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Old April 24th, 2009, 09:01 AM
lacy2408 lacy2408 is offline
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You tolerate your family but not your inlaws...

I have read several times people posting that others should tolerate their In-Laws behavior, after all they tolerate their Family of Origins behavior. And you should do this because they are family now.

Personally, I think this is a bit silly. Yes they are family. No that doesn't give them an automatic free pass to treat you badly, because you should tolerate it now. You chose your spouse, NOT his family, and the spouse is NOT obligated to have a close (civil yes, but close relationship, no) with his family. Similarly, PIL's don't get to choose their kids' spouses. A close relationship is great if it can happen, but if I wouldn't choose to be friends with these people on their own, I won't want a close relationship with them simply because they are now technically family.

Secondly, the complaints that you tolerate bad behavior from your own family but not inlaws has some issues with it. Your own family you grew up with and spent 18-21 years at least learning how to tolerate them. That doesn't mean you can get a whole new set of people now called family and easily tolerate their foibles. It took time with your family, and you were forced to with your family due to the natural power structure. So maybe in another 18-21 years you can tolerate it, but it is even more difficult to get adults to tolerate bad behavior because the power structure is viewed as equal now.

These were just thoughts I had as I read through some posts and wanted to share.
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Old April 24th, 2009, 09:22 AM
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Re: You tolerate your family but not your inlaws...

I understand where you are going with that lacy, and I agree with part of the point you are trying to make. However... I feel that it's hypocritical to accept behavior in some people that you will not accept in others of similar closeness. True, your M is closer to you than your MIL, but IMO it's not right to accept behavior from your M that you would not accept from your MIL. *shrug* That divides the marriage by setting a double standard. You accept x behavior from your M, but DH can't accept x behavior from *his* M? Ideally (IMO) the DH and DW are a unit, and the behavior is accepted or rejected by both of them. And, IMO, it's hypocritical to have different standards based on who gave birth to whom.

Just my opinion. That doesn't mean that different behavior on the parts of the M's and MIL's ought to be handled the same.

FTR (since you're new and don't know my story)... I have two cutoff sisters. They got no free pass from me for bad behavior simply because we share genes.
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Old April 24th, 2009, 10:43 AM
lacy2408 lacy2408 is offline
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Re: You tolerate your family but not your inlaws...

I agree with what you are saying. This post was aimed more at those who expect Family by law, to just accept them because 'their' family does.

A common thing I tell my FDH, "if I won't accept that behavior from my own parents what makes you think I would accept it from yours"

My family has had to learn that they have to be respectful to have a relationship with me, it was years of hard work to get them there though! I am wincing at the prospect of going through that again with FDH's family.
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Old April 24th, 2009, 10:49 AM
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Re: You tolerate your family but not your inlaws...

My DH used to be of that school

Then he saw how abusive his family was.

Family doesn't get a free pass to treat you poorly.

They in fact - in our house - are held to a HIGHER standard than "a man on the street."
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Old April 24th, 2009, 02:35 PM
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Re: You tolerate your family but not your inlaws...

Quote:
Originally Posted by KayKay View Post
True, your M is closer to you than your MIL, but IMO it's not right to accept behavior from your M that you would not accept from your MIL. *shrug* That divides the marriage by setting a double standard. You accept x behavior from your M, but DH can't accept x behavior from *his* M? Ideally (IMO) the DH and DW are a unit, and the behavior is accepted or rejected by both of them. And, IMO, it's hypocritical to have different standards based on who gave birth to whom.

Just my opinion. That doesn't mean that different behavior on the parts of the M's and MIL's ought to be handled the same.

I agree with this.

I would be perfectly willing to apply the consequences (maintaining a relationship, but a distant one) that we apply to the ILs to my own Ps, if my Ps behaved like the ILs do. But my Ps listen to us, treat us with respect, adhere to our rles for our children, pay attention to who we are and don't act like they'd rather we were different people instead, and both my DH and I actually enjoy just being around them. We spend more time with them, not because they're MY parents and not DHs, but because we enjoy it and think it;s good for our kids. We spend less time with the ILs because we don't enjoy it and don't think it's good for our kids.

Because of a sense of family duty, we do try not to make it insanely unfair, and we keep our mouths shut so the ILs aren't made painfully aware of the disparity in the time we spend with each set of Ps.

In one sense, we treat the sets of Ps differently, but in another sense, we treat them the same--because the exact same set of values and rules (and consequences) applies to each.
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Old April 25th, 2009, 04:45 AM
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Re: You tolerate your family but not your inlaws...

With logical, analytical thinkers, the theories of everyone writing are sound. Unfortunately alot of IL's don't operate analytically, alot of choices and decision making is based on emotion.

For instance, if one were to go by what everyone says that neither son/daughter and son/daughter in laws should tolerate behavior that is unacceptable and that a distant relationship or cut off is acceptable, then I technically should not be in the position I'm in, but her parents should be where I am.

I do and have always respected their marriage, home and family life, so much that I NEVER give an opinion on anything, only when asked, and then I always speak only positive. I subscribe to what my Mom always said, if you don't have something nice to say don't say anything at all.

On the other hand my DIL's mother and father drop in unannounced, criticize everything they do around the house (gotten the old lecture from her Mom on how they should have done everything from the water softener, to landscaping differently and always makes it clear she's told them and I have been present when she spoken down to them). They have both of them running around doing for them (we never ask for anything or help) and even book there trips for them etc. Have complained about the school the kids go to, what age they think the kids should be allowed to attend school. etc. etc. It goes on and on and has been from the first day of marriage to present. Both couples accept everything without a blink.

Her parents are totally emersed in their lives, and my son (who's the main cook) cooks birthday dinners for his MIl etc. while he has never invited us for a meal.


It's a case of we are to be seen when you can serve a purpose and othewise we don't want to bother. I sit in my son's house as does his siblings when we do go over like guests visiting a strangers house and her family walks and you see them go through the fridge, cupboards, help themselves to food and drink and even go in their bedroom when they've looked for something. After more then 2 decades, I have only ever opened the fridge once for a drink and that was when I was babysitting.

So, I'd say the theory of tolerance of both parents may apply for alot of people, but, there are Il's that it all comes down to mine can do anything and well, I really could not care less if I ever see your side.

Some may say, well you don't act like family if your sitting like guests. If you even wonder from the living room, it's what do you need, where you going etc. It's clear she does not want us intruding on what she considers her private space, her home.

Last edited by greatmominlaw; April 25th, 2009 at 04:48 AM.
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Old April 25th, 2009, 11:46 AM
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Re: You tolerate your family but not your inlaws...

Quote:
Originally Posted by greatmominlaw View Post
Some may say, well you don't act like family if your sitting like guests. If you even wonder from the living room, it's what do you need, where you going etc. It's clear she does not want us intruding on what she considers her private space, her home.
This would probably be what my MIL says about me. Unlike you, greatmominlaw, my MIL INTRUDES (with a capital-I)... looking in closets ("I just want to see what's in there") and cabinets (rearranged my kitchen cabinets once), inspecting the inside of my washing machine to make sure it's clean... Yup... I follow her around saying "Do you need something?" because it's the only way to get her to stop poking around and respect my privacy. She doesn't understand why we always volunteer to go visit her instead of having her come here.

Funny thing is that when my P's visited, they *did* sit like guests. As my D told me once "I'm here to VISIT with you... I don't care if there are dishes in the sink! I care about YOU! Sit and VISIT!!" (My favorite of my D's lines, which I have adopted, is "Oh, please don't worry about what your house looks like! I don't have my glasses on.") Maybe that's why I'm so sensitive about my MIL's intrusion (which sounds like your DIL's P's.) and I infinitely preferred my D's visits.
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Old April 25th, 2009, 12:00 PM
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Re: You tolerate your family but not your inlaws...

My MIL used run up the stairs as soon as she arrived saying she preferred to use the
upstairs bathroom. I would then hear her opening the hot press doors (Linen Closet)
and all the bedroom doors and footsteps around the rooms before she reappeared/
It used to crack me up and I got uptight about her visits as I felt I did not want her to catch me out as a slovenly house wife!!

She doesnt do it now as shes a lot older and I no longer care.
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Old April 25th, 2009, 01:02 PM
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Re: You tolerate your family but not your inlaws...

Lizzie!! My MIL makes a beeline for DS's bathroom... I don't know why! I always try to direct her to the nice, clean, larger guest bathroom that DOESN'T have a teenage boy using it regularly but *shrug*. One time she actually brought air freshener from home and went directly into DS's bathroom upon arrival and sprayed it. We don't have an upstairs, but she claims to get "lost" in our house, ending up in the laundry room or kids' bedrooms - each down a hallway - instead of the open family room right by the entrance to either of those hallways. Lost. Okay. So as long as she's there, she might as well check out what's in each closet.
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Old April 25th, 2009, 04:33 PM
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Re: You tolerate your family but not your inlaws...

PMIL* once, early in my marriage, bought some of those hangers that will hold multiple pairs of pants & redid MY clothes in the closet. Her way was better... I told her something like "Thanks, but no thanks" & told her to leave my clothes alone & DH was old enough take care of his own stuff. (btw-I'd tried that type of hangers years before & hated them)

To my knowledge she never messed with my clothes again... my own mom would never do anything like that, nor has my ex-MIL or current MIL.



*for the newbe's P= pseudo; if interested check out old threads about my Pseudo ILs
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