Am I too sensitive?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Am I too sensitive?
Tue, 04-22-2003 - 1:15pm
Hello all, this is my first time to these message boards and I think they're wonderful so far. Here is my delima: My husbands family are a very sarcastic and non-empathetic group. It's a large family consisting of Mom and Dad who are still married and six adult children (the second oldest is my husband). Sarcasm was almost encouraged in their home while growing up, whereas in mine, we were punished for being "sassy". I was taught it was disrespectful to be overly sarcastic therefore I'm having a hard time adjusting. It's sad really, considering my hubby and I have been married for over eight years now.

The sarcasm that is directed toward me is not the funny "haha" kind. You know, like..."Oh, you made it." They would say..."nah, I'm still on my way here." Sarcasm like that doesn't bother me, it's the truly hurtful things they say. Like.....once after my sister in law and I took my children to go see the Grinch who stole christmas, I commented on how cute the who's were with their big front teeth. To which my sil comments.."well, you should like em, you have teeth just like theirs." She didn't smile or laugh when she said it.

Another thing is they're very judgemental of me..anywhere from my hubby's younger brother insinuating I was a loose woman when I met his brother and got pregnant on purpose to force him into marriage. I've gotten the vibe that the whole family has this attitude although nothing could be further from the truth. They were truly shocked a year ago when it came out that I didn't want to marry my dear husband at first for fear people would think just what his family thought. Then we figured out that itdidn't matter. We were going to marry whether I'd gotten pregnant or not. But it was still hurtful to find out that that was their opinion of me. It helps a little to know that they treat the only other non-blood relative the same way. They're divorced now, but my mother in law talks about her like she's some sort of psycho and bad mother. Now in all honesty, she's made some mistakes, just like I have and just like my mother in law has but all I've ever seen this woman do is TRY. She's in her 30's, a full time student, employed full time and takes care of her son during the week. Whereas her ex-husband, my hubby's oldest brother, can't keep a job, lives on a farm owned by my parents in law for free and is an alcholholic. But do you ever hear anything negative said about him? Nope. The man won't even look at his son when he's with him nor talk to him unless he's yelling at him. It's really extremely sad. OOOO, that brings up another thing. They treat our nephew horribly. This is the son of the oldest brother who can't keep a job and is an alcholholic. They talk about how obnoxious he is. And I fell into it for a while until I got to know the boy and realized he is only reacting to the way he's treated. The whole family treats him like he's a thorn in their side and that they'd rather not have him around. Heck, I'd be obnoxious too!

Boy, I didn't realize all that was in me. I feel alot better after having typed it all. Sorry about the rant :) If any of you have been in a similar situation, please reply and let me know how you handled it or are handling it. I'm the type that smiles alot and I don't like to make waves. I'm one of those people that if someone says something to me, maybe stating a fact that I know isn't true, I won't say anything because I figure they'll figure it out eventually anyway. Maybe because I'm this way, subconsciously I think everyone should be this way. And maybe when they're not, I get offended. When people do say things that hurt me, I always just keep smiling and tell them they might be right. I do this, because I'm always in shock and think I misunderstood them. It's not until I get home that I realize they did mean it to be hurtful or obnoxious, then I stew over it for three days. I'm tired of being like this. My husband aggrees that his family is obnoxious and we do have a wonderful relationship. He's not as bad as they are and knows how sensitive I am. So he refrains from being sarcastic with me and our children.

Whew, time to go meditate!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-24-2003
Thu, 04-24-2003 - 4:56pm
You are not too sensitive. You have just married into a very insensitive family. Some of it is on purpose some of it is just natural. My husbands family is the same way. I almost thought it was one of the other non-blood family members who wrote this until you said the parents in law live on a farm (LOL). Their insulting/joking ways have driven another non-blood family member to never step foot in their house again.

But this is the way I have come to deal with it;

It is not me and it has nothing to do with me so I will not let it ruin every family gathering we have.

This is who they are and nothing will ever change that even if you put them in their place their two faced insulting ways will continue. I don't take them too seriously and I have fun with them when I can. Like water under the bridge it all passes. It takes way more energy to be upset about things then it does to let it go. Just remember the loving friends and family members you have and do your really loving and caring things with them. Life is too short to tear your hair out about why people are the way they are.

Good Luck :)
Avatar for leslie2353
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Fri, 04-25-2003 - 8:23pm
OK, I wasn't use to DH's family being sarcastic when I first met them. I was being too quiet and I end up in tears when we go home. I didn't know them too well, and I took everything too seriously. Years later, after I've had children, what I didn't know was they were really nice people. I just didn't undertood their humor. But, because they know I'm from a different culture, they also got to know me better, and they mellowed down. It's ok to be too sensitive. But, you're just being YOU. You can't change them, and they can't change you. Best to meet in the middle. Explain to your husband how you truly feel inside, maybe he'll give hints to his siblings. But, I can't predict it will end up like mine. Sometimes, I still feel they're not that close w/me. That's OK, too, I need my space. I'm married to their son/brother. That's what matter THE MOST.