I posted here maybe a 6 months - year ago with some teething issues with my in laws. As I am a non-confrontational person, I ended up ignoring the hostility that had just started building up, but at the expense of a lot of anxiety.
We are now expecting our second child and this time around I’m more anxious and worried with how to manage my in laws because of the things that have happened.
Whilst they live a good 3 hour car journey away from us, we hosted them for a weekend every month or two prior to lockdown.
If I look back I would say that the hostility has built up over the last 2 years. Starting with a weekend where they came to visit, and my father in law announced that him and my mother in law only considered me an incubator for grandchildren. I asked him if he was joking, he said he wasn’t. My mother in law said nothing to these comments. There were other very hurtful comments passed too, which deserves a post in itself.
For a change, we visited them last year and took our daughter to see Santa with them. My father in law made it to be my fault that we had to find somewhere to sit because she needed breastfeeding. He generally made me feel unwelcome the whole time. Is the daughter in law always to be at fault for everything? Because it seems so here.
They also drink a lot (matter of opinion).!We invited them for our first family Christmas, during this time my husband made a request to drink around meal and evening times only as we don’t want any drunk adults around a toddler. My father in law pulled a finger at me as I turned away, and I still noticed, and my mother in law shared a quiet amused look with my father in law. This was on our first Christmas Day as a family. Something else was said on Christmas Day, which was also very hurtful. Unfortunately, these memories are going to stick 😔
We also had our christening at my parents home, also where we got married. During that time they kept to themselves, I was quite busy with getting drinks for visitors or looking after my daughter, but for the most part I felt ignored by my husbands side. Later, once they left to go home, we received an accidental phone call at 2-3 in the morning, waking us and the baby - a drunk phone call, I’m guessing. It was very inappropriate, but I assume they were drinking away the stress of having to spend time with me and my family, where their hostility couldn’t be so open.... a few days after this I remember calling my mother in law up to update her on my daughters weigh in, and it was incredibly socially awkward. If I wasn’t sure about the hostility before this, then it was pretty much confirmed after this phone call. I haven’t called since, and they’ve not called me at all this year, which speaks volumes.
So I would say, the trend this year is that they are generally ignoring me. However, they did remembered my birthday and always have done. And, apart from the inappropriate regular comments of “I can’t wait to take you to my favourite bar”, they are good with my daughter. The fact that alcohol is a common factor has always concerned me and probably the reason why trust is going to be an issue.
I don’t know what other grandparents are up to in lockdown, but they might have called my husband every 2 weeks for a 15-20 min chat. I also send about 30 photos every month, on a shared family app, where I get notified when they access them, but I never get any messages of acknowledgement. It such a contrast when I hear from my family every day and get comments about the pictures that I share.
We also video called on Mother’s Day to wish our mother in law a good day. As expected, the sentiments were never returned, but still quite hurtful to be ignored.
I also started up a little business, where my mother in law requested something and I said, instead of charging her, if I could give it to her for her birthday or some other special occasion. I never received a response, but my husband had a phone call, saying she really wanted it. Another example of where the communication has just broken down, perhaps I somehow offended her with that offer.... it seems I can’t do or say anything that is right.
I have to be honest. The air is very hostile and awkward. The comments and things that have happened is over a long period of time but it’s very clear that they have a dislike towards me. They make a habit of making things about them, so I always feel like I have to please them. When it’s not part of their norm, the hostility continues..... My husband will listen when I mention that something has happened and won’t contest to the things that have happened when he’s been witness to it, but he still believes they actually like me. He’s definitely in denial.
I don’t know how I’m going to manage the next lot of changes when this new baby arrives. I feel mentally and emotionally exhausted already. I dread the fraught tensions that will arise because I don’t think I’m going to agree to hosting overnight stays going forward, after our second baby arrives. I don’t think I can cope with it and a newborn - it’s not what we need. The fact that my in laws and my husband think this is acceptable without consequences is no longer going to sit with me, but I need a workable solution so they don’t actually hate me more than they already do for whatever reason!
Previous had good relations over 7-8 years before this...
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