. We did the same thing that you’re doing…we went to every family gathering/ holiday and were miserable the entire time. When you say it’s exhausting I can relate. It’s hard work keeping your mouth shut when people are being horrid or saying nasty things to each other about you.

Last year was the first year that dh and I spent the holidays with just ourselves (we live 6 hours away) and it was magical. No stress. No pressure. Total relaxation. We were so happy to have that time with only each other and not having to worry about their craziness. I personally would reccomend spending the holidays with just your husband…I think it’s acceptable for a couple to celebrate with each other, but I don’t know how you feel about it. It would be your first married christmas! Maybe you could cook a nice dinner and snuggle up and watch christmas movies instead of spending it with ppl who don’t appreciate the time. make your new family traditions:)

Don’t force yourself to do things that make you unhappy! Life is so short and since I’ve made the decision to discontinue interaction between my in-laws I am so much happier!

Post # 4
232 posts
Helper bee


As awful as they are they’re still his family and you should still make an appearance. It’s awkward at my in-laws because we have COMPLETELY different beliefs. My Father-In-Law is racist and homophobic and it makes me very UNCOMFORTABLE when he makes his hateful comments. But I still go every Saturday because it means a lot to SO. It’s his dad and he’s going to die someday. I think your SO will really appreciate it even if he doesn’t say anything. You don’t have to stay the whole time, just bring a pie and stay for an hour or two. Be nice, don’t make rude comments or faces. Smile and be gracious until it’s time to go. 




I’m going to go read your other posts to see how bad they are BRB. 

Post # 5
232 posts
Helper bee

Okay, yeah she sounds pretty horrible. I think fighting about it will make things worse. If she’s nice be nice back and if she acts like a witch just pretend you don’t see her. Don’t let her get to you. The best revenge is to be happy! Smile

Don’t tell your husband that you only want to stay for two hours because you hate his sister. Say that you want to spend Christmas with him because you love him SO MUCH and you can’t wait to spend your first Christmas together watching movies and cuddling! But then add that you guys can go to his family’s house for a couple of hours. Phrase it to where he doesn’t have a choice. But make it sound like it’s something that you’re looking forward to and when you get there just treat everyone like you love them, give them hugs and whatnot.

That’s what I would do… that’s just my two cents. 🙂

Post # 6
3993 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

So far, I’ve gone the “suck it up, but try to get out early” route. I try to plan their stuff BEFORE my family stuff so I can be like “We HAVE to leave at X time to get to my Mom’s” or whatever. Otherwise we all end up sitting awkwardly in the living room listening to people make disparaging comments to eachother. Total holiday killer.

But eh, it’s just something I feel obligated to do. If we didn’t go to his, I couldn’t very well drag him to mine (not that mine are bad, they are very welcoming and consider him part of the family…my mom even makes him an Easter basket, gets him Christmas gifts, Valentine’s day stuff).

Post # 8
798 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

@sarahmay85:  Your last comments about your DH and the situation would really upset me.

I love Christmas and holidays in general!  I get a long with my in laws and have a great relationship with my family…but if my DH ever said “I have to be where my mom is” and decided not to go to my parents or spend the holidays with me alone then…we’d have a problem.  

I think that you have multiple issues here.  Firstly (and I think that this is the biggest problem) is your DH’s attitude.  He doesn’t have to agree that his family is awful, but I think that he does have to stand up for you and he should, at the very least, recognize that you are super uncomfortable and try to do whatever it takes to make you more comfortable at family events.  Second, you guys should for sanity’s sake, come up with a holiday plan.  You spend x with his family and y with yours.  How often do you see your family?

It sounds like you might be dealing with a “momma’s boy” and I don’t know how to help you with that.  He’s married to you.  His loyalty should be to you.  Expecting you to spend holidays apart if you don’t want to spend every holiday with his family (especially as they are not kind) is crazy.

Post # 9
28 posts
  • Wedding: September 2011

@sarahmay85: My in-laws did everything possible to try to convince my FH that I am not the person he is meant to be with. He has always been the father of the family (there is a father there, but he isn’t worth much) and his mother and two younger sisters did not take it well that he would be moving out with me into a home we were purchasing together, and eventually, getting married. I won’t go into the horrible things they have said about and to me, and the mean and nasty things they’ve done. One of my Future Sister-In-Law hasn’t talked to us in eight months and posted on her FB (yes, THAT childish) that she wanted to kill herself since we were getting married.

But, the ONE thing that is making this all bareable? My fiance. I made it very clear to him the first time they started acting out that I wouldn’t be treated poorly by his family, and if he choose to allow them to do it (obviously he cannot control them, but he can choose to not listen, or to talk to them about it when it happens) then I simply wouldn’t be a part of his life. It sounds very harsh, but if he could not put me first in this aspect of his life, he probably never would. And I deserve better than that. He has always been very close with his mom and sisters, but if they were going to make it so hard for him to be happy, they clearly did not have his best interest at heart.

I think you should have a talk with your husband. He knows how uncomfortable they make you, right? You come first…your feelings and emotions should come before every else’s in his life…even his moms! Talk it out with him, and try to compromise. It’ll work out, girl! Stay strong.

Post # 11
327 posts
Helper bee

I don’t have any in-laws yet, but I’ve always assumed that married couples came up with holiday plans, like a pp suggested.

My uncle and his wife alternate each year: Thanksgiving with one family, Christmas with the other.  It’s fair and clear and understood by everyone. 

I know that only cuts your agony in half, but it does answer the question of what you and your husband should do with the holidays.  Going “wherever his mother goes” is not an appropriate solution.

I also agree that if there’s someone difficult to deal with in his family, he should be the liaison between you.  Not necessarily take your side at all costs, but he should make sure that everyone treats one another with respect.

This kind of reminds me of the Real Housewives of New Jersey- yikes!

Good luck!


Post # 12
232 posts
Helper bee

 This might sound mean but I’m not trying to be… Have you considered that maybe there is a reason they don’t like you? What are the reasons they give for not liking you? 

I was reading what you wrote and I remembered that I can’t stand my brother’s wife. Then I felt really guilty. My brother doesn’t understand why we don’t like her and I don’t really like to tell him because he just turns it around on us like it’s our fault. She really is awful though. Then she goes around telling everybody that we’re mean to her and that she doesn’t understand why because she doesn’t do anything. She acts like an angel and people believe her at first but after a few months they see she’s a sociopath and they distance themselves from her.

I honestly believe she is a sociopath. She has three kids and the two youngest ones are not even my brothers. She had baby #2 about a year after they got married which means she cheated on him shortly after the wedding. Usually when you first get married you’re not thinking of cheating on your new husband. 

 She wore a bright red sequined dress to my grandfathers funeral. 🙁

When my sister was falsely accused of a crime we asked them to pitch in to get a lawyer and she said no. Then she started running around telling everyone that we only go to my brother when we need money acting like we were street urchins begging for a handout instead of his family. We have NEVER before asked them for money. We just though that he might want to contribute since it was his sister whom he grew up with and she was being falsely accused. Oh and my brother makes a lot of money so it’s not like they would have gone without. At the very least she should have not gone around talking crap.

The list goes on and on. She has done horrible things to my mom. My dad had an affair 20 years ago that resulted in a the woman having his child. My mom didn’t know about it but it hurt her when she found out. She thought my SIL was a decent person and treated her like a daughter so she confided in her about it. Well my Future Sister-In-Law went to find him, told him, and brought him over to our house. That was not SIL place to do that. He didn’t even know; he thought his step-dad was his real dad and he was devastated. My mom was gracious when he came but she later had a mental breakdown and chopped off all of her hair. My dad had never looked for him because his mom said she didn’t want anything to do with my dad and her new husband was going to raise him as his own. When she found out about my mom, SIL went around from house to house, telling everyone and making fun of her hair.  

 Once when my son was little, about 3 or 4, I was at my moms house and I left my son in the living room because she was in there and I thought she would watch him for a few minutes until I finished. When I came back he was eating a silica packet, like the ones that come in a box of new shoes. She was sitting there watching him eat it and she didn’t take them away. Who does that? I didn’t say anything because watching my son is my responsibility but I couldn’t believe her. I would take poison away from my enemy. 

My aunt said that SIL told her if my brother ever tried to leave her she would accuse him of molesting her kids and that she would kill her kids and herself.  

I could write a book about her evilness but my point is: have you ever done anything mean that would cause his family to hate you? If his sister is a sociopath b*tch like mine then I support your decision to stay away. I haven’t talked to or seen my SIL in more than a year and my life is so much better now without her drama. If she’s not that evil, just immature, then maybe try to mend things with her? She’s going to be a part of your husbands life for the rest of it. 



Post # 14
4590 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

Ugh what a crappy situation. Why did you agree to marry him without this resolved first? I personally would not marry someone who I didnt’ love his family, but I know I am in the minority here. When you get hubs and my families together, you can’t tell who is who. They blend perfectly, and until I found this site, I didn’t know how absolutely lucky I was to have 2 great families by my side.

I don’t really see a solution for you – either your husband gets upset that you don’t like his family and won’t go around them, or you are uncomfortable being forced to be around them.

Post # 15
1174 posts
Bumble bee

@sarahmay85: Why suffer? It’s his family, let him go spend a few hours with them alone. Maybe you can drop him off or pick him up and bring a pie/cake and tell the family how you have been busy cooking and you are so excited to start your family holiday tradition. In and out in 30 minutes with a gift and looking beautiful as well. The excuse to leave is you still have a few things to finish up but it was soooo good to see everyone. This is best done the day before the actual holiday and you can spend the actual holiday drama free;0) A battle between the spouse and family is terrible and I would not bother bringing it up. There really are no winners and it just makes your SO feel odd. Good luck.

Post # 16
3605 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I personally would not marry someone who I didnt’ love his family,

good grief, then my sister (33yrs married) , brother (18yrs married ) or myself wouldnt be married because my mom is that horrible hated inlaw – we dont even love her

OP last year my husband and i said to heck with everyone else and we escaped for the holidays and was “just us” and we loved it.  we agree that we are now our family and being stressed over pleasing everyone else is no fun

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