A couple of years ago, I met my husband. He has a big family and three sisters. He told me how I’ll never be alone again. His sisters said they gained another sister.
We got married at the city hall but my mother-in-law had wanted a wedding. Instead, I got pregnant immediately.
I only told one of his sisters. But she told the family I was pregnant. Then they told us not to move to the suburbs (only 25 minutes away). We did.
Whenever we wanted to hang out with them on Fridays, they all said they were busy. Meanwhile, all three sisters and a cousin gather every Friday night but have never invited me.
When heavily pregnant I was on sick leave with house rest two months before the pandemic. I was home alone while my husband worked. I couldn’t even cook for myself.
I never heard from his sisters. My husband even yelled at one that he’s done so much for them and they couldn't be nice to his wife!
Then my parents came and stayed with the baby for four months. I was then alone with the baby until I returned back to work after a year. I still have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from all that. A horrible postpartum. Still, no phone calls from any sisters.
When my husband had yelled at his other sister, his mom got involved and said it was horrible, how I “made it a big deal.” And that “I’m new to their family." I wasn’t disrespectful to her but it really hurt.
My mother-in-law protects her kids as she should... but even if they’re in the wrong? She dismissed my feelings, not even listening to me.
I’m still extremely angry with them. They’re nice to your face but talk behind your back. I see them occasionally but always relive those sad, hurt feelings.
I suggested we move further away but feel badly for keeping my husband from his family though they’re so unsupportive.
This family shows intentional rudeness and mean-spirit without explanation. If your husband has deeper knowledge why they’ve shunned you when you most needed them, he owes you that explanation. His priority must be you and his and your child.
Every woman who’s had a difficult pregnancy and/or borne a first child without supportive family/friends, knows how isolating that can be. It’s a potential trigger to post-partum depression if not PTSD.
Yet, you don’t want to sink to his family’s level. You have your own parents who pitched in for the earliest four months with the baby.
You’re working now which means you have some colleagues among whom you might develop some friendships. You also have neighbours and hopefully some will have children for your child to get to know.
Finally, make one effort of outreach, for your child’s sake. Consider inviting their grandmother and aunts for a short visit and simple snack to break the ice. If they don’t respond or attend, forget it. You tried, they failed.
FEEDBACK Regarding “What makes women stick with their cheating husbands?” (Oct.9):
Reader – “The woman who experienced an alcoholic marriage hasn’t yet recovered from the disease of such relationships. As a result, she’ll repeat that type of relationship with any future partners.
“Al-Anon has helped millions of people regain their self -esteem and not accept unacceptable behaviour that’s merely “crumbs of life,” nor ghosting, nor abuse... and the list of negative behaviours that goes on!”
FEEDBACK Regarding the Sad Grandmother whose son and wife won’t let her or her husband be alone with her granddaughters (Oct 12):
Reader – “From my own personal experience, Ellie’s comment regarding potential “spouse-in-law’s influence” sounds to me like a high probability.
“I would strongly suggest that the “Grandparents” not only be there for their grandchildren but also for their son.
“It is quite likely that he is “putting up with things for the sake of the children,” but they could change at a moment’s notice when he “wakes up” to what’s really going on and where the negative influence exists.”
Ellie - Every such case of grandparent alienation has its own back story, which isn’t always clear even to the heartbroken people being rejected.
But as I wrote in response, “control and fear” are often involved in the parents’ harsh behaviour, using the unexplained reason about “protecting” their children.
Tip of the day:
If your in-laws show no interest in your marriage or well-being, find supports among your family and your trusted friends.