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Posted by: june ( )
Date: November 09, 2019 10:29AM

I have been with my husband for 15 years now. I was never Mormon, and my husband left Mormonism years ago. His sister has never actually had a conversation with me. I've been in a car or in a room with her, but she did not speak to me beyond answering yes or no to my attempts to get to know her. His family said that I am an evil person. She is younger than me so she repeatedly referred to me as the "vieja" (old lady) even though I was on 29 years old at the time. The rest of the family also referred to me in this way, which I found to be extremely hurtful.

My husband has rarely spoken with his family for over 13 years. About a year ago, he started texting with his mother. Once in a while the father and brother will exchange emails with him, and it is always very negative.

Currently, my husband and I live on the other side of the country from his family. Last July, his sister had a work trip to our city. His mother asked him to meet with his sister, and he did. He had a nice visit with his sister. After her trip, his father starting emailing him, and there was some drama -- then the father disappeared again. Then, my husband and his sister decided that she and her husband would come spend Thanksgiving with us. Neither my husband or I have ever met the husband.

When they planned the Thanksgiving trip, I assumed that his sister would start communicating with me -- maybe send an email. I sent an email two months ago, and she never emailed me back. She only communicates with my husband about once a month. She will tell him things like "say hello to your wife?" He interprets this to mean that she wants to invite me into the family. I think if she wanted to get to know me, she could easily email, text, or call.

I am super uncomfortable. My husband wants me to sit there with her and her spouse for three days during Thanksgiving. It's stressing me out. He asked her why she has never spoken with me, and she told him that although all of her family members have a problem with me, she does not have a problem with me. To me, this does not indicate that she wants to have a meaningful relationship with me. It's just pointing to the fact that I have been shunned for 15 years.

I asked my husband to just spend Thanksgiving with her and her husband without me, but he wants me there. My husband and I rarely argue, but the last two months has been constant negative conversations over the sister's visit. I don't want another 15 years of his family popping up and then getting mad when he doesn't go back to the family.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/09/2019 11:02AM by mds.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: November 09, 2019 10:45AM

She's the type of person that I would just chatter at, but not to. For instance, "I'm starting breakfast if you are interested" -- that doesn't require a response. Or if she and your husband are conversing, respond to something that your husband said and look over at her, as if you were including her in the conversation. Basically, just work around her.

It's possible that she is just shy or extremely introverted around people who are not already close to her.

If the visit is really a bust, then talk to your husband about it afterward. But I would take one for the team and let him have his visit with his sister. IMO.

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Posted by: june ( )
Date: November 09, 2019 11:03AM

Thanks for the suggestion. I will research ways that I can learn how to chatter at someone.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: November 09, 2019 12:28PM

For a normal guest, my usual MO would be to ask them a lot of questions in order to get them to open up. Most people love to talk about themselves. In this case I would do the opposite and chatter about your husband, kids, work, or whatever. If you get no response, smile, make your exit, and go find something else to do.

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Posted by: logged out today ( )
Date: November 09, 2019 11:05AM

You don't have to entertain them or cater to them. That's hubby's responsibility, it's his sister, and he's the one pushing for it. You just do what you would normally do if they weren't there. If they want to be included, fine, but don't let them set the agenda.


You: "I'm going to the store. Want to come?"
Her: [silence]
You: [shoulder shrug, go to store]


You: [watching TV]
Her: "I don't like that program. They're dressed immodestly."
You: [shoulder shrug] "My house, my TV."


You: [ready to eat]
Her: "I think we should pray first."
You: "Go ahead. I'm eating." [dig in and chew during prayer]
Her: "I'm offended."
You: [shoulder shrug] "That's nice."


And so on.

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Posted by: june ( )
Date: November 09, 2019 11:13AM

Thank you... those are helpful points.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: November 09, 2019 11:13AM

won't be there. He can celebrate Thanksgiving with you before or after they come. Go do something fun.

This is ridiculous. He should be standing up for you against his family. I basically see their attempts recently, like his father, as they are trying to test the waters to see if they can get him back into mormonism and then get him away from you. Tell him if he lets them cause friction between the 2 of you, then they win.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/09/2019 11:14AM by cl2.

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Posted by: june ( )
Date: November 09, 2019 11:22AM

Yes, that is the pattern. And... they are winning at introducing stress and conflict into our lives once again. He actually does not want her to visit. That is why he is pressuring me to be there. He is super passive and does not seem to be able to maintain any boundaries with them unless he completely cuts of contact. I'm sure he would be happy if I told him they aren't allowed to come. It seems impossible for him to take responsibility for his relationship with them. When they pop up, he gets hopeful that they will accept him.

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Posted by: Warrior71783 ( )
Date: December 02, 2019 09:37AM

Your husband kind of reminds me of myself in the way that he struggles with setting boundaries. My boundaries were walked on throughout most of my life so this setting boundaries was a new skill i had learned from counseling. Family will continually try to test my boundaries, especially my father. That guy does not listen to me for anything. The guy still thinks he owns me or has a superiority complex over me or needs more narc supply and is not used to me being out of the picture and having a real life. I will be tested again at christmas. I know the way they think and i know the pattern that never changes because i was around it so much in life.

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Posted by: nonmo_1 ( )
Date: November 09, 2019 12:14PM

"This is ridiculous. He should be standing up for you against his family."

exactly... it is YOUR house and YOUR holiday too. if your husband can't see that, then you two should have a long talk prior to the holiday

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Posted by: stillanon ( )
Date: November 09, 2019 12:59PM

Exactly. Her husband is a coward. His family, treating his wife like shit for 15 years. Now, Mommy and Daddy want him to be nice to Sis and her unknown husband, that also has never talked to her. In HER house? Hell no. They want to come out for Thanksgiving? OK, here's a few hotels close by. We can go to a very nice Thanksgiving dinner at the Hyatt, Hilton or another nice place. Having them in your house is just another slap in the face. Especially with his sister showing no remorse or attempting to make amends. Stand up for yourself, mds, if you won't do it now, you'll never do it. Also, tell your husband to grow some balls.

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Posted by: Greyfort ( )
Date: November 09, 2019 11:14AM

mds Wrote:
> She will tell him things like "say hello
> to your wife?"

Does she put it with a question mark, or did you just say that because you're not sure of the exact wording?

If she did it, I'd think she was asking if he was still married.

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Posted by: june ( )
Date: November 09, 2019 11:28AM

Yes, they want to know when he will divorce me and come back to the family. I am not the reason that he doesn't talk to them. Even if we divorced or I died, he would not go back to the family. He was a missionary, and he was very serious about Mormonism. When we first dated, he tried to invite me. At one point, he came to the realization that they didn't really share his beliefs even though they are Mormons. It sounds strange. For example, he is sexual harassment. I would assume the church is also against sexual harassment. There was a huge rift between him and his family that didn't really have anything to do with me.

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: November 09, 2019 11:21AM

No one is allowed to make me feel uncomfortable in my own home. Period.

For me, the sister agrees to have a one on one with you and figure things out before, or the deal is off. Right now she is controlling everything, including your husband. He either has your back or hers but he can't have both and only one is acceptable. By allowing this visit to go forward without her even acknowledging your email and other attempts to be friendly or at least cordial the story has been told.

I would say straight out to her if she shows up, " Are you going to speak to me? Are you going to treat me like I am even here? This is not only my husbands home but mine too."

Do not be a doormat, Chica Joven. This is only her first few moves in the game.

Whatever you decide is right for you, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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Posted by: Greyfort ( )
Date: November 09, 2019 11:26AM

Everything I've read or heard about in-laws is that anything like, "You're not allowed to come here unless you can be civil," has to come from your husband. It's his family and his responsibility to deal with them. If you get into the middle of it, all that does is turn you into the Wicked Witch of the North to them and it will never get better.

It's his responsibility to deal with his own family and not yours. If he can't stand up for you in front of them, then that's not good.

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: November 09, 2019 11:42AM

If the sister actually does have an agenda, and is not just socially inept, or exceedingly shy, she has already accomplished a lot by inducing arguments between you and your husband.

I do agree with Greyfort that is is not the in-laws job to take on the situation. Still if the blood relative doesn't, then what? I see this as more an issue between you and your husband. Don't let the sister become the MVP.

Although, I guess if you decide to accept a miserable time for yourself on Thanksgiving, you will have a lot of company in the same boat across the country. Haha.

I couldn't help but get a little angry on your behalf. Forgive me if my comments are overboard.

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Posted by: ptbarnum ( )
Date: November 09, 2019 12:32PM

They sound like a bunch of jerks. My nickname from my MIL is "That...WOMAN." You can hear the unspoken cuss word in there.

I don't like it that your husband made the invitation without consulting you. I'm sure you don't either. That was a mistake on his part.

Having lived with a hostile TBM in-law situation for a long time and having fallen for a lot of manipulative traps they set for me, this whole situation smells like a setup to me.

Do you absolutely have to do this at your home? What about making a reservation at a nice restaurant that does a Thanksgiving special? The in-laws can stay at a hotel and you can schedule sightseeing or going to movies, a gallery, or a parade...then you can go home and they can go wherever they want, like, basically anywhere you aren't. :-)

I don't feel optimistic that this is going to provide the satisfying family experience he is hoping for. TBMs can't treat their exmo relations with fairness or respect, it just isn't in them. I'm afraid he is in for a disappointment.

If your husband wants you there as a supporter because he's uncomfortable being alone with them then this whole thing really shouldn't be happening at all. It isn't too late to cancel.
That said, if it does happen, you are not at all locked into staying for the whole thing. Keep your car keys handy and a destination in mind, and if they try to throw drama, either throw them out or drive away.

One last suggestion: a clearly agreed upon set of ground rules discussed with the sister ahead of time. That there will be no discussion of religion, no time allotted in the visit for any "talking points" that might be the secret purpose of this trip. That you expect to be addressed pleasantly, by your name, and with respect, and that this visit is expected to be about getting to know one another and since it is on your property, you are in charge of all aspects and it's your worldview that takes precedence. If any of these conditions are broken, they will be expected to leave. If they've got a problem with that then they shouldn't bother coming.

It's your house. They don't have any right to just walk in and dominate your space. If you participate in what sounds like a dog and pony show, I suggest that YOU take charge of the narrative and dominate it. I know you want your husband to be happy, but that shouldn't come at the cost of your dignity.

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Posted by: librarian ( )
Date: November 09, 2019 01:36PM

Not only Mormons act all passive aggressive.
I sat next to one of my granddaughters at another one's wedding luncheon, and she never talked to me at all.
My daughter in law is a different religion from Christianity, but skitters away from all contact, never calls, and "loves me but at a distance." Maybe she just does not like me. Whatever.

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Posted by: Pooped ( )
Date: November 09, 2019 03:14PM

This is a hard situation to judge since we don't know you or your husband's family nor why they would want to behave like this. They all have a problem with you? They won't tell you or your husband what the problem is?

I only know that my Dad's family acted like this towards my mother and then when we grew up it pretty much included us kids as well. My aunt was the last of the group to live and kept the disdain going until her death last year. My Dad's father was the one who started the whole negative stuff and it basically boiled down to my mother not being a blood relation. Only blood relatives counted. Since my sister and I were only half bloods we were only a tiny bit more acceptable than Mom.

In your shoes I'd take one of two routes. To get along with hubby I'd invite a good friend for Thanksgiving to be with you and talk to you while his family had their own little love fest. If they want to include you and your friend in conversation so be it. If not you and your friend can just have your own conversations and retreat to wherever you want to be in the house away from them after meals.

If hubby is truly being completely insensitive I'd just tell him he's being insensitive (it's your home too - not just his) and that Thanksgiving is a holiday rather than a chance for you to get put down once again. If he doesn't come up with a better situation than the one he's given you now then I'd suggest you take yourself out for a three day holiday with your friends or family. Even a three day spa trip alone would be more fun and relaxing if you have to go that way. Lots of good movies come out this time of year. Rent some videos. Go to the zoo. And if hubby is mad that you left, remind him that you were left out of the decision. He came up with no workable compromise, and you've been dealing with this garbage far too long to take it any more.

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Posted by: june ( )
Date: November 09, 2019 05:32PM

Thank you everyone for your responses. I have been super stressed out, and you have made me feel less alone. I appreciate the effort you took to respond to my post. My husband is very traumatized by his family, so it can be difficult for us to talk about the situation. After reading all your messages, I was better able to help him focus on how I am being impacted. I think he is so traumatized that he tends to focus on himself. Sending you back lots of positive energy!

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Posted by: stillanon ( )
Date: November 09, 2019 06:38PM

You're a very caring person. However. You need to recognize how traumatized that YOU are from those toxic morons. Just because someone may be bleeding more than you doesn't mean you ignore your own wounds. This would be a good time to put your feet down and stop the bleeding. Good luck.

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Posted by: june ( )
Date: November 09, 2019 07:12PM

Thank you for your kind words. Yes, I am traumatized. And... you have inspired me to stand up for myself and to demand that my spouse do the same. Today I searched out this group because I came to the realization that I was getting sucked back into the idea that I am a "difficult person" because I had nobody to talk to about this. My friends cannot understand the situation. They think that any in-law would love to have me be a part of their family, and they cannot believe it. So... I end up feeling very alone. Thank you for letting me share and responding to me! It means a lot.

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Posted by: stillanon ( )
Date: November 09, 2019 08:33PM

It's kind of like the Stockholm Syndrome where you start to side with your captors. If you can get it through your head that mormonism is a cult, not a church, in the mainstream definition of a church, and they have absolute rule to SHUN those not like them or push back, then things become much clearer. Grow strong, trust your gut and don't back down. Anyone telling you different is not your friend.

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Posted by: messygoop ( )
Date: November 11, 2019 12:16PM

mds Wrote:
> My friends cannot understand the situation. They
> think that any in-law would love to have me be a
> part of their family, and they cannot believe it.

I have toxic family members as well and the best way that I deal with is to avoid them at all costs. You can't have normal relationships with sociopaths.

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Posted by: ptbarnum ( )
Date: November 09, 2019 07:32PM

I think you're taking a very good outlook. I've found this board to be super supportive when I'm having in-law fits.

I am sorry for your stress and your husband's trauma, and it is important to get him to look past his own enmeshment to see how the dysfunctional family dynamic is ensnaring you, too. A person who gas been mistreated long term by their family can develop tunnel vision about fixing the whole thing, and lose sight of their authentic life in the meantime.

I think it's a good idea to reinforce that you two are the home team and that what bothers him bothers you, too. It's not on him to "fix" things by allowing his sister to do whatever she wants, You'll have his back and he'll have yours, and together you can make your best choices.

Please let us know how it goes!

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Posted by: june ( )
Date: December 01, 2019 07:16PM

ptbarnum Wrote:

> Please let us know how it goes!

My husband had the visit with his sister, and it did not go well. She was acting as an emissary for his family, which wants him to divorce me. (He likes being married to me.) She had not been truthful with him about her intentions for the past three months. It became impossible for him to figure out what was truth and what was made up.

This is how it always goes... his family pops up, he gets his hopes up, the family tells him a bunch of untruths, he meets up with them, there is a toxic encounter, there is a bunch of rude talk about me being "evil," then he goes into a severe depression.

In addition to being upset about his family situation, he feels guilty/bad because he allowed her to continue to ignore me for three months while he bonded with her husband.

I am very appreciative of you all being in this space. I told my husband about it, and he has joined the boards. He ordered the books that people have recommended. He's been super upset, but not like he's been in the past. THANK YOU for being here. Happy Holidays!

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: December 01, 2019 07:20PM

Oh no! It sounds like he needs to tell his family that he loves you and that he has your back. And that if they can't accept that, they can go take a hike.

I'm sorry that you had to endure that. I hope that you and your husband have a peaceful December.

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Posted by: knotheadusc ( )
Date: December 01, 2019 10:59PM

Sometimes, being right about a situation really sucks. I’m sorry both of you went through that. Glad you have each other and this space.

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Posted by: nonmo_1 ( )
Date: November 18, 2019 08:09AM

"My husband is very traumatized by his family,.."

Your husband is traumatized by his family. They don't like or acknowledge you...and YOU are expected to host them for Thanksgiving??? I'd say no way. If possible you and your husband should go on a trip together at Thanksgiving.

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Posted by: bona dea ( )
Date: November 10, 2019 06:28PM

You could also have a lot of outside activities and not be there much.Ignore her or chat at her during dinner and make yourself scared the rest of the time.Having a friend at dinner is also a good idea. Black Friday is a good excuse for not being there.So are prior commitments with friends or your family. You can also develop a headache and spend time in your room.
Also, you need to work this out with your husband. They are his relatives and he should be the go between. There must be some way to compromise. You have a say in who is invited over but he has a right to see his family too. Tough situation.

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Posted by: nli ( )
Date: November 09, 2019 07:32PM

>Then, my husband and his sister decided that she and her husband would come spend Thanksgiving with us.

Since when can ONE spouse invite overnight houseguests without consulting the other (especially the one who will end up probably doing all the cooking and cleaning)?

Since the husband seems to have been coerced into the invitation, since he really doesn't want them to come, HE should be the one to disinvite them.

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Posted by: Greyfort ( )
Date: November 09, 2019 08:26PM

This is one reason we have a lot of forum members who have never even been Mormon. One can still be greatly impacted and/or hurt by it.

God, why was I ever Mormon? It can make people behave in ways they never otherwise would have without that organization coming into their lives.

No wonder I always struggled to fit in. It was actually their shunning of the LGBTQ community which made me finally leave. I wanted no part of shunning anyone.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/09/2019 08:28PM by Greyfort.

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Posted by: exminion ( )
Date: November 10, 2019 12:50AM

I'm sorry you are being put through this Mormon family drama. Yes, other families have their dramas, but your particular drama had been caused by the Mormon cult, so let's address that.

Does your husband think his sister has an agenda? You wrote, "Yes, they want to know when he will divorce me and come back to the family." If this is true, your husband's family can seriously threaten your marriage! You wouldn't invite a ravenous wolf into your home for dinner--and humans can be far more deceitful and manipulative than any wild beasts. Get real!

Already, as one poster pointed out, you are upset,stressed-out, traumatized, unhappy, arguing with your husband over this, dreading Thanksgiving--and it hasn't even happened yet! Does that tell you something?

You wrote, "My husband is very traumatized by his family." I understand this, because I come from a dysfunctional Mormon family, too. Honestly--honestly--you would be doing your husband a favor by cancelling this entire fiasco!

You are wise! You know that your SIL is not likely to change. She won't suddenly become friendly and warm towards you. She won't suddenly embrace you as a family member. This woman is a little crazy, to think it's OK to push herself into your home, when she hasn't ever talked to you in 15 years! This is more than bad manners, it's just plain crossing-the-boundaries of your rights. I agree that she probably manipulated her husband into allowing her and her husband to visit you. She had to do this privately, without YOU being there. Divide and conquer, right?

You are smart to plan ahead, and foresee the possible problems. No, you are not overreacting. I had the Mormon in-laws from Hell, who hated me because I had been married before (for only a few months, with no children), and they blamed me for my husband leaving the Mormon cult (I remained a member). For whatever reason, you are the scapegoat. They blame you for everything.

Don't expect your husband to suddenly become strong, and stand up to them. He was raised to submit to Mormon parental power and family pressure. Please don't be angry at him for this. I was raised the same way.

Maybe, since you are ALREADY the villain, go ahead and take the blame. Your in-laws will blame you anyway, even if your husband tells them not to come, so you might as well do the telling.

What's more important--preserving your sanity and your marriage, or throwing yourself and your husband under the bus to please people who WILL NOT BE PLEASED.

I do like the ideas of your making your own plans, or inviting a member of your own family to visit--if your husband would be OK with that. Let him know what you are doing, and why. The two of you could go out of town, or one of you could sprain your ankle. Mormons lie so much, that I don't hesitate to lie right back at them.

Do you work? I had an abusive TBM brother force himself into my home for two weeks (and my TBM parents threatened me if I didn't take him in). I'm pretty much self-employed, and I spent a great deal of time at the office, and meeting with clients, to get things done so I could take time off for Christmas. Even so, those two weeks were unbearable. He got a cold, and I had to take care of him for another week beyond that.

Like summer wrote, there are ways you can deal with haters, but I wouldn't know how to do that in my own home, especially without anyone on my side, helping me out.

Prevention is the best cure. You will handle things just fine.

We've all been there, one way or another, and have survived.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: November 10, 2019 01:35AM

I think inviting an extra person or two is genius because if one person isn't talking, it's less noticeable. Also, the new people don't have a history with the difficult family member, which can help to facilitate conversation.

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Posted by: Mother Who Knows ( )
Date: November 11, 2019 06:09AM

My advice would also be to get out of this situation.

If this has to happen, you have been given some good suggestions on how to get through it.

I agree that it would be great for you to invite some of your own family members, or friends, or neighbors, or someone who is alone at Thanksgiving, for dinner, at least.

I was in a similar situation, with some very snarky Mormon in-laws, who seemed to dislike me and everyone else in the world. I also had been married before, and my MIL was always accusing me of still being in love with my ex, and trying to get her son to leave me and marry his old girlfriend who was a RM, and an avid temple-goer. This was a very toxic situation for our marriage, and the confrontations with my nasty MIL made me very upset.

I decided it was my house, too, so I turned things around, so I would be in charge of my self, while they were there. I promised myself that I would not allow her to insult me, and I actually did walk out of the room, on several occasions.

It was Christmas, and I decided that these Mormons weren't going to ruin my Christmas. I felt that my husband should pay the consequences for arranging for these people to stay in our home. They were his parents, and not mine. I would let him take responsibility for them, and do the talking, do the entertaining. It was my precious vacation time off of work, and I was going to shift gears. I would do the behind-the-scenes chores and clean-up, etc., but what I did, when, and how, would be under my control.

I would NOT go to the Mormon church with them on Sunday, that was for sure. Luckily, there was no Mormon Christmas service to argue about. I would not kneel in family prayer. I told them that it was my family's tradition to pray silently, "in secret prayer", privately. They made my husband do it, though, while I was putting out the garbage.

I actually looked forward to doing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen after dinner, because I could be left alone in the kitchen. I took more time than usual preparing special meals (MIL was diabetic and had allergies). I didn't like to cook, but I thought it was a good time to LEARN to be a better cook. I concentrated on the new recipes and my cooking techniques, instead of concentrating on the nasty people I was serving. I dusted and vacuumed, when the house really didn't need cleaning. I went out into the yard and hand-watered, in the lovely, cool California weather, when the garden really didn't need it. I took our dog for long walks. I did have a wedding to go to, and I stayed out with friends, afterwards, instead of going straight home. My ex was angry, because he was alone with his parents almost the whole day.

Because everything was on my husband's shoulders, he hated the visit, and he never invited them to come again!

That made everything worth it! It wasn't so bad for me, after all. I didn't have to be rude, and didn't have to accept any rudeness back. I was a good hostess, and worked hard at it, with breaks in between. If I could do it, so can you! Win-win.

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Posted by: Dorothy ( )
Date: November 11, 2019 09:49AM

This exactly. And put way better than I could have.

It's three days.

Be pleasant and charming, but don't put up with abuse.

If you cancel, you're the bad guy.

If it's bad and he wants to make a habit of it--that's valuable information.

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Posted by: Dorothy ( )
Date: November 11, 2019 09:54AM

I put up with terrible treatment from my MIL. There were seven years when I didn't visit, accept visits, or speak to her. She knew why--she didn't accept it, but she knew.

When I allowed contact again, she was still pretty bad. I'd figured out how not to care much.

That allowed me to see that it was my husband's poor treatment of me when we were around his family--that's what was truly unacceptable.

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: November 11, 2019 11:08AM

Something to consider with your husband as I relate to him-- a lot. Because Mormonism. Mormonism stunts growth. One way is that we were taught to obey. To never say no to a calling or to a leader or to parents. We were taught to be sheep and never stand up for ourselves. We were taught to tamp down our own feeling, bury our own needs. And some of us learned to do it at all costs--to ourselves and to our loved ones. I was one of those.

As young Mormons we felt the need to build the perfect facade. And the perfect Mormon never makes waves, never questions, never puts their parents back in line. Sooner or later that facade of Mormon perfection seeps in and becomes part of the fabric of who we are on the inside and is no longer just our Marquis.

I went for years this way after Mormonism. No one wanted to be around me for long. I couldn't make a relationship last for more than three months. I went through a couple of years when the loneliness was unbearably painful. Took a long time to realize I needed to do a lot of growing up.

I got out of that mess. I finally figured out that I had been robbed of real social growth as a Mormon.

I stood up to my Dad in a very solid way. Only had to do it once to change things. The apron strings have to be cut. You have to claim yourself. I took control.

And----I cannot begin to tell you how much a little book called "Co-Dependent No More" changed my life. I recommend you both read it. That book got the Mormon out of me more than anything else.

Your husband's family is the worst of Mormonism and the co-dependency infused is gargantuan.

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Posted by: june ( )
Date: November 13, 2019 10:13PM

I remember the Co-dependent No More book from years ago. I am going to get a copy for my husband and I. Thank you for the recommendation. I also remember a book by Patricia Evans. I think it was called something like The Verbally Abusive Relationship. It talked about the idea of Reality I (us) and Reality II (abusive person).

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: November 14, 2019 10:15AM

Everything I read between the lines you write tells me you and your husband are pretty strong and loving. A different slant from somewhere can help sometimes. I hope that book does as much for you as for me if it happens to be right for you.

All the best to you.

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Posted by: knotheadusc ( )
Date: November 12, 2019 02:15AM

Let me tell you a story. Your post reminds me a lot of a situation I was in back in 2004.

My husband and his ex wife were LDS converts. Ex is a very toxic person who has the tendency to wreak havoc on any social gathering. She's very narcissistic and thoughtless, and she makes demands of everyone, using her children to force compliance.

Both Ex and her husband and my husband and I were married in 2002, which meant that in 2004, we were still kind of newlyweds. Ex and my husband had minor children together at the time, and Ex was being a real pain in the ass about visitation. Finally, she came up with the idea that we would all spend Christmas together at my father-in-law's house (FIL and his wife are Catholic). She and her husband would stay at the house with the children (she'd had one more at that point, along with her son from her first marriage), and my husband and I would get a hotel room (even though it was his dad who was hosting).

Ex presented this plan without asking any of the adults what they thought of it. We were all expected to just show up and cooperate.

Well... my husband and I had a traumatic Christmas with MY family in 2003. I was still scarred by it, and had no desire whatsoever to spend Christmas 2004 with his ex wife, especially since I knew she was just going to use the visit to collect information. We also really couldn't afford it. Ex was getting about half of my husband's pay every month, and going to his dad's meant flying, hotel room charges, boarding our dogs, and rental car fees. One night, after thinking long and hard about this unwinnable situation, I told my husband that I would NOT be attending Christmas with his ex wife. He could go and see his kids, then come home and we'd have our own Christmas.

We did not tell Ex or anyone else that I wasn't coming, since if we had, I had the sense she would cancel the trip. My husband wanted to see his daughters, first and foremost, and this was the only way to do it. So he went...

The "celebration" was a disaster. I got blamed for how bad it was, even though I wasn't there. However, it was the BEST thing I could have done. Ex learned she couldn't control what I do. My husband saw his daughters. And my husband's dad and stepmom (who has a tendency to emotionally blackmail people) learned that I wouldn't be deferring to them, either. We saved money. We saved my sanity, and it really took the wind out of a bully's sails.

Ex never tried her Christmas trick again. She did engage in extreme parental alienation, but the kids are grown now and have figured her out. My husband now has a relationship with one of his daughters and the other one is likely to come around someday. If she doesn't, that's her affair.

If you can spend the time with your SIL and it turns out okay, great. But don't feel badly for refusing to spend a major holiday with her. You absolutely do have the right. It's not your family, and even if it was, you would still have the right to say no. It may even be the best thing you can do. Not going to my in-laws' house in 2004 was the smartest-- and ultimately most respectful-- thing I could have done in my situation. They eventually understood, once I explained it to them.

You have a right to a peaceful holiday. You are an adult. You don't have to attend the party if attending will be detrimental to your mental health or pocketbook. It may just be three days, but it's still three days of YOUR life that you will never get back. It sounds to me like you have tried to get to know you SIL. She hasn't treated you with respect. There's no need to take one for the team if it means you will be abused or even treated with disrespect, ESPECIALLY in your own home.

That's just how I feel about it... but I also realize everyone's situation is different. I wish you luck and peace!

Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 11/12/2019 02:43AM by knotheadusc.

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Posted by: LJ12 ( )
Date: November 13, 2019 01:56PM

I find this kind of behaviour super confusing. She wants to spend thanksgiving with you, but won’t reply to your emails?
Personally, if it were me, I’d not be accommodating and I’d go one of two ways instead. First, I’d phone her up and talk to her; literally take the moral high ground and be super friendly and nice; ignore her efforts to ignore you and insist on being friendly and talking. You could also do the same when she comes, and if she is lying about not having a problem with you, it will show her up. This would be difficult to near impossible to do but possibly quite satisfying. The added benefit might be that it puts her off from coming.
Secondly, if she is unpleasant to you still, you then have more of an excuse for not being there. Do you have any other family you can visit instead? Or any of your own family or supportive friends you can invite at the same time? There is strength in numbers and you would feel better if your friends outnumbered them. You can then drink and be merry in front of them. But be exceptionally nice. Likely they will at least not come again. This needs to be about you asserting yourself, who you are and what you stand for. I’d ignore the whole mormon thing and whatever problems they have with non mormons, and just be your own normal self. Remember they’re the ones who are weird.
The other option is to agree that they can come for dinner but insist they need to stay elsewhere and if not, you will either go to stay elsewhere, or make yourself lately absent during the stay. Also paramount is that if it’s just them visiting, you don’t do the cooking or shopping! Perhaps this will put your husband off if not this time then in the future.
I deal with similar issues with a SIL. I’m convinced she secretly must hate me. She ignores me, has said negative things about me, and my brother talks to me less and less. But then when they visit she’s super nice. It’s bizarre. You might experience some of this game playing and it’s better to pre empt things either way by being the first to be ‘super nice’.
Just some thoughts. Remember this is your house too. You can set some rules. What rules do you want if they have to come?

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: November 13, 2019 05:17PM

LJ12 Wrote:
> But then when
> they visit she’s super nice. It’s bizarre. You
> might experience some of this game playing and
> it’s better to pre empt things either way by
> being the first to be ‘super nice’.

This is the game my family plays with me. It is exhausting.

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Posted by: Beth ( )
Date: November 13, 2019 10:34PM

Please, please do not cook for these people. Please do not subject yourself to their abuse. I hope the in-lards aren't planning to stay with you. My head would explode.

Come on over (I don't do turkey day), and we can put a couple of hammocks up in the trees, sip cocktails, chug beer, tell stories, read, nap, watch the ducks and forget about the world for a few days. Maybe not if it's raining, but we'll get by. :D

Skip town. You didn't extend the invitation; you're not responsible for its outcome.


The Laughing Heart

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.

-- by Charles Bukowski

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/13/2019 10:47PM by Beth.

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Posted by: june ( )
Date: November 13, 2019 11:01PM

Or course my husband can see his family, and I'm fine with him hosting guests. We usually only have guests who are very comfortable in modest conditions. We live in a 600 square foot apartment with one tiny bathroom.

His sister does not speak to me, and I am not allowed to speak with her or to contact her. (The instruction that I am prohibited from speaking to any family member was given to me by the eldest sister years ago). My husband was in the ER, and he was about to receive emergency surgery because his life was at risk. I called his mother to alert her and to offer her transportation to the hospital. The family was offended that I had called the mother. They later contacted my co-workers telling them that I had assaulted my husband's mother. All of this was shocking to me. I had no idea that it is wrong to call someone's mother if they are about to get surgery in the ER. How would I know that?

I do not want his family calling up my workplace and spreading false rumors. I go out of my way to avoid doing anything that might offend them. I am not allowed to speak with or contact any of them.

Last summer, my husband got the idea that his sister wanted to get to know me. She asked him how I was. He got excited and hopeful. His new brother-in-law (the sister's husband) started texting him so that they could build their brotherly relationship. It was decided -- the decision-making process is unclear to me -- that the sister and her husband would come for Thanksgiving.

About a month later, his sister told him that she didn't have a problem with me -- which somehow means that she does not plan to get to know me. My husband asked her if they could have weekly calls with one another to build their brother-sister relationship, and she wasn't able to do that either.

None of this makes any sense to me. My husband didn't want her and her husband to come for Thanksgiving any more. I'm not sure why, but he cannot tell them not to come. This situation is not one of hosting a relative in a house with other people -- this is staying in a 600 ft one-bathroom apt with a sister-in-law who will not speak to me, her husband who I have never met, and my husband. I have no reason to believe anything bad about the sister's husband, but he is a man that I do not know.

I preferred to go spend Thanksgiving with friends instead. My husband wants to spend Thanksgiving with me.

When I made my original post, I was trying to figure out how to be in this tiny apartment with two people I barely know who won't speak with me for three days. After I read all the response posts, I talked with my husband. The sister and her husband won't be coming to our apartment at all. He is going to visit with them in public spaces while they are here, and he doesn't expect me to be there.

Thank you for all your helpful responses!

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Posted by: Beth ( )
Date: November 13, 2019 11:15PM

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Posted by: knotheadusc ( )
Date: November 14, 2019 01:05AM

Excellent news! Good for you, and good on your husband for having your back, as well he should!

Enjoy your holiday!

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Posted by: Susan I/S ( )
Date: November 14, 2019 06:17AM

This news made my day. I would shoot my husband for asking them before asking me. All the cooking and cleaning falls to me and cooking for two is a whole different ballgame than for four. And frankly, the whole thing smells bad to me. Sounds like your Hubby is now a "project".

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: November 14, 2019 10:18AM

Fantastic. Happy for you.

I do understand why this was hard for your husband and glad he found what works for him, and, you.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: November 15, 2019 11:08AM

Done & Done Wrote:
> I do understand why this was hard for your husband
> and glad he found what works for him, and, you.

Boy do we know! It is hell dealing with some Mormon relations. And for some reason I cycle back for more punishment even after years of estrangement.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: November 15, 2019 11:07AM

Glad he came to his senses. Good for you!

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: November 17, 2019 09:28PM

Good news, indeed. His family sounds like a bunch of lunatics. You are best off letting him deal with them. And as his wife, he *must* have your back. Good riddance to that lot!

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Posted by: Pooped ( )
Date: November 18, 2019 02:54AM

This is good news! I'm glad your hubby has seen your perspective.

A little off topic is the size of your apartment. I also live in a small space. I did not know I'd be living in this town so long but it is what it is. My place is only a bit larger than yours. I have a second bedroom but it is my study and there isn't even room for an air mattress for guests.

When my narcissistic sister insisted on seeing my home she saw the spare bedroom being used as a study/den and said, "There isn't any room for me if I have to move in with you!"

OMG! As if I'd ever spend even one night in the same house with her. I almost burst out laughing.

Back to you. I certainly hope you have a happy Thanksgiving with your husband and that he has a good interaction with his sister.

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Posted by: Greyfort ( )
Date: December 01, 2019 08:18PM

If he doesn't stand up for you now, I think I'd be the one to divorce him.

How dare they! Grrrr. I'm really angry on your behalf now.

Edit: By the way, what was his reply.

I think I'd have said, "Oh, I need a divorce alright. From you!"

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/01/2019 08:44PM by Greyfort.

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