They Flat-out Ignore Me

Question: Dear Luise: The problem started before I was married.  When my husband and I began dating, my future in-laws were very warm and hugged me lots and complimented me lots and we had lots of long conversations.  Once we moved closer to them and began spending more time with his parents they changed.  They began to ignore me and resent the fact that my husband (boyfriend at the time) was spending time away from them to take me on dates.  They wanted him to be at their beck and call.  His mom has treated him like her own “husband”, confiding in him and not being close to her real husband.  It became apparent to me very quickly.  My husbands way has always been to ignore them and just cut them out (which is exactly what the in-laws do, it’s either their way or the highway).  I’ve tried to ask my husband not to take this approach, I feel the in-law’s hold the behavior against me.  Numerous times his mother has said that she didn’t raise her son to treat her this way, so I think she is implying I’ve changed him to be cruel to her.  She has sent long emails stating he has been very cruel and judgmental of her.  Really all he’s ever done is once every few years ask her to be kind to me, civil to me, not ignore and to reach out to me and him. She refuses to acknowledge her part in this problem.  Ever since our marriage 8 years ago she has NEVER, not one time asked us to celebrate a holiday or birthday with us.  She used to have her young daughter call us at 10:30pm the night before and invite us to a birthday gathering and we had to say no as it was such late notice and we felt they had no consideration of our lives.  We had made other plans for the next day and felt that they only wanted things their way.  Anytime we have invited them to our place for a holiday or birthday they have said they’re too busy. How can I stop this crazy cycle?  I really would like to get along with my in-laws.  I also would not like to be walked on, treated like I’m worthless, ignored or manipulated.  Is there any hope? I have tried to talk in simple and respectful terms to my in-laws and they just deny and act like I am crazy for bringing things like this up.  They say they accept me into their family but in person they flat out ignore me. Thanks for reading and for any advice. J.

Answer: Dear J.: The best advice I can give you is to come over to my Web-forum. It was designed for women with issues involving their adult children and extended families. The majority of my questions are on that subject and I soon realized that we needed a venue that was more supportive by being interactive.

We are at You will be well-received and I hope you will find ways to cope, as a result. It’s a good mix of DILs and MILs who are all seeking resolution not revenge. I look forward to seeing you there. Blessings, Luise

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