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My Parents Hate My Husband

Group Therapy: I Complained, Now Parents Hate My Husband

This question is from Group Therapy in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

Hi, everyone . . .

So, I am in a situation where nobody but me likes my husband. We have had a tough few years due to having a baby, work stress, etc. I have gone to counseling (he won't), and I am trying hard to improve our relationship and marriage so that we have a good home for our baby.

I made the mistake of "venting" about my problems with my husband to my family, especially my parents. I guess that I have been in a state of arrested development or something, and although I am over 30, kept going to them about every little thing. I have had a hard time talking to my spouse, or understanding his behavior, and so I would consult them. I guess I overdid it, because now they can't stand him. We are now in need of their help big-time, and they won't help us because they don't like him. He has always had a rather reserved, once-in-a-while-visit type of relationship with them, even though we live very close. My husband is very introverted.

Get the rest after the jump.

Now, since they won't help us in our time of need, he has figured out that it is because of him. They would easily bend over backwards to help my other siblings and their spouses. He told me that he has now given up on having a relationship with them, is tired of the family drama, and feels like he can do nothing right in their eyes.


Now I am in the middle of an ugly situation. I feel like it is all my fault because of my whiny, big mouth. My relationship with my husband definitely has its ups and downs, but it is worth staying in — I love him very much. I think that my family is just trying to get me to leave him because they say that I am not happy when he's around compared to how I was before. (We've been together almost 7 years now.) I have a close relationship with my family, and now I feel stuck. Is there any way to repair it? I can come clean to my husband, which will upset him — I realize that, but I am OK with it. I need to be honest. But, I don't feel that my parents will believe me that my "horrible relationship" was exaggerated by the amount of time that I talked about the negative vs. the positive. They will think that I am just saying it to get them to help us and to keep the peace.

What should I do?

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Join The Conversation
Jennifer2980408 Jennifer2980408 5 years
I found they’re producing a television show about this topic, and they’re still looking for participants. Seems pretty interesting…  
HollyJRockNRoll HollyJRockNRoll 6 years
Why don't you ask your parents straight up if they are not helping you because of your husband? Are your siblings married, because if they aren't, it makes more sense why your parents still help them. You have the support of a spouse. Also, if your husband was doing some messed up stuff you can't expect your folks to turn a blind eye. My sister dated/dates a guy who use to up and leave the country without much warning and say he wasn't coming back. This was after my sister would drive him around and do all this stuff for him. She'd complain about it and so naturally the family really disliked him. For some reason though, she now doesn;t get why he's not welcome in the home when they get back together. Moral, you got to be more careful when you vent because people will have natural reactions to your stories, regardless if you tell them you are happy or not. Period. Ask your husband to work on being introverted. Maybe you can try to invite your family over one every other week for dinner at your house. That should be a nice way to get closer and your husband can feel more at home since the meetings will be at his own home.
loveandacademia loveandacademia 7 years
It is great that you felt that you could go to your parents for support during the difficult times in your relationship and that you say your relationship with them is close. However, one of the life cycle tasks of becoming a couple is to redefine boundaries in the family, and I think you might be having a bit of trouble in that arena. The best thing to do now is to be conscious about protecting the boundary around your relationship with your husband, and to accept it if your parents are not willing to help you with what you need right now. It is great that you are now aware of the fact that you were 'in a state of arrested development', and in time you will see that perhaps your parents NOT helping you was exactly what you needed to create enough space in your relationship with them to include your husband.
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 7 years
Well, my dear... I hope you have learned a valuable lesson about making the decision to talk only when you have something negative to say. That is never a good idea. There's a chance your family may never like him now. If you want to try to salvage the relationship between your family and your husband, you need to explain this situation to both sides. You may be stuck playing middle-man for awhile, but hopefully this can be repaired and things will eventually go back to normal.
Skeptic52 Skeptic52 7 years
Yeah, I'm with Andrea and Greg on this one! I don't think you should tell your family so much about your relationship. I try not to say anything that isn't positive to outsiders. BUT, then again, my parents and siblings and such are FAR from close. We don't even live anywhere near each other, and I don't ever really talk to them. So, maybe I just can't relate to having siblings or parents who are like best friends. In that case, it would be really hard NOT to tell them what's going on when you need advice and consolation. That's a toughie. In that case, it's much better to hire a counselor to talk to than use your family. OR YOU CAN USE US FOR FREE :)! Of course, I dated a guy my family hated. Turns out he was awful for me, and they were right. They just saw what I couldn't. BUT, they never said it to me until afterward, because "It wasn't any of our business. You're an adult, and he technically wasn't doing anything to US." If it's your husband, though, I think they have to know to back off and not judge him. They should know that marriage is hard at times, especially your parents, and that spouses tend to see things very differently. Perhaps you should mention that to them. And I do think it's a good idea to let your husband know it was your doing that caused the family to be weird around him. It'll cause more trouble if he just thinks he doesn't belong. I don't think he should be the only person earning his way back into the family, unless he did something heinous. Otherwise, if it's mostly your gossip that did him in, you should help out, too.
danakscully64 danakscully64 7 years
Oh, and know that everyone in my family has done the exact same thing. We're not big gossipers (okay, maybe a little :P ), we're close and open about our issues. My middle sister has gone through A LOT with her guy. They have a 4 year old and since before she was born and until now, they've had some major bumps in their relationship. Every time they would break up, my sister would vent about it. Then when they got back together (we knew they would), it would be a little weird. Everything from punching the wall, punching the car interior, refusing to pay child support, claiming he's going to lie in court about not being served the papers, not coming to pick up his child when he was supposed to, etc. I still don't like the guy, but they're engaged now and I have to support them. I did it when my guy and I went through a brief breakup and my brother did it recently when his wife cheated. You've just got to learn from it. There's nothing wrong with expressing your emotions to your family, but make sure you're not giving them too much information. If you're overwhelmed, tell them that. If you're sad, let them know. But don't tell them your husband would rather go out with the guys than spend time with his child or whatever (just an example). Try to work that out with your husband or a counselor. Again, good luck :)
danakscully64 danakscully64 7 years
I agree with Sarah. But at the same time, it's REALLY hard to deal with issues without some kind of support, especially when your husband isn't your shoulder to cry on when he should be. Keep encouraging him to see the counselor with you. My sister went through the same thing with her first husband, he refused to seek help and they ended up divorced (he was mad, but it was his own fault). My brother also refused until the end of his marriage, when it was too late. Ask your husband why he refuses to seek outside help. Tell him that even if he doesn't want to do it, do it for you and your child. When you need to vent, I recommend doing it to your counselor or anonymously online. Try not to involve your family in trash talking... they will probably forgive, but not forget. I also don't think your parents are being fair. Even though they know more than they should about your marriage, they still shouldn't cut you off when you need it. Yeah, you're not obligated to help, but favoritism will only make you resentful of them and your siblings. Sit down with your parents, talk it out. Tell them that they are making your life even more stressful and your marriage even worse. Also say that you will not be discussing your personal life with them anymore. Good luck!
GregS GregS 7 years
You've kinda screwed the pooch on this one. You have some explaining to do on both sides, and the sooner the better. Hubby needs to know what you did so he knows that it wasn't his fault. But he also needs to know that you were venting about things that negatively affect you. You also need to be woman enough to hear back things that bother him, too. You also need to have the discussion that Anon #3 has with your folks. That while you've complained about him, you were venting frustration and that you still love him and are happy being with him (if in fact you are). You've kind of poisioned the well, but it can be salvaged. Benheld's idea of a game night may or may not be successful (they may opt to not come), but you have to include hubby in the family events. All of them. Every time. Eventually, the well will run clean again.
sarah_bellum sarah_bellum 7 years
First of all, you are not entitled to any help from your parents. It's very nice and generous if they offer, but you have no right to anything that isn't already yours, and you should tell your husband that. Secondly, yes you need to fess up to your husband, because this is a problem you created and it's not fair to let him go on thinking he's done something, especially because now he's given up on a relationship with his in-laws. No, you don't have every right to involve your parents in every aspect of your relationship with your husband, because frankly that stuff is bordering on betrayal, and almost always leads to problems like the very one you're going through right now. If they never get to see any problems you vent about get resolved, OF COURSE this is bound to happen. You also need to sit down with your parents and explain to them the truth, whether or not you think they'll believe it. Tell them you feel the need to vent to someone sometimes, and apologize because it's given them the wrong impression about your marriage, and promise not to do it anymore. Tell them how much you'd appreciate it if the next time you feel the need to come to them if they'd gently remind you to work things out privately with your husband, because the most important thing to everybody involved ought to be to make sure their grandchildren grow up in a stable in-tact family. Maybe they won't be willing to do that, because I'd bet the past venting has probably made them feel important by involving them in your marriage, but I really think it needs to be said out loud. Good luck.
benheld benheld 7 years
My long time girlfriend and my parents have very similar issues. Just not that fond of each other. Anyways, I don't think you should "come clean" to your husband about the complaining that you've done to your parents. It's your relationship with your parents, and you have every right to talk to them about anything that's going on in your life. If he wants to monitor what you say to them that seems very controlling. The best thing you can do to repair things now is to start making your husband show up for family things. Host a family board game night at your house. Make a good faith effort. You might also be want to have a frank conversation with your parents and husband separately about their behavior and how it hurts you. Ultimately though, some people just don't like other people--as is the case with my girlfriend and parents. There's not much you can do about it except ask that both parties are tolerant to each other out of respect for your feelings.
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