Ladies, let me share a little something that has helped me over the years: Utilize sites like this for all its worth! Find other sites, too, where you can vent. Find as many different ones as you need to!! Getting support is SO important, but even more important than that is having places where you can spill your venom about your evil in-laws without always dumping it into your husband's lap. After all, it will only push him further away if you are constantly nagging at him about his horrible family. I'm not saying you should NEVER mention it to him, but be a bit strategic about how and when you do it.
For example: after 'romantic time'. While lying quietly in bed snuggling after some romantic time, think of a moment when he showed even the slightest acknowledgement that what your in-laws have done (recently or in the past) was not cool. Bring that back up again to compliment him and praise him on it. For example 'You know, I was thinking about how you agreed the other day that when your mother hung up on me that it was pretty rude. I just want you to know that I really appreciated your support in that moment. Your words really meant a lot to me, and let me know that I am not going through this alone.'
He might be confused by the praise, but just ignore that. Just quietly snuggle even deeper into his chest, breathe heavily and happily, and let it go for another while.
You see, men are a lot like puppies. They like praise when they do good things, and a little tap on the nose when they do bad. We often make the mistake of only tapping on the nose, when they actually react much better to the praise. In fact, it might help even more if you brought up a praise-worthy item (again, even if it is very MINOR, make it out to be a BIG DEAL to you that he is finally getting on board) and just start kissing him happily after you dish out your praise. Then, make those kisses deeper, and then whisper into his ear 'This is getting me all hot and bothered...wanna go into the bedroom?'. Trust me: this kind of praise will leave a lasting impression.
It's called rewards and punishments.
Do other things as a reward, too. Surprise him with a great meal (either home cooked, or order out), with all of his favorite foods and desserts in it. Greet him at the door looking your best and smiling from ear to ear, giving him a huge hug (and squeeze of the behind). Then say 'Surprise!! I just wanted to really show my thanks for being so supportive the other day when I was feeling sad about what your mother had done to me. I wanted to show you how much that meant to me by making you some of your favorite things for dinner!'
Ignore any eye rolls. I PROMISE you, this all will throw him off of his game!!! He will begin to associate pleasant things with him finally starting to come around to your way of thinking about his nasty family. He'll associate time with you as AMAZING, and time with his family as emotionally taxing and frustrating in comparison.
You've gotta work it, Ladies. I know it sounds manipulative, but these man-boys clearly cannot get it together on their own. If they could, we wouldn't be on this board looking for support, because these men would take the situation by the horns and stop their families from being so awful to us. Clearly these men are NOT able to sort this out on their own. They have MOMMY ISSUES. They are looking for love, approval and affection. Well, my dears....show them that they can find all of that and more RIGHT AT HOME.
'Why the turnaround??' they might ask? Simply smile lovingly and say something like 'Well, I have been thinking that I no longer want your family to create drama and problems for us in our marriage. It's caused enough fights and issues, and I want those days to be over. I realize now that it's more important that we have a happy and supportive marriage more than anything else! Make no mistake, I'm not going to tolerate any BS from your family, but as far as our marriage goes, I want to return to how happy we were before those people started creating drama.' Then kiss him sweetly, and say 'I know that this year is going to be our best yet!'.
This idea that 'Life before sucked because of the in-laws' coupled with 'Life is going to be so much better now and we're going to be on the same team' will be the takeaway for him....without him even realizing it. You aren't ASKING him to be on the same team, but clearly that is what you will be praising him for and making the un-said suggestion that it is happening. He'll think it is HIS idea that he's been slowly coming around, when in fact he's just responding to all the praise you give him whenever he shows even the slightest signs of coming around.
Continue to praise regularly in many different little ways (little notes on the table "thanks for such a great chat last night!"....or even a simple "I **REALLY** enjoyed last night! *winky face*) will have him constantly thinking about your 'rewards' for his actions. Send him out the door to work with the reminder of a romantic night you had last night and he'll be thinking about it all day long!
It will take time for this to translate into real change, but I have seen it work for myself and for 2 of my friends who I shared this with. Always, however, keep this on the Down Low. Don't share it with anyone who you think might tell someone!!! Keep this tucked FAR under your hat. Your special little snowflake needs to think HE is the reason you are so happy now, and that it is HIS idea to be more supportive of you and to protect you more against his terrible family.
Be patient, it may feel a little awkward and forced at first for a while, but keep just rolling with it and eventually you'll find a rhythm that works.
Good luck, Sisters!