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.