Posted by: Karina | 2009-04-07

How to deal with the inlaws?

Hi all,

My husband and I have had a bit of a rough deal with his parents. We have been together for 6 years and married for a couple of months. I am 22 and he is 26.

When I was 19 I stayed at their house for 2 weeks of the month and stayed at my moms house for two weeks. As contribution, I gave them each R200. I was earning just over R1000 per month, working two jobs and saving to buy a car (which I did manage to). When I was staying with my husband’ s mom (we’ ll call my hubby Jon, his mom Ann and his sister Kelly), I contributed in other ways by cleaning and helping cooking and going to the shop with Ann and helping Kelly with homework or walking with her to the shops or buying her things…  whatever. After a while, they started getting off with me. Kelly has always been weird (I once saw her digging through my grandmother cupboards when she used to come to play on the computer) so she used to dig through my bags and everything when I was sitting right there asking her to stop. We had a little fridge in our room and I had a chocolate in there but when I came home the one day it was gone so I went to Kelly’ s room and found the wrapper in her bin. I was angry- not because she had eaten the chocolate but because I felt my privacy was invaded (I know it is not my house but still). So Kelly started using my sponge to clean the bath after she had used it and EXTRA annoying- she would not leave Jon and I alone. When I started earning more, Jon and I would go buy food to the amount of R600+. But Ann stopped talking to me and started telling lies about me so I moved out and I got Jon to move out with me (I was 20 and he was 24 then). So now his family does not talk to me at all. Birthdays and Christmases are split between his family and mine…  it’ s horrible.

So on Sunday he had this huge fight with his mom because 3 years down the line, Ann is still hanging onto the stupid chocolate issue and the R200 contribution (never mind her niece and nephew stayed there for 3 months, didn’ t contribute ANYTHING, ate three times more than anyone (they would have cereal for breakfast then bacon and egg directly after) but she still flew down to Cape Town last week to see them at her own expense), everything that I did wrong. I know there were some things that I over-reacted on but if I am grown up to forget about the way I was treated why can she, someone who it like 30 years my senior be? How do I deal with it because I am feeling like it WAS all my fault?! Jon said if it was not be it would have been someone else because his mother said during their fight that I got him to leave and move in with me so I got what I wanted. But still you know I feel like crap because his whole family hates me.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Anyone who is still brooding about a bar of chocolate 3 years on, is truly pathetic.
But if you two love each other and have your own place now --- wy allow his family to be so important and why give them the power to make you miserable ?

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