Right thing???

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-31-2006
Right thing???
Tue, 12-31-2013 - 3:14pm

Same stuff different day applies in a big way to my in law situation. My husband's brother & SIL seem to think that everything is one big competition for attention to the point where they haven't actually made any big decisions in their life because they wanted to but rather make the decisions based on what's going on in our life. From houses to when to have kids, everything is based around us.

We bought our first house. They moved into a new house 4 months later that they started looking for when they found out we were looking in a higher price range than what they were living in. When we moved into our 2nd house, they couldn't move right away so their response was to be so hateful that I have finally had to block them on all technology (facebook, cell phone, email, etc.) and my husband's SIL called our in laws and asked them whose house was bigger.

Everyone of their kids was conceived with the idea of messing up a happy event for us (which has never worked by the way). When the happy event comes, they are usually the ones pouting because it didn't work but they don't seem to learn their lesson. Their firstborn was born right around our wedding after stating they were going to try to have a baby on our wedding day to "see who gets the attention". One week after our firstborn was born, we got the phone call that they were pregnant with their 2nd. With their 3rd, she tried to lie about their due date to say that they were so far along they had been pregnant and hadn't known it when we announced we were pregnant with our 2nd. That backfired because the baby #3's birthday  proved her a liar to the whole family and proved once and for all who the one with the problem is. And finally, their 4th was born less than a year after our 3rd.

They consistently try to instigate problems, make either extremetly direct hateful comments towards us or hidden comment directed at us, and are overall hateful people. They act like everything is a big competition between our kids which infuriates me.

My problem comes in my husband's and my husband's families response to all of this. Their attitude seems to be "well that's just the way they are" so we are all supposed to accept it and pretend we don't know why they act the way they do. His parents have talked about their behavior many times and know that there is a problem but for the sake of "family peace" refuse to call them out on the way they act and were even teasing the BIL & SIL about #4 when our #3 came along.

My husband has a similar attitude in that he gets more annoyed by their behavior than his parents but only says stuff to them when their hatefulness is directed at him specifiically instead of just at me. I feel like I'm the scapegoat for "family peace" which is really just enabling their behavior.

I don't want to be like them where anything good happening in their life is devastating like they act with our good events but I'm fast to the point of being sick and tired of it and can feel myself getting angry and bitter at not just the BIL & SIL, but also the FIL & MIL, and my husband. He actually asked me when I complained about his family "it's still worth it right?" meaning the good in marrying him outweighing the bad of dealing with his family. I said yes, but I'm to the point where I feel like the answer should have been no. He lets it come between us because he gets pressure from his parents to "keep the family peace".

I'm not even sure what the right thing to do is in this situation. Any advice?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Thu, 01-02-2014 - 11:55am

I don't even understand what the current problem is that you have to deal with.  These people do sound kind of nutty but I didn't know that having babies was a competition.  I can see that purposely trying to have a baby around your wedding day is plain nuts but in many families people have babies around the same time--it doesn't take away the attention if more than one sibling is having a baby close to the same time so I don't even understand what the big deal is there?  So what if they had a baby several months after you did?  What difference does it make to you?  Now they have one extra kid to take care of or pay for college for.

I would just ignore these people as much as possible--maybe they get a lot of enjoyment about getting you mad so if you ceased to have a reaction, it would backfire on them.  By saying "that's the way they are" maybe your DH's family means that no one is going to make them less crazy--all you can do is change the way that you deal with them.  Go on living your life and don't worry about what they are doing--so what if they bought a bigger house than you do?  It's dumb but if you don't feel that you're in competition with them, then it shouldn't bother you either--you can just smile and compliment them on their nice house and if they say it's bigger or more expensive than yours, you can just say "oh isn't that nice?"  Just an example of how not to let them get to you.  Now if they say things to you that are directly insulting, then I think that's different--you have the right to defend yourself or you can just get up and walk out.

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Thu, 01-02-2014 - 4:57pm

If I am understanding you correctly, it is not so much about when they buy a house or have a baby, but their actual words that are being said?  For example "we'll see who gets the attention on your wedding day."  

Like Music said, their actions can probably be ignored and you can be the better person, so-to-speak, if they are truly going out of there way to copy cat you and show you up.  

Now, if words are being exchanged directly between you and your DH and them, then you do have some choices and then I could see how you might feel like your DH is "picking" his family over you.  Not having your back, correct?

Regardless, It does sound like your real issue is with your DH.  I guess I would ask how much of this is direct stabs at you and your DH  and how much is simple annoying actions.  Clearly there must be something going on or your DH wouldn't be acknowleding it.  

Serenity CL making a second marriage work

Avatar for jamblessedthree
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2001
Sun, 01-26-2014 - 8:18am
Let that family go or it will get b/w you and your husband. I can relate, Inlaws are incredibly competitive and anything you say or do is upped with something they do or say. They are incredibly competitive and not my idea of family. Could there be narcisssism there? Narcissists are always right and self absorbed and it's not healthy. That describes my inlaws. Distance yourself from them if it is creating friction. Those are my thoughts.



iVillage Member
Registered: 07-31-2006
Fri, 03-07-2014 - 3:46pm

thank you for advice here.... I don't mind the actions because they have never ruined anything for us... in fact as mentioned they have made themselves look bad.... I don't mind the kids all being the same age if that was their intent (I was the only cousin in a big family who didn't have a match within 5 years either older or younger so I'm glad my kids have someone to play with) but they have made their motives and intentions blatently clear to everyone by comments made. As I mentioned the whole family talks about their problems with competition towards us and overall bad attitudes (if family isn't on their side against us then the family is against them), but no one does or says anything about it with the hope being that maybe if they have one more child or move it will make them happy and then they won't be so bad. Nothing has gotten better and instead seem to be worsening... my husband and I both agree that his brother seems to be unstable and getting worse while the sil instigates problems any chance she gets (to the point where bil himself stated he didn't know what her problem was but that she was an instigator) it's gotten to the point that we have had to block them on all forms of communication other than face to face because of the hate filled temper tantrums that get thrown whenever good stuff happens in our lives.  (to add to this, bil is on antianxiety meds and has a decade long problem with drugs that he can't seem to kick)

my concern on this is that I can see this heading in the direction of having to get the law involved (restraining orders against unstable brother, etc) and I don't see my husband being able to make that call due to the pressure from his parents to "keep the peace" that rests solely on his shoulders