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Suzanne, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 919
Experience:  LCSW, RN. Mental Health, Relationship & Parenting issues.EMDR, Hypnosis.
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ASK SUZANNE, The situation with my inlaws is bad. My

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ASK SUZANNE, The situation with my inlaws is bad. My psychologist said i was guilty of over sharing information and misjudging my audience. They are guilty of responding in hurtful ways. The mean email, the facebook message and his brother screaming at me. The tension hurts and is a problem. I don't know what to do to resolve it. Anthony said i should apologize but I don't feel like I did anything wrong. I feel like the things that they did are more wrong. I feel like his brother owes me an apology for screaming at me. The facebook person called anthony and said i don't hate jen, she is my sisterinlaw, I'll be nice to her but i don't want to be friends with her. But she didn't contact me. Obviously when they want to hurt me, they know how to find me. I have done a lot for his family from watching all their dogs, to babysitting kids, to going out of my way for his parents, and numerous other times. I just don't know what to do here. Any advice? This has my husband bummed too because it is affecting him as well. What do you propose?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Suzanne replied 5 years ago.

I have to agree with your psychologist that mistakes were made on both sides.

But for family harmony, somebody has to make the first move, and your husband has asked you to do it. Rather than an apology, since you don't think you did anything wrong, maybe you could just offer an explanation that you have been having postpartum depression and have felt very overwhelmed at times.

It does seem that it would be best to be friendly, but not actual friends with them. See them at gatherings, and swap the occasional favor with them, but don't confide in them or discuss details of your marriage. Just brag on the baby and keep things light.

This is another one of those situations where you end up having to choose whether it's more important to be right or to be happy. If giving them an explanation and just going on in a friendly, very casual way will help bring the family back together, it's most likely worth doing. Yes, even though they didn't react in a kindly way in the past. You'll want your son to be able to play with his cousins as he gets older, and for you all to have happy holidays, (so you don't end up home alone on Christmas Eve, etc.) so it's worth swallowing some of your pride. Your husband will appreciate that you made the effort, I'm sure.

Things are very rarely fair and even in family dynamics. It's just one of those unpleasant facts of grown-up life.

I hope this makes sense to you. It's not that I don't understand that they were mean to you at's just that you're in this family for the duration, and sometimes we have to go along to get along.

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