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How do I stand up to my father-in-law?

My father-in-law is hard to get along with and demanding. I really don't like being around the guy, and quite honestly neither does my wife. He wears us both down. My wife does want a relationship with her mother though, and so we both endure family dinners from time to time. We usually put them off as long as possible until it is unavoidable. There is only so many times we can decline until we feel like we are being jerks. We have largely handled these dinners by ignoring and/or giving in to my father-in-law. Now we have a child, and I want to stand up for us. How? [more inside]
posted by ohjonboy on Apr 28, 2014 - 37 answers

Wow, it's beautiful, please can I take it back?

For a sentimental family occasion, my inlaws got me a very sweet present of some expensive jewelry-- after being told very clearly that I don't like expensive jewelry and don't really wear it. How terrible would it be (politically, ethically, relationally) if I were to return the item in question to the store? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 24, 2013 - 60 answers

Other than Naomi and Ruth...

What are some stories (real/historical or fictional) about good mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationships that I can read? [more inside]
posted by peacrow on May 30, 2013 - 2 answers

How should I address my soon to be in-laws?

I have no idea how to address my in-laws. Please help. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Apr 25, 2013 - 25 answers

Is my boyfriend's mom trolling me?

I received a gift from my boyfriend's mother that is at best in poor taste and at worst extremely offensive. How do I proceed? Super-fun cultural/religious beanplating inside. [more inside]
posted by coppermoss on Mar 28, 2013 - 99 answers

How do I put my negative feelings aside about an upcoming vacation?

My husband (A)'s family (parents, brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew) are going on a trip in a couple of weeks. The trip has been planned for months, and he and I had decided long ago that it wasn't going to work for us this year. Yesterday, A. decided he wants to go. There are no hotel rooms available. We will have to stay on the pull out couch in his parent's room. I could use a reality check. Longer explanation inside. [more inside]
posted by mary, queen of socks on Mar 11, 2013 - 52 answers

The mom of my ex wants to get in touch... what now?

Out of the blue, the mom of my ex-boyfriend (whom I thought I was just starting to get over with) wants to reconnect, but without his knowledge (we haven't been keeping in touch since Christmas). She wants to have "a little chat" -- when I pressed for details, she said only to keep in touch whenever I find myself in town. As well-intentioned as she may be, I feel this is quite manipulative of her due to the context of our breakup and I'm not sure how to respond, if I should, and if I should go ahead and meet up with her (I'm half-scared of being ambushed and reprimanded -- because she wants his sister to tag along on this chat, too -- plus I feel I'll be complicit in the mother's going behind my ex's back, whatever the outcome). [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Feb 19, 2013 - 81 answers

How can I support my husband while he sets boundaries with his family?

How do I best support my partner when he sets boundaries with his passive-aggressive family, particularly when the boundaries are about how they've been treating me? Wall of text, with bonus holiday drama, inside! [more inside]
posted by SeedStitch on Dec 26, 2012 - 38 answers

Why can't I just get over this?

How do I get more onboard with my in-laws' presence in my life? [more inside]
posted by agress on Dec 16, 2012 - 37 answers

What to do about my mother in law and her parenting?

My Mother-in-law is sending her children to my house as punishment and it makes me very uncomfortable and I need help figuring out how to get her to stop. [more inside]
posted by julie_of_the_jungle on Aug 15, 2012 - 43 answers

Please help me negotiate with this family that I am now a part of

So, my inlaws are visiting, I'm not sure how to iron the details out with my SO. We have very different ideas about how this should transpire. I am also having trouble dealing with the culture of their family I'm trying to be as short as possible. Thanks. [more inside]
posted by ibakecake on Aug 6, 2012 - 41 answers

Tips for living with inlaws?

Tips for living with inlaws? [more inside]
posted by oink on Jul 22, 2012 - 11 answers

How to let go of anger?

How to let go of anger? [more inside]
posted by DeltaForce on Jun 20, 2012 - 38 answers

Mother-in-law triggering PTSD

How do I keep sane when my mother-in-law does crazy things? [more inside]
posted by mild deer on Feb 17, 2012 - 43 answers

Aunt In-Law Once Removed?

What do you call your brother-in-law's mom? [more inside]
posted by janelikes on Jan 10, 2012 - 36 answers

How do I deal with an unwanted Christmas guest?

My brother-in-law may be back on drugs, or possibly beginning to show symptoms of mental illness. He's recently become verbally abusive to my mother-in-law. He's also been invited up for Christmas with the rest of the in-laws. Of course, things are complicated. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 7, 2011 - 23 answers

Making My Own Misery

I need some wisdom to get the chip off my shoulder. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 5, 2011 - 54 answers

Seeking long term advice for dealing with "asker" in-laws as a life-long "guesser."

Seeking long term advice for dealing with "asker" in-laws as a life-long "guesser." [more inside]
posted by anony moose on Nov 22, 2011 - 24 answers

How to handle a cheating in-law?

My MIL is having an affair, is not being smart about it and I don't know how to be around her now. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 15, 2011 - 33 answers

Von Dune'll Getcha if You Don't Watch Out!

My in-laws are in town and are arguing about a weird family story/old news story. Help me get to the bottom of this! [more inside]
posted by coppermoss on Oct 8, 2011 - 7 answers

SO and I are at an impasse regarding his parents' behavior towards me.

SO and I are at an impasse regarding his parents' behavior towards me. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 2, 2011 - 50 answers

Mother-in-law troubles

I need some help regarding my prospective mother-in-law's involvement in our lives. [more inside]
posted by smockpuppet on Sep 12, 2011 - 24 answers

How to cope with being hated by in-laws?

How to cope with being hated by in-laws? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 10, 2011 - 41 answers

I will not let this cycle of stupid behavior continue.

Met the parents. They're crazy. Need to develop strategies to cope and set clear and unavoidable bondaries NOW before the cycle of stupid and exploitative behavior continues. [more inside]
posted by These Birds of a Feather on Jul 6, 2011 - 45 answers

Is it ever okay to go behind your wife's back?

My wife doesn't get along with my sister. My sister is graduating. My wife discovers that I am buying her a graduation gift without her knowledge. She is upset I went behind her back. Where do I go from here? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 19, 2011 - 71 answers

Help me figure out how to get along.

Help me make the most of a beach vacation with my future in-laws. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Apr 28, 2011 - 31 answers

Help me enjoy Boxing Day with my in-laws (more) this year.

Help me enjoy Boxing Day with my in-laws (more) this year. [more inside]
posted by braemar on Dec 25, 2010 - 12 answers

Reality check, please!

Mother in law invited herself on vacation, I'm not happy. Am I being unreasonable? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 14, 2010 - 34 answers

Fed up.

Help me understand/deal with my in law's [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 22, 2010 - 33 answers

My wife's parents are separating.

How can I be most helpful & supportive to my wife as her parents go through a trial separation? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 8, 2010 - 7 answers

Why can't I win even if I win?

When you "win" an argument with your spouse, it's not really winning, or is it? [more inside]
posted by abdulf on Sep 17, 2010 - 47 answers

Help a fat girl have a relationship with in-laws who hate fat

How to improve relationship with disapproving future in-laws: My boyfriend and I have been together for a bit more than two years, and we’ve been living together for a year and a half. We are both in our mid- to late-twenties. Our relationship is strong, and really, it is not at issue. The problem comes in with his parents. [more inside]
posted by redfishbluefish on Aug 20, 2010 - 25 answers

Please enable me further

Toxic relatives and forgiveness games ... how do I handle this? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 11, 2010 - 19 answers

Help me find a nice place to take my in-laws on a 5-7 day trip, anywhere in the US

My husband's parents will visit us in the US in February and we need to plan a 5-7 day trip for the four of us. Their first idea was Vegas, but they prefer some place they don't know yet. Suggestions? [more inside]
posted by Opal on Dec 25, 2009 - 10 answers

Is it rare/impossible for parents-in-law to never meet each other?

Are any of you in a situation where your parents and your significant other's parents have never met, and the situation will probably remain this way? Is it awkward, or accepted? I am hoping for any kind of advice on the logistics of this. I feel like it's common for in-laws to know each other, but I don't know this for sure. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 8, 2009 - 28 answers

It's all about YOU.

2 weeks out from my wedding, and future mother-in-law is creating drama about future father-in-law's partner, who is roundly despised by all involved. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 5, 2009 - 66 answers

Much ado about dunking

Infant son's getting baptized, and our sister-in-law feels she should be allowed to invite several friends of hers who're not of our faith and not acquainted with either us or the baby. I think she's out of line. O wise Hivemind, which of us is right? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 17, 2009 - 65 answers

Jewish bookstores in NYC

How should I handle this? (Father-in-law wants me to take him to Jewish bookstores in NYC without my wife, I have to work, I have never met him, and I know nothing about Judaism.) [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Apr 21, 2009 - 33 answers

You don't have to come to the shindig, ya know

We know where we want to get married, but the bride to be's parents don't like our preferred location [more inside]
posted by orville sash on Apr 17, 2009 - 51 answers

How do I resolve this ridiculosity?

How do I resolve a child care conflict with people who swear they have done nothing wrong? [more inside]
posted by The Giant Squid on Mar 17, 2009 - 89 answers

When announcing a wedding is more like "breaking the news"

I am getting married on May 12th. How do I break the news to my family? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Feb 7, 2009 - 15 answers

What can/should we do to help my father-in-law?

What can/should we do to help my father-in-law? He's mismanaged his money, he's unemployed and he's in danger of losing everything. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 12, 2009 - 15 answers

How can I tolerate gatherings more?

With the holidays coming I find my inability to tolerate some family members and listen to the inane chatter that fills the room. I am often visually unhappy about the situation. How can I tolerate such gatherings in a way that at least makes it appear I'm not so unhappy? (Bonus points if I'm ACTUALLY not so unhappy). [more inside]
posted by arniec on Dec 1, 2008 - 28 answers

Help me figure out how to deal with my sister-in-law!

Help me learn to deal with my sister-in-law without going crazy! (Long background inside) [more inside]
posted by alpha_betty on Nov 18, 2008 - 47 answers

Possibly the longest post on askmefi ever

D...d...dowryfilter? Maybe? I'm getting married to a Chinese woman, very soon, and her rather wealthy parents are asking (hinting, in this face-sensitive culture, so I think that's what it is, but it could mean something else?) where my divorced, broke parents' contribution to the marriage is, or, in lieu of theirs, mine. They've tossed a $140,000 duplex our way, a prime rental property, and a ton of financial support for their daughter. I have about $400 in the bank and an okay freelance career. Barring 10 years to save up and match that...what, exactly, can I do to prevent this from getting really, really, really awkward? A long, rambling explanation follows. [more inside]
posted by saysthis on Sep 29, 2008 - 19 answers

Make my Christmas dinner a success!

[first time holiday dinner filter] It's my first holiday FEAST. And I must impress FUTURE INLAWS. Give me your tried-and-true "omfg where on EARTH did you get this recipe" holiday recipes - traditional is okay, but I'd prefer the off-kilter. [more inside]
posted by damnjezebel on Nov 25, 2007 - 34 answers

Penny foolish and Pound foolish

How to tell inlaws to buck up and be frugal? [more inside]
posted by ian1977 on Nov 6, 2007 - 41 answers

How do I respond to an anti-Islam email?

My girlfriend's parents (future inlaws?) forward me a lot of those awful right-wing emails. The latest one is an anti-Islam rant (inside). [more inside]
posted by neuron on Jul 24, 2006 - 73 answers

Why the hell do people do this right before the holidays?

My future mother-in-law was laid off unexpectedly this week. She probably had a week's notice. Is there anything I can do? [more inside]
posted by saucy on Nov 30, 2005 - 9 answers

Gun in the House

My father-in-law, who recently became ill, moved in with us last weekend. My wife and I have two young boys. My father-in-law has guns. I don't like guns. I was perfectly happy not having any guns in my house. Now I'm worried. I know my father-in-law will rattle off fifty-two reasons backwards and forwards and upside down until we're all blue in face why it's important to have guns around. It won't matter - I'll still hate knowing there are guns in MY house. What should I do, grow up and get over it? Or can a compromise be reached? Any advice?
posted by michaelbrown on Apr 28, 2005 - 54 answers

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