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Is it Zara or are you more hurt by your brother, Nick, who isn’t doing anything to help? Is it that they won’t drop their plans or make an effort when you visit? Are you upset that they don’t seem to care as much as you do? Try to pinpoint the root of the issue and also to identify the specific behaviour that triggers a negative reaction in you.Work out how you would like things to be different, and ask yourself if you are being realistic in your expectations.Difficult in-laws, as you have discovered, are in a league of their own and can prove much harder to handle. Because we haven’t known them all of our lives or theirs.

Sometimes she can be very caring and involved, but she has phases when she actively withholds contact or sulks, often when there is a key family event planned.

She won’t confirm whether they are coming, and then if they do eventually turn up there can be a cold, unpleasant atmosphere.

In fact, I think there may be a danger that you will swing the other way and overreact one day.

By your own admission, you are finding her behaviour more difficult to deal with since the birth of your daughter, and your tolerance level is weakening.

If you aren’t sure, check with a friend or your husband who may be able to be more objective. Difficult people are normally difficult for a reason.

Understanding that reason doesn’t excuse their behaviour but it may help you to empathise with them.

However, now I find it harder to let it go as I feel extremely insulted that they did not make the effort to see my baby daughter, particularly as I have always made an effort with their two sons, albeit from a distance.

I really do want a good relationship with them because I care about them very much, but I also feel very protective of my daughter and I do not want to expose her to being hurt, too.

Interestingly, Zara’s family are in some ways closer-knit, but have regular bust-ups and will actively fall out with each other for long periods of time.

My husband and I live some distance from most of the family and therefore have not felt the impact so greatly, until now.

Six months ago, I gave birth to a baby daughter, and on the three occasions we have taken her to see my family Zara and Nick have been awkward about when they will be available to see us.