To avoid all my in-laws

(7 Posts)
tiggerkid Sat 02-Jan-16 09:25:12

This Xmas, I made a monumental decision not to visit my MIL. Here is why. The woman literally NEVER does anything for us. She never helped me with any childcare (and I only have one child). She doesn't know when my only son's birthday is, so never calls, sends him any birthday cards, let alone any gifts. She doesn't care about my birthday or her own son's birthday and otherwise never calls us.

We moved house 2 years ago. Since then she's never been to visit us. She's not called either.

I sent her a Xmas gift this year but we didn't even get a thank you. My husband's siblings blame us for not visiting her more frequently but whenever we do, she never even talks to us. She just sits there, watches TV and expects us to watch her watch TV. She doesn't make any effort to make any conversation at all. Not even with my son. Not even small talk such as "isn't the weather lovely today?".

After years of weekend and Xmas visits, I got tired of being ignored and disregarded and finally stopped visiting. DH's siblings live 5 minutes away and obviously visit more often. We need to drive for 2 hours to get to MIL's house. Sometimes we get stuck in traffic and there were instances when it took us 4-5 hours to get back.

So when DH's also siblings arrange things like family dinner for MIL's birthdays at 6 pm on Sundays knowing that DH and I have to go to work the following morning, we just don't bother going. We both work in London, so we are up at 6 am to catch a 7 am train. Getting back home at 10 pm or after on Sundays just doesn't work for us because our son also needs to go to school the following day.

We got a lot of abuse because of that earlier this year but didn't respond at the time. When Xmas came, I just couldn't face visiting her and the DH's siblings who I know they all judge us for not vising more often than we do but I literally feel nauseated at the thought of visiting.

My mind tells me I shouldn't feel bad and DH is fully supportive of my decision. However I don't want to stop him from visiting the only family he's got, no matter how ridiculous they seem to me. I did tell him I would come with him if he wanted to visit and would be polite and civil as I always have been. He said he didn't want to visit them but I worry he is only saying that for me while this whole situation may be eating away at him.

Am I being unreasonable to have stopped visiting them and should I continue?

Euphemia Sat 02-Jan-16 10:07:59

It's up to your DH, really.

I'm in a similar situation - DH can't be bothered with his mother but from time to time I feel guilty that we haven't seen her for a long time, when BIL and SIL have her to stay with them, go to visit her, etc. when they live further from her than we do.

In the end, I talk myself round by reminding myself that it's DH's place to set the tone of our relationship with his mother, not mine. I have my own mum to think about, and I see her frequently.

YABU for resenting MIL for never doing anything for you - you have no entitlement there - but YANBU for not visiting her.

LagunaBubbles Sat 02-Jan-16 10:26:02

yanbu. I disagree with Euphemia regarding "entitlement" - it's a bit more than the OPs MIL not doing anything for them - she shows no interest whatsoever, you would expect a Gran to be interested in her Grandchild and of course it's upsetting that she's not!

Birdsgottafly Sat 02-Jan-16 10:37:48

It's up to your DH what e wants to do.

It's not ok for a Grandmother not to know her Grandchild's DOB, or not bother with them, at all, but to still expect visits.

My Grandchild's other Nan lives out of the U.K., but still keeps in touch via FB and Skype.

I would never contact her, or visit, if she treated my child like that. It isn't usual and it isn't on.

Nonidentifyingnc Sat 02-Jan-16 10:43:38

You cant force a relationship and make people love you or want to be part of your life. Your mil has made her position clear and in your shoes I would stop bothering also.
I dont think children should be exposed to grandparents who clearly have no interest, just because they are grandparents. Mil behaves like a stranger so treat her like one.
I would also tell the siblings what has led to this decision and would accept no criticism from them - their own relationship with mil is different to yours and they have no right to judge or criticise when they dont have to put up with the behaviour that you do.

tiggerkid Sat 02-Jan-16 11:04:50

Thank you for your responses and thoughts, ladies and gents (if there are any here smile)

I still remember one of the very few visits my MIL actually made to us. When my son was born, she visited and brought me 2 sets of sleep suits with £2 tags still on and a half open pack of nappies with dirty ones sticking out at the top. Her explanation was that she got it on sale at her local corner shop and I could just throw out the dirty ones and use the rest.

Since then she never bothered with any gifts for my son.
When my DH was ill once and ended up in hospital followed by 3 weeks off work, she never visited him and never called to find out how I was coping with the small child and if I needed any help.

She recently spent 2 days in a hospital herself because her leg hurt but it was nothing more than just routine stay. We didn't visit her either because getting to where she is from London on a weekday is a total nightmare for us but, once again, we got loads of abuse from DH's siblings.

I never gave any of then any abuse for not visiting us on any occasions, special or otherwise, but I get grief from them even on FB. DH's older sister constantly keeps asking me to tell DH to visit their mother.

This year, I got so annoyed with her that I actually replied and suggested that she asks their mother to visit us as I would welcome her visit to our new house for the first time in 2 years! She said, "oh sure, we will visit one day".

I really tried with all these people. For 15 years, I spent every Xmas at MIL's house. I bought presents for all DH's siblings, their children and even their children's children. Never got a thank you from any of them and also most of them never bother with my son either.

I know love isn't an entitlement, and to be honest all I really wanted is at least some front of civility, so that it's easier and more pleasant for everyone.

DH's brother stopped talking to us because of MIL's inheritance issues and even then I sent his kids birthday presents because I figured it's nothing to do with the children. He is still not talking to DH anyway.

As I've already mentioned I think the main thing I find upsetting now is my concern that DH is only willing to go NC to support me. I can't understand how it would be an easy decision for him given the fact that he hasn't got any other family.

WhereYouLeftIt Sat 02-Jan-16 12:47:27

"As I've already mentioned I think the main thing I find upsetting now is my concern that DH is only willing to go NC to support me. I can't understand how it would be an easy decision for him given the fact that he hasn't got any other family."
You find them unpleasant. Why shouldn't he find their behaviour equally unpleasant? After all, it's his son they're ignoring. It's his wife they're having a go at. Been a blood relative to someone does not give you some sort of emotional armour against their unpleasantness. Have you considered that he might have dropped contact with them years ago if you hadn't insisted in keeping going with presents etc?

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