Why Is the Wife Always to Blame from the in Law Family?

Updated on November 05, 2010
S.T. asks from Kansas City, KS
12 answers

Why do most in law families always blame the wife? My husbands family and I use to be close I'd love seeing them at holidays well all that has changed I don't know if it's me or them really. Last year I wanted to combine both my family and his for Thanksgiving and one of his aunts made a huge deal about it and then his other aunt called me right after I had a little spat with her sister cause she was telling me that I had to call everybody to confirm it was ok to have it here and with my family. Well come to find out they were being childish in my opinon they thought I was mad at them cause we didn't hardly make it to any get togethers that year well I'm sorry I do have a family also. I just feel like it has gone down from there and well my husband doesn't want to go to some of the stuff so I finally told him that he needed to start calling them if we weren't coming cause I was tired of it. We didn't make to there pumpkin carving party this year cause our son had a baseball game and we aren't going to go Thanksgiving my year for my family and Christmas well I put my foot down and we stay home with our two kids and enjoy a nice day together but we did go 4th of July and Easter this year. Sorry a little all over the place would just like your opinion of why this happens a lot??

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answers from Modesto on

The wife isnt getting blamed, the WOMAN is. Everyone knows we are ultimately the ones that call the shots. And that's just the way it is ;)

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Dover on

The inlaws always blame the spouse because the family can't believe their child is missing it on their own "it must be because of the wife or husband". Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't...sometimes it is because of the family or because of the immediate family's other obligations but they don't see that...EVER!

You can plan to have things at your home, invite both sides (and you don't have to "ask permission" because it is YOUR home and YOUR families). I will travel for any/all holidays except Christmas Day. If someone wants to see the four of us, they know where we live. I have started hosting some other things myself too because eveyrone wants to wait until the last minute and I can't be everywhere at once.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Fort Wayne on

This has happened with us over the past 17 years that we've been married. There's no easy way to deal with family who really aren't 'your' family. I've made a conscious decision to take care of my husband & our 2 kids. If nobody else in the extended family can appreciate that we have our own life outside of theirs then that's their problem. You can't be everything to everyone but you can focus solely on your husband & kids.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

People are hyper sensitive sometimes. They don't like change. They haven't learned the value of trying to see things from another person's perspective. Getting fighty is easier than calmly talking it out. Sometimes getting upset at one person and talking about it over and over again is a way for some women to bond together (some men probably do it to but I've never really seen it). As an in-law, you will always been at risk of being seen as an outsider and a troublemaker, no longer how long you have been in the family. Those are just some of the reasons that I can think of why you may be having difficulties with your in-laws right now . . . .

You are right to have your husband call his side of the family to let them know that he wants to (or needs to) decline an RSVP. Also, there is absolutely nothing wrong with inviting your family and in-laws to celebrate Thanksgiving together. Your aunt in-laws making a big fuss about it was in very, very poor taste. Thanksgiving is all about family, being grateful and counting your blessings. Your husband's aunts seem to have forgotten the "reason for the season" and concluded that it is all about them and their desires even though they are not the one throwing the dinner party. That little tidbit of information makes them sound petty and narcissitic in my opinion.

Anyway, you can't please everyone. Just continue to state your truth but do it with kindness and compassion. And let your husband deal with his in-laws as much as possible.

Wishing you all the best.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

Can't we all just get along! I'm being facetious!
YOU should never feel bad for wanting to combine the two families. We do it ALL the time. With immediate family (grandparents of both sides) and with aunts and cousins. How fantastic for your children to see EVERYBODY getting along!
BUT of course this is not my first rodeo! This family is much more loving and tolerant. My first husbands family was very catty and back stabbing. 20 yrs later they are ALONE! None of the grandkids come to see them because when they do visit Grandma is mean. She either talks bad about me, their mom, or another sister-in-law. They are old enough to not want to be around a negative person. Especially after seing how good everyone CAN get along without any DRAMA!!
Stick to your guns, support your family and show your kids how to be good people and NOT BE MEAN!!!
Good Luck and God Bless!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

It's called cognitive dissonance. They are upset about you guys not being there at all family things (which happens more and more as your kids get older by the way because of other activities that are truly more important), they want to blame someone, and they don't want to blame your husband. They therefore blame you. If you ever have the chance to talk about all of this with any of them, you should say: "you know that I am not the reason we do not attend family stuff, your son/nephew/brother is. But if it makes you feel better to put the blame on me, go ahead. It's fine with me." You'll feel better and they'll hear the truth.
Good luck!
Oh yeah, and also - NOBODY and I mean NOBODY should feel like they can tell you who you can have at your home for a holiday!!! What nerve!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

If you are invited to an event and don't show up without saying so, that is rude. I don't care who you are - relation or not.

That being said, you are entitled to pick and choose which family functions you want to attend. Just let them know. If they choose to "blame" you for not attending, I don't know if there is much you can do about it. Even if you say it's your husband that doesn't want to go, unless that comes from him, they won't believe it.

Chin up! Don't take it personally.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Sorry but it kind of sounds like his family is not high on your priority list. Be honest with yourself and ask yourself how much time do you spend with them compared to with your family? With friends? Like them or not they are your husbands AND YOUR CHILDREN's family.

And last year for Thanksgiving-who's year was that?? From your post it looks like it was HIS year...so why did you want to combine it? To see your family in the off year? Combination parties are hard and I don't blame them for not wanting one.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

they don't automatically blame the wife, but most families take sides with their family member of either sex. and that's not to hard to figure out, is it?
good for you for putting your foot down. but having done so, don't let resentment overwhelm you. you've done what was right for your family. not everyone will like it, but they're probably not bad people. they just want to see more of all of you. can't blame them for that, right?
smile, be firm, and let it go. you'll find that if you don't allow yourself to be pushed, people will stop trying to do so.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

because it's easier for THEM to blame you, i get the same thing, what me and my husband did, HE tells them when we will or wont be there HE calls them HE does the communicating unless we're over there visiting which is rare these days...we decided to do this because this way HE will tell them what our answer is so it doesnt' look so bad on me

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Muncie on

It's tough dividing holidays. I've had trouble too, lucky my parents understand that Alaska is just too far away for similarly twice yearly visits the in-laws usually get.

It might be time to just let the families know for sure what holidays are theirs and which are you and your families. Like Thanksgiving goes to the in-laws if my husband can swing the "off" time and Christmas we stay here. My family gets any time in the summer months, usually around August, because my dad's actually had to go years without seeing my daughter.

Call your in-laws and tell them that now that your kids are older you feel that family time is getting more important and that extended family need to help you decide which two holidays they want, but you first get to choose what holiday is no extended family. Each side get a major holiday (Christmas/ Thanksgiving) and one minor (4th of July/Easter). Remember to be strong and have your husband stand by you. You chose your husband not his family, being polite to them for his sake is all you really need to do.

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

The wife is to blame with the inlaws just as the husband is to blame with the wife's family. No one's parents/siblings could possibly believe their son/daughter/brother/sister would not want to spend the holidays with them, so they assume it must be the spouse who doesn't want to go along with the family plans. It is fine not to see them for every holiday, and nice to include them when you invite your family. 4th of July and Easter are fine to spend with his family but it might be nice to split Christmas and Thanksgiving, or Christmas Eve and Day.
I think it never occurred to my husband's family when we first married that they would not be seeing us every holiday. They expected we would make Thanksgiving and invite everyone, but that's when I see my side of the family, my sisters had their own inlaws and this was the one day of year when it's just all of us together.

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