What do I do? (In law related)

(32 Posts)
OnlyWantsOne Sat 05-Jan-13 08:39:24

My FIL is an odd chap, he doesn't speak to me at all. Never has done. He also has a strained relationship emotionally with all of his own children. Doesn't talk to them about any thing other than a few select topics (politics, politics, economics, politics)

Him not talking to me is pathetic but I don't expect any thing different and I don't bother to speak to him any more.

Fwiw no one takes him to task on this, not his wife or DP. (I think Dp is just so fed up of being emotionally closed off from him that he doesn't try to emotionally relate for fear of being ignored)

Any way, we have children now - (this will prop out me) I have a child from a previous relationship and DP has brought her up since she was 18 months, then we have two more DC.

FIL has not acknowledged either of the babies - has never paid any interest etc. he simply ignores us when we go round there
There are other issues with mil being Christian and scaring my dd1 with all these issues of dogma & punishment (she's quite full on at times so I've banned the DC from going to church with her)
Any way fast forward to a family occasion we attended - apparently SIL approached her uncle to implore him to speak to her dad about how sad it was he's missing out on his glorious grand kids. The reply was no & I wholeheartedly agree. The children are illegitimate bastards and neither him or his brother (FIL) will have any thing to do with them!

Basically I'm fed up of this, my children being treated like dirty secrets - me being made to feel like some nasty scarlet woman. MIL is helpful and lovely some times (she means well, brings cake round etc and helps out when I'm ill etc) but she's complicit in all this feeling of shame and disgust!

catgirl1976geesealaying Sat 05-Jan-13 08:43:01

He sounds awful sad

You are not going to change him though. I wouldn't waste your energy on this man

Euphemia Sat 05-Jan-13 08:49:26

I don't think you're going to change him, so you need to manage your expectations.

Accept that he is the way he is - call him/MIL on things they do that are unacceptable (eg the evangelism), but if they're doing nothing, or not doing what you wish they would do, there's really not much you can do about that.

I'd distance myself from them, but your DCs will do that for themselves all too soon anyway. I've seen it with MIL - DD adored her when she was little; now she's 10 she's really not bothered about seeing her.

Your FIL sounds a bit like my dad - who I am convinced has Asperger's. No empathy, fixed ways of doing things, very self-obsessed. He still causes me heartache, but I've learned to manage my reactions to him now.

SpottyBagOfTumble Sat 05-Jan-13 08:49:59

sad no advice but how awful of him!

trapclap Sat 05-Jan-13 08:51:55

I don't think you or the kids ever need to see the man again. Up to your dp if he still wants to visit him. I wouldn't let him in my home or near my kids if I were you. Then decide if you want to let MiL visit you without him?

I would speak to him directly first though and ask if his brother represented him correctly

Loquace Sat 05-Jan-13 08:52:46

Warning, deeply prejudiced advice follows from "not exactly objective" poster with masses of "in laws." baggage

Run away! Run like the wind! Change your phone numbers! Move to a secret address !

Or, more rationally....

Try to create as much distance as you can whereby all meetings are on neutral turf and you have other engagments topping and tailing the meet up, chosen to exclude the possibility of:

1) hours and hours in their company

2) extending the time in their company over and above the time previously organised, (like a sort of emotinal blackmail sheild)

and chosen for the abilty of topping/tailing engagments to distract and lift spirits post meet up, so one doesn't end up seething or feeling hurt for an extended period of time post meet up.

and <big fat hug>

trapclap Sat 05-Jan-13 08:53:40

You cannot have your children around/influenced by people who think they are 'illegitimate bastards' angry

OnlyWantsOne Sat 05-Jan-13 08:56:12

He's never been to our home (this will really out me) even though you can see our house from theirs!!

trapclap Sat 05-Jan-13 08:57:40

When/where do you see him?

Just don't. Yeuck

BiscuitMillionaire Sat 05-Jan-13 09:00:26

If he's closed off from his own children then it seems very unlikely he's going to change. He sounds a bit like an extreme version of my dad, who's also very self-obsessed and totally insensitive to the feelings of those around him.

If you can't change him (or MIL) then the only way forward is to manage how much and how you have contact with them. And to reinforce to your DCs that if he seems cold towards them, it's his problem and not anything they have done.

I feel sorry for your DP too.

How awful for you and your DCs. Such an old fashioned view of children born outside of marriage. Do any of your DPs siblings have children and how are they treated?

I think you should stop seeing them, your inlaws obviously get nothing from the visits if they ignore you and the DCs, and your DCs are going to start wondering why.

Cherriesarelovely Sat 05-Jan-13 09:05:14

How horrible for you! Definitely no more effort to be spent on trying to remedy the situation. I agree with others, distance yourselves and spend time with people that actually add something to your lives. Very sad for you.

FestiveWench Sat 05-Jan-13 09:08:15

I would not spend time with anyone who was so rude and offensive to me and my children.

Nobody gains from you and the kids visiting them. You don't want to see them and clearly they don't want to see you (except perhaps from the sucj smug enjoyment of sticking to their ridiculous moral high ground).

HecatePropolos Sat 05-Jan-13 09:31:43

How awful for your children to have to spend time with them. I wouldn't do it. They wouldn't care and it would be a hell of a lot better for my childrens self esteem! Growing up with that has the potential to really screw them up. They, and you, deserve better

Inertia Sat 05-Jan-13 09:33:46

Frankly I wouldn't bother. Why expose your children to all this hurtful crap? Just don't bother visiting.

gordyslovesheep Sat 05-Jan-13 09:35:06

honestly OP I can't see why you are bothered - he sounds like a rather nasty chap and you should be thankful he isn't interested - why do you feel you have to have a relationship with him?

PessaryPam Sat 05-Jan-13 10:22:03

Ah FIL is an Old Testament Christian, how quaint! Seriously I would keep yourself and your children away from him. It's his loss. Tell your DP how hurt you are especially for the children though. He needs to know this.

OnlyWantsOne Sat 05-Jan-13 11:04:33

He knows, he agrees with me that his dad is an old bastard. We are getting married this year & I've told DP that I don't want his dad there. He says he's fine with that.

SantasENormaSnob Sat 05-Jan-13 11:09:02

They wouldn't be anywhere near me or my dc tbh.

MummytoKatie Sat 05-Jan-13 11:31:54

My grandfather was a bit like that. (Although me and my cousins were all legitimate so that wasn't the problem.)

At his funeral there were all the old widows in his congregation sobbing their hearts out (he was a vicar) and me and my cousins showing each other our holiday snaps. With my parents (who he had been most unpleasant to) occassionally turning round and going "Oooh - that's a nice one sweetheart - when did you take that." Probably not very respectful but we bothered to turn up!

StuntNun Sat 05-Jan-13 11:37:14

Assuming your DP still wants to spend time with him I would say just do the bare minimum contact you can get away with. You can't expect to never see him but you can minimise your exposure.

shesariver Sat 05-Jan-13 12:11:59

Dont keep going, this man will never change, he doesnt want to. You cant do anything about that but you can keep yourself and your children away from his bile.

Hanikam Sat 05-Jan-13 12:26:41

Good, start your marriage as you mean to go on. FIL doesn't want to know you or your children, so why have him at your wedding? MIL probably won't come either if her husband isn't invited, so don't let her ply your DP with emotional blackmail cos I'm sure she'll try!

It sounds like you've tried to build a relationship with your FIL and it's causing you grief and heartache. Don't let this toxic situation affect your children. They won't get anything out of being with this man.

OnlyWantsOne Sat 05-Jan-13 13:43:32

Right, well SIL (who tried to talk to the uncle) is pregnant. She's not married & not with the father. She's in her mid 30s and considered this as her only chance to have a baby. The father & her are very close but not "official" if that makes sense.

Her dad (FIL) has completely ignored that she is PG and never speaks to her about it. Tensions are very strained and obviously SIL now knows how her DF feels about "illegitimate" children & is very upset.

I want to write to FIL & tell him how damaging and sad this is for everyone concerned. Any one want to help me draft it? Without it just being me venting anger at him.

SIL is very upset & feels like an ashamed child following on from a conversation with her DM (mil) yesterday. So sad, having this baby should be such a joy for her and yet she is being practically shunned by the family apart from DP and I.

So - a letter to him worth it? Or just ignore ignore.

EnjoyResponsibly Sat 05-Jan-13 13:49:15

No, not worth it.

I think you have to determine a way of operating whereby these men are excluded from family events.

Do not take the DC to their house. Make MIL welcome, but obviously not her religious views.

Be interesting to see what effect your getting married has on the old sod.

Viviennemary Sat 05-Jan-13 13:59:00

He is just set in his ways and nothing is going to change him now. Don't go to their house or be in any company where you FIL is present. No outside influence is going to change him after all this time. If that's his attitude let him get on with it. But you don't need to be exposed to it. I'd not bother with the letter because people like this are seldom changed. See your mil at your house only. He has a set of rules and in his eyes it is not acceptable for anybody to break them. And that's the way it is.

Nanny0gg Sat 05-Jan-13 14:11:06

If you must say (write) somthing, wouldn't writing it to MiL be (slightly) more likely to be effective?

I would say that if FiL can ignore your children he will take no notice of a letter - or a confrontation for that matter.

CloudsAndTrees Sat 05-Jan-13 14:11:33

Ignore.

He is entitled to his own opinion, and in the same way that you can choose to have nothing to do with him, he has chosen to have nothing to do with you.

However much you think he is wrong, he thinks you are wrong, and that's his choice. No letter is going to change his long held beliefs and opinions, although he might start to realise what he's missed out on when he's on his deathbed.

Leave him to it.

I do think it's unfair of you to tell your DP you don't want his Dad at his own wedding though.

MammaTJ Sat 05-Jan-13 14:28:30

It sounds to me as if you should abandon all hope where FIL and to an extent MIL are concerned.

Your SIL sounds very much in need of your support right now. Concentrate on that and your own family.

OnlyWantsOne Sat 05-Jan-13 15:32:21

DP agrees about his dad, when we first started talking about marriage & venues for the ceremony (not a church) he did say then that he would rather not invite his dad, than give him the chance to not turn up

scarletforya Sat 05-Jan-13 15:44:11

I want to write to FIL & tell him how damaging and sad this is for everyone concerned

Don't bother. you can't reason with people like this. Your FIL is deeply fucked up. Nothing you say will change him.

I also would stay a million miles away from the old fart. Leave him to his bitter and backwards world of nonsense.

MagicHouse Sat 05-Jan-13 16:27:33

You say he ignores you when you go round there. I would stop going round. I would stop seeing him at all. He is completely and openly disrespectful of you and your children. You do not need this influence in your lives. I would speak to your dp and say you have had enough, and that you no longer wish to see him, but that whether or not your dp wishes to carry on seeing him is his decision.

I would also very clearly say that YOU don't wish him to be invited to the wedding. I don't think you are being unreasonable, given that he ignores you and your children. I know that it must be very hard for your dp, but quite frankly, if he is chosing to be with YOU and marry you, then at some point he needs to realise that his father's treatment of you is unacceptable.

I wouldn't bother with a letter, except maybe to write it to get your feelings out, then shred it.

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