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Another inlaw problem

(20 Posts)

Ok. Will try not to dripfeed. Basic situation is this. My dh and my bil have had a deteriorating relationship over the last few years due to varying reasons. Both have been unreasonable at times. For a year they did not speak. Things have improved lately.

Bil has been living a good distance away for 2 years with his partner and her 2 dc's. Just prior he split from his wife. Not certain that is relevant but just to determine a timescale of things for you.

We have met his new family once,a year ago, and got along well. Shortly after there was a situation with my fil and bils partner declined any more involvement from her and her dc's with him. This seems a good time to mention (if relevant) that my pil live nearby. They are good to us. Even so I like my mil but do not have much respect for my fil. However I am civil as I do not want to cause any more friction. Pil and sil due to come up for Christmas dinner.

So, several months ago my bil rang dh and said 'we will not be buying Christmas presents for you and minesa but we will for your 2 dc's. So if you could think about getting something for our dc's?'. Dh said ok would think about it. Personally we thought it cheeky to ask but agreed we would get them something (never told bil though). Imo the dcs are all innocent and unfair to them to be dragged into complicated family dynamics. Last night bil visited us and also brought a gift for my dcs. Embarrassingly we had not yet bought for his dcs. Ok our fault that. All went well dh elated but I was pessimistic. And right to be. A few hours after he left bil texted dh hinting again at presents for 'his' dc. Then mil also texted dh saying 'if you agreed to buy you should' (except we didn't agree). The icing on cake was today dh had a phone all off his dad again asking about these bloody presents! Me and dh have discussed and will get something later,but not told anyone else as frankly dont think its their business? Dh has asked his parents to not pressure us.

So there you go. Its a long and complicated situation that really is an accumulation of everything else that's happened. Advice needed! And iabu? (possibly?)

Captainbarnacles1101 Wed 18-Dec-13 15:48:14

If i understand ur message correctly then u WILL be buying presents. Why not just tell them all yes u are buying! I don't understand the big secret. Your brother in law is simply trying to make his new partner and her kids part of his family. I think ur making a mountain out of a molehill.

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Wed 18-Dec-13 15:48:42

It is none of you PIL's business if you buy for BIL's kids or his partner's kids. I would buy for the kids if he bought for yours. All seems a lot of fuss about nothing.

whois Wed 18-Dec-13 15:54:12

Stop being difficult and just TELL them you are buying but haven't got round to it yet, seeing as you have already decided too. Mountain. Mole hill.

Its because so much has happened prior that I accept I do feel bitter about things. I should probably mention that we are unlikely to see these children , so I feel cross at being told I HAVE to buy for them, and by so many people. In an ideal world it should just be a simple exchange of gifts without any of this weird stuff iykwim. You could be right on the mountain out of molehill but I do think that the mountains being put there for me!

mumofweeboys Wed 18-Dec-13 16:01:15

Reading in between the lines it sounds like your bil is trying to prove to his partner that his family care about her kids, especially if she had fall out with fil. He could be panicking about the presents as it would just give his partner a reason to dislike his family

Ifcatshadthumbs Wed 18-Dec-13 16:01:18

I think in normal situations this would be a fuss over nothing but there is a history there and effectively being told that you will exchanging gifts from now on feels a bit much.
I think you bil texting about the lack of gifts and having others chase you up for it is very off. I would however say to people you haven't finished your Christmas shopping yet and you don't appreciate being pestered.

BerryChristmas Wed 18-Dec-13 16:03:29

we will not be buying Christmas presents for you and minesa but we will for your 2 dc's.

It was at ^^ point that you should have said 'NO'. It's too late to whinge now - just get the bloody presents and keep the peace (until next time fgrin)

mumofweeboys Wed 18-Dec-13 16:06:48

Get your dh to ring his bil and say we will drop presenta round x day, problem solved.

I appreciate all of the advice so far. This talk section scares me tbh so was prepared for some honesty! I will tell dh to let them know we've got presents as it could making things worse I do now realise blush. Its just the way it unfolded that has got me riled (the texts and calls were not the nicest tone). And that family history thing. Sigh.

mynewpassion Wed 18-Dec-13 16:13:41

You and your dh caused half the drama. You are planning to buy gifts and hadn't bought them yet.

When bil dropped off the gifts you and your dh should have said we will drop theirs off at a later date. No drama

Pigsmummy Wed 18-Dec-13 16:18:25

My sister and I have been barely speaking at times but will buy for each others children, I think that it gives the message that whilst you might have fallen out the children don't need to miss out. I would just say that you are buying too and be done with it.

puffinnuffin Wed 18-Dec-13 16:23:13

As there is still a week to go until Christmas you could just say you haven't done your Christmas shopping yet but will get them to them in time for the big day.

Did you tell BIL that you hadn't got the gifts yet?

If not, why not?

Ok I am dripfeeding a little. When my dts were born we heard nothing from bil not even congrats until they were 2 mo when he turned up at 8pm out of the blue. Dh was really hurt but bil just said he'd had stuff going on. When they turned 1 they did send a card 2 months late. So may be reactionary on dh part feels why should we be told to make an effort after all that. Just feel as if its coming from all angles at us. I do accept that children should not be mixed up in it but I dont like the way dhs family have spoken to him. Anyway he has told them now were getting something later and the dust has settled but fil and bil are still grumbling a bit, which dh is ignoring

Xpost SEA. I think because we wanted to get presents without being forced is why we didn't tell anyone, thinking it was none of their business. Maybe this did cause more drama in the end. I feel it is extremely rude to chase for presents. I would not do that?

PicaK Wed 18-Dec-13 17:55:31

You know what I totally get where you are coming from. Reading it all, your reluctance makes sense and is justifiable.

But. Something about your post - probably the way you're struggling to explain it - makes it sound like mean (however justified) behaviour just isn't you.

Get the kids presents and drop or post.
Send text saying sorry, should have done this. Gah, husband is useless he knows i'm on the case. White lies...

I know that'll rankle. I know bil is shit. But even tho it grates I think you'll feel better.

Plus you'll be due a big dose of good karma!

Pica your post then brought a little tear to my eye (pathetic I know) but you are so damn right! Hit nail on the head. Presents are bought and texts have been sent. Just so fed up with it all mil said same in her text reply. Anyway all made up for now...

fluffyraggies England Wed 18-Dec-13 18:06:33

We don't buy for adult siblings, but do buy for nieces and nephews.

It would be FIL and MILs involvement in this that would piss me off OP. Obviously BIL told them no presents had materialised when he visited you.

Let it go now, and all just agree to buy for the kids in the family next year.

comemulledwinewithmoi Wed 18-Dec-13 18:09:54

Why dont you just tell them you are buying presents. I dont think they have dine anything wrong, surley better to spell it out, ie we are not doing adults just dcs. I cant believe your dh said he would rhink about it.

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