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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5424
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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what do you do when your in laws think no one s good enough

Customer Question

what do you do when your in laws think no one s good enough for their son and they lie when they come to visit?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

 

How long has this been a problem? Have you spoken to your in laws directly about it (not that you need to but I was looking to see their reaction)?

 

Thanks,

Kate

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I addressed a lie with my sister-in-law two years ago when she came to our house. She has not spoken to me since then and appears to be turning my husband's entire family against me. We moved across country last year when an opportunity came up but this now means long cross country visits. His Mother and her "friend" just left from a 2 week visit. The entire time she went on and on about her son but did not seem the least bit interested with anything that involved me or our kids. I recently overheard her phone conversation (sitting 5 feet away from me on the beach) to her sister where she lied about our kids and said terrible things about them. It is particularly painful since we paid for the entire trip for her and her boyfriend. It appears to be a repeating pattern that my husband avoids all conflict, especially when it involves his family. The problem is I feel unprotected and hurt and it is slowly chipping away at our 15 year marriage..... He said he would call her and address it with her but only because it bothers me and that it will not change the situation ad it will not help.....
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

I am sorry that you are going through this with your in laws. It can be very painful when you have to cope with people who are determined to hurt you.

When you married your husband, you not only gained a husband but also his family. But in some families, the in laws do not recognize the gain of another daughter (or son). They see the new person as a threat to their family, especially if that family is used to doing things in a dysfunctional way. Your presence may threaten their way of doing things. Preferring your husband is one sign that things are not emotionally healthy in his family.

But no matter the reason for the way his family treats you, what they do hurts. And it is meant to. They want to make sure that you feel bad for "stealing" their son and brother.

The key to dealing with this situation is to see what they are doing as part of their own emotionally dysfunctional way of doing things in their family. What they think and feel has nothing to do with you. They are trying to make you feel bad, but by refusing to accept their criticism, you remove yourself from getting hurt.

The next time you hear your mother in law or sister in law say something untrue, say to them "it sounds like you are unhappy with (then fill in whatever their complaint or lie is)". Then say "I'm sorry to hear that you believe that about me". By saying this to her, you acknowledge that you heard the lie and you put the blame on her for telling it. It also keeps you from defending yourself.

Also, you may want to discuss this further with your husband. Let him know that you feel his actions are hurtful (use "I" statements as in "I feel....") and that you are having trouble in the marriage because of it. He does need to be defending you with his family. You are his wife and you come first. If he does not respond well to you, then suggest counseling. Sometimes it takes someone from the outside of the situation to explain how hurtful in laws can be.

I hope this has helped you,
Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5424
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks Kate!!!!
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

You're welcome! I can sympathize, I had the same issue with my in laws. But over time, you can learn to tune out their behavior.

Kate

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