To ask you all if I should feel guilty or make peace with this situation?

(19 Posts)
ShellyGherkins Fri 01-Jul-16 09:26:37

I don't get on with my husband's family. It's unlikely I ever will.

I did try to get on with them but found them nasty , rude and spiteful. They were quite hurtful towards me and made it very clear that I'm "not family".

I still tried with them but gave up after I became sick of trying to get them to like me. I'm civil when I need to be but I avoid all family events (they literally ignore me) and I don't go out of the way to be around them.

DH and I have a daughter and my husbands sister has twins as well as their big family. Our children live a very short drive away but they don't know each other at all .

I'm saddened by this and have told his family that they are welcome to have a relationship with our daughter . I've also told my husband in no uncertain terms that he doesn't need to worry about my feelings about the situation , he should encourage a relationship between his family and our child . He agrees .

But he never does anything about it! Neither him nor his family attempt to see our daughter .

I know if I arranged something with his family , then it would happen and this is where I'm torn ...

I know I can not have a relationship myself with his family - they intimidate me and I get anxious if I have to be around them . I avoid them altogether .

I feel my husband and his family should be encouraging the relationships , but they don't .

I feel guilty that my children are missing out. I also know when my daughter is older , his family will think nothing of telling her it's all my fault they don't know her (they've told me they are going to do this !) . It's simply not true .

I don't know what to do! The guilt is really getting to me , but I also know I'm fully justified in having no relationship with them myself .

Help me make peace with this !

Should I worry my daughter will hate me when she's older because she doesn't know her family?

What if she believes it's all my fault?

My side of the family are not close but she does have regular contact with my mum and dad and they adore her .

dowhatnow Fri 01-Jul-16 09:33:31

Can you trust you DH to put the record straight with your dd? It won't be an issue if she grows up with both of you being truthful and matter of fact about it.

If DH will collude with them and not have your back, then you have a DH problem rather than an in law problem.

ShellyGherkins Fri 01-Jul-16 09:39:36

Good question!

I don't think DH will collude with them , but I also don't think he will give dd the full picture .

DH and I used to have huge rows at his complete inability to "stick up " for me .

He sits his backside firmly on the fence and makes comments about not getting involved . I often felt very ganged up on by his family and let down by him .

He's much better now and after a few years when some past stuff reared it's head , he did say something to his family .

Things have been easier all round since I went limited contact with his family, but I still feel they think it's all me - they have very short memories about how they treated me .

MoggieMaeEverso Fri 01-Jul-16 09:44:14

I wouldn't give it another thought. My mother didn't facilitate my relationship with my paternal grandmother (and neither did my father). It wouldn't even cross my mind to blame her. If my grandmother had cared, she could have made an effort.

dowhatnow Fri 01-Jul-16 09:46:47

Well you are stuck between a rock and a hard place. If she sees them she'll be fed lies about you anyway so I'd leave the ball in dh's court and take it from there. That seems the lesser of two evils.

potoftea Fri 01-Jul-16 09:52:28

I'd stay out of it and let your husband do whatever he wants when it comes to his family.
What I would do though is...as your dd gets older I would talk about that side of the family and if she asks about them, I'd suggest she get her dad to bring her to visit. I guess I'm saying I would be slyly putting the thought into her head that its all in her dad's control to build a relationship so she grows up knowing that. It mightn't be the most honourable way or straightforward thing to do, but I'd still keep planting the thought in her head from a young age.

KatharinaRosalie Fri 01-Jul-16 09:55:48

You have given them every opportunity. It's up to your DH if he wants his DD to have a relationship with his family or not.

iammamam Fri 01-Jul-16 10:00:39

My oldest son hasn't seen his father since he was 2,hes now 14. I never stopped him but I stopped making the effort of taking a toddler on 2 hour train journeys at my expense so he could see him even tho he refused to pay anything towards my son or the trips.

His family have never made and effort either. My ex told me when DS was older he would tell him I stopped him having a relationship with his family and he would hate me.
Actually after 14 years my son knows me and he knows that I would never ever do that, he knows that I would always do what's best for him so he would never believe that if he tried it, he's 14 now and his father could easily find him online but hasn't

incywincybitofa Fri 01-Jul-16 10:04:38

I don't think it is healthy for your daughter to see you being treated badly.
Is there a reason they "don't like you" Different politics, parenting styles, work life balance race religion or are they just a peculiar closed shop that don't like newcomers?

passportmess Fri 01-Jul-16 10:08:19

DH and I are in much the same situation. I'd never stop Pil from seeing their grandchild but they don't make any effort. Fil came to stay this year after cancelling once and endless going and froing and he is the best of the lot of them but very disorganised. I think you are doing your best.

passportmess Fri 01-Jul-16 10:10:29

Sorry, that's meant to be 'toing and froing'.
My in laws are so clannish that my husband can't stand it!

ShellyGherkins Fri 01-Jul-16 10:35:16

Thanks for the replies so far .

I think I'll just have to come to terms with the fact there's nothing I can do .

Arfarfanarf Fri 01-Jul-16 10:39:34

if they are that awful that you don't want to be in their lives because it's really not good for you - don't you think it's actually good that they aren't in your , younger than you, more vulnerable than you, more impressionable than you, more powerless than you, daughter's life?

Really this is a good thing.

GabsAlot Fri 01-Jul-16 10:40:02

blame u for what-what do they mean they will tell her its your fault

if theyre not going to see her how will they do this

i think you DH is a prick i dont know about your inlaws-hes not getting involved? its his family ffs

we once had a row with DH family long winded but anyway they told him to divorce me he told them to fuck off

after stewing his mother said sorry to me some of his family wer off with me but because he had stood up for me it told them wherehe stood

youre DH needs to grow a pair but i wouldnt want my daughter anywhere near them

amidawish Fri 01-Jul-16 10:40:36

you're not stopping them from seeing your dd
you've encouraged your dh to bring her to his family
you're (understandably) just not organising it
you have nothing to feel guilty about

ShellyGherkins Fri 01-Jul-16 10:59:47

I really don't think his family would be openly mean to our daughter . They just don't like me .

They'll blame me for not "allowing a relationship ".

I think my worry about it stems from a particular incident where a minor disagreement escalated in to an argument .

Husband's mother is not the most tactile person and struggles to get her views across without frankly being rude and aggressive .

I reacted to her rudeness by retorting back (nothing major, I'd had enough by this point and wish I hadn't , but I did) and it escalated in to an actual argument .

His mother got nasty and personal (I didn't) and I told her that until she changed her behaviour towards me , she would not see our dd who was a baby at the time.

They took this as a chance to say I'm stopping them having a relationship and that I'm the issue - even though I made it clear it was until their behaviour towards me changed .

The things she said were openly nasty and personal. I felt justified in doing this - why would I want people who are vile to me , around my child ?

They then went on to use my daughter as a pawn in silly games to "prove" they can do what they want . It was all very petty and I ignored it , even though I was seething !

It all blew over and things calmed down for a while and I've always said to them they are welcome to see our daughter whenever they want to .

But now I'm worried they'll use this against me when my daughter is older .

Arfarfanarf Fri 01-Jul-16 11:05:37

what, that you said they could see her whenever you wanted but they chose to never make arrangements with your husband and your husband never chose to make arrangements with them?

If your daughter sees that as your fault - you'll have raised her wrong! grin honestly that's not something you should worry about.

Arfarfanarf Fri 01-Jul-16 11:07:02

and people who get really nasty with one person will get really nasty with anyone who doesn't toe the line.

I promise you I know what I am talking about. I binned my father's entire family for this. They started off hating my mother, it was all let them see the kids, well, when I got old enough to have my own opinions - guess who was in the firing line?

HarryPottersMagicWand Fri 01-Jul-16 11:24:17

I'd actively discourage a relationship between your DD and these people. They don't sound nice and they don't have a right to any sort of relationship.

Your child will not grow up and suddenly blame you because some distant relatives she doesn't know tell her that mummy wouldn't let them see her. You're her mum, you will be more important than them. I have very awkward and unconventional family relationships. It has never occurred to me to blame the people who brought me up. If other family want to see a child, they will make the effort. DH's family don't really bother with us at all. I'm certainly not going out of my way to facilitate this, they know where we are. My DCs don't suffer adversely for it. They are more interested in the family that do bother, which sadly for them is very few people. I just get on with it. You definitely can't chose who you are related to!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now