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So me and the wife got into another argument today. Bit of a background, we’ve recently moved away from my family because they were being obsessive, possessive and always wanting to be around us. I agree we couldn’t breathe at times and nearly headed for a divorce but managed to turn things around and start afresh. We all get on better now!

 

We now have a 1 year old and her parents and brothers are constantly calling us asking what we’re doing with the little one. But apparently that’s my fault because I told my brother in law that I don’t get on with a couple of my family members. But my wife says that it if I had kept my mouth shut they wouldn’t want to be so involved- and that the only reason they are getting involved is because they feel we have no one?!?!?!?! Am I in the wrong here ? Why am I getting blamed for someone else’s obsessive behaviour?

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So me and the wife got into another argument today. Bit of a background, we’ve recently moved away from my family because they were being obsessive, possessive and always wanting to be around us. I agree we couldn’t breathe at times and nearly headed for a divorce but managed to turn things around and start afresh. We all get on better now!

 

We now have a 1 year old and her parents and brothers are constantly calling us asking what we’re doing with the little one. But apparently that’s my fault because I told my brother in law that I don’t get on with a couple of my family members. But my wife says that it if I had kept my mouth shut they wouldn’t want to be so involved- and that the only reason they are getting involved is because they feel we have no one?!?!?!?! Am I in the wrong here ? Why am I getting blamed for someone else’s obsessive behaviour?

I mean, no, I highly doubt her family heard you don't like a couple of them so they got together and decided to spam you guys with phone calls. At the same time, why even say you don't get on with anybody? That's petty high school gossip. Your personal relations or lack thereof aren't anyone's business but your own. And even if you are going to needlessly spill your guts on divisive matters, you don't do so to someone who's in that actual cohort. Your wife's half-correct that you're better off keeping your mouth shut, and that's regardless of any consequence.

 

Additionally, why not just have your wife deal with the regular communication with her family? Let it be her problem. Is it you complaining about her family reaching out so often, or was she the one initially tired of it and blaming it on you? It's one thing if you're the one getting driven up the wall because her family has the audacity to call. It's another if your wife's essentially gaslighting you due to her inability to deal with her own family.

 

And whether it's your family or hers, how are you two seemingly so inept at setting up and maintaining boundaries? There isn't a single scenario in the world I'd allow my family or my wife's to have any kind of dominion over our family life.

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First of all, NEVER confide especially to family (relatives / in-laws) regarding your ire about anyone because people have loose lips. Trust no one. I've since learned this harsh lesson the hard way!

 

What's done is done. You can't undo the past. No sense arguing about this with your wife. Just remember to keep your mouth shut in the future. (And don't write about your ire either.)

 

As for your in-laws meddling, don't have you or your wife return their calls immediately. Let your voice mails record their messages, wait a while and fire off a short text saying everything is fine, everyone is safe, healthy, little one is thriving and write 'thank you.' Remain polite, very brief yet keep a safe distance. When both of you don't return calls or text often to them, you'll enforce space which is the same as enforcing healthy boundaries. They'll back off as soon as you and your wife make yourselves less available.

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Just let them know you're busy that evening or don't pick up all the phone calls. They will eventually calm down. It's a new addition to the family. It seems they're being very supportive and kind. Try not to misinterpret their help for something too negative. Stay positive and look at the silver lining and your blessings.

 

Keep your personal affairs with different family members positive also and don't speak badly about anyone behind their back. You're digging yourself a hole that way and also really digging your claws deep into that negativity! Let go of all that.

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My in-laws and mother had their first grandchild, our first born son and everyone was obsessive over our little bundle of joy. We received TOO MUCH attention!

 

We grew to never return calls immediately. If it's text or FaceTime, same thing, as mentioned previously, make yourselves less available. Or, ignore and send a postal letter. Write that you appreciate their concern but please give your new little family space and time. Write that you'll continue limited contact, FaceTime, phone calls and the like as your extremely busy schedules permit. Explain that you're a very busy young family. And, write, "thank you." Keep it cordial. Remain polite yet brief. They need to respect your space as a busy, new, young family.

 

If you explain this electronically via text, FaceTime, emails or by phone, it could get irritating and then you'll have to engage in immediate back 'n forth relentless correspondence. By ignoring their FaceTime requests, text, email and voice mails, it's better to fire off a postal letter and have your communication one-way. If it's immediate electronic back 'n forth correspondence, an argument will ensue. The beauty of a postal letter is that you can fire it off and then remain silent. Try it. I hope it works for you.

 

They mean well. It's just that it's better to have space and boundaries for everyone. No one enjoys feeling hounded and smothered. Just break it to them softly and gently without causing a fight.

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Just let them know you're busy that evening or don't pick up all the phone calls. They will eventually calm down. It's a new addition to the family. It seems they're being very supportive and kind. Try not to misinterpret their help for something too negative. Stay positive and look at the silver lining and your blessings.

 

Keep your personal affairs with different family members positive also and don't speak badly about anyone behind their back. You're digging yourself a hole that way and also really digging your claws deep into that negativity! Let go of all that.

 

I never thought of things this way! Thank for your positive outlook :-)

 

The are two Things I can’t get my head around:

1) had this been my family, would it have been acceptable ? Probably not.

2) how my behaviour has caused a group of individuals to meddle and become obsessive?

 

I hold my hands up to backbiting about my family members. At the time I was very angry and grieving the loss of my mother. I deeply regret it now

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Honestly, all i see is a family smitten with your little angel. In my family, pictures of the littles are always flying back and forth and it is not abnormal for grandparents etc to call to Facetime with their grandkids. I am going to guess that your family was actually quite normal and hers is too but you are now realizing both sides just are excited about the child. The problem with both families is you tried to avoid them instead of setting boudaries. Besides obvious exceptions like school plays and such if the day you go to grandma and grandpa's for dinner is sunday and they are pushing to do something saturday - say 'hey, let's do that sunday instead of cooking a meal". Or set up specific days and be proactive about inviting people - if you invite them they won't try to invite themselves.

 

 

Or reaffirm that if they want to Facetime your child, the only real time is right before dinner and stick to it. Or don't answer calls after a certain time at nigt. You didn't set any boundaries -- i actually love all the texts my family sends. But that's just me

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It sounds to me like you ran away from your so called problem ... your family wanting to be part of your kids life and ran into another so called problem , your in laws wanting to be a part of your kids life.

 

You do realise that many would love this interest from family and there are new parents out there with no family to rely on.

You have free child care galore!!!

 

How close did you live to your family?

How far away did you move?

How close did you live to your in laws? And now?

 

I’m sensing issues within your marriage not issues outside of it?

Are your in laws sensing the same thing as me??

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Boundaries. On both sides of the family. You three are your own family now. Focus on that and cease the triangulation with extended family. Some marriage counselling could help you sort out some long unaddressed issues.

 

The extended family's over-involvement is a symptom as much as a problem. You're still having the same issue and arguments, now it's just her family rather than yours. So that's the issue to look at. Blaming each other's families is a way to avoid the real issue ..."Nearly headed for divorce" That is not about them, it's about you two.

we’ve recently moved away from my family because they were being obsessive, possessive and always wanting to be around us. I agree we couldn’t breathe at times and nearly headed for a divorce but managed to turn things around and start afresh.We now have a 1 year old and her parents and brothers are constantly calling us asking what we’re doing with the little one.
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I would love it if my family wanted to talk to my kids everyday. That's so sweet. I have one set of in laws 3 hours away, and another 6 hours flight away, and I wish they could watch the kids! Are they telling you your parenting skills suck, or just want to say hello?

 

If they latter, sometimes when you love someone, you just want to connect when you can as often as you can.

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Hey SuperPig, I wouldn't worry about confiding in your in laws here. Your wife may just be making excuses for them. I'd say continue to confide in whomever you feel comfortable with. Just don't expect your in laws to take your side on things.

I agree that y'all just need to set boundaries with your in laws, but do it with grace and tact. Afterall, they're just guilty of loving your son. But most importantly, set boundaries as a united front. What ever method you two chose, agree on the plan and then stick to it. Since these are "her people" then a lot of the boundary setting will fall hardest on her. Try and support her with that and back her up. Confronting love ones, even for nice things, can be tricky; so handle her with grace as y'all work this out.

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Hey SuperPig, I wouldn't worry about confiding in your in laws here. Your wife may just be making excuses for them. I'd say continue to confide in whomever you feel comfortable with. Just don't expect your in laws to take your side on things.

I agree that y'all just need to set boundaries with your in laws, but do it with grace and tact. Afterall, they're just guilty of loving your son. But most importantly, set boundaries as a united front. What ever method you two chose, agree on the plan and then stick to it. Since these are "her people" then a lot of the boundary setting will fall hardest on her. Try and support her with that and back her up. Confronting love ones, even for nice things, can be tricky; so handle her with grace as y'all work this out.

 

Thanks SirBacon

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