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In laws and impact on our relationship (hugely long)

(63 Posts)
Tiredtrout Tue 14-May-13 08:39:43

I have posted about this a few times recently and I'm hoping someone can come up with a bit of a clue on how to move on. I have a feeling this could be quite long to try and avoid the drip feeding.

Imet my dh 14 years ago when I was a single mum and trying to get a divorce, he was also going through a divorce which was straightforward as the were no dc or property but mine was a bit difficult and took an age. During that time we got engaged and I got pg with our ds. This was an issue for his dp, they are evangelical Christians who are leaders in their church and I am Rc. They do not like this.

Because of our work sending us to two different ends of the country we decided that it would be for the best if I left my job (RAF) he rented a place off camp, and we got married soon as my divorce was final.

In the meantime whenever we visited his dp there was drama. His mother souls do the 'her or me thing' I was told I would burn in hell as would my dc for not being of their faith, I got shouted at at the table for making the sing of the cross when they did grace, I was berated for not taking communion in their church. All sorts of stuff.

Meanwhile my exh was dragging his heels over the divorce, it eventually came through and we had a rushed registry office wedding followed by the pub for lunch two days later. This was 3 weeks before our due date. Both sets of our dps came, mine were lovely, his insisted on going sightseeing on the morning of the wedding almost making dh late! They also wore black.

Strangely with all the stress our ds was born a few days later. My dps were unable to come all the way back up to us as it was a 1000 mile round trip. Dh dps arrived within 2 days and I was expected to go out sightseeing with them, our lease on our house had run out so we had to move that week too, and dh's work announced that he was to be posted again with no chance of me following for at least 3 months.

We moved, I was very sore and tired, mil bag side the bed, we were sleeping on the sofa with ds and dd was on the floor, dh was having to work and fil had gone home. Mil insisted on staying for a week to help. I caught her trying to persuade dh to let her organise a christening in their faith behind my back and I kicked her out the next day

When dh was posted I went to stay with my dps with the dc for a while then we moved to where he was. Not long after his dp came to stay again, I was told that I wasn't a proper wife and I was lazy. Their was more stuff but they made sure it was all done out of dh earshot.

Dh still wouldn't believe that his lovely dps would be horrible to me. They kept telling him they loved me!

We visited them for Christmas, I made a lot of the fancy trimmings and took it to them to try and make amends they refused to eat it, bar one mouthful each, they both came down with a tummy bug and blamed my cooking

SissySpacekAteMyHamster Tue 14-May-13 09:59:45

Seriously, I would move house and not give them the address!

Go no contact. Let your husband see them at their place or out of the home, but put your bloody foot down and do not allow them in your house.

They are beyond toxic. They aren't religious people at all, certainly not good Christians.

If they invite themselves again, tell them no and keep telling them no. If husband won't back you up, get yourself off to your parents with the kids for the duration of their visit.

By now I wouldn't give a toss what their reaction would be, they wouldn't be a part of my life.

When I say don't facilitate contact I mean

Don't remind him to ring his mum it's been two weeks since he phoned her

Don't remind him that it's so and so's birthday soon he needs to send a card.

If he goes, he organises everything he needs to take if he balls it up then he balls it up

The hardest thing is not to quiz him about who said what did what talk me through the day type shit.

Get caller display on your home phone. If it's them, don't answer.

Change your mobile no and do not give it to them and tell him he's not to give it to them either.

BabyHMummy Tue 14-May-13 10:04:01

Having been the child in a horrific in-law situation I can completely understand your dilemma. However if your children are begging you that they don't want contact with these people then please back them up. Have they told your husband how they feel?

My mum forced me til I was about 16 to have contact with my 'dfs parents and his mum was an evil witch to mum and me. It damaged my relationship with my dm and still does as she protects my dsis from df's toxic sister but never me from his mum.

Talk to your husband. And maybe talk to pil and explain that its not acceptable and it either stops now or contact stops?

Xiaoxiong Tue 14-May-13 10:04:36

You are not putting your DH in this situation. They are.

Tell him you will not interfere or control his relationship with his parents. He can go see them when and where he wants.

But make it clear that because of the previous ten billion ways they have treated you and your kids worse than shit on their shoes, you will never see them again.

If the DC don't want to see them either that makes it even easier.

pinkyredrose Tue 14-May-13 10:05:41

They sound like ignorant bigoted idiots using religion as a prop. I'd have nothing more to do with them.

Your DH sounds like a wet blanket too, he really needs to grow some balls.

Talking to people like this is a complete and utter waste of time.

Don't talk.

Make a decision, and follow it through. Whatever decision you make - no contact, minimal contact, whatever. But don't try to talk to them it's just going to send your blood pressure sky high.

Xiaoxiong Tue 14-May-13 10:07:06

Missed your latest post - well, even your DH doesn't want to see them!! So all you need to do is:
- tell your DH he is allowed not to have any contact with him,
- hold his hand for the next few months if they try to pull any shenanigans, and
- get him some counselling.

DH and I have been through this with FIL. One session of counselling was all he needed to really see through his father's antics. It was amazing, kind of like scales falling from his eyes.

miemohrs Tue 14-May-13 10:08:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LittleBearPad Tue 14-May-13 10:08:35

They sound horrific. Frebbie is right. Cut them out. If DH wants to go and see them it's up to him but they don't visit anymore

Tiredtrout Tue 14-May-13 10:27:56

Just had my dm trying to tell me this is the wrong time to be doing this, think she's worried about me getting stressed as I'm overdue. She keeps doing the bit their his parents thing, she doesn't even like them!

forgetmenots Tue 14-May-13 10:33:40

Tiredtrout, you don't have to be doing anything... Just stop. Stop maintaining the facade. As Frebbie said, don't facilitate. I know how stressful I would feel if my ILs were on the scene at the moment and all I can say is I'm sure the stress of dealing with them is worse than the stress of speaking to your DH about boundaries.

Fwiw my mum didn't properly understand how bad my ILs were until she saw how bad they were for herself, you have to judge this by yourself.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

rootypig Tue 14-May-13 10:40:25

Congratulations on your pg OP flowers

So do I gather you are now overdue? if that is the case I would say first order of business is some enforced nuclear family time, ban the vile awful PILs from darkening your door and cuddle up and enjoy new baby with your other DC. Keep them away for a set period and during that time put them out of your mind. They are wretched people and you must be extremely stressed as a result.

I would ban them for as long as you can get away with - a few weeks, a month? it might give them a short, sharp shock and a taste of how much they have to lose. It sounds as if until now, to your credit, you've been incredibly accommodating and pleasant, but I wonder if it's time to pull the plug on that. It's been years and you're making no headway, they obviously think they can just ride roughshod over you. Though my issues with my MIL are pretty standard and nowhere near this level, I have noticed that when I snap at her, she winds her neck in. Ultimately, PIL behaviour is driven by insecurity in their relationship with their own DC / DGC. A bit of a show of iron will might make them play ball. If it were me, I would ring, explain that they're not welcome and why, and hang up.

As for their DS-! OP, you don't say much about how things are emotionally with your DH. But it sounds as if the central person in all these relationships - him - is AWOL and neither you nor PIL are expecting nearly as much from him as you are from each other. He needs to set and enforce boundaries for them around his marriage, not least that they'll treat you with some fucking respect. And he needs to work on his relationship with them so that they feel somewhat more secure.

I've just started reading this book, and am finding it helpful, you might too?

Good luck for the birth smile

springymater Tue 14-May-13 11:47:13

You have been plunged into the middle of a dysfunctional family. The reason why your DH is struggling is because, for him, this is normal. Has he spoken much about his childhood? His parents both have personality disorders (they are following the scripts to a T) and I'm afraid because he doesn't know any different he is enabling them to hurt you and his children

Totally this.

YOur story reminds me of (sorry to say) asian abuse ie a dil who is hideously abused by her ILs.

They are truly, truly toxic. Get them out of your lives. Your husband could probably do with some therapy to process the effects of his evil viper parents.

olgaga Tue 14-May-13 12:00:44

I hate putting dh in this situation

Eh? It's him that's putting you in this situation through his unsupportive and downright cowardly behaviour.

Your problem is with your DH, not your ILs. Stick to your guns and refuse to see them or have them in your home again.

If they want to visit your DH and children, they can book themselves into a local hotel and DH can take the children to them. If he wants to visit his parents, he can take the children with him when they are all old enough.

Hope you are ok op. nothing to add over what springy said

paintyourbox Tue 14-May-13 12:13:14

Your ILs sound like mine, myself and DD will never be accepted as DP and I aren't married.

They gave me a really hard time during my pg, I was in hospital early on as I was very unwell, they didn't so much as phone to check we were okay.

I posted on here for advice and the posters were spot on. They told me to put my foot down as if I didn't they would always treat me badly.

DP thought I was unreasonable until he was on the recieving end of their nastiness. Now he supports me 100%

If they come up to stay, they don't come round to our house. I told them we don't tolerate unkindness and rudeness in our home and thus they are not welcome.

DP goes to visit them, I always seem to be "busy". They don't tend to notice.

DD doesn't see them for long, they say they don't like dealing with a "screaming child" as it "spoils their meals" she's 10 months old for goodness sake!

Put your foot down, lock the door and if they turn up unannounced don't let them in. Use the stock MN response: "Did you mean to sound so rude"

This comment made earlier by forgetmenots is spot on and you need to take heed:-

"You have been plunged into the middle of a dysfunctional family. The reason why your DH is struggling is because, for him, this is normal. Has he spoken much about his childhood? His parents both have personality disorders (they are following the scripts to a T) and I'm afraid because he doesn't know any different he is enabling them to hurt you and his children"

Your DH is mired in a state known as FOG re his parents - fear, obligation, guilt. He has all three in spades. It will take an awful long time to come to an acceptance of such a state even if he were to now properly acknowledge his parents utter failings of him and his siblings. It could take years actually along with a lot of counselling with an experienced counsellor.

Stop trying to treat and think of these people as other "normal" family relations; toxic people like these two do not and never take any responsibility for their actions. Its either their way or no way with such people, they can never ever be reasonable and it is a mistake to think of them on any level as such. These ILs of yours will go on to cause your children emotional harm if they are subjected to any contact at all with them. You have seen all too clearly how they have acted with your H and look how cowed and emotionally damaged he now is. That's the legacy toxic people leave and this crap as well does filter down the generations.

Do not have your ILs in your house under any circumstances; your job is also to protect your children from such malign influences. If your DH is not strong enough to do that then you have to do that for them. Their welfare is paramount.

I would suggest you read "Toxic Inlaws" written by Susan Forward and your DH certainly needs to read "Toxic Parents" written by the same author.

Tiredtrout Tue 14-May-13 17:41:54

Thanks for all your advice and support. When I say putting dh in this situation, I mean putting my foot down and refusing to take their crap any longer, effectively saying them or us. Bloody horrible, I hate ultimatums and I don't like making him choose. They are not going to have anything to do with any of my dc anymore if I can help it.

It's so difficult, I've been brought up to respect my parents wishes as has he, it's just my dps are relatively normal!

Dh has been deeply affected by them, due to their beliefs he was not allowed to do English lit olevel as Macbeth was on the syllabus. He was not allowed to just hang out with girls, he has an odd relationship with alcohol as they are totally tee total, no sherry trifle at Christmas, he has been brought up to not show emotion and that the man of the house is in charge, when fil is present we are expected to defer to him. He doesn't know how to have a row and after a small argument over nothing which I thought was normal it takes days to recover because he has never seen anyone argue back against his df. His df when his dgf died leaving him half the house demanded that his dsis move out within 2 months even though she had lived there all her life and had cared for both their dps until their death, because she didn't rush to it as she was grieving he has cut her out, she's his only sister.

All of this makes it incredibly hard for him to stand up to them and I get that.

Whocansay Tue 14-May-13 17:50:36

OP, you aren't making your dh choose. He can see his parents on his own. You're just asking that he not inflict them on the rest of you!

They are truly nasty, and you do not need them anywhere near you or your children.
flowers

BerylStreep Tue 14-May-13 18:05:37

Oh Tired, how crap.

They sound truly horrific. They aren't from NI by any chance?

You need to put your foot down, hard.

You are under no obligation to see them at all - why the fuck would you spend even another second of your precious life with these judgmental bigots?

If it was me I would go no contact, completely.
I would also be stipulating that they are not welcome in your home ever again.
Nor do you want to hear from your DH what things they have said about you.

If your DH wants to continue a relationship with his parents, by all means, but it doesn't have to involve you.

And promise me that you will not let either of your PILs over the threshold, and even worse, give up your bed, when your baby is born!

Finally, good luck with the baby, let's hope it comes soon! smile

forgetmenots Tue 14-May-13 18:09:54

What whocansay said.

If you were asking him to choose you would say 'I will leave you if you see them again' - or similar. You are saying (I hope!) 'things in your life can remain as they are, but for me and the kids, enough is enough'.

I second what Attila said about counselling for your DH too.

JohnSnowsTie Tue 14-May-13 18:13:23

What vile, nasty people. They don't deserve you or your DCs in their lives. Utterly unbelievable. And the worst possible examples of Christians - completely unchristian.

Seriously, cut them out. They're not worth spitting on. I know people who've relieved themselves of their inlaws for far less and their lives have been thoroughly enriched.

Leave them to their own fire and brimstone. You owe them nothing.

Fuck me people like this make me angry

LittleBearPad Tue 14-May-13 22:30:20

DH doesn't need to choose. He can still see them, just not at your house. It is ok for you to pull back from seeing them.

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