My husband and I have been married for 12 years and have 5 children. The first 10, I had a very rocky relationship with his parents.

To go into all the details would take forever, so I’ll just pinpoint a few.

My oldest two children are not my husband’s, but he adopted them. (They have no contact with their biological father or his family) There has always been obvious favoritism of our 3 children that are their biological grandchildren. This has been a major issue for me and my children and it even worsened when my father-in-law, told my husband and I, in front of our son, that he is not his blood.

My mother-in-law has always carried tales and played the he-said, she-said game. Two years ago, she lied about something my husband said. She purposely tried to turn my husband and his brother against each other…they actually didn’t speek for some time, also. At this time, my husband stopped talking to his parents.

My husband’s brother became engaged to a woman. I contacted this woman as an attenpt to get my husband and his brother to reconcile. They did. My brother-in-law married this woman, who also has children from a previous marriage. When the same issues of treating the step-grandchildren so badly, my brother-in-law aslo stopped talking to his parents.

Part of me would love to never have to see/talk to these people again, and part of me feels bad that my husband has no family involvement other than his brother. He says he would rather it this way because he is tired of dealing with all the stress they bring into our lives. (Our marriage is better since he stopped contact)

Anyway, my whole point is that sometimes I feel as though I should try to forgive and renew a relationship with these people, but most of the time, I think that I shouldn’t. I want to do what is right in the Lord.

I know the bible says to honor thy mother and father, but it also says for husband’s to leave their fathers and mothers and cleave to your wife. Is it ever o’kay to break ties with your family such as we have with my in-laws?

Needing Peace,


I think that one of the deciding factors is the welfare of the children.

I have three natural grandchildren and three acquired grandchildren and made the decision I wouldn’t treat the new granchildren any differently…I give a lot of love to each of them. Apparently your in-laws find difficulty with accepting these new grandchildren. Perhaps they don’t have a tendency to empathise, but it would seem callous to make a visible difference in treatment.

Your in-laws are betraying both their natural and their adopted or acquired grandchildren by acting with favoritism. It does not benefit the blood grandchildren to see themselves as preferable and more important, and it creates potential discord amongst the children. It can also create a problem in self-esteem for the other children.

You don’t indicate that the parents-in-law have sought reconciliation. In fact they may be bitter at having effectively lost their sons and their grandchildren and be even more resentful and disruptive.

Is there any possibility of involving a rational non-involved family member or family friend to guage what would be a likely outcome for the children, you wives, and your husbands, if you re-opened relationship?

Please don’t worry about this as you have a family of seven to care for. The love, security, welfare, and happiness of this family nucleas is your primary responsibility.
Don’t worry, but pray that healing will gradually occur, and that God will in time give solutions. Send Christmas cards from the family maybe, but please be at peace. Pray for them, as prayer may be your major responsibility to your parents-in-law at this stage.


No, they have not sought reconcilliation. I not only want to do what is right by the Lord, but I worry that although my husband says he rathers it this way, that if one of them would die he would have a hard time dealing with it because of the situation.


Have you talked to your husband about this anxiety regarding were one of his parents to die. Can you quietly and gently encourage him to face how he might feel, because it worries you? If he allows himself a chance to imagine and to face how he would react, it might better prepare him. He doesn’t hate his parents, only how they have acted an how it has impacted on his life and family.

Not knowing all the circumstances, I can’t know what little actions you can take to extend small kindnesses while still remaining detached, in order to provide at least
some (small) degree of atmosphere in which your parents-n-law might have freedom to grow, to seek reconciliation to a safe degree…if they are capable of growing. They are missing out on their sons’ families and one hopes they can also find some way to seek a fair peace.

They have some responsibility to seek reconciliation themselves. It isn’t all your husband and your responsibility. Have they attempted to make peace and to find a fair way of dealing with you all. People can be incorrigible, in which case, only prayer can ever hope to do any good. Pray for them and try to think kindly of them, because whatever shaped them this way is a burden they carry. Who will pray for them if not you…and your husband?

I do see that you have been doubly hurt by all this, the hurt inflicted on your family, and the hurt to your peace of mind. I ask God to give you comfort and discernment. Bless you, Trishie


I’m sorry your family has to go through this. :frowning:

If you’ve tried everything you can to have a good relationship with them over the years (sounds like you have) but to no avail, then I think you’re right to sever contact as you have. Your wish to do right by the Lord is honorable, so I think the best thing you can do to accomplish this is to try not to hold a grudge (confess it) and pray like crazy for your in-laws, that their eyes and hearts will be opened. Sometimes the most powerful thing we can do is pray for others, because God can do what we can’t.

Offering a prayer for your family right now. God bless you. :crossrc: :hug1:


I agree with what Belle said.

Forgive them, pray for them…but it takes two to have a relationship. They don’t seem to want it…otherwise, they wouldn’t make things as difficult. Some people seem to thrive on being difficult and pushing people away.



I have been praying for God to use my situation for good, and here is the opportunity, right here on CAF!

I have been in a continual family situation where the older generation did not care for the spousal choices of the younger generation.

My parents have not spoken to me for years, and told my Late, Great Aunt and Uncle that my entire extended family agreed with them and cut me off, a big fat lie. It is only since the death of my Late, Great Aunt in April that I made some sort of reconciliation with my mother, and it took the death of her sister for her to talk with me. Still, I have never seen my parents act cruelly with children beyond their own to any great degree (although one of my sisters claims they were very cruel to her children, and there was a situation with one of the Late, Great Aunt’s grandchildren).

My husband’s late father did not care for me, yet did not make a grand display of hatred or anything of the sort. And he was always good to my kids from my first marriage, who my husband adopted. And he was gaga over our granddaughters, who are now our daughters, also adopted. My husband’s stepmother wishes we would fade off the planet, as she thinks we are unattractive (we’re overweight and she spends at least 4 hours everyday in the gym), but she also thinks she’s 55 (she’s 79).

Now my late mother-in-law and my sister-in-law- Here are cruelty and jealousy in a twisted form. I could go into detail again, but please PM me or go to the Prayer Intentions. My MIL for years did not recognize the adoption of my children by DH. We rescued her when SIL was abusing her to the point of beating her and not feeding her. We went the extra mile, stayed where she lives in another state for a month, and got an order of protection, evicted the SIL and her BF, all that. Three months later, the old lady changed her mind, revoked our power of attorney, held a gun on the realtor, and yet the State of California said she was sane and fine to conduct her own business. She preferred her daughter over her son. SIL made a point of not listing any of our children, or me, in the obit for MIL. Needless to say, we are not in the living trust or pour-over will.

Are you, your hubby, BIL and SIL alone in this sutation? No way!!! Thre are tons of us out here with whacko family. I am not trying to center this on me and mine, but you are NOT alone by a long shot!!!

The question- Do you need these people and their aggravation? NO! Does it hurt that they do these things to your husband and BIL? YES!!!

I had to recently fish out my copy of God Help Me! These People Are Driving Me Nuts! by Greg Popcak. He explains why you don’t, and how to deal with them. I am also fond of the book, Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. These help. Prayers help.

In the end, your husband and his brother might be better off leaving the door open to the possibility of a reconciliation, but that depends on their parents. So far, these people have shown NO inclination to change their evil ways.

Until they do, I always tell people that the Fourth Commandment does not obligate them to allow their parents to run the lives of adult children. Your DH and BIL are obligated to pray for them.They are to ensure that if they are homeless, they have a place to live- not necessarily the Taj Mahal while your family and your SIL’s live in leaky trailers, and not necessarily your homes. They are to ensure the old folks have clothes on their backs, but this does not mean designer for Mom and Dad while the rest of you wear Goodwill rejects. They are to make sure they food to eat, but that does not mean the seniors get steak while the rest of you get rice. It also doesn’t mean they have to move in with you, or eat at your table

Meantime, sounds like your husband does have extended family, in his brother and the brother’s family. I am all for cultivating that relationship!


Agreed.:thumbsup: As long as you continue to pray for them and keep the door of your heart open should they ever wish to reconcile I think you are doing the right and moral thing.

As for your husband, just be there for him. Allow him to talk/vent/or ignore the whole situation. It is his relationship with his parents and he needs to decide what is best for him. With your love and encouragement of course:)


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