In Law advice

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-14-2013
In Law advice
Fri, 06-14-2013 - 9:18pm

This is my second marriage, I am bi - racial and my husband is white. I have a child from a previous marriage who does not have anything to do with her biological father. My husband has been a father to her since I dated him. He is a wonderful man, which is the reason why I am torn. when i met my husband, his mother loved me. We got pregnant out of wedlock, but she didnt care, she wanted us to get married. That was all that was important to her. My husband was not the first son to get someone pregnant out of wedlock, one of his 2 brothers did at a younger age, but his mother didnt want them to get married. My MIL were very close. I loved his family including his brothers wives. They seemed to like me and accept my daughter until my MIL got sick. My MIL was hospitalizes and no longer attend family functions and that is when I noticed my SIL's and my husbands brothers were not as nice as they used to be. Comments were made out of my husbands ear shot.  Comments like " You sure like white meat" from one of my SIL in reffernce to my first husband being white. I was shocked at the language and did not reply to that comment. Other comments followed at the next family get together from my other SIL insulting my parenting skills. She told me that I fed my 6 week old son too much and that babies were like"dogs" and would over eat if offered food. These people belong to country clubs, successful and considered up and coming soclal climbers. I could not believe the mentality. I abruptly left that family gathering and took my children home. My husband stayed and did not respond to or address anything that went on. When he got home, I confronted him and told him how upset I was but did not cause a stir at the event because friend were at the gathering. I felt I deserved an apology from my SIL. My husband told me she apologized to him. I felt she should have apologized to me. The last comment I received from my SIL was at the funera;/wake for our MIL. She pulled me aside and told me that she thought I looked very nice. I thanked her but sensed it was a little condesending tone to her comment and responded " don't I always look nice". She looked at me and just said again " I thought you looked nice today". I know how to dress. I was in corporate for 15 years in a legal capacity and always dressed with good taste. Thats one of the reasons my husband was attracted to me. Our first date I wore a business suit because I wanted him to see me, not my body. This would not be the last straw. My BIL's have 5 children between them- 2 girls my daughters age. Christmas my family - hubby and kids- were invited to christmas at my SIL's home. When it came to give giving time, I made sure to spend the same amount on each child. My daughter was given a $5 gift from Michaels while she watched the other girls open large boxes with 4 Hollister outfits in them. They were from the same SIL.  My daughter was very gracious as I taughter her to be. She accpeted the gift and said thank you and that she loved it. How do I know it came from Michales and how much it was? Because I bought her the same thing and used it as a stocking stuffer which she opened earlier that morning. It really was not about the price of the gift, but seriously, my daughter loves Hollister. A dress from Hollister runs easily $50 there were 3 outfits for each girl. The other gift that ALL children were to take part in was the planting of a family garden in the Spring. Each child got a packet of seeds to plant in the garden along with tools. Again, this included ALL of the children except my daughter. My daughter was a real trooper and maintained her composure even though she felt very left out. My husband again did not say anything or confront his brothers. I was ready to be done with Christmas at thier home ever again. The last straw came when 2 months later when my husband was invited to a boys weekend with his brothers in Vegas. It was for his brothers birthday. I had reservations of him going knowing what all goes on there and laid down ground rules of what behavior was accepted. I told him to go and have fun at the strip clubs, but lap dances were off limits. He came home 2 days later and as I was placing his clothes in the washer, noticed makeup on one of his shirts. I confronted him and admitted he and his brothers all took part in private 45 minute lap dances. I was ready to divorce but eventually forgave him- somewhat. he did not want me to tell the wives what I knew and I agreed not to.  That all changed when me and one BIL got into a very heated exchange a year later when my husband was invited to yet another " boys night out" by the same brother who planned the vegas trip. After a heated exchange with the brother about what would be tolerated in my marriage,  I emailed the wives and told them every detail about vegas. Needless to say I am hated by all. There are no more family get togethers, which is fine with me. But, I know my husband is not happy with this. He wants to be a family again, but I dont want my children, especialy my daughter hurt. I explained to him I would be like a firecracker ready to explode at any event with his family becasue I would be on guard.I know this is hurting him and have told him to go spend time with them without me. But, it bothers him when he sees them with their children at holdiays, but his children and family ( me) are not there. Sorry so long, but not sure what to do. Any suggestions?

Community Leader
Registered: 10-22-2001
Fri, 06-14-2013 - 11:40pm

I felt bad when I read this...Your mil sounds like she was a wonderful lady...

What they did to your daughter was inexcusable...I was wondering if your husband was supportive?

You are supportive of him but at the same time I love that you put your daughter and yourself first.


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-14-2013
Sat, 06-15-2013 - 1:37pm
Thank you - sometimes acknowledgement is all that is needed to feel better about a situation!
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-19-2008
Tue, 06-18-2013 - 12:07pm

Hi Dalin,

I am sorry also that your extended family is treating you and your daughter and even your DH so badly.  By not respecting you, his daughter and his marriage/family they are not respecting him.  So many issues, so I'll start with the gift giving.

No - not fair at all and very sad that people do this.  I've experienced this as well and to be quite honest, I am happy that you have said  no more.  Yes, it is good to teach your children to be gracious but it is also good to teach them what is right and wrong and how to stand up against people who are treating you badly.  It is sad that it can often be family - but it is what it is.  You do NOT have to allow these people in your homes and hearts at the holidays and at other special times when they so blatantly treat your child badly.  Tell your DH to stop kidding himself - kids notice this and it hurts them deep down.  Expecting them to just go along with it is wrong.  Your DH of course wants to maintain a relationship with his extended family - but it should never be done at the detriment of his wife and child.

Second - his behavior on that outing is horrible.  And yes, he has given you every reason to not wish him to spend that type of time with his brother.  Men are men - but that doesn't excuse their behavior.  I can only say that he needs to respect how you feel about this - considering how his behavior almost cost him is marriage.  And, if he values his marriage, he can live without that type of "night out"  period!

Third, I agree with the others - your MIl does seem like a wonderful lady and I'm sorry about her loss.  Your SIL and BIL are behaving very immaturely.  Period.

Now, how to make things work.  Well, I'm a believer that it is best to try to talk things out.  Would it be possible to sit down with your SIL one on one and tell her how you are feeling?  Just because things have gone sour doesn't mean they are un-repairable.  If not, then all you can do is explain to DH why you feel like you do and reach a compromise that both of you can agree on.  I think he must understand that you are not here to tolerate their rude behavior.  If they want to talk things over with you and let you talk - if they want to try and you are willing to try, then it would be worth giving it another shot.  Maybe a holiday that doesn't involve gifts etc. - like 4th of July.  And then, build on the relationship from there.

But, be clear about the things you will not tolerate.  You also have to be willing to let some stuff go.  For instance, the comment about how you were dressed - I took that completely different than how you took it.  It seemed that you came across being overly defensive.  When someone says you look nice, just simply say - thank you.  Maybe they do have a negative opinion in their brains - but you shouldn't care.  The biggest thing you can do to resolve this issue - is stop caring what these people think about you.  Everyone has the right to think what they want.  But, the one condition and most important condition in my opinion, is that they treat you with respect at all times, treat your children and your DH with respect.

That includes, not saying things to you or behind your back about you that are mean.  Not treating your child so differently as they would treat other nieces and nephews, not excluding you and certainly not trying to break up or jeopardize your marriage.

I hope my comments help - keep us posted.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-14-2013
Fri, 06-21-2013 - 12:14am

Thank you so much for your comment. I agree with you about the comment about how I looked. If there was no past bad behavior on her part, I would have simply said thank you, But, I guess I was waiting/forcing the other shoe to drop and assumed that it was a bad comment. My fear is if I did give them another chance, situations like that will come up where something is inncoently said to me, and I take it a different way because of the past. I guess I have to really let the past go, and pray I am not hurt. But, I am not sure I can put my daughter back in that situatio. . Thanks again for taking the time to answer me and giving me some welcomed advice