Just wondering...

Avatar for tinderdoc
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
Just wondering...
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 11:14am
You know, when I was a child, I always thought the adults in my life always got along. I mean, I never saw problems between my mom and her IL's. I knew my dad didn't like his IL's, but there were never any confrontations. If he ever had to be in the same room with them, he was always civil. Same goes for the relationships with my parents and their siblings. I never heard anyone in my family tell off another member of the family, or give someone the cold shoulder or the evil eye. It seemed like everybody was always friendly with each other (I must have been seeing things through immature, naive eyes). The point is, even when my parents DID have problems with their family/in-laws, they were always civil to each other, and they never forced their feelings about a family member on me. I had some pretty good examples to follow.

So WHY am I having the trouble that I have with MY in-laws? Half the time I want to squash one of my BIL's, and the other half of the time I want to never have any contact with MIL again. I don't like being around my IL's AT ALL. If I never heard from any of them again, I would be a much happier person. I'm 27 yrs old for cryin out loud. I feel like such a juvenile having these feelings towards them. I find myself deliberately leaving my IL's in the dark about anything that goes on in our lives. I have no trouble telling my own mother about things, but I can't find it in me to open up to my MIL. My BIL hurts my DH's feelings every opportunity he has, making me want to squash him like the insect that he is (isn't that childish??). He has trained my 9-yr-old BIL to talk down to my DH (!), and I can only imagine what he will do with his own children. I am purposefully standoffish around him. I don't speak to him for fear of what will come out of my mouth. My mother can't understand how I can harbor such feelings or act that way. And I know that if we brought a child into this situation, I would not be able to hide my feelings about my IL's and pretend that everything's A-OK. I know our kid would pick up on the bad feelings that I have for my IL's, a good reason not to start a family right now. I guess I always thought that as an adult, there would be no trouble getting along with other members of the family (like the examples I had). From all the problems I've seen posted on this board, it sounds like my family were the oddballs. There MUST have been some bad blood somewhere in my family; I guess they just did a pretty good job hiding it from the kids. I was just wondering if anyone else had similar feelings or experiences.

Avatar for lucy4980
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 11:49am
I think our parents did a good job of insulating us because in my family, I know there were in-law problems, but as a kid I had no idea.

For example, my mom and my dad's mom did NOT get along. My mom is really easy to get along with and pretty much everybody likes her, but my grandma can be a real pill. She is constantly having a problem with people, always feuding with everybody in the family, very self centered. I had no idea. Also she is an alcoholic which just adds fuel to the fire. I know my mom wanted to squash her MIL like a bug.

My mom's sister married a man who couldn't stand our family. When he would bring my cousins over to anybody's house, he would just drop them off in the driveway. He wouldn't even get out of the car. When he would pick them up, he would just honk. He decided he didn't like my other aunt's husband so he prevented his wife from seeing her own sister for almost 10 years. I found out later that this all caused some pretty heated arguements in the family, but at the time, I had no idea there were any problems.

I think in-law problems have been going on for a long long time, but in most families, the adults are mature enough to insulate the kids from those problems.