Social Question

abundantlife's avatar

How many of you feel suffocated in front of your in-laws?

Asked by abundantlife (349points) September 7th, 2012

I feel like I come to some other place which is not from earth when I am at my in-laws. Don’t you feel the same.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

26 Answers

YARNLADY's avatar

I’ve always loved my in-laws very much. I had to put up with my Father-In-Law odd ways, but he was kind and generous, and my Mother-In-Law is very loving and wonderful.

jca's avatar

I’m not married and never was but I have a good friend who really found her in-laws hard to tolerate. When other people mention their in-laws, I usually ask if they like them and many people say “oh yes, I love her (or them).” The bad stories I have heard are usually about mothers-in-law trying to be controlling or offering opinions that are not welcomed. In my friend’s case, the problem was the in laws would demand certain, expensive holiday presents, and when they would come from out of town, would act as if the house were theirs and would need (or expect) my friend to wait on them hand and foot. From Day 1, my friend was told that her husband to be needed a hot breakfast every day, etc. Fortunately for the inlaws and unfortunately for my friend, she was very accomodating, whereas some other daughters-in-law might have told the new in-laws firmly but nicely that their opinions and demands were not going to be accepted.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

While not married yet, the SO and I have been together for several years. I love his parents very much. When we invite them to stay with us, it is for several weeks at a time. The first time that they were invited, the SO set ground rules for them: the house was ours, and they were not to interfere unless asked to do so. Maybe that helped to set the tone, but I seriously doubt it would have been an issue anyway.

And now that I think about it, both of my parents and all of my siblings and their spouses really liked their in-laws. It makes me wonder how common the overbearing MIL or FIL reputation really is.

marinelife's avatar

OK, so you are in a different family system than your own. Look for commonalities. Perhaps you and your father-in-law both like football.

Perhaps your mother-in-law makes great berry pues, which are your favorite.

Talk about these things to them.

Don’t so much attempt tp fit into their family system. Attempt to expand it to include you.

SuperMouse's avatar

Yes, I nearly always felt suffocated by my ex-in-laws. Their lives, priorities, and mindset was absolutely nothing like mine and for the most part was incredibly incompatible with mine. I did my best when I was around them but I never felt like family and I was pretty much always uncomfortable around them.

JLeslie's avatar

If you mean my MIL and FIL, not at all. I have had some bumps in the road with my inlaws, sometimes we were not getting along perfectly or there was some tension, but overall I feel very comfortable with them. I have visited them without my husband, sometimes even having a girlfriend come along to stay with me at their house.

The only tricky thing with my parents-in-laws is my Spanish is not perfect and sometimes we miscommunicate a little.

With my SIL after a big fall out we had I am not exactly myself around her. I stifle more than I naturally would to avoid conflict. But, overall it is fine being around her also.

All my inlaws are welcome to visit my home, and I am fine to stay with them, would vacation with them, etc.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@abundantlife After reading @marinelife‘s answer, I’m now wondering if you are looking for affirmation for the way you are feeling or tips on how to overcome it or just general personal stories? Would you mind clarifying the purpose of the post?

JLeslie's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer Good question. I just reread the OP’s statement, and “a place which is not from earth” struck me this time. I guess that means the inlaws behave and think very differently than what the OP is accustomed to? But, the word suffocating had meant to me they are overwhelming and stressful to be around. I hope the OP comes back and gives more details.

ucme's avatar

In-laws…suffocation… there’s a thought.

JLeslie's avatar


Judi's avatar

I love my inlaws, but I’m glad I don’t live in the same town.
My son says that he’s happy his sisters broke me in first as a grandma because I respect boundaries better than HIS inlaws. He won’t believe me when I tell him that they didn’t have to break me in.

wonderingwhy's avatar

Not at all, most of them live half a world away which is just far enough for me to genuinely like them, well most some of them. My FIL is actually a blast, if I make it to his age I could do a lot worse than his outlook and energy level. I’m looking forward to traveling the back alley’s of Hong Kong with him next time, though my wife says he’s getting too old for that. PFFT~ it’s his idea! I’m a big fan of my BIL too, doesn’t say much but if you make the offer, he’s pretty much up for anything. There’re some others I could do without but I could say the same about my immediate family too. Interestingly my last ex’s family and I got along famously, to the point where we still send cards and occasionally get together for events (not strange or awkward at all though I can see where it might sound it). I think as I’ve gotten older I’ve been subconsciously better at, or at least put more effort into, getting along with the SO’s family; because now that I think about it the further back I go the worse and, as the OP said, more “suffocating” being around potential in-laws was.

wundayatta's avatar

After my MIL passed away, my wife got in a big fight with her brother and younger sister over how much her sister was owed for taking care of their mother. That cooled things down considerably between them, and I never have to see them any more.

That leaves her older sister who lives so far away, and who can’t really travel either far or long, so I don’t have to see them much at all. We did just visit them, and it was fine. A little weird, but fine.

But imagine what it must be like in Tibet where a woman goes to live with her husband’s family forever when she gets married. Even if he dies, she is expected to stay and care for his parents. She is treated like a servant by everyone else.

Thank your lucky stars it isn’t like that for most of us. It could be so much worse.

woodcutter's avatar

Its slightly more anxious than going to walmart and I really hate that fucking place.

Having said that they’ve been dead for a long time so I’m in the clear. The in laws in my generation (bros, and sis’s) are pleasant to avoid as well.

Want to have a happy life? Marry an orphan. Ha!

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I married a fine woman from a small village about 100 miles west of Stockholm. My mother in-law hated my guts from the start and I couldn’t figure it out until years later when my wife explained it to me. I got along real good with the old man, an interesting, funny guy who was a train conductor during WWII. But MOM wore the pants in the family and I was dirt. Eight years later, after she was pushing daisies, we moved to America and my wife told me what it was all about. She knew from the start that I was going to steal her favorite child away to the US—a thought that I would have denied as I had no intention of ever leaving Europe. God, those Holidays were cold in that house for me. She never spoke more than three words at time to me no matter how hard I prompted her. And it was my wife’s idea to go to the US in the end, not mine. What a waste, I would have liked to have talked to her.

Jeruba's avatar

I did. I knew that my husband was the second favorite of two, and I knew that they had thought the world of his first wife, and I knew that I could not be the sociable, outgoing charmer that my sister-in-law was (is). That’s three strikes.

Add to that the fact that I was practically incapable of carrying on a friendly conversation with them because they were the sort of folks who basically talk only about people (themselves, relatives, friends, neighbors) and not anything requiring thought, and my disadvantages were overwhelming. All the holidays and birthdays and family events that we had to spend with them were, for me, more of an ordeal to get through than a pleasant family gathering.

There was never any balancing out of families, either, because they lived about a half hour away and my family was on the other coast. However, it’s only fair to say that I found my own parents a little bit suffocating too.

I earnestly and sincerely hope that if and when I become a mother-in-law, I can be the warm, welcoming, and accepting person I’d have wished they could be. I’ve been practicing on sons’ girlfriends for some 14 years now, and I think it’s a good sign that they willingly spend a lot of time at our house and seem to feel at home here.

DigitalBlue's avatar

I actually almost came here to ask an almost identical question today.
I don’t feel like I have anything in common with my in-laws. I have been with my husband for 8 years, and I don’t think I will ever make a real connection with his family. There is just no common ground. It isn’t that I dislike them, I am just not very comfortable being around them (or being myself around them), because there is just no…. no spark? I don’t know how to explain it. We just don’t click.

augustlan's avatar

I’ve pretty much always gotten along with my SO’s parents, even going back to my teenage years. The only one I ever had a problem with, and it was only initially, was my ex-husband’s mother. She was pretty bitchy to me for a while, but we eventually became very close. I’m still pretty close to all of his relatives, in fact, and we’ve been apart for 8 years.

I love my current in-laws, too.

JLeslie's avatar

For those of you who feel so uncomfortable around your inlaws, does your spouse also feel his/her parents are very different than himself/herself? Are your spouse and you at least rather united in thinking the family is stressful, off, crazy, overbearing, whatever it is that bothers you so?

woodcutter's avatar

My wife growing up was established as the favorite of the 3 daughters. It was just the deal, and now they are all in their mid 50’s they still don’t let her forget about it. All the jealousy crap. I hate when they get together every few years because it’s the same shit all over again. Bitches be fighting

tinyfaery's avatar

Not at all. I spend more time with them than I do my own family. My wife’s family likes to get together a lot, so I skip out on some of the outings, but no one seems to mind.

Supacase's avatar

It is so boring there and it’s rude if I read or whatever. I avoid it as often as possible.

DigitalBlue's avatar

@JLeslie to answer your question, yes. My husband often feels like the black sheep, and he encourages me not to stress over (what I perceive to be) my inability to bond with them.

JLeslie's avatar

@DigitalBlue That’s good. Usually when I have a problem with my inlaws my husband also perceives them as being the ones who are being ridiculous. Once in a while he sees their side, not that he is on their side, but understand them and explains to me their perspective. It helps, because there are some cultural differences. My friends who get fed up with their inlaws, all of them have husbands who are “different” than the family, or in an extreme black sheep as you say, and the ones who have stayed married are basically inline with their spouses. My one friend who was married to a guy that defended his family and did not see why she was so upset and annoyed by them are divorced.

jca's avatar

It’s ironic because with my friend above that I talked about, the one with the demanding inlaws, her son just got married and has two children, and my friend started to put her “two cents” in and I had to remind her to remember how she felt with her inlaws and wanting to be diplomatic but feeling resentful at their intrusion.

JLeslie's avatar

@jca Funny how that happens. I have so many stories like that.

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther