I will never get along with my inlaws


#1

I lost both parents by the time I was 18. I had hoped that once I got married my inlaws would be like a new mom and dad. From the beginning they didn’t like me because I didn’t make enough money. I’m a lowly teacher and their daughter was a lawyer. When we announced to my wifes father that we were getting married his reaction was to throw his hands in the hair curse and storm out of the room. My wifes parents have positioned themselves to be dependent on their children. They treat their children that make a lot of money differently than us. They lived with my wife up until we got married and now they live with their son.

I love my wife, son and step daughter with all my heart. They mean everything to me. I don’t want them to live without grandma and grandpa in their lives but I can no longer tolerate their hatred for me. My family needs your prayers and I need your advice.


#2

I have only this advice, pray and ask the intercession of St. Joseph. Show by your actions, and words that you are a good man, eventually things will change. You can’t change anyone except yourself so don’t bother trying, just pray.
Since tomorrow is Father’s day, make sure that your wife and the children acknowledge that not only for you but for her father also, and if possible, for their father too.
Happy father’s day and I will keep you all in my prayers.:signofcross:


#3

What does your wife say about how her parents act and how they treat you? Has she stood up and told them that she will not tolerate their behavior? What level of contact does she want to have with them?


#4

My advice is to pray unceasingly for them and move as far as way as you can.

Father Emmerich has a really cool tape set that addresses detaching from emotions that tie us to difficult people.

nunsgiftshop.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=N&Product_Code=AT103CD

I’m not advocating not loving them–as loving someone is a matter of the will, but detaching so that their dramas don’t cause you to be tied up in useless emotions and anger that keeps you from growing closer to God.


#5

Gator, you are the head of your household and no one should try to usurp or undermine a Faithful, Godly or Devout Father. Take the highroad, while being reasonably charitable, but do not be a doormat. Learn how our Father has given you the mission of Headship.

scripturecatholic.com/husband_headship.html

Remember “One’s net worth, is not their self worth”. Bringing the riches of God’s blessings to your home and family — priceless.

You’re the man, you’re the leader, period.


#6

Basically, if they are not living with him, the “leadership” issue is not a factor. The wife and husband are a partnership. He is considering her feelings. Stay being Faithful, Godly, and Devout and he will come around.


#7

First, of all you will be in my prayers tonight.
Second, talk to your wife about your feelings and make sure you are both clear and understanding of each ones position.
Third, write a clear, firm and charitable letter to your in-laws explaining your feelings and concerns. Make sure that they understand that you wish them to be a part of your family’s life but are concerned about their attitudes re: money. Point out that your wife and children are happy, healthy and loved - they are well cared for, not neglected, etc. These things are far more important money. Make sure your wife reviews and approves the letter, or even better, that she helps you write it and you both sign it.

Actually as I was writing this I was reminded of the scene in "On Golden Pond"
Where Henry Fonda is giving Dabney Coleman a hard time and Dabney Coleman responds:

Chelsea told me all about how you like to have a good time messing with people’s heads. She does too, sometimes. Me, sometimes I can get into it. Sometimes not. You know, it’s not imperative that you and I become friends. I thought it would be nice. I’m sure you’re a fascinating person, and I thought it would be fascinating to get to know you, but that’s obviously not an easy task. So you just go ahead and be as… poopy, to quote Chelsea, as you want to be, and I’ll be as nice and as civil as I can be. But I think there’s one thing you should know while you’re jerking me around and making me feel like an a–hole. I know precisely what you’re up to. And I’ll take just so much of it.

Then you be the Best Christian You can be. Love your wife and pray for your in-laws.

Peace
James


#8

This is where I would start.

I also have to say, igator, that you kind of set yourself up emotionally, when you expected your in-laws to view you as a new son, or the two of them as new parents. Some people are blessed that way, but others- most in fact- take time, years, to build that sort of relationship.

As an aside, catholiculture.org, which reviews Catholic web sites, has a few words about scripturecatholic.com.
catholicculture.org/reviews/view.cfm?recnum=1798&repos=2&subrepos=&searchid=254627
While it gives scripturecatholic.com a green light, it does mention several strong weaknesses. It points out that the site was designed during the owner’s journey from freemasonry to Catholicism,and is NOT exhaustive. Further, it promotes geocentrism (for those who don’t know, that’s the theory that the Earth is the center of the universe, and does not move); that there are links to questionable and even dangerous sites, such as Catholic Apologetics International (yellow), the Remnant (red), Fatima Network (red) and the Mary Page (yellow) ; and suppines that the Church only teaches creationism as the basis for existence, by promoting only creationism. So this one person’s conclusion on family leadership should be considered ONLY as that man’s theory, and not as authentic Catholic teaching.


#9

The slow and consistent, drum beat of negative input against a spouse can be very damaging to a marriage. Happens all the time. It can be in face to face, conversation and/or phone calls.


#10

I appreciate your input. They live only 5 minutes from us with their son. How can I have nothing to do with them but allow my children to have a relationship with them although I fear it is toxic because they treated the moneid grandchildren differently then mine? Fathers Day tomorrow is a good example. Should I let them go visit them? I think my wife difently should but I’m not going.


#11

#12

I wish a letter would do the trick but I don’t think you understand the mentallity of the people I’m dealing with. They were living with my wife before we got married. They had sold their house and blowing the proceedes knowing full well they would be dependent on their children. My father would have died before he would be dependent on his children. I can understand if things don’t work out then it is the childs duty to take care of their parents but they planned it. We live in an area devestated by Katrina and them along with their rich children had to live with us. It was a wonderful time. I felt very close to them all. I was sorry to see them go. Three years later and we are back to square one. My heart can not take anymore ripping. Thank you for the advice and I will talk to my wife about it but nothing short of me hitting the lottory I believe would improve my relationship. I think there is a time where you just give up.


#13

Well I’ve been married for 13 years and just when I think I’m accepted something happens. He cursed me out in front of my son in the driveway. He has done this from time to time anytime he has had an excuse.

You didn’t mention that he was abusive to you in your OP.

Even so, when he ran his hands through his hair and started screaming when you announced your engagement, that didn’t give you a clue that this guy didn’t like you? Marriage is not a magic wand, POOF!, and suddenly because you’ve vowed their daughter your love and life, they accept you.

You need to have a very long talk with your wife.

And no, you do not have to see them. And no, you do not have to let your children into abuse, or see you abused- esp. if it was YOUR driveway. You have every right to tell him, if it’s your driveway, “Excuse me, but until you can treat me civilly, it’s time to go, now.” And if it’s his driveway, you have every right to say, “We’re going home now” and get out of there, with your family in tow. And you have every right to expect your wife to back you up. And you have every right not to have to go over there if they abuse you.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it yet again: You don’t owe them your marriage, and you don’t owe them your servitude. You owe them: Prayer; to make sure they are fed if they have no food (does not mean money, nor does it mean steak for them while you eat rice n’ beans- and not necessarily at your table, if they behave that way); to make sure they are clothed if they have none (and not designer while you guys wear Goodwill rejects); to make sure they have a place to live if homeless (does not mean you have to fund it, does not mean it has to be your place, does not mean they live in a palace while you live in a slum).

You know the books, igator: God Help Me and Boundaries.


#14

This is good info Burbs. You may not have had a chance to look at the web link I sent, but it was in fact the Scripture citations on Headship. However your point is well taken and should be used by others. I know I will.

“STRENGTHS· Example(s) Over 2,000 Scripture citations from the Old and New Testament that explain and defend the teachings of the Catholic Church (Resources)
· Hundreds of excerpts from the writings of the early Church Fathers (1st through 8th centuries). (Resources)
· Example(s) A section on other religions (Resources)”

“WEAKNESSES· Example(s)Promotes the position of geocentrism — the belief that the Earth is the center of the universe and does not move. (Other)
· Example(s)Links to questionable traditionalist sites (Fidelity)
· Example(s)Promotes Creationism and makes it seem that the Church is opposed to theistic evolution. (Other)”

Standing up and protecting yourself and your family is the right thing to do. Thirteen years of disrespect speaks for itself. Would St. Joseph have not stood up for himself or his son on earth? If what you describe is correct it seems to me the In-laws own the destruction of this relationship with themselves.

By the way we finished our final Katrina repairs in April, let’s pray for more calm waters this season.:wink:


#15

I don’t think the poor young fella should take abuse,even after 1 year.

I think he should have been up-front that there was abuse in the first place. It sounded more like squabbles about who makes more money than abuse. I think he should have gotten an inkling when the man threw a raging temper when he announced his engagement, that this was not going to be a picnic. And I think he should seriously consider setting boundaries with these people until and if they are ready to repent of their abuse of him,and show him that they mean to repent.


#16

WHAT BURBS SAYS !!!
There is no reason you have to expose yourself or your children an abusive situation. Even if you can deal with some of it, it is very bad for the children.
Obviously this is something that you and your wife must talk out and have a mutually agreed position on, **You both must present a united front to her parents. **

As for the letter idea, I present it as a way to get your feelings down on paper where you can read and edit them without having to get into an argument. Also, when the other person reads it, they are not able to “interupt you”. Of course if they Call you up angry you can always hang up.
I wish you all the luck on the world on this one.

Peace
James


#17

We are in the same situation as the OP. My mother hates my husband. Always has, always will. We have tried everything we can think of to improve the situation, but it hasn’t helped, because she won’t let it. We’ve done everything from bend over backwards to be nice to her, to me putting my foot down and giving her an ultimatum–stop being so nasty or you won’t see me or the grandkids. She didn’t see them for months, and cried about it everyday, but still had something nasty to say about my DH. :shrug:

We’ve decided we just can not change her, no matter how hard we try–it has to be her decision. So OUR decision is to limit contact. I don’t want to listen to her, and I certainly don’t want my kids to constantly hear the lies about their Daddy. So while I do let her see the kids occasionally, that’s it. And I frequently remind her that it is HER choice how she behaves, and if she would choose to behave decently (ie, not talking bad about my husband, lying about him, blaming him for every woe in the world in front of me and my children), then she could spend more time with us. But I made it clear to her that I would always stand by my husband, not her. It still upsets my husband, he wants so badly for everyone to just get along, but I guess that’s not going to happen. So we do what’s best for us and the kids, and leave her to stew in her own pity pot. At this point, I don’t know what else TO do.


#18

I just said a prayer for you and your husband. I really know how hard it is. I feel right now like somebody just kicked me in the stomach. The old man is at the horse races gambling with his son. He doesn’t seem to mind at all. In the end you can’t make people like you or love you. Your spouse must stand behind you or you have nothing. I want to thank everyone for their prayers and advice.


#19

Just because he hates your guts does not make you a bad person. Just because it seems he doesn’t care doesn’t make you a bad person.

Go ahead and mourn what will not be. But don’t let this old goat and his minions run your life!!! It truly does not matter what he thinks, or what the rest of them think. You have to function, for your wife and kids.

Let me tell you something else. You can create family without blood kinship. There are people who do care about you out there. As time goes on, you can open yourself up to friendships with people that are “like a brother” or “the mom I never had” etc.


#20

It sounds as though you missed the part in premarital counseling where they mentioned that you marry not just your spouse but the whole famn damily. Now you have to learn to deal with people that are sufficiently different from you to cause serious gaps in communication. Probably best to limit contact with your wife’s family. Make sure that what contact you have is conducted either in your home where you have control, or in a neutral setting: picnic, amusement park, shopping mall.

Matthew


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