My Toxic In-Laws Won’t Let Go Even After We Have Shifted Cities

My Questions and Answers | | Expert Author , Counselling Psychologist & Psychotherapistℹ️
Updated On: December 4, 2023
toxic in-laws are making her life miserable
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I am married and live in Bangalore with my husband. Initially, I used to stay with my husband and in-laws in my hometown. We both used to work for the same organization. We met in our company and got married last year, after a year of courtship. My in-laws are financially dependent on my husband. I never had any issues regarding this. But the problem started cropping up soon after our marriage. My toxic in-laws started demanding more money from my husband because they wanted to help their daughter (my sister-in-law) with my husband’s money. This was the usual trend even before my marriage. When my husband started refusing after marriage, they started misbehaving with me and my husband.

My toxic in-laws made our life miserable

They would try to create misunderstandings between us. They would emotionally blackmail my husband. It started creating a distance between us. I even thought of separation a few times. But I stopped because I do love my husband.

We moved cities to be away from them

Fed up with the situation, I started applying for jobs outside my hometown. After a few months, I was lucky enough to get one. We shifted to Bangalore some 5 months back. My in-laws are still toxic and do not leave a single chance to comment on me. However, I have stopped all communication with them.

But the compromises I made after my marriage, both financially and mentally, the peace of mind I lost, made me a negative person.

I have become a very negative person

I get irritated at small things, I do not feel happy. Even the company I have joined in Bangalore does not excite me, I don’t feel the zeal and enthusiasm that I used to feel in my previous organization. I am becoming an irritated, depressed, frustrated, helpless soul.

I do not feel like going to the office, I look for reasons to take leaves. I like being at home doing nothing. I do not like to dress up. I love my husband but I am losing interest in a physical relationship. I feel I am losing out years and all my dreams and ambitions will never get fulfilled. Financially we are not doing that great, because my husband had spent a lot on his parents and sister before marriage, but nobody helped him for his marriage, not even his father, he had to take a loan.

My in-laws are selfish but hubby doesn’t realize that

Even during our shifting, his parents did not help. Although his father wanted to, he was stopped by his mother. We both had to do everything on our own. Even after coming here in Bangalore, his parents continue to emotionally blackmail him for money.

My husband is an emotional person he does everything for the love of his parents. He feels it’s his responsibility. I agree with that, but I wonder when will he understand that they are so selfish.

I feel I am unable to achieve anything

I am worried that my biological clock is ticking and I do not feel we are financially strong to take responsibility.

We both love traveling but we cannot because we have to save, we also want to have our own house. I do not know how we will manage everything. I am becoming a rude person, irritated all the time. Even the slightest joke makes me angry.

I sometimes want to kill myself but then I love my parents and my husband a lot and do not want to hurt them.

I do not know what to do!!

Woman thinking
Unhappy woman sitting alone on couch

Dear Lady

I understand what you are saying and the mental and emotional challenges you are currently facing are burning you out. You imagined a very different life when you got married and the plans you had made seem to be falling apart. In situations like this, it’s completely understandable that you feel this way.

We can change things which are in our control

You have mentioned that there are issues with your in-laws and also that your husband is giving in to their demands which is causing a strain on you personally and in your relationship. One thing here is that unfortunately, we cannot change things that are not in our control, such as, other people and external situations. The only thing we can change is things that are in our control that is our actions, reactions, and thoughts.

That being said, it is very difficult to expect him to give up on helping his family. However, both of you as a couple also have your own lives and needs that are as important.

Have an honest conversation with your husband

On a practical level, you need to have an honest and clear conversation with your husband about the situation. Start off by first spending at least half an hour every day talking about things, like how your day was and what’s happening at work, etc. When you do this make sure that it is just you and him talking, no gadgets and keep your phones off or don’t answer calls, etc.

Make communication comfortable

When the communication gets more comfortable then have a more serious conversation. This should include what the exact situation is from his side, how he is feeling about the situation (it’s also important to understand his feelings and perspective), share how you feel about the situation and how it is affecting your life, it is important to be as honest as possible. Talk about your future plans and finances.

Discuss future plans

Discuss having children and buying a house and make a financial plan together with concrete and specific goals as to how much you need to save for it and how long it will take (timeline or even deadline) and what needs to be done in order to reach this goal.

Set limits together

Here he needs to be clear as to how much he needs to give his family and till when will he keep giving large amounts to his family. You need to speak to him and work together to create clear boundaries as to the limit till where he can or plans to help his family and where he needs to put his own needs first. You may not be able to change the fact he will give money to his family but work together to set limits and goals by accepting what he needs to do but also making sure he accepts your needs. It is important to do this exercise together.

Talk to a friend or a counsellor

On an emotional level, if there is one family member or a very close friend who knows about what is happening and can help you and support you, someone you can trust, then please speak to them, it’s important not to keep things just to yourself. You need to let it out by talking to someone. Alternately you can try writing in a journal and see if that helps.

If you don’t have anyone to confide in then try speaking to a counselor either for yourself or even to help you make the communication and sharing of feelings with your husband easier and more smooth.

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Keep a gratitude journal and read books

Another thing I would suggest you should try is keeping a gratitude journal, in which you should write at least 3 things you are grateful for. It can even be a small thing like having a nice meal. Do this exercise daily for at least 31 days. You can also make sure to listen to or read something positive and motivating every day. Try reading books like You’re A Badass, The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind, The Secret, The Universe Has Your Back and the like.

Exercise daily

Apart from this make sure you exercise at least 30 minutes daily. It is walking, running, dancing or even sports but this is extremely important for mental health and happiness. Exercise releases endorphins which triggers positive feelings in the body.

I hope this helps. I know doing will not be easy but start with the small things that are in your control and know that you are not alone and can always reach out.

All the best

Meghna Prabhu

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