Here are some tips to help you survive the holidays with your in-laws:
1. Talk to your husband. Let him know how you feel. He isn't a mind-reader, so it's unrealistic for you to think he should "just know." Be clear and specific about what your issues are and what you would like your husband to do about them.
2. Minimize contact. If your husband chooses not to confront the situation or has been ineffective in doing so, come up with a plan to minimize contact with your in-laws. Divide the time you spend with your respective families. One year, spend Thanksgiving with your in-laws and the following year, spend it with your family of origin.
When you announce your new schedule of holidays to your respective families, they may grumble some due to the fact they're getting less time with you. However, if you point out that both families are getting equal time with you, it should help minimize hurt feelings. Remember, it takes time to adjust to new patterns and with time, your families will get used to the new holiday schedule and accept it as normal.
The other thing you and your husband may want to consider in addition to alternating holidays is celebrating one holiday a year in your own home to establish your own traditions. Establishing your own family traditions helps you bond as a couple, so I encourage you to give it a try.
3. Don't take it personally. I know this is easier said than done, especially when those who are "supposed" to care for us treat us poorly. But if you can muster the ability to gain some perspective and view the situation with limited emotion, it will help make you much more effective in handling it.
When others treat you wrong for no apparent reason, typically they are the ones who have an issue. Your mother-in-law may feel threatened and/or insecure around you. Perhaps she had strained relations with her own In-laws and believes on some level this is just the way things are "supposed to be."
Also, realize that in most cases when mothers have problems with a daughter-in-law that this type of mother would most likely have difficulty with any woman her son married despite her claims of adoration for your husband's exes. I can just about promise you that if any one of the exes your mother-in-law claims to have loved married your husband, she would most likely have the same difficulties you are having. Continue reading ...