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For those who have gone low key instead of NC with parents/inlaws how do you cope?

(8 Posts)
atotalshambles Wed 10-Jun-15 11:43:51

For those who really, really don't like their inlaws but have decided to give 'low key' a go instead of NC - how do you cope with seeing them and ignoring the toxic behaviour? My inlaws have become a nightmare since we had children but after much thought I am trying to give 'low key' a go as they are bonkers rather than bad. I think my MIL just can't cope with the fact that someone she doesn't really like is bringing up her grandchildren and as she is very competitive (and I am quite easy going and probably not assertive enough), she feels like she has to try and take over the 'mummy' role. They have done some awful things and I have had enough. I would love to tell them to f**k off to the far side of f**k off but at the end of the day they are my husbands parent's and I know he would be upset if we fell out. He is in agreement with me regarding the low key option, as they have tried some of the toxic behaviour with him.

RedFrootLoops Wed 10-Jun-15 11:54:53

I'm not sure you can go low key with people who are like that. I tried it with my own family and they hounded us as they felt they were being denied information about "what we were getting up to" read that as, stuff we can trash talk to the rest of the family about. All of this harassment was done with "our best interests at heart" which culminated in accusations that my DH is abusive (not true) and when that failed to get a rise letters started coming through our securely locked front door stating that they knew I had gone mad and were talking to MIND on my behalf. There were also threats that SS would be called. What for remains unspecified.

Bonkers, for lack of a better word, will not listen and in my opinion, gets worse with age. Its also prone to frothing outbursts when its authority is challenged.

atotalshambles Wed 10-Jun-15 12:09:50

Hi Red. Thanks v much. That is kind of what i'm worried about. We do our own thing now and PIL cannot cope with not being involved in every small decision that we make. I am sure that we are being bad mouthed to other family members with me taking most of the blame.My Dh is good at being assertive in a low key way so I am leaving it to him while hoping that I don't lose my temper. Thanks for replying - it is nice to know I am not on my own.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 10-Jun-15 12:23:26

You are certainly not on your own and people like his parents will often use "flying monkeys" to do their own dirty work for them. Such people may well approach you and demand that you "put things right" or some such guff. Ignore them.

It sounds like there is an awful lot of backstory to this and this is actually more than a familial falling out. This seems to me like your ILs want to take over and control all aspects of your own lives.

I would not readily be seeing such people even if you describe them as bonkers rather than bad. Such people are inherently unreasonable and would never listen to you. The problem here too is that your children when you do visit see you as their mum and dad get disrespected all the time by their grandparents, these people are emotionally harmful to your children. They were not good parents to your H and they are not decent grandparent role models to your children either, such people do not fundamentally change.

How does your H get along with his parents these days, what sort of a relationship do they have?. He may well want to continue a semblance of a relationship with them but that does not follow that you and by turn your children have to do so.

I would continue to maintain firm and consistent boundaries with these people at the very least if you do remain in low contact. You may want to use that as a stepping stone for going no contact.

SantiagoSky Wed 10-Jun-15 19:54:37

I manage OK with low key contact with my mom. it helps a lot to live about 400 miles away. I smile and nod to whatever she says, and push back firmly in one sentence when she invades my boundaries. Detaching is very important, she can't push my buttons as easily anymore.

atotalshambles Thu 11-Jun-15 10:33:44

Hi Attila. You are right there is a back story! I try to see them the absolute minimum necessary but I already know that MIL is saying mean things about me to SIL (she told me). Basically because I won't let her come and stay every week and have the children every holiday then I am unreasonable and ungrateful. When we do see them they say things like ' right, we will have the children in half term' and I say ' actually we have a tennis club booked but thanks for offering' , they then go to the children and say' you don't want to go to boring old tennis club do you, you want to stay with us etc...'.

Santiago - smiling and nodding is what I am hoping to do..and I like the idea of detachment. How do you keep your cool and not lose your temper?

atotalshambles Thu 11-Jun-15 10:48:50

A couple of years ago they wanted to have the children for a week in the holidays. I was pregnant and didn't want to be away from the kids for such a long so we compromised on a few days and I came along too. They would go out with the children on their own and leave me in their house on my own for hours (they never asked me to come along although there was no room in the car). It was like they wanted to say 'you can't stop us seeing our grandchildren on our own , we can do what we like'.

FatherHenderson Thu 11-Jun-15 10:48:50

You need to stop them trying to get you through the children. easier said than done, I know. But a quick conversation saying that if they every try to 'win' the children like that, they definitely not be able to do that activity.

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