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NC with PIL for 10 years and now we've had a text...

(109 Posts)
LoveandLife Sat 23-Nov-13 09:51:38

We were married for 10 years before DH decided enough was enough and were always walking on eggshells. It was so easy to cause offence. e.g. MIL called when DS1 was 3 days old to complain that the Mother's Day card we sent was too small and there were loads of similar things.

What usually happened was that they would go off in a sulk and after a few days I or DH would call, smooth things over and we'd be back to normal, until the next time.

10 years ago, after MIL was "devastated" because my mum organised something lovely for DH's birthday (mum really loves her SIL smile ) DH decided he'd had enough and we didn't make the usual call. Although there have been occasional (often not very nice) emails since he hasn't seen or spoken to them in 10 years. They haven't seen their GC since they were 2yo and 6mo.

Anyway this week he's had a text. Their Golden anniversary is coming up. Will we go, let them know so they can make the booking? No mention of what the celebration is. No idea if it's just us, immediate family or a huge celebration.

I've said to DH I'll do whatever he wants but that I don't think meeting up for the first time in 10 years, in front of loads of people who (presumably) know we haven't spoken for 10 years is a good idea. If he/they want to reconcile there must be better ways...

He has decided he doesn't want to go and doesn't want to see/speak to them so he's going to decline by text.

He wants to send a lengthy text about why it's a bad idea. I think it would be better just to say no thanks.

WWYD?

quietlysuggests Sat 23-Nov-13 09:54:49

I would reply thanks for invitation, after such a long time without contact I think it would be wise to meet in a different setting first so if you ever want to meet for half an hour for coffee and a catch up do let us know.

LoveandLife Sat 23-Nov-13 09:58:54

Thanks quietly, DH doesn't want to see them though

Why do you think that after a decade, they have now contacted your DH albeit by text?. They have done this to shore up their own "perfect family image" by wanting to bring you back into their own dysfunctional family unit again.

(BTW text to my mind is non communication at all really).

I would NOT respond to them at all even by text message because a text particularly a lengthy one can and will be used by them against you both. Any communication from you to them on your part will simply give them an "in" to communicate with you further. And they will do so if you respond at all. This is about power and control at its heart.

NC is exactly that, no contact at all even by text to decline their so called kind invitation which is completely loaded with obligation. You need to remember as well that these people have also never apologised for their actions nor have taken any responsibility for same to date. You both till you had enough of it did all the running here with regards to them. You now have boundaries - maintain this!.

I would suggest you read Toxic Inlaws written by Susan Forward if you have not already done so. DH should read "Toxic Parents" written by the same author.

Damnautocorrect Sat 23-Nov-13 10:03:13

My guess is although I may be wrong is they want you there to be 'seen' to be happy families in front of others?

I think its fair enough not wanting to go, the only thing I will say is we are all getting older and there will come a time when he won't be able to heal that rift. If he's happy for that than he's doing the right thing, if it doesn't sit right than he needs to think hard about what kind of contact he wants

Loveyouthree Sat 23-Nov-13 10:03:33

Or even just ignore the text?

Seems like they have been stubborn for 10 years. So stubborn they've missed their grandchildren growing up, for fucks sake. They're using this anniversary as the perfect excuse to get things back to normal (their version of normal).

If they really cared, they'd acknowledge their shortcomings and offer many apologies. I doubt they've changed at all. It's as if the last 10 years never happened.

I have a lot of experience with toxic parents sadly!

LoveandLife Sat 23-Nov-13 10:04:55

I agree Attilla - I think we are invited because it will look odd if their son and gc (who live locally) aren't there. I suspect a lot of the wider family don't know we aren't in contact.

DH does want to reply though

Damnautocorrect Sat 23-Nov-13 10:05:11

You could just send a non acceptance card. Rather than engage in a full scale text conversation.
Or does dh want 'his say'

LoveandLife Sat 23-Nov-13 10:07:04

That's exactly it Love - after every "event" you had to behave like it never happened, never speak if it again

PTFO Sat 23-Nov-13 10:07:41

Such a tough one! We have been NC with inlaws for three years and my heart sank when I read the title- to think in 7 years we will get a text opening potentially Pandoras box.

It all comes down to one thing, do you want them back in your life?

I agree its the wrong setting, that said they have extended the olive branch and perhaps thought with other people there might take the pressure off. DH could go for a drink or two say hello and have an excuse to leave early and just see how it goes..?

LovesBeingHereAgain Sat 23-Nov-13 10:07:53

Telling them everything is inviting them to answer. Either a no, or no response at all.

pictish Sat 23-Nov-13 10:08:05

I think you should stand back and let him do it his way. If he wants to send a lengthy text that's up to him. They're his parents and it's his call.

PTFO Sat 23-Nov-13 10:10:17

yes, it will make them look odd if their son is not there. Reflects on them. Are IL's narcs? I can't stand it when people pretend nothing has happened and expect everything to go back to normal- more so after their foot stamp.

I would urge you not to respond at all or in any way; I've seen this type of behaviour before and it always but always backfires on the people responding in kind. He on some level wants to reply because he is reasonable but you cannot at all reason with people like his parents who are at heart unreasonable.

These people have fundamentally not changed in ten years and will never do so either.

You need to realise that these people have not and will never play by the "normal" rules governing familial relations. That rule book is thrown out the window when it comes to such dysfunctional families.

Even if your DH sent a completely reasonable reply to them, it will be taken by them as an insult and they will twist it. They will use ANY communication on his part to bite him back and hard too. They will hurt him again and by turn his own family unit as well.

You have both maintained a boundary re them, maintain it now!!.

FluffyJumper Sat 23-Nov-13 10:37:14

They will tell people that he declined by text 'without even having the courtesy to call'.

This may also help as well re no contact:-

www.lightshouse.org/how-to-go-no-contact.html#axzz2lOPYVwM8

Ursula8 Sat 23-Nov-13 10:53:31

Oh dear OP, this invitation is not about you, your family or even about DH, it is about the PILS and their need to "look good" at any cost. When I was NC with my toxic mother first time round for 6 years, I found out afterwards that the vast majority of family and friends had no idea. She used to make things up about where I was/what I was doing.

I would not reply under any circumstances. Not by text/card/phone/carrier pigeon. You are NC, remember?

Do not get sucked back into the vortex.

pictish Sat 23-Nov-13 10:54:23

You're all talking as if the decision lies with the OP. It doesn't. They are not her parents.
Leave this to the husband to decide.

coppertop Sat 23-Nov-13 10:58:56

My guess is that you (your family) will be useful props in the celebration photos. Once the event is over, you will be put back in your 'boxes' and nothing will change. You'll feel even more resentful about having been used in this manner.

I would ignore the text. There's no apology so no admittance that they were in the wrong.

Your peace oof mind is worth far more than their anniversary photos.

LoveandLife Sat 23-Nov-13 11:02:14

Of course it's dh's decision but it's a tough one and he's talking to his dw about it - that must be allowed?!

Anyway, he's replied "no thank you." The . Being significant to him even if they don't see it.

He was worried if he didn't reply they would assume mobile number changed and call home phone, which dc might answer

TheArmadillo Sat 23-Nov-13 11:04:25

We had similar (though my parents) - big celebration and wanted us (well only me and ds, not my dh or dd) to attend.

We thought about all the possible outcomes and went for no response. I think we made the right decision. Any response opens the floodgates to further communications.

bluebirdwsm Sat 23-Nov-13 11:06:50

People with this mind set [willing to ignore grandchildren growing up, but wanting the outside world to see them as marvellous people] are more than capable of distorting and twisting anything that is said, verbally, in texts or emails. So that they look in the right/look good/the victims.

Any words exchanged will open a huge wound and could easily make things a whole lot worse [and cause temporary disruption in the smooth running of your household until things settle]. Other family members won't get your version of the facts, they will hear what your PIL want them to hear - their manipulated version, probably of how hard done by they are.

I would be very wary of replying at all yet I understand how your DH wants to say his bit. An escalation of bad feeling will not benefit anyone. Personally I would not respond - or just send a golden anniversary card, that's it. Don't expect the PIL to display it though - if it doesn't fit in with their game play/script/what they are saying to others to explain your absence.

pictish Sat 23-Nov-13 11:17:31

Of course it's allowed. My instinct however, is not to steam in with advice on how YOU should respond to his parents, but to encourage your dh to come to his own decision.
I think far too many women are in the habit of taking over and conducting their dh's relationships for them, as though they were children needing steered in the right direction by mummy.

I am not one of those women, so in this scenario, I would have said "do what you feel is right for you". I don't see that my pov would be relevant. My dh has a very tricky relationship with his father for example...so I have faced something similar myself. I want my dh to take responsibility and think for himself, while I support him from the sidelines.
His dad, his relationship, his choice.

Hopefully his text reply will not come to bite him on the bum - but he needs to be prepared for any eventuality re his parents. He may well get some kind of backlash now because by replying at all, he gave them an "in".

LoveandLife Sat 23-Nov-13 11:28:58

I know Attilla, thank you, but he's happy he's done the right thing!

I suspect i may be back!

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