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Help!!! How do I handle this?!

Okay, I need to know how to handle in-laws who try to dictate to us...Telling us what we need to do. Assuming without asking. Arguing with us over our decisions (including those involving our kids).

DH rarely talks to his family. They don't contact him (like, ever). He calls them every few weeks to chat for a few moments. They will email me asking me to ask him stuff. The way I was raised, even if you don't like someone, you are polite. But it's getting hard to not tell them to A) Stop telling us what we are going to do, stop assuming we are okay with stuff, and stop trying to dictate our lives and B) Contact DH instead of me because it's uncomfortable for me when they email me to get through to DH. I don't want to be rude, but I can't take the drama anymore!!!!!!! It's partially my fault, because DH stopped talking to his family when he married his ex wife, and I wanted to try to encourage him to try to fix that relationship with his parents when we got together. So, he started contacting them again (they hadn't spoken in a long time before that). Now it's like they feel that they can "invade" our family and like they can use me as the go-between. I should have NEVER encouraged the relationship. Because now, not only do they do all of this, they are going behind his back talking to his ex-wife about OUR family and OUR lives so she can have information so that he will have SOME reason to contact them (nothing bad, but I don't want her knowing my kids' full names and birthdates, or where I went to college, what degree I got, etc, or what our plans our for our family, etc. It's none of her business)

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 12:15 PM on Jun. 6, 2011 in Relationships

Answers (9)
  • sounds like you all need to get together for a face to face pow wow and hash out your op's and thoughts on your lives...draw your boundaries and tell them how its going to be or not contact you again if you all cant come to some type of agreement..and i would def give a good lashing about telling the ex about your lives thats just a little over the top..good luck

    Answer by jorjiegirl at 12:33 PM on Jun. 6, 2011

  • I would have encouraged my DF to do the same. Now that you realize you don't want these people in your life you are going to have to cut them off. Stop responding to thier emails. Check caller I'd before answering the phone. It's tough but actions speak louder than words. If you want them to stop communicating with you than you have to stop communicating with them.

    Answer by Ms.Gwen at 12:37 PM on Jun. 6, 2011

  • I just don't know how to cut them off. We are long distance, and my SD lives in their state, and they see her on a regular basis while we only get school breaks with her. So if we cut them off completely, we have no way to contact SD (her mom won't allow us to contact her so we can only do it when she is with his family). Plus, *I* don't want to be the cause of drama, because DH would start getting emails and calls about his wife being a b%tch... Which totally isn't true. I email them about our family, send them pictures, etc. DH doesn't, *I* do. But I know if they start in on me, DH will go off (been there, done that--he didn't talk to one of his family members for almost a year after one of them said something negative about me). I don't want to be the cause for a riff in his relationships with them. No, I don't want them doing what they are doing, but I don't want him to cut them off because of me... Ya know?

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 1:04 PM on Jun. 6, 2011

  • Personally, I would simply forward emails from them about him to him. That way, he is dealing with them instead of you, AND they will eventually figure out when he responds that they just need to go straight to him instead of putting you in the middle. As for them telling you all what to do, I'd go with "Thank you, but we've decided/we will decide what is best for our family, and that just doesn't work for us." And when they assume something is okay with you that isn't, "That doesn't work for us. We can either do X instead or you'll just have to figure something else out."

    Answer by wendythewriter at 1:09 PM on Jun. 6, 2011

  • I think maybe you could be over reacting. could you give a example of how they are telling you what to do?

    as for telling the ex, they may consider her part of the family. Does your husband have children with the woman? If yes, they may just want to make sure the kids know about their half siblings.

    If you don't want her reporting back to the ex wife, then I suggest you tell them that you aren't comfortable with that. But don't be surprised if you find out you can't stop them.

    There's only so much you can do when it comes to other people's actions, and other than telling them that you don't want them talking to the ex about you, I don't think you need to confront them with much.
    If you dont want to answer their calls screen them. If they email you things you don't want to deal with, then do what I do and forward them to your husband! I've got a SIL that used to hound me with all kinds of things cont-

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:22 PM on Jun. 6, 2011

  • cont-
    Things that she thought she could make me do or not do. so after a fashion I'd had enough, and started forwarding the letters to my husband. He spoke with his brother and her and let them know that from now on, any issues were to be taken and discussed with him. Since he's a VERY diplomatic and respectful man there was no reason not to!

    suddenly the problems that my SIL had were no longer the end of the world and no longer had issues to discuss once it meant having to talk to her husband's brother about them! for the most part, I think she just like creating drama with me. If you don't participate in the drama, then most likely you won't have anything to worry about!

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:25 PM on Jun. 6, 2011

  • It sounds to me like you want everything to be hunky dorey for everyone. You want DH to have a relationship with his family, even though now it's kind of apparent why he was distant from them when you got together. You want to be able to email them your pictures and updates but you don't want them to email you back unsolicited advice or to talk about you to DH"s ex. Unfortunately, you can't dictate how the relationship will go. They have shown you who they are, now you have to decide if you can live with that or if it's better to distance yourselves. The good news is that they are far away, so you don't have to take their advice or go with the things they decide for you. As you said, you were raised to be polite, so unsolicited advice is responded to with a pleasant "I will think about that" and then you brush it off. They aren't going to change, all you can do is decide how to respond and how to react.

    Answer by MaryMW at 2:12 PM on Jun. 6, 2011

  • They don't consider her family. She was only married to DH for 9 months before they separated, and 7 months of that DH was deployed. She didn't visit them during their whole "marriage". Plus, even if they did consider her their family, they don't need to pass on information about the medical issues with our little ones. As for stuff SIL does--things like telling us we need to plan our trips to see his family around HER schedule (i.e. if she is having a party the week before we are supposed to go, she will tell us that we NEED to travel there for her party-not saying "I wish you could be here for the party" but "Move your dates. I have a party that you need to come to."). We also found out we will be moving(military) and we said we weren't telling anyone until SD knows. She got mad saying SD already knows we are moving, just not when or where, and we should tell everyone. Or she'll tell us what DH HAS to do for his career--cont

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 10:20 PM on Jun. 6, 2011

  • cont--She even tried to tell us what NOT to name OUR DAUGHTER because she has a relative with the same name! She tried to get in the middle of mine and DH's argument when we had a huge fight--not trying to be mediator. Asking us both what was going on, and telling their family. It's just aggrivating!

    As for DH's relationship--even though *I* don't want to be in the middle, I do want DH to not cut off communication because I am upset about what they are doing. His family is our only link to SD during the time we are out of state...

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 10:23 PM on Jun. 6, 2011

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