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mother in law advice

Community Member

Hi, I need some advice about my in-laws who are possibly the most controlling and manipulative people I have ever met. My husband and I have had counselling to work through some of the problems with them, and if we didn't have a child who should be able to see her grandparents from time to time, I probably would avoid them even more than I do.

they seem to prefer indirect communication (are passive aggressive) and are also intolerant of opinions and views that differ to their own. Basically if they don't like what we say or are doing, they pester my husband until he gives in and agrees with them, and then we still do what we think is right even if it is different to their opinion and they don't like it that we don't take their advice. They also gossip with all the extended family. Because of these behaviours we try not to tell them much about our lives, or ask them to help us out much.

What happened most recently was they were staying for four nights with us, and helped us out with some work in the garden, and looked after our daughter for 2 days while we were at work. then today when they left (we went to work in the morning and left them at home after dropping our daughter at day care) they left our front door was wide open! we are lucky that we weren't robbed as the front door must have been open for hours as they left to drive back to Sydney in the afternoon. What likely happened was they got carried away doing things in the garden and our house (that we didn't ask them to do) which meant they were running late and in their rush, left the front door open. leaving the front door open is just the last straw. the in laws are not that old ( in their 60's and perfectly healthy so it wasn't due to old age or forgetfulness or anything really)

My in-laws passive aggressive behaviour tells me that they do not respect my husband (their son) and me as responsible adults and I am at a loss as to what to do. when we got home my husband rang his parents to tell them they had left the front door wide open and the house unlocked. they were a bit angry on the phone, saying that we had not thanked them for all the garden work (but they had done way more than we had asked for help with only a few small jobs). It may not sound like much, but I kind of at a loss as to what do, other than to see them even less than we do now, but I am mindful that my 3 year old needs to see her grandparents. how often do you think is enough for exhausting interstate visitors?

2 Replies 2

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member
Hi Kitty welcome

Pfffttt sounds like you're doing the right thing seeing them as little as po and good your child still gets Grandy contact

Personally but this isn't for everyone, I'd be saying to them to back off and why.

Tough for them if they don't like that yous do your own thing, imo keep doing that, it's your lives not theirs.

Do they like you do you think? not that you'd want them too necessarily with those sort of attitudes. Would jealousy be in the mix do ya think.

Chances are extended family or some anyway would see what they're like so they may just tolerate at minimum, but not take too much notice.

The front door would be upsetting VERY & phew not robbed, but without wanting to offend anyone can see why they'd be hurt if they weren't acknowledged for the gardening. Mind you an apology would be good too re door.

Ok must choof to zzz land

Hope to see you here again 🙂


Hi kitty, welcome

A few thoughts I have.

A bad mistake of leaving the front door open was nevertheless a mistake. Forgiveness for mistakes?

You are considerate towards them being grandparents to your child...good on you.

Id limit their visit to weekends. Two days. Tell them they can arrive on Friday night before dinner and depart Sunday afternoon. Thats long enough imo.

Im 61 and I'm forgetful. Gardening is a lot harder in your 60's than your 50's. Perhaps they dont feel appreciated?

As for interfering you'll have to set boundaries. In fact your husband needs to stand up and learn the phrase "that a decision for me and my wife"

Tony WK