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In law help

Community Member
Hi everyone. I'm hoping to get some advice from anyone who has successfully navigated tricky in laws. I am at the point that I don't want anything to do with my in laws as they make snide comments about me related to how much money I spend, parenting capabilities and work ethic. We have never asked them to support us financially and we don't have debts on our cars and have paid off 50% of our home. Gossiping about me often occurs with other family members, which makes me feel uncomfortable when I see these family members at family gatherings. They are also completely inflexible about when we catch up, often insisting that we catch up during my toddler's nap time as it suits their schedule for grocery shopping etc. They are both retired.
All of this really upsets me, but my husband doesn't understand my feelings as he was brought up by them and feels that their behaviour is normal for older people. My parents behaviour is almost opposite to my inlaws in that they tend to turn the other cheek and are perhaps overly generous to others, which I think means that I haven't learnt to deal with difficult behaviours from parents.
I really want to do the right thing by my son to give him a chance at a relationship with my in laws and feel that I should find a way of dealing with the situation, but it has a great emotional impact on me. Does anyone have any tips?
Thank you
4 Replies 4

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member
Hey Star,

Pfftttt can be a trial with in laws can't it, although I love deeply my dear darling MIL I too had over the yrs issues with them as I guess they too with me and had the snide comments from FIL, at times. We had a couple of doozeys, I let a lot ride which kills me lol, shame it had to come to that but we ended up ok knowing eachothers feelings towards eachother there was still a mutual care.
Over time it eased and as mentioned the loves grown intensely towards MIL so with luck in time for you too.

Advice, Although we don't want grief tho some thrive on it, I think if someone's constantly pulling you down and real shame hubby doesn't understand, & you have to be around them, talking to them with luck it remains talking and not arguments could help, why should you have to take that & sounds like it's going to continue.

Have they ever had the oomph to actually say what their problem is, so many give rot to us without saying anything of substance.

Awful that it's spreading to the family too. Sounds like an awful situation to be in. I was lucky to get on really well with everyone else and beautiful late partner knew but hated confrontation how they were being towards me, FIL moreso but definately had goods too.

Another thought is steer clear, is there a way your son can see them without you spending time with them. Shame isn't it.
In my situation without going into detail they both said something separately eventually which was poor form and indicated jealousy. Do you think it could be that?

Hope you feel comfortable to come back and talk, let us know how you're going darl, do understand and with luck for you could work out how it has for me esp with MIL who I just stayed with a couple of days and it did take time and ironing out but now she's one of my absolute besties in life. Love her so much and ditto.

Good luck 🙂

Thanks for your kind reply. It is great to hear that you've ended up with a positive relationship with your MIL. It sounds as though it has been a long journey for you to get there.

I haven't ever sat down with them to ask them what the issue is, but when my husband has had discussions like that with them they've never understood that anything they had done was hurtful. They have also said that they feel I have problems with other women and am oversensitive, but I have a strong network of female friends, so this is simply untrue. I think I'll try to sit down with them and discuss ways to keep everyone happy when I feel up to it. I should also mention that unfortunately the behaviours aren't isolated to me. They bad mouth everyone, including their own children. I think they would be really upset if they thought we were bad mouthing or judging them, which makes their behaviour all the more confusing.

I'm hoping that once my toddler is sleeping a bit better and I am out of "survival mode" I may be able to respond better to the situation.

Thanks again for the thoughts. Relationships with in laws are so complex, it really is good to get different opinions about how to manage it all.

You're welcome darl 🙂

Yeah good idea to wait till you're feeling calmer.

It's worse aye when pfffftttt some aren't even aware of their toxic behaviour, sound like charmers downing their own kids.

Good on you, if nothing else gains, it's at least putting them on the spot. They'll think later about it & sadly by the sounds talk too.

People aye, on saying that I believe 75% are good but sadly even the good ones hurt others .... I think very slowly as a race we're getting better, but so called intelligent species, definately but we haven' t worked out yet how to get along. Sigh. I'd much rather talk than argue but had my share too. Getting there 🙂

Let us know if you want how you go, be interested to hear 🙂

Thx yeah it did take a few yrs, but we're so in a good place, love her to bits and back.

Take care hun, rest up, take your armour 🙂

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
hi Pitstar, your in laws won't accept that they've done anything wrong, simply because that's how they have been behaving all their life, the only good is what they do and what they say, everyone else has to answer or look up to them because they are always right, no if's or no but's.
It isn't going to be easy for you talk with them, but it's certainly worth a go, but perhaps you should write down what you want to say so that you won't get sidetracked if they say something that throws you off balance.
If this does happen then leave the notes with them if feel very uncomfortable and need to walk away, but they are the ones who are going to lose if they aren't allowed to see your toddler grow up.
I think that some sort of compromise will need to be done, but remember you're in the box seat here, because they will have to change their tune, and this applies to what they teach your toddler to do and if it conflicts with how you feel then step in.
It's not going to be easy as some people are 'old fashioned' and don't want to change their views, but the world is always changing. Geoff.