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You Asked: My In-Laws Hate Me

Dear Sugar,

I would like to be closer to my in-laws, but it's difficult since my in-laws don't seem to like me. They will give my husband a birthday check for $1,000 while my birthday gift will be $20 worth of scratch off lottery tickets. Whatever food I bring to parties, my Mother-in-Law makes a sour face when she tastes it. One time, she invited my husband and son to France and didn't invite me! I have to do something. My sister refuses to even visit her in-laws and this seems to work for her but what other options do I have?

—Tired of Being Left Out Tiffany

To see Dear Sugar's answer

Dear Tired of Being Left Out Tiffany,

Keeping your feelings inside is the worst thing you can do. Things are just going to build and build until one day you'll explode, and your in-laws won't know where it's coming from.

The best thing to do is invite them over for dinner and have a talk with them about how you feel. Make sure your husband knows about your side of the situation so he can be there to back you up. Tell them you're upset by how they treat you so coldly, and that you think of them as family and wish you were closer. Ask them why they act this way, and if there's anything you've done to make them not like you. Give your in-laws examples of their behavior or things they've said so they can better understand where you're coming from. Who knows, they may not have any idea that you're feeling this way or even be aware of how their actions are coming across so remember that things can only improve from there.

If they get defensive and aren't willing to try to become closer, than there's really nothing else you can do. Show them you are the bigger person, try to reach a common ground, and if things don't improve, I wouldn't want to spend time with them either! Good luck.


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