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Old May 28th, 2013, 03:41 PM
Sara1023 Sara1023 is offline
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Should have I said something to my in laws?


My husband and I have issues with his parents. They are young ( early 60s ) and retired, no health issues whatsoever.

When I met them I thought I had the beat in laws ever, they lived to socialize e with us. They love to talk and do things with us. Then my first son came along, I had a c section with him. I was in the hospital for 5 days due to complications. When we were discharged, my husband took me and my baby home. We were all on our own. My in laws didn't bother to offer any help. And for the first two weeks, my in laws never bothered to offer any help. A few months after, my son had to have surgery. They never came to be with us, nor did they come after to visit or see their grandchild. In fact, we went to see them that weekend!! A few months after, I had to undergo a surgery. They knew about it, I was in the hospital the whole day and didn't get discharged until 5. My son was at daycare and we had to pick him up. They never offered to help in anyway.

Then my second son came, also via c section. They at least took care I my oldest while I was in the hospital for 2 days. When we came home, you think my in laws prepared something to eat? Nope, they ate my food in my fridge and told me that they left me half the chicken. My husband had to go back to work after 5 days, you think my in laws came to help? Since I was home by myself, nursing a c section and a newborn and a 3 year old ? No. They came to "visit" 2 weeks later. Bringing anything? Of course not. They stayed for 15 minutes.

Since then, it's just been one thing after another. They've never offered to help in anyway. When my kids are sick, they stay away instead if helping. They've barely seen or be with the kids. And when they do come, they're always so much in a hurry to leave.

We have also been struggling, my husband lost his very good paying job 3 years ago and has been working for a lot less paying job. It's been very hard for us with bills and kids. It's not something I have kept secret from them. His mom inherited some money last year and they sold their house and made quite a bit of money there too. We've never asked for help but could use some. What does his parents say when I say hubby has to work a lot? Too bad. My daycare cost me 1500 a month, you think they've thought to offer any help. One day a week maybe? No.

Today she came and announced they are buying another new car. Showed me the pictures. And the first thought I had was, how insulting for them to flaunt this stuff to us when we can barely afford to survive. They've just down a 30th dollar renovation last month too.

I know it's not our money and its not our business how they spend it. But do they have to keep flaunting it to our faces?

So I sent them an email, asking them not to talk to hubby, their son, about the car or the trip we just cancelled because we can't afford to go. I explained why their son has been down and distant . Because his depressed about our finances.

I wish I could have said more, but it's Not my place.

Was I right?
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Old May 28th, 2013, 04:20 PM
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Annsdil Annsdil is offline
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Re: Should have I said something to my in laws?

I think you said sufficient to explain their son's current situation and you are right it's probably not your place. It's something your DH should raise if he is so inclined.

It's a tough one. For a lot of people who have IL issues it's because they are too involved and controlling. Maybe your IL's are too aware of such issues that they have over-compensated?

Maybe they are waiting for you or DH to ask for some assistance. Some times communications break down simply because both parties are afraid to make the first move for fear of upsetting the other.

Maybe, they believe that when people face whatever challenges they find themselves in life, they need to deal with it themselves. Help them strengthen their characters. They've done their parenting, now it's your turn. What kind of life did they have at your age? Do they feel that they had to overcome much to get where they are today and that is what they expect of your family?

do you get any support from other family members? Do you think they may feel you have expectations of them over and above what they can practically and emotionally provide for you?

There are so many reasons they could be the way they are. It's sad if you feel that they just don't care about their grandkids, especially when they have been very poorly. Does your DH feel the same way? If so and you are on the same page, maybe he needs to address how hurt you have both felt over their lack of empathy in this respect.
There’s one major problem with giving grandparents legal access to their grandchildren. People who inflicted verbal, physical and sexual abuse on their children are then given access to inflict trauma on yet another generation. ~ Wayne and Tamara

Last edited by Annsdil; May 28th, 2013 at 04:24 PM.
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Old May 28th, 2013, 04:23 PM
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LucyVanPelt LucyVanPelt is offline
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Re: Should have I said something to my in laws?

You were right not to say more. It sounds like there's a big difference between your expectations and your IL's.

Since you already know that you have no right to those expectations, it should come as no surprise that for your own happiness, you need to abandon them. Do not expect anything from the ILs. Instead, seek support someplace else.

Where is your family? Your friends?
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Old May 28th, 2013, 05:30 PM
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Re: Should have I said something to my in laws?

Welcome Sara1023!

I think your in-laws have reached a stage in their lives where they are *done* with raising children. They are young-ish, in good health, and want to enjoy retirement. They want a relationship with you based on you and your DH being adult friends and not you and DH being children they are responsible for. Does that make sense?

I couldn't tell from your post if they are being appropriately sympathetic about things like your DH's job loss. My guess is that they are keeping you at arm's length because they don't want to be in the sticky situation of needing to help you. Maybe they believe in you and your DH's abilities to land on your feet more than the two of you do.

What was their background like? Did they have parents helping them with childcare or finances?
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Old May 29th, 2013, 08:59 AM
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Re: Should have I said something to my in laws?

My wife and I are grandparents - we have five grandchildren. We love those kids and we get involved. However, we know other grandparents who sound like your in-laws. Although I can't speak for them or know their reasons why they don't get involved more I can say that I've heard the statement more than once: "We've raised our kids, now they can raise there's."

They've worked a long time to get what they want and maybe they're living the dream they want. I don't necessarily agree with them not offering emotional support while you and your child was in the hospital. Maybe even taking the child home with them. After all, taking care of one grandchild for a short while is, in my opinion... a piece of cake. Heck... Dairy Queen, the Park, a Cartoon on TV, reading a book to them.

This summer, my wife will be caring for four of these grandchildren. She does get paid, but still... This is something I wouldn't even attempt to do. Maybe for a couple of days, but five days a week? <shudder >

Financially. We don't help our kids. Haven't for quite some time. Maybe if they were in a bind and needed to see a doctor we would pay for it. But simply hand over money or pay a bill or two for them? My daughter and her husband struggled the same as your husband did - both of them lost great paying jobs because of the 08' crisis. I took my daughter three years to get a job that paid just over half of what she used to make and her husband two years to get less than half of what he used to make. They struggled, but they made it. We did a little, but not much. We did watch the kids, but my wife's and my time were ours. We struggled for years - lots of spaghetti dinners with tomato paste and water - sometimes we used ketchup - yuk!

But we made it - our parents didn't do much for us. When we moved close to my wife's mother she visited us I think once in the three years and we lived less than a half mile from her. My parents, who lived in another state never even mentioned the possibility of visiting. We went to them (both). My wife and I talked about it and decided that "we" will do what we believe is the right thing regardless of what our parents do or don't do. In other words... If we didn't set expectations, then we wouldn't be disappointed, and if we weren't disappointed then there would be no animosity. It helped a bunch. After that, when WE visited them, our happiness was genuine and not forced.

I'm sorry for your dilemma. I'm certain it's difficult and I know you've been hurt because of the lack of emotional support. All I can really say is... Don't carry that burden of animosity towards your husbands parents. It will only maker things worse. They are who they are and only they can change that. There's nothing wrong with asking them why they didn't visit your or your child when you were hospitalized (I couldn't drag my sister to a hospital even if I blindfolded, drugged and draged her - she hated hospitals). That's just an honest question. There's nothing wrong with telling them you were hurt because of it either - that's just being honest about your feelings. If their reaction is negative, then at least you know you did the right thing by asking. Point is: If someone hurts your feelings then tell them they hurt your feelings. Beats the hecks out of dwelling on it until it burns a hole in your heart.

Anyway, I'm just rambling now.

Hang in there. You have your husband and your children. That's YOUR family. If your in-laws don't want to bond with their grandkids - that's their loss.
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