in-laws


#1

Hello. I have questions about in-laws. First, what would you do if your mother-in-law did not understand that her constant presence (and I mean CONSTANT) presence in my family was unhealthy? Or, worse (and I don’t know this), she knew it was wrong, but didn’t care?

Also, does the financial generosity my in-laws have given give them a right to the constant presence? I sometimes feel like they think “look at all the things we have done for you, we have a right to put our two cents in over everything.”

I have talked to my wife SEVERAL times over the last few years, and she fails to do anything. What do I do? Do I talk to my father-in-law, directly to my mother-in-law (I blew up at her the other night, I simply could not take it).?! Yes, yes, I apologized and asked for forgiveness within 30 minutes.

Help!


#2

You need to talk to your in-laws and explain that your home is your home and you and your wife set the rules there. Your wife needs your support in establishing her authority. Your in-laws need to know that you expect your wife to have her authority in the home not challenged by them and that she has a chance to develop herself into what she wants to be in the home.

Your need to set guidelines and get your wife to agree to them for your in-laws.


#3

I feel for you. I think you might get some ideas from the book Toxic In-laws by Susan Forward, MD. It helped me. And yes, you’re right. It IS unhealthy for your MIL to be around you and your wife all the time. You blew up at her because she’s not being respectful of your space.

But better than blowing up will be to learn about setting boundaries and hopefully, getting your wife to side with you and help you deal with this. After all, they are her parents. The book I mentioned gives suggestions for doing this.

People who give things with strings attached are not giving out of love. Nuff said. :yup:

I hope you find a solution and keep us posted. I need encouragement for dealing with mine too.

Crystal :thumbsup:


#4

[quote=anonymoususer]Hello. I have questions about in-laws. First, what would you do if your mother-in-law did not understand that her constant presence (and I mean CONSTANT) presence in my family was unhealthy? Or, worse (and I don’t know this), she knew it was wrong, but didn’t care?

Also, does the financial generosity my in-laws have given give them a right to the constant presence? I sometimes feel like they think “look at all the things we have done for you, we have a right to put our two cents in over everything.”

I have talked to my wife SEVERAL times over the last few years, and she fails to do anything. What do I do? Do I talk to my father-in-law, directly to my mother-in-law (I blew up at her the other night, I simply could not take it).?! Yes, yes, I apologized and asked for forgiveness within 30 minutes.

Help!
[/quote]

Whatever you do is going to be completely useless unless and until you and your wife are on the same page about this issue. These are HER parents. What you say to them will go into one ear and come out of the other until SHE backs you up.


#5

Two things:

First, yes, you both must be completely united about this. You need to insist on your wife siding with YOU and not with her parents. Remember that Christ said a man (OR woman) LEAVES the house of their mother and father, cleaves to their spouse and becomes one. That means she must leave them, and become one with you! Her mum is not a component in your marriage.

Secondly, you mentioned financial support? Once you start accepting favours and handouts, you lose your moral high-ground along with your dignity. Many people will take advantage of your vulnerability, and this is what’s happened now. So for goodness sakes get yourselves OUT of that position. Stop accepting handhouts! Maybe pay them back? Work harder/smarter, or learn to live cheaply. What price do you put on your dignity and family peace?


#6

[quote=anonymoususer]Hello. I have questions about in-laws. First, what would you do if your mother-in-law did not understand that her constant presence (and I mean CONSTANT) presence in my family was unhealthy? Or, worse (and I don’t know this), she knew it was wrong, but didn’t care?

Also, does the financial generosity my in-laws have given give them a right to the constant presence? I sometimes feel like they think “look at all the things we have done for you, we have a right to put our two cents in over everything.”

I have talked to my wife SEVERAL times over the last few years, and she fails to do anything. What do I do? Do I talk to my father-in-law, directly to my mother-in-law (I blew up at her the other night, I simply could not take it).?! Yes, yes, I apologized and asked for forgiveness within 30 minutes.

Help!
[/quote]

Wow! Her “constant presence in your family”? Don’t you realize that your mother-in-law is also your family…and you are her family by virtue of being married to her daughter? You don’t just marry an individual…you marry into a family, and thereby expand your family to include your wife’s relatives, and she yours. The thought that you are uncomfortable speaking to *her *mother or *her *father leads me to think that you consider these people to be outsiders…instead of family. The financial issue aside, they have a right to their opinion whether you like it or not. Don’t toss this on your wife to “deal with her peeps”. They are your family as well and you have every right to make your opinions and wishes known to your family. Buck up…in-laws are really cool as soon as you realize that they are stuck with you as much as you are stuck with them! Make the best of it and treat them like family (good, bad, and ugly!), you’ll be amazed at how well people respond when they feel part of something instead of an outsider.


#7

[quote=anonymoususer]Hello. I have questions about in-laws. First, what would you do if your mother-in-law did not understand that her constant presence (and I mean CONSTANT) presence in my family was unhealthy? Or, worse (and I don’t know this), she knew it was wrong, but didn’t care?

Also, does the financial generosity my in-laws have given give them a right to the constant presence? I sometimes feel like they think “look at all the things we have done for you, we have a right to put our two cents in over everything.”

I have talked to my wife SEVERAL times over the last few years, and she fails to do anything. What do I do? Do I talk to my father-in-law, directly to my mother-in-law (I blew up at her the other night, I simply could not take it).?! Yes, yes, I apologized and asked for forgiveness within 30 minutes.

Help!
[/quote]

Inlaws can be great but they can also interfere at times. You need to sit down with your wife and explain how this is bothering you. You can still be respectful and appreciate what your realatives do for you but the bottom line is that you and your Wife are your own family. There needs to be limits. This can be explained to your in laws in a tactful sort of way. If you just let it go on then you will end up probablly saying or doing something that you will regret later on.

Peace of Christ!


#8

[quote=tcay584]Wow! Her “constant presence in your family”? Don’t you realize that your mother-in-law is also your family…and you are her family by virtue of being married to her daughter? You don’t just marry an individual…you marry into a family, and thereby expand your family to include your wife’s relatives, and she yours. The thought that you are uncomfortable speaking to *her *mother or *her *father leads me to think that you consider these people to be outsiders…instead of family. The financial issue aside, they have a right to their opinion whether you like it or not. Don’t toss this on your wife to “deal with her peeps”. They are your family as well and you have every right to make your opinions and wishes known to your family. Buck up…in-laws are really cool as soon as you realize that they are stuck with you as much as you are stuck with them! Make the best of it and treat them like family (good, bad, and ugly!), you’ll be amazed at how well people respond when they feel part of something instead of an outsider.
[/quote]

Boy, is this admonishment off base!
Family or no, The husband and wife have the primary authority under their own roof. Anyone else bulling his or her way into the private matters of husband and wife is meddling and trespassing where they have no right to be. This behavior is not about support for the couple, it is about control.


#9

[quote=JeffAustralia]Two things:

First, yes, you both must be completely united about this. You need to insist on your wife siding with YOU and not with her parents. Remember that Christ said a man (OR woman) LEAVES the house of their mother and father, cleaves to their spouse and becomes one. That means she must leave them, and become one with you! Her mum is not a component in your marriage.

[/quote]

Actually, that was what God said in the garden of Eden - lots of things were perfect there :slight_smile:

I agree, that if you take money/financial support from someone, they do get some say on what to do (my boss gives me money, it turn, he gets to tell me what to do for most of my waking hours every week).

Treat your in-laws exactly the way you hope your son-in-law treats you some day. Pray, pray, pray.


#10

[quote=coyote]Boy, is this admonishment off base!
Family or no, The husband and wife have the primary authority under their own roof. Anyone else bulling his or her way into the private matters of husband and wife is meddling and trespassing where they have no right to be. This behavior is not about support for the couple, it is about control.
[/quote]

Actually this is right on target and although what you have said has merit it needs to be balanced. Primary authority under their own roof? Where does the commandment of honor your parents fit into it? How do you know the intentions of the parents? We accepted help from our parents, we give help to our children. As I tell them, they will be helping their childen and thats the way it goes.

It doesn’t sound that you agree that they are family.

To the OP be careful. Perhaps you should seek an outside person to talk to. How about the parish priest?


#11

Hi–Tell your MIL that you are starting to fall in love with her! She will probably be disturbed enough to slack off on the visits.LOL!–nicolo


#12

she isn’t visiting, SHE IS LIVING WITH US! I suppose this is appropriate too, right?


#13

[quote=anonymoususer]she isn’t visiting, SHE IS LIVING WITH US! I suppose this is appropriate too, right?
[/quote]

I guess that depends on the circumstances. Why is she living with you? She must be able to tell how much you dislike her, so I can’t imagine she’s living with you for the pure joy of it.


#14

What ethnic group are your wife and her family from? Do they have a hispanic or asian background? It is important to consider the cultural norms (regarding in-laws) of your wife’s family when trying to understand her reasons for wanting to live with her parents.


#15

[quote=anonymoususer] Hello. I have questions about in-laws. First, what would you do if your mother-in-law did not understand that her constant presence (and I mean CONSTANT) presence in my family was unhealthy? Or, worse (and I don’t know this), she knew it was wrong, but didn’t care?
[/quote]

Get the book Toxic Inlaws for a start.

[quote=anonymoususer] Also, does the financial generosity my in-laws have given give them a right to the constant presence?
[/quote]

Absolutely not.

And, stop taking money from them.

Your wife has failed to leave the nest. She is somehow dependent upon her parents-- emotionally, financially, both maybe. She clearly does not understand the biblical command to leave father & mother and cleave only to your spouse.

To that end, #1 is to buy a couple of books and read them together:

For Better… Forever, by Greg Popcak
The Care & Feeding Of Husbands, Dr. Laura

#2 is to get into marriage counseling with a Catholic marriage counselor. She has to get her priorities in order, get to the bottom of this unhealthy relationship with her parents, and set adult boundaries.

[quote=anonymoususer] Do I talk to my father-in-law, directly to my mother-in-law (I blew up at her the other night, I simply could not take it).?!
[/quote]

Yes. Set your boundaries and tell them what they are. The only caveat is that you must have your wife on the same page or else she will undermine you.

Set rules-- no coming over without an invitation, call only X times per week/month, no more financial aid, etc.


#16

[quote=anonymoususer]she isn’t visiting, SHE IS LIVING WITH US! I suppose this is appropriate too, right?
[/quote]

If she is able-bodied, then YES this is bad.

If she is disabled and in need of care, that is another story. But, you mention a father-in-law… where is he???


#17

Perhaps I may relay my story - perhaps it will be theraputic.

My In-Laws have wreaked my marriage. When my wife and I met, we each owned our own house. The decision was made to sell mine and live in “hers”. That was the first mistake. My Mother-in-Law keeped entering the house even if the door was locked. For instance, if I was in the basement doing something-whatever-you cannot hear the door bell ring from down there. Anyway, numerous times I hear some commotion up stairs and I run up thinking…what the?..only to find my mother-in-law. She would say, oh…I rang the door bell and no one answered.

On another time, I was coming out of the showere naked, grabbed a towel and was heading out the bathroom door and “what?”…there was my Mother-In-Law…again with …“oh, I rang the door bell and no one answered”. She is very controlling, brought my wife to tears many times. When she phones, my wife would look on the call display, see it is her mother and not be in the mood to be belittled etc, so will let it go to message. She will really get ti next time and be admonished for no one ever answering the phone.

The in-laws send allot of money our way - let me explain. They will decide “their duaghter’s” house needs new siding…so they order the siders etc…etc…and pay for it. They will decide that the house needs new windows…so they put everything in motion and tell my wife. They will decide the roof needs to be replaced…etc…etc… Our financial situation would not allow us to do it. My wife does like the things done. She says nothing to her parents about the intrusions.

Let me give you another example. My wife’s sister and her husband went away for holidays for 3 weeks and asked the Mother to water plants etc…no problem. When they returned, their house was newly painted on the outside, the inside and all the furniture moved. The Mother said it was time for a change. They do the same “financial” gifts over their as well. The husband just about lost it.

We eventually changed our lockes (Mother-in-law had keys)…and she found out hers did not work. We went for vacation, had our neighbor watch the place. While we were gone the Mother-in-law went to the neighbors to get the key…made a copy for herself.

I spoke with her politiely, she took it as an insult and her walking in seemed to increase. My wife does not do eanything. Now the Mother-In-Law started talking bad about me when she came over…I would be in another room and I would overhear it…in my own house. I spoke to my wife…she will not stand up for me. She says her parents are her parents. Unfortunately, I do not think she is strong enough, yet I hate to say it but she would not want the money train to stop either.

One year we had booked off three weeks for vacation - as usual…and haden’t decided what to do yet. In the mean time, Mother-in-law booked a plane ticket for her, my wife and my wifes kids…for holiday…during our booked vacation time. Then told my wife. At first I telling my wife that that was inappropriate, to intrude with our time together, I calmed down,…they all went to DisneyWorld…I stayed home.

The $$$$$ spent on the house allows them to own you. Yet they never asked me. They just do what they want.

Any worse stories?


#18

a victory!

Ok, my oldest boy is bi-polar, and is one of the most difficult kids I have ever known. well, he hit his younger sister pretty hard right in the nose during one of his tantrums. my wife, myself, and MIL were all sitting right there. my wife grabbed the boy and tried to put him in the room (he is a big kid, already 170 pounds). after some kicking and screaming, she finally got him into his room.

finally, she came out of the bedroom, and MIL started yelling “its not his fault, he’s sick, his medication is not working, blah blah blah.” my wife said “it doesn’t matter, he cannot hit people and treat people that way.” I sided with my wife (obviously). i told MIL “Jeffrey dahmer was sick too, i don’t see anybody making excuses for him”. after some tag teaming between my wife and i, MIL left to spend the night at a friends house. YAHOO!!! my wife, kids, and myself had the best day today!

if you looked in the dictionary for the words critical and materialistic, you would see pictures of my MIL. what a terrible combination to teach your grandkids (oh, and i forgot prejudiced too).


#19

[quote=Halo’dbehisname]Perhaps I may relay my story - perhaps it will be theraputic.

My In-Laws have wreaked my marriage. When my wife and I met, we each owned our own house. The decision was made to sell mine and live in “hers”. That was the first mistake. My Mother-in-Law keeped entering the house even if the door was locked. For instance, if I was in the basement doing something-whatever-you cannot hear the door bell ring from down there. Anyway, numerous times I hear some commotion up stairs and I run up thinking…what the?..only to find my mother-in-law. She would say, oh…I rang the door bell and no one answered.

On another time, I was coming out of the showere naked, grabbed a towel and was heading out the bathroom door and “what?”…there was my Mother-In-Law…again with …“oh, I rang the door bell and no one answered”. She is very controlling, brought my wife to tears many times. When she phones, my wife would look on the call display, see it is her mother and not be in the mood to be belittled etc, so will let it go to message. She will really get ti next time and be admonished for no one ever answering the phone.

The in-laws send allot of money our way - let me explain. They will decide “their duaghter’s” house needs new siding…so they order the siders etc…etc…and pay for it. They will decide that the house needs new windows…so they put everything in motion and tell my wife. They will decide the roof needs to be replaced…etc…etc… Our financial situation would not allow us to do it. My wife does like the things done. She says nothing to her parents about the intrusions.

Let me give you another example. My wife’s sister and her husband went away for holidays for 3 weeks and asked the Mother to water plants etc…no problem. When they returned, their house was newly painted on the outside, the inside and all the furniture moved. The Mother said it was time for a change. They do the same “financial” gifts over their as well. The husband just about lost it.

We eventually changed our lockes (Mother-in-law had keys)…and she found out hers did not work. We went for vacation, had our neighbor watch the place. While we were gone the Mother-in-law went to the neighbors to get the key…made a copy for herself.

I spoke with her politiely, she took it as an insult and her walking in seemed to increase. My wife does not do eanything. Now the Mother-In-Law started talking bad about me when she came over…I would be in another room and I would overhear it…in my own house. I spoke to my wife…she will not stand up for me. She says her parents are her parents. Unfortunately, I do not think she is strong enough, yet I hate to say it but she would not want the money train to stop either.

One year we had booked off three weeks for vacation - as usual…and haden’t decided what to do yet. In the mean time, Mother-in-law booked a plane ticket for her, my wife and my wifes kids…for holiday…during our booked vacation time. Then told my wife. At first I telling my wife that that was inappropriate, to intrude with our time together, I calmed down,…they all went to DisneyWorld…I stayed home.

The $$$$$ spent on the house allows them to own you. Yet they never asked me. They just do what they want.

Any worse stories?
[/quote]

Can you just move and not tell them where you went?
–Ann


#20

I know you do not want to hear this but when you married your wife you got another set of parents. You are obligated to honor them. Make a list of what honor means to you and memorize it. You might have to turn the other cheek, but you do not have to lay down like a rug and have anyone walk on you. Love is the answer, don’t make it the question.


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