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Very long - inlaws/family issue

(11 Posts)
Howtocatchastar Sun 01-May-16 11:32:13

I've spoken before about issues with the inlaws spoken before about issues with the inlaws, but under a different username. This is very long...

I gave birth just over a week ago. In laws visited after one week (they live 5 mins drive away, retired, no commitments) after fil calling my husband to say they'd be visiting a relative in hospital so could they visit beforehand so not to pass on any germs to the baby they they may pick up in the hospital. Sounds ok/thoughtful huh? This is one of their usual ways of getting to do what they want, when they want, so we are often on the receiving end of thinly veiled manipulation that would make us feel guilty if we said no/wouldn't agree. They'd actually visited the relative the previous day. They ask for photos by way of saying a dying relative 'would love to see a photo before they pass on'. No problem having a photo, but why throw in a guilt trip? The relative has been 'dying' for the past ten years...

Anyway...they arrived, said absolutely nothing to me for the ten minutes they visited. Not a hello, not a how are you/baby etc...We have a very strained relationship - a little background - two days after giving birth to my eldest child, mil said she'd hold the baby so I could clean/make dinner - I did say at the time I had no plans to be doing either that I was going to be busy bonding with my baby. I said on a number of occasions in the weeks following the birth of my first child that I was struggling to get to the toilet/eat /drink due to the baby constantly crying/ fussing and never wanting the be put down, which incidentally lasted well over a year as he was such and still is a high needs baby/child. I was a new mum with absolutely no help and wanted someone to just understand and help out/hold the baby - even if it was 5 minutes to allow me to go to the toilet, so I don't think I was asking for much. Mil just said 'I don't understand' and 'oh', but in front of others said how she'd love to help me out. I've been accused of slamming a door in mil's face (never happened). There's also a huge issue with bil once accusing his father of something inappropriate, which he (bil) now says he got wrong. We are nc with bil because of this. He still has regular contact with his parents (inlaws) and uses them for weekly free meals/lifts etc. Absolutely no shame.

Issues started with the inlaws when we cancelled our wedding about 8/9 years ago as it became more about who the inlaws wanted to invite, rather than us and the threatened use of saying that husband's grandparents would never forgive him if they couldn't see him get married. Btw, we eloped in the end.

My reason for this post is, I've had enough, I'm tired of all this negativity. I don't want my children thinking this is normal behaviour, that's OK to treat their mother like this or picking up on the negativity. My husband is supportive and has spoken to his parents previously about their behaviour as he is embarrassed by them and their actions; it didn't change anything, but we distanced ourselves and limited contact to every two/three months or so. I've also spoken to mil too, which she then blamed me for everything - how she's been in tears etc, no apologies or reaction to how I felt. My husband says she's selfish and always was whilst he growing up - but she comes across as very sweet and in front of others is overly familiar with the children as if she knows them more than she does and insinuates that she's far more hands on as a grandmother than she is. It's all very strange. Fil is also a little like this, but not as intense.

My children actually only see them whilst we are present as we do not trust mil to start saying things/dropping ideas into their heads and obviously the comments re fil from bil has planted a seed in our heads too, although my husband struggles to believe what his brother accused their dad of. The children don't know them that well due to only seeing them every few months, but get treated well by them in our presence.

I'm all for going total nc. I said to my husband i'd disappear upstairs whenever they visited, but he doesn't think I should have to do that in my own home. We last visited their house in August 2015, where again I was pretty much ignored. Husband will support me in any decision, but I don't think I could ever ask him to go nc with his parents, that has to be his choice. It's more as to whether just myself and the children go nc or just myself. I grew up with a similar situation and as an adult I feel I really missed out on relationships with extended family, which still upsets me; however there is no extended family in this situation, just mil, fil and bil. The big issue I had, which makes me question whether my children should go nc is as a child I remember my grandparents and uncles speaking so badly about my parents and absolutely hating it, but feeling very confused and unsure who to believe. I don't want my children to ever feel like that.

If I included every detail, I'd be here all day and I appreciate this is already a very lengthy post, so I've only included a few bits to give some background, but the fact is, it's just causing me too much stress. I'm anxious whenever they visit and quite frankly don't want to feel like that anymore.

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Sun 01-May-16 12:01:20

They come round, you go out. Your DH can visit them with the children but you don't go.

No contact for all of you would be best all round, it's just a matter of your DH coming to the same realisation.

Contact with their grandparents is not helpful to your children just because this pair are related to them by blood. No grandparents at all is better for them than corrosive and dangerous ones.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 01-May-16 12:17:27

Re your comment:-

"I grew up with a similar situation and as an adult I feel I really missed out on relationships with extended family, which still upsets me; however there is no extended family in this situation, just mil, fil and bil. The big issue I had, which makes me question whether my children should go nc is as a child I remember my grandparents and uncles speaking so badly about my parents and absolutely hating it, but feeling very confused and unsure who to believe. I don't want my children to ever feel like that".

Why does a lack of extended family still upset you; its an overrated concept particularly if you get the crappy end of the stick when it comes to relatives.
Your extended family of origin blasted your own parents, your parents only mistake here was exposing your own self to that toxic behaviour from them.

Going forward to present day there is no real extended family to speak of anyway.

Your ILs were and remain not good parents to your DH, they have not fundamentally altered in terms of personality. People from dysfunctional families end up playing roles; it may be that your DH is he scapegoat within his family of origin. Your BIL has parents who also allow themselves to be used, they have a choice and they enable him.

Your H has already spoken to them about their behaviours and unsurprisingly as well nothing has really changed. These people really never apologise nor accept any responsibility for their actions.

It will do your children no favours at all to be exposed to all this from them, they are already seeing their mother being ignored. What message does that send them?. It tells them that you, their mum, are not important. You further sending the children to the ILs whilst you do not attend is further sending them mixed messages.

Family after all are not binding, you are protecting your children from them if none of you see them. Why should bad behaviour from the ILs be tolerated or even rewarded by any of you at all seeing them?. An advantage you have here is that your H is supportive; his support will continue to be invaluable.

You would not have tolerated any of this from a friend, family are really no different.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 01-May-16 12:19:00

Do read Toxic Inlaws by Susan Forward if you have not already done so. This will further explain the power and control dynamics that are also being played out here.

Howtocatchastar Sun 01-May-16 12:20:34

Thanks both. Attila - I needed to read that.

Bluetrews25 Sun 01-May-16 12:29:50

You have hinted that BIL claimed to have been abused by FIL.
Yet you have gone NC with BIL and continue to see FIL?!
confused

Costacoffeeplease Sun 01-May-16 12:34:41

*You have hinted that BIL claimed to have been abused by FIL.
Yet you have gone NC with BIL and continue to see FIL?!*

This

The rest of your post is a bit garbled for me - but if you don't want to see them, don't

babba2014 Sun 01-May-16 12:36:28

Argh my in laws down bother and live a couple of roads away yet when they know my parents are here they randomly turn up last month when I gave birth I hadn't seen them in my own home for two years despite having a two year old so they didn't bother with my toddler either so I stopped too. Only when as there was a family event.

They know we always ask for advance notice and usually DH picks em up or someone drops if off but the first time in all these years they walked to our place and we had no idea. It was two days after birth when I was struggling to breastfeed and I wasn't ready as had no time for a shower and don't like to go in front of non family in that state.

So they sat and haven't even said a word to me or seen meto congratulate on the birth of my child. Not that I expect it. It's nearly been a month and perhaps they shouldn't be so rude and think let's give proper notice to give me a little respect but no, I can't expect that either.

I just wouldn't bother with them. Mine never did with my toddler, that's when I stopped. I don't expect them to go out of the way for me or their own son,but you wanna play doting grandma to your relatives? Make effort. None whatsoever.

I'm sorry to hear you are in this situation. It would be easier if there was love between everyone. I never wanted a non existent out law family who you have to put a smile on when around them at weddings and so on and be fake. I'm more and more distancing myself.

Howtocatchastar Sun 01-May-16 12:53:27

Blue - bil stated to me that his father about ten years ago acted strange and licked his ear. When I told my husband (bil actually asked me not to say anything), he then questioned his brother who said he got it wrong and pretty much twisted the whole story to downplay it. Bil was very much insinuating it was sexual when he said this to me and not playful or anything jokey etc - I questioned him at the time to say was he sure it wasn't an accident/ as that's a weird thing to say/do. My husband does not believe it happened - I am not 100% sure, but bil is a very strange character, so although a seed has been planted, I think bil was saying things to possibly provoke a reaction from me, I'm not sure. In laws are unaware of what bil has said as my husband didn't want to say anything to them.

ptumbi Sun 01-May-16 13:05:50

OP I just wanted to add to what Atilla said about extended family. My mum is one of 10 siblings, my dad one of 6. I never knew a single one of them - we moved far too much (dad in army) and only visited GPs/aunts/uncles once a year, if that.

I've never given it a thought. My DH is a sinlge child, I'm NC with my father and sister, so my dc have 2 grandmothers, that's it. And only one of those is local. I really don't think my dc are deprived, nor do I think I was, as a child.

Being surrounded by loving aunts and uncles, and grandparents and cousins sounds lovely, but I bet it's also stifling, and difficult, with lots of demanding personalities...Kind of like Eastenders.

Howtocatchastar Sun 01-May-16 13:08:17

Thanks ptumbi. I'll be showing h all the comments later.

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