Feeling overwhelmed with Father In Law and his new wife


#1

Hello there everyone,

I got married last summer to a very wonderful man in a very beautiful church. Couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day

My husband’s parents divorced when he was very young. It was a very bitter divorce. He married a 2nd time. This one ended as well and it was even worse than the 1st.

about a year into our relationship his Father starts wanting us to drive him around everywhere and if he didn’t do this he’d be calling my husband’s phone while we were out asking him to pick up up beer.

Then the wedding. Oh where to start with this.

Only a few months before did my husband’s father start having issues. He won the lottery about a year before that and only gave my husband $80.00. Then there was the tux thing. We picked one out for him and he freaked out about it and said he wasn’t wearing one that he was going to buy a navy blue suit. I told my husband that if he didn’t wear one that he wouldn’t be sitting at the head table. My husband managed to reason with him and we came to find out that the reason he didn’t want to wear it was because the vest and the tie were silver and that’s what he wore to his 2nd wedding that ended so bad.

My husband was away trainning for the military and didn’t come home until 2 weeks before the wedding. I really needed help with things because my parents were doing so much and were so exhausted. I had to practically beg him. All I wanted him to do was pick up pop for the reception. 19 bottles. They were only 88 cents a freakin bottle. He proceeds to tell me he’ll do it if my husband will pay him the money he owes him. Also we had people in the wedding party drop out on us and we had to replace them. At one point when my husband was away and only had so much phone time he asked me if I would ask his father to be Best Man. So I did. He said no way because he doesn’t stand up in front of people or talk in front of them.

Then the wedding day gets even closer. I told my husband’s father that he needed to be at the rehearsal. Then he drops off my sister in law and leaves.

The day of the wedding he wore his sunglasses inside the church and would not take them off. His girlfriend at the time helped herself to the corsage that was meant for the lady doing the reading.

I also failed to mention that about a month before the wedding he ran into my mom at the mall and got in a fight with her because he felt we were too young and going into it too fast. My mom set him straight.

also my husband never atcually got a “real” bachelor party because his father’s girlfriend “had” to come along and used the excuse well I have to drive everyone home. What happened to calling when you need to be picked up?!

My father in law and this woman got engaged this past Christmas. We found out from outside resources and they never told either of us. They said they thought they did but they didn’t. Then this past spring they took off to vegas and said they were just going on vacation and when they came back they were married. My sister in law ( she lives with my father in law cuz she has a foot disorder) called us up crying because my father in law told her that they weren;t going to get married and they did she felt betrayed. My sister in law was hoping to be there if they did.

I knew my Father in law’s wife long before him. We go way way back. I met her in high school. Anyway now this lady is different. She acts like she runs the show. They don’t even live in the same house but yet she steers my father in law in all kinds of directions. She tried to talk him into selling his house. She tries way too hard to get me, my husband, and his sister to like her.

They treat my sister in law like a child. They’ll take off for the weekend somewhere and call here expecting my husband to go check on his sister who is 25 yrs old and completely fine alone.

They buy my husband these crazy extravgant gifts for holidays and give me these weird looks like “haha we can afford this and you can’t” kind of looks.

My father in law always makes her call when he wants something.

Like I mentioned. We did let many things go. Eventually my husband and his sister did accept her as their step mom but made it clear that they were going to call her by her first name because they already have a mom. She still signs cards as “Mom”.

They treat my Mother in law like garbage. and say bad stuff about her in front of us. She came to visit this past Christmas and my Father in law’s wife insulted her and said she looked like a street person and then went to walmart and bought her new sneakers, a new coat and new luggage because she felt sorry for her.

This woman’s kids well she has 2. Her daughter is a great person but her son not really. We’ve tried to reach out to him and he wants nothing to do with us and we’ve never done anything to him.

My husband and I both feel like everything has to be there way all the time. My father in law’s wife is a little too involved and always tries to solve everything and offers unsolicited advice.

Last night was the last straw. We went out to dinner for my husband’s birthday. I didn’t want to go but I went for my husband because I love him. The son of my father in law’s wife who doesn’t like us showed up. He’s nice to our faces. Probably because his birthday was being celebrated too and they were paying for it. Anyway when we were getting ready to leave I moved over by the front door so I could get reception on my phone to call a cab. Her son said something to her but I didn’t really hear it that well. I then heard her say “It’s only been since he’s married her” I glance over and there body language tells me “oops” like they were trying to be quiet. This made me really mad. I did my best to let everything go and now this.

I’m at my whits end. I’m am terrified that it’s going to come to the point that either I’m going to have to leave or my husband tells me that he’s leaving.


#2

This is your husband’s father (and wife) and he needs to set the rules. You two need to get together and discuss just how much contact you really want, or can take from these people, have you husband make it clear to them, and then stick to the plan. Once you have children, things will go from bad to worse if you don’t set some limits now.


#3

I don't understand why you have the feeling that your husband may leave you:blush:


#4

[quote="Catholic1954, post:2, topic:253524"]
This is your husband's father (and wife) and he needs to set the rules. You two need to get together and discuss just how much contact you really want, or can take from these people, have you husband make it clear to them, and then stick to the plan. Once you have children, things will go from bad to worse if you don't set some limits now.

[/quote]

Absolutely :sad_yes:
Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries. Try and have a conversation with your husband about this and suggest a few ways to deal with these people. They sound positively toxic. I can tell you from personal experience that puting up with stuff like this hurts you in the end. These types push their boundaries until you let them. Minimal contact is sometimes a very healthy option imo.


#5

I realize this is your first post but there were so many details about different things it was a bit hard to follow. What is your main complaint? Is that your FIL & his wife don't like you? That they expect too much from you & your husband?
As far as the other adults involved like the SIL and your husband's mom, they are adults so let them deal with the FIL & wife as they see fit. Please narrow the scope of your question so its easier to address.


#6

Thank you very much Catholic1954. Your advice was very helpful. We have atcually discussed setting some limits and meeting with them down the road one on one to do so. However my husband and I are going to go to counselling first to get help for ourselves(learn to communicate better) before we deal with these people. There are so so many other things that have occured that I would have liked to mention but I couldn’t fit them all in.


#7

Hi there.

I do apologize that it was difficult to follow the post. I did it in a hurry and had to take out a bunch of things because the post was too long.

The main complaints that my husband and I have is that his Father’s attitude and behavior have got worse since he’s married this woman. She has tried a little too hard to get us to like her however my husband took her aside after the wedding and told her it’s ok she doesn’t have to try too hard that she was doing just fine. Then all of a sudden she becomes completely two faced and disrespects my husband’s biological mother.


#8

[quote="urielwings4, post:3, topic:253524"]
I don't understand why you have the feeling that your husband may leave you:blush:

[/quote]

I worry that he'll get too overwhelmed and side with them because they are family and want me gone.


#9

Thank you for taking the time to share your story. It seems you are in a lot of pain, I am so sorry for that. Please be assured of my prayers.

I have to admit too, like another poster, that I got a bit lost in the details but I am sure you tried your very best. I know it is hard to write and be concise. I don’t know why you would mention in great detail the incident of getting pop for your wedding at 88 cents a bottle. It seems that this bothered you a great deal? I am not sure why exactly. Did you write about this to show the level ot tension in the relationship?

Also your post seems to focus primarily on your father in law and his wife, yet you end with concerns that your may be on the brink of divorce. Please, please do what you can to focus on your marriage. Your relationship with your husband is the most important. Do what you can to put your father in law to the back-burner for now. That includes complaining to your husband about him. Do not complain to your husband about his dad, this only creates pain and your husband can’t change him. Concentrate on your marriage and focus your energies there.

Jesus loves you so much, he wants peace and joy for you! Come to him in prayer as much as you can and live the life of joy that he wants for you. I will pray for you.


#10

[quote="jazzy0710, post:8, topic:253524"]
I worry that he'll get too overwhelmed and side with them because they are family and want me gone.

[/quote]

Okay, let me see if this helps. I had tension for years in my marriage because of in-law troubles and some of it was MY fault for making it worse. I am not accusing you of this but please read my story.

My poor husband had an awful relationship with his mother. Everytime we saw her it was drama and heartache. Guess what I did? ALL THE WAY HOME in the car I would re-hash all the awful things she said and complain about her and go on and on and on of how difficult she was! So my poor husband not only had to listen to her, he had to listen to me go on and on about it! YIkes!

One day my husband with a sad face apologized to me when I was rambling about her. He simply said "I'm sorry my mom is not a good person" I realized that I was making him feel worse, not better. After that things were different. When we saw her on the way home in the car I told him what a wonderful man he was! I told him I was proud of him for the way he handled things and that I was happy to be married to a wonderful man! In other words I tried to make things pleasant for him.

Again, this may not be you but if it is please pray about this. Your husband already has the burden of having an awful father which is extremely painful for him. Do what you can to be loving and help him, this will be good for your marriage. Hope this helps, God bless.


#11

I can’t imagine why you would ask this man for anything knowing how difficult he is. Invite him to your celebrations or join him in his when you are invited, but if he is looking for an argument, don’t give him one. I wouldn’t loose one minute of sleep over what he and his new family have to say about anything either. As long as you and your husband are on the same page and team about the relationship, nothing else matters.
I feel your pain, as I have some toxic relatives.


#12

[quote="Monicad, post:9, topic:253524"]

I have to admit too, like another poster, that I got a bit lost in the details but I am sure you tried your very best. I know it is hard to write and be concise. I don't know why you would mention in great detail the incident of getting pop for your wedding at 88 cents a bottle. It seems that this bothered you a great deal? I am not sure why exactly. Did you write about this to show the level ot tension in the relationship?

.

[/quote]

Thank you very much for your reply Monicad.

The reason I mentioned the tidbit about the pop is because he made a big deal out of it when I asked if he would do me a favor and pick them up. They weren't very expensive, but he freaked out. This made me mad because he won the lotto just a year before and he made it sound like it was too much. That's why I was so mad.


#13

[quote="Monicad, post:10, topic:253524"]

Again, this may not be you but if it is please pray about this. Your husband already has the burden of having an awful father which is extremely painful for him. Do what you can to be loving and help him, this will be good for your marriage. Hope this helps, God bless.

[/quote]

I never looked at it like that. Thank you very much Monicad. I will pray and pray until something happens. God bless you too.


#14

[quote="jazzy0710, post:12, topic:253524"]
Thank you very much for your reply Monicad.

The reason I mentioned the tidbit about the pop is because he made a big deal out of it when I asked if he would do me a favor and pick them up. They weren't very expensive, but he freaked out. This made me mad because he won the lotto just a year before and he made it sound like it was too much. That's why I was so mad.

[/quote]

Thank you for your response jazzy! You know on the surface this is only about soda pop and things but I am reading a lot more into this. When you have time, sit back and examine your expectations and what you feel is fair in your relationships.

Twice in your posts you mentioned that your father in law won the lottery...therefore (it seems) you feel entitled to him purchasing pop for your wedding. Now I know it is just a small amount of money but can you see why this might bother your father in law? You used the word MAD to describe how you felt when your father in law asked to be paid back. I don't understand that I would imagine that lottery winners over time feel like they have been picked clean by vultures! You also mentioned that your husband only got $80.00 from his father's lottery winnings. Jazzy, what should your father in law have given him? What amount would be acceptable? Can you put a label on it or have you thought it out in detail?

If my parents won the lottery I wouldn't ask them for a dime I can say that with all honesty. If my father were a millionaire and I asked him to go to the store for bread for me...when he got back I would ask him how much the bread was and open my purse because I owe him money. Naturally he might decline but I need to offer because it is my debt. If my dad wants to give a gift that is wonderful, but I do not have the right to be mad at him because he didn't give me a gift.

I am not saying you are in the wrong here and this family is a wonderful bunch, but I think your expectations from this family might be setting you up for disappointment. Have they been rude to you or out of line or hurtful? Of course they have...but the goal here is not to discuss your family and tell you that Jazzy is great and her in-laws are losers...what would be the point in that? The goal here (for all of us) is to examine how we are living our lives, what expectations we have and how we can grow in grace and virtue.

You have a great opportunity here to grow. It is easy to look at your in-laws and their behavior and pick them apart. They have annoying habits and gossip and so it is no challenge to find annoying things about them that drive you crazy. But don't take the bait...use this opportunity here to really GROW. Ask Jesus why he put this person in your life. Ask Jesus how he wants you to treat them. When you look at them and they are annoying you and mean...remind yourself that Christ LOVES them...Jesus Christ loves them so much he died for them.

You can find people in your life to "take your side" and come out the winner when it comes to your family but who cares? Take the high road, use this opportunity God has put in your path to spend time in prayer, grow close to Christ and dig deep to find out how you can grow spiritually. Beleive me I have gone down a similiar road...discover the peace and joy that await you!


#15

I agree with what Monicad has written.

You have an opportunity to be a source of unity and peace in this situation, or at the very least help your husband deal with any difficulties he faces with is family. From your post it seems like an “us” and “them” situation has developed and you probably need to get out of this way of thinking. It puts your husband in the middle and puts all the stress onto him…he may feel at times that he is torn between you and his family, so do what you can do to lessen this stress for him.

I know this situation is frustrating for you and I don’t mean to sound glib, but ultimately the only aspect of this that you can change is yourself. You can’t change his family, and if you try to change him you may put your marriage in further stress. But you can change yourself. You can choose to take a more positive attitude towards his family. You can decide that when you spend time with them, your husband’s feelings come first and that you will do what you need to make that a priority. That may mean letting things slide that might make you frustrated or angry. But your frustration and anger won’t help, regardless of whether they are justified or not.

You mention that you think your FIL’s new wife tries too hard with you. I don’t see how this can possibly be interpretted as a negative. It’s wonderful that she values you and your husband that much that she makes such an effort. She may go about things the wrong way sometimes, but she’s trying. I think you should recognise this more and decide that you will reciprocate her efforts by making such an effort yourself. If you are both trying, you have every hope of developing an increasingly healthy respect and relationship.


#16

[quote="underacloud, post:15, topic:253524"]

She may go about things the wrong way sometimes, but she's trying. I think you should recognise this more and decide that you will reciprocate her efforts by making such an effort yourself. If you are both trying, you have every hope of developing an increasingly healthy respect and relationship.

[/quote]

My husband's biological mother is still in his life. He loves her to death. She has a couple of mental illnesses, but as long as she takes her meds she copes well. Now because she has these illnesses my Father in law and his wife say very mean things about her in front of my husband, myself and my sister in law.

If my Mother in law calls my Father in law's house and asks may I speak to my daughter; if my Father in law's wife happens to be the one that answers the phone, she hangs up on her! My Mother in law has always been polite to this woman! Yet she always does this! The other part of it that's ridiculous is when my Mother in law calls and my Father in law's wife picks up the phone, my Mother in law will say "Hello B how are you?" and the response she gets in a nasty tone is "Well what do you want?"

My husband did accept his Father's new wife as his stepmother. He told her that he does love her but politely reminded her that his biological Mom is still in his life therefore don't expect to be called Mom. From what my husband could tell, she was completely fine with it.

Now all of a sudden she's signing cards as "Love Mom".

This is what I'm getting at by trying waaaaay too hard.


#17

Remember you are only hearing one side of the story here. It could be that the new wife isn’t doing anything wrong, but the first wife is upset. You said she has " a couple of mental illnesses." This added to the fact that she has in essence been replaced as a wife, could cause her to perceive injustices that aren’t really there.


#18

Hello Monicad. Thank you for your response. I greatly apprechiate your input but I want to clarify a few things.

My father in law did not ask to be paid back for the pop. My husband had borrowed $40.00 off him a couple of weeks prior for something completely different.( I probably should have put that in my original post so it would have made more sense).

He won the lotto in April 2009. We got married in July 2010. Neither of us ever asked him for a dime up until the point that my husband asked to borrow $40.00(about 3 weeks before the wedding) so he could get transit tickets to get back and forth to work. The $80.00 was a Christmas gift back in 2009.

I never ever asked for anything up until the pop thing a few days before the wedding.

Planning the wedding was one of the most stressful things I’ve done in my life. Having my husband away doing military training for most of it made it more difficult. My Father in law knew I was having a hard time and not once did he ask if he and his wife could help with anything.

My Mom and Dad did a lot. Paid for the food, the hall, the gratuities, the stuff for my aunt to make the cake. It was also my Mom and Dad that decorated the hall. My Mom and Dad were beyond exhausted. That’s why I asked my Father in law for help.

There was only one other thing that I asked my Father in law and that’s only because my husband told me to. Yes my husband really should of done this but this was something that had to be done quickly and because there was so many people in my husband’s platoon he only got 10 minutes on the phone. He asked me to call his Father on his behalf and ask if he would be best man because the original one dropped out. Of course I explained to my Father in law why I was the one calling to ask this. Right away he says no that he doesn’t stand up in front of people or talk in front of them. I mean really? You won’t do this even for your own son? Totally blew my mind.

My Father in law never really had much interest in our wedding. Yes I know he gave us cash as an xmas gift and I’m not saying I don’t apprechiate it because I do. But that was pretty much that.

My husband was the one that had to beg him to wear a tux and ask him if he could help in any way. He got his sister(husband’s aunt) to make a few squares and then he picked up a few from the bakery.

The pop thing was the only thing I asked for and he flipped saying that he would come in with his tux and tray of sweets and that was his contribution and to make absolute sure that his girlfriend was getting an invitation as well as sitting at the headtable.

He worse his sunglasses inside the church the entire time. Didn’t say hello to anyone in my family. His girlfriend(now wife) helped herself to the corsage that was meant for the lady doing the reading. Then when he noticed the seating arrangement at the headtable(in between my Mother in law and his girlfriend) he had a hissyfit and moved because he didn’t want to be next to my Mother in law.

My biggest pet peeve with my Father in law is that he’s all about himself.


#19

[quote="maryjk, post:17, topic:253524"]
This added to the fact that she has in essence been replaced as a wife

[/quote]

As a wife yes but the new wife has no business trying to replace her as a Mom.


#20

One thing that struck me is that the attitude of your stepmother-in-laws son probably has nothing to do with you. He is probably not very keen on your father-in-law, and maybe thinks the marriage was not good for his mother. He may not be happy with the FIL for similar reasons you are.

I think your husband needs to tell his Dad that he cannot talk inappropriately about his mom in front of him and must be polite. Ultimately, it is hard to know what is between his parents in the past that may be affecting that interaction - often children don't really know the issues between divorced parents. But speaking badly about her in front of him is hurtful.


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