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NTSR..not step related..but inlaw related...Do you manage the relationships with your inlaws

halo1998's picture

In my case..nope.  I have enough of a time in managing my relationship with own family.  I think it's my Dh's responsibilty to mange the relationships with his parents/siblings etc.

Dh does not really like his parents.  He likes his sister..she is a gem.  Detests his methhead brother.  His Dad is an on/off active alcohlic and his mom is an grade A enabler.  

I think my MIL thought I would take over the reigns and manage that relationship. while my MIL is nice and all she gets on my nerves. She is very into her religion...great for her.  She assumed that I would be the one to bring DH back into the fold so to speak.  That assumption couldn't be more wrong.  I was the last person that would do that.  Therefore, I keep my interaction to minimum.  My MIL also is the antithesis of what I am.  I'm really independant/introvert, pretty much self-sufficient.  MIL is olds school, man runs the house, can't stay by herself, won't drive at night kind of person.   DH would travel and MIL would go all, you can't be there alone.  What if something happens?  That is laughable since for the most part anything that happens here I take care of..including our cars (Thanks to my Dad for teaching me about cars, construction, etc).

Since DH really cannot stand to talk to his parents, he doesn't call often.  There is also some history of my MIL attempting to run Dh's life back in the day.  DH solved that problem by joining the Navy and being unavailable for months on end.  MIL runs my SIL's life for the most part and enables BIL.  She would like to run Dh's life..but he is having none of it.  DH would love it if I took over for him with his parents.  As some said before...Negative Ghostrider...the pattern is full."  I'm not a meatshield

Am I wrong to think this is DH's relationship to manage and that I do not want to be besties with my MIL?  


lieutenant_dad's picture

You're not wrong. I used to try and manage DH's relationships with his family (particularly MIL) because I thought he was just too surly in how he treated them. However, as the years have passed, I understand why he is the way he is.

The only IL that I actively try to engage with is FIL. I genuinely like the man and enjoy chatting with him. So, I will from time to time ask DH if we can visit with him. DH doesn't have any real issues with his dad, either, so it works out.

MIL - I stopped trying a few yeara ago. She is enmeshed with BM and tries to drag DH and I into their creepy little family structure. MIL doesn't understand why DH won't be warm to her, but DH is tired of having to tell her why and her just not listening/caring. Hell, she was in the hospital over the summer and he didn't even call her. The only reason he saw her afterwards was because she requested to see the boys before OSS went off to college.

So you're not wrong, and you shouldn't feel bad or anything. If you had a relationship with them, then I could see why you'd want to make the effort. But, you don't and your DH is a big boy. He'll figure it out.

twopines's picture

No, you're not wrong. There is nothing wrong with staying out of family dynamics you had nothing to do with. 


Picardy III's picture

Nope. They're DH's relationships to manage (and he manages them just fine). Also, they're mostly healthy and stable people, so not much dysfunctional drama.

I do coordinate details on behalf of our family unit, for holiday food planning, etc. But only when initiated by my MIL or SIL. I don't take an active role. Not that I dislike my ILs in the least; it's just mental load work that I'm not interested in taking on.

Jcksjj's picture

When I first started dating DH he treated his mom way differently from his dad. He was really vague and didn't give much for details as to why he avoided her, and it came across as kind of sexist to me so I called him out on it and he started putting a little more effort into his relationship with her.

Long story short, his mom is awful and he was totally right for avoiding her and I saw that once I got to know her better and I probably should have let it be. 

However, I do manage it somewhat now that our kids are involved and they play favorites.

halo1998's picture

with Dh's nephews but Dh doesn't usually say  much since Nephews are saddled with methhead bil and a crackhead mother. 

However, it does bug the crap out of DH at times.

tog redux's picture

My DH's family is similar - his father died, he doesn't like his mother, he has no relationship with his sister. He gets along okay with his three brothers, but they all live at least 5 hours away, so we don't see them often.

Early on, his mother would call me when he wouldn't answer - then she moved into an independent living home and had more to do, so now she never calls at all.

I used to send her birthday/Christmas cards, and once a picture of SS, but then I decided - nope. It's his family, he can manage those relationships himself.

Lifer33's picture

You don't have to have a relationship with anyone just because. It's dh job to deal with his in laws. 

Whilst I don't dislike mine I have nothing in common other than the kids so I stay out of it. My ex mother in law on the flip side is one of my best friends and we've maintained a friendship with my ex husbands and husbands  blessing.