Family Matters
Dear Community,

Our tech team has launched updates to The Nest today. As a result of these updates, members of the Nest Community will need to change their password in order to continue participating in the community. In addition, The Nest community member's avatars will be replaced with generic default avatars. If you wish to revert to your original avatar, you will need to re-upload it via The Nest.

If you have questions about this, please email [email protected]

Thank you.

Note: This only affects The Nest's community members and will not affect members on The Bump or The Knot.

Knowing when to put your foot down...or leaving things alone

It has been a long, long time since I've shared anything on this board. I will try to give basic information about me. DH and I will be celebrating 9 years of marriage in June. We have three daughters 13, 7, and 4. DH adopted our oldest daughter (from my first marriage) as his own shortly after we were married. 

My relationship with my in-laws has been cordial. However, from the beginning I had sensed that they did not care much for me or even like me. Nothing they ever said to my face but a lot of actions that spoke louder than words. Important to note, I am Hispanic and DH is white. He grew up in an affluent town in MA. Even though it has not been said by his parents, I think they never liked the idea of their son marrying outside of his race. They may also not have liked that I was previously married and came as a package deal with my oldest daughter. Important to note, my husband grew up Catholic and had left the Catholic church before he met me. Although his parents have stopped attending church for years, they also did not like the idea that their son married a non-Catholic. 

DH has one sibling, an older brother. He recently got married three months ago. I must say that he could not have made a better choice in the woman he married. She and I get along great. She is truly my "sister". I noticed the difference in how she was received into the family as compared to me. She also happens to be white and very successful in her career. I don't begrudge one bit how she was accepted (as she should be) but can't help to notice how different things have been for me.

The things that my in-laws do toward me are very subtle which can be missed by others, yet these actions are very noticeable to me. At times, and not sure if this goes hand in hand with men being clueless, but a lot of these things have gone unnoticed by DH. Well, this last thing that happened really has me thinking a lot and actually has me feeling hurt and angry. Like I said, my brother in law recently got married. Well, we were all at the in-laws at Christmas Eve along with other guests and family members. My mother in law had just received her copy of the wedding album that she had ordered (where she and FIL picked their favorite pictures) from the package. The album was left on the counter and I later looked through it myself. To my dismay, I noticed something significant. I was not in one of the pictures and I was a bridesmaid! They picked several pictures of my two youngest daughters since they were flower girls, and a couple of my oldest daughter (junior bridesmaid), several of DH with the girls, but none of me. That was deliberate, in my opinion. The only picture of the bridesmaids that they picked out was one in which my oldest daughter, maid of honor, and the other bridesmaid were eating a snack right before we got ready. I, of course, was not in that picture since I was getting my two youngest dressed.

At any rate, it's not a situation where people are saying cruel things but it's cruel actions that are made to devalue me. I feel that over the years, their actions have chipped away at me and I'm caught between suffering in silence and act like I don't notice or just purposely not have anything to do with them. Sometimes I wonder if maybe they unknowingly do these things but the more time passes by, I truly believe it's deliberate. DH, by the way, did not have a chance to see the photo album, nor did he know it was even there. He had to work on Christmas Eve so he left early. I finally told him yesterday that this was eating away at me. He hung his head in sadness and said that when he has a chance to see the album there is no way he will not mention to his parents why I'm not in any of the pictures. Of course, this will have to wait since the in-laws are snowbirds and live in FL from January-May. 




Three beautiful girls! DD#1 8-23-01 DD#2 4-25-07 DD#3 10-19-10

Re: Knowing when to put your foot down...or leaving things alone

  • Nancy6306 said:
    It has been a long, long time since I've shared anything on this board. I will try to give basic information about me. DH and I will be celebrating 9 years of marriage in June. We have three daughters 13, 7, and 4. DH adopted our oldest daughter (from my first marriage) as his own shortly after we were married. 

    My relationship with my in-laws has been cordial. However, from the beginning I had sensed that they did not care much for me or even like me. Nothing they ever said to my face but a lot of actions that spoke louder than words. Important to note, I am Hispanic and DH is white. He grew up in an affluent town in MA. Even though it has not been said by his parents, I think they never liked the idea of their son marrying outside of his race. They may also not have liked that I was previously married and came as a package deal with my oldest daughter. Important to note, my husband grew up Catholic and had left the Catholic church before he met me. Although his parents have stopped attending church for years, they also did not like the idea that their son married a non-Catholic. 

    DH has one sibling, an older brother. He recently got married three months ago. I must say that he could not have made a better choice in the woman he married. She and I get along great. She is truly my "sister". I noticed the difference in how she was received into the family as compared to me. She also happens to be white and very successful in her career. I don't begrudge one bit how she was accepted (as she should be) but can't help to notice how different things have been for me.

    The things that my in-laws do toward me are very subtle which can be missed by others, yet these actions are very noticeable to me. At times, and not sure if this goes hand in hand with men being clueless, but a lot of these things have gone unnoticed by DH. Well, this last thing that happened really has me thinking a lot and actually has me feeling hurt and angry. Like I said, my brother in law recently got married. Well, we were all at the in-laws at Christmas Eve along with other guests and family members. My mother in law had just received her copy of the wedding album that she had ordered (where she and FIL picked their favorite pictures) from the package. The album was left on the counter and I later looked through it myself. To my dismay, I noticed something significant. I was not in one of the pictures and I was a bridesmaid! They picked several pictures of my two youngest daughters since they were flower girls, and a couple of my oldest daughter (junior bridesmaid), several of DH with the girls, but none of me. That was deliberate, in my opinion. The only picture of the bridesmaids that they picked out was one in which my oldest daughter, maid of honor, and the other bridesmaid were eating a snack right before we got ready. I, of course, was not in that picture since I was getting my two youngest dressed.

    At any rate, it's not a situation where people are saying cruel things but it's cruel actions that are made to devalue me. I feel that over the years, their actions have chipped away at me and I'm caught between suffering in silence and act like I don't notice or just purposely not have anything to do with them. Sometimes I wonder if maybe they unknowingly do these things but the more time passes by, I truly believe it's deliberate. DH, by the way, did not have a chance to see the photo album, nor did he know it was even there. He had to work on Christmas Eve so he left early.


    I finally told him yesterday that this was eating away at me. He hung his head in sadness and said that when he has a chance to see the album there is no way he will not mention to his parents why I'm not in any of the pictures. Of course, this will have to wait since the in-laws are snowbirds and live in FL from January-May. 




    That last paragraph I highlighted is extremely telling.

    What does he mean no way will he say anything???

    He is supposed to take your side in this like it or not!--- he is to do that willingly and with no questions adked.

    I'd be livid about that if I were you --- and the second you began to get slighted he should have stepped up and put his mother in his place.

    How about you? Have you spoken up for yourself? "Ma, I've noted that none of thewse pictures in your album  have me in them --- why is that?" and let her explain away. And you say it like it is when she is done talking.

    Stand up for your rights. Don't let her  push you around --- and if you want to give that wuss of a
    H of yours a run for his money, ask her "Why are there no photos of me in this album" right in front of him.

    He needs to stand with you. I strongly suggest counseling for you both --- he missed the memo that said "'forsaking all others'  means that nobody comes between you and your spouse."
  • To clarify, DH said that there is NO WAY he would have been silent that evening and NO WAY he will remain silent when he sees the album. His parents are gone until May. I did not say anything to him until yesterday.
    Three beautiful girls! DD#1 8-23-01 DD#2 4-25-07 DD#3 10-19-10
  • VORVOR member
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    Honestly, I don't see why he needs to wait to see the album himself.  I think in his next conversation with them, he needs to simply ask "BTW, why is it that in the album you had made, there were no pictures of Nancy?".  he doesn't have to say he hasn't seen it, he doesn't have to say you told him.  He just needs to ask 'why not?'.  I doubt they'll call him on "you didn't even look at it!" and if they do, so what?  You're his wife and you're upset by this. 

    I think this is a conversation he can have now.
  • Oh boy. I am so sorry you are dealing with this. You sound like a great person. The way you appreciate your new sister in law despite your in laws treating you differently speaks volumes to your character. It is really terrible they can't see how lucky their son is to have to have such a great wife.

    That being said, yes, it is time for your husband to confront them. It is so difficult to deal with this type of passive aggressive behavior. It does cause you to question yourself because it is hard to pin down concrete examples that don't make you sound crazy or too sensitive. 

    I guess I would see how it goes when your husband speaks with them and go from there.

    Unfortunately, people like this rarely have a magical moment where they realize they have been assholes and change, so you may be left having to change how you interact with them...if you decide to keep interacting with them at all. I'm sure that would be tricky as well considering the kids would want to know why you don't see them anymore. Good luck!
  • I'm in a similar situation, and it blows. Whenever I'm looking for advice on this subject, it seems like no one has answers for how to deal with a family that doesn't insult you outright but rather treats you like the OTHER daughter-in-law (that's what I've taken to calling myself). My solution has been to ignore them the same way they ignore me. It helps immensely that my husband is on the same page as me, and it sounds like yours might be there, too.

    By the way, it's completely intentional that they left you out of their album, so stop doubting yourself. I left people I didn't like out of mine.
  • If your husband confronts them on this they will like you even less.  No matter what you do or what your husband says to them, their minds are made up on you and their feelings will not change in any way shape or form unless it's to like you less.

    You continue being the great person that you are and don't let it bother you because in the end it only affects you and you end up giving them the satisfaction of hurting you.  Just ignore it and with time you won't even notice it anymore.

  • Thanks for the responses. 

    There are days I want more than a sounding board but practical words of advice.  Putting this out there has been helpful. I've just arrived at a point in my life where I can no longer accept this behavior from them by putting on a smiley face and acting like I don't know what they are doing. I have known all along what they've been doing. But because I love my husband, I didn't want to put him in an uncomfortable situation. Instead, I put myself in that uncomfortable situation and like I said before, it's slowly chipping away at me. 

    I really want to say this with a broken heart but I've given these people a place in my life that they, frankly, don't deserve. At the age of 43, I feel like I'm too old to walk around kissing up to people who would choose not to see me ever again if they had the choice. It's obvious that they "put up with me" because of their son and because I'm the mother of their only grandchildren. For years I've given them the benefit of the doubt and put myself through these crazy moments in my head trying to downplaying what they were doing but deep down inside, my head and my gut have been right. 

    Because it's not in my nature to be cruel and indifferent to people in general, I feel like I'm going against the grain to treat them the same way they have treated me (without feeling guilty afterwards). I question if I should even bring it up with my sister-in-law. I believe she's noticed a few things but because she is so new to the family, and she is soft spoken by nature, she'll remain silent. The only reason I would feel like bringing it up to her is so that she knows what's going on should DH, the children, and myself choose to distance ourselves from the in-laws.
    Three beautiful girls! DD#1 8-23-01 DD#2 4-25-07 DD#3 10-19-10
  • I'm sorry, but the person who said that OP should just ignore her IL's behavior - that is horrible advice. By ignoring the behavior, it sends the message that what these people are doing is okay when really, it IS NOT OKAY. I could see maybe, MAYBE if some kind of thing happened once, maybe just blowing it off, but this is repeatedly rude behavior. That IS NOT OKAY.

    The passive aggressive behavior from her IL's is not only hurtful, it is rude....and wrong. And given the reaction of OP's H when she told him about the wedding album, chances are he's noticed it too, or even behind OP's back, stuff has been said to him - maybe prior to him marrying her - so he probably knows how his IL's feel and either didn't say anything because he didn't want to hurt her, or felt that maybe their feelings would change over time once they were married. Either way, OP's H absolutely should say something to his parents. It's not right that they treat her differently and she should not suffer in silence just to appease them. If that means they like her even less, or that they need to be cut off, then so be it. I doubt they will change,  but confronting them will at least get it all out in the open and maybe, just maybe they will cut the crap. Wishful thinking, but you never know. Sorry OP that you are dealing with this.

     

    VOR
  • VORVOR member
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    janined22 said:

    If your husband confronts them on this they will like you even less.  No matter what you do or what your husband says to them, their minds are made up on you and their feelings will not change in any way shape or form unless it's to like you less.

    You continue being the great person that you are and don't let it bother you because in the end it only affects you and you end up giving them the satisfaction of hurting you.  Just ignore it and with time you won't even notice it anymore.

    I'm almost speechless except to say what HORRID advice. HORRID.  It's been NINE years.  I'm sure she tried to ignore it.  But it's been NINE years and clearly that's not working.  WTF? 

    Giving assholes free reign to be assholes is NOT the answer. 
    R.Wilsonnyjoleri23
  • How is she going to change their behavior? It's not like they are out right telling her nasty things or what not.  They don't like her so they don't HAVE to have a picture of her, no matter what she does they DON'T like her and she CANNOT FORCE them to like her and her husband CANNOT FORCE them to like her either. 

    She does not have to kiss their asses because that's not what it's about, it's about accepting that they don't like you and moving on so I don't understand how my advice is horrid.  She can chose not to be around them and when she is around them she can act aloof as if it doesn't faze her whether they are there or not because like I said, she CANNOT FORCE them to like her.

  • VORVOR member
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    No, she can't force them to like her, but if her DH calls them out on their behavior - at a MINIMUM, they'll realize that this impacts their SON too and if nothing else, they can show a better level of respect.  OR they'll realize why their son is distancing himself from them. 

    To totally ignore it is to say their behavior is o.k. and doesn't affect anyone.  Which isn't the case on either point.
  • janined22 said:

    How is she going to change their behavior? It's not like they are out right telling her nasty things or what not.  They don't like her so they don't HAVE to have a picture of her, no matter what she does they DON'T like her and she CANNOT FORCE them to like her and her husband CANNOT FORCE them to like her either. 

    Usually the point of confrontation in a situation like this one is to set boundaries for yourself. You're calling them out on their behavior and telling them you're not going to tolerate it anymore. It has nothing to do with making them change. Any well-adjusted adult knows you can't change someone else's behavior, only your own.
  • Maybe she is the one with the problem, perhaps they don't like how controlling and jealous she is.  Have you read her previous posts?  Maybe, her new sister in law has a nicer demeanor.

    I don't think her being Hispanic has anything to do with them not liking her, I think it's her behavior that has spoken louder than words to them.

  • janined22 said:

    Maybe she is the one with the problem, perhaps they don't like how controlling and jealous she is.  Have you read her previous posts?  Maybe, her new sister in law has a nicer demeanor.

    I don't think her being Hispanic has anything to do with them not liking her, I think it's her behavior that has spoken louder than words to them.

    Oh that is bullshit. And yes, I have seen her other posts and usually they have been about similar situations with the whole race issue. I have never gotten the impression that OP is controlling. I think OP maybe has issues with security, yes, but I imagine those stem from feeling like her IL's do not like her because of her race and probably talk shit about her behind her back. And that is not a nice feeling to have, even in the most secure relationships, when you feel like your IL's do not like you, it sucks. Especially not for 9 years. And OP should not continue to sweep it under the rug as you have suggested she should do. Fuck that.

  • I get why your husband want to wait, he probably wants to deal with them face to face. Good luck & hopefully that conversation will lead to some positive changes.
  • janined22 said:

    How is she going to change their behavior? It's not like they are out right telling her nasty things or what not.  They don't like her so they don't HAVE to have a picture of her, no matter what she does they DON'T like her and she CANNOT FORCE them to like her and her husband CANNOT FORCE them to like her either. 

    She does not have to kiss their asses because that's not what it's about, it's about accepting that they don't like you and moving on so I don't understand how my advice is horrid.  She can chose not to be around them and when she is around them she can act aloof as if it doesn't faze her whether they are there or not because like I said, she CANNOT FORCE them to like her.

    I agree with everything you said except the cruel way in which you are willing to look at previous posts to make it seem like I called this bad situation on myself. I find that disrespectful. I hope you can think about your comment or at least go through this once to see how it feels.

    That aside, you are right. Everyone is free to like or dislike who they choose but that doesn't mean that we should go around being demeaning and hurtful to those we don't like. Especially to members of our own family. I am not some random person that they see once a year. I am their son's wife and the mother of their grandchildren. There should be respect for no other reason than the fact that I love their son, am an honorable wife, and a good mother. Given what I have been through, I don't necessarily like them, but I do respect them for who they are, my husband's parents. 

    Although they have not said obvious and hurtful words to my face, there are subtle things that they have done over the years that only a person with an iron constitution can ignore. It's that KNOWING that you are being treated different and trying hard not to take it personally. Over the YEARS, simply being ignored, interrupted, dismissed....that takes a toll. 

    One other thing that you mentioned that I agree on is BOUNDARIES. Sadly, I've been the one to "take one for the team".....acting as though I'm not aware of their tactics so my husband and my children can have a relationship with these people. I was hoping and praying that they would recognize how hurtful and offensive their behavior has been but it seems like that isn't happening. Out of self preservation, I think the time for the line in the sand to be drawn has arrived. Maybe their "aha" moment will come when they don't see their grandchildren often. When we have to respectfully decline any get together due to "other plans". After talking about it some more, DH believes it would be best to address the issue with his parents after they get back from FL. 


    Three beautiful girls! DD#1 8-23-01 DD#2 4-25-07 DD#3 10-19-10
  • OP, I think waiting until they get back from FL like you said is a good idea. If your H was to call them now and confront them, it would be easy for them to say 'oh no, that's not true blah blah blah' but not really mean it because they are hiding behind the phone, but in person, you can see by their body language whether or not they are actually being honest with that or if they are full of mierda. Again sorry you are going through this - it's not nice to be in this kind of situation.  

  • OP, I completely feel your pain. My in laws do the same passive-aggressive BS to me and it sucks. They are completely two-faced. They act decent to my face, but there is always at least one back-handed "compliment" per visit, or they just talk about me behind my back.

    When I first confronted H about it, it was before we got married. He had never noticed before but promised to be more attentive when we visited them in the future. Slowly, he started noticing the same things I was talking about. His mother got really cocky and would start saying things about me to him when I wasn't there. He confronted her a couple times and she tried to twist everything and blame us. We don't talk to them much anymore because of this and on the rare occasion that we have a visit with them, we are usually able to laugh on our way home about how ridiculous they are. Just make sure your H is on the same page as you are and remember that it's okay to stand up for yourself...nobody has the right to treat you like garbage, especially them.

  • I think this is weird. You say they were upset about you bringing your older daughter into the family, but they specifically chose to include a picture of her. 

    Does the album seriously not have one single picture with you in it? Not even the group photo? Nothing?

    This could be an oversight. This could be a situation of you not being in a lot of photos because you were busy elsewhere at the time the candid photos were mostly taken. This could seriously not be a big huge intentional omission. I also don't think it is okay to dictate what pictures other people include in their wedding albums.

    Are there other things that they do that would make you assume that it was?
    image

    Chronically hilarious - you'll split your stitches!
    I wrote a book! Bucket list CHECK!
  • Alright. Checked into some backstory. 

    So, your husband had an emotional affair, kind of sort of maybe. You forced him to give you his mobile phone records and all of his email/facebook passwords so you can log in and check on him, even though he felt it was an invasion of his privacy. You don't allow him to have female friends, even though he is a male nurse in a predominantly female environment. You flew into a rage at him because a female nurse at work posted something mundane on his FB page and you equally blew up because a woman included him in a group text about 9/11. Your MIL stayed at your house to take care of your baby while you all went on a vacation - she was there for six days and while there was bored out of her skull and ironed her son's clothes as well as some of yours. She must really loathe you. 

    I'm really not thinking that your inlaws are as horrible as you are perceiving them.


    image

    Chronically hilarious - you'll split your stitches!
    I wrote a book! Bucket list CHECK!
    janined22
  • Tofumonkey, I was a bridesmaid in the wedding. I have seen the photographer's website with the hundreds of pictures taken before and during the wedding, as well as the reception. There were many pictures of the bridesmaids (me included)with the bride at her home, at the church, at the reception.

    I find it cruel that you would be digging in my past, several years back, to discredit me. Not that it's anyone's business, but like many, my husband and I had a hiccup in the road. We went to counseling, both individual and together. It turns out our counselor strongly believed, in cases where trust has been broken, that there should not be any area in the marriage where both are not 100% transparent. If sharing passwords, making phone records available to your spouse saves your marriage, then that's what needs to be done. There's a huge difference between privacy and secrecy in a marriage.

    Can someone share the privacy settings on here?
    Three beautiful girls! DD#1 8-23-01 DD#2 4-25-07 DD#3 10-19-10
  • Nancy, my purpose was not to discredit you. What would a stranger gain from that? My point is that your perception may be skewed given what you have said in your past posts. Maybe they don't like you because they are racist, fine. Maybe it also has something to do with you personally.Maybe it is how you treat their son. Maybe it is a reaction to how their son behaves or feels.

    You can't really throw around that it isn't anyone's business that you and your husband have problems when you post them on the internet for the dissection and opinions of strangers.

    You wanted opinions - mine is to look at this for what it is, given your history and relationship with their son. Are they raving racists? Or do they just not like YOU (not all Hispanic people). It would be a lot easier for you to deal with the problem once you have clearly and objectively determined what it actually is.

    Honestly, if you had a son and he was treated so possessively you wouldn't like his wife either, for one.
    image

    Chronically hilarious - you'll split your stitches!
    I wrote a book! Bucket list CHECK!
    VORjanined22
  • VORVOR member
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper

    To follow on Tofu - how much does your DH tell his family?  Because while he brought on some of the issues from his past, he could be talking to his family about it and painting himself in an entirely innocent, good light, while you're the mean wife who is possessive for no good reason.

    They may be going off of what HE is telling them.  This may not have anything to do w/ you being Hispanic.  This might have to do partially with just who you are but then also with what your DH tells his family.  I guess it's easier to just think "they are racists" because that's not quite as personal. 

    Because if they were racists, why are they so accepting of your daughter? 

    janined22Tofumonkey
  • Nancy, I am not being cruel by looking at your previous posts.  You yourself reference your previous posts in this one and so to get to the back story we have to look.  You cannot get upset with everyone that doesn't agree into seeing you as a victim.

    I am Hispanic as well, I am Dominican.  I don't see your race playing an issue here, my point is that the way you have described your relationship with your husband maybe they just don't like it and that is why they are cold towards you. I'm not saying it is right, but it is worrisome to a parent to see their son/daughter in a situation like that.

    I have had my share of problems with my husband's family and that is why I say that when they don't like you, they just don't like you and there is nothing you can do about it.  You are not receiving insults or getting anyone in your face as I have had.  I distanced myself from them and only see them on some rare occasions like the holidays.  You just have to accept that they don't like you and maybe if you change your behavior towards your husband they might change their opinion of you and if they don't it's on them and not you.

Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards