This is an issue that I have dealt with before and I know I am not alone here. I have spent a lot of time and research on how to handle this the proper way if that is even possible lol. I have found some ways to cope with it that I think might help you as well.
For starters let me explain my situation… I am in my 30’s and I am married for the second time. My first marriage lasted 14 years before I finally realized that no matter how much counseling we got or how much we tried we were not meant to be together. However, I was extremely close to his family as they became part of my family too. We shared holidays together and spent a lot of time with each other. My ex-husband was raised by his foster grandparents who took him in and loved him unconditionally. When we got together he couldn’t wait for them to meet me and we bonded pretty quickly. We bonded so well that they used to joke with him that if we got divorced they got to keep me lol. They stuck beside us through our marriage and offered love and support whenever we struggled or had a problem and they never took sides. They did this up until his grandmother passed away a year before we split up. When we did decide to go our separate ways, his grandfather remained in contact with me and still always welcomed me with open arms. He sadly passed away a couple years ago as well. I still have some contact with some of his cousins and his sister who will always be my sister in law because she is awesome. Needless to say, I got extremely lucky with my in-laws from my first marriage.
When I met my husband now he was completely different from my first but what I didn’t expect was for his family to be different to. My husband first wife was horrible to him and I have heard from many of his family members how they couldn’t stand the way she treated him. I figured that since I was different and treated him so good that they would love me and why shouldn’t they love me, I am awesome lol.
My husband was very reluctant to let me meet his family and he kept telling me it was because a lot of them were not nice people. I didn’t believe him, and I thought he was ashamed of me or had something to hide. We were together over a year before I was finally able to meet his brother and sister in-law and to my surprise his brother hated me instantly. I still don’t know to this day why. Now I do know that when my husband and I got together we were both still legally married to our ex’s so there may be some judgement there but our relationships with them were already over. I also don’t see how that is anyone else business or a reason to hate someone.
Anyway, I tried everything I could with his brother to make him like me and it seemed like the more I tried the worse it got. Then I found out his mom would not come to our house for holidays because he was with me and she had never even met me. I finally met her a couple weeks after he purposed. You can imagine my surprise to be hated by so many people who didn’t even know me especially after have such an amazing relationship with my in-laws from my first marriage. His mom finally did come around and got to know me and now we are very close. In fact, she lives with us. The problem still arises though when she wants to talk about her son and daughter in-law to me who I don’t really want to hear about.
Coping has been extremely hard and when I started researching this I came to find that this is more typical than the families who all love each other. Like I said I got really lucky with the first one. A lot of people will tell you to either ignore them or force them to tell you what the problem is. I have found that is not the best way. If it bugs you so much that you just have to know then you can go to the person and demand to know what their problem is, but you might walk away from that feeling really down on yourself and with the fact that they still don’t like you. Sometimes the reason they don’t like you has nothing to do with you at all. Maybe that person feels like you came between the relationship they had with your spouse. If it’s a parent, it might not be you but that fact that they will never think anyone is good enough for their child. Maybe when you came along it was an eye opener to them that their baby was all grown up. Sometimes people’s personalities just clash, and they don’t get along. Ignoring can cause the problem between your spouse and their family and they can end up resenting you for it. Here is how I deal with these situations. When it came to his mom I made some time for her and me to be alone and this forced her to get to know me and who I really am. As for his brother and sister in-law I stay back and keep my mouth shut. When his mom talks about them I changed the subject. I never expect anyone to pick me over their family. However, I do know that I don’t deserve this because I was never given a fair chance and I haven’t done anything wrong.
I see post on Facebook quite often asking if a spouse should defend their partner from their family and this is a hard question. When his brother posted all over Facebook that I was a waste of space and they were better off without me I expected my husband to defend me. When their mom was in the hospital and his brother asked that he didn’t bring me because it was a family affair. I didn’t really care about that. My husband did bring me, and I stayed in the waiting room. This was before his mom and I had gotten so close of course. I try to make sure that I keep everything fair and I don’t ask him to choose. Yes, this situation is hard, and I wish it were different as I am sure you do also. Keep your head up it will get better.
Lots of love
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