You are here

Husband’s wife’s family not giving us space to be a new family

Mrs new wife's picture

Ok... Here is the background. I'm struggling with this badly. It upsets me every time they call, text, or send mail to our house. 

my husband was married for 5 years, 10 years ago. His ex wife cheated, remarried  and moved half way across the country with their one and only son. She started a new family with her new husband immediately. My husband followed, as the mom said the son wasn't getting along with her new husband. She abounded him and my husband raised him alone, with her getting him holidays and one weekend a month for years.  My husband has been single since the divorce. We met, dated, got engaged, married and are expecting our first child together.  His ex MIL and her sister constantly send him cards for every single holiday big or small. They say things like welcome me the new wife to their family! I didn't marry into his ex wife's family. I married him and his family. They constantly call him and text him and tell him they will always be his family and always be his "mom". 

I feel they aren't minding their boundary of being the ex wife's family and letting my husband bond with my and my family. No, they are not keeping him from doing so, but their constant communication and reinserting themselves in OUR lives and OUR PROGRESS is frustrating to say the least. I'm annoyed with every piece of mail! And was furious at Christmas when somehow she knew we were talking about getting a Costco membership and she bought our family one. She is always asking him what she can get for OUR household and even called my child her grandchild and she is excited to be a grandma again!

that set me all the way off! My kid has nothing absolutely nothing to do with my husbands ex wife's moM or aunt. They can do for my step son all they want. But leave me and my kid alone. I am not apart of their family, they are not my sons grandparents and I don't want anything from them on holidays or for our household. Where were they all the years my husband struggled to raise his son as a single dad? Now that he is happy, remarried and starting over in life you want to insert yourself. 

help! Is this normal? Am I wrong? Should I send them something back expressing how I feel? 

Rumplestiltskin's picture

For me, the letters in the mail wouldn't be as big a concern, but i would wonder how they knew you were thinking of getting a Costco membership. Is your husband talking to them or the ex wife? Maybe the kid told grandma or auntie about the membership, which wouldn't be so bad (to me, everyone is different.) If your husband truly isn't doing anything to encourage this, i would ignore it, if it's just snail mail. Hell, maybe the letters get "lost in the mail" before DH sees them (again, just me, everyone is different.) But, if DH was having phone calls and text exchanges with them without my knowledge and feeding them info about my household, i would be pissed. 

SteppedOut's picture

They didn't do it before you were married??? 

I mean, regardless, it would bother me - epecially the weird welcoming YOU to "the family" and calling your child their grand... uh. NO. HELL NO. 

Why is your husband entertaining all this? They have been divorced longer than married and the marriage didn't end on amicable terms - which makes it all the more bizarre. 

You should really have a heart to heart with your husband about this... it's bothering you and needs to change. 

Rumplestiltskin's picture

I can't imagine that they would send card after card without some kind of encouragement. Maybe the husband feels obligated to call and thank them afterward, and have a conversation? If so, that needs to end since it bothers his wife. The fact that they knew to get the Costco membership makes me think there might be more to this. Nobody just gets someone a gift like that without knowing if they want one, if they have one already, etc. I have a suspicious nature, though. 

Mrs new wife's picture

I asked him and step son over dinner. Step son told her we had been talking about that and would be a good gift. 
she had asked my husband before what could she get out household and after I told dh it made me uncomfortable, and I didn't want anything from his ex wife's mom for our house. He told her we wanted and needed nothing. She wrote back very rudely she wanted to give him something. 

to make it worse when she found out we were getting a house she asked if there was a mother in law suit for her to move into! 

Im Thinking of writing her back. 

Mrs new wife's picture

That I don't understand. She send holiday cards always has he says. But since we have started to date and get serious her communication snd contact with him has increased. She also sends him pictures of their son and the mom which I find strange. And tries to fill him in on their household drama and she now lives with her daughter and new husband. I'm beyond annoyed over the entire situation and I'm ready to step in and set boundaries. 

SteppedOut's picture

Yea.... yuck.

Former MIL probably doesn't like new husband. 

This bs would have to come to a screeching halt. If your husband doesn't handle it, I fear you are going to blow your top (and I don't blame you!).

Mrs new wife's picture

She doesn't like the new husband. She has made that very clear to my husband like it's his job to interfere to save her daughter from their issues. Which i find disrespectful knowing that, and then pushing when he has moved on is pushing me beyond my limit and I am going to snap very soon. If it doesn't stop. 

Rumplestiltskin's picture

Yeah, cards and letters are one thing, but talking to your DH about BM's new husband and trying to get him involved in their drama....that's something else. Your DH needs to slow his communication with her way down. He doesn't even need to be in a position to hear about BM's drama. I doubt MIL is writing all this in letters so they must be talking on the phone or texting. Time to end all that. 

Catmom024's picture

Oh that's not cool she's trying to put your husband in the middle of things.  Ugh!!!

Mrs new wife's picture

He says the ex mil has always been good to him and helped him buying clothes and sending him to stay with her over summers with his son when the daughter abandoned the son for her new husband and they divorced. 

Tried out's picture

I maintained a good relationship with my former in-laws after the divorce and they were cool with my new husband. If we had had kids together they would have been special to them because they would have been their grandkids' siblings. My former MIL called me every week and it really wasn't a problem for us.

I can understand how this might make you uncomfortable to have constant reminders of your husband's past life with another woman but I doubt they mean any harm. And, in my book, kids can't have too many people who love them. 

Maxwell09's picture

Seems harmless to me. In a world full of crazy EXes and difficult Babymommas plus family, if all you have is a couple WELCOMING and kind cards in the mail and a costco membership I would let it go. Is your DH the only way they get to see their grandson? Then it would seem staying in your DH's good graces so they can continue to see the kid is logical. I know you want to go in and wipe the slate clean of them but think about the perks: they will run back to BM and tell her how great you are, they will happily babysit the stepchild whenever you want some QT time with your SO, it probably bothers BM as much as it bothers you how much her family likes him and welcomes you to the family. Im not saying be best buds, Im saying use them for what they are worth. 

Mrs new wife's picture

I will never ever have them babysit my kid. I have my own family that lives here that I actually know and have a place in my kids life. She lives with her daughter and new husband so no, she doesn't have to maintain with my husband to see her grandson. 

I'm fine with the cards just leave me and my kid out of it. And for sure don't ever refer to him as your grandson. I'm all for her having a cordial relationship with her grandson and his father but it's excessive. And her pushing herself onto our lives is unnecessary. Let the man live his life, your daughter ruined and wasted so many of his years. 


simifan's picture

I'm with Maxwell. I think they are afraid if they don't welcome you and treat you well; they won't be able to have a relationship with the SS. Disengage and let DH handle the exIL. 

OKtoStep's picture

It seems like a control tactic. "We're generous with you so you have to accept us in your life on our terms." 

My ex MIL was really good at that and, at one point in therapy, my stbexdh made it very clear he was ok with her trampling my boundaries and happiness because she was willing to help finance his luxurious life. 

If you or your DH feel uncomfortable setting boundaries for this relationship with his ex wife's family because they might be offended and remove all their good will entirely then it's a toxic relationship and you would be better off ending it cleanly. 

MayCorine85's picture

I have a similar experience. My DH ex still takes to his mom and sits over their house regularly. BM has 2 other kids not by DH and they still call her grandma. I understand being uncomfortable with it. It seems harmless, but it's a constant reminder of a previous life. SD and BM tried to suggest a play date between my twins and her youngest and I just walked away. I have no interested in it. Not being mean, but I'm just not interested in that type of relationship and I think that's ok

mommadukes2015's picture

I can definitely see how that is overwhelming. 

I deal with 2 BM's and on occasion I have delt with both BM's mothers. They are both very nice, considerate and caring women and they do sometimes over-leap their boundaries. Setting and maintaining those boundaries is uncomfortable business esp if you're the quiet type. Lucky for me I have a mouth that I don't mind using but for some I can see how this feels clausterphobic.  They too include my daughter in holidays/grandkid counts the whole 9. But my parents do that for both skids too. 

the relationships seem to want to be positive and supportive, to the point of being overbearing. Give it time. Try to be open and if you're still uncomfortable you're allowed to be cordial and leave it at that. 

Mrs new wife's picture

What could I say. I have no problem speaking up, I'm just trying to find the right words. I'm pregnant and my mouth can be wreckless due to hormones so I'm trying to find the right way to handle this. 


Rags's picture

We avoided this problem by not living anywhere near either my family or my DW's family for the first decade or so of our marriage.  Except for my brother who was busy in his own new marriage and having kids.