I Hate My Inlaws!

Invisible woman

Posted on Sun, Nov. 12, 2017 at 08:02 pm

For 20 years, I was first a friend and then the partner of my now-husband. I saw him through his second wife's death from cancer, and have always been a steady and positive person, being kind to his daughter without ever pushing for more of a relationship than she felt comfortable with.
Seven years ago, she and her husband had twins after many years of trying. We were all thrilled. After the twins' birth, we have given them support, babysitting, anything we were asked to provide, without ever infringing on their time or privacy. My husband adores his daughter, which is great and I admire their close relationship.
For unknown reasons, she and her husband clearly can't stand me. Twelve years of being kind, quiet, helpful, non-judgemental and loving their children have not made a bit of difference. To them, I don't exist. Son-in-law produced a lovely photo album of the twins' first year, which he gave to my daughter-in-law. Fine! The problem was, he decided to proudly bring it to our home & show it to us. Photos of the twins, my husband, the neighbors, the other grandmother - photos galore. But, despite my having been there from the day the kids were born, changing diapers, cleaning and everything I ever was asked to help with -- not one photo of me,
When we visit, I play with the children in the playground for half an hour, and the minute my husband rises from the bench and approaches the children - Daughter and son-in-law whip out their cameras, running & shouting like paparazzi - "Dad's playing with the kids! Get a picture, get a picture!" My husband's birthdays are celebrated -- funny thing, in 12 years of marriage, I've apparently never had a birthday! Anything I say is interrupted or talked over, usually with trivial topics like "What should I get at IKEA today?" Shortly after the kids' birth, I was informed by D-I-L that I waould not be called "grandmother" (not biologically qualified) but instead "Aunt Karen." I have no problem if she wants to be technical about the grandparent relationship, but common courtesy would be to ask "What would you like to be called?" This isn't petty because I had a very dear Aunt Karen, my mom's sister, who was my favorite aunt and led a troubled life, leading to her tragic death by suicide when I was 13. I was named after her -- but to be called "Aunt Karen" brings up very sad memories for me. Of course, D-I-L has no idea because she never asked me, and knows little about my life - she never asks and cuts off any conversation I try to have.
Rather than dwelling on this, I simply go through my visits like a polite robot -- never expecting to be spoken to or acknowledged, simply being quiet and helpful, becuase I care about my husband and do not want him to feel in the middle of any conflict. (He has also noticed the "deep freeze" and occasionally comments that he wishes they were kinder to me -- but I try not to make an issue since there's nothing he can do.)
Fortunately, the twins are delightful children and I care about them & get along great with them. My son and D-I-L are judgemental, materialistic, self-focused and unkind -- really hoping this doesn't rub off on their kids. I'll just try to be a good influence and ignore the rest. Nice to have a place to vent all this though! Just came back from a visit, I was sick with a cold but made big efforts to be cheerful -- they actually dragged us to a bar for my husband's birthday (I don't drink) then picked a spot on the bar where there were enough seats for everyone -- except me! (Right next to us was a table with plenty of seats.) I just went to the ladies room for 30 minutes -- naturally, no one missed me! Wondering why exactly they feel so superior to everyonme on the planet, when they lack basic courtesy???

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