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Christmas Jerky From The Parents

My husband and I still live near his parents, in our hometown. His siblings moved four hours away, about 20 years ago, and don’t try very hard to make it home for the holidays. They have a list of excuses a mile long. Since my parents also live nearby we have spent many years splitting the holiday so both sets of grandparents can see our children. We have always done our best to include everyone and give equal time to both sides.

One year, we decided to invite my husband’s parents over for Christmas Eve dinner since my mother-in-law was griping that she didn’t want to cook for us. We told her it wasn’t about the meal, that we would love to just visit with them, but she insisted a meal had to be involved. So, I bought a turkey and all the trimmings. I thawed that enormous bird and made plans to cook for my husband’s parents on December 24th. I should probably mention that because of our splitting the holiday with both grandparents over the years we had made Christmas Eve our own special night, with our children, so we could have our own family traditions.  For us to let my husband’s parents be part of that was a big deal. It was going to cause a huge disruption to our normal routine for the evening, but we were willing to compromise just to make the mother in law happy. Leading up to the holiday my husband asked her several times if she planned on traveling to the town his siblings live in to visit them on Christmas day and we were assured they did not want to travel. He even said we’d be willing to go at the same time because it had been so long since he and his siblings were together with his parents for the holiday. Again, he was assured that they were not getting together with his siblings.

On December 23rd his parents called to announce they had changed their minds and were leaving that day to go to the other city where the siblings live. They were not coming for dinner, the next day, and they would not see us for Christmas. Our kids could just wait until after the holiday to get their presents. We felt like they got a “better offer” and bailed on us. When he asked if we could change our plans and go to his sister’s for Christmas as well, he was told “No, she doesn’t want guests.” My husband was so stunned he didn’t know what to say.

After the holidays we discussed the situation with my husband’s siblings and were told the mother had lied about our true plans and if they had known we were ditched they never would have offered to have Christmas with the parents and leave us out. “It will never happen again!” we were told. They seemed to understand how much this hurt my husband to be left out of his family’s celebration.

The following year, once again, we were making plans with his parents, only to have them disrupted at the last minute. I was forced to have my mother change her plans which in turn affected my sister and her husband’s extended family. All so they could rush to the sister’s house for Christmas day because she was going to be alone and they didn’t want her to be alone. (Her ex-husband had visitation, that day, so she was going to be alone.) We accepted the parents were doing this for her because they didn’t want her alone on the holiday and that is why we changed our plans at the last minute. We were told the brother and his family had plans with his wife’s family.

On Christmas morning my husband got a call from his sister and could hear a lot of commotion in the background. He thought that was strange considering it was just her and their parents. She informed him she had her child, their parents, the brother and his family all over for Christmas. He was devastated to realize he was again left out of the “family” celebration. It became clear to him that his parents don’t want all three of their children together for the holidays and they go out of their way to leave him out.

That was the day we vowed to never again allow his mother to change our plans at the last minute. The one year we made plans to go ahead and go to the brother’s house for Christmas day, the parents changed their plans, at the last minute, and didn’t go. It’s not like we are horrible people to be around. Our children are well behaved, we have fun, and the siblings have said we are wonderful guests.

Not long ago my husband had the opportunity to open up to his parents and tell them how much this behavior has hurt him over the years. They are unapologetic and blame me for everything. Thankfully my husband understands it’s not my fault this is happening. It’s his parents’ lack of acceptance, manners and compassion that cause them to act this way. They are full of hate, spite and shun him because he still loves me after all these years.

This year, we are doing our own thing and have been told by certain people it’s rude for us to leave them out of our plans.

{ 62 comments… add one }
  • Wheelchair Bling December 14, 2010, 7:27 am

    I think it’s a good idea to get away from the assumption that everybody HAS to be together on a certain day. You’re right to just have your own celebration, or get together with whatever family members you feel like visiting then. (And it’s nobody else’s business – your life isn’t some kind of scripted movie!)

    Thinking that way deprives manipulative people of their ammo. If they’re complaining about you to others, just go around smiling and saying, “We’re celebrating Christmas quietly this year. Isn’t it awful how rushed and commercial it’s become?”

  • Maureen December 14, 2010, 7:36 am

    “They are full of hate, spite and shun him because he still loves me after all these years.”

    Sounds like there is a very sad back story to this and that the OP was never accepted by her in-laws. My heart goes out to her and kudos to her for trying.

    I watched my brother go through this very same thing. His wife was always referred to as ‘the whore’ simply because she had children from her first marriage. She passed away from cancer three years ago, my brother devasted still, and my aged father will mutter, “shame he had to marry that whore.”

    Good luck, OP.

  • Pat in France December 14, 2010, 8:16 am

    Maybe your husband should attempt at better communication with his siblings… I understand it must be very upsetting to feel left out by his parents, but your post sounds just a little too self-righteous.

  • MaryFran December 14, 2010, 8:18 am

    While I agree that it’s rude to leave a brother out of the rest of his family’s celebrations and to change holiday plans at the last minute, especially since they take a lot of preparation, I have to wonder about that last line “They are full of hate, spite and shun him because he still loves me after all these years.” That makes me think there’s a LOT of story missing here. I mean, do they have reason to dislike her? Are they prejudiced in some way (i.e. is she Purple and they don’t like Purples)? I mean, if not, why bring up that sentence?

  • Tracey December 14, 2010, 8:30 am

    I would LOVE to hear the parents’ side of this story as well! I think it’s very hurtful that you and your husband and children have been purposely left out of the family Christmas celebrations. Wouldn’t you like to be a fly on the wall and hear what they are saying when they gather? YOU think you are fun to be around, your children are well behaved and you’ve been told you are good guests. So what gives? Someone’s perception is off. I am glad you have made your own plans and I hope that brings you peace. I don’t think I’ll ever understand how parents can turn their back on or deceive their own children.

  • Katniss December 14, 2010, 8:36 am

    It would be a frigid day in Hades before I included these “lovely” people in my holiday plans.

  • samihami December 14, 2010, 9:07 am

    “This year, we are doing our own thing and have been told by certain people it’s rude for us to leave them out of our plans.”

    You will NEVER win with people like this. No matter what you do, it will be the wrong thing, so you might as well just go ahead and have fun and forget about them. They are the ones separating themselves from their son and grandchildren simply because of spite. Nice attitude to have at Christmas time, right?

    They are just angry because you have taken away their power to spoil your holiday. Good for you!

  • Harley Granny December 14, 2010, 9:09 am

    Wow oh Wow oh Wow…what an evil woman.

    I say they have lost all rights to ask you ever again to change your plans to accommadate them. It will be hard to enforce I know but you can’t let her walk all over you this way.
    And I don’t just mean holiday plans.
    I would have given up after the 2nd incident myself.
    You state that for years you’ve divided your time on Christmas to make sure both sets of grandparents get to spend time with the children. (Kudos to you for this btw…that is not an easy thing to do) Is this a recent thing in just the past few years?

    I think I know whay the siblings moved away and don’t come back.

    I have to ask tho….how does she treat you the rest of the year?

  • bookworm December 14, 2010, 9:15 am

    Maybe those “certain people” should take another look at the way they run their holidays. There’s nothing rude about standing up for yourself after being knocked around like that.

  • NotCinderell December 14, 2010, 9:41 am

    I think you should leave his parents out of the communication chain and just communicate with the siblings. Do they want you to come to their house or would they prefer to come to yours? Should you bring anything? Great!

    Let the parents exempt themselves from Christmas every single year if they want to, and be alone and bitter, but if you back away from the family because they give you a hard time, they’re just being rewarded for bad behavior.

  • Yertle Turtle December 14, 2010, 9:50 am

    OP, this makes me so sad and angry on behalf of yourself and your DH. How frustrating to be messed around by people who seem unable to have an open and honest discussion.
    Blaming you for their horrible behaviour – I’m gobsmacked. That reminds me of when pre-schoolers complain, “you made me spill my milk” or something.
    You are not rude to go ahead and make plans that suit your immediate family. They were incredibly rude to exclude DH, to do it in such underhanded ways and to try to hold you responsible for their rudeness.
    So sorry they spoiled your plans before, and sincerely hoping your Christmas is filled, as it should be, with love, peace and joy.

  • Nyx December 14, 2010, 9:51 am

    What I am wondering is why the OP did not contact SIL or BIL directly the second time around when they knew MIL was so two faced and hypocritical about Christmas plans to confirm the actual plans?

  • Elizabeth Bunting December 14, 2010, 9:54 am

    Families, I love families. Dear OP, I feel for you and your husband, especially your husband being rejected by his own family. It is too bad you couldn’t have read the writing on the wall earlier, but that is life.

    Blessings for many future, wonderful Christmases!

  • mommaknowsbest December 14, 2010, 10:02 am

    Too many things left unsaid here…..there’s another side of the story I think. We really don’t know the situation between the daughter in law here and the parents in law. It could be that there is a definite reason why the whole family getting together at the same time isn’t such a great idea.

  • Shiksagoddess December 14, 2010, 10:04 am

    I don’t understand why you went back for a second helping of “Christmas Jerky.” The first year would have been enough for any reasonable person.

    I hope you also vow to never, ever allow your husband’s parents to be the family gatekeepers again. You should deal with your husband’s siblings directly, not go through mommy and daddy.

    And good for you for never allowing the ILs to mess with holiday plans. Now, hopefully, you will stick with it.

    – the shiksagoddess

  • DGS December 14, 2010, 10:06 am

    It sounds like the parents have very poor communication skills and aren’t willing to have an honest discussion about their problems with their daughter-in-law with her and their son directly, so they have concocted an elaborate scheme of lying and manipulation into which they have sucked in their other children (willingly or unwillingly). Certainly, their behavior is pretty heinous. While few people like fighting, confrontation is sometimes necessary to reset boundaries, air out hurt feelings and establish more effective communication skills (or to make it clear that in the future, distancing one party from another is a more effective strategy).

    That being said, the tone of the post makes me wonder what it is about the daughter-in-law/OP that has angered the parents so, as there is a considerable amount of bitterness and anger in this post, starting at the very beginning – why the anger at the other siblings for moving away and not coming home for the holidays? Why the insistence that since the nuclear family has its own traditions, altering them “causes a huge disruption” and is a “big deal” to include the grandparents in a family celebration? (My concept of family includes not only my husband and myself, but also our parents, siblings, in-laws, etc., so perhaps, I’m biased, but I think that just because one grows up and gets married doesn’t mean that one’s parents should automatically be relegated to distant relatives; they are still family and should be given the opportunity to be included in the family holiday, if there is such an opportunity). What is it that has created such bad blood between the OP and spouse and her in-laws? I wonder if there’s more to the story.

  • Louise December 14, 2010, 10:21 am

    So the OP’s in-laws dislike her so much, they are willing to ruin their relationships with their son and grandchildren? That’s serious dysfunction on their part.

    OP, it’s certainly not rude to leave your in-laws out of future plans, so ignore those people. All you have to say is that your in-laws have made their own plans for the holidays, which is the truth. I’m glad you realize their behaviour is not your fault, and that your husband supports you.

    I feel bad for the brother and the sister. I would be very conflicted if my parents treated my sister-in-law like rubbish. I wouldn’t want to just cut them off, but I wouldn’t condone their behaviour, either. How sad the in-laws here are too selfish to see how they are hurting everyone in the family.

  • Wink-n-Smile December 14, 2010, 10:23 am

    Good for you for making your own plans. Stick to your guns!

    And remind your in-laws that some day, when they are older and feeble, that their children, who witness their unapologeticly heinous behavior, will be the ones to decide how they will be cared for. Social Security won’t pay for a nice nursing home with caretakers who actually CARE, nor will it pay for visits from loving family. All it will do is keep you lingering in a painful, lonely existence, without anyone to visit and love you, because you drove them all away.

    Merry Christmas!

  • AS December 14, 2010, 10:23 am

    Sounds awful OP. Good that you are doing your own thing this year. Hope you have a memorable Christmas. I don’t see why your SIL couldn’t join you people when she was “alone” instead of making your M&FIL cancel their plans with you to join them.

    This woman sounds a bit like my paternal grandmother, who for some reason hated my mother. She used to try taking me to “her side”, and I suppose when I was young, I used to support her more because my mother tried to discipline me and grandma would let me do exactly what mom told me not to. But when I grew up and started understanding what is going on, I quit listening to her, and she included me in the “to be disliked” category. I remember once when my father was out of country for a year, and my mother was alone with me, who was 7 or 8 years old at that time. Not once had our extended family on dad’s side called to find out how we were doing, and they left us out of all family gatherings, even when we were in the same town (grandma stayed with us, and she’d just sneak out without inviting us). When my dad returned, he cut off any contacts with many of his family members for almost 2 decades. Kudos to my mother for not once did she bad mouth my grandmother when I was young. My father always supported my mom through all these ordeals.

  • David December 14, 2010, 10:57 am

    I am sorry your husband, you and your children have been snubbed by his parents.

    It’s not rude at all to not include people who have no interest in spending time with you. Spend time with the people that love you and want to spend time with you and don’t worry about the ones that don’t.

  • Vanessa December 14, 2010, 11:16 am

    Sometimes you have to leave people out. Last year, I was 9 months pregnant at Christmas; this year, we have an active 10 month old. Both years, we have informed family and friends that they would have to come to us for the holiday. We provide food and hospitality but we aren’t going to pack everything up and make the 2- or 4- hour trip it will take to see my family, not to mention the 10 hour one it would take for DH. Some people have agreed, some haven’t. But we had a great Christmas this year and will have a great one next year, so I’m not going to stress about it.

  • Anonymous December 14, 2010, 11:24 am

    There’s definitely another side to this story.

  • lkb December 14, 2010, 11:32 am

    “They are unapologetic and blame me for everything. Thankfully my husband understands it’s not my fault this is happening. It’s his parents’ lack of acceptance, manners and compassion that cause them to act this way. They are full of hate, spite and shun him because he still loves me after all these years.”

    While there really is no excusing the husband’s parents in all this, the quoted material above got me wondering. Obviously there is some back story to this account (which of course is none of our business). Whatever it was, has the OP reached out the olive branch in any way for whatever happened in the past? There are two sides (at least) to every conflict.

  • UK Helen December 14, 2010, 11:41 am

    That’s really hurtful. I guess there’s not much you can do except be grateful for all the nice people in your life, and just be with them and do what makes you happy. Have a great Christmas (that’s probably the best revenge, too).

  • Hellbound Alleee December 14, 2010, 12:07 pm

    Wow! I understand about in-laws. Do they have some broader problem with you that involves some kind of prejudice, or are they just irrational? It almost sounds like a kind of misunderstanding–why would they be against being around you and your sister-in-law at the same time? It’s so heartbreaking when people use holidays to continue feuds or grudges or whatever the issue is, because they have some kind of false sense of obligation or something.

    If people just calmed down and celebrated the way they wanted to, sure, some people would be upset, but it becomes the problem of the busybodies, not the celebrants. There’s no law saying one is obliged to suffer for tradition’s sake.

  • Lizajane December 14, 2010, 12:08 pm

    This is horrible behavior from the parents, but I have to wonder what the back story is between them and the OP. Toward the end of the post, she starts mentioning things that allude to a problem they have with her.

  • LovleAnjel December 14, 2010, 12:44 pm

    “Our kids could just wait until after the holiday to get their presents.”

    I find it upsetting when adults allow their problems to get in the way of a child’s celebration, whether it be a holiday or birthday. Shame on them for pulling a bait-and-switch on the kids of both generations.

    OP, you keep doing your own thing. Don’t play the game.

  • Once (or more) bitten, twice shy December 14, 2010, 1:06 pm

    You have my support in making your plans and sticking to them. It sounds as if nothing you could do would not provide MIL a chance at wounding you. It sounds as if you’ve tried hard over many years to make the holiday work, and since this is a consistent pattern, I don’t think you would be out of line to set your own plans and stick to them. If MIL/FIL and the others want to join you, you sound like a kind heart that would welcome them, otherwise, go, be free. There is a lot here that is out of your control. I’m sorry to hear that this is happening to you.

  • Michelle P December 14, 2010, 1:30 pm

    Do your own thing and do not let anyone tell you that you are being rude. The way you and your husband and children have been treated is horrible.

  • mygwyn1997 December 14, 2010, 1:34 pm

    The certain people, who are telling you that you are rude to leave your in-laws out, should mind their own business.

    Embrace the holidays. You have a wonderful family. Make your own traditions and they can go have the holidays to themselves. They’ll complain that you won’t let them see your children, that you’re breaking with tradition, yada, yada, yada, blah, blah, blah. Let them. You know you’re right.

    If your husband wants to see his siblings, maybe you could go at another time of the year without his parents. It would be a shame to see him lose touch with them because of the M/FIL shenanigans. Would his siblings be willing to keep it a secret that your family is going to visit, so they don’t try to horn in or throw a monkey wrench into things? Have the siblings mentioned anything about they way their parents act toward your husband? They should stand up with him about this.

    You’ve stated your case to the in-laws, they blame you, end of story. They’re not going to change, but you can. You don’t need that toxicity in your life.

    Good luck and Happy Holidays to you and yours!

  • Enna December 14, 2010, 1:54 pm

    What reasons did they give for “blaming” you? They do seem very strange people. Espcailly since you go through the motions of buying everything and then they cancel at the last minute.

  • Kat December 14, 2010, 2:32 pm

    OP – in what way do they blame you?

  • Gloria Shiner December 14, 2010, 2:46 pm

    Maybe I’m just missing this, but it seems there needs to be some direct communication among the siblings in this family. If you all know the parents don’t tell the truth, why not just ask each other about your plans and what’s really going on?

  • Angie December 14, 2010, 3:00 pm

    I think it would be entirely appropriate for your husband and his siblings to get together for Christmas and let his parents be on their own. Let them see what it’s like to be left out. Just my opinion.

  • Simone December 14, 2010, 3:25 pm

    What a dreadful story. No wonder your husbands siblings moved far, far away…

    You are absolutely not rude for not including them in your plans. They are toxic people and you have gone well and truly beyond the call of duty in trying to include them in previous years. You need to forge your own happy Christmas memories without them.

    And kudos to your husband for escaping their influence and not buying into the whole crazy blaming you thing.

  • Gena December 14, 2010, 3:45 pm

    I guess I don’t understand why your husband can’t talk directly to his siblings about plans instead of going through the parents. Then, just tell the parents what your plans are, they can plan accordingly, but I would not change my plans for them.

  • phoenix December 14, 2010, 4:31 pm

    I’m guessing the OP also gets a year-long treatement of cold shoulders and slights if the in-laws hate her that much. How beyond words such behavior is. I really want to know how the husband’s siblings feel about this- he should confront them too about the on-going lying to exclude him.

  • Onlyme December 14, 2010, 5:02 pm


    So you’ve been told that it rude to be rude to a rude person..Things that make you go “Hmmm…..”.

  • Sally December 14, 2010, 5:26 pm

    Of all the awful stories I have read, this has to be one of the worst. I can imagine how hurt your husband would be, having his parents treat him that way. He is lucky to have you in his life and I’m sure your support means the world to him.

  • Cooler Becky December 14, 2010, 5:30 pm

    Simple solution: Call the parents. Invite them. It would be nice to invite them. Call the sister-in-law. Invite her. If she says no, let her know that you’ve invited the parents. Don’t just assume that she’ll be alone. Always find answers.

    Alternatively, call the sister-in-law, ask her if she’s hosting again this year. She might say yes and invite you along as well. If she says no and doesn’t invite you along, then well, leave it as that and go about your business.

    I think a lot of time could be saved by calling the sister-in-law in any case, since it seems that the parents-in-law are determined to use her as an excuse not to visit you.

  • Matt December 14, 2010, 5:44 pm

    What absolutely horrid parents! To do this to their children is terrible and unforgivable.

  • Maitri December 14, 2010, 5:53 pm

    Wow. I’m sorry they’re so hateful. Good for you for turning the other cheek.

  • Ali December 14, 2010, 6:12 pm

    There’s something weird going on with this story, but I can’t put my finger on it.

  • gramma dishes December 14, 2010, 7:21 pm

    Maureen ~~ I’m certainly not going to say anything bad about your father because . . . well, he’s your father! But I can’t imagine that kind of talk going on about your brother’s wife. And I can’t even begin to imagine how they probably treated her children by her previous marriage. That’s just so incredibly sad for your brother. I hope that at least YOU stood up for her!

    AS ~~ Your Dad’s family’s behavior was horrendously obnoxious. I’m glad you had the kind of Dad who stood up for your Mom and you. And what incredible nerve to stay with you and then sneak out without you to see the rest of her family. What horrid people!!! They are the antonym of the word ‘family’.

  • OP December 14, 2010, 7:55 pm

    The back story here is that I married their son and they hate anyone who marries into the family. Even though I tried for many years to be kind and considerate of their feelings, they still treat me like a piece of trash. They hate DH’s sibling’s spouses too. There is nothing to be prejudiced about here, except that I love their son and he loves me. Perhaps they don’t have love in their hearts so they are jealous? We have refused to allow them to break up our marriage. The in-laws are the most hate filled adults I have ever known. I tolerated them because I love my husband, but I have given up being their doormat and that’s just one more reason for them to hate me.

    Communication directly with the siblings has failed because they are afraid to stand up to their parents. DH’s siblings cover for their parents, even when they know they are lying, because they are afraid of being shunned/rejected/left out of holidays like their brother has been. DH and his siblings have communicated on several occasions about this treatment; both of DH’s siblings agreed their parents were wrong to do this to my DH, but when the next holiday rolls around—same old story. DH’s siblings are the favored children probably because they let Mommy Dearest have whatever she wants. What they don’t realize is; no matter how many times they try to please her, she will still be a hateful person who hates the spouses of all of her children.

    @Tracey–I know exactly what they say about me behind my back. I have heard the ugly things they say about the siblings/their spouses and I have been told by extended family members exactly what goes on. Whatever child is not at the gathering is the one that gets ragged on, but because they are such spiteful people everyone is afraid to take a stand. It is not our perception that is off.
    @samihami –You are right, there is no winning with people like this. They live and breathe hatred and bitterness.
    @mommaknowsbest—the reason MIL doesn’t want all of us in the room at the same time is most likely because of her pathological lying, to all of her children, about each other. If all of her children were in the room, with her at once, the truth might slip out! Also, she’s a drama queen/control freak who likes to play the victim card. If she can tell the siblings that I won’t let DH go to the family function, it makes her look victimized by me rather than admit she purposely left him out.
    @DGS– As previously stated, I married their son.
    @Ikb—I think tolerating their horrifying treatment of me and my family is enough of an olive branch. They got their way and disrupted our holiday plans, many times over the years, and still were not happy. When DH tried to speak to his parents about their treatment of him, they were dismissive and (again) blamed me. There is no rhyme or reason to their blame game. They can’t accept that anyone sees their actions as less than perfect and will never do anything to change their actions, for fear of having to admit they may have been wrong.
    @Enna and Kat—MIL lies and says that I won’t allow my DH to be there. Siblings have heard DH tell them the truth about why we are not at these events, but the siblings still go along with their mother’s bizarre game rather than take a stand for their brother and do what’s right.

    @ Ali—MIL/FIL are weird, that’s what’s going on. 😉

    Final thought: I find their behavior, over the years, incredibly rude. They expect everyone else to change their plans, at the last minute, to accommodate their whims and refuse to compromise. They flake out on planned activities with us then call us rude when we decide, after so many years of bad treatment, that we are going to do our own thing.

  • --Lia December 14, 2010, 9:29 pm

    Choose a random day, maybe something nowhere near the holidays, maybe the third weekend in March or the 4th weekend in August. Or choose a favorite famous person’s birthday. Don’t tell anyone, but make it your children’s special day with their paternal grandparents. Is “grandparents’ day still on the calendar? That would be a good time. Invite them over that day. Make a special meal. Go all out on that day as though it were a holiday that everyone celebrated, and commit to that day even if other things come up next year. Problem solved. Your children get special time with their grandparents, and no one has to run around choosing between one set of relatives or another. You don’t have to cook when everyone else is traveling or when the stores are closed. If you want to get together with your husband’s siblings, choose a random special day for them, and make that stick too. If your in-laws want to cancel at the last minute, at least they won’t have an excuse.

  • The Cat Whisperer December 14, 2010, 9:35 pm

    Parents who don’t like the way their adult children deal with them only have to go as far as the nearest mirror to see the reason.

    That said, I’m going to put in a pitch for trying to find a way to mend fences within your family if it’s humanly possible. My mom and dad and one of my brothers are all dead. That’s a permanent ending.

    I would suggest to this OP that for Christmas, she and her husband give themselves the gift of going to a counselor or therapist to see if there is a way they can do something about the relationship with OP’s husband’s family while there’s still time to do something. Not to try to find a way to change his parents, because that isn’t going to happen, but a way to relate to his parents in a way that will leave them free from regrets when his parents pass away.

  • Elizabeth December 14, 2010, 10:56 pm

    @Cat Whisperer- I think that is really good advice.

    I just want to add that if you do go that route and it doesn’t work then it is ok to cut ties if you have to. If you truly have done all you can, it is perfectly ok to cut out poisonous people from your lives. I have had to make such decisions with someone that should have been very special in my life. But remember what Cat Whisperer said if you do chose that route. Once they are gone there is no going back.

  • Tara December 14, 2010, 11:45 pm

    OP, did you marry my ex-husband? 😉 His parents are EXACTLY like your in-laws. I feel for you. I really do.
    To everyone who commented that there “has to be another side to this story:” Bah! Sometimes things really are just the way they are stated. My in-laws treated me like dirt for years when I was married to their son and for the same reason as the OP — I had the audacity to marry into their family. I extended numerous olive branches and none were ever accepted. The only good thing about being divorced from my husband is that I no longer have to deal directly with his parents. (Just one example that I *have* to share: when my husband told his parents that our divorce would probably be final in August, his mother responded, “Oh, good! Just in time for my birthday!” Talk about e.v.i.l.)

  • Ali December 15, 2010, 12:23 am

    I guess it’s weird for me, my future MIL is very supportive. My future FIL and I don’t get along incredibly well (politics and traditionalism) but we managed to go to lunch together alone and have polite conversation.

    Dear OP, if they’re really that nasty, enjoy the holidays without them! Your husband might be hurt so why not arrange some sibling time?

    Sometimes families don’t work all together. My family is large and doesn’t. We all work in smaller groups, but when you get us all together it can get tense. We’re all close, but getting all of us in one room, there are probably too many strong-willed people together.

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