Question: Dear Luise, I try to always keep the peace in my marriage and not let little things turn into big arguments so my daughter can be raised in a loving home. My husband is supportive and wonderful, so it makes it very easy! In the 12 years we’ve been married one thing that has always been difficult is the relationship between him and his family. Whenever we all get together he drops us like a sack of potatoes. He goes off on walks with his sister, goes off alone with his mom or dad (or both) leaving me to watch the kids so they can catch up. During a movie he’ll get popcorn for his family, sit off with them on a sofa- and leave me high and dry! The family members aren’t mean to me- they just won’t include me into their private little bubble. They sit and talk about his childhood years over and over again- and my mother in law will state that I don’t know about any of those people/events. I feel it’s a jealousy issue from her- using her memories and history with him against me since i could never compete with that. They even talk about old girlfriends of my husbands which hurts my feelings. I’m very outspoken and will tell them that my feelings are hurt and then walk away when they say that I’m being silly- but my husband never follows to make sure I’m ok. Its hurting my confidence. This certainly isn’t about choosing, I find it awesome he is a family man all around- but its hard to go from being his #1 person everyday – to being invisible when we are with them. I tried to talk to him about this and he stated I was being unfair- that I do the same thing when we are with my family. I don’t see that I do this- and if I do spend time with my sister, he’s doing something with her husband (my husband gets together with my brother & my sisters husband more than I get together with my own sister) On his side of the family he has 2 sisters- so when he’s with his family being closed off- I’m alone. I’m at the point that I don’t want to be around them because it is so upsetting- but certainly don’t want my daughter to see a family divided in any way. What should I do? D.
Answer: Dear D.: The truth is that this would bother some people and not others. Your reaction is about you. I doubt that it is hurting your confidence; it is showing you where you lack confidence. Being outspoken, walking away and then thinking you should be followed and appeased is immature and ineffective. It lessens your credibility and widens the gap.
Why not see a counselor and find out if you can work through this within yourself. How others act is about them. You could take a good book and ignore them or stay home…or you could work you way though it independently. How you are acting is making it about you and confirming that you are not anyone they want on the ”inside.” Blessings, Luise