Family Matters
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Major family issues...

Last night was DH Birthdays party, I had got him a new mini laptop, but it was stll in the box all wraped up and sitting on a table with all the other gifts. To make a very long story short, Our two nephews wouldnt leave it alone and neither one of there parents would do anything about it, so i kept telling them to stop and leave it alone. Anyways my brothers wife looked at me and said they just needed to get down, which then sent his Sister, (mom of the boys) into a full blown drama mode...She started yelling and cussing at me infront of all of my family and our friends, which the DH didnt take very well. He told her she could stop or she could leave, which then made his parents mad. After about ten minutes of her playing the drama card, they finally left. His parents then pulled him to the side to yell at him like he was a 12yr old getting into trouble, infront of everyone. After about 20 minutes of them yelling at him they finally left. It soon came out that everyone in his family has some kinda issue with me, because i didnt spend enough time with them at his party last night. They told him he had to call and apologize to her before we could come over to their house for his twin sisters birthday party today. They were mad at him for kicking her out which he didnt he kick her out he gave her a choice to stop or leave and she left. His parents went on to call everyone else in the family today and tell them what happen so now everyone is mad at us. My question is how to deal with these people or what would you all do?  We are so tired of drama and im so tired of his sisters doing this all the time. Do we keep away for a bit or just learn to deal with them?  I told everyone this is our house and if they dont wanna treat us with respect, then they can leave, i tryed telling her she would understand if she knew what was in the box, but she didnt care. She still got mad, now everyone is so mad at us for her blow up. I really dont get it!

Re: Major family issues...

  • Ugh.  I am sorry you are going through this. 

    My first suggestion would be for you and your DH to sit down and determine how the two of you are going to handle this, so you can be a united front from here on out.  If you don't want to apologize, then don't.  But you need to come up with a statement (which you'll both use), such as 'Sis/SIL, I'm sorry you feel that way.  But, I/we didn't want your sons to break the present or mess with it during the party before we opened gifts.  We're actually quite shocked you decided to throw a fit after I/we politely asked your kids to leave the gift alone."  

    It's time for you both to show some emotional integrity and stop the drama on your end.  You cannot control their drama, but you can both step up and determine how you will handle it, in a diplomatic and classy manner.  GL!

  • 1. I don't understand why you didn't move the laptop to a place the kids couldn't touch it.

    2. I don't understand what your SIL yelled at you about.

    Anyway, it sounds like DH's family is a bit crazy and I absolutely wouldn't apologize. It sounds like they act this way because they get away with it. Perhaps if you stand strong and they realize their tantrums aren't going to work anymore, they will begin acting like adults. And if they don't, you won't have to deal with them so either way it's a win-win.

  • I LOVE family drama!!!  Unfortunately hubby and I got so sick of his cousins (they are 18 and 23 years younger then him) and they act like little animals that we stopped doing family things.  And at our wedding we made it clear NO children, mostly family children were not invited.  If the parents don't care to watch and parent them, I don't want to either.  I would say maybe distance yourselves from family situations for a while until everyone cools off.  Try to stay busy with friends and work or just say you are.  Sounds like everyone is too nuts over a little issue and the children's parents don't want to dicipline their children but they don't want anyone else to either.  I would stay firm on my intention that I didn't want the gift to get broken and it wasn't theirs to touch.  If they broke the gift would the parents replace it?  Doesn't sound like they would be the type to.

    Another issue is that the family has issues with you.  Your hubby will most likely have to handle that since it's his family and it might be too forward if you addressed them.  If they don't respect you, they don't respect him.  Not good!  If they have a problem, it's their problem.  Distance yourself from them.  They are rude and out of line.  Hope it gets better, good luck :)

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • The box was first on my counter which the oldest boy keep pulling it down, then i moved it to the high table and he couldnt get it, But they tryed every way they could. It was then moved to the gift table when it was time to open the gifts then thats when mama went crazy.

    My SIL yelled me because i kept telling the boys to stop. Which i then told her, "if they break it are you gonna buy a new one" and "that someone needs to get them to stop"

    Im a very strong person and i dont put up with anything from anyone, but they still try to run our life's. They go to him because i dont just give into them and listen to them like im 12yr old. We are still working on getting DH to be stronger, but his parents are hard people to stand up to. But i havent got a problem doing it!  His family wont yell or tell me anything because they know i wont back down, now that DH wont back down that makes them more mad, which makes the whole thing that much worse. Its a control issue they have.

  • HawaiiLove... I agree with you 100%   I told everyone it there should not be this much drama from me asking the boys to leave a box alone. If i were mean to them i could see it, But i wasnt.  I really dont understand how people have time to deal with this all the time, It gets old fast!
  • 90% of conflicts arise from differences in opinions...

    10% are due to the wrong tone of voice.


    - if statements during that time were made by that 10% reason, then i could understand why there was a family drama.



  • What's the downside of not following orders and calling? Hmm?

    Yeah, sounds like you need a break from them.

    Hold your ground.  They'll learn.  Or they will learn that they can treat you like you are 12 AND get an apology for their trouble. 

    My darling daughter just turned 4 years old.
  • I agree with PP's - you should sit down with your DH and discuss how to handle this with him - it is his family and he should know the best way to handle it.

    There's nothing you can do to change what happened now - but one thing I've learned from my dh's family is to make it loud and clear what you are saying especially to a child in front of their parents. I would have said something to the child such as "This is for Uncle DH, its his birthday, maybe we should go ask him to open it already huh?" or "are you excited about Uncle Dh's birthday, let's go ask him when we're going to open presents" to get them involved.

    Drama usually always comes from nothing other than a need to voice a past problem or issue, if that makes sense.

    IMO - I'd stay away for now... then say something like "I'm sorry you feel this way, but this is why I reacted the way I did... etc" and move on.

  • This took place in your home, yes?  And to my understanding, you didn't swear at the little miscreants, threaten them with a broom, or lock them in a closet.  Instead, you spoke to them kindly but firmly, tried to move the object of temptation (which again, was a belonging of yours and your DH), so I'm kind of having an issue with seeing where the hell your SILs are coming from.

    SIL threw a schitfit for you requesting that her children stop messing with a gift, that you had asked them to several times, and had an objection that to your asking them to stop climbing all over your furniture in your home.  Am I right?  Then, to make matters worse, PILs took your DH to task as if he were 12 in his house, went home and proceeded to start more family drama, and then tried to ban him from a family get together for a cluster that they and your SIL started in your house.  Oy vey...

    I was under the impression that it was perfectly acceptable to tell children, regardless of who they belong to, to refrain from doing certain things in one's own place of residence.  Perhaps tone of voice did contribute here (not that anyone would blame you for losing patience).  However, it looks as if SILs have control issues, as do ILs, and use any excuse for drama.  Guessing from your ages and the fact that your SILs have kids those ages, I'm guessing that DH and his twin sis are younger ones in the family (again, feel free to correct me if I'm totally off base).

    One thing I may glean from this is to keep a calm tone of voice in your next confrontation with them.  It will help mitigate any escalation, and then they have no way to blame any of this crap on you (well, no legitimate way, in any case). 

     ILs' behavior was totally unacceptable. If anything, they owe you an apology, not the other way around.  I'm sorry.

  • Wow, your inlaws sound nuts!

    Some advice that I was given on here myself before was to stand up to a difficult family member in a polite but definitive manner and "close the issue" when that person was starting drama. Your DH really, really needs to learn how to stand up to his family in a strong, firm way.

    With my dramatic family member, I basically stated: " I'm sorry you feel that way. This is my position on the issue, and I am finished discussing it with you. Change the subject." She refused to change the subject, I repeated that the issue was no longer up for discussion, turned around and left. Then, I followed up later on by acting normally around her as though the issue hadn't happened - but when it got brought up I repeated that the issue was no longer up for discussion, and I wasn't sure why she felt the need to pursue it, as my position wasn't going to change.

    That was the last time that particular issue was brought up, and since I've been dealing with every single issue afterward the exact same way - the drama has completely stopped and we have a great relationship now.

    It's hard to stand up to people like that at first, especially if they are your family. But think about it, what's the worst thing that could happen? They'll be so mad that they won't speak to you ever again? ( okay... now how would that be a bad thing? ) but in reality, they'll get tired of not speaking to you after a month and things will be back to normal. They'll yell at you? Well, don't have them in your home for the next little while, until they have proven themselves to be calm and civil in your home. Only see them at their home, or in a public place, so you can leave. It's hard to walk out when it's your home. They'll hate you? They'll get over it.

    So seriously. What's the worst that could happen? Maybe if your DH sees things that way he'll feel more comfortable standing up to them and stop taking their crap. 


    Chronically hilarious - you'll split your stitches!
    I wrote a book! Bucket list CHECK!
  • Honestly you handled this better than me, I would have told SIL to get her effing kids under control or get the he!! out of my house.


    I ditto sitting down with DH, deciding what you will say, and following through on it.

  • I don't have any real advice - you've been given some great pointers.

    Of course you are the bad guy here.  Before you came along, your ILS could sh*t all over your DH and he would take it.  This is a pattern that has worked in the ILS family before you came along - now its not working as well.Now, they don't yell at YOU because you stand up to them. 

    Your DH still needs to stand firm.  Why on earth would he allow his parents to yell at him for 20 minutes - in his own home? (or anywhere else for that matter).  I would not apologize.  Apologize for what?  Not allowing your home to be destroyed?  If you aren't invited to a few family gatherings - oh, well!  Enjoy the lack of drama in your lives while "nobody is speaking to you."  And the next time his parents yell at him, he should say "I'm sorry you feel that way" and leave or ask them to leave.

    One thought about dealing with kids - - sometimes it helps to present kids with an acceptible choice.  For example, of the boys keep playing with the boxes, tell them "you can't play with the boxes on the table.  You can sit with the family in the living room or you can play outside."  Because - would you really have a problem with them running around outside?  The problem was with them breaking things.  Now, if the parents say "they can't go outside" (its too hot, we want them to be "with the family" - even if they are not really talking with the family, merely destroying your home where the rest of the family could see them) you say calmly "the boys playing on the table with the boxes is not an option.  The option if you want them to be with the family is to sit in this room and not play with DH's boxes.  If you can't manage to get them to do this, they have to play outside (or in the basement - wherever they won't do any damage).


  •  SueBear-

     Of course you are the bad guy here.  Before you came along, your ILS could sh*t all over your DH and he would take it.  This is a pattern that has worked in the ILS family before you came along - now its not working as well.Now, they don't yell at YOU because you stand up to them. 

    This is very true, its been an issue for the last four yrs, Something we cant figure out how to deal with, without making everyone mad at us. I know DH really needs to work on standing up to these people, but he is getting better then when i first meet him.

     The party was outside all night, we have a front pourch that we used for the food and everything else. But for some reason the boys and there dad thought they needed to hang out inside all night. I didnt just say to them "stop" but in a nut shell i did....I told them in many was not to play or mess with it. I hass aid that " the gift was for uncle B and asked them if they wanted to give him his cards, and told them the box was heavy and that it can break like they toys they got for xmas (they broke before they opened) "  I tryed different ways to tell them that its just not something they can play with, or to get them interested into something else. But its like they hear the words "no" or "Break" and they go into destructive mood....I also work in a daycare so i work with kids all the time, It takes a lot for me to get mad or really upset with kids, but i also know how to talk and handle kids, but i cant with these two.

  • image rpeters85:

     This is very true, its been an issue for the last four yrs, Something we cant figure out how to deal with, without making everyone mad at us. I know DH really needs to work on standing up to these people, but he is getting better then when i first meet him.

    Here's the thing - they ARE going to get mad, at least at first. It's going to make them mad that your DH is starting to stand up for himself and for you. They obviously aren't going to just accept it with a smile. So he needs to get over that. In the end he has to decide what is more important - keeping his parents and sister happy, or keeping you happy. Hopefully he doesn't have to think hard about that one. And most likely his family will eventually come around when they realize their hissy fits will no longer work. And I agree with pp that it is crazy that your DH allowed his parents to yell at him for 20 minutes. Next time he needs to say "I will not stand here and allow you to yell at me. If you cannot calm down, I'm going to have to ask you to leave".
  • You can't stand your ground without them getting mad at you.  They are going to get mad at you because you aren't falling into lockstep and doing things their way.  So you have to decide which is the worse consequence: fuming over the status quo or having everybody focusing their anger on you for a while.

    With his parents taking your DH to the side and fussing at him for twenty minutes -- if he wants to tolerate that type of treatment from them when he's a guest in THEIR home, that's on him.  But under no circumstances should he tolerate being treated like that in his own home.  That's certainly a situation where the maxim, "You teach other people how to treat you," comes into play.  By allowing them to treat him like a misbehaving child, he's telling them that it's okay for them to do it, and yes, he agrees that he is a misbehaving child.

    The bottom line is that if you don't act like it's 100% your right to set and enforce reasonable limits for tolerable behavior in your home from your guests, they won't feel they have to honor your limits.  That goes for child guests and adult guests both.

    Honestly, though, it sounds like you're probably better off seeing them infrequently.  They don't sound like they're the kind of people who are very pleasant to be around!

    "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
  • I would celebrate the fact that you now have extra free time since you're off the hook for his sister's birthday party. 

    I would not apologize, and I would just avoid contact with them until they learn how to respect you and your DH.    You were not in the wrong.   If your SIL was going to let her children run around like little monkeys climbing all over the expensive gifts, she deserved a reality check.  

  • I would not give in and call to apologize.  Don't go to the twin sisters b-day party.  But call her and say something like "sorry we can't make it to the party, but we need to wait for SIL & IL's to cool down" then take her out to a nice dinner is a few days or something.

    Don't go into details about what happened but don't make it sound like you are accepting responsibility or complaining about it.  Just state that "they" have issues and you are going to wait for them to get over them.

    But don't forget to do something nice for her as it sounds like she had nothing to do with this.

  • Forgive me if I missed something, but since this is DH's twin sister, I'm assuming she is also an adult and lives in her own home.  Is this the same SIL with the children?  If not, I would call, ask if she wants you at the party, and if she says yes, go anyway.  Unless it is at your MIL & FIL's house or something I don't see where or how they have the right to disinvite you. 
  • You've gotten some good advice so far.   I love what SpanishMandi said about all this being in YOUR house!!!

    Secondly, I'm with donny -- I'd look at this weekend as a gift of free time.  If there's not more to your story, your inlaws are nuts and you need a break from them. 

    Finally, ditto whoever said you can't both stand up to them AND have them not mad at you.  I say go with standing up to them and let them worry about being mad.  Don't apologize, don't go to the party, just wait and see what happens.

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