Have I Forgiven My Inlaws?

I have three inlaws in my life, a MIL and 2 SILs.
I am aware that they like to talk about me behind my back. Honestly, I don’t know why they do it but they do it to any woman who is not in their circle. I seem to be one one the main targets of their derogitory gossip.

I have kept a polite relationship with my MIL for my husband’s sake and because I feel obligated to do so but I keep a distance and would not consider her a friend.

The SILs are a whole other story, I don’t feel an obligation to keep up a personal relationship with either of them but have always sent cards and have had them over for occasions. I have also attended their family functions at well.

This has been very difficult for me particularly because the SIL who lives in another state, has escalated her attacks to the point of slamming a car door on me, addressing Christmas cards only to my husband, starting a conversation about my son where she insinuated that he might be gay, filling a plate at a family buffet and then pushing it on me on two occasions (because my MIL told her that I hadn’t had enough to eat at one of her parties party) I could name countless more but the point is I’m trying not to count.

Anyway, I’ve gotten to the point where, unless it is a very large occasion, I am not willing to socialize when the three are together and I am not willing to socialize with myone SIL at all.

I do not wish harm or revenge in any way and I do pray for them, especially for my one SIL because I think she may be mentally ill. But I can no longer deal with getting together with them and in particular my one SIL. I try very hard to not even feel ill will towards them for the things they say about their support of abortion,homosexuallity,feminisim and divorce. I ignore the jabs at my Faith. I try not to take offense when they say how ignorant it is for any one to not think that abortion is a woman’s right. The SILs are professionals,one is in medicine, the other in teaching(I’m pointing out that they are highly educated people that why I can’t dismiss what they say as shear ignorance) They are both very opinionated and unwilling to listen to a religious point of view let alone a Catholic point of view.

I have come to the point that other than sending cards I can’t be in my one SILs company anymore. Am I being unforgiving?
Is there anything more I can do to forgive?

You sound like an incredibly forgiving person to me. I don’t think you’re doing anything wrong by not wanting to be in the company of someone who pushes food on you.
You’re a better woman than me…I wouldn’t even be sending cards…

Isn’t it hard to walk the path of rightousness? I have a mother-in-law who only truly wants a relationship with her son, (not me or the grandkids) and I feel sorry for her. I pray that she will turn from her selfish ways. But you may be the only light in the dark,and as difficult it may be to be around these people, just remember that you can take all Your concerns and leave them at the cross. Memorize a scripture that will speak to your heart during these difficult meetings, and try to remember that the world was made with good and bad, just and unjust… We are called to love as he loves. And forgive 70 x 7

take care

It’s so strange that a woman who loves her son would not want to embrace the woman he loves and his children. They ( I’m talking about my in-laws too) would be so much happier if they could do this. It seems to be a woman to woman problem mostly,but I have tried to stop asking why. It just depresses me.

God bless you and your family.


I also have a strange relationship with my MIL. She merely tolerates me although I have never done anything to offend her (at least I don’t think so. My husband agrees). I am polite to her and make an effort to have a conversation when we see her but that is all I can do since there is nothing in return.

So, to answer your question: I think you are doing all you can. Their behaviour is not acceptable and it is very smart of you to keep your distance. With people who behave like that you will never do things right, trust me. Keep your sanity intact.

Forgiveness and reconciliation are not the same thing. Yes, you are obligated to forgive people but that does not mean you are obligated to an ongoing relationship with them.

Picture a woman who has been raped and afterwords goes to counseling for help. After much counseling she gets to the point where she forgives her attacker. This is a wonderful thing and can bring her much peace. At the same time she is probably not going to call the man up and start going out to lunch with him! Forgiveness does not require that we enter into a relationship.

That being said, the actions you take depend a lot on your husband. How does he feel about this situation. What are his expectations? What are his hopes and plans? I would say that you need to be clear on what your husband hopes for before you make any decisions on how to handle things.

God bless you this is a difficult and painful situation, please take care and be assured of my prayers.

I concur…you do not have to have a relationship with someone you can forgive in your heart. Pray for their conversion. My spiritual director told me whenever you have these thoughts or feelings of hurt by someone in your life, say the second part of the Hail Mary with the name of the person in place (i.e. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for my MIL now and at the hour of her death. Amen) as often as you can. This should help remove the sting.
Hope this helps you…I know your pain!:thumbsup:

BTW, where is your husband in all this? In your corner I hope?

Thanks everyone for the replies. I hope I am forgiving but I still feel a sting when I think of certain things .I will try the Hail Mary for a remedy.
I don’t think that my husband sees the problem clearly.but I hope he’s in my corner.

My in laws and I have had our ups and downs…and there have been times I did not go over to their house for periods of times as my FIL said something hurtful to me. That being said…as I have gotten older (and so have they LOL) I have been able to put the rough times in our relationship behind me and we now have a good relationship. “Dad” has mellowed and has even said he loved me. . I now see that a lot of what he was doing he was doing in love (the only way he knew how to do it)…but he had our best interests at heart. The occasional jabs at me…I do not know why he said some of the things he did…but I try to take people at face value. You treat me nice…I treat you nice. The last several years have been wonderful. He is treating me like a “daughter” now and We are all good.

My relationships with my SIL’s has always been good. We are friends as well as SIL’s.

I DO however have a situation with my daughters MIL and daughters husband. I’m not going to rehash the whole situation as I have done so in another thread…but sounds to me like it’s time to cut bait and run. There are those people who are only happy when everyone around them is miserable. They cause problems within the family…and sow strife and discord.

Yes…forgive them…Yes…pray for them…Yes…hope for a better relationship…but don’t allow this person to affect your life any longer. You do not have to be around when they come over. You do not have to send cards or gifts. Hopefully your husband is on your side and he may be able to talk to them and let them know how their words and actions hurt you. Perhaps, like my FIL…these people will mellow with time…for now…You have my prayers.


I struggle with this business of hanging on to the hurt, too. I’ve been told that it is best to let go of it, but that it should not be a surprise that this takes a certain amount of work. In other words, work on it, but don’t beat yourself up about it, because that only makes it harder.

One good piece of advice I have heard is to remember that someone else’s choice to sin against us is not a reflection of us. Even if it is meant personally, even though we don’t have anything to recommend ourselves, save by God’s grace, rejection of us reflects on their inner character, not ours. We don’t have to have a laundry list of reasons they shouldn’t have done it, because even if they had positive excuses, they shouldn’t have done it. Their choice to hurt us hurt both us and them. That makes it a little easier to let go of rejection, which can hurt very much.

The other advice I have heard is that “don’t be hurt” is kind of like “don’t think of an elephant”. You can’t do a negative. You must have a definite something to do, instead, in order to “not do” something. When you feel like dwelling on the hurt, you might give thanks for God’s love for you, instead, or whatever positive act seems to work for you.

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