Dealing with difficult in-laws can be hard

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November 29, 2018 - 10:37 AM

Dear Carolyn: I haven’t spoken to my husband’s parents since a week after our wedding. Several things happened that caused increasing tension, including: my mother-in-law blowing up at me when I articulated concern about a racially insensitive comment (I made several olive-branch attempts to reason with her on the importance of my speaking up); my father-in-law dramatically suggesting they not come to the wedding (for reasons we could not determine); and my mother-in-law uttering the morning after the wedding, “Now you don’t have to worry about me trying to convince [my son] not to marry you anymore.”

When my husband and I asked for “clarification” about this — not jumping to conclusions — my in-laws turned to gaslighting and said they did not want to speak to me until I dealt with my insecurity.

I have since opted out of interactions with them and, except for relatively transactional information-sharing, my husband has as well. Given his lifetime of being close with them, this has been very difficult for him, and I empathize.

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