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Serious MIL issue...wants to buy one child but not the other for Xmas!!

(58 Posts)
RubyTuesday123 Thu 15-Nov-12 12:49:39

I'll try to be brief...my partner and I seperated for 3m earlier this year after an array of issues. After a lot of soul searching and discussion my partner asked to try again - I said yes for a number of reasons and overall things are going well, slow and steady steps. However, my MIL is refusing to acknowledge his decision to return and is saying that me and my other daughter (aged 10, from a previous relationship) are not welcome in her home (she blames me for our split, we both 'wronged' one another in different ways) on halloween my partner took both girls to see her and she ignored my eldest daughter and FIL asked eldest to move out of the way so he could take a picture of our little one!! When they got back, my partner told me what had happened and was shocked and embarrassed by his parent's behaviour. He said that he would speak to them and felt like he was in 'the middle' which I can understand as I was furious - I'd of gone to see her about it but I wouldn't give her anything to twist or manipulate against me.

However, when he went round she had company and he decided it was inappropriate to bring it up at that point. Anyway...today she has text asking what our youngest would like for Christmas and he has replied 'are you buying for ...' to which she text back 'why?' he then said 'they are both my children, if you don't buy for one then don't buy for the other' to which she replied that she is NOT buying presents for me or my eldest child. I am livid - I am not concerned about actually recieving gifts but its the insinuation that you can treat two sisters differently because one is not her son's is shocking. I can't help but feel she has targeted eldest to get a rise out of me. I have never argued with this woman and when we split literally didn't go anywhere in our local area as I just wanted to deal with the situation in the most dignified manner - access and matenence were both dealt with swifty and as amicably as possible.

What do I do?? Advice please!!

BardOfBarking Thu 15-Nov-12 12:52:23

Not that this excuses her vile behaviour in nay way but does your eldest daughter have any relationship with her biological father? Does she receive presents from him and his family which your younger daughter doesn't?

BardOfBarking Thu 15-Nov-12 12:52:40

Oops any way

BOFingSanta Thu 15-Nov-12 12:54:41

I'd say that you can't accept any gifts at all from her in that case. How unpleasant of her.

elliebellys Thu 15-Nov-12 12:56:36

Tell her where 2 shove the pressies up her backside. Disgracefull behaviour..

RubyTuesday123 Thu 15-Nov-12 12:57:01

Yes she does have a great relationship with her father and both he and his mother buy my youngest a gift at christmas and birthday's because they accept that the girls are sisters and family. I'm not bothered about the gift - my girls want for nothing but its the principle and the behaviour behind it. She doesn't seem to realise that she is going to loose time with her son over this. Furthermore, she next asks to see youngest or even texts to find out how she is but when he takes her round she will say something barbed like 'its been a week since I saw you angel' - she infuriates me!!

DontmindifIdo Thu 15-Nov-12 12:57:48

I would be prepared to keep any gift she bought for the youngest DD if she doesn't buy for the eldest. Make your DH make it clear that he won't allow a gift she's bought just for the youngest in the house, so if she's not prepared to buy for both, she's wasting her money as he'll bin the gift to the youngest.

It's not acceptable for her to act like this.

RubyTuesday123 Thu 15-Nov-12 12:59:03

next *never

givemeaclue Thu 15-Nov-12 12:59:28

Well, you can't force her to buy a present for the other child all you can do I, ignore it and not give attention to her histrionics.

She doesn't like you and by associated, your dd.

I assume you are not seeing her on Xmas day

pictish Thu 15-Nov-12 13:01:14

How fucking mean and petty of her! She is certainly using your elder dd to get the nip in at you.

I really hope your dp sticks to his guns over this one. She is showing herself to be a vindictive and childish horror.

I totally agree with you. Buy for both or stick it up your jacksie.

RubyTuesday123 Thu 15-Nov-12 13:03:32

I think even when HE says something or challenges her behavious she believes its come from me! They portray me as Lady Macbeth - and that her son couldn't come to these conclusions himself. We split for a number of reasons and it took a long time to come to that conclusion. She has always made me feel as though I'm not good enough for her son but that couldn't be further from the truth. She has created a stereotypical mother/son relationship-its embarrassing.

DontmindifIdo Thu 15-Nov-12 13:03:52

I'd also not take either DD round for a while, if your DH wants to, that's fine, but he takes both. I'd avoid and if she gets upset at not seeing younger DD much you can point out it's because she's horrible to you and older DD.

It's not actually just bad for your eldest DD to be treated like this, it's also teaching your younger DD it's acceptable to "bully" some people, this is a bad thing for your DD2 to learn.

RubyTuesday123 Thu 15-Nov-12 13:05:36

I will not be going near her on Christmas day - we are having lunch at home. i suggested to partner a few weeks ago that when eldest goes to her dad's he could pop to his mum's with youngest, and he flatly refused!! I will not be pushing that issue any further - although I'm sure i'll get the blame for it!

fiventhree Thu 15-Nov-12 13:05:46

A decade and more ago when my first son (now 32) reached adulthood and started making different decision from those I would have wished him to make, it took me a while to understand this:

-He thinks differently to me

-If he had made a 'wrong' decision, it is his wrong decision

-If I mean or try to influence him, he is still going to do what he thinks is best

- If I dont accept that, it will cause him stress, push him away, and maybe accidentally encourage him to make even worse decisions, because he needs to prove that he is an adult.

Your MiL is wasting her time sticking her nose into his life. And making a fool of herself. In this particular case, she is also demonstrating spite towards a child, which makes her childish herself.

Sadly, you in turn cannot make her learn or accept this, and even he cant make her see it.

Try to focus on keeping your children safe, and dont comment on his mother.

However, comment on your expectations with him- ie that if he is committed to a family with you and your girls, he puts you first and puts a firm stop any poor behaviour towards either of your daughters.

RubyTuesday123 Thu 15-Nov-12 13:09:00

@dontmindifido - I haven't seen sight nor sound of this woman since May thank god! When we were split she did all manner of things to get at me - in private they did but I just mainatained a silent stance (things like throwing youngest a seperate birthday party - pics all over fb! telling everyone how she knew 'he'd come to his senses') Truth is, im quite happy to have nothing to do with her but she can't treat my girls like this!!

pictish Thu 15-Nov-12 13:11:28

Jeeeeez....what's her problem with you?? confused

Do you think she would be like this no matter who he chose to be with?

RubyTuesday123 Thu 15-Nov-12 13:12:46

fiveanthree - I wish she had your perspective about this. Unfortunately for her I will be keeping the youngest away now - in no way will this behaviour be condoned.

I know I have to keep my mouth shut for the sake of partner, if she could see what she is doing to him she'd be disgusted with herself.

RubyTuesday123 Thu 15-Nov-12 13:14:48

I do pictish. The worst is, I know I'm no angel at times but I work hard, have a good job, am a good mum and just want an easy life!!

ShamyFarrahCooper Thu 15-Nov-12 13:22:11

Ugh this is just horrible. Regardless of how the adults feel, the resulting impact on a 10 year old child is the issue. She is being made to feel like not truly part of the family, that she doesn't matter (by your MIL clearly, I'm not suggesting you or your OH, just to be clear)

Your OH needs to send a clear message about this and you both need to stand firm, regarldess of whether she will think it is you, the point needs to be made.

Floralnomad Thu 15-Nov-12 13:22:26

Your OH sounds like he is being very supportive of you and your children so that's good . Your PILs are a disgrace and should be thoroughly ashamed of their behaviour , however they won't be because people like that never are . If I were in your position I would stop all contact at their house, if they want to see your DD they should come to you and then if they behave in appropriately they can be told . If your DP wants to go round and see them he should go alone . ( sadly I speak from bitter experience) . Also it's either presents for both or for no one .

RubyTuesday123 Thu 15-Nov-12 13:29:36

I am frustrated because whatever I do or say about this it will be twisted - that's why I cannot do nothing it has to come from OH. It is evil and vindictive to target a child - I don't know what to do next? Do I ask OH to go around and speak to her again? Leave her to get on with it? What? She will never look at her own actions and see what she is doing is wrong.

pictish Thu 15-Nov-12 13:31:16

Leave it to OH to have a word. And have a word he must.

He must also make it very clear that his opinion is his own. Let him deal with the silly, malicious woman.

Floralnomad Thu 15-Nov-12 13:34:02

Definitely get it to come from him although I know what you mean about getting blamed even if he says things ,this is what happens with my Inlaws .

Corygal Thu 15-Nov-12 13:35:54

Unpleasant for everyone, and unimpressive behaviour from this nasty old woman. Your DP will have to see them alone until they see the error of their ways. Support him in that.

FrequentFlyerRandomDent Thu 15-Nov-12 13:36:24

How sad for your eldest. My DF's family used to put me down/ criticise me to hurt my mum, who had dared divorcing their son, by proxy.

In effect, they hurt me.

I cut contact with them for about 15 years as soon as I was old enough to say no to visit to theirs. I think it took them years to understand.

Your MIL does not realise it, but she is hurting the children. Both. They feel the bad atmosphere. It is not fair on them.

I have little advice but it may be worth your DH explaining this to her. Does she want DD2 to think of her as the gran who is nasty to her sister/mum?

BlueberryHill Thu 15-Nov-12 13:36:32

That is an awful thing to do to a child, to hurt a child to get at an adult. It is toxic. I haven't been in this situation, what would happen if your DH were to stand up to her (he sounds as though he can do it) and state that either the two children are treated the same, presents, attention and affection, or they don't see either child. You both then stick to this, your OH has to follow through and not take the children to see them at all.

EugenesAxe Thu 15-Nov-12 13:44:55

I find things like this utterly repugnant.

I'm sorry for your DH but I agree with everyone saying cut contact. I can't understand people who cannot be objective about people they have a blood relation with. It doesn't make them paragons of virtue and everyone else evil.

Parents should support grown-up children and not undermine their decisions like this; it fucks me off mightily. I hope I never do it.

RubyTuesday123 Thu 15-Nov-12 19:09:44

We're going to talk about it later - I simply cannot tolerate this treatment of my daughter. I don't think she is concerned about the effects on either of my children or her son for that matter. She clearly places herself above me and my children in terms of her sons affections/loyalty and because he was unable to challenge her over her behaviour on halloween in her head its almost as though her actions have been condoned.

PoppadomPreach Thu 15-Nov-12 19:13:22

I'm speechless that a grown woman would take out her animosity towards you (whether warranted or not) on a 10 year old. Appalling behaviour.

Agree you should say it's both or nothing. The are children for FFS.

RubyTuesday123 Thu 15-Nov-12 19:25:41

I'd relish a face-to-face airing of differences to get to the bottom of this once and for all. However, as is often the case with cowards it's easier to ignore me, pretend we don't exsist, target a child and lock up her ivory tower.

wheremommagone Fri 16-Nov-12 07:16:28

Op, this makes me feel so sad. I was your little girl 20 or so years ago. I was the only child from my mums first marriage and she went on to have three more children with my step dad. His parents never accepted me. I can remember reading Christmas cards they had sent and feeling awful that my name wasn't on it. I wish my mum had thought to address it as you are doing. I feel quite resentful towards my mum sometimes but this is just one of many things that happened in my childhood. You might not be able to change your mils attitude but just be sure your eldest knows you addressed it when she is old enough to understand. For now I would try to hide the situation from her to protect her feelings.

tribpot Fri 16-Nov-12 07:51:27

As the child of a blended family, I can only stress how right your instincts are in this, OP. It is essential that your children are treated equally within their blended family and if your MIL is not prepared to do that, she must not be given any opportunity to hurt your older dd by snubbing her.

It sounds like your DP is firmly on side with this, which is good. It needs to come from him.

avivabeaver Fri 16-Nov-12 09:50:49

MIL sounds toxic- i have a colleague in a similar situation- her eldest son is treated differently by partners parents even though there is less than 2 years between them.

But- you and your dp are on the same side. he is leading the battle and doing all the right things. Do not let it get to you. MIL will either back down or stands to lose her relationship with her son and grandchild. She cannot win unless you let her.

RubyTuesday123 Sat 17-Nov-12 00:19:34

You think that she would realise this, but she wont. Even today I got home and was cooking dinner and my OH told me that she'd text again saying 'when does the youngest get home from boarding school?' I can't work out if she's saying this because youngest is in full time childcare as we both work full time or because she is insinuating that she hasn't saw her for a while - since Halloween. I was furious and insisted that he go and speak to her immediately as the more she goes unchallenged the worse she is getting. He went but she was out, I feel awful putting him in the middle but I'm insistent that he goes tomorrow. I can literally feel my blood boiling!!

" Ifeel awful putting him in the middle"
You are not putting him in the middle. She is. Without her behaviour, 'middle' would not exist.

BerylStreep Sat 17-Nov-12 01:36:57

Ignore, ignore, ignore.

She wants a reaction.

Ignore.

Get D to tell her that unless she treats both DC equally, any pressie from her will be unopened and sent to charity.

Then ignore some more.

BerylStreep Sat 17-Nov-12 01:37:10

DH

RubyTuesday123 Sat 17-Nov-12 14:59:06

I am trying desperately to ignore them but today both of my SIL's got in touch with OH to see what they can get the youngest, he tried to ring them but they didn't answer so he promptly text back 'if your not buying for one then don't bother for the other, I might not be eldest's father but I've been like her dad for 5yrs' they haven't even bothered to reply back!!

tribpot Sat 17-Nov-12 15:02:51

I suppose it's possible this was just a coincidence rather than a concerted attack by your in-laws, but either way you need to shut them out. Your DP has made his feelings clear by text, it is now up to them what they choose to do about this.

strumpetpumpkin Sat 17-Nov-12 15:06:08

Id avoid the old sow and refuse to let either girl see her at all

RubyTuesday123 Sat 17-Nov-12 15:13:07

How do I go about it? Do I tell them that effectively I'm denying access or leave them to figure it out for themselves? I was thinking what if OH took youngest round for an hour a week? But then I think what right does she have? And it would be condoning her behaviour! It was in no way a coincidence that my SIL's got in touch - they're far too calculating for that and trying to prove a point.

drizzlecake Sat 17-Nov-12 15:22:00

Ignore as Beryl says above.

But I would go further and stop their txts. Or ask DP to either stop reading their txts or to stop telling you what they say. Sounds like a concerted effort by MIL to bring SILs on board. What a malicious bunch. And tell DP you don't want to know what spiteful comment she has made when he visits (unless it is directly effecting DD2).

What MIL is trying to do is punish you for having a relationship with DP, and as long as you are being distressed and angered by her behaviour she is succeeding. And we can't have that malicious old witch winning

So ignore.

It would be good if you could move away then cut contact. But that is possibly not feasible.

I would explain, in terms they would understnad,to DDs what is going on so that they know it is MIL and not them that's a problem and that you're sorry but there's not much you can do etc.

Sounds good that DP is limiting contact for DD2 and that you will chuck any presents not sent to both DDs. If you keep this up she will eventually back down unless she wants to risk having no contact with DP and DD2 in the future.

ledkr Sat 17-Nov-12 15:35:08

Utter bitch sorry.
Every year I buy two extra presents for my exh children he had with ow after leaving us. They are children and also my dc s half siblings. I have no concept of leaving a child out what a nasty bitter woman she must be.
Accept nothing and please protect dd 1 from this horrible deed

ledkr Sat 17-Nov-12 15:43:19

I had 2 dc when I married my ex and they were ignored by his grandparents and got less from his parents than our ds did. I once sent a thank you card to the gp from ALL the dc. When asked about it I told them that I always buy something and wrap it from them so they don't feel left out. They were like this blush

2rebecca Sat 17-Nov-12 16:13:21

If youaren't married then she isn't really your MIL and as her son is not the father of your eldest child she isn't that child's grandmother so it's not surprising that she just buys presents for her grandchildren. Your eldest child should get things from her father's parents..
My dad just buys something token for my (now adult) step kids and did so when they were younger. My stepkids have 2 sets of grandparents of their own. My inlaws do buy my kids presents although my ex's parents would rather they didn't buy them anything as they feel my inlaws are taking over a grandparenting role that isn't theirs.
You can't win.
Accept that as you aren't married your partner's parents don't regard you as part of their family, probably not helped by you and youir boyfriend having an on off relationship, and that your daughter has 2 sets of grandparents but they are different to your other daughter's grandparents.
His parents do sound as though they were nasty to your elder daughter and that would make me avoid them, they can still be nice to her even though she isn't their grand daughter.

2rebecca Sat 17-Nov-12 16:18:13

I would ignore the stroppy tests. I certainly wouldn't send my husband round to have an argument with his parents. She makes a stupid sarky remark by text it gets ignored and you don't contact her at all. If she gets in proper contact in person then your partner tells her he doesn't reply to nasty text messages and that if she wants to see her grandaughter then she has to start being a more pleasant person.

RubyTuesday123 Sat 17-Nov-12 16:38:07

@2rebecca - the fact we are not married is irrelevant nor have we had an on/off relationship. We split for 3m after 4.5 yrs together mainly because of uneven distribution of childcare/chores and finances (with me as the majority shareholder!) as I've said previously its not about the gift, it's the principle and the refusal to acknowledge that we are back together (happily since Aug) and the attempts to isolate a child.

RubyTuesday123 Sat 17-Nov-12 16:39:05

Just to add that my ex's family acknowledge that they are sisters.

Thanks to everyone for their posts and advice.

tribpot Sat 17-Nov-12 16:43:14

I would leave your DP to do what he thinks is best. His instincts seem to be in the right place. He can decide what access arrangements are reasonable at the moment, it doesn't have to be up to you.

ledkr Sat 17-Nov-12 17:41:08

2rebecca what a ridiculous thing to say. What about the child they share? Should she not get a present because she is illegitimate?
It's bloody rude to buy for one sibling and not another and plain nasty behaviour towards a child IMO.
I wouldn't buy for a friends child and not the others it would just be bad manners even if this woman feels the child is nothing to do with her then she should still buy a gift out of goodwill and kindness.

BerylStreep Sat 17-Nov-12 17:49:24

I like Ledkr's approach.

The alternative is, if asked what youngest would like, to ask for one of those charity donations in lieu of a gift. We are the proud owners of a pot bellied pig running around Guatamala or somewhere. Send a cow

They're going to look a bit daft by trying to make a point by saying 'look RubyTuesday & eldest DD, we have excluded you because we bought a goat only on youngest DD's behalf and not yours, so nerr!'

I also think you need to try to put a light-hearted gloss on things (even if you are seething inside). Along the lines of 'don't worry DDs, we all know grandma is as mad as a box of frogs' followed by a tinkly laugh.

tribpot Sat 17-Nov-12 17:58:35

A goat would be inspired.

ledkr Sat 17-Nov-12 18:00:31

It will also backfire on the family. They are sisters after all I rembrr my ds realising he had been given more money than his brothers and then swift dividing it all equally with his brothers. He was about 6

ProphetOfDoom Sat 17-Nov-12 18:08:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BertramBertram Sat 17-Nov-12 20:33:13

DB and SIL split a few years ago. SIL had DD from previous relationship. DB brought her up from age 3. They then had a DS. DB is an arse & now they have split has nothing to do with the daughter. We don't see her or SIL as we live a few hundred miles away but I will ALWAYS send a present for her at Christmas & birthday. They are siblings and as far as I am concerned frm age 3 she has been my niece.

I would expect ex-SIL to have an issue if I only bought my nephew - and quote rightly! Stick to your guns!

BertramBertram Sat 17-Nov-12 20:34:20

Quote?? Quite (bloody auto correct)

ledkr Sat 17-Nov-12 20:54:34

Bertram Absolutely. Any child who is involved in anyway with my family will always be treated fairly in my house.

Bogeyface Sat 17-Nov-12 20:55:42

My MIL was (is) exactly like this. She and her daughters all assumed that any time H didnt ask "How high?" when they said "jump", it was because of me. Quite insulting when you think about it, as it implies that he is so stupid that you have to do his thinking for him and he is happy to let you!

Things got so bad that they refused to attend our wedding and since then he has not spoken to them. They didnt want him to marry me so I think that they thought he would call the wedding off if they refused to go, thats how self important they are! They have fallen out with so many people over the years, one sister even stopped speaking to her uncle because he joked "Dont call me Uncle, you make me sound old!" at a party. She started screaming and shouting (not drunk!) that it proved that he didnt want to be related to her hmm. She is an out and out bitch, she has set herself up as the Alpha female, the matriarch and didnt like me coming along at all!.

But as H says, it isnt me that they have a problem with, its his wife. It wouldnt matter who he'd married, they would hate her. He is the only male in that family, his dad left when he was a child and died 15 years ago, so he has been put upon and bullied by them his whole life. When he met me and my family he realised that he didnt have to put up with it and started saying "no" sometimes, and thats when they all went bat shit. They simply cannot accept that anyone would want to do things other than what they want.

No loss, our life has been so much easier and quieter since, and H has been so much happier since he cut them out too.

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