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Old June 19th, 2008, 08:59 AM
no1totalk2 no1totalk2 is offline
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Arrow Selfish Siblings

Hi all!
I have been going crazy in my head coz of my in-laws mainly my husbands siblings.
So here is the basics : My husband has a big family (7 siblings in all)
These siblings call him or me pretty much only when they need something from us. And when my husband is fixing their problem for them, they call this ‘hanging out’ with him. But they take the time out to hang out with eachother, just never invite us for those ocassions, only when it serves them. We see them on family ocassions or when they need something from my husband. He is a very generous and kind hearted person who belives in helping anyone he can, espically his family. This is an honourable virtue to pocess but it drives me crazy. We have been married for over 5 years now, but I am left feeling like an outsider on every family occasion. His sisters would call him for every little thing – from come check out why my washer isn’t working to ‘hook’ me up for computer equipment, put stuff together for them, etc. It is even to a point that there hasn’t been any family ocassion that I have been to so far that whoseever house we are at, they already have something they need my husband to do for them. So when the rest of the family is hanging out, he is to do this work for them and I am just left trying to mingle with his family without him. Basically he is like the family ‘help’. I feel bad to think of him this way but that is what I think his role has become in the family and he obviously doesn’t see anything wrong in this. My husband and I have had many arguments regarding this. And finally after all these years he has reluctantly agreed to not go out of this way to help them. No more of ‘ I was just calling to catch up, but btw I need this, so you can come over to my place/or yours so that way we can hang out as well’. I know my husband thinks that I just hate his whole family, but what am I to do when the only time we see them is when they want something from my husband. I am felt feeling ‘used’ by his siblings, they don’t really acknowledge my existance becoz most of the time they need help from my husband they only need me for baby sitting their kids. Also I believe one of the reasons his siblings don’t care to know me is coz obviously he hasn’t been there for them 24/7 like before we got married. He used to bail them out of financial fixes also. But since we got married they don’t get all the ‘freebies’ from him anymore, so they are resentful towards me (one of the sister had told me this jokingly in so many words that she doesn’t get stuff anymore from him coz of me). How selfish! I sometimes want to scream and say ‘ GET YOUR OWN MAN’ to do your dirty work for you. Am I being unreasonable? I feel like this system has worked so long that no one in this family see’s anything wrong with this setup in regards to their relationship with my husband. It’s not that they have a ‘close’ relationship with him either. We have heard after the fact that on many ocassions the siblings met up for lunches, hang out etc, but just my husband has never been invited for any of this, I guess coz at that moment they must not need him to fix anything for them.
Am I over reacting? Please share your thoughts with me.
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Old June 19th, 2008, 09:24 AM
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KayKay KayKay is offline
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Re: Selfish Siblings

Yes, what they're doing is very hurtful. I agree with you about that.

However, sad to say, I think you're pretty powerless in the whole situation. I know exactly how you feel... I get really upset when people at my DH's work take advantage of his good nature... but until your DH starts seeing something wrong with it, there's not much you can do.

You especially can't come at it from an antagonistic position, because then you'll get the response "You just hate my family" etc. If it were me, the thing I would try doing is being upbeat and positive. On the way over there, say "Hang around for a little bit... I want SIL to tell you about blah blah that she was talking about during our last visit when you were fixing the X". When they ask him to look at something, cheerfully say "Oh, let's just VISIT awhile! DH can look at that in a little while, after we've had a chance to catch up!" You can also invite *them* places... places where DH can't be used as Mr. Fix-It. Meet out for lunch, at your house, etc.

Maybe that would help?

And welcome to the forum, by the way.
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Old June 19th, 2008, 11:14 AM
no1totalk2 no1totalk2 is offline
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Re: Selfish Siblings

Quote:
Originally Posted by KayKay View Post
You can also invite *them* places... places where DH can't be used as Mr. Fix-It. Meet out for lunch, at your house, etc.
Yes, have tried all that. Every time we invite them to just hang out they always flake with the lamest excuses. For example: the last occasion we had was our housewarming and not even one of the sisters (out of 3 that live in the area) came. And the excuse for 2 of them was that they 'over slept'! Our housewarming was on a Sunday afternoon at 3pm! overslept????

I do agree with you that until my DH doesn't see this as a problem there is nothing I can do I guess at least you understood what I was talking was and could see that it is in fact unfair. My DH always just disregards anything I say about this family as 'that is how they are' or that I am taking it too personally. My family lives overseas and I have nobody to just talk to anymore, I feel so lost at times. At least it’s good to know that I am not crazy....or imagining things since I am the only one in this family who seems to think that the relationship is screwed up.


KayKay, Thanks for taking time to hear me out....

Last edited by no1totalk2; June 19th, 2008 at 11:17 AM. Reason: extra commands
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Old June 19th, 2008, 11:17 AM
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Re: Selfish Siblings

not even one of the sisters (out of 3 that live in the area) came.

I do agree with you that until my DH doesn't see this as a problem there is nothing I can do I guess at least you understood what I was talking was and could see that it is in fact unfair. My DH always just disregards anything I say about this family as 'that is how they are' or that I am taking it too personally. My family lives overseas and I have nobody to just talk to anymore, I feel so lost at times. At least it’s good to know that I am not crazy....or imagining things since I am the only one in this family who seems to think that the relationship is screwed up.


Is your husband the "only son"?

If so - it has probably been pounded into his head since birth that he is responsible for taking care of the "women-folk".

Your DH has to just learn to start saying "no"

"Oh - you want to hang out? great - but I am not doing your chore list when I come, we'll make arrangements for that SOME OTHER TIME."
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Old June 19th, 2008, 11:26 AM
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Re: Selfish Siblings

Hey no1,

Unfortunately, I'm going to have to agree with the others that there isn't much you can do. If this is his family dynamic, this is the way it is. You can't come into the picture and change it. And asking your husband to change all of that is not really fair, either, IMO. It sounds to me like he WANTS to help them out.

Since you know that this is the way his family operates, I suggest jumping in with them the best you can. Next time he is asked to come over and "fix" something, why not go with him and offer to go shopping with sis, ask her to show you a recipe, or make plans for the girls to out with the kids?

Just a thought.

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Old June 19th, 2008, 01:55 PM
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Re: Selfish Siblings

oh boy, that's a problem. It's almost as thought maybe your DH needs to prove to them that he's still there to help out DESPITE getting married.

Good luck with that, it will always be you who will be the bad guy. Not good if DH isn't on board with you. If its really eating into your time together as a couple/family, then enough is enough. Don't make the mistake I did and step out of the way. They will just take and take and your DH will just give and give in the mistaken hope that he can take it. Be fair, be reasonable, but be firm. Next time maybe YOU should call THEM up and say hello with a little suggestion that they maybe help you two out.
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