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DIL seeking advice

(105 Posts)
Lakelover89 Mon 11-Jan-21 17:50:26

Hello, I am a long time lurker first time poster. I am seeking advice for what to do about a husband/inlaw issue I have been having for a while now. Just thought maybe some of you grandparents could give me some insight on how to make this better. I have been with my husband for 5 years now and we recently welcomed our first child q little boy in late 2020. I will try to keep this concise and to the point. I can provide more details if needed.

The issue is, is I often feel left out and disrespected during visits with my MIL and FIL. Since I first met them 5 years ago they just don't seem to want me around despite me being polite, respectful and trying to get to know them. My inlaws go between ignoring me, making passive aggressive remarks, correcting/arguing with me about meaningless things and preaching to me and my husband about what we should be doing better. I now dread visits and I am beginning go resent my husband for allowing this to go on so long. On the outside his parents dont seem like rude or mean people, they have friends and are well educated but they come across as just plain mean at times. They never ask me about myself, dont listen to me if answer the question they ask during a visit (how are you?) And they change the subject if I try to participate in any conversations.

Before our son was born my husband was alot more receptive to how I felt. He would at least try to include me or stand up for me if he thought his parents were being rude. We also saw his parents a lot less which was way more manageable for me. Now we are back to seeing them weekly. If I complain to him he now defends them, he says that's the way they are we can't change it. He wants me to just be quiet and go along with it so our son can have a good relationship with them. I do admit they are good grandparents to their other grandkids. But the other part of me has some mama bear instincts where I want to shield my son from them. I worry he will learn these behaviours or he will begin to treat me this way during visits as well. I already feel like the inlaws have a little club with husband that I am not allowed to join. They already claim everything my son does is just like DH and he looks/acts nothing like me.

I am beyond frustrated about this. I feel like I try really hard to include them and make them feel wanted but I am met with nothing but disrespect. During a few of my special events (wedding, baby shower, etc) I included MIL in them and she put a sour note on each event by snapping on me in front of others like I was a toddler. Should I just grin and bear it like I've been doing for the sake of everyone getting along? Should I stand up to them myself to hopefully make it stop? Should I give my husband an ultimatum to get him to see it's a problem and he needs to fix it?

If you have made it this far thanks for listening. I could really use a friend right now.

silverlining48 Mon 11-Jan-21 18:04:08

Hello lakelover. I made it to the end and i understand why you are upset. What a pity you are being treated in this way. Are your co in laws treated similarly?
You and your husband need to stand together on this, its not good enough fir him to say you should put up with it.
I wish you well, and congratulations on the birth of your baby boy.

keepingquiet Mon 11-Jan-21 18:41:04

Hi- this is farm more common than you may realise. My daughter's situation is the same, although it sounds as if her in-laws are further away than yours so she doesn't see them so much. She says they just see her as a breeding mechanism through which they now have grandchildren.
It has caused her a lot of hurt. the worst thing is her husband doesn't really stand up to them and sometimes I'm the one who gets it on the other end of the phone!
I wouldn't worry about your son's behaviours either- grandparents are much less influential than you think.
I'm not a believer in ultimatums-don't push your husband into making choices- but every time you feel hurt tell him. Your feelings are valid. Maybe over time he will come to see how unfair his parents are being, but I suspect not.
Stop inviting MIL- you don't need toxic people in your life. Babies put lots of strain on marriages but this shouldn't be one of them. Invest your time and energy in the people who care about you and support you. It won't make the problem go away,but you will have the confidence to deal with it better.

Buffybee Mon 11-Jan-21 18:47:34

Congratulations on your baby boy!
I'm not sure if you are in the UK or not but if you are, you should not be visiting with your In Laws at all because of Covid Rules.

rafichagran Mon 11-Jan-21 18:52:13

Tell your husband you are not going until they show respect. The "That's how they are answer is just not good enough.

Lakelover89 Mon 11-Jan-21 19:05:03

Hey guys thank you for commenting. Thank you for congratulating me on my baby boy he is truly the light of my life. To answer some of your questions no I am not in the UK. We do have restrictions where I live but less so. We do social distances walks/hikes outside for now once a week. They live about 20 min from us.

I don't invite them my husband does, the last special event we had the baby shower I told my mom to leave MIL out of it. My DH ended up inviting her to help and that's when she snapped at me. I stopped asking her after she yelled at me on my wedding day. I also don't believe in ultimatums either but I just want this whole problem to stop I feel like it would be more manageable if we saw them way less but my husband wont go for that. I do worry about influence since DH has already set up them being some of our child care when I go back to work to save money. We will do a combo of my parents, his and daycare.

As for co inlaws I am not familiar with the term but if you mean DHs siblings spouses there is only one. DHs sister lives in a different country and I've only met BIL a handful of times. He seems to click with FIL but MIL is very nitpicky towards him. He has also been in the family 3 times as long as I have. Also both MIL and FIL complain about BIL being immature and they also complain about his mom feeding the grandkids to much sugar and allowing them to behave badly. Again I dont really know much about SILs and BIL dynamic with the inlaws. I get along with them well they are nice people we just dont see the often due to distance.

I know MIL feels left out with her other grandkids due to distance, SILS MIL lives very close and is very involved so there's some jealousy. DH is determined not to let that happen with our son. My parents live down the street and they are retired so they dont go anywhere. They help with our son a lot so there is already hard feelings about my parents getting more time with our son. DH is really pushing for his parents to get equal time.

silverlining48 Mon 11-Jan-21 19:19:01

Thats what i meant when i said co in laws. I made it up but you understood. If your parents see more of your son than your in laws that can be awkward, but he is still so young and in these covid days surely he needs not to meet too many people. Germs and all that. hmm

petra Mon 11-Jan-21 19:21:12

Lakelover
I feel very sorry for you in this situation. Unfortunately there's no easy way with these in laws. They aren't going to change unless you confront either one of them. It's sounds as if the mother in law is your enemy.
Do you feel as if you could confront her on her behaviour? Either by phone/email. Of course telling your husband what you plan to do.
Not easy, I know but it's not going to get any better. These people are bullying you and bullies don't like being confronted.
Put your big girl knickers on and tell your husband what you plan to do. You'll be amazed at how good you feel. Take control.

Buffybee Mon 11-Jan-21 19:29:20

If you think about it Lakelover, you hold all the Aces in your hand. He's your baby and you hold a lot of power because of that.
For a start I would not be seeing your in-laws every single week, tell your husband that it's too much for you, especially as you're not being made welcome anyway.
Also, I don't care who she is, if she speaks to you disrespectfully, you say something back. Tell her she's being rude and you're not prepared to put up with it. If your husband takes her side, tell him if her bad behaviour continues, then you will not be seeing her at all.
He can take the baby on his own and you can have a break, see some friends, have a beauty treatment, or something you want to do.
Again, you hold the Aces!

Buffybee Mon 11-Jan-21 19:30:51

Snap! petra

gt66 Mon 11-Jan-21 19:35:51

yelled at you on your wedding day? I'm speechless!! shock

I'm afraid she doesn't respect you. I think you should quietly, but firmly assert your rights and preferences; starting with your husband, so they both start to realise they can't walk all over you.

SynchroSwimmer Mon 11-Jan-21 19:40:39

I feel so sad that she yelled at you and on your wedding day.

Thinking you might also want to make this very same post over on MumsNet at the same time as posting here?
You will get lots of replies on how other DIL’s have found proactive strategies for dealing with similar issues in addition to the helpful replies that you will receive from Mums and MIL’s on here.

Smileless2012 Mon 11-Jan-21 19:40:45

Congratulations on the birth of your baby boyflowers.

Rather than complain to your H about the way his parents behave toward you, do what you mentioned in your OP and stand up to them.

I understand that with a new baby this is certainly something you can do with out, but you may find that this would be far more productive than wanting/expecting your H to do so on your behalf.

There are different techniques you can try for example if your m.i.l. snaps at you, respond by saying 'please don't talk to me that way'. Comments about your son looking like his father can be countered with 'he looks just like my dad, uncle, brother or GF looked at this age. Just pick one, it doesn't have to be true; they wont know will they.

You also need to talk to your H and explain that while you understand his parents not wanting to feel they are missing out on this GC as they have with others, he's creating a situation which you are beginning to find unpleasant, that this is only going to get worse unless things change and ultimately that you wont put up with it.

You maybe pleasantly surprised to see your p's.i.l. adopt a more pleasant approach when they, and your H can see that you wont be a passive receiver of their behaviour.

I hope so; good luck.

Lakelover89 Mon 11-Jan-21 19:45:43

I get how its awkward with one side seeing us more. My husband works long hours and when I had my son I had a rough recovery. My parents helped quite a bit, they are the only people besides my inlaws who we see. I haven't seen anyone beside my family, inlaws and husband in months. I am not prepared to see my parents who have been a huge support system less to please people who treat me like crap. DH already suggested that to help with everyone's feelings. I feel that is really unfair considering how lonely being a first time mom in a pandemic is.
I do like the advice to confront her on being rude in the moment I am going g to try that thank you smile I am hesitant to send an email/call because I feel MIL is smart enough when she does these things she could just deny and say I took it the wrong way or I am being too sensitive. There's never been one thing they've done it's a lot of little things adding up over time.
Saying MIL is an enemy it certainly feels that way. I really wish it weren't that way. I always had visions of hanging out with my MIL and seeing her as a friend but it just isn't that way at all.
Last thing to let my son go with DH to visit. I am just not comfortable yet. My son is breastfeeding on demand and we dont go to inlaws they come to us we walk trails in our neighborhood since going there would be too much transitions for him. I almost think staying inside/my room for visits would make me feel worse and two I think that's what they want. For DH and DS all to themselves like I don't matter. I have no issues with DH socializing with them alone but I really dont think it's right for DS to be included in that right now.

Lakelover89 Mon 11-Jan-21 19:48:06

Great advice thank you
I am going to try this for sure next visit.

Lakelover89 Mon 11-Jan-21 19:59:41

It certainly put a bad memory on the day sad it was over something totally unrelated to her or for her to worry about. I can try posting on mumsnet the reason I wanted to post here was I wasnt sure if I was missing something. Like maybe that's just how inlaws are or I unintentionally doing something to upset them. I figured with many people here being inlaws they could give me the othersides perspective.

V3ra Mon 11-Jan-21 20:10:34

Many congratulations on your baby son!

Definitely speak up for yourself if and when your mother-in-law upsets you.
Keep it cool, eg raise an eyebrow, frown and say, "That's a strange thing to say," or, "Did you mean to sound so rude?" then move away from her and busy yourself with something.
The idea is to make the point that her comment is unwelcome and not up for discussion.

After yelling at you during your wedding she's lucky you agree to see her at all!!

silverlining48 Mon 11-Jan-21 20:11:14

FromWhat you say you seem to be trying to sort out and improve a difficult situation, no one can wish for more.
You may get harsher advice on mumsnet, last time I looked they seemed a tough lot. Expect going no contact advice.... oh and flying monkeys 🐒 both were new to me. Good luck.

FarNorth Mon 11-Jan-21 20:35:27

Don't give any thought to trying to even up the time your DS has with each set of grandparents.
This isn't necessary even if they weren't being bullies.
Of course you are likely to want to see your parents more than you see the inlaws- especially as your parents aren't nasty to you.

Maybe you could ask your DH to cast his mind back to when he stood up for you more.
He clearly knew then, and still knows, that his parents are unreasonable and you shouldn't have to just put up with it.

ExD Mon 11-Jan-21 20:49:46

Someone gave me advice, years ago, that the best way to think of a 'put down' to a rude or nasty remark was to criticise the remark, not the person.
By that I mean you say "that was a nasty thing to say" and not "you are a nasty person to say that". That way you aren't giving her the opportunity to complain that you're bad mouthing her because you aren't - you're bad mouthing what she said.
There is no gain in making an enemy of her, she's your husband's Mum, and we're all programmed to love our Mums however unpleasant they are, and its not fair to make him chose between you and her.
Someone suggested he take the baby to see her while you stay home which is an excellent idea, don't visit her on your own. When you can't avoid a visit do be ready for the remark "hello stranger" or similar - just reply "I think its nice for you to have your two boys to yourself now and then". Don't give her any ammunition she can use to get at you.
The last thing you need is to make an enemy of your MIL.
Do you invite her to your home? Stop.
If she calls uninvited, get your coat, wake the baby (sorry) dress him warm and take him out - saying your friend is expecting you, sorry but you're late, get in your car and drive off.
Avoid this toxic lady.

Hithere Mon 11-Jan-21 20:55:15

You have a huge husband problem.

Go to marital therapy till he can see he is a husband first, not a son

No more visits with the outlaws till your marriage is on the right track

" If I complain to him he now defends them, he says that's the way they are we can't change it. He wants me to just be quiet and go along with it so our son can have a good relationship with them. "

Then reply to him " and this is the way I am and I cannot change either"
Lets see what he replies to that
If it's good enough for your ILs, it's good enough for you too

ElaineI Mon 11-Jan-21 22:54:30

Your baby is way too young to visit without you if you are BF on demand. Weekly visits are quite a lot. Could you suggest less? It is also very normal for a new Mum to see her own parents more. They (usually) have their daughter's best interests at heart and have looked after her as a baby and child and it is a special time seeing your baby with her baby. As for being rude - ExD is right - confront the comment not her directly and keep doing it so hopefully she will realise and stop. Remember she has a lot more to lose than you. You are the mummy of her beloved grandson - does she want to risk losing her time with him?

welbeck Tue 12-Jan-21 02:27:17

do you think your marriage will survive. it's looking rocky. if he can't/won't stand up for you.
don't let MIL put you down. challenge but don't discuss; say, that's not the right way to talk to me.
i wish you all the best.

Lakelover89 Tue 12-Jan-21 05:33:17

Thanks everyone for the advice you have given me a lot to think about smile its also nice to hear that I am not crazy, this is a real problem and it needs to change.
For now I will definitely do some of what was mentioned. When they are rude I will say something. I do think that is why it has gone on so long and continues
I am way to passive and haven't stood up for myself I've just taken it. I need to stop doing that. Next time they ask for a visit and DH tells me he is setting it up I am going to tell him no, just flat out no I don't want to see inlaws this week and see if he will respect that.
I really dont want DS visiting without me. Sorry but I haven't left him with anyone but DH yet and I dont feel comfortable allowing PIL time alone with my son even with DH there.
I agree this is a husband problem I am pretty sure when it comes down to it he would stand up for me he is just so nonconfrontational he struggles even when his parents are rude to him. But either way something really needs to change. This is the only thing in our marriage we dont agree on.
Lastly what if MIL argues with me if I say what she said is rude or I tell her I will not be spoken to like that? She tends to get argumentative about really petty stuff and she corrects things I say all the time. She corrected/lectured me once because I said her dogs collar was purple to the dog not even her and she said it couldn't be because the dog is a boy and it was brown. I said manye it was he light but she wouldn't let it go I got lectured on how she only buys the dog boy colours. I feel stupid typing that out and that I sat there passively just listening to her. I would never speak to another adult like that. I just imagine her telling me I misunderstood or that's not how she meant it or something like that.
What about if she argues taking my son and leaving the walk by going home. Would that be out of line when they are blatantly rude?

NotSpaghetti Tue 12-Jan-21 06:53:28

Please work with your husband on this. You need to be a TEAM. You have a beautiful baby to parent together and both want the best for him. Try to encourage your husband to be strong. Tell him how much you need him to he brave and help you with this difficult transition period. Obviously your mother-in-law is wanting to re-live her parenting days but she has had the joy (and the pain) of parenting already and now it's your turn.

I think you need some time with your husband and baby as a family. This will give you chance to rediscover your relationship as a loving couple as well as cement your family bond in your new roles as parents. Make time for each other. Once you are sure you are facing his parents together I think you will feel better. Tell your husband your fears and spend some time being honest with him.

Tell him (and your in-laws) how you feel when they are unkind. "When you say x it makes me feel sad" - "when you don't stand up for me I feel x" - "x makes me feel that my baby will learn to be judgemental". They cannot argue with how you "feel". The feelings are your own. They cannot be disputed as they are your own. They may say you are being ridiculous or that's not what they meant or ask why you feel that. You should not get into any discussion on your feelings. Just say you don't know, but you do know what you feel.

The situation can change if you and your husband are united. You need him, and he needs to know you are replying on him. A miserable mum is not the fun mum you want to be.

As far as the baby is concerned, I wouldn't bother challenging the "he looks like his father" thing. I'd be tempted to agree. It's good to agree with things where you can - and make a point of it - one thing you do agree on is that you both love your husband!

Oh, and as soon as it's allowed and safe, take your baby to a parent and baby group, get to meet other young families. You will so enjoy having other mums and dads to chat to and it will be love6for your little one.

Good luck,
Thinking of you.
You have put up with a lot. You can do this. Get your husband on board.
You are stronger than you think.