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Thanks Kate, your insight is invaluable and has made me feel that I have some tools to help deal with the situation. I feel like I have been trying really hard to make them like me all these years but I agree that I need to protect myself by walking away and minimizing contact. I want to also mention that they have told us that they will rent a house near us when we have kids for 3 months at a time (they can't stay in the country any longer than that) - I have also been upset by this, not only because of their behavior toward me but because we were never asked if that would be okay or if it fits with our plans for the future. Do you have any advice for how to establish healthier boundaries whereby we are at least consulted when these types of decisions are made?
You are very very welcome, I can't begin to tell you how much you've just helped me. I am reading the articles you sent over in addition to your advice and I already feel that some of the anxiety I was feeling is going away - no more tears. I hope you truly have a wonderful day and thank you again.