This topic contains 37 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by Firestar 1 week, 4 days ago.
- January 5, 2017 at 9:16 am #667385
Dang girl, you got some hangups!
Repeat after me: “No one is as concerned about me as I am.”
Once you get it in your head that not every single comment or action is done purposefully, vindictively, or to spite you, I think you’ll have an easier time dealing with his family members.
Being gifted a book for your children that is “perfect for Daddies to read to little girls” isn’t a slam against you. It doesn’t mean “NOT FOR MOMMIES!”
If you change your mindset away from the perpetual victim, you might actually enjoy yourself, and them!January 5, 2017 at 9:20 am #667386
The issue you are mentioning in the update is totally different than the original issue. Originally the issue was that you don’t know about get togethers until the last minute. Now the issue is that they are rude to you when you do get together and they act like you aren’t there.
I wouldn’t take a sick child out. I never took my kids anywhere when they had a fever so you had the perfect opportunity to stay home. It is up to you to be concerned for the welfare of your child. Don’t let someone who doesn’t care about your child push you into making bad decisions for that child. You are the parent. It is your responsibility to put the welfare of your child ahead of whining from relatives. The fact that you took your child out sick is on you.
If you are talking about Christmas you wouldn’t need to know the date and time when the family will have Christmas to know that you will be exchanging gifts and to purchase them in advance. Unless you sometimes aren’t invited and there is no family Christmas with the extended family you are being passive/aggressive waiting until you know the date and time to purchase gifts.
If they are generally rude to you don’t go. You can decide to stay home. They can only be rude to you if you make yourself available. You can send your husband by himself or with the kids or all of you can stay home. If none of you enjoy it tell them you won’t be there. It is easy enough to say you are starting your own traditions with your own immediate family and that you plan to stay home. You don’t have to mention that one of the traditions you are starting is being kind and thoughtful. It is up to you to create the atmosphere for your family. If his family is toxic and he would rather avoid them anyway you have an easy route to just stay home.January 5, 2017 at 9:57 am #667397
To respond to your collection of random points:
1) If he wants to gift nuts and they like nuts, sounds like a win/win to me. *You* decide nuts aren’t enough and there must be more gifts so yes, *you* are responsible for that. Let your husband be responsible for gifts for his family and you just go along with what he gets them. (sure, add a card but that’s it) The gifting stuff is a bunch of drama that you have created.
2) I’m not sure what you want for taking your sick daughter to family Christmas? A medal? You should have stayed home. Frame it as for their own good if nothing else will fly– “What if it’s contagious? I wouldn’t want anyone else to catch it…” Or send your husband with other kid by himself while you and sick kid stay home.
3) I don’t see any bus throwing going on? I see you creating drama, you looking for slights at every turn. A gift for dad to read with daughter does not exclude mom. You invited a bitchy comment back with the “well can’t I read to her?” You say thank you and then when the book is home, either one of you can read. They aren’t there. They aren’t the boss of bedtime. Why even bring it up?
4) You know how you don’t get “left behind in public?” You go with him. Go downstairs with him and when its gift time, you stay down there and tell your BF he has to do gifts. I wonder if he thinks social events are difficult because you make them difficult.January 5, 2017 at 10:38 am #667405
Yeah, your update is super confusing and doesn’t have anything to do with your original question. (Mark, I think this one is teetering on the edge of DISRESPECT! “Behold all the ways in which I feel his family Disrespects me…”) So now if your boyfriend leaves your side in “public” -his sister’s home- ever, he’s abandoning you? Do you need him to go to the bathroom with you too? Maybe his sisters don’t address you much because you bristle at everything they say. If my SIL were defensive and bitchy about every little comment, I wouldn’t want to talk to her or invite her to things either.
And I seriously don’t know what’s wrong with you that you would drag a sick toddler to a family gathering and then be a martyr about it. It’s not good for her and you could get everyone else sick, too. That’s why half of my friends and their kids are all sick after the holidays.
The “etiquette” here is for you to be polite and gracious to your hosts. If they give a gift, thank them! And don’t get all butthurt about everything they do. They are probably not doing it “at” you, but if you keep up acting the way you do, they might start.
Any chance you have a chip on your shoulder about not actually being married, but common-law?January 5, 2017 at 10:39 am #667406
Yeah… It sounds like you are in your own head too much. The majority of things in life are not being done “to” you. It comes down to the concept that most ppl tend to judge others by their ACTIONS and themselves by their INTENTIONS. (Fundamental Attribution Error? Or something like that, I believe.) I personally experienced an enormous difference in my own well-being, increase in happiness in general, a lowering of my stress levels, etc., a few years back when I began shifting my way of thinking.
“Everyone you meet is fighting great battles,” is a mantra that helps me too. It is so easy to just think in terms of yourself, but when you retrain yourself to think in the bigger picture (and that everything isnt “against” or “aimed at” you), you will notice the difference (and so will others).
I am telling you this with the best of intentions, not to pile on.
Also, therapy- it is awesome to have a person with no stake in your actions to talk to and talk through stuff. Try it- I promise it is worth it.January 5, 2017 at 10:58 am #667412
Why in the world were you “hurt” that your BF’s sister gave her brother a book to read to his daughter? That was a ridiculous reaction on your part, which makes me think you are looking for slights that don’t exist.
Maybe your husband drags his feet about accepting invites from his family because you are making those get-togethers difficult.
And don’t bring your sick child to Christmas if you don’t want to. You’re not “being a good in-law” by doing so.January 5, 2017 at 11:08 am #667414
Hey it’s the OP- yes, writing to late and too tired. I have some hypothyroid and it affects mood sleep and so I want to make sure I’m not overreacting but will also read more of the boards to learn about the proper etiquette. Every family is different. This family has had early death of Mother and immediate blended family. It feels like my BF is still very attached to his family and it also feels like the mom shaming the passive aggressive mom hating has passed from the step mom to me. I’ll post about the other issues separately, but it is HIS issue as someone posted, that he doesn’t show me the respect in planning- it’s a mention and then we are going or not.
He asked his sister who used to be a nurse if we should come and because he kept on it and others were in from out of town and it was a ‘low grade fever’ we went. But I see he has a problem with changing plans once he made his mind and I have to be the Mama and just say no. He stressed over the decision and doesn’t really defer to me. He enters events without me even when I said before the event: remember we are here as a couple. Often times in social situations we arrive together but it’s like I’m not there at all. So unless I catch him the moment we arrive and say: wait for me don’t go down without me– he won’t remember the request.
There is a long history of ignoring and neglecting the step mom so I do believe it’s deliberate that the one sister said thanks for the nuts the book is just for you. The other ‘more
Normal’ sister looked at the trinkets the girls made, remarked on them, asked how we made them.. I’m not being overly sensitive. The oldest one is the one they had to pull aside any remind her ‘he’s no longer available to her like when they were kids because he’s married with children now’
I’m used to talking about plans, dividing responsibilities, socially acting like a couple (I’m not a cling on but being separate until the drive home and not sharing one conversation or checking in with each other is something I’m not comfortable with) nearing the event in used to updates progress and re jigging any details.
What I hear some of you saying is: do what you want, don’t worry about what they think. But I feel like the nuclear birth family excludes me — like I’m an add on. Maybe I’m being too precious but I feel that I brought two sweet girls into this family and for that reason alone I feel I have earned a modicum of respect and good manners.
I took out a chunk of story which made the comprehension tough I’ll be sure to stop and read and set up separate posts from now on. This is a learning curve.
Thank you ladies and gents for your fierce and fast opinions..January 5, 2017 at 11:16 am #667418
They know you are a couple. You don’t need to make a grand entrance every time. You live together and spend the whole day talking to each other. You are at family gatherings to socialize with family. If he’s ostentatiously ignoring or avoiding you, that’s one thing, but come on! If you spend the whole time talking to each other, you won’t have anything to share on the ride home!January 5, 2017 at 11:23 am #667421
Well, you ARE an add-on. You didn’t grow up with these people. You are family now, but they will always have a tighter bond with each other. Your SILs will put your husband first. Not you. Especially if they don’t really like you as a person much.
This still all sounds like problems with your husband. HIS decision-making, HIS reactions, HIS choices are the issue.
It’s not really about his family. Following someone’s rules of “etiquette” (what are you even talking about?) isn’t going to magically force your errant SIL to like or respect you. And you don’t like or respect her either, right?
All of this would simply be a minor irritant if your partner backed you up. Your issues start with him (and yourself).
And I’m not sure what their stepmom has to do with anything.January 5, 2017 at 2:19 pm #667488
OF course you are an add-on. That is what an in law is. Someone one of the family sprung on the rest of them without any say. I’m not sure what you want? You want validation that the eldest sister doesn’t much like you or sees you as an unwelcome interloper? Okay. Probably. You want to change their behaviour and have them welcome you like the Disney movie you are picturing? Those are not the cards you are dealt. Sorry. No go. You want your partner to act more like a partner and include you in decision making and family plans – and apparently wait for you to walk in a room together? Have that discussion. If he doesn’t… then accept it… or not. Doesn’t tell you in advance? Don’t go. Only wants to give roasted nuts? He gives the nuts. You hold the baby. He walks downstairs after a quick hi? You too. There is no bus. I don’t know why this is so difficult. Some people like baby-made kitsch. Others don’t. Truly it’s really only charming to grandparents. So if it’s not welcome – don’t give it. Roasted nuts it is.
Saying “can I read it too?” is annoying and whiney. Was there a retinal scanner that prevented you from opening the book and reading it? What the fuck were you hoping to convey with that passive aggressive statement? Putting the sister in her place for assuming you can’t relive your childhood through the rereading of the books? Seriously? Do you know how ridiculous that sounds? You have beloved books you want to reread with your child? Buy the damn books then. That’s what I did. I have series 1-20 of Nancy Drew I’m just waiting for my kid to be old enough to like. I bought them when she was one and I’m just chomping at the bit. It isn’t anyone else’s job to create these special moments for me (and let’s be real – I might get through the first chapter before my child asks me to read her Spider-man ….again). It wasn’t about you and the specialness of rereading childhood stories. The sister was trying to create a special moment for her brother. And you tried to ruin it by making it about you. Maybe that’s why she doesn’t like you.
The only thing you can control is you. Your actions. Your reactions. Think what you want to accomplish. Your choice thus far haven’t been helping you. Or your partner, it seems, if his solution to all this nonsense is to stay home because of all the drama being created by you.
And you keep a sick baby home. That’s your job as mom. To act in their interest all the time. If you thought a low grade fever wasn’t that big of deal to take her out – then that is on you. If you think any fever means baby stays home then that is what you do. No one gets to trump what you think is best for your kid…and you don’t get to blame anyone else for making a bad decision. Your partner could have gone alone. It’s an option.January 5, 2017 at 2:37 pm #667500
Look – it sounds like you want the his family to perceive your relationship in a certain way, and respond and treat you a certain way. But you can’t force people to accept your relationship or work with it the way you want it to. You just can’t. You can’t make them do what they don’t want to do.
What you can do is work with your partner to create the relationship you both want to be in, and to present yourselves to the world as a united front. If you’re not on the same page both within the relationship and how you’re going to handle the outside world, work on that with him. But beyond that, there’s nothing you can do. Worrying about it and trying to force outside parties to change is going to drive you insane.
Make sure your relationship is solid, and then just let it go.
You do have to have some ideas about etiquette and how respect is accorded that seem – strange? Like having to enter an event together, that’s one I’ve never heard. These are just family get together, right? Not the red carpet at the Met Gala or something. You can go in separately, you can separate and circulate throughout the night, nbd.January 5, 2017 at 2:46 pm #667506
Ding ding ding we have the magic word: “respect.”
You want validation? Fine, here it is: sounds like your SILs don’t care for you and are not going out of their way to pretend otherwise. Accept it won’t be the most wonderful couple hours of your life when you visit them. Be cordial. Go in with low expectations. That’s it.
And seriously… don’t bring them handmade child crap, let your husband handle gifts. (I love my SIL and my nephews but really I don’t want handmade child crap either. Like Firestar said, that’s pretty much just for grandmas.)