They Play Favorites

My mother-in-law plays favorites with her kids and grandkids.  My husband and kids (except for my daughter) are not her favorites.  She buys cars, farm equipment, furniture, etc, etc. for them but ignores my husband except when she wants something. Every year after spending her money on her favorites, she asks my husband for a few thousand dollars to help her pay her taxes, and of course he gives it against my objections.  I feel this takes money away from our kids. (If she truly needed money, it would be different.)  She calls and he jumps.  Yes, I am jealous.  He is a great guy.  We have been married for 18 years and have 3 kids.  We rarely ever fight except for this issue.  I am afraid he will grow to resent me because I can't stand his family.  She told me when I was pregnant with our daughter (and having a dangerous pregnancy) that he would have married the neighbor girl because they loved each other.  (The neighbor girl passed away tragically when she was 9.)  His family has accused my son of stealing.  My brother-in-law has called me a smart!!! when I began defending my husband because he was being bad mouthed.  My husband just sat there and didn't attempt to defend me.  Do I just take second place for the rest of my life because he is otherwise such a good guy and I love him?  I know he seems so eager to seek approval from them.  I have thought about leaving in the past but I think we are better together than apart.

coalguyswife coalguyswife
36-40, F
2 Responses Mar 6, 2010

Hi,
I think you have to shift the way you think, your marriage is sound and he loves you. You are not in competition with your M.I.L, you have equal but different and special roles in his life and he should not have to choose.

I see your husband as being a very patient man who is in reality vying for his own mother's affections trying to show her that he is a son deserving of the affection and equal treatment that his siblings get.

I do not believe this is about you. Perhaps she is a narcissist to a certain degree and has learned what pushes the buttons of people around her, but don't let her have power in your affections, stay firm in those as you, your husband and your children deserve a family home that is not poisoned by the actions of your M.I.L.

She will not change, so accept that life is not perfect, but you have something too precious to throw away based upon her conduct. She isn't worth it, your family is.

Take care =)

We have similar stories. I asked myself that question of being second because my husband is so nice. However, I feel that since you are married, you should be first on his list. Try talking to him. Obviously your husband seems to be in the middle but he does let himself get manipulated by his mom and brother because after all he is seeking acceptance from mom and bro...it sucks that basically, the mother and brother know that your husband is eager to please just to be liked