In law clique draining me

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Cat Whisperer
@cat-whisperer
last year
726 posts
i am in a second marriage with my current husband that has several adult children with spouses, all of which live in close proximity to us. We have been together for 10 years. I have had a good relationship with his kids and grandkids and did have a good relationship with the spouses too, but there is a clique that has formed with three of the kids spouses and my step daughter. I have been singled out by them on numerous occasions. I have confronted them with this...and of course instead of discussing it they make up some bs lie on why I have been excluded. This has happened on so many family trips that we decided to buy a vacation house so we can all take turns using it but instead, now the ringleader of the clique makes sure everyone goes at the same time...and even though it is my husband and my house...it's like they just take over. My husband just goes along with all of it because when it comes to his family...he is a huge people pleaser and does not want to make a stand. It sooo drains me to open up our home just to have no respect. Example...they can all have a conversation, I try to join in but if I say something, it's like they didn't even hear what I said or they change the subject. This is all so hurtful to me. I try my best to accommodate them all just to feel totally alone when I have a house full of people.This past holiday weekend was the last straw. Since they all decided to go, we didn't have room for all, so someone was going to have to sleep in the garage (even though the clique members all have campers, which I mentioned that someone should bring a camper but that idea was nixed by the clique). So they started working on making the one daughter in law that is not in the clique stay in the garage, she mentioned it to me so I took up for her and mentioned that I would decide the sleeping arrangements. Well the ringleader then played martyr and decided her family would stay in the garage. But of course I had hell to pay for it. She made damn sure that no one was going to have a good time.. and everyone went along!? The negativity was so bad I went up the street and stayed at a neighbors party for a bulk of the day on Saturday. It has also caused a fight with my husband over all of this because any time I would suggest doing something (like a boat ride) the clique would say no...and he would go along. Needless to say, the long weekend was totally exhausting. I feel so much contempt from what is supposed to be my family that I have almost decided it is not all worth it.Sorry for such a long post but I feel there is no one that I can talk to on how devastated I feel. I cannot seem to enjoy being around the family since if I invite just one of the families of the clique they either don't go or all of the show up. I don't want to alienate my husband from his grandkids but I cannot take the rejection any longer.
updated by @cat-whisperer: 01/09/17 09:26:07AM
Cat Whisperer
@cat-whisperer
last year
726 posts
I get along fine with everyone one on one, but if the ringleader is around, they all treat me differently.
Lavender&rose
@lavenderrose
last year
82 posts

I don't know. If there is a toxic person in the mix, others will often rally round them to do their bidding. It's all quite odd, and very hard to deal with being the target.

Is it your step-daughter? Because, if so, good luck with that! There is envy and resentment and a desire for power over you in there for some reason (in the instigator), it seems to me.

I would focus on making things comfortable for myself in this group, and that would involve a lot of retreating, and doing the necessary chores to make myself absent and expecting to be ignored - in fact hoping to be ignored. Go all beige and see-through! Just back right out and act like a pleasant skivvy until it's over, and go for long walks on my own. (Silently count the hours until they all leave. Smile big as they go!) That's all I can think of. Accept this is how it is, unfair as it is; regroup your own forces, and perhaps something will shift in the dynamic over time. Especially if you are not showing your hurt... People are weird.

Cat Whisperer
@cat-whisperer
last year
726 posts
No, not the step daughter...thank goodness. She and I get along great alone, however, her single visits are few and far between now. She has been acting weird as well. When she comes around now the rest of the clique shows up too. I asked her what gives, she just tells me that they are just good friends and they don't get to visit that often, but I know that is bs by looking at FB.The hard thing for me is that I wear my heart on my sleeve...so the hurt shows. It also causes things to come out of my mouth that shouldn't :/ which I know doesn't help the situation. Like saying when I'm ingnored, "Well I guess what I say doesn't count."It is just really hard because the one daughter in law used to get left out too, so I kinda had someone to talk too but it appears, even though they made her feel bad about the garage thing, they are now including her in things too. (Which I can understand her wanting to belong, so no judging on her part) So now I really am the odd one out.
Cat Whisperer
@cat-whisperer
last year
726 posts
Thank you for the insight, LR. The resentment you feel comes from one of those family vacations several years ago where the ringleader invited her sister and a friend along without asking if it would be ok. Needless to say we didn't have extra room for two more uninvited guests, then those two had drama the whole trip. I let everyone know after the trip that no one comes univited because it caused trouble. Our relation (mine and the ringleader) has went downhill since.
Rene''
@rene
last year
1,194 posts
I have a friend in the same situation with her step daughter. The girl was find with her step mom for 15 years then she gets married and pregnant and the girl and her mother decides my friend can no longer be in her and the grand child's life. My friend is a very good person and mother They excluded her from the baby shower and wasn't not allowed at the hospital when the child was born. And I have to say, it came out of the blue for no reason except my friend lost her job and the free money she was giving her every week to pay her bills had to stop. Bam! They hate her guts. And her husband stands by the daughter and the ex and attends the baby shower and even went into the deli every room when the child was born but forbids her to have anything to do with his "other family". When he stops to see his grandson she has to sit in the truck because she's not allowed to get out. Please excuse my French but "I be damn". How can people do this to good people. Just decide "your not good enough "anymore. I know this bothers you because my friend calls my at least once a week crying about this kind of treatment. Smh. Cat, I can feel you are not a weak person but I think I smell a narcissist controlling your situation. Blow their minds. Put a for sale sign up on the vacation home. Lol. Now see, people like these is the reason I have a anger problem. People hurting good people for no reason. Ok. I'm done.
Cat Whisperer
@cat-whisperer
last year
726 posts
Not sure if she is a narc or just plain spoiled rotten. She throws fits when she doesn't get her way, now she's the ringleader of this clique. I have considered moving to the house....to hell with all. Not sure, I'm being drawn in that direction, hubby knows this....counseling tomorrow. We'll see what happens...if he would only stand up for me I wouldn't feel so alone in this situation.
karma
@karma
last year
159 posts

Hey CW.

Have always hated cliques, basically school play ground behaviour in adult form - And it is very nasty and it hurts.

This is a tough one - Have you not attempted to speak one on one with the ringleader herself to as her exactly what the problem is? Do you think this a possible? or is it a case of you already know there would be no use?

Denial would usually be the onset of course but, if you raise every uncomfortable issue and say it may be you did not realise but, this, this and this has been a problem for me, and maybe even suggest different weekends different activities chosen by different people? The kids even?

Of course I dont know if this even possible? I do not now this lady but, clearly she is very determined to be centre of attention and doing her best to undermine you which is unacceptabel.

Well done you regarding the sleeping arrangements - The hell to pay should have been enough for people to see her for what she is, - if it is ever mentioned now, I would politely remind her the campers were suggested.

This lady has no right to dictate your holiday plans at any moment - Nor has she any right to alienate you. I get that the real issue now is what happens if you say enough is enough?

Try a one on one first if you feel comfortable enough?

If it turns sour politely remind her you are/were trying to resolve an issue - Your husband does not have to be alienated from his grandkids - the issue of this woman is with you, he can visit them anytime - the holiday home is open to all if, and only if no animosity aimed towards you - Not suggesting this is easy though

What do you think?

Cat Whisperer
@cat-whisperer
last year
726 posts
I don't think having a discussion with her will net anything, I suspect she will just lie like everyone else that I have confronted, although it has crossed my mind. I have been doing forgiveness meditation in hopes of killing the constant flow of negativity between us, but not sure this will work either. I have tried killing with kindness, but the bad behavior continues. In her mind she is queen bee and everyone should bow to her. She is very spoiled and manipulates everyone to get what she wants. I feel that part of her problem is that she knows I can see through the manipulative behavior and I don't go along. I feel sorry for my step son for she really manipulates him, which I have pointed out to hubby...he sees too, but after all, son's the one that has to put up with her is all hubby says about that....which is true, but I really am to a point where I do not want her around me any more...it is too draining for me. I have shielded, smudged..even resorted to wearing black tourmaline but I can still feel the bad vibes.
karma
@karma
last year
159 posts

I feel for you truly - I wonder what goes on inside the minds of people like this lady

It truly does seem you have exhausted all angles but she just wont play nice. I also hear you in saying she knows that you can see through her behaviour and do not go along - So yes she sounds like an extremely spoiled and obnoxious little madam.

In situations like yours/this, it is clearly to a point where you are suffering and little madam or not, this lady has no right to dictate anything, make you feel left out, cause arguments etc all the while you have opened your holiday home to her....

Maybe write her a letter explaining all her behaviours and for that reason she is no longer welcome to be around you?

I suggest `that` as opposed to confronting or just ignoring because writing does release tension and you will know that she knows she is at fault (regardless of whether she accepts the fact openly) You finally get to have your say and she cannot interrupt

Of course this is easy for me to say - I do not know the impact of what I say above will do concerning the rest of the family and what you want from them?

If they all rally round her and call you out, hold your head high, she will undoubtedly start on someone else eventually - And without any rudeness towards your husband - he can see it but, does not say anything to defend you (that might just be his nature?) but, its not just the son who has to put up with up this lady, she has affected you and upset you.

The methods of trying to deflect negativity don`t work when still around the toxicity, they work when removed from situation and deflecting the energy left hanging around.

Forgiveness meditation can only work when situation is over and done also..... I think you already know this but, being the lovely person you are, are wanting to exhaust every option - Trying too hard is damaging to you, it will drain you further

I am not saying have the answers and I certainly cannot say `kick her to the kerb` its not my situation and the consequences are not mine.

A wonderful way of deflecting negativity without too much effort is to identify `I AM` - It sounds so cliche but, is extremely powerful in vibration and energy field (It is not at all new age and in fact goes back thousands of years in practice) - Recognizing the self and sending out that vibration of the self - To say inwardly or outwardly `I AM strong/confident/loved....` Whatever you want that vibe to be.....and repeat knowingly that you are what you have deemed yourself to be - the vibe will do all the work for you.

I tend to use I AM before work - `The I AM liked` works wonders in my awful role of customer service - I have been attacked many times by impatient, bullish, impolite people yet I am more often than not told how lovely I am, how nice I am etc.... Its a case of saying the I AM in confidence and believing it wholeheartedly to be true....

Cat Whisperer
@cat-whisperer
last year
726 posts
Thank you for the insight Karma. It is appreciated. I will try the "I AM a member of this family that deserves respect" ;) At this point I am backing away from the situation and staying away from the clique. I will visit one on one, but if the whole clique is around, they will not see me....or hubby. After long discussions with hubby, it has been decided that we are inviting no one for a while......then just one family at a time, letting everyone know that too many people is just too much....after all, we cannot spend quality time with each member of the family when there are so many in the mix......;) hubby is now seeing that, as sad as it is...I'm DONE and he knows it! This has gone on for too long.There was an incident last night, but I stood ground. I am no longer going to be the doormat for "using" behavior and be treated like crap. Also tired of family asking for favors from him that affect us both without asking me as well. Hopefully this will have positive effects in the long run. If they see I'm no longer going to play along with trying to please everyone and speak up on our behalf (mine and hubby) they will find another to use and treat disrespectfully. They disrespect him too but he allows it...huge people pleaser (he does not see it), but no more.
karma
@karma
last year
159 posts

Good for you - You have articulated the `too many is too much` and quality truly over rides quantity (applauds you) :)

Make the I AM all about you - the shorter the term, the more direct and powerful it becomes - `I AM respected` will work a lot better than a sentence because the I AM recognizes a definitive intent as opposed to a need or want (does that make sense?)

Still applauding you :)

Rosie333
@rosie333
last year
20 posts

Dear Cat whisperer,

I'm sorry you have got into bad politics, women style, they can be so catty and power hungry and the weak will always follow the person who is perceived as 'the leader. Well done I love the explanation of quality time for one family at a time. As an empath it is vital to ''find your tribe'' to keep your sanity and composure and to find reciprocity for your loving nature. When you need to be in a tribe that is different and you are ignored, just be mindful that the dynamics of power play are at play and that you and your opinions probably threaten the power of the ringleader. Just like chickens, the average person plays into a pecking order, and this has little reflection on how good a person is perceived to be. Much Love R

Cat Whisperer
@cat-whisperer
last year
726 posts
Thank you all for the insights. I already feel better knowing that I have so much support from such loving and understanding people :)Sending love your way....Shine on

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