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DIL seeking advice

(87 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.

ExD Tue 12-Jan-21 08:52:50

Bravo those last few posters for saying get your husband on your side, please don't fall out with him over this and damage your marriage.

Your baby will grow up all too quickly, so cut down on these visits - if your husband is arranging the behind your back and delivering the as a fait accompli tell him No, you're doing something else that day (work out a few believable outings such as a clinic check-up, visit from a friend, picking up a parcel from post office and keep them ready to use) unless you can dredge up the courage to simply point out you can't cope with a visitor today.

I have to admit it was something I was never strong enough to do. This will pass.

PECS Tue 12-Jan-21 09:59:25

Always tough to balance but do a list of what / who is most important to you and what you want things to be like in 5 years. Then think how you can behave to ensure you get what you want. You cannot change your in-laws unpleasant behaviour. You can choose how to respond to it. If being over nice to them works to stop their barbed comments that might be a way to go. Confrontation can work too but you have to be prepared for further damage.
Can you take charge of the inviting? That may put more confidence & less , understandable , resentment in the situation? Hand your baby to grandma with a smile and say 'here have some bonding time'. Be in charge . When they are not there you & your baby will have plenty of time to form a lifelong loving relationship. Fo not let these self centred people damage your relationship with your husband. That might what they want. Don't play into their hands.

Buffybee Tue 12-Jan-21 10:40:51

Young Mums usually see their own Mother more than Mil, it's natural and especially as your Mother lives close by.
I find it quite odd that your Dh asked you to see less of your family to placate his Mother.
How does she know how often you're seeing your family any way?If it's your husband telling her, tell him to stop it as it's causing jealousy, also I don't think it's any of Mils business, who you're seeing or for how long.
Make sure every time she says something snippy or snidy, you pull her up on it.
Let us know how it goes......

V3ra Tue 12-Jan-21 10:55:05

Many years ago, when our first child was a few months old, I had to have the "your mother needs to realise you have a home and family of your own now" conversation with my husband.

Like you're finding, my husband had a mother who ruled the roost. He was used to it but not happy about it as an adult.
I think I gave him the courage to realise that we could stand together as a family unit.
There were times when he refused to visit (I didn't argue!) but over the years things settled down and we all have a good relationship now.

Don't despair, and don't fall out with your husband over her behaviour. Together you can change things for the better.

Madgran77 Tue 12-Jan-21 11:03:18

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

When you disagree withher on something like this you give her the chance to come back with lecturing and patronising you. Maybe a response like "Oh ok" would take the wind our of her sails. She comes back with stuff about "boys colours" (confused) just say again "Oh, ok!". Might be worth a try.

However if about how you/your husband want to do things with your son, that is more important! So a reply like " Oh, thanks for gge suggestions! We have decided to do * ". She starts telling you that is wrong you reply "I see. We have decided to do..." After that respond with " I am not dis using it any more!" and just look at her! Leave if necessary.

If she is rude to you " I am sure you dudnt mean to be so rude dod you" and walk away. If she comes back on not being rude just say "Oh ok!".

The point is tge above responses may not be suitable or tight for you, bit the key is whatever you respond, you are not feeding her need/opportunity to lecture you or out you down.

It is definitely your husband though that is gge biggest problem, he has to stand with you and not tolerate the behaviour! flowers

petra Tue 12-Jan-21 11:03:52

Have a look on YouTube at the videos
How to be assertive, not aggressive I think these will help you.

Madgran77 Tue 12-Jan-21 11:04:57

Sorry about spelling mistakes, on phone and find small keyboard tricky!

Buffybee Tue 12-Jan-21 11:06:12

When you’ve confronted her, if she tries to argue, then yes, walk away with your baby.
Tell her you’re not going to argue in front of your child.
Quite honestly, if she carries on being horrible with you, I can’t see a good outcome. You will probably become estranged from them.

Lakelover89 Tue 12-Jan-21 15:21:32

You tube videos about being assertive thank you already checking them out! I think this will help me overall. I agree with you guys I would like to be a team with my husband my goal at this point is just to get rude behaviour to stop and we can have a decent relationship where they visit with us every so often. That's it. I don't need to be friends with MIL or FIL just want them to be respectful. I am really hoping with these suggestions (labeling what she said as rude, being assertive, less visits) we can get there. I like it here. I have sought out advice from other places and everyone is quick to tell me to cut them off. Which would be devastating to my husband I could never do that to him. He really loves his parents and I think sometimes he doesn't see it as a problem because he grew up with it so it's his normal. The advice here seems more win-win for everyone, there was estrangement in my family growing up and I think it hurts everyone.

A few posters have asked how PIL know how often I see my parents. Before the baby PIL acted like they couldnt care less about my pregnancy until maybe two weeks before I had the baby. Before then MIL kept telling me it was so nice my mom lived so close so she could help me, she then went on to say she would be to busy to help. A few weeks after the baby came she changed her tune and wanted to come over several times a week. It's the only time I've been assertive I told my DH no, baby was cluster feeding, I was emotional and I just didnt want to deal with either of PIL alone So I think there is some hurt feelings. I have set the personal boundary since babys birth that DH has to be here if they come over. He works long hours so they really only see us on weekends. I am not sure if my DH tells them about my parents visiting. They really only come over when he isn't here, they give us space for family time on the weekends.

NotSpaghetti Tue 12-Jan-21 16:14:28

It sounds as though your husband is trying to support you. Stick to each other and it will become as normal as it can be these days.
All the best.

FarNorth Tue 12-Jan-21 20:00:25

Your DH sees it as normal, you say. But did he actually see this behaviour as he was growing up?
Perhaps it only started when he and his sister were adults and got partners.
In any case, he is not the one they are being rude to now.
He should tell his parents that he will not tolerate nasty behaviour towards you.

I'd tell him not to invite them more than once a month, also, definitely not every weekend.

Hithere Wed 13-Jan-21 13:14:05

Your husband must agree with you first on when and if ILs visit. Then he talks to his parents and coordinate.

He makes an visit with them you didnt agree, you and baby leave. He can enjoy their company on his own.

Do you know what relationship with the ILs you (you as a person) would like to have?

Are they healthy grandparents, the grandparents you would like for your child?

The red neon warning signs with your husband were there from the very beginning? What made you marry him and have children with him?

Smileless2012 Wed 13-Jan-21 14:46:14

"The red neon warning signs with your husband were there from the very beginning. What made you marry him and have children with him?". For goodness sake Hithere how is that going to help the OP? She wants to be a team with her H and rightly so, not allow this situation to come between them.

"Are they healthy grandparents, the grandparents you would like for your child?" Lakelover has already said in her OP that "they are good grandparents to their other grand kids". This issue here is her relationship with her p's.i.l. not their relationship with their GC.

Sometimes your posts on matters like this are like a wrecking ball Hithere, not just to a poster's relationship their p's or p's.i.l's but to their marriage.

I'm glad that you've discounted the 'advice' to cut your p's.i.l. off Lakelover it's appalling how estrangement is viewed as the one and only solution, rather than finding a workable solution. As you say, your H would understandably be devastated and as this behaviour is 'normal' to him, it may take some time for him to see things differently.

It sounds as if you're already looking at, and putting in place some sensible boundaries and I hope that things begin to improve for you.

Madgran77 Wed 13-Jan-21 14:54:20

The red neon warning signs with your husband were there from the very beginning. What made you marry him and have children with him?"

hmm hmm

Norah Wed 13-Jan-21 14:58:00

Gordon Bennett. I'd say lower visits to once monthly for two hours. Your husband should set good boundaries in place, refuse his parents rude intolerable behaviour.

Smileless2012 Wed 13-Jan-21 15:02:33

They should do what Lakelover wants, and work together as a team. Of course she needs her H to be supportive, but it isn't his sole responsibility to find ways of improving the relationship between his wife and his mother, they have a part to play too.

Norah Wed 13-Jan-21 15:15:02

The notion that GPs visit often and are dismissive and snappy of their son's wife is intolerable. DH just be quiet and go along with it so our son can have a good relationship with them is bad for your marriage.

Smileless2012 Wed 13-Jan-21 15:45:58

I agree Norah which is why they need to work as a team, because that's what they are, a team. Not working together to find ways to improve this situation will be bad for their marriage.

The OP wants her H to be supportive as he should be, but that doesn't mean he "should set good boundaries in place, refuse his parents rude intolerable behaviour", they need to do this together. Otherwise it can result in an 'it's me or them' scenario which is just as unhealthy and intolerable.

Eviebeanz Wed 13-Jan-21 16:04:36

Hi I'm going to post and hope I haven't missed something that has already been said - firstly a new baby is a joy but can sometimes cause problems that they are blissfully unaware of
I think it's important that some of the time when your husband is home is designated as family time i.e. You, your husband and your son
I wonder how the in laws know how often you are seeing your parents.
I wonder if you are a youngish mum - can you think about setting some boundaries with the in laws?
Take up your space in your own home - don't think about sitting in your room when they visit - you could take your son and go out for a while...
Don't let it cause friction between you and your partner... Good luck.

Norah Wed 13-Jan-21 16:04:54

Smileless, I disagree. The OP wants her H to be supportive as he should be, but that doesn't mean he "should set good boundaries in place, refuse his parents rude intolerable behaviour", they need to do this together. Otherwise it can result in an 'it's me or them' scenario which is just as unhealthy and intolerable. They are his parents, he should step up and set boundaries against their rude intolerable behaviour. HIS parents, not hers, HIS job to pull them to control.

Smileless2012 Wed 13-Jan-21 16:16:46

He may rightly or wrongly, not regard his parents behaviour as as rude and intolerable as his wife does Norah. He may regard his approach as being the best one. I'm not saying that it is, which is why they need to work together.

I agree with Eviebeanz "Don't let it cause friction between you and your partner". IMO the attitude that "They are his parents, he should step up and set boundaries against their rude intolerable behaviour. HIS parents, not hers, HIS job to pull them to control" will cause friction.

He can't control his parents, just work together with his wife and hopefully with his parents to achieve a healthier relationship between his wife and his parents.

petra Wed 13-Jan-21 16:35:02

I think you missed your calling in life.
In days gone by ( thank goodness) you could have been an interrogator.
Your posts almost border on the ve haf vays of making you talk

Smileless2012 Wed 13-Jan-21 16:36:36

petra smile

Toadinthehole Wed 13-Jan-21 16:37:29

Oh Lakelover, there’s so much I could say....don’t know where to start. The number of times I heard the “ it’s just they way they are” statement. Well...... I didn’t like the way they were, and after 25 years of trying to put it right, gave up. My husband didn’t like it either, but found it difficult to deal with. He also had a sister who compounded everything. She was the instigator of “ we should just put up with it.
NO, you absolutely do NOT have to put up with it. You are starting with a clean slate with your new baby, and you are right. Children pick up on things, mine did, that’s why we eventually cut off 20 years ago.
Why grandparents, or parents of adult children think they can behave this way has always been completely incomprehensible to me. You are your little baby’s mother. He needs you for absolutely everything. He also needs his father to step up, and protect you from his parents, who, like many older people with grown families, still think everything revolves around them. You and your son should be your husband‘S first concern. It may be he’s frightened of them...or dealing with them, like my husband was, but it has to be done. Otherwise you’ll just create another cycle of the same for your son and any more children you have.
Do it now...on your own if you have to. Stand your ground. Perhaps your own parents can help. Mine didn’t, but that’s another story. There’s plenty of us on here who can support you. Your in your own parents, need to understand they’re just spectators now.
I wish you all the best, and congratulations on the birth of your son.

Madgran77 Wed 13-Jan-21 16:46:08

They are his parents, he should step up and set boundaries against their rude intolerable behaviour. HIS parents, not hers, HIS job to pull them to control

His parents are adults in their own right, not blobs to be "pulled into control". This is a mutual problem for this couple, impacting both on their child and their partnership potentially!! They should work together to solve the problem as with any other problems that couples encounter! They might agree together that DH has an initial discussion or they might agree that DIL has a discussion or they might agree a strategy of responses together. But whatever they decide it should be together and implemented together!