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I am finding it increasingly difficult to deal with my in laws!

Tagged as: Big Questions, Family, Health, Marriage problems<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (8 January 2017) 5 Answers - (Newest, 8 January 2017)
A female United Kingdom age 41-50, anonymous writes:

I am finding it increasingly difficult to deal with my husbands family . He has several family members who beliefs and behaviour are very challenging and they sometimes stay with us as they live interstate . Some are currently or were in the past involved with cults and one believes he is a reincarnated important historical figure . Others support his beliefs . One tells me they see unicorns , others are extremely religious and attend both church and also say they believe in the cult leader . I guess they are hedging their bets . They are also extremely judgemental and make comments on anyone overweight which I find upsetting as I am overweight . I feel that I have these people in my home and have to put up with so much yet if I speak up about how ridiculous this all is my husband says I'm horrible for talking about them . I feel unsupported and like I'm going crazy and I truly feel like I should just leave this marriage . Even though he doesn't follow their beliefs , My husband is totally undemonstrative and invalidates everything I feel .

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (8 January 2017):

Honeypie agony auntI'm with Denizen!

What a soap opera your husband's family are! I would take them as a FREE circus that comes around on occasion.

NONE of them are into (my guess) healthy lifestyles and probably KNOW that the weight subject is something that hurt and offends you. I mean if you think about, they seem like a bunch of loonie toons to really... WHO cares what they think? They already live in la-la land.

However, your husband.... HE grew up with this crap. For him, it's kind of "normal". I think that is why he doesn't understand your attitude.

Maybe suggest that when the in-laws come to visit they STAY at a hotel/motel so you CAN get some peace and quiet here and there.

Like, like I see it said, you can't CHANGE these people, you can't change your husband - the ONLY thing you CAN change is how you react to it all.

Also when they come visit, get out of the house here and there - get a breather! There is only so much a person can take when it comes to crazy family drama.

And remember, other people CAN'T make you feel bad if you don't WANT to. They have an issue with overweight people? SCREW em! You don't have to listen to that crap, if that subject pops up either change the subject or simply leave the room.

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (8 January 2017):

Your strength lies in how you react to these people, as you have no control over the way they act.

You can either get upset by them and find their visits stressful, or you can realize how ridiculous they are and laugh (maybe to yourself).

In your shoes, I would be egging them on and asking questions about the unicorns. Where do they appear? What colour are they? Can they be ridden? What are their names? Do they speak? What do they say?

Your husband, on the other hand, does sound like he could be a problem. It is very undermining to have a partner who does not support you, thus invalidating your fears and feelings. The relatives apart (his loyalties will be torn because they are family), he should not allow you to be bullied in your own home, regardless of who it is by.

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A female reader, Nittynora United Kingdom +, writes (8 January 2017):

Nittynora agony auntWell I am trying to get my head around all this and as a mental health nurse I normally don't have a problem. But crikey there is a lot going on here

Also this is NOT a diagnosis

So I am going to break it up into manageable parts.

One sees unicorns so maybe they are experiencing visual hallucinations. Hallucinations are where someone sees, hears, smells, tastes or feels things that don't exist outside their mind. I say maybe.

Another believes he is an reincarnated historical figure, well nothing too much to worry about there, some people do believe they have a past life. However this could be a delusion. Delusion's are false beliefs, and if this is taking over their life this could be a problem.

The others have been involved in cults which are well known for fostering false beliefs or brainwashing people, it seems to me that they have all been brainwashed. It would be unusual for all the members of the same family to all become psychotic at the same time. Psychosis is when someone's thoughts and emotions can become impaired which causes people to perceive or interpret things differently from others.

what can happen is when people who are close i.e family or a man and wife members of a cult can in the end all share the same beliefs. Its kind of like a folly of two or folly a deux but not quite.

You are not going crazy at all, but I would be concerned about these cults which have probably been the trigger for all these beliefs, and probably is not a psychosis at all so to speak. I think whilst these people are under the influence or the people at their places of worship, you are going to have a problem convincing them otherwise

Don't leave your marriage for these people but try and be a bit more assertive. Its your house too. I am very religious I am catholic if I came round your house and told you that you should believe what I should believe, what would you say? You would probably tell me to sod off. If they are in your house and start sprouting their beliefs just ask them politely to change the subject. If they are being judgemental tell them it makes you uncomfortable. You can still be hospitable and make them welcome but don't put up with anything you don't want to.

By listening to them you are re-inforcing their beliefs.

Your husband is invalidating your feelings so validate your own feelings by being assertive and showing those around you, you are strong.

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A female reader, like I see it United States + , writes (8 January 2017):

like I see it agony auntUnfortunately you can't control others' beliefs, no matter how ridiculous you may find them. If they want to claim they see unicorns, that is their call.

BUT if they're using your home (as one half of a married couple, it is as much yours as it is your husband's) as a free motel, you have the right to insist that they either treat you with respect or find another place to stay. That means no rude remarks to you about being overweight, in your own home no less. Your husband needs to back you up on this, and if he won't, you need to re-evaluate your choice of husbands, as it seems you are currently doing. The fact they are family members does not excuse them from the obligation to treat others with common decency and he owes it to you, his wife, to either ensure that they do or put a stop to all the stopovers.

Have this conversation with your husband and don't allow him to brush it off or avoid discussing it. I agree that you sound ready to leave, and that's actually a good thing, because if he continues to disregard and disrespect your feelings about this situation you ought to. Life is too short to keep choosing a situation that makes you miserable.

I hope this helps you. Good luck and best wishes moving forward!

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A male reader, Denizen United Kingdom + , writes (8 January 2017):

Denizen agony auntThere are two aspects to this question - the family and your husband. The family sound hilarious. I mean unicorns? That is fantastic.

I would be laughing up my sleeve the whole time they were staying. How long do you have to accommodate them - a week, two? Or is it just overnight? I would just accept they are a bit weird and put up with them for the sake of your husband.

He is the other problem. You seem ready to leave him. You say he is undemonstrative. Perhaps he is the problem on whom you should be concentrating.

Why don't you write in with more about your marriage? Perhaps someone can help.

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