Never Realized How Bad It Was Until Death

My husband and I met in graduate school.  I am Mexican and he is Dominican.  When I first met his family, they were very friendly and warm.  Once we became engaged, my husband's sister tried to set him up with a couple of her friends, having her friends ask him out.  At dinners, my sister in law would make jokes about Mexicans and then say how she was only joking, how she knows alot of Mexicans.  She would often say it, however, whenever my husband was not in the room.  I didn't tell my husband anything because I did not want to cause any strife in the family.

My husband and I are now happily married for 11 years, and we have 3 beautiful children.  My sister in law makes very little effort to get to know the children or spend time with them.  Meanwhile, she is always going out with our other nieces and nephews (who, in her eyes, are "Dominican" because her brothers married Dominican Women).  My children are 10, 8, and 6 and have noticed that she treats them differently than their cousins.  She introduces our nieces and nephews as her nieces and nephews, but she introduced my children as her brother's children.  I did not notice this behavior from my other inlaws, although my husband had been saying that he  was suspecting the bigotry toward our children.

Now, suddenly, my father in law (her dad) passed away.  He was a second father to me, and he always made me feel welcomed to the family.    It has hurt me greatly that he has died, and my children are devastated taht their grandfather has passed away.  To make matters worse, no one (besides my mother in law) has called to see how we are handling the death.  I have tried to call everyday to see how my nieces and nephews are doing, but no one has reciprocated.  My other sister in law shocked me by saying that the only ones who would feel the pain of the death would be her children, because they were true grandchldren.  At the funeral, my children were referred to as the "not true grandchildren" by my sisters-in-law.    I didn't tell my husband, but it is hurting me a great deal.  I am blaming myself for wearing these rose-colored glasses and not seeing this sooner. 

Kenya07 Kenya07
36-40, F
2 Responses Mar 10, 2010

I have a issue with my fiancés parents that has Ben going on for about 4 years now & we have Ben together for 6.His parents are from South America & I am from the United States.When I first met them they seemed like really good people but as time went on & our relationship got serious they started to become more & more opinionated & disrespectful.They participated in his proposal & acted as though they were happy & excited but a year later they are telling me I'm not ready to be a wife or a mother & that if they were him they would of left me "no offense"his father even went as far to say an extremely personal & disrespectful remark about my father whom he met once.I know my fiancé is extremely close to his parents & they treat him like a child but he refuses to accept that the relationship is unhealthy or set boundaries.I just don't know what to do.I don't want to let there ignorance ruin my relationship but at the same time my fiancé should be saying something to them.I understand that there culture is different but from a professionals opinion who is also latin his relationship with them is unhealthy & they are disrespecting me.Im thinking of having a conversation with all four of us to try to move forward in a more respectful way or asking him to either set boundaries or part ways because I can't see myself dealing with this for the rest of my life.

My heart really goes out to you and your children. You should take some time and talk to your husband. He needs to know the pain you are feeling from having been treated as an "outcast" by his family. Also, they are the ones missing out because of their ignorance. They are missing out on getting to know 3 lovely kids and a wonderful woman as yourself. The best advice I can give you going forward, is to pray for them. I know its hard, but God changes things. Regarding your children, please expose them to as little as possible when it comes to these people. Also, begin to build up your kids self esteem by giving them the support they need to "know" they are not the problem. Spend quality time with them researching this subject and having open discussions-be prepared to answer the questions truthfully too. I wish you all the best, because you deserve it!!<br />
<br />
-Patricia