Help me understand/deal with my in law's
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (33 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I need some perspective on my situation here. I’ve found myself uncomfortable several times when dealing with my in-laws, and especially with my husband’s sister. I honestly feel like they are a bit batty, but since I’m just one person, I need your opinion and advice. This is a long story. Apologies.
First of all, we’re both mid-twenties. Husband’s dad is the center of his family and the decision maker, and as such, coaxed husband to buy a house right next to his, which is where we’re living. I am so in love with husband, and husband is so drastic when it comes to privacy, that I thought it would not be as bad as one would think. In some ways, it wasn’t, but in some, it definitely looks like a bad decision. They have the horrible habit of opening our front door as if it was their home, and twice they have actually walked into the house while we were having sex. These both have been traumatic experiences for me (they didn’t see anything, but they heard, or suspected, and it was horrible for husband and me). What boggles my mind, is that both times THEY have been offended by it, saying that we should learn to lock the door (how about, don’t enter someone else’s house without being invited in?) I feel like it’s incredible that I have to defend my right to have sex at peace with my husband in my house. It’s completely surreal to me. They also love to call our house
But this is not the worst part. I feel in love with husband and, even though I had a career and a decent standard of living, decided to move to the US with him, because I speak English and have possibilities here. So I moved here, got a job and my relationship is simply great…with my husband. The neighbors (parents-in-law, plus sister), think it’s OK to have little conventions about me where they invite husband and put him through inquisition about my faults. They invite him, and I await at home knowing what’s happening all along. They speak an eastern European language, which means that even if I’m there, they can discuss me without me knowing. Sometimes I feel very lonely while they speak for long intervals in a language I don’t understand. Husband is between the sword and a hard place on this one. On the weeks before our wedding, sister in law filled our tiny place with pictures of her. This is no joke. Our place is tiny, but we had at least ten pictures of her, all over the house, which had no other pictures except for one of us together. Anyway, among the issues that sister in law has brought up for discussion are:
Since my parents are wealthy and have maids, I won’t be able to clean the house properly.
Since I come from a religious background, I will try to proselytize on husband and drive him away from his family (I come from a religious family, but I’m actually an atheist, like husband)
Since I decided to use an implant, and she thinks we should we having babies yesterday, she disapproves.
I organized a new year trip with sister in law and sister in law’s boyfriend. In 4 days, they did not speak 3 times in English. When I did small talk, they interrupted me in their own language, and reduced me to the point in which I spent New Year’s day alone crying in the bath. Husband thought he had to be nice to them because they were guests, so he didn’t say anything.
I know these seem like tiny things, but these issues are talked about behind my back, with husband trapped next door, and with two hour long rants from sister in law, who’s quite the hysterical type. She screams cries and moans and complains. Meanwhile, I wasn’t even invited to my trials. Husband listens to them and decides to not speak to them for a month to show them they cannot manipulate him into submission, but things eventually end up just like before. Sister in law loves to talk about our house as "her brother's house" even though I make decent money and contribute to our lovely tiny household, too. This seems like a trifle but on top of everything else, it pisses me off.
What happened recently and really, really killed me, was that I decided I would teach English to mother in law so she could pass her American citizenship test. I also work at an immigration related nonprofit, so I could get awesome material, and being a qualified ESL teacher, was really willing to give it a go. I had a couple of lessons, during which sister in law would show up and be perfectly friendly, until one day she calls husband and tells him I’m using their mother to get paid at work. She even told him how much they were supposedly paying me (this was not true at all). She also told him I was a liar, he could never trust me, and that I was doing the lessons so I would have something to manipulate him with in the future. I was devastated. I could not help it and confronted her. She cried as if I had slapped her and killed her puppies, and made her mom take time off from work to check on her (everybody thought she had had an accident). When husband and I confronted her, she said she had never said those things, and that she just felt guilty about not being the one who was teaching English to her mother. I was so furious I didn’t even know how to react. Father in law is after 6 months, still mad about this, not because sister in law lied, but because husband told me the lies she had said, father in law is actually mad at me, for intruding.
I don’t know what to do. I hate living close to them, and husband has a nightmare trying to balance what everybody demands from him. I am hurt and frankly mad that sister in law never got what she deserved, especially because she has this talent at pretending she cares for people. She is a social worker and loves to talk about how she cares for people, she has “love” quotations all over her facebook profile, but the only things I’ve received from her are duplicity, hypocrisy and downright evil. I came here alone and needed a friend. I had nobody except husband with me, and their family treat me like I’m this second rate person, just because I’m not from their country, or like a rich kid who is not “simple” like they are. I hate the situations they create for husband, who suffers for me, fights with them and doesn’t know what else to do in order to fix things.
Am I crazy? Am I doing something wrong? What should I do to deal with these issues, get on their good side? Ignore them? I feel quite lonely.