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Mother Invites ExH for lunch....

(81 Posts)
moonmanic Sun 09-Dec-12 23:25:55

My Mother informed me yesterday that she has spoken to ExDP and invited him to a family pre-Christmas lunch next Sunday and that he has accepted.

She did not even ask me if it was convenient for me to go, just took the assumption that we will be there. She said that it would be nice for them (which means her and my Dad) for us to have a Christmas lunch with myself, ExDP and our DD.

She knows that I am currently going to Relate on my own to find solutions to me and ExDP's issues, not to find ways to get back together as the relationship is over, but just for advice and direction with regard to how to deal with certain issues like assertiveness on my part and establishing boundaries. ExDP is quite a strong character and is often putting me down and bossing me about and I wanted to regain a bit more control in our relationship for the sake of our DD. My Mum knows this and I have also confided in her about his sometimes bullying behaviour towards me.

The counselling I have been receiving at Relate have delved into all of my relationships including with my parents and this has let me "see the light" and I now believe my mum has always behaved in a very emotionally abusive way, particularly using gas lighting tactics. Always telling me things have not happened when they definitely had, minimising and invalidating my feelings to things that a normal person would be expected to feel strongly about etc. I am now someone who does not have masses of confidence and second guessing myself is a bit issue in that.

Therefore, with regard to her inviting ExDP to lunch without discussing it with me in light of the stuff I've told her, am I being unreasonable to feel betrayed by her? I have always felt like I can't trust her, particularly with doing right by me. She said that she wants to do it for my DD, that it would be nice for her (as ExDP is going away to his family for Christmas and won't be with us) to have a "pretend Christmas" (she is only 13months btw so won't really know what's going on). To be honest I think me and ExDP probably would of done something like this anyway, just the 3 of us.

I'm just interested what others would think if your mum invited an Ex partner for lunch like this. I have such little faith in my own thoughts and feelings I don't know what is reasonable if that makes sense?

OP my family did the same - in spite of (or maybe because of) knowing about the years of domestic abuse and a fun period in hospital. It is surprisingly common.

As you start getting over your relationship with your ex, you may re-examine your relationship with your family and your role in it. I found it very illuminating and am now no contact but a lot happier.

moonmanic Mon 10-Dec-12 16:05:32

I started going to Relate because I wanted to sort out my feelings and relationship with my ex. The sessions have however really ripped open my relationship with my parents (my Dad is another kettle of fish...) in terms of how they shaped me and my world view and the fact that they still affect my way of thinking and behaviour. The issues with regard to my ex, it seems, has had to be put on the back burner until I get my head round the fact that actually I have a lot of issues surrounding my parents.

I will be seeing my mum tomorrow, so I will tell her then. I just know that she will disapprove and pile the guilt on me. This is what she does. I'm not looking forward to it and I am actually quite anxious about it. I was thinking of making up some lie or excuse as to why I can't go, but actually think this is not that healthy as I am hiding my feelings (which is what I always do). I shall take your advice, Anniegetyourgun with the "that does'nt really work for me". And I have to remind myself big time not to get drawn into justifying or explaining myself!

But I really am starting to believe she has been very manipulative towards me my whole life and a lot of it has constituted abuse. The realisation of that fact over the last week has caused a rollercoaster of emotions in me as on the one hand I feel duped, conned, abused etc but also almost a sense of relief that now I know why I feel and behave the way I have always done, i.e. someone who is generally quite passive and never sticks up for myself (well not often anyway).

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Mon 10-Dec-12 16:22:43

I wouldn't make any of this about 'me'. Rather than 'that doesn't work for me' place the responsibility full square where it lies...... 'you've gone behind my back, you had no right to do that & you owe me an apology'... and repeat as necessary. Then it's all about the unacceptability of her behaviour and the ball is in her court.

If you're a passive person normally, you won't find that easy to say but I think that's where you need to set your sights if you want to have this bully loose her grip...

CremeEggThief Mon 10-Dec-12 16:29:30

I think that was a horrid, disloyal thing for your mother to decide. Where is her loyalty towards and solidarity with you?

madeiracake Mon 10-Dec-12 16:39:34

OP think of some things to change the subject to after you've said 'it doesn't work for me' otherwise you will get sucked into discussing it (voice of experience). maybe a long list so you can keep changing the subject if necessary.

your mum sounds a nightmare, but it sounds like you're fighting you way out - good luck.

AndrewMyrrh Mon 10-Dec-12 16:53:30

Completely undermining of you and your decisions on how you live your life.

I'd be wary of any other opportunities she may seize to try to play happy families without telling you about it beforehand - e.g. when you call round to her house, ex just happened to also be there, or she might try to do it just with DD in your absence.

Manipulative weirdo.

I have a similar emotionally manipulative 'mother', you cannot reason with them so don't bother just say I'm not coming nor is dd she is too young.

If she pushes say I am having counselling on that day !

The only way to break free is to not agree to her madness and that apples to your ex too

Good luck ,it's great when you have this behind you (speaking from that perspective )but It's a hard road of feeling bad when you really shouldn't

You are normal it's them that has the problem smile

Btw I havent spoken to my Mum for a year

ZorbaTheHoarder Mon 10-Dec-12 17:06:44

I think it is very, very sad when a mother feels she has to undermine her own daughter, instead of being supportive and helping her move forward in life. Your mother is fully aware of all the upset that your ex caused you and still welcomes him into her home. It sounds as though she actually wants to witness your discomfort at his presence. I think you have done very well to realise the way she has sought to undermine you throughout your life and also that you don't have to put up with it any longer! It will not be easy, but I think that very soon, your life will start improving drastically. Good luck, OP.

Tommy Mon 10-Dec-12 17:16:40

my Mum has done this before - although she didn't tell me until said person turned up. I left immediately. This is emotional blackmail and treating you like a child which I'm guessing you're not.
I would just tell her you're not going -it may be tricky but you owe it to yourself and your sanity

Mockingcurl Mon 10-Dec-12 17:21:22

This sounds exactly like my mother. A manipulative cow. I was always frightened of standing up to her until 7 years ago when I was seriously ill. She was vile and unsupportive.

I was watching the tv in New Year's Day ( my mum had not bothered to contact us for two weeks as she was enjoying her Xmas), when the penny dropped. I realised that I wouldn't put up with her behaviour from anyone else, that I am an adult and deserve better. Standing up to her was easy and liberating.

I then had no contact at all for 6 years. We resumed earlier this year but she is a different person. She is respectful and polite. She no longer frightens me and have no problem looking her in the eye and saying "no".

DonkeysInTheStableAtMidnight Mon 10-Dec-12 17:28:53

You mentioned in your intro that you and ex probably would have done something like this anyway just the 3 of you. If your mum gets wind of this she'll pounce and say oh you'd have seen him anyway, what's the difference? hmm

3 against 1 for a start. Can't help but wonder, if he weren't going away at Christmas, would she have arranged him to come over? Absolutely not her place to go interfering.

If you don't feel strong enough to issue a curt 'I can't think what you were thinking of!" just use trusted format, "That doesn't work for me", you are a grown woman and she can't be allowed to put you on the spot. You don't have to list reasons or excuses, your DD won't know any different.

Finally, a trump card when DC is this age: cranky baby overnight: shattered sleep, probably teething, but in no mood for socialising. If she's not drooling or gumming things next time they see her, "Oh dear false alarm" repeat as necessary.

DonkeysInTheStableAtMidnight Mon 10-Dec-12 17:28:57

You mentioned in your intro that you and ex probably would have done something like this anyway just the 3 of you. If your mum gets wind of this she'll pounce and say oh you'd have seen him anyway, what's the difference? hmm

3 against 1 for a start. Can't help but wonder, if he weren't going away at Christmas, would she have arranged him to come over? Absolutely not her place to go interfering.

If you don't feel strong enough to issue a curt 'I can't think what you were thinking of!" just use trusted format, "That doesn't work for me", you are a grown woman and she can't be allowed to put you on the spot. You don't have to list reasons or excuses, your DD won't know any different.

Finally, a trump card when DC is this age: cranky baby overnight: shattered sleep, probably teething, but in no mood for socialising. If she's not drooling or gumming things next time they see her, "Oh dear false alarm" repeat as necessary.

pylonic Mon 10-Dec-12 17:38:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mummytime Mon 10-Dec-12 17:41:23

I would suggest you don't have a cosy meal with your ex either. He can have normal contact with your DD, and give her presents (I would allow her to open them with him if he wants). Do also mention not having two stockings as it could start a precedent of too many presents and if either of you have new families in the future it could set up big jealously issues.

Are you spending Christmas with your Mum? I would try to minimise that for your own health.

GoldQuintessenceAndMyhrr Mon 10-Dec-12 17:50:39

It is her lunch, she has invited him, nothing to do with you.

Just decline like you would any other inconvenient invite.

Just tell her you have other plans, you are not under any obligation to attend.
Neither is your dd. If dd is with you that day, it is up to you what the two of you are doing.

jingleallthespringy Mon 10-Dec-12 18:56:29

It is her lunch, she has invited him, nothing to do with you.

Give me strength!

ZorbaTheHoarder Mon 10-Dec-12 19:23:17

Hi Pylonic! Just to put your mind at ease, I really don't think I am an ex of yours, and I'm not really a hoarder either - I just liked the sound of the name!

DonkeysInTheStableAtMidnight Mon 10-Dec-12 19:26:29

Think GQAM means, this is DM orchestrating this, DM seems to assume OP is going so OP need feel no guilt or awkwardness in declining "invitation", it's all DM's doing.

Aussiebean Mon 10-Dec-12 20:09:57

If you are worried about doing it face to face, do it over the phone. When she starts up, knock something over and say you have to go then hang up.

If this is the first time you have started to say no to your mum. It is really hard. I had to get REALLY angry the first time I told my mum she would not speak to me like that. Have barely spoken to her since.

There are many people out there who l know exactly what you are going through.

Good luck.

2rebecca Mon 10-Dec-12 20:12:29

I don't see why solidgold is getting a hard time for her comments. There have been threads where divorced women want to keep up a relationship with their exMIL and visit her sometimes and take the kids and posters have said their ex is being immature if he's objected to his mum doing this.
Moonmaniacs parents can keep in touch with her ex if they wish, they may see him as a friend as many divorced women see their exinlaws as friends.
The unreasonable bit is expecting your daughter to come round for dinner with her ex and play happy families.
I get on with my ex and can have dinner with him and the kids. We don't go relly visiting together though, that would be weird.

Bogeyface Mon 10-Dec-12 20:36:37

My parents often invite my ex for Sunday lunch and my father sees him every Friday as they play in the same crib team. I have no problem with it. I see my ex FIL a lot and we have done things together as an extended family together before, including all the parents, me, ex, my DH and the children (including mine with DH) and potentially I can see that extending even further as ex now has a GF with kids of her own. It can be done and it can be fine......

But he isnt a bully and my parents are not abusive. In your case I would stick with "I am sorry, that doesnt work for me" and be firm. I would be inclined to leave it until a bit closer to the time though, so she has less chance to lay on the guilt or change the date.

AndrewMyrrh Mon 10-Dec-12 20:44:28

My SIL invites her exH along at Christmas when she is hosting dinner for all of her own family (parents, siblings, DC & nieces / nephews, all on 'our' side). It is always a bizarre and excruciating experience when we have to be friendly to him, knowing the way he behaved to her. I know my PILs find it exceptionally difficult, and put a brave face on it. I find it strange that she insists on this happy family charade, insists on involving all of us in it.

OP, your Mum is controlling and bonkers.

moonmanic Mon 10-Dec-12 21:02:51

My mum inviting ExDP has nothing to do with them ever being friendly or close, as they never have been. Whenever we've all met up as a family (even when me and ExDP were still together for some reason it was always excruciatingly awkward...). My parents would invite us round and then make no effort to talk to him, and he would sit there not knowing what to say.

It stings me that my mum has done this as I have told her things about how difficult he is being at the moment with time keeping and he went through a phase of talking down to me and bullying me in my own home. I feel like she has totally undermined me and has not thought about me at all. In fact it just feels like she is out to get me, like she wants to hurt me. I'm upset about this as she does this sort of thing all the time. I am definitely going to tell her tomorrow but I like I said i'm not looking forward to it. I just have to remember - stay firm!

GoldQuintessenceAndMyhrr Mon 10-Dec-12 21:05:26

Thanks Donkey, that is what I meant.

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