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Living internationally and issues with in laws

Community Member
I was hoping to get some perspective on my situation I have suffered from anxiety/ depression for about 6 years. When I moved to Aus from uk, for the first 6 months my husband's cousin, would completely ignore me, she was rude and treated me like I was nothing... I shrugged it off a number of times, but as she consistently did it, I was starting to notice her complete contempt for me.

It effected my interaction with other people I would start to have panic attacks going to functions & really couldn't face them.I really had to distance myself to build any sort of life here and be with my husband.

From then it became a bit of a trigger for me when people ignored me I would go to this dark place of feeling unworthy.

Before the birth of my first child my MIL crossed afew boundaries so I reached out to make her aware of my indifference to her views..she ignored me.. months went by,I was just so upset,felt like it was happening all over again,this was meant to be my family and they were treating me like a piece of crap!We bumped into my MIL& her sister at a festival, I was 8 months pregnant. Her sister came straight up to me stared at me, then walked away, it felt like she was trying to intimidate me. The MIL walked up,apologised for ignoring me, but things really have never been the same since. I keep things polite for the sake of the children, however I never enjoy family engagements as I have this huge wall up that I cannot break.

I'm having huge trouble forgiving and forgetting and really beating myself up about it.

It's my sons 2nd birthday coming up and I suggested to invite the MILs sister which I now know was a huge, huge mistake and will now feel rude to retract the invite. since I invited her I have been having daily panic attacks and cannot think straight. I have tried and tried to reason with myself but something feels so incredibly wrong and my fight/flight mode has gone through the roof. Im torn between being the person that wants to be tough for the sake of the children and push through so they have a connection with their family/then the other side of me that frets and panics for weeks before any event because I cannot cope with being in the same room as them.

I understand grandparents are important and I can deal with the MIL, but when they are altogether I feel threatened, unheard, unloved & alone. Do I put myself through that for the sake of my husband and children or do I break away for the sake of my sanity and a peaceful soul?
1 Reply 1

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion
Hi, welcome

This is my view, you are under no obligation to your in-laws. You didn't marry them.

However, if they are nice caring people that you can gravitate towards- fine, grow relationships.

Also, if they are good to your children, let them continue growing those relationships.

My wife has a cousin we are close to. I've been married 9 years and met him once!. Everybody accepts him for being elusive.

It's clear you have tried many times to be courteous so now avoid in law family gatherings until they accept you.

This coming birthday party will have to happen but you've learned that lesson.

Beyondblue topic worry worry worry

Beyondblue topic guilt the tormentor