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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?

Helltotheno Mon 25-Nov-13 13:48:20

MIL will say "I love you" and then call to berate you because you don't love her enough because of some small slight.

This is pathetic. The whole thing of being jealous of her own children because they had things she didn't have is equally pathetic and whatever anyone's justification for bringing children into the world is, it should never be to compete with them, force your bitterness on to them for the way your life turned out, expect them to 'pay you back' for bringing them up etc...

OP and her DH are absolutely right to stay NC. Are people just glossing over the fact that because OP and her DH didn't ring these people over their latest unreasonable hissy fit, they didn't make contact for ten years? And let's make no mistake about it, it was they who made no contact. It was they who couldn't look at their action and say 'ok were we being a bit petty there? Are we not big enough to extend an olive branch'?

If people want to stay in contact with toxic immature people who place unreasonable expectations on them and did an overall crap job of parenting, that's a personal choice. But it's not for everyone and that choice can't be projected on everyone else.

OP see their action for what it is: an attempt to save face at a family event where they'll undoubtedly have to explain their ten years' radio silence (and that explanation will make them look like arses to any listener if they tell it truthfully).

Only if they come to you with an abject apology and a commitment to change, separately to any event that happens to be coming up, should you consider engaging with them... and even then, only one chance.

Hissy Mon 25-Nov-13 14:13:17

"Ok, we get the message, life's too short to bear grudges and everyone would love to see you but we won't bother you again"

i agree - there is nothing NICE about this message:

Ok, we get the message, = agressive

life's too short to bear grudges = "life's too short for YOU to bear grudges/Get over it already

everyone would love to see you = We need you to make us look good

we won't bother you again" - a pathetic attempt to guilt trip or scare DH into buckling.

Oh yes, not a single word of that message was in any way shape or form an olive branch.

If they had have written, 'Can we talk about this?' it would have been a whole different matter.

There is no contrition, there is no climbing down, only guilt, threats and aggression.

PTFO Mon 25-Nov-13 14:38:11

^^^^What Hissy said spot on.

Where's the effort in of couple of texts. Why not go round and ask if they can have a talk, see if anything could be done to resolve things. We love you and miss you and we are sorry its taken so long....

why has it taken them so long? Id be begging my ds if he refused to talk to me.

Meerka Mon 25-Nov-13 14:49:47

Life is too short to bear grudges. So ... er ... where were they the last ten years?

PTFO Mon 25-Nov-13 15:10:34

Meerka- playing the victims of course!

Meerka Mon 25-Nov-13 15:25:17

... and bearing the grudge <dryly> oh boy, some people should have mirrored lenses on the inside of their spectacles shouldn't they. Assuming they wear specs.

RafflesWay Mon 25-Nov-13 15:54:45

love for what it's worth I completely support your DH's stance. I completely agree with those who have said if they fell out with their only DC for just an hour they would wade through Hell to put matters right. I have been NC with my mother and the rest of her family now for 20 yrs plus. I actually saw her walking down the road about 7 years ago when I was driving and can honestly say I felt nothing. She didn't see me thank goodness! I understand those of you who may feel if she dies without making up I will never forgive myself but to be absolutely honest after all this time i feel like she and the rest of the family are nothing to do with me. I did everything I could to keep some sort of relationship going but to no avail. I now just wish them all the best but don't want any contact with them ever again.

Op, it sounds as though you both did the right thing by going no further with this.
The key is in the message "tell EVERYONE......" Well it sums up exactly why they wanted to see you, so they could show EVERYONE else and parade you all!

Jux Mon 25-Nov-13 17:41:55

There are personality disorders which stem from genes rather than upbringing; mental health problems too. More and more is being discovered about how the brain works. I doubt very much that unconditional love from parents, or anyone else, would be able to counter something that due to genetics.

There are environmental factors too of course. An acrimonious divorce can result in one parent using the children to get at the other parent, which can result in parental alienation - and not always towards the NRP; sometimes it's the NRP who manages to alienate the children towards to the RP. Sometimes children reject the RP because the RP has been forced to allow contact against the wishes of the children, which the children cannot or do not forgive. There are almost as many possibilities as there are families.

If a child is born with a predisposition of some sort, which is then fanned and enabled by environmental factors which may be beyond the parents' control, then that can hardly be blamed on the parents; and yet that child may well grow up to thoroughly toxic.

There is research which shows that parental influence wanes tremendously as the child grows. Can you blame a parent when the things which are hurting their child are completely unknown to them, and the people who should know - a school for instance - do not know either? How many of us blamed the parents for what happened in that nursery a few years ago, where one of the employers was a paedophile? And yet, how do we know how those babies might be affected long term by that experience?

It is simplistic to say that children can only become toxic towards their own parent(s) because the parent(s) were lacking in some way. We're none of us perfect, after all.

OP, I think Springy was just trying to put the other side of the argument. I don't think she was criticising your or your dh particularly, just wanted to help you see all aspects of your options, before you made the final decision - and after all, with an important decision you do want to as much as you can about the subject, don't you? Most of us want to find out everything we can about something and listen to all povs before making a big decision.

Mind you, I see that it is no longer relevant anyway. And your dh was never keen on seeing them again either.

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