21 answers

Help with Mother in Law

I have had issues with my mother in law since I married my husband. She treats me like I am an outcast in the family and rarely even acknowledges I am around during family get togethers. I recently told her how I felt and she basically told me that she was not the only family member that felt the way she does about me and that I was just going to have to live with it. I thought I got along well with the others but I must have guessed wrong! She lives 1 1/2 hours away in another State so we typically go there during holidays. Our daughter is 21 months old and the only times she has seen our daugter is when we come to her house for family functions or on the unannounced rare occassion she comes here which is only a handful of times since she was born. She feels that it is our responsibility to bring our daughter (her only grandchild)to her and she shouldn't have to drive here. I think that is really sad and sort of pathetic. She is an energetic well to do empty nester with nothing to do on weekends although she feels I should pack up two kids (one child is from my 1st marriage), drive over 1.5 hours each way so that my child knows who she is. Since I told her how I felt this will be the first Holiday and we received no invitation and no one will even talk to us. My husband supports how I feel but thinks I should just let it all go for holiday sake and just show up to Thanksgiving. How can I show up without anyone even inviting us, we don't even know what time and 2nd why would I want to when I know no one likes me? Am I being childish?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Everyone was so helpful I thought I would let everyone know what I did. After much conversation with my husband we decided to "start our own traditions" as you suggested. About a year ago my MIL forced my FIL to move out. She has NO plans to divorce him since he has all of the money therefore we invited him and his mother (my husbands grandmother)to our house so that our children had some extended family with us on Thanksgiving. Although the mashed potatoes were a little lumpy and the turkey a little dry it was a great day. Looks like I will need some good recipes for my Christmas Dinner!! Thanks to everyone for your advise. I hope everyone had a GREAT Thanksgiving and a successful after Thanksgiving shopping day!

More Answers

Hi Tara,
I must say I feel sorry for you and no I don't think you are being childish! I've had similar situations but I always tell my kids, why force yourself on someone that doesn't want you around?? I just remember the way I dealt with one situation and I remember to this day that you can not change anyone else but you can change the way you deal with people. I also believe like Dr. Phil says that people only treat you the way you let them treat you. I say stay home and have your own Thanksgiving. If you aren't invited then use the excuse that you didn't realize they were having a celebration and even if you did, you weren't sure of the time. You don't need to put up with this from anyone but especially from family! I think you deserve better from the sounds of things. Just my opinion but if you let them walk on you, they will continue to do so.
Happy Thanksgiving! S.

1 mom found this helpful

I had sort of the same situation with my mother-n-law. We had several words and it caused almost daily "fights" in my marriage. But 10 weeks ago unexpectedly she passed away. It has been the hardest time is our lives. I personally feel that alot of things said we stupid, and I do wish she could be here now to see my daughter grow up. I just wanted to tell you all this so maybe you should go and try to patch things up. You never know when the end is. I wish I could have ended thing on a better note.

Good luck and happy holiday! =)
A. H

1 mom found this helpful

Oh, that's a hard one. I too have difficulty with my MIL, though I think things are improving. She is very religious (Catholic) and very judgmental. She is a very conservative Republican and I am a very liberal sort of Democrat (though I don't really involve myself in politics at all). She was very disappointed in her son for marrying me because I was already divorced with two children. I am also 6 years older than he is and I stole her baby boy. We were invited over for Thanksgiving, but my husband's whole immediate family is going away for Christmas and we were not invited. They are going on a cruise. I don't think we would have gone, but it made me mad they didn't even invite us.

I don't think I would go to Thanksgiving dinner unless invited. I'm stubborn and would probably make her come to me if she wanted to see her grandchild. I'm not sure this is the right thing to do, but that's just me. I do feel sorry for your husband who is caught in the middle. Maybe he needs to talk to his mother and smooth things out before Thanksgiving. All I can say is what a b*tch! Some people are just like that unfortunately.

1 mom found this helpful

I don't think you are being childish at all, and no, I wouldn't go. In fact, I don't think I would ever again make the attempt to see her. If your husband supports you, that should be all that matters and do what makes the 3 of you happy.

1 mom found this helpful


My Dad's mom was always mean to my mom and I. My mom wouldn't go to Thanksgiving because she didn't want to put up with it, so that left me to be the sole focal point of her mean remarks and jabs. My grandma also lived about two hours away. I would not let my child go without me if I were you, but I probably would just drop Thanksgiving with them this year and have your own happy, stress-free one myself.

My family goes to my SIL's for Thanksgiving, and she almost always puts me down, and makes remarks about the dishes she asks me to bring. But I go because I don't want my children to be the brunt of it (and my husband won't let us skip it). This year I'm telling her politely that 11 years of it is enough, knock it off and grow up.

Also, my MIL hardly sees our children, and she's only 45 minutes from us. At first it hurt my feelings (and my husband's when she wouldn't come to see our second baby at the hospital) but we've moved on and don't worry about it. It's her loss, not ours (or yours). You can't teach an old dog/MIL new tricks so just enjoy your children all to yourself. They're only little for such a short time, and trust me, they'll enjoy spending quality time with you so much more than being drug 1.5 hours to a grandma who doesn't really care about them.

So . . . up to you of course, but go with your heart. Good luck and keep us posted!

Dear T.,
I am not really in the same boat your in. My husband is though. My family can't stand him and they all ignore him completly when he comes around. Matter of fact they pretty much ignore me and my daughter now too. I know that my brother and his wife and boys have all kinds of family dinners and outings all the time and don't invite us. When I ask my mom about why we aren't invited she tells me " Its really no big deal" When I have a celebration I feel that I should invite them. I know the minute they show up that My family will no longer even be spoken to. My husband and I end up sitting at the opposite end of the table talking to each other. We get to laughing about many times. We can do t his at home cheaper. I still get so upset about it, when I have to much time to think about it all. If they don't want to be around you then don't. Why make yourself and your family have a bad time. Stay home and enjoy each others company for free.
If they want to see you or talk to you they know your phone number and address. Let them come to you and the H with them. Life is to short to have to spend it with people who don't like you.
Yes, I must admit that for my daugher I am sad. I really thought that since she was the only grand-daughter that my mom would pay more attention to her. NOT! She has her nose burried up my brothers two kids butt instead.

Anyway I hope you find peace some how or a happy medium. I don't know why your husband wants to drag you off to where your not wanted. Why not stay home and start your own traditions. This year we are going to my husband sisters house for Thanksgiving. I am nervous about the change, but, the company will be better. At least I won't be sitting at the far end of the table talking to my husband because no one else will takl to us.

I hope you have a happy holiday. I am glad your husband supports you with this. Many times its stuff like this that breaks marriages up.

Good Luck

Family Outcast Too

Well, after briefly letting myself believe that we were going to have quiet holidays at home this year, I will be going to the evil-in-laws and to see my step-monster and I will put up with them for one day. I have, however, stopped the over nights and if they want to see my children, they can come to me. If it fits our plans we will go see them, but I am NOT making extra trips with children in tow, it is too hard on them. The grown ups need to act like it and realize you need to do what is best for your kids. Good Luck.

I'm so sorry you're in this situation. Difficult families are always harder at the holidays.
I think your husband needs to stant by you and support you and his immediate family. You both need to create your own holidays and traditions. You can't do anything about how someone else is going to feel about you - you just need to live your life. A grandparent relationship can be a wonderful addition to a childs life (but not served up on the cripped back of the mother). If you provide a happy home for your children they will not "suffer" from not having a relationship with their grandmother - it is her who is missing out.
Stand your ground and build your own happy life.
Good luck!

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