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Should I ask DH to reconcile with my parents?

(53 Posts)
FamilyStrife Fri 12-Jul-13 05:32:28

(Have NC-ed for this one - am not a new poster)
My parents and I fell out shortly after the birth of my DS. They came to visit early when I asked them to wait a while and got offended over a range of small imagined slights (mother didn't like where her card was displayed, that MIL got to see DS first because she lives closer, father annoyed we didn't cook for him, DH didn't greet him warmly enough etc). They blew up at me in my house about 1 week after I'd given birth and shouted at me, had a blazing row. DH stood up for me and tried to intervene and they shouted at him and insulted him too.

We were both really shaken after this event and found it really upsetting and stressful. I asked my parents to cut their visit short and go home. They were shell-shocked too as they are used to having their tantrums now and again and people just putting up with it. They apologized later over the telephone but I told them their behavior was totally unacceptable. My DH said to me that he didn't want to see them again.

After about six months of frostiness, I began to patch things up with them and speak on the phone now and again. I sent them photos of my son and cards, presents for birthdays etc. mostly out of a sense of guilt.

Things were complicated for me also because my father got very sick a year ago and was in ICU. He made a full recovery but could easily have died and I felt awful that the last time I had seen him we had fallen out. It felt like a judgement on me. Since that time, I have tried to maintain good relations with them because they're my parents and they're not going to be around forever - so basically out of guilt.

Anyway, we're now planning a visit home. DH is not from my country but is happy to base ourselves there for the visit as he likes it there and it's too much hassle to country-hop when we're coming a long way. We can meet up with my sister and his parents are going to come over too.

I feel i have to meet with my parents when I'm there. I don't enjoy the prospect of it as it's going to be stressful but I want DS to meet them and I want to normalize things a little. DH says that he has no interest in meeting with them, is worried that if I meet with them on my own they'll attack me again and says in general that this is our one holiday in the year so we shouldn't stress ourselves out with them.

We agreed in the end that I would go and meet with them for a couple of days along with my sister. He still has misgivings though and is worried for me. I don't know what to do. I will meet with them because I have to but I would rather that DH was with me really for moral support.

Mumsyblouse Sat 13-Jul-13 16:59:18

cleopatra I prefer my children to have their grandparents in their lives, as they are not abusive to them, and so does my husband. You don't have to have deep soul type relationships with every family member, heck, I don't have them with half my own family, but we muddle along, happy to be part of a larger group and I would not take them away from that unless it were very detrimental to them. Cutting off his parents would have the most enormous fall out (as they are from a different culture) and would effectively cut them off from this half of their family; given there's lots of lovely family members that would be a shame.

I think the advice- cut off all contact and don't look back works for some (and if they were actively awful to my own children I would) but not for others- who are you to say that some polite and nice interaction with their grandparents (who are not out and out nasty, but complex human beings themselves) is wrong?

A counsellor who has a bias towards keeping the family together despite the presence of mistreatment is a poor counsellor to my mind. Also this counsellor put the blame on OP and went onto say the OPs mother had had a hard life so OP should feel sorry for her!.

cleopatrasasp Sun 21-Jul-13 01:30:22

Well you could judge that fraumoose but that doesn't mean you would be right.

Mumsyblouse thank you for explaining that. I can see from what you have written that you have very valid reasons for your decision and whether I would choose to do the same in your shoes I don't know but I can see that you are a loving, reasonable mum doing what you feel is best. smile

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