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Anger towards the in-laws

Community Member

Hubby and I have had a falling out with the in-laws. He was extremely close with his family, which comprised of his mother, father and 6 kids. I got on really well with the in-laws and we were all quite close and spent quite a bit of time together, even when hubby and I were having problems in our marriage.

Last year hubby  realised that he was going to have to pick me over his family or our marriage wasn't going to last. And this was when all the conflict started. His family is extremely enmeshed and we had a hard year due to all the conflict. His mother tried to manipulate him over and over, told him that he wasn't happy, that I was the cause of his unhappiness, that I was the problem. She lied about me and bad-mouthed me to hubby and the rest of the family (relatives included) and told everyone that I was the cause of their family breakdown. Hubby stood up for me all the way and she didn't like that. She got the rest of the kids involved and manipulated them too. As a result, hubby had his siblings criticising everything we did. She lied about how things happened and eventually hubby ignored everyone. The whole family was against us and I was also pregnant with my first child at the time.

Our marriage took a huge toll and hubby suffers from anxiety because of his family, how we let them control and dictate everything we did. Hubby lost his job (they had a family business), we lost our house that we co-owned with my in-laws (they forced us to sell due to 'financial pressure'), and we've had to start again. So we went on with our life.

We recently reconnected with  my mother-in-law and father-in-law just so that they could meet our son for the first time. Since March this year, his mother, sister and brother have kept in contact with nice texts etc. His mother texts him every week and hubby texts back nicely as well. 

I want to be at peace with the in-laws. If I could choose, I hope to never see them or hear from them again. But hubby feels like he owes them something.

It makes me angry that they make nice and make an effort with hubby thinking that that's enough to be in hubby's life and be in our baby's life. They pretend I don't exist (from the texts to hubby you can tell) and to me that's really disrespectful. I want my anger towards them to go. But it's not easy. I want to support hubby, but I have different feelings towards this.




1 Reply 1

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Fat Panda,

Welcome to the Beyond Blue forums. This is an unfortunate event you have been through and I can understand that it wouldn't be easy to let go of your anger. I certainly think that you and your husband could benefit from some counselling so that you both have clarity about the situation and each others feelings. I guess your hubby would want to stay in touch with them, it's his family after all and maybe he is trying to turn a blind eye to their short comings. I hope he gets some help for his anxiety.

Perhaps it is time for you to stop losing energy to his family. You can't change what has happened, you can only change how you respond now, so maybe you can reduce how much you think about this, for your own sake. When you notice that it's on your mind you can shift your focus to something positive, It might be a personal thing that brings you happiness and calmness, or it might be shifting your focus to your own family, your husband and child, shift your focus to these things that are important to you, things that you care about. 

Remember what choices you have. You could instigate some sort of reconnection. Or you can practice putting them out of your mind. Your anger doesn't serve you, you don't need to lose any more energy to them. Forgiveness, for me it's not saying it's okay for someone to do a bad thing, it's saying I cannot understand all the issues that cause someone to act in a certain way but I can find compassion for their indiscretions because I have committed my own in the past. There is a Buddhist quote: "Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else - you are the one who gets burned". Forgive for your self. 

Talk any time.