My wife doesn't want anything to do with my family
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Old 09-24-2012, 10:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy My wife doesn't want anything to do with my family

Hi Im new here and I was hoping to get some help, I dont know what to do.

My wife an dI have been married for almost a year. We come from two different types of families. My family has always been really close always done things together and have always been there for each other. Shes an only child, she was disowned by her parents at an early age, she has been married 2 times, shes lost 3 children (passed away) and has been on her own most her life.

It all started last year before Thanksgiving. My mother was always making remarks about my wife not working and saying she needed to go out and find a job. Which I know is none of my mothers business but she kept at it. At first I thought my mom was just playing around but she kept at it and my wife got fed up with it and told me I needed to say something and I did and the comments from my mom stopped.

Thanksgiving came around and my wife posts on my sisters wall on Facebook asking and telling her what she was going to take to her house. Well my brothers wife jumps in and make a very rude statement about it, and it upsets my wife. Well my wife and I slaved in the kitchen for almost 4 hours preparing side dishes to take over. A few weeks after Thanksgiving we're all gathered talking about Christmas and what we're going to do for Christmas dinner. My brother tells my wife that my sister told him that my wife had made to much food and she didnt want her to bring so much. Well that upset my wife and she took it personally, and I never said anything. which I know is my fault for not sticking up for her.
Another instance that upset my wife was during the planning of our wedding, We were planning a destination wedding and made plans for where we were going to stay and what we would be doing. My wife even went as far as trying to find a place for my family to stay. I told my family and they were ok with it, the day comes closer and all of a sudden it seems like its an inconvenience to them. that it would be hard for them to go on such sort notice, because of baseball games and other scheduling conflicts, even though we planned this 2-3 months in advance. That upset my wife and it hurt me too, so we decided to just have our wedding just us two alone and have a reception a week later where everyone could attend. The wedding was great but while getting things ready for the reception my brother and sister tell me that my nieces and nephews have baseball and basketball games that day. This upset me and my wife because the children were part of the wedding party at the reception. The kids made it to the reception but had to leave an hour later because my brother and SIL made it clear that my niece was not going to miss her basketball game. I admit, it hurt but once again I never said anything.
Around May sometime my nephew messages my wife about something she posted on FB, on how it was very disrespectful. I talked to my nephew and told him that my wife was a grown woman and she could do whatever she wanted, they talked about it and let each other know how they felt. A few weeks later my BIL messages my wife and tells her that some of the things she was posting and saying were very disrespectful and offensive and it bothered him because his daughter had looked up to her as a role model. It really offended my wife because she knows many things that they have done and said in front of my niece that were just as bad as her FB post.
Theres been a lot of other instances where my wife has been hurt or offended by my family and I feel in a way its my fault for not standing up for her like I should. I love my wife but I just dont know how to deal with all this. I love my family and I know they were wrong, but im not just one to cut them off because we've always been so close. My wife no longer wants to attend anything they do together and no longer wants any of them to contact her. It hurts me but I know I should stand by my wife. Shes about ready to give up and leave and I dont want that.
I dont want my marriage to fail, Ill take any advice anyone can give me.
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Old 09-24-2012, 10:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: My wife doesn't want anything to do with my family

From your description, your family is creating a lot of issues. They've been hurtful to both you and your wife. And you haven't always stood up for her when you know you should. You don't have to cut your family off, but I STRONGLY suggest you and your wife drop Facebook entirely. If that is not an option, remove or block your family from your facebook accounts. If your family is so close, then you shouldn't need facebook to communicate with them.

You need to make it clear to your family that you have started family of your own and they need to respect that. If this was a one time incident I wouldn't be supportive of your wife saying its them or me. But this has been a pattern of disrespect on their part and you let it reach critical mass.
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Old 09-24-2012, 10:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
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From your description, your family is creating a lot of issues. They've been hurtful to both you and your wife. And you haven't always stood up for her when you know you should. You don't have to cut your family off, but I STRONGLY suggest you and your wife drop Facebook entirely. If that is not an option, remove or block your family from your facebook accounts. If your family is so close, then you shouldn't need facebook to communicate with them.

You need to make it clear to your family that you have started family of your own and they need to respect that. If this was a one time incident I wouldn't be supportive of your wife saying its them or me. But this has been a pattern of disrespect on their part and you let it reach critical mass.

Its not just on FB, I can honestly say that my sister, my sister and her husband, and my brother and his wife have all hurt my wife in one way or another. I know its my fault for never really sticking up for her and I let it reach this point. I know theres no easy fix and its not going to happen over night, I just dont know where to start and let her know that I do support her and I will be a better husband. I just feel like im failing.
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Old 09-24-2012, 10:45 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: My wife doesn't want anything to do with my family

Just a note, my wife has no problem with my parents, its all been things my siblings and their spouses have done to her.
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Old 09-24-2012, 10:55 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: My wife doesn't want anything to do with my family

I'll take your word about your parents even though you said your mom was on her about a job. Hopefully that's past. If she's ok with your parents and your parents are ok with her, then start there. The 4 of you get together and talk about how to get the message across to the others what is acceptable and what is not.

If your parents are supportive, tell the rest of the family how you feel they've been hurtful and have your parents reinforce that message. Work from there.

Your wife may also be appreciate of your efforts & your parents' effort.
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I'll take your word about your parents even though you said your mom was on her about a job. Hopefully that's past. If she's ok with your parents and your parents are ok with her, then start there. The 4 of you get together and talk about how to get the message across to the others what is acceptable and what is not.

If your parents are supportive, tell the rest of the family how you feel they've been hurtful and have your parents reinforce that message. Work from there.

Your wife may also be appreciate of your efforts & your parents' effort.
Yes that has passed with my mom. She loves my mom and hasn't had a problem with her since, she even says she misses my mom and dad but wont go over to visit them because she doesn't want to run in to my brother and his wife who live next door to my parents.

Thats another thing she doesnt want me to say anything to anyone, she doesnt want me to make some big thing out of it. She says its to late for that and that I shouldve said something about it a long time ago.
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Old 09-28-2012, 01:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: My wife doesn't want anything to do with my family

Hi, I'm new too

Warning this post is blunt... this is how your post read to me:

"My siblings aren't that into me or my wife, we keep expecting them treat us nice even though they have a track record of treating us really rudely and disrespectfully. Your siblings have shown you who they are. Believe them, and stop expecting them to be different because that expectation is hurting you and your wife over and over again."

Your wife is right (in my opinion) to want nothing to do with people who treat her disrespectfully and seem to go out of their way to have a problem with her. As her husband you should be firmly on your wifes side and not tolerate her being treated badly either. Unless you want you and your wife to be a doormat you have to stop this. One example your brother/sister complaining to your wife she bought to much food appears to me as a unnecessary dig and a deliberate attempt at making her feel excluded and on the outer. There seems to be a bullying and nasty tone to the disrespectful behavior of your siblings to your wife from what you have shared.

Cutting them off completely might be too drastic for you, but maintaining a safe distance wouldn't hurt. Don't expect them to care about you guys for any major events (eg your wedding was twice treated as a begrudging after-thought). Don't invite them to future milestone events, let them hear in the grape vine that you are expecting a baby (for example) and generally put them from your mind except in situations when you have to see them.

When you married your wife she became your number one priority and closest family member. Remember it.
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: My wife doesn't want anything to do with my family

It sounds like your wife is in a fragile place with regard to relationships. She's had a lot of difficulty with people, not a lot of loyalty, and a whole lot of loss. You understand this because you know her very well. Your family doesn't know her as well, partly because that is the way it goes and partly because she is reluctant to get too close (I imagine) and partly because they are not understanding how to be welcoming to her. It's your job to be an ambassador between your wife and your family, if you want your family and your wife to get along with each other. Hopefully, your wife will not cross a line in dealing with them nor they with her, otherwise you're going to be stuck in a place where you have to choose sides and then, no one will win. As it is, I'm guessing both are expecting your loyalty and the relationship has an adversarial edge. Maybe they're protective of you, maybe she feels like an outsider. It will be hard, but you have to take your wife's side when you can (unless she is really in the wrong about something serious) and you have to try to make a place for her in your family. In a way, it's like a test; do you love her enough to fight for her? If you do, your family will be more likely to accept her. If you do, you're more likely to hold her attention and respect, too. As the whole situation is topsy turvy, do your best to be good to both your wife and your family. Improve communication with counseling when you can, but a good old fashioned heart to heart between both sides without any defensive anger will be a good place to start.

I feel for you. My STBXH and my FOO put me in the middle of a tug of war between them and it went very badly because I wasn't able to be a good center. On top of that, though, both parties in my case were overstepping boundaries with me (and then H did some shady stuff like cheating) and that turned into a different disaster. I think that if I'd been stronger, my family might have respected me more and maybe my stbxh would not have behaved passive-aggressively with them the way he did (then again, he was doing stuff that I wasn't seeing, so I am not taking on the blame, just a factor). I just know that I'd have felt a whole lot better about things if I'd been centered enough not to get played by both sides, and so my advice to you comes from that perspective. I understand how tough it must be to feel stuck and with divided loyalties. Marriage counseling (or individual counseling) will help you to see when you are being fair and when you're not, if it's something you're up for.

Your wife is facing an uphill battle and you've gotta be on her side. You know you've gotta stick up for her. Your family might get snippy and angry, but they will eventually adjust and accept her, if you let them see that you are not just going to reject her based on their objections.

By the way, do they have reasonable objections that you're not listening to? Has she isolated you or changed you in ways that they can't accept? Does she treat you well in front of them? Do you feel like your life is fulfilled or is she taking advantage of you in some way that they see and you don't? Why don't they like her? They really seem to be going out of their way to treat you both with disrespect and I think you need to separate yourself a little from them until they can learn to treat you with respect. A basketball game for a kid vs a wedding? That's kind of bizarre that they would prioritize the former over the latter…I'm not surprised that your wife wants some space from them. You need to make a space for her in your family's life and that won't happen until they start to treat you with some respect as well. Don't cut off your family, but take a few steps away and bond with your wife or you will be torn apart in this battle. Keep in touch with your family, but defend your marital boundaries, too -- and don't let your wife sabotage your relationship with your family because she thinks you're not on her side enough; do your job with both of them the right way and quit being a doormat to them both. Neither can they continue not accepting her, nor can she just run away from them because they aren't doing so. It's on you to be the bridge, but you can't force them to get along, either, just facilitate it.
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Last edited by moxy; 10-03-2012 at 10:22 PM.
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thats another thing she doesnt want me to say anything to anyone, she doesnt want me to make some big thing out of it. She says its to late for that and that I shouldve said something about it a long time ago.
She's afraid of rejection and causing a rift. You should talk to your parents and appeal to your siblings to accept her. Don't take her along. Tell them that you have a problem and you need them to understand it. Write down your points so you don't get lost in their overbearing attitudes. Do so in the presence of a family counselor, if possible.

This will not fix itself. If you don't do something, it will implode.
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:19 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: My wife doesn't want anything to do with my family

The way I see it, you have one of two choices: Cut off from your rude, obnoxious, belittling family members or your wife. If you continue to subject your wife to this kind of treatment, that's exactly the road you'll end up on. YOU can't pick YOUR relatives, but she can certainly choose HERS.

You are now ONE!! If they don't accept/respect your wife, then they don't accept/respect you. What they do to her, they do to you and that's how it needs to be perceived and dealt with. You two need to stand up to them as a united front. Let them make their choice - a respectful relationship with BOTH of you or neither one of you. As simple as that.
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:35 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Your wife isn't in the wrong at all. It's not her that's the problem. It's THEM. They need to learn some respect. Frankly as a husband, I think you should put your wife ahead of these people who are purposely causing problems and making her feel alienated and uncomfortable. They made their cake, well let them eat it!

Also from the facebook messages, its clear to me that your family all seem to share the same opinion about her! Which can only mean one thing. They gossip. They gossip about your wife and they spread their hatred of her to each other. How can you call your family close? They didn't even attend your wedding knowing about it MONTHS in advance. That's not a close family. That's a bunch of selfish, rude, disrespectful flat out mean people. They made her feel alienated on PURPOSE. You don't see that?

Frankly, with a family members like that, who needs enemies?

Last edited by kipani; 10-04-2012 at 07:44 AM.
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:44 AM   #12 (permalink)
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You said your mother was making remarks at her, so this includes her too.

Honestly, I wouldn't want to be near your family either. They are not respecting your wife or you at all. I fully understand how she feels. I get grief from my own family for other reasons and I've stopped spending time with them. I'm also a SAHM for the last 11 years. I've never been told that I should work and my husband has 2 part time jobs along with his full time job these last 8 years.(his choice). I'm not ever going back to work either.
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:54 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Deactivate the facebook account. If something that is supposed to be fun and is causing a rift then say goodbye. Also if I was you I would straighten your brother out. Do you give him grief about his wife? If not tell if he has a problem with your wife have him come to you. Also I would never allow a niece or nephew to disrespect my wife. That I wouldn't stand for. Sounds to me your family has been very disrespectful to you and your wife for a very long time.
Don't dismiss that your mother has no blame in this. She is hearing these things. If she truly cares she would step in and put a stop to it.
I would cut them out of your life, sounds hash but your wife is your family now. I hate hearing when family go out of there way to make other family members life more difficult.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:08 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I blocked my Mom, my younger sis and her hubby, and my older brother on my FB account. You disrespect my wife you disrespect ME! And I will not stand for that! Family is no trump card, it is not a pass to treat someone badly. I will cut anyone from my life who I feel brings negativity and drama.
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:40 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I can completely understand why she wouldn't want to have anything to do with them. Their behavior is offensive and inappropriate, but would be bearable if you would, excuse me for being so blunt, man-up and stand by your wife. You CHOSE her, she is your wife, and I don't know if you are Christian or not, but this can apply to anyone: when you marry, you are supposed to leave your family and cleave to your wife. That does not mean that you can't still be close, but that does mean there has to be a shift in your loyalties and that you need to set serious boundaries with your family to show them that you and her are a team, and that she comes first. If not, you might as well prepare for divorce court or an unhappy marriage.

I've had similar strains with my in-laws, but on a much more disastrous scale, and while my husband has always been good at standing up for me, it needs to be MORE. Not the stand up, defend, forgive, forget. We are working on things, and we have been completely happy otherwise, but when things came to head with his family this summer it was almost a deal-breaker for me, and I love him and don't believe in divorce. That is how serious it is.

Read this: How to Get Along With the In-Laws: Dealing With In-Laws and Extended Family
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