Surviving Toxic In-Laws
Surviving Toxic In-Laws
Has an In-Law ever deemed you: lazy, incompetent, untidy, too sensitive etc?
Sadly, I have and it really hurts! It hurts for the accusations are unfounded and deeply disrespectful!
Let me back up a year or 12. My husband and I couldn't be more different. He's Caucasian and I'm a Woman of Color or Native American. I'm 40ish and he's 30ish. I'm a Christian and he's an Atheist. We've been married for five years and have a beautiful two-year-old daughter.
I relocated from the West Coast to the Midwest for love. We had previously been in a long distance relationship and had grown tired of the frequent costly trips. The state of California is expensive so we decided to give Missouri a try. It was extremely difficult to leave my loving family and well-paying job. Nonetheless, I made peace with it for I'd hoped for a better future with the love of my life.
Regretfully, I have had an abysmal time for the last 7 years. It's disheartening to not have a relationship with my in-laws because they are my husband's family. I don't get to see my own much so it hurts not being a part of his! However, I will not subject my family to anymore cruelty.
In this Hub, I will present four ways to survive toxic in-laws.
Step 1: Don't Take It Personally-At First!
It's my experience that people will eventually show their spots the longer you let them. If your new love’s family/friends don’t care for you, they won't be able to hide it for long. Their true feelings with be itching and crawling to get out. Once you have discovered that they don't fancy you, it's best NOT to take it personally. Their dislike of you is more about them and less about you. Besides, happy people think, say and do happy things. If a person or people don't have anything positive in their lives, they will want company in their misery!
The best way to conquer your plight is to focus on your relationship and let them be. However, if they pry into your personal life so much that it becomes disruptive, you and your honey will need to present a united front and put them in their place-respectfully!
I’ve done exactly this! I found out last year that my mother-in-law had been speaking ill of me with my husband for years. She had been complaining about me for most of our marriage while smiling in my face. Instead of showing us sympathy for our marital problems, she used them to deepen the wound. I knew about some of the issues that she and others had with me and we'd spoken about them before. Obviously, there's nothing that I could've said that would've changed her biased opinions of me.
I invited her to our home to discuss the matter. It was extremely uncomfortable and hurtful to do but I did it. Sadly, her shenanigans haven’t changed! I just had a huge argument with her last week and it was very intense. I intended to speak with her and my sister-in-law after New Year’s but that didn’t work out. My emotions got the best of me and I let her have it! I don’t regret a single thing that I said; i just wish that I had waited as planned.
However, if they pry into your personal life so much that it becomes disruptive, you and your honey will need to present a united front and put them in their place-respectfully!
Step 2: Establish Boundaries
Once you discover that you aren't received well, establish boundaries. The worst thing that you can do at this point is allow the nay-sayers to have a say. Make it clear from the get-go that they are not to discuss your personal life-ever! If they don't like you personally, then they shouldn't want to know your business anyway! Don't allow your spouse to discuss your business either. If your in-laws have something to say/ask you, let them contact you directly! Kindly extend the invitation for a phone conversation, text session or an in-person meeting to air out grievances. Make sure that your spouse is there as well!
If kids are involved, it's very essential that the child is not caught in the middle! Children are human beings-not bargaining chips! If your in-laws can't respect your family enough to not meddle, then they forfeit their right to be a part of it! You can't love on someone's child and hate on them! That's a deal breaker. Titles like: Mother, Father, Sister, Brother are empty if there's NO love inside of them! Those infected with toxins will eventually lose out on being a part of your child's life because their hate for you is more important than their love for your child. That to me is horrible and the only person that it hurts the most is your precious child!
Sadly, this is what's going on with me now! Some of my in-laws have continuously disrespected and disregarded my role my family. I'm judged by how clean I keep the house yet hubby is exempt from chores because he works. LOL Give me a break lady! I was working when we got married and if I tried to shirk my way out of doing chores for that reason, I'd be deemed an unworthy and lazy wife! My husband works nights and that has taken its toll on him; i understand that. It's an on-going issue that's none of their business!
Step 3: Keep Them Closely Vested!
Don’t degrade yourself by forcing them to like you. Chances are, their opinions of you won’t change. If you are invited to family gatherings, go on occasion. Don’t let anyone guilt you into going where you don’t want to go! Don’t dedicate your time and energy on them by going to every function. Keep conversation lite and away from your personal life. If someone is nice to you, don’t mistake it for acceptance. Don’t set yourself up for your heart to get broken. Take everything said and done with a grain of salt and keep it moving.
Unfortunately, I set myself up terribly! I was broke, unemployed and deeply depressed when I found out that I was 6 months pregnant. Needless to say, I was not a happy camper. My mother-in-law really stepped up and supported us during the pregnancy and after. I began to love her as a mom because she helped us out so much. My own mother was thousands of miles away so it was easy to see her as a surrogate. Not too soon after our baby was born, she started judging my mothering skills. Instead of being loving and supportive, she was questioning everything that I did and made me feel less than. Of course she didn't show her true colors while my own mother was present!
Don’t degrade yourself by forcing them to like you.
Don’t let anyone guilt you into going where you don’t want to go!
Step 4: Demand Respect for Your Role in the Family!
No matter what your in-laws think or say, you should be respected for your role in your family. It shouldn’t matter if they like your or not. You don’t live for their acceptance. If you have to respect them because of their roles in your spouse’s life, then the same can be said about you! You are an extension of your spouse. If they truly love said spouse, then they will love you. Why? Because your spouse loves YOU!
This is exactly the case with my family. We've only gone back to California once and ironically, it was when I was pregnant. Due to our circumstances, I requested the presence of a few. We were greeted with wide arms, huge smiles and open hearts. They treated my husband like a King because of their love for ME! That is how it should always be!
No matter what your in-laws think or say, you should be respected for your role in your family.
A Message from Me
Do you get along with your in-laws?
© 2018 Dabby Lyric