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11 Signs Your In-Laws Don’t Like You

Even if there are issues, it’s probably not irreparable.

by Jill Di Donato
Originally Published: 

In-laws. For many, the mention of your partner's parents can bring on a panic attack. Why? Well, it's human nature to want people to like you, especially when those people created your soulmate. Some people might be lucky to get on like gangbusters with their in-laws. Others, not so much. Unfortunately, if you sense subtle signs your in-laws don’t like you, you just might be on to something.

In general, you should trust your intuition and, as Psychology Today notes, gut instincts are usually on point. In other words, when you're picking up on even the most subtle signs that in-laws don’t like you, there may well be a nugget of truth behind them. But, subtle signs that people don't like you can also drive you nuts, making you feel paranoid. You have a couple of options here. You could take the high road and just ignore your spouse’s family’s behavior, venting about them to friends over cocktails and comfort food, or you could talk to your partner about your fears. But, beware.

The parent-child bond often remains strong and enduring, even when the child is all grown up and married. So your spouse might or might not react well to the fact that you sense his or her family dislikes you. In fact, he or she might get defensive. But you're not there, yet. First, you need to get a read on your spouse's behavior. So, take a look at the following signs your in-laws don’t like you, and see if any apply to your situation.


They forget to include you in plans

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Neglecting to include you in family plans is rude, and a subtle sign that you might not be their cup of tea. Although a neglected invite is a undoubtedly subtle diss, a little open dialogue with your spouse might get you on the guest list.


They repeatedly cancel plans

Just like that friend you always cancel on because, you don’t really care about her schedule (translation: she's not that important to you), when your spouse's family repeatedly cancels on you, they may be sending the same message.


They drop passive-aggressive zingers

The target of passive aggressive zingers might feel crazy, like was that compliment actually a dig? Sometimes, it’s hard to tell. Signs of passive aggressive behavior include running late, sarcasm, the silent treatment, withholding praise or intimacy. Not fun.


They snub you

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Having lived in New York City for the majority of my life, I can say I'm adept at the snub. NYC is a perfect city for walking quickly and averting the gaze of passersby. I do it when I don't feel like a ‘stop and chat,’ though admittedly, it's impolite behavior. The snub to acquaintances is one thing. But to your in-laws are doing it, it's just unacceptable.


They don’t give you gifts, ever

This might feel pretty obvious, but if you’re the only one without a gift under the tree this year, that’s probably a purposeful (and pretty darn toxic) message, and definitely something to work on with your partner and your in-laws.


They always let you pick up the tab

Although money doesn't always talk, it does whisper. I mean, if you're always paying the tab when it comes to family get-togethers, something is awry. Unless your spouse's family is having money troubles, something might be up.


Your in-laws mispronounce your name

Not cool. Plain and simple. It shows they have no interest in getting to know you or trying to be civil.


They ignore you in conversation

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When your in-laws leave you out of the conversation or steer conversation points away from you, it's a sign that they lack common courtesy, or a passion for what you have to say


They are uninterested in your job.

Although your job doesn't define you, it says a lot about who you are. When your spouse's family makes no attempt at learning how you spend the majority of your day, it's a sign they are not that into you.


They don’t try to get to know your family

Your mother-in-law can't remember your mother's name but remembers everything about your spouse's junior prom, including his or her prom date. Selective amnesia? Nope. If your mother-in-law can't remember your mother's name or anything about her, it's probably a sign she doesn't have respect for the woman who gave you life.


They ignore your accomplishments

People who ignore your accomplishments are inflicting social pain, according to The American Psychological Association. Not only is this intentional, it's mean-spirited or stems from a sense of rivalry. Social rejection can hurt just as much as physical pain, so bear that in mind if you feel like your spouse's family is ignoring you or your accomplishments.

If you suspect your in-laws don’t like you, it’s time to have a conversation with your partner. If you’re in it for the long haul, you should definitely fix whatever is amiss, if you can.

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