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Thread: Wife won't talk to my family

  1. #1
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    Wife won't talk to my family

    My wife doesn't get along with my family of origin. Specifically my parents and older sister. They can be very intense, opinionated, and controlling. In the past we've had major blow ups with them, bad arguments, and general difficulty in establishing boundaries with them that they respect. She hasn't spoken to them in 8 months. My wife is currently pregnant. She has decided that she doesn't want to communicate with my family for the entire duration of the pregnancy - 6 more months. No calls, texts or emails. She feels as though any communication stresses her out and gives her anxiety. On one hand I empathize, but on the other, I find it extreme and not the way to heal relationships. Recently my family has been kind, and offering excitement and support. My wife doesn't care for any of this and has made up her mind about what kind of people she thinks they are. She now wants me to call my family and tell them to stop calling, texting, and emailing. This makes me uncomfortable, because I think it is extreme and doesn't work in the direction of mending the relationship. I also think it's unnecessarily confrontational given we haven't had any major issues with them in over a year. She won't budge and expects me to do this. She gets angry whenever she gets a text or email from them, even though they have been to just say hi. Not sure what to do here!

  2. #2
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    How many years have they been treating her like this?

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Snny's Avatar
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    I dont have all the facts here, so take my advice as a grain of salt.

    I don't entirely blame your wife on this one - especially if she is pregnant and they have disrespected her AND the marriage boundaries in the past. Whatever happened between her and your family cost her trust and sense of safety around them- even if they try to be cordial now. It's a difficult hurdle to overcome and mend your relationship with your inlaws after they mistreat you.
    I'm curious to know to what extent they have been "controlling" besides being argumentative. Any examples you can give?

    Stress on your pregnant wife can alter your baby's health. This is a legitimate health concern. Prolonged stress can also cause her to have a miscarriage (I used to be a teacher, and I knew two teachers who had miscarriages because of job stress). She needs to be less overwhelmed as much as possible for her pregnancy to be successful. If they are being toxic by constantly arguing with and around her, then she's right about not wanting to be near them throughout her pregnancy.

    You have to look at this whole thing that your family (wife and upcoming child) holds a higher priority than your parents and siblings at the moment. And if you don't see it that way, then you shouldn't be in this marriage. A pregnant women needs as much support as possible through this very difficult time, and having overbearing family members around who have repeated snubbed her is going to make matters worse.

    She now wants me to call my family and tell them to stop calling, texting, and emailing. This makes me uncomfortable, because I think it is extreme and doesn't work in the direction of mending the relationship. I also think it's unnecessarily confrontational given we haven't had any major issues with them in over a year. She won't budge and expects me to do this. She gets angry whenever she gets a text or email from them, even though they have been to just say hi.
    It is extreme if she's telling YOU to block/end conversations with your own parents and siblings. BUT I'm not understanding WHY they are contacting her personally? Maybe it's a cultural thing, but it does seem random given their strained relationship, and weird since she is not their daughter. My own parents don't call/email my husband (except once because of a serious family emergency), and vice versa with my in laws who are from a very different culture (and I'm also pregnant). From my personal perspective, it does seem they are overstepping boundaries here too without realizing it, and it's overwhelming her. Perhaps she is intimidated of engaging in a simple conversation with them after witnessing how very "argumentative" and "opinionated" they are.

    It is up to you to speak up to your parents when it comes to establishing boundaries and handling arguments. Even though she's your wife, it's not her place to argue or confront your parents/siblings about marriage boundaries and behavior. That responsibility falls on you. Personally, the best approach is your wife ignoring them or placing a temporarily block until the pregnancy is done. Either way, she is avoiding any potential confrontation with them by letting you know they are bothering her and that you need to do something about it. Indirectly, she appears to be questioning how you are enforcing marriage boundaries with your side of the family.

  4. #4
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    "They can be very intense, opinionated, and controlling."
    "...difficulty in establishing boundaries with them that they respect."

    Them changing from this ^ and TIME is the only cure.

    Ps, imagine yourself in her shoes. Would you want to talk to her family?

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  6. #5
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    As a wife who has been treated like this by her husband's family for 28 years this will end your relationship or she will come to hate your family and resent you, you better tell them to back off.

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    Originally Posted by Shawn5
    My wife doesn't get along with my family of origin. Specifically my parents and older sister. They can be very intense, opinionated, and controlling. In the past we've had major blow ups with them, bad arguments, and general difficulty in establishing boundaries with them that they respect. She hasn't spoken to them in 8 months. My wife is currently pregnant. She has decided that she doesn't want to communicate with my family for the entire duration of the pregnancy - 6 more months. No calls, texts or emails. She feels as though any communication stresses her out and gives her anxiety. On one hand I empathize, but on the other, I find it extreme and not the way to heal relationships. Recently my family has been kind, and offering excitement and support. My wife doesn't care for any of this and has made up her mind about what kind of people she thinks they are. She now wants me to call my family and tell them to stop calling, texting, and emailing. This makes me uncomfortable, because I think it is extreme and doesn't work in the direction of mending the relationship. I also think it's unnecessarily confrontational given we haven't had any major issues with them in over a year. She won't budge and expects me to do this. She gets angry whenever she gets a text or email from them, even though they have been to just say hi. Not sure what to do here!
    What have you done on your wife's behalf to support her?

  8. #7
    Platinum Member itsallgrand's Avatar
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    Back up your wife. Her request is reasonable. Save your energy for later, use this as a regrouping bonding time for you and your wife.

    I think it's smart of her to do this. She has to look out for her and the baby's health. And they need to learn they are not entitled to meddling in your lives. She knows once the baby is here, their control issues will likely come out full force. She knows it is better if they can be part of baby's life. She's setting the stage now to try to do that in a way that will work.

    Unless I'm misunderstanding and she has said they will not be allowed to know the baby?

    Healing starts with trust. They should be able to respect a hiatus in order to try and build some. For everyone involved. And so should you. Just my opinion

  9. #8
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    I agree with all the others.

    I do hope that you have had your wife's back and asked your family to respect your wife whenever they have been controlling, mean, or disrespectful to her. This is your wife and the mother of your soon to be child so it's your duty to protect her from anything that is causing her undo stress.

    Kindly ask them to contact you for updates on her health and that of the baby as she's not paying much attention to emails or any e-contact during her term. It's that simple, really.

  10. #9
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    Agree with everyone else. Back up your wife. Put yourself in her shoes, and all that stuff.

    Sounds like your family is miserable, sorry. I would hate for them to be my in-laws. Mind you, I would never put a future partner in a room with my own mother alone for more than a few minutes, so trust me when I know what I'm speaking of.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member Snny's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by itsallgrand
    Back up your wife. Her request is reasonable. Save your energy for later, use this as a regrouping bonding time for you and your wife.

    I think it's smart of her to do this. She has to look out for her and the baby's health. And they need to learn they are not entitled to meddling in your lives. She knows once the baby is here, their control issues will likely come out full force. She knows it is better if they can be part of baby's life. She's setting the stage now to try to do that in a way that will work.
    I like this point and never saw it this way. She's "quietly" setting boundaries when the OP isn't or is showing he's not very capable of doing such.

    I come from a very dominant, controlling, and opinionated family. Fire captain, government worker, educator, and politician secretary all wrapped in one, and we have very heated debates. My family has shown a lot of excitement for my pregnancy and we're giving me unwarranted advice... and I had to uncenter myself from them a few times because itheirbenergy levels were starting to overwhelm me.

    I'm very fortunate that my inlaws live outside the country. However, they are also very excited, want to make travel plans around my delivery date, and expect to be right at the hospital while I'm giving birth, then stay at our house for a month helping me care for the baby. I'm not helping them organize their visa process like I did during wedding planning. Though I am extremely grateful for the support, I know I am going to be so exhausted and recovering for several weeks. I even need to prep myself for the deliver, and the last thing I want is to entertain foreign guests while I'm trying to prepare, heal and bond with my baby/husband during this major life changing event. I've had some serious talks wth my husband about laying down these boindaries with friends and family around my pregnancy because I'm not going to have the energy to do it, not will I mentally exert myself to do it for the baby's sake.

    It is so crucial that the OP steps up for his wife and listens to her as loud my as she is being reasonable- and she really is. This request isn't "baby brain" talk.

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