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What to do? In-laws are kind of annoying me.

 
 
Aerone
 
Reply Fri 20 Oct, 2017 06:55 pm
As my title states, I'm wondering what kind of outlook should I take with my wife's immediate family; to me they are quite the wrong archetypes and it doesn't sit well with me at all. I'll give a backdrop down below, and it will be a wall of text... And I know there may not be a lot of posts here or I'm already in the wrong, but let me state my point(s) before you decide lol.

So my wife has some pretty weird, to me at least, immediate family members and they all rub me the wrong way, in their own way. I should've done something about it before I married my wife, but then again, I married my wife, not her family. So I am on here because in my point of view, I would like to keep my/our distance away from them as much as possible but I know very well that I can't/shouldn't produce a wedge between my wife and her family. So, I'll make this easier by writing about each person and anyone can respond based off each person.

Wife's Mother: One of the largest and most troublesome issues I've had to face in my relationship with my wife, through just casually dating to actually being married. To put this sharply, she wants to be in control of everything she could get her hands on. While even dating my wife, whom was 20 at the time, the mother would place a curfew on her like she was some child; if the SO were to ever go past it, she would almost be punished by constant screaming and yelling, something that put a bad taste in my mouth. However this is only the beginning; this woman placed so much rules and responsibilities onto my SO, again whom was an adult at that time, that she almost made my SO seem like a child. It was to the point that the SO would often cry to me just about how much she hated being there. If something didn't go the mother's way, she would instantly blame the SO for it and if anyone dare said anything back to her, even if she was wrong, you insulted her and her household. She believed herself to be a strong Christian and tried to instill values into her children through fear and force. One of my breaking points was when my SO had an opinion that differed from her mother, she actually said that if my SO doesn't be quiet, she would hurt her feelings. I almost told her off at that point, but I was under the assumption that there was a better time and place for this, however from this point forward, I hated her with every cell that dwelled composed of who I am. It's almost like her life is a lie, as she parades on social media like Facebook and such about how she cares for her children and that further irritates me. However now that my SO is married to me, I've done pretty well at creating a barrier between her and my household, yet my wife still feels some need to cater to her and help her. While not common, the mother in law will attempt to coerce my wife to do something by subtle hints, such as re-enforcing a specific part of her sentence, like saying it twice. I remember one time my wife and I left on vacation, and told her we were going somewhere and instead went to a different place and she was bothered; her excuse was because she told everyone we were going somewhere and didn't want to make a lie of her.

My thoughts on that were, she only knew were we going put of the kindness of my heart, it's not a right by a privilege to know anything about our life now, but again, my wife pleaded with me to calm down. She's not as controlling, but if they are together, she does apparently expect my wife to follow her instructions and if that doesn't happen, we hear about it. Personally, my disdain for her grows even if I don't hear from her. As of now, my wife is pregnant, and my need to be a father is telling me to put her mom on her ass and let know that while I tolerated her before, the game is over. I will say it either professionally or angrily, and my wife will not get in my way this time. She knows very well that I will put her mom back on the ground, and her mom knows that as well.

My wife's brother: Another product of my wife's rather disheartening immediate family, and this also contributes to my feelings toward the parent whom was explained above. To begin, this brother was raised by her mother with not even a 10th of the standards that my wife had to endure. I know, this sounds like something I should talk to shrink for. Due to this, he got to live in the world he wanted to and now he's almost 30, lives with his mother because having an apartment was too much responsibility for him, and works part time at the local Sam's Club as a cart pusher. Fine, more power to him, however he doesn't directly bother me like his mother. Instead, it's his actions to himself that actually anger me; he's not very intelligent, or at least he's not trying. He's content with playing on his Ps4 while working at Sam's Club, and doesn't even have his own car anymore. They ask his grandmother for financial assistance, or at least he does, even though he's wasting his time by not applying himself and instead being needy upon someone to take care him and blind him to what exists outside of the trailer they live at in the country somewhere. It bothers me because I have to watch him go down and attempt to drag my wife into these childish shenanigans like going to carve pumpkins or play games. I must emphasize the childishness that he exhibits by pointing out that his social circle is full of others whom act just like him, and at nearly every family gathering, his only contribution is talking about some game or some fantasy subject that he and his friends concocted. Fine, this isn't my life, and this is his own choice. More power to him, but there's no way in hell I will allow him much time around my house and especially my child to come, especially when he doesn't even see his problem. He's afraid to step out and struggle to win, he's even afraid if going somewhere he doesn't know the way to and instead begs someone else to escort him... Although he had a working smartphone with GPS. And I'm barely tapping the surface here.

I don't mean to sound like I'm complaining, but there is something seriously wrong about this picture and I'm about to be at the point of where I voice my opinion and probably make them and the other family members dislike me, for putting them in their place. I feel I need to make them aware that their willful shortcomings are not welcome to me and this family that I'm making with my wife. If it want for my wife, the lot of them would be lost, and I'm about have that happen so they can learn that their realm of manipulation is just a facade, and I will see to that, involving me and my family that is. My wife already knows how I feel, and I feel that I've been incredibly generous, especially with that mom. I don't want to end up being controlling by attempting to rid us of those problems, but it's just that, they aren't our problems, and it's about time somewhere outside of that family showed them that.

Is this the right way to go? Any opinions? Tips? It would all be appreciated.. Thank you! And yo put things into perspective, we are well into our twenties... Where we are all adults, and shouldn't have to have spouses/SOs remind parents and siblings that everyone needs to act their age and grow up.
 
chai2
 
  2  
Reply Fri 20 Oct, 2017 07:21 pm
First off, you in laws are not "kind" of annoying you.

They Are annoying you. Actually, you said you hated every cell of your body. That's far beyond annoying.

Stop wimping around with your language and actions, under the guise of "trying to be nice".

Your MIL is a narcissist
Your wife is the scapegoat/black sheep
Your BIL is the golden child.

Narcissists need to be fed. You have no obligation to do so. Whether you kiss her ass or go and live your own life happily, she's going to criticize. You might as well live a happy life.

Your wife has to deal with how she's going to proceed in the situation. The subject of therapy came up in another thread you started. This is another use for counseling.

In your other thread, you indicated your wife was pretty vanilla in the sex dept, and doesn't know what she wants.
How the hell is she supposed to know what she wants when up to this time she has only been given the options of a child?

There's plenty of info on how to deal with a narcissist online, and some excellent youtube videos.

Sit down With your wife and research.
Aerone
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Oct, 2017 07:29 pm
@chai2,
In all honesty, as I was writing this, it hit me a like brick that everything that I complained about in this thread, may be my cause for my previous thread. Although she and I discussed what's needing to happen on that behalf. However, am I just for feeling the way that I do about these in-laws?
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Oct, 2017 07:50 pm
@Aerone,
Nothing lives in a vacuum. Do you really think your life is that compartmentalized?

You and she both need to work out this ball of hair.

Don't ask me how, I already said what I thought may be the start of a solution for you.

But, you know that.
Aerone
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Oct, 2017 07:57 pm
@chai2,
I'm not denying there's work to be done, in fact, you're preaching the choir on that point.
0 Replies
 
vikorr
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 20 Oct, 2017 11:37 pm
@Aerone,
All of these things sound frustrating. It must be even more frustrating to not know precisely how to deal with it.

Quote:
So my wife has some pretty weird, to me at least, immediate family members and they all rub me the wrong way, in their own way. I should've done something about it before I married my wife, but then again, I married my wife, not her family.
Umm, this sounds almost like you believe family stop being family when you marry someone? Family are part of the package. Anyone who thinks otherwise isn’t living in reality, is a control freak (ie. Just think about how much control you would have to exert in order for your spouses family to NOT be part of the package), or is engaging in wishful thinking.

Quote:
One of my breaking points was when my SO had an opinion that differed from her mother, she actually said that if my SO doesn't be quiet, she would hurt her feelings. I almost told her off at that point, but I was under the assumption that there was a better time and place for this, however from this point forward, I hated her with every cell that dwelled composed of who I am.
For this, it was once pointed out to me that many of our negative feelings about other people often arise after we have not stood up for ourselves, or done what we knew we should have. In this event, you didn’t effectively stand up for yourself, and hated her for it (this still holds true even if you take an overall look at her behaviour vs you standing up for yourself)

Ask yourself, if you had a plan in place for how to deal with it, and the skill set to achieve, would you hate her, or would you tolerate her less appealing behaviours while using each conversation to guide her towards more acceptable behaviour?

Quote:
I will say it either professionally or angrily, and my wife will not get in my way this time. She knows very well that I will put her mom back on the ground, and her mom knows that as well.
Putting someone on the ground where I come from, means punching them with enough force that they fall to the ground. Is this what you mean?

Quote:
I feel I need to make them aware that their willful shortcomings are not welcome to me and this family that I'm making with my wife.

Does your wife get any say in this?

Again, there are other ways of dealing with this:

-Educate yourself on dealing with manipulative people.

-Improve your assertiveness skill set (this involves not just standing up for yourself, but doing so firmly, articulately, with understanding, with compassion, and with respect)

-Set boundaries for your brother in laws behaviour while in your house.

I hope it helps a little.
0 Replies
 
PUNKEY
 
  3  
Reply Sat 21 Oct, 2017 09:37 pm
MOVE.

I mean out of the State. To another country maybe.

This is NEVER going to get better . Plus, how much do you want to bet you will be taking care of the weirdo brother after Mom dies.

Pack your bags!!
Lash
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 22 Oct, 2017 07:08 am
These are mild in-law problems.

Some in-laws are much more intrusive and damaging to the marriage.

Relax and be happy.
1. Tell your wife that you have decided to train your MIL to treat her and your marriage with more respect. During the training process, you may have to leverage the time MIL has access to your wife, your home, and in time, her grandchild.
2. Wife has to be on board with this or forgetabboutit.
3. Wait until MIL crosses a boundary.
4. Try to dig up some empathy and compassion for her and say, “Hilda, I need to talk to you about something. Please come sit down with me.... I’m not sure if you realize how critical you are of Ming, but your criticism and emotional control over her have been a constant issue in my relationship with her since the beginning. Now that she’s carrying my child and will soon be the mother of my baby, we must change this dynamic.”

When she interrupts or emotion threatens to escalate the drama, you be the voice of calm and say if the subject is too emotional for her to listen and then reply, you think it’s best for her to leave and you can try again when she’s calm.

Your ace in the hole is she will be out of your home and out of communication with her daughter until this conversation has been accomplished to your satisfaction. If your wife takes calls behind your back, she’ll always be this woman’s pawn.

5. Whenever this MIL submits to the conversation, try to be kind and tell her she may not know how damaging criticism from mothers can be, but that time is over and she needs to establish a different type of relationship with her. A supportive, loving adult friendship.

Stress can affect an unborn baby and a young mother in ways you are unwilling to risk. A constant stream of criticism can really wreck a new mother’s ability to thrive.

6. Tell her your intent is to help her find a new, positive footing with your wife, and you’ll bring awareness to interactions that are no longer acceptable when they happen.

7. Then, do it. Every time. “That was unnecessarily critical.” “I don’t appreciate what you said to Ming. I don’t think you should plan the shower with all this stress. We’ll cancel it.”

When she sees you guys canceling events or leaving her presence or asking her to leave immediately after she oversteps her boundaries—and you warned her in advance about why and when this will happen, she’ll probably test you plenty of times, but just like a child, if you’re consistent, she’ll either adopt your preferred treatment or you’ll be seeing a lot less of her.

Please do remember that young mothers really need moms in most circumstances. Make sure your motivation isn’t just blatant dislike for MIL, but trying to establish sound expectations of treatment for the mother of your child.

Good luck!
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Oct, 2017 11:02 am
@Lash,
Lash and Vikorr

Thanks for the laugh first thing this morning.

The idea that "but they're Family" (Capitalized as if the word was something holy), or that somehow you can reason with a narcissist, gives false hope by imagining that you're not dealing with someone who will do anything to create drama.

Lash, the OP stated at one point he's barely scratched the surface. I totally believe that.

With a narcissist, you set firm boundaries, when (not if) they are broken, you move on without them. You deal with the fact no matter how many times you tried to reason with them, or if you cut ties with them, you're going to end up being the one talked about. You have to get to the point where you don't care, and you go live your own life. There's a good chance that many of the people the narcissist complains to about you are jealous that you had the balls to break free.

The best that can be hoped for when you run into in other at family or social event is that you can remain neutral, not engage, and get away.

But....but...but....It's your Mother!

Yeah, it's unfortunate that some people have a mother, or other person, from whom they need to disengage.

Lash
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Oct, 2017 11:31 am
@chai2,
I didn’t read where he said he’d sat down and outlined boundaries or enforced them. I also said at the end of that, if she didn’t adapt, they’d be spending much less time with her.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Oct, 2017 12:01 pm
@Lash,
I guess one of the major things that got me was your idea of "training" the MIL.

I'd love to be a fly on the wall for that conversation. She'd turn every point around and make it about the other so fast your head would spin.

Narcissists are master manipulators. Even if they "act" trained, ain't gonna last long.

Don't get me wrong. Healthy family relationships are wonderful. Also, some/many issues can be resolved. The best you can hope for with a narcissist if you choose to keep some kind of communications open is that every time will result in you being degraded for any direction you turn. If someone can deal with even the occassional encounter making you wonder "Why am I still doing this", have at it.

Healthy family relationships means giving, narcissists are incapable of this. Period.

Not very warm and fuzzy, but there it is.



chai2
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Oct, 2017 12:19 pm
@chai2,
BTW, I wasn't the one who thumbed you or vikkor down.
0 Replies
 
vikorr
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Oct, 2017 01:35 pm
@chai2,
Glad you had a laugh.

You have a very selective version, from a person who admits he hates his mother in law with every cell of his body....who has only highlighted the worst behaviour of the person he hates, and none of the good side. 90%+ of this person is missing. You do not have enough information (and the information you do have is probably very slanted) to say the mother in law is a narccicist.

I'm not saying he has everything, or anything wrong...just that jumping to such a conclusion with such information is very problematic.
chai2
 
  2  
Reply Sun 22 Oct, 2017 03:30 pm
@vikorr,
No.

I was going by the relationship between the daughter and the mother.

So I guess that blows that theory out of the water.

In fact, I gave very little thought to the son in law's feeling toward the MIL. That is, beyond the fact I think he needs to support his wife in her efforts to break free from this mess.

There are random words/phrases by the OP about his feelings toward her, but on the whole what was written was pretty much a text book definition of a narcissist. See below.

This woman did not suddenly start imposing control in the form of curfews, wanting to know items that don't concern her, etc. etc. at the time the daughter turned 20. This young wife has dealt with this her whole life. The person suffering in all this is the young wife. She is dealt by society, in this case, and with the case of anyone dealing with a narcissistic parent, that somehow they owe this parent something, for the privilege of being treated like **** their entire lives.

Vikkor, your expressing that "family are part of the package" are one of the many things people dealing with narcissitic parents/other relatives, have to deal with. It's one of the main things I think, that keeps people from breaking free.

Says who?

You?

The person having to deal with the nightmare of a person who literally has no concern for others, and is incapable of love beyond the love of a possession, is heart breaking.

On top of that, getting the clear message from others/society in general that you "have" to love and communicate with this person, is sickening.

Wife's Mother: One of the largest and most troublesome issues I've had to face in my relationship with my wife, through just casually dating to actually being married. To put this sharply, she wants to be in control of everything she could get her hands on. While even dating my wife, whom was 20 at the time, the mother would place a curfew on her like she was some child; if the SO were to ever go past it, she would almost be punished by constant screaming and yelling, something that put a bad taste in my mouth. However this is only the beginning; this woman placed so much rules and responsibilities onto my SO, again whom was an adult at that time, that she almost made my SO seem like a child. It was to the point that the SO would often cry to me just about how much she hated being there. If something didn't go the mother's way, she would instantly blame the SO for it and if anyone dare said anything back to her, even if she was wrong, you insulted her and her household. She believed herself to be a strong Christian and tried to instill values into her children through fear and force. One of my breaking points was when my SO had an opinion that differed from her mother, she actually said that if my SO doesn't be quiet, she would hurt her feelings.

It's almost like her life is a lie, as she parades on social media like Facebook and such about how she cares for her children

yet my wife still feels some need to cater to her and help her. While not common, the mother in law will attempt to coerce my wife to do something by subtle hints, such as re-enforcing a specific part of her sentence, like saying it twice. I remember one time my wife and I left on vacation, and told her we were going somewhere and instead went to a different place and she was bothered; her excuse was because she told everyone we were going somewhere and didn't want to make a lie of her.


None of that is coming from a woman who just in the last year or so has developed issues with her daughter.

If you believe my version is selective, I would say yours is just as selective, but in a way that reinforces society's edict that the daughter must put up with this. That is very problematic.

Yes, I do have enough information to state this mother is a narcissist.
I would invite you to do some research of your own, rather than jumping to the conclusion family must always be part of the package.
vikorr
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Oct, 2017 11:10 pm
@chai2,
Quote:
I was going by the relationship between the daughter and the mother.

So I guess that blows that theory out of the water.
What issues that I nominated were invalidated?

The information provided to you about the relationship between the mother and daughter is still:
- provided by a person who hates the mother with every cell of his body (ie. it's probably very slanted); and
- articulates none of the good traits of the mother; and
- is missing 90%+ (I would say closer to 99%) of information about the mother.

So again, you simply do not have enough information to jump to a conclusion of narcissism.

Quote:
The person having to deal with the nightmare of a person who literally has no concern for others, and is incapable of love beyond the love of a possession, is heart breaking.
We can agree on this point.

Quote:
If you believe my version is selective, I would say yours is just as selective, but in a way that reinforces society's edict that the daughter must put up with this. That is very problematic.
How odd....no where did I say he had to put up with it. In fact I provided several pieces of advice on how to deal with it (ie. not put up with it).

It just happened that my advice didn't involve telling him to run the other way.

Is there any advice I provided that you disagree with?
vikorr
 
  2  
Reply Sun 22 Oct, 2017 11:41 pm
@vikorr,
Quote:
It just happened that my advice didn't involve telling him to run the other way.
To clarify something - no where in the OP's post did he mention that his wife didn't want her mother to be a part of her life anymore.

It was one of the reasons I asked the OP if his wife had any say in this (in my original reply to the OP).
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Oct, 2017 07:46 am
@chai2,
one of the major things that got me was your idea of "training" the MIL

Each of us trains everyone we come into contact with with how we respond to what they say and do.

Btw, I don’t have a problem with the fact that we disagree about this. It just seems you missed some things and made some assumptions. Maybe transferred some of your experiences on to this situation. Most ignorant, so-called Christian mothers follow a lot of these patterns, and if the man or the daughter put down a firm foot and cut off access in a reliable way (especially when a baby is on the way), they can change the dynamic.

I’ve seen it happen.
vikorr
 
  2  
Reply Mon 23 Oct, 2017 12:41 pm
@Lash,
Other things that can contribute to such issues include:
- Mental health issues
- very poor parenting skills (probably learnt from the mothers own parents)
- lack of control if their own life (many people who lack control in their own lives try to control those they think they can - often family)

Those are off the top of my head. I'm sure there's more.

0 Replies
 
Aerone
 
  2  
Reply Thu 26 Oct, 2017 06:08 pm
Very good discussion everyone. Thank you.
0 Replies
 
Aerone
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Oct, 2017 06:10 pm
@PUNKEY,
I will not be taking care of him, and I've already put that in stone. He will go to a homeless shelter before I give him any of my resources; not with his current mindset.
0 Replies
 
 

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