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Inlaws and BM feel like threats

Jcksjj's picture

So I've just had the epiphany that the reason I can't just move on from things that the inlaws and BM do is that they feel like threats that I need to always be on the lookout for. Threats to our stability, my marriage and kids, and happiness. BM, SD and MIL would all be thrilled if DH and I were to divorce so they can both try to be number one again. MIL has made it clear that SD is her number one priority, and it doesn't matter how it affects my kids. Same with SIL. BM obviously is a threat to our stability with her up and down behavior and wanting to change custody arrangements whenever it suits her. I do trust DH now, so that helps. But still. That's alot of outside forces working against us. There's more than one reason the divorce rate is so high if you have kids from a previous relationship.

Anyone else feel this way?


ndc's picture

It does sound like you have a lot of outside forces working against you and your DH.  It's hard to wrap one's head around the behavior of your husband's family - they really seem toxic and like they should be cut out of your lives.  

It annoys me that my MIL is friends on FB with BM and likes all of her posts and comments on many of them, telling her how wonderful and beautiful she is and how much she loves her.  (Yup, BM is the woman who was a serial cheater and left her son).  It annoys me that MIL gushes all over BM when she's in town to visit (mercifully she lives many states away).  BUT - MIL does all of that with me, too, so it's not like she's favoring BM over me.  And she treats all of her grandchildren wonderfully and my DD is every bit as important to her as the SDs are.  So even though I will never understand how she can continue to treat BM as the cherished former DIL rather than the cheating trollop who hurt her son, my situation is quite different from yours, where you and your children are treated as second class.  That is completely unfathomable to me.

Jcksjj's picture

Yes, I would be annoyed in your situation also. She sounds like my mom actually, who is overly nice no matter what and it does annoy me at times. But like you said, at least she's like that to you too. MIL actually hates BM as well, but since she's not the one currently taking her son away from her she doesn't matter as much. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, ya know?

advice.only2's picture

I know it's easier said than done, but removing BM, SIL, MIL from your headspace will help clear up a lot of the chaos you are feeling.

futurobrillante99's picture

"I do trust DH now, so that helps. But still. That's alot of outside forces working against us."

Pay attention to the first part. If you DO trust your DH, then you can safely cut the rest of those butt heads out of your life and stop renting space to them in your head.

If you trust your DH, then you can trust him to protect you and your children together from those buttheads.

The rest is your own personal battle to evict them from your head and stop spending time with them, stop expecting them to treat your kids well, stop expecting any kind of normal, supportive relationship with them.

Set up firm boundaries that they are no longer on your radar. You won't interact with them. You will not invite them to any birthday parties. You will not expect anything family-like out of them and you will not show them the same deference you would show REAL family. Stop caring about anything they say or do or post on social media.

Let your DH handle the rest...........if you really trust him.

Jcksjj's picture

Alright well, I should say I trust him MORE. Like 90%. He's done what he needs to for the most part for awhile, but I'm not 100% he won't wimp out again. It's also hard because he's ready to cut off his mom and sister completely- the 2 he's always had some issues with - but not his dad since that is the relationship he values the most  And objectively, his dad is not nearly as bad, but he's still a part of it. I can see why DH is not cutting him off but it does make it harder.

Gimlet's picture

Good advice above, agree with alll of it.

That hyper-vigilance is going to wear you out, OP.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

For me, the best cure for feeling anxious/hypervigilant about step and inlaw issues was complete disengagement and TIME - a prolonged, continuous level of peace and safety, and training myself to stay out of the fray. Drama flare ups did happen, but each successful instance of DH handling them built a healthier foundation as I learned I could trust him to protect me. As he built a track record of keeping his crazy baggage away from me, I felt safer and happier. I intentionally busied myself with friends, hobbies, and new projects, too. The drama can become a bit of an addiction, so it helps to invest in positive distractions.

Have you considered sitting down with your H, explaining that issues with his family are affecting your wellbeing, and asking him to shield you from ALL of it? All changes require effort and time, but once you both get into the habit of the new norm you'll find a lot less stress and negativity in yourt life.

Jcksjj's picture

We have talked about how it affects me and that it doesn't just affect him. I haven't specifically asked him to shield us from all of it, but I have said that he's the one who has the power to. 

SeeYouNever's picture

I feel the same way about SDand my in laws, less with BM because DH doesn't really talk to her, however my in laws act like the middleman and talk to her which is a threat to stability. It really is so nice and peaceful when my in laws and SD are not around and not talking to us. SD is either ignoring us or has us blocked. My DH was annoyed and upset with it at first but it's not bothering him anymore, he's free from careing nwo because she wants nothing to do with him 90% of the time.

Ispofacto's picture

I wonder if part of the pain you are experiencing is disappointment.  

I don't have a relationship with my family so when I met my ex's family, and they were warm and welcoming at first, it felt nice and I felt like they were going to adopt me, and we'd do all kinds of fun family things together.  They turned out to be aholes, and that was very disappointing.  It would have been so much more disappoiting if we'd had kids together, and his family didn't love them.



Jcksjj's picture

Disappointment is definitely part of it. With the way the over the top way they treated SD I assumed they would at least be that way towards the kids, even if they were still rude to me. Especially since they supposedly both wanted a grandson so badly. 

S_mum's picture

Just like "guilty dad syndrome", I think that there's also the  "guilty in-law syndrome". These in-laws pity the children whose parents have split up. In their mind, these children are at a disadvantage when compared to the kids whose parents are still together. As a result, they try to compensate for this "injustice" by showing favouritism towards them and showering them with money, excess gifts etc. 

They think that they're actually doing these kids a favour when in reality, it's the complete opposite. Their actions cause discord, as well as resentment and unhappiness for everyone involved.