Avatar universal

Father-in-law Treats Me Like a Common Doormat

I started dating my husband about 6 1/2 years ago. I love his mom and his brother, a lot. His dad on the other hand I am not a big fan of.
He has been making me his doormat most of the time. I think that deep down it may have something to do with the fact that I am from a snotty, rich area of town. He was engaged to some girl from the same town, before he met his wife.
He is always saying awful things about my friends to my face. Making remarks to hurt my feelings no matter how much I ask him to stop. He has made me cry countless hundreds of times.
When Erik and I used to fight he would get involved.  I used to wonder why he would get involved. He would always side with Erik.
Once I was in the kitchen with him, and his wife came home. He very rudely asked me to move seats, so his wife could sit where I had sat for the last 3 hours, I used to live with my husband's family before we got married. I picked up my homework, and ran to Erik's and my room. I didn't come out until Erik got home. He could have asked me nicely, but didn't.
I have trouble with milk and I was peacefullly enjoying my cereal and he made some stupid remark about my being able to use soy milk and not milk. Seriously how mean do you need to be?
After I nearly died in July of 2009, and had very serious surgery, and had to miss a concert he paid for he accused me of wasting his money. It really hurt that that mattered more to him.
It was soon after this that he did what I considered to be the most hurtful thing he has ever done. He removed me from his facebook friends. He left one of my husband's other friends he barely knew. Right when I needed support he threw me to the wolves. I was in pain and scared for my life, and this is how he treated me.
Even when Erik and I got into a fight and the police got involved. Erik and I were not allowed to see each other for several days. He wad still rude to me. At first he called me every few hours to see if I was ok. When he came to see is, he spent about 30 mins with me and decided that I didn't matter so  he left. Did sat he made me feel worse, because he did.
Why can't he just be nice to me?  My feelings are always being hurt by him.  I keep forgiving him, but he always makes me upset again.  I have talked to Erik about this, and he has talked to his dad, but it does NOTHING.  
14 Responses
1631970 tn?1299949931

i am truly sorry to hear about your position.
This person is not going to change ( my mother in law is the same)
Best tactic is to avoid him and treat him as he treats you! - like a door nob.

If you can avoid him would be good but you have to work on your connection to your husband.
Your husband is the one that can silence him!
No matter what you do personally - this person is not going to change.
This attitude borders on sadism towards you.
I doubt however that you are the cause.

BR: Sash83
1641061 tn?1300720577
  MY father in law is the same way... Its almost lik he envys me for something. The best advise i could give you is to live your life with your husband and you. Thats what i do with my wife and we say f**k the dumb stuff... Who cares what he thinks of you be stronger than him.lol just laugh it off when he says something degrading make fun of yourself with him they kinda sit there stumped then lol... good luck
Avatar universal
I am no way a therapist but just like everyone has a bellybutton, I have an opinion. My woman gets dumped on by my family and my speaking up to them has done her no good. The fact is once it stops bothering you on a regular basis, they will still likely talk behind your back. So, ask yourself these questions...Is your husband happy when he is just with you?...Are you happy when you are just with him?...If you make each other happy that is what matters. You need to find a way, counselor or not, to realize you married your husband not his family. It is obvious they care for themselves more than you and it is time you did the same for yourself by brushing the hurtful remarks to the side.  Remember the saying, "Kindness Kills". If you can learn to show your grace then those that treat you badly will be seen by others the same as you see them.  Putting an end to it is not an option, but how you choose to deal with it will make you much happier. I know it is not easy, but if you learn to care less what others think I believe you will be happier as an individual and in your life as a whole. Find your GRACE! and good luck to you.
Avatar universal
It hasn't been as bad the last 3 years as we have lived 2 states over. In June we are moving back home.
For the past 3 years I haven't really had much contact with him.
Avatar universal
I also want to make it clear that this is just my father-in-law who treats me this way. I love my mother-in-law and my brother-in-law a lot. I love my husband with all my heart. This was more of a vent. I guess it showed that I have a lot of past hurt from my father-in-law. I know I can't change him, but it doesn't stop me from wishing I could.
Avatar universal
Let me start by saying that I am not trying to upset you with what I am going to say.... in a way, you are kind of enabling this guy.  He thinks he is "winning" (not a Charlie Sheen reference).  

I guess there are a few ways to handle this, but allowing him to win isn't the healthiest way for you to move along.  I'd suggest something along the lines of a confrontation.  When confronting him though, do not lose your cool.  Keep your composure and say something along the lines of, "(whatever his name is), why are you always on my case?  What have I personally done to you that makes you so bitter towards me?"  At this point, you've at least opened the lines of communication.  If he gets out of control, keep your composure and talk to him like a 4 year old.... "ok (insert is name).  I can see that you're really angry now, but what can I do to make you feel better?  You yelling at me isn't helping anyone."  

The other thing you can do is call him out, outright.  Perhaps be a little confrontational.  "All right man.  I am done with you talking to me like I am a door mat."  Then avoid this **** at all costs.  Do not give this guy the power to ruin your day.... avoid him.  If there is no interaction with him, he cannot ruin your day.  Also, you might consider bringing the feelings up to your mother in law... see if she can offer some assistance or at least some insight.  Daddy might be jealous that you've taken away his little boy.... it happens.
1006035 tn?1485575897
I'm pretty sure teddybears4ever2 has confronted him. Other members of the family have confronted him. It does nothing. I hate to say it, but at the end of the day the way he treats his daughter in law is not the most important thing to the family. He's mean to other people too. I've found that with my in-laws I had to step back and watch the chaos ensue. I couldn't just jump in because it doesn't do any good. There are dynamics in the family that were there before I got there that I can't change. They'll play out in the end, although it probably won't be a good ending.
Avatar universal
Ah... youre wrong about something critical there.  There is plenty one can do.  First off, you are putting yourself and this other poster in the victims role.  The above poster never said she's confronted hr father in law, and if she did.... maybe it wans't with enough tact.  Playing the victim gives power to the attacker.....

One of the easiest things to do is smile, tell the father in law that you aren;t interested in being attacked anymore and you aren't going to let them ruin your day.  Secondly, you tell the father in law.... if you can tell me what it is that I do that annoys you so or makes you so angry.... I can address that.  But until you do, you're going to feel the way you do and that makes me feel the way I do.  So, we can address this now or I'll just walk away.

The ball is in his court and he can choose to work o it or not, but all doubt of you trying is off your shoulders.  Next time yous see the guy, smile and walk away.
Avatar universal
She is my sister and her husband is my husband's best friend.  I would trust her, because she knows what is going on, as she has witnessed it for herself.
I my husband has approached him, but I can't because he won't listen to me.  Like I said I am a common doormat, and because of that he won't listen to me.  
Avatar universal
You're only a doormat because you are allowing it for some reason.  There are plenty of things you can do, but you have to take the initiative.  One thing to consider is, this guy may never warm up..... but if you keep letting him get to you he is going to give it a shot every single time.

Better than that, if your husband isn't going to stick up for you regarding this.... when doe's he stick up for you?  You've said the rest of the family is nice, but do they stick up for you?  (You said "I my husband has approached him, but I can't because he won't listen to me" has me lost.)  Who won't listen?  Your husband or your in law?  If your in law won't listen, good!  When your husband goes there, you go spend time with your family and friends.  If your husband won't listen..... sheesh, why stick around and keep subjecting yourself to that?

I've never seen a situation were someone takes an assertive stance in trying to resolve a problem where nothing comes of it.  I can't believe for one second that you have said to this guy, "what is your problem with me?".  And had you, I find it harder to believe that this guy hasn't the guts to say what's bothering him.  If thats the way he handles things, walk away and don't worry about making him happy.  Just quit allowing yourself to be treated that way.

Treat the guy the way he treats you or avoid the **** at all costs.  Either you husband sides with you and does something, or you make new arrangements.....it *****, yeah.  You can do something about it or you can sit and complain.  Choice is yours.
1006035 tn?1485575897
I think you're very confused about the situation. If you don't want to read these types of posts you certainly don't have to, but don't go around and start attacking people's marriages or calling them liars. Thank you.
Avatar universal
Don't be rude, you don't know what you're talking about. It's not as simple as avoiding her father-in-law for the rest of her life, that kind of relationship only strains all the other relationships involved. And there's no call for ridiculous suggestions like leaving her husband either.
Avatar universal
My Father-in-law won't listen to me.  My husband listens to me even when we are two states away from each other.  He is my best friend and I wouldn't trade him for the world.  
Again calling people liars is not ok, and not something that you should be doing on the internet to complete strangers.  It is rude and uncalled for.  I am not allowing him to use me as a doormat, but that is just what happens sometimes when you marry into a family.  This is not a way of saying that I want to get out of my marriage,  This was more of a vent.  
Avatar universal
Whoa...Skeptical and Diva..... you are not getting my point.  My point is about empowering teddybears4ever.  I am trying to learn about her situation.  And Skeptical....... it sounded like her husband was not standing up for her.... if that was the case, leaving could be an option.  If the relationship is that bad....

No where above did I call anyone a liar.  Simply what I've tried to do is find out why he treats you this way.  If you know that, you can find the answer.  

I can understand wanting to vent, and I can understand the situation you are in.  There are things you can do to better it.... and they range from anywhere and anything, but what you can't keep letting happen is letting this guy get to you!  That is all I am trying to say!!!  Your life, your feelings are far too important to allow this guy to try to ruin it all.

One of the coolest things I ever saw was an event I described to you.  A buddys dad was kind of out of line to my buddy's wife.  This went on for some time, and then she just decided to treat the father in law like a kid.  (It's a skill set called love and logic.... Look it up, it may be helpful.)  She approached her father in law at a family function that she swore to her husband would be her last if there wasn't some resolve.  She walked up to her father in law.... they were away from the crowd, but in plain sight of everyone there.  She basically said to him, "I don't know what I've done to you to make you treat me this way.  I would love to know what I've done, in order to make repairs to the relationship.  I love your son with all of my heart, but your and my relationship is very stressful.  Can we talk about it?"

The guy just stood there...... had no clue as to what to say.  From that point forward, their relationship got better.... a lot better and there was a lot of mutual respect between the both of them.

(She knew it could have gone bad, but it didn't.  She was prepared for the relationship to stay the same or get worse.... in the event of getting worse, she wouldn't let this guys attitude get to her anymore.  (She knew she was a good person, a good wife, and a good daughter in law.)  At family functions, she was prepared to say only what was necessary or say nothing at all, but she was ready to move past the issue and not let him be in charge of it.  

Of course the relationship could stay the same after their talk, but she said her point, proved her value to the family, let him know that she was willing to work on their relationship.  (He could has said...get lost, or he could have said.... holy crud, this girl is serious.....) Either way, she got her point out, it made her feel better about herself and she was prepared for all possible outcomes.

That is all I am trying to tell you.  You can handle this, and you can make this right for you.  You've got the power..... don't let him try to get to you.  You are way better than that.

And the truth be told.... this guy may be genuinely mad with life.  It happens, and then the problem is totally his.  Until he addresses the problem, it will still be there.  I just want you to know that you have the power to get past it.  I get venting.... I totally get venting.  And if your husband knows all about it, try formulating a plan concerning this with him.  Is that a possibility?

Back to my buddy story from above.  If what my friends wife said didn't work, my buddy was going to tell his dad that he was sick of the way he treated his wife, and wasn't interested in coming around and subjecting her to the bull-butter.  My buddy did ask his dad why he treated her the way he did, and dad literally had no answer..... nothing, but Jenny got it fixed.

You just need to know that you DO have the power.  You can totally handle him/this situation and it doesn't need to be forever frustrating.  And like I said, this guy may just be genuinely mad at the world, and if thats the case, you or nobody can crack that nut.  That is something he'll have to address on his own or with a therapist!

You've got this... just think about it and you've got it done, girl....
:)   Peace by all means, I am not making war......

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