By in Family


Family dynamics are beyond my ken. I have three I speak to (mum, dad and my maternal aunt) and the rest of them I've not heard from in over 20 years, except for annual Christmas cards from a couple of cousins. Suits me fine. More time for those people I do care about.

My husband has a huge , because his mother has lots of siblings. I've not met them all, nor am I likely to. There's always someone not speaking to someone else, and right at the moment that's them not speaking to us. The trouble is that the relations we live closest to are the ones my husband has never been able to see eye-to-eye with.

I didn't exactly fall head over heels with them either when I first met them, but I made a go of it, until a couple of years ago when I realised, after spending a week on holiday with them, that there was just no point in trying. They had taken against me and that was that. They don't their intentions, which annoys me intensely. They criticise our life choices without considering why we may have chosen that route. By the end of the holiday they were literally shutting me out of their world, by closing doors on me when I was in a different area to them. I went to look at the water feature in the courtyard, but one cousin decided she was cold, so the door was shut firmly. (This was after the entire week where I had wondered if I would melt from heat exhaustion as the central heating was up so high as to make me feel uncomfortable. Yes, it was October, but did we really need 75 degrees indoors?!)

They also appear to have little time for my husband, which at least means that when they stopped talking to us a few months ago, we didn't feel like we were suddenly bereft.

We have a few things of mum-in-law's here (or, as lucyluuk calls hers, Monster-in-Law). Therefore my husband, not liking to hold onto something that is not his, texted his mum to ask if she wanted them back. No, came the response, she was only interested in seeing us again if we apologised to her relations. In particular, one of my husband's cousins and an uncle. The ones he really does not like.

Well, that's not going to happen any time soon, at least not from my husband, anyway. I'm quite happy to continue to ignore them, having said my piece on the subject some time back. Not that they took any notice, mind. I have always felt they consider me to be an unwelcome addition to their cosy little family, one in which they didn't treat my husband very well and where the stubbornest opinions always held the day. What's the phrase - resistance is futile? Yes, that.

However, my husband proved them all wrong and they didn't take kindly to having their noses put out of joint. Hence where we find ourselves today.

Image Credit », Tania VdB at pixabay. CC0, public domain image

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melody23 wrote on January 30, 2015, 1:58 PM

yup, we both have families like that and are much better off not speaking to those we don't, including my mother in law

WordChazer wrote on January 30, 2015, 2:12 PM

Glad to hear we're not alone! I did say a few things in the heat of the moment but it was fine as long as I stayed away from them (which was easy because my husband doesn't like them either). But then we had this escalation before Christmas and that really blew everything sky high and lit the fuse under the powder keg with a vengeance. Oh well...

MsBiz wrote on January 30, 2015, 2:25 PM

What a frustrating situation! I've seen some of these dynamics in my own family and just try to maintain a (very healthy) distance to keep the peace and preserve what's left of our relationships.

WordChazer wrote on January 30, 2015, 2:57 PM

That's what I was trying to do, but circumstances overtook me, unfortunately. If I don't have to be in the orbit of someone who upsets me, I will not be able to be upset by them, is my reasoning.

OnlyErin6 wrote on January 30, 2015, 3:04 PM

I don't understand why people get upset about something that is going on between other relations that aren't them, unless it's just downright horrific like murder or theft or a grisly extramarital affair between spouses or something like that... I might get upset about something really nasty, but other than that I don't care if my relatives are talking to each other or not.

WordChazer wrote on January 30, 2015, 3:28 PM

M-i-l is part of a hivemind with all the relations They all think and speak alike, and many of them don't seem to accept change readily. My husband consciously rejected the hivemind idea a long time ago. He has enough of his dad in him, which is what his mum's side probably do not like. My parents raised me to make up my own mind, so a hivemind is not somewhere they would expect me to be comfortable.

Magnolia wrote on January 30, 2015, 7:00 PM

bless your family was like that..but now that I am the grandma and leader of my OWN family (not my parents family) I refuse to allow that. We can sit down and hash it out but we will not behave badly.

GemOfAGirl wrote on January 30, 2015, 7:44 PM

My sister and I go through our highs and lows, and in the last few years, I've started using my own phrase for it - "sibling crap never dies". I often hate how accurate it is.

kat123456 wrote on January 31, 2015, 3:51 PM

Sounds very frustrating (but also very common!) I think we make an effort with those that have the same courtesy to us

cheri wrote on February 8, 2015, 11:13 PM

We all have different family issues. I grew up with a big family. I was never close to my relatives on both sides. We never had any reunions so I do not have problems with that. My hubby has a long list of relatives and I don't have much issues because I don't mingle a lot with them. I have enough on my own with 9 siblings.

WordChazer wrote on February 9, 2015, 4:24 PM

I lost a very close friend to a large Irish Catholic family a decade ago. She was simply subsumed by them when she married into the hive and I was told that my presence was not required in her life. She also lost her friend from primary school to the same treatment. I was left with the distinct impression that some husbands' families will do anything to freeze out the friends of any female who chooses to marry into the clan/hive.