June 11, 2019 at 11:41 am #298539
You are welcome. I hope you shift your loyalty from his family of origin to yours, make the legacy of what your parents taught you come back to life in your own home.
anitaJune 12, 2019 at 6:51 am #298625JayJayParticipant
You’re welcome from me too! I repeat Anita’s wishes for your future too.
I hope these relatives can consider your requests and agree to visit separately. And that all goes well.
JayDecember 1, 2019 at 1:17 pm #325483
Hi Anita and hi Jay Jay,
I have an update from this post. My husband requested sis in law to visit us separately due to past issues during her visit. The in laws still resisted and said “nothing will happen this time and that I should not worry etc.” At that moment, I went ahead and sent out an email to the entire family pointing out that it was inappropriate behavior on her part during last visit as she brought up delicate family issues in husband’s absence instead of addressing to him. After this, there was no response from anyone. But they went ahead and did what we asked. Accordingly , the in laws visited us for 50 days. They went and visited the sis in law at her home during the visit. So, all that went great.
But after that email, there has been zero communication between me and my sis in law. She had sent a gift for my baby through in laws. I did not acknowledge or thank her for it at the time. Recently, after the in laws left, I thought that I should at least acknowledge and thank her for the gift. So, I texted her to say thank you and that we missed thanking her before as we had been so busy. She sent a short reply saying “no problem, love to kids”. Now, since sending out this text message I have been having some regret/ mixed feelings. I feel like I never received an apology from sis in law after pointing out her mistake in that email and that I should not have been the first one to message her after that or to extend the olive branch. Though I am not sure, if a mere act of thanking someone for a gift they send qualifies as an olive branch. I feel like I should have let her approach me / write to me first. I almost feel like by messaging her, I kind of conveyed that it is ok now and that I let it go, when in fact I am still upset and not over it. So, I feel like I lost every opportunity to receive an apology from her. I feel upset over my own action and I can’t go back in time and undo that now. On the other hand, had I not thanked her for the gift, I would possibly think that it wasn’t nice of me to not thank her. Sometimes, I feel like the mind is a killer, no matter what we do it will find a way to upset you.
Do you think I am right in my thinking? Or am I overthinking this? Is there anything I can do now to show my anger?December 1, 2019 at 2:49 pm #325493
Welcome back to your own thread! It is a good thing that you accomplished what you aimed for: to not have your sister in law staying at your home while your parents in law visited you. So what happened is that your parents in law stayed in your home and later stayed in their daughter’s home.
I think it was appropriate that you sent your sister in law a short thank you message for her gift. It was not you submitting to her or letting her win- it is just a polite small message, that is all.
You shared how very traditional your husband’s family is, and according to the tradition, parents live or extensively visit the home of their son, not the daughters. This is what you accommodated having his parents in your home for 50 whole days. I don’t think tradition requires that you accommodate sisters in law, is it.
I wouldn’t send any other message at this point and focus on just one thing: do not have this sister in law in your home.
anitaDecember 2, 2019 at 10:07 am #325631
Thanks for your reply. yes, the message was short. Just asking how they were , thanking for gift adding we missed thanking before being busy and sending love to her kids. Nothing else. Is that too much?
Yes, I agree. I don’t want to do anything from here on. I honestly feel like I am done having this relationship and don’t want to talk ever again. So, I think I might be done here in her case.December 2, 2019 at 10:56 am #325655
No, I don’t think the message was too much. Next time she sends you a gift, send her a short thank you message again, this time send it on time, so there will be no apology in the message for not having said thank you to her earlier. Send her something like: thank you for the lovely gift. I hope you have a good summer”, something like that.
You need as much autonomy in your own home as possible. You need to have a say as to who gets to be there! It is enough that you don’t like your sister in law so to decide to not have her in your home.
anitaDecember 2, 2019 at 12:53 pm #325687
thanks for that again! Normally, I consider myself quite a good and thoughtful communicator. Also the reason, I am slightly disappointed in myself for that text. Think there was a mixed psyche behind this action . I think I had some guilt play on my mind for calling her out in the email to the family. I know that it was the truth & i don’t believe in shying from telling the truth ever, but I know that can hurt someone. Hence , the dilemma at the time of texting I think. I think there were 2 feelings in play at the time I texted her, one the slight guilt and the other side , the anger. But in that moment, I think the former was stronger . Hence the ability to be polite. Now after texting, I feel the anger has gotten stronger. So much so that now to make my stand I don’t want to have any relations with her. Is it common to be so stressed over small acts like these? Or do I overthink. Especially in her case even the littlest of actions like these. Is this habit something I can get over & how?December 2, 2019 at 1:21 pm #325699
You are conflicted, anger on one hand, guilt on the other. When in conflict, we overthink. Is this kind of conflict (and overthinking) something new to you, that is, something that started after you got married and is specific to the tradition you found yourself in since being married, or is it something that happened before?
(I will soon be away from the computer for a few hours or so).
anitaDecember 9, 2019 at 1:12 pm #326753
This required some thinking on my part. Honestly, I have reached a stage where I want to cut off all relations with my in laws side at least sis in law forever & find my own free self back again. And, I have already started working on that by minimizing all sorts of contact , even being on calls. But as I think of it, is it possible to carry on like this forever? Can you love your husband & hate his family & practically have no contact whatsoever? On one hand , you are married to the love of your life & have beautiful kids and cannot fathom a life without him & on other hand there’s literally nothing you like about his family, they are toxic and backward & incompatibile in every possible way. How can one be in no contact at all being part of the same family? Now to give an example, I expect an occasion the first time we visit in laws in my native country & I almost can predict they will invite my sis in law & her kids to attend that. How can one avoid such occasions or contact of all sorts? Therein lies my conflict . I feel trapped in this marriage in that sense. I feel forced (my husband never forces me or says anything) but in realistic / pragmatic terms I find it difficult to achieve the absolutely no contact goal. That’s my dilemma, how can I totally break free , without breaking my marriage? I sometimes think of a crazy solution whereby I am just girlfriend with my husband but not wife & that way not part of same family, so totally don’t have to care or even bother to visit them ever. But who are we kidding ?
December 9, 2019 at 1:30 pm #326757
- This reply was modified 6 months, 4 weeks ago by curiousknowledgeseeker.
It is a possibility, to get divorced and live separately from your husband, and have no contact with his family. He may take your children to visit his family, when they are in town, but you will not meet them. But then, the children will tell you about those visits and you might get angry. So in a way, you are stuck. Better that you stop entertaining thoughts of breaking free from his family, and instead limit contacts, make thoughtful choices as to when, where and how.
It reminds me of a little story I heard long ago that left a strong impression on me, it was very short and went something like this: a prisoner was asked, how can you break free, and the prisoner answered: by not wanting to break free anymore. By no longer wanting to break free from your husband’s family.. you will break free, is the message.
And then, psychotherapy, or counseling for you may help you, maybe with a therapist from the home country who understands very well the many and frequent conflicts so common in traditional extended families: husband, wife, their children, and his parents.
anitaDecember 9, 2019 at 3:20 pm #326781
Thanks Anita for your help every single time!December 9, 2019 at 3:30 pm #326783
You are welcome, curiousknowledgeseeker, anytime!
anitaDecember 31, 2019 at 9:19 am #330465
Happy New Year, curiousknowledgeseeeker !
anitaDecember 31, 2019 at 1:26 pm #330501
Thanks! Wish you a very happy new year too!