Let’s get personal for a moment…
From the very beginning of our relationship my husbands family has not liked me – yet here we are today happily married with a beautiful son. Originally there was no real reason for the hatred: a mother struggling with losing her first son to another woman, jealousy, nicknames, difference of views and opinions. Lots of small moot excuses but no real outright reason for not liking me as a person.
It’s been a roller coaster of good times and bad, as well as times where mine and Leep’s relationship truly suffered. I am sad to say that as of today they are no longer a part of our lives or our sons life. While that wasn’t an easy decision to come to – mentally, emotionally and wholeheartedly we are happier and healthier for it.
Family, friends – it’s hard to say goodbye to anyone. I struggled for a long time [and maybe still do] with accepting that their opinion towards me would never change, no matter how hard I tried. The point I want to share is: It is not wrong for you to show them the way out of your life.
This post is to let you know, you’re not alone. Monster-in-laws is more than just a bad joke or saying to some. You hear others talk about how they dislike their in-laws and you both cringe inside, your spouse out of embarrassment with how their family acts, and you because they don’t know how truly bad it could be. You feel pangs of jealousy towards those that have great relationships with their in-laws and you band together with those in similar situations as you. If you’re like us, you’re blessed to have one side of the family who loves and supports you and more importantly your spouse, unconditionally. Spend your time with these people, they are the meaning of true love, support and family.
Here is a quick list of thoughts that helped us navigate this difficult situation.
- Don’t fake a relationship that isn’t there. This only leads to anxiety when interacting with the person and awkward fluff conversations. You can be civil without being fake.
- Stay in control of your emotions. [I personally struggle with this one] A lot of the time the negativity is an attempt to get a rise out of you. You will only stress yourself out more and potentially make the situation worse by reacting angrily. It’s best to ignore.
- It’s OK to not have your spouses families approval. You’re married to your spouse not them and if they can’t jump on board with your happiness, it’s their loss.
- Come to a mutual compromise. Piggybacking off the above – they are your spouses family and if your spouse wants a relationship with them, you can’t completely write them off. Compromise on time spent with them and what events you can excuse yourself from for “me time”.
- You may not always be to blame. Don’t always take their anger personally. Sometimes they may be struggling with outside issues and you are the target in which they release it at.
- Don’t talk negatively about them in front of your children. They’ve done nothing wrong and are the innocent party in this unfortunate situation. Take the higher road, be honest when questions are asked, but always be positive and kind.
- Put the health of you and your family first. Beautiful things happen when you distance yourself from the negativity. If they treat you poorly, don’t give them the option to treat your children this way.
“You, your spouse, and your primary family have the right to a peaceful existence, with the people in your circle – family, friends, and relatives—being those who are a positive and supportive presence.
If you are being disrespected and mistreated, then your in-laws aren’t entitled to any of the special privileges that come with being family. You have every right to draw and maintain strong boundaries in protecting yourself and your marriage. Nobody has the right to make your life miserable, and only you can make sure of that.”