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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!

I wish you the best of luck.

Your DH may well think he has done the right thing here, but equally he could well have opened a box that should have remained firmly closed. I sincerely hope his decision to text a reply does not come back to haunt him because he will blame himself.

Many adults who were children of such toxic people still have FOG with regards to their parents - this is an acronym for fear, obligation, guilt. He may well have felt somewhat obligated/torn to reply to it because he did not want them calling your landline and possibly have his children answer the phone.

Do post further particularly if there is any further backlash from his parents.

PTFO Sat 23-Nov-13 11:43:32

Its very true about using you for photos then popping you back in the box and feeling like its all fake and very used. A photo is a second in time but it looks like it speaks volumes.

ie a photo of nana reading a gc a story, looks lovely and nana can show it off but in RL nana sat for one min and then announced she had better things to do leaving everyone in the room stunned and hurt. you see my point?

I would ignore the text, people like this don't change. 10 years isn't going to make a lot of difference in the world of toxic people, they unfortunetly remain the same!

Meerka Sat 23-Nov-13 12:46:25

I woudl think that actually, if there was a chance of reconciliation this is it. The advantage of a big gathering is that you don't have to have close contact; you can just smile, say hello and loose yourself in the crowd.

The Golden is also a big anniversary. So if you wanted to try, this might be the time.

However if your husband does not want to go, that's the most important thing. HIs wishes and yours matter most here. But I would definitely keep the declining text short and not go into detail. Nothing can be gained from longer texts. If he does ever wish to confront them in order to say once what he needs to say for his own sake, then face to face or by letter is best.

LoveandLife Sat 23-Nov-13 13:20:30

Ah, now would we like to go theirs, just us, for lunch? DH has sent the same reply and turned his phone off but is curious as to why now

Ursula8 Sat 23-Nov-13 14:13:04

Easy OP, so they can bully you/him into submission!! Oh dear, this is why he shouldn't have replied but too late now. Saying no to them is not acceptable.

It really isn't a good idea to wonder why they do things. The reality is so awful it is hard to bear. Just know, as you do in your heart, that they are toxic. They mean you no good. Contact will bring pain.

Tighten your boundaries and reinstate strict NC.

justmuckinwillyou Sat 23-Nov-13 14:23:50

yes, i agree - they want him to conform in time to show off their family to their friends. i wouldn't respond to any more texts otherwise it won't stop.

JellyBabiesSaveLives Sat 23-Nov-13 15:09:24

Well, they know his phone works now. So ignoring any further texts will send the right message.

Mind you, your children are old enough for you to talk to them about dh's parents now. You could tell them that if they do answer the phone and it is daddy's mum/dad, they should say "I'm not supposed to talk to people I don't know, I'll tell dad you called" and put the phone down, or something similar. My children listen to any calls on the answermachine and only pick up if it is someone they know.

I bet they are worried about How It Will Look.

So they want to try to make you pretend that all is well.

I wouldn't. It is unlikely to end well.

ZombieMonkeyButler Sat 23-Nov-13 16:22:42

Is it possible that they need to tell DH something important? Maybe one of them is ill?

If your DH still would not want to see them, even if that were the case, then that's fine and understandable. However, he maybe should consider how he would feel if one of them were to die without DH seeing them again.

I know I am usually quite biased on threads like this, because my parents have both died, but I do think that if your DH has considered all of the possibilities and is comfortable with his decision then all is good.

Just keep ignoring.

TheGreat is spot on & i guess appearances are key to this sudden contact.

Toxics don't like outsiders to know their family has broke away due to their ill behaviours as i'm sure the people at this gathering do not know the truth behind your non contact hence the reasoning of wanting you all on side for the big day!

Of course they don't want their guests asking questions because it will out their true ways.

Don't be reeled in by it all again, it will go exactly the same way once the party is over and your dh will end up dealing with the consequences, as will you & your dc.
Don't text any further more, leave it as it has been.

fallon8 Sat 23-Nov-13 16:48:28

How do they get your text details?

Hissy Sat 23-Nov-13 16:59:33

Ah, i'm late to the party as it were smile

I was going to say not to reply as it gave them an in.

DH replied, it gave them the 'in'.

Now is the time to change numbers. Both home and mobile.

I'm going to do the same in the new year. Nothing to stop me doing it now really, but the 'fear' obligation and guilt (fog) are stopping me atm. Idea makes me feel ill.

After the last voicemail I actually played though, it's clear she'll never change. There isn't any point in me engaging.

"Ah, now would we like to go theirs, just us, for lunch? DH has sent the same reply and turned his phone off but is curious as to why now"

Golden Wedding for them is an opportunity for his parents to play the "perfect family" and suck you all back in again.

I hope your DH has now realised the error of his ways, he truly made a mistake in replying at all to them. Unfortunately by replying this box has now well and truly opened.

He will now have to do more than turn his phone off; he will now have to change his number for both this and your landline.

As the others have correctly stated, this is also about power and control at its heart; these people want absolute over the two of you. They do this to bully you into submission. There are truly no depths as to how low these people will go.

Now he will have to reinstate NC again. He must absolutely must ignore any further contact from these people because otherwise they will never leave you all alone; it did not take them long to send yet another unwarranted message.

Katisha Sat 23-Nov-13 17:47:38

Unless he is prepared to get drawn back into the cycle, he needs to put away his curiosity as to why now. If he really wants to stay nc then curiosity and the desire to really make sure they get it that he has a problem with them have to be laid aside. Let it all go.

On the other hand he may want another crack at trying to get them to mend their ways. Obviously this won't happen but maybe he's still not ready to let it go or still feels he can make them understand.

Hissy Sat 23-Nov-13 18:00:30

Ah, poor him, after 10 years of, NC and now he has to dig deep and go back to it.

As Atilla says, it's all about appearances. Up until now, they can get away with making excuses for his no-show at any event. This is something that will blow their illusions of a normal family out of the water, a no show at their 'big bash'.

You need to change contact numbers, they've got to him now, they'll not give up easily, as they have too much to lose.

Rest assured, none of this is about contrition, it's still all about them.

Nanny0gg Sat 23-Nov-13 20:35:11

I have a different slant here. I know I haven't suffered from toxic or even difficult parents myself, and I have good relationships with my DC and their partners, so I could be totally wrong, but:

Could it be that they do actually want to make amends? The fact that they now want to see you on your own, not at a family function?
I am not excusing in any way how they behaved towards you all in the past, but it could be that as they're ageing they can see what they've lost?

Does your DH have siblings? What is their relationship like?

Hissy Sat 23-Nov-13 20:47:40

People like that wouldn't have let it get to 10 years Nanny.

They'd have been mortified to think they'd hurt/lost their son.

LoveandLife Sat 23-Nov-13 20:52:01

Ah DH's sister....she I'm afraid is just plain nasty. His parents were (are?) difficult/highly strung but IMO fairly decent people underneath. They have very strange ideas about what they are "owed" for the sacrifices they made to raise their DC but when we had problems it was because they were genuinely hurt. They got hurt by the strangest things and it happened a lot but they genuinely believed they had a grievance iyswim. I sometimes think they bother suffer with depression but as they would never seek help for that, I/they can't use that as an excuse for ever

SIL would stir and tell her parents how upset they should be, even though she suffered with all the same issues relating to their behaviour. i.e. they once cancelled a planned trip for Christmas because the other GPs were going to be there and they thought they (the other Gps) would spend more than them on their GC (SIL's daughter).

SIL refused to be my bridesmaid 3 weeks before the wedding, after my mum had made her dress because "it would be two faced to do it as I can't stand you"

Anyway, DH doesn't have anything to do with his sister either.

We have talked at length and often about how he will cope if/when one of them dies but he still prefers to leave things as they are. Dh says he doesn't care if they are genuine, he doesn't want to see them and he really doesn't want to go back to how things were.

I do sometimes wonder how DH managed to turn out so lovely - he says it was joining the Army and getting away from their influence as a teenager that did it.

JellyBabiesSaveLives Sat 23-Nov-13 20:56:38

Nanny, if they were wanting to make amends, they'd be saying so by text/email/letter. Something with the words "sorry" and "love" in it.

They could well have realised what they've lost, and want it back, but it is likely that they want it back on their terms - to pretend nothing happened and just start over, with them acting the same as always, and their son putting up with it, as always.

JellyBabiesSaveLives Sat 23-Nov-13 20:58:33

ah, x-posted. It's hard, isn't it?

Nanny0gg Sat 23-Nov-13 21:04:33

Fair enough.

I think your DH has to go along with his feelings then, and if that means to stay NC then so be it.

toffeesponge Sat 23-Nov-13 21:08:30

Just reply no thank you. No explanation. No suggestion of better to meet X as you don't' want to meet at all. PIL could be using this as an olive branch, could be a bullying tactic as of course you wouldn't dare say no to a public event. Do what you feel is best for your immediate family.

amumthatcares Sat 23-Nov-13 21:21:09

It could all be for the 'perfect family image' that has been suggested but I agree with Nanny - a Golden Wedding? They must be getting on in years and maybe, just maybe, they want to make amends before it's too late and have seen the huge achievement of a golden wedding as an excuse to make the first move.

Hissy Sat 23-Nov-13 21:34:39

This must be something DH's instincts lead him on. Sounds like he's not buying it either.

If this were a genuine approach, it'd have been worded differently. The initial approach would be more conciliatory I think. 'I know we've have our issues/differences etc..'

I do not think so. Such occasions are used by toxic people to further try and shore up their image of the "perfect family". The OP and her H are being used purely to maintain this image.

LoveandLife's DH's mistake here was to respond to their initial text at all. A text even a three word one in reply was enough to get them to respond again. I can see why he replied but it was a mistake that could really come back to haunt him now.

Also if his parents really did want to make amends here there would have been direct contact along with fulsome apologies far sooner. Ten years of nothing and now to date two text messages. There is no apology here; it loaded with unwritten conditions. There has been no indication from them either of apologising or even taking responsibility for their own actions.

springyticky Sat 23-Nov-13 21:50:58

Agreed, the constant this's and thats, the eggshells, were tiresome and draining. But you say yourself the PILs aren't too bad, it's the sister who is a nasty piece of work. They all sound bonkers tbf.

Your OP surprised me because I honestly don't see that the examples you give are enough to cut contact entirely. Hugely tiresome, of course, but 10 years seems particularly savage.

They may want to see you because losing their boy, and you all, is unbearable, not necessarily to play happy families. I don't want to lay it on with a shovel, as much as it sounds as though I am. But how would you feel if your boy cut contact with you for 10 years? Pretty painful, I'd say.

It may be a case of learning to manage their ridiculous ways - they don't sound particularly toxic, just very difficult. A visit a year wouldn't be too much, surely? Let the madness go over your head, don't take it seriously. DH may not be able to manage it - this time - but I do think it's sad he is so resolute over what seems to be relatively trivial in the scheme of things. Not in the big league, anyway.

This stuff isn't off the top of my head btw. I am NC with my toxic family; though I just can't do it to my mum, who is ancient. She is very, very difficult but I do see her now and again. I expect nothing, which is for the best all round. She means well but is bonkers, frankly. I don't expect anything from her any more - there's no point.

LoveandLife Sat 23-Nov-13 21:58:45

DH didn't cut contact -not really. They did it often, wwould go off in a huff and we wwould hear nothing from them until DH or i got in touch, then we'd be expected to behave like nothing happened.

The only decision DH took was that this time he wasn't making the first move and it's taken them 10 years to do it! If they'd called even in the first month everything would have carried on as "normal"

They've now been in touch but from the limited contact it's still like we have to pretend nothing happened. No mention of the last 10 years, the kind of text you send someone you had dinner with last weekend

springyticky Sat 23-Nov-13 21:59:20

Sorry to go on. I'm not saying it's easy seeing her - it really isn't. I have to brace myself, make sure I can take it. I sometimes cry afterwards - for what she isn't, for what I wish I'd had (I also cry for her, it seems such a waste of a life). The way I see it is she is up to her neck in crap, and has been her entire life, and it's too late to address it now. Sometimes I can only manage 5 minutes but I know it would destroy her if I cut her off entirely. I can't do that to her.

If she complains that eg a card was too small, say oh I'm sorry, we didn't mean to offend you. Placate her. Don't take it seriously - she's off her rocker. Could you manage that once a year?

LoveandLife Sat 23-Nov-13 22:00:00

If my boy wasn't talking to me for more than an hour i would do whatever it took to put things right

FluffyJumper Sat 23-Nov-13 22:03:09

Atilla you seem full of doom and gloom about the text coming back to haunt him. I think he will be fine and I understand his concerns re them ringing the house.

springyticky Sat 23-Nov-13 22:04:00

Well then pretend nothing has happened. It's all they're capable of. No point wishing there was more - there isn't. That's not to say it doesnt hurt, and you privately don't want more (or DH doesn't want more) but it's not available and that's that. Probably because they're bound as tight as pigs in a poke.

10 years has been a long stand of, don't you think?

FluffyJumper Sat 23-Nov-13 22:06:14

Springy Clearly he doesn't want to. I really don't think you can say from the OPs posts that he is wrong to go NC.

LoveandLife Sat 23-Nov-13 22:15:06

Actually Springy your posts have helped me see dh is doing the right thing. What you describe sounds miserable for all concerned

amumthatcares Sat 23-Nov-13 22:28:33

If this were a genuine approach, it'd have been worded differently. The initial approach would be more conciliatory I think. 'I know we've have our issues/differences etc..' - not if this were my father. He could never bring himself to apologise about anything and this sort of situation would a limited opportunity (for him) to offer an olive branch - even after 10 years. He would never say 'this has gone on too long' 'we need to sort this out' etc. He would never admit he was wrong, would argue black was white and I see him in OP's description of her PIL's, this is why I am possibly seeing the other perspective.

amumthatcares Sat 23-Nov-13 22:30:53

And I am the same as you Love, it were my DD I wouldn't let and hour go by without sorting thing out thankfully I like to think I'm not a twat like my father

Hissy Sat 23-Nov-13 22:33:29

amumwhocares I agree, that kind of proves my point, there's no interest in resolving, only forgetting and brushing under carpets. Some things have to be acknowledged. 10 yrs of silence has to be one of them. smile

Hissy Sat 23-Nov-13 22:34:47

We're not out parents/ils. We care about the feelings of others.

We would resolve issues with our dc.

amumthatcares Sat 23-Nov-13 22:37:22

I genuinely wish I were in the position where I could tell him to fuck off have no interest, but sadly I have to tolerate my father because of the mum I adore dearly sad

springytickly Sat 23-Nov-13 23:05:52

Our generation is much more emotionally literate in a way previous generations simply aren't. It would come more naturally to us to express how we feel. Not so previous generations - a lot wouldn't even know how they feel, let alone be able to express it.

Granted, MIL certainly seems to know how to express - repeatedly! - how she feels but the griping about a too-small card is not really about the card, however inappropriately she expressed it.

Anyway, fair enough, it's your DH's decision and I can really see why he's made it. I assume they're approximately in their 70s if they are about to celebrate their golden WA? The diamond WA will be the next one coming up and, if they're still around, they'll be frail then. They will have forgotten what they did, why they did it. My parents are at that stage and my view is probably coloured by that.

I think it's a bit short-sighted to say yous would do all you can to mend a breach with an adult child. It's not always that straightforward.

springytickly Sat 23-Nov-13 23:06:45

ie imo it's short-sighted to assume our children wouldn't choose to go NC with us.

LoveandLife Sun 24-Nov-13 09:00:15

Spring y i work about that constantly - history repeating itself. Mil was nc with her own father for last 10 years of his life

I do know that it wouldnt come from me. There's nothing that would leave me so hurt i wasn't prepared to make the effort to make it right and there's nothing i wouldn't apologise for if that's what was needed

Loveandlife

History does not have to repeat itself however. People always have a choice.

The fear that their own children as adults would choose to go no contact with them is often expressed. I personally think such fears are unfounded because in your case at least you actually do your very best for your children and treat them properly. You try and meet their needs. We all make mistakes as parents yes but toxic parents generally ignore their childrens needs completely. Some can also be exploitative, cruel, indifferent and inadequate towards their children. This affects the child now adult markedly. Fear, obligation and guilt are but three of many damaging legacies left by such parents.

My ILs as well used their Golden Wedding purely as an opportunity to show how "wonderful" their own family unit supposedly is.

I re-read your initial post and I think the only reason they contacted your DH after 10 years of silence was to put you in the photos to make them look good. Image is all important. Also the decision to go no contact in the first place is one that is never taken lightly; you both gave them opportunities to make amends. They simply did not want to do that; its their way or no way as far as they are concerned.

Hissy Sun 24-Nov-13 09:40:17

Too true Atilla there wasn't anything in it for them to make amends.

Until now. Nothing changes eh?

sad

springytickly Sun 24-Nov-13 12:26:33

erm... and if you do your very best for your children and treat them properly and they still choose to cut you out of their life, then your fears are, indeed, founded. Please don't think it couldn't happen to any of us.

See, there's this myth that children go NC because the parent/s are toxic. That's not necessarily always the case. Sometimes it's the 'children' who are toxic. Plus there are any number of potential distractions that can ultimately sever that relationship. NOt everyone values that relationship or recognises how important it is. I agree that there is very probably toxicity somewhere along the line, possibly toxic influences; or drugs ie a dissolute lifestyle, fame, wealth etc; but it isn't necessarily the parent who is toxic. 'Good parenting' isn't necessarily going to ensure it doesn't happen.

I think we just have to think of what it would be like if our children chose to go NC with us, perhaps because of a real or perceived grievance - or plain neglect. We may do all we can to repair the breach but they may not be willing and, ultimately, you can't force people.

LoveandLife Sun 24-Nov-13 13:38:57

Maybe so springy and i don't for a minute think it could never happen for our dc - i worry a lot that it could; but none of that's going to change because DH lets his parents make him miserable again. The only effect it might have is that dc get to see toxic behaviour modelled and pil take every opportunity to tell dc how awful their parents are.

livingzuid Sun 24-Nov-13 14:07:56

love I admire you and your DH for the no contact. I wish I could manage the same but still get trapped in the guilt Web and cave every 3 months or so and am going back for Xmas at great cost to me and DH which we can't afford but oh well I guess it partly placates my guilt.

I just don't see why as children we should have to be the ones to bend. Parents are adults too and need to take responsibility for the rifts they contribute to. I think you're right to not expose that behaviour to your own family too. Getting them involved in your lives once more will just be miserable. Good for you both being so strong. It is not easy.

springytickly Sun 24-Nov-13 14:32:53

I do agree that perhaps your DH isn't up to it. I don't know if I said on this thread (there's another one going on the same subject!) but some of my visits to my mum can be 5 minutes. Granted she is fairly local. I have to know I can take it if I do see her and tbh she seems generally content to see my face: meaningful connection doesn't seem to be important to her lol. HOwever, sometimes I get there and realise I can't take it after all - some comment she makes and I can feel the incredible hulk brewing on my insides - and I make some excuse. She knows and I know I'm getting out of it, but she seems ok with that, as long as she sees me now and then. She just wants to know I'm alive and she is very placated to hear my voice ie I phone fairly regularly. Her hearing is shot to pieces so I let her talk and I make general noises at the other end.

It has taken a loooooong time for me to get to this. The days are gone where I attempt to have it out with her - it is a waste of time and incredibly painful for me (her too, perhaps). Sometimes I'll make a pithy comment, straight to the point, but I resolutely move on, I suppose satisfied that I've been able to make a nod to the truth, whether she accepts it or not.

I don't see her out of guilt but actually compassion. Yes it's a duty but it doesn't weigh heavy iyswim. I do love her and I am glad to see her face, too. I am grateful for what she gave me, even though in many ways it fell abysmally short.

re having to bend - that's how I feel about my dad. He is an atrocious bully who has never loved me and, crucially, has never made any attempt to love me (unlike my mum, who has certainly loved me in her weird way). I don't see why I should make overtures towards him. If my mum goes first, which is likely (but you never know), I doubt I'll see him. She says - I probably will, because he's so old... but it will be pure duty. I will probably recognise that he is a product of his upbringing in due course, as I do my mum. It's all too late now anyway.

springytickly Sun 24-Nov-13 14:37:36

My parents are also very isolated now. They are so blind and deaf it must be horrible for them. I do have compassion for that. They are quite helpless now.

LoveandLife Sun 24-Nov-13 15:06:46

Springy you are obviously trying to do what's best for you and yours (although i don't think you're achieving that, it makes you miserable) but frankly youre starting to sound a lot like pil - laying on the guilt

springytickly Sun 24-Nov-13 15:28:19

oh. that's disappointing then sad

I was just talking about my experiences. I thought you were receptive to that.

Bitofkipper Sun 24-Nov-13 15:32:24

I think that doing "The right thing" out of a sense of duty or guilt, is much over rated.

MistAllChuckingFrighty Sun 24-Nov-13 15:34:32

LAL, that was rather mean. Springy was just talking about her experiences, she wasn't saying you had to mirror them

TalkingintheDark Sun 24-Nov-13 16:04:45

LoveandLife - "if my boy wasn't talking to me for more than an hour i would do whatever it took to put things right"

Absolutely yes. It's lovely to see other posters expressing the same sentiments. My feelings 100%.

I fully understand your reasons for staying NC, they make real sense to me.

TalkingintheDark Sun 24-Nov-13 16:28:35

Oh and I don't think you were "mean" to springy either. There has been a real agenda there of trying to get you to see things her way, implicitly criticising and undermining your choices.

Not to mention some pretty abhorrent statements and untrue statements, IMO, such as the one about "toxic children".

If someone is going to express themselves to that extent on your thread, they shouldn't be surprised if you respond with a little honesty of your own.

If parents give their children such harsh lifes and abuse, why should the child as an adult, pander to their parents in their hour of need when quite clearly those parents never were there for them when they were going through hardship??

A toxic person always remains inbuilt inside these people, regardless of illness or disability they still remain to take their children for a ride.
Non contact is normally made for a reason, why go back and be the scared put on child you once was?

I am completely nc with my ils but dh isn't quite there yet, although i wish he was as they all treat him like shit. I just hope when they are frail they don't expect to be looked after when they never did the same for their own child (dh)

That was for springy

PTFO Sun 24-Nov-13 16:31:58

OP Im with you. It really shouldn't be such hard work pandering to other people who bring nothing to your life and yet expect you to be there for them, who wants the sulking and the nasty emails?!. Your DH/kid could (god forbid) have died in the last ten years and they would be non the wiser. THEY opted out and I suspect they miss your dh to toy with his emotions and all the drama that brings. don't start having to apologise again, cos they wont have changed.

And you know that it will be your/dh fault that they have not seen you in ten years and guilt trip you over not seeing the GC grow up and be apart of their lifes. BUT remember they could have asked, they know where you live and they have your number- not so desperate eh!

let us know how this all pans out.

Hissy Sun 24-Nov-13 16:41:53

Some of us know springy's other story, and while it's not applicable in this instance, there are children who make their parents' lives difficult, and some who do flounce off without reason.

Thing is, a non-toxic parent, or human being for that matter would always want to know if there was something that could be done for things to be better.

As we know, not all parents are toxic, but also not all (adult) children aren't.

Springy meant well, however it came over.

PTFO Sun 24-Nov-13 16:57:06

Hissy, that's it. Anyone normal would want to know if they can try and resolve any problems.

With my inlaws we asked to meet and chat, they were so 'hurt' they refused to see us for nearly a year and that's after they sent us several very nasty emails (which we ignored). I cant say too much or Ill out myself but one IL didn't even know if they wanted to try and sort things- they were too hurt/how dare you etc etc.- How can they not want to TRY and resolve things so they can have a relationship with their only GC?! whilst we were trying to be open to sort things and discuss and do everything we could to sort things. What we got was "we don't think you'll be there for us if we got ill"....you reap what you sow

I could tell you all sort but I wont out myself though unlikely on here.

springytickly Sun 24-Nov-13 18:23:01

Blimey, misunderstood or what. My posts were fair and considered and I was just giving a perspective. I appreciate, from my own experience, that it's an extremely difficult subject - I've got through a fair few thousand of therapy bills to confirm that. My parents are very old - my perspective is largely from that, which I have made clear.

Some people/parents are out and out toxic and the only possible solution is to stop contact, which is as it should be. A lot of parents, though, don't fall into the category of out and out toxic; are perhaps very, very difficult, a major pita etc. To cut off a parent entirely is a huge step and, at the risk of being accused of pumping the guilt, the agony of it for the parent can be immense. I would like to be certain a cut-off parent is in fact out and out toxic before taking such a drastic step. Who isn't deeply offended by their family at some stage?

I honestly wonder if some of yous think your parenting has been so fabulous that it's not a possibility that your children may cut you off. Dear me, it doesn't always go like that.

Final point: Adults were children once. Some children grow up to be toxic adults - and not necessarily because of childhood, or parenting, experiences. When I referred to toxic 'children' I used apostrophes, meaning adult 'children'.

Bowing out.

"Some children grow up to be toxic adults - and not necessarily because of childhood, or parenting, experiences".

What other influences then (and I personally think childhood influences from parents and to a lesser extent other family relations play a huge role here) would you also cite as being influential?. Where's any actual evidence for this beign so?.

"To cut off a parent entirely is a huge step and, at the risk of being accused of pumping the guilt, the agony of it for the parent can be immense"

Agony for the parent?. I more often than not read of much guilt on the part of the adult child for cutting off their relative, such people do not and never make such decisions lightly or on a whim.

I think that parents who are very difficult, PITA etc can also be seen as toxic parents. They are toxic precisely because they are difficult and some have untreated as well as untreatable mental health problems or personality disorders.

You would not tolerate such nonsense from any friend; family are truly no different. I think many people carry on with such dysfunctional relationships out of a combination of fear, obligation and guilt towards the parent. All that eats a person up inside.

My Nan was old but she was pretty much demanding all her adult life; great age is no free pass for making the many varied demands of my father like she did. He only saw her out of duty in her latter years and that stance did him no favours at all ultimately.

Meerka Sun 24-Nov-13 20:05:28

there are a lot of other influences. The stereotype of children who get in with the wrong gang and go wild, to the great sadness of their parents, is a stereotype becuase it does happen.

Incidents can happen to children that knock them off balance very badly that the parents never even hear about. No parent can protect a child against everything. Some risks happen and a few people get extremely unlucky - and the parents never even know why. I happen to have observed it and was unable to intervene. Im reluctant to give more details publically but may do so if pm'd. It is incredibly sad to think of the parents' unending pain but they were not at fault in any preventable way.

Lastly there seems a general consensus that people grow up due to both genes and environment and there is a notable interaction. There are some 'dandelion' children who survive no matter what without being ground down, or becoming toxic; to me it makes sense that there are a very very few who become toxic no matter how good a background they come from.

Also, although not studied in great detail there seems to be some indication that adopted children can manifest characteristics, including quite rare ones, of the biological parents similar to manifesting rare genetic physical conditonis.

Complex issue, really.

Walkacrossthesand Sun 24-Nov-13 20:22:12

Complex indeed, meerka. I've raised 3 DCs, fairness is a big priority, I'm from a 'non toxic' family - but one of my (now adult) DCs is astonishingly self centred, to the extent that relationship with sibs is threatened - I'm sure s(he) would report feeling very hard done by, whereas the others would say it was because s(he) wasn't centre of attention. If s(he) flounces off NC one day, how far will I go in trying to find out what's wrong without yielding to demand to be centre of attention? Meanwhile, I just try to listen, and support. Whether that is recognised/acknowledged, I don't know.

TalkingintheDark Sun 24-Nov-13 23:18:07

I just don't buy into it. I believe very much in cause and effect, and I think there is always a reason why people are the way they are, and, like Attila, I think the biggest reason is the kind of parenting they had, and the family dynamics in general.

This isn't always obvious on the surface - parents might appear to be loving and caring to the outside world, they might think of themselves as being so, but there is always (in these cases) some darkness somewhere, some warp in the programme that governs the family dynamics. It is virtually always unconscious, the result of something from one or both parents' own upbringing which they have never challenged, often because it is well hidden and also because to do so is unspeakably painful.

To me, the evidence is in the outcome. If there is an (adult) child who is dysfunctional in some serious way, that is the proof that something was amiss with the parenting. That to me is the prompt for a parent to investigate their own family dynamics in depth and see where this dysfunction comes from. But that is the point at which most parents, IME, choose to blame the (adult) child instead, because it's an easier option.

There is a very deep vein of child-blaming that runs through the heart of our culture, IMO, and we are all susceptible to it; those of us whose lives have been significantly impacted by this tendency are inevitably the ones who have most motivation to challenge it and perhaps have to dig around in the dark, unpleasant truths that some others can conveniently hide from.

(As an aside: Recent scientific studies that I have heard of seem to show not only that environment plays a much bigger role than genetics in the development of personality, but that the kind of mothering you receive actually affects the physical development if the brain.)

Sorry OP I know this is turning into a bit of a thread derail. But I think one thing there is almost a consensus on is that parents who really loved their child would not have let things go for 10 whole fucking years and voluntarily missed out on so much of their DC's and DGC's lives.

And I think that's the main point for me. Why would any child who felt really, deeply, truly and unequivocally loved by their parent want to destroy that relationship, deprive themselves of that irreplaceable, deep nurturing? And even if somehow they did, wouldn't the parent who really, deeply, truly and unequivocally loved their child do anything and everything to restore it to them? Wouldn't that be the single most important thing in your life, bar none?

Because at the end if the day it's not really about good parenting as some kind of task that must be performed to a certain standard; it's just about love and devotion. If you are genuinely devoted to your child, I think they know, however much you may fuck up (and of course we all fuck up as parents, each and every one of us). I do find it really hard to believe that when the love is that strong, it will not find a way, or at least keep on trying and trying. And if it isn't that strong... It's not the child's fault.

I know mine isn't a widely held or very popular viewpoint. But there we go.

Tabby1963 Mon 25-Nov-13 07:51:09

Interesting debate. It has got me thinking about DH's brother; two people could not be more different in character, yet there is just two years difference in age, DH being older. This cannot just be explained by a difference in how they were brought up, because they were brought up in what seems like the same way, by good, decent people I loved my in-laws grin. DH has an uncle and his characteristics match DH's brother. I found that very interesting when I finally met him.

Nature surely has at least equal weight to nurture.

What makes someone behave in a toxic manner to other people, family or other people otherwise?

LoveandLife Mon 25-Nov-13 08:10:53

Well, when DH turned his phone back on there was a message saying, "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"

So of course now they can tell everyone they "tried" and we knocked them back but DH is happy(ish) with that, he just hopes they're true to their word.

To my mind they haven't tried at all, there was no attempt to actually engage, talk, apologise...

FWIW with whole child/parent debate I think the unconditional love thing is absolutely key. DH's parents very much believe their children owe them for the sacrifices they made when their children were small. They were hard up as young parents and are incredibly resentful about the fact that both their children have been relatively comfortable - mostly because they were 10 years older when they started a family. When we and SIL bought our current (detached!) houses MIL had proper meltdowns about how unfair her life had been compared to ours. To me, that's what you hope for your children, that their lives will be better/more successful/more comfortable than yours. In our case it is definitely this jealousy and resentfulness that has caused most of the issues.

That said, I am not at all complacent that it could never happen to us - we all just do our best as parents and hope for the best

livingzuid Mon 25-Nov-13 10:24:19

Goodness what unpleasant people they sound, trying to turn the blame back on your family.

MimiSunshine Mon 25-Nov-13 10:34:50

So that message proves it was all about putting on a good appearance for their party.
And now that you haven't asked how high when they said jump they've tried one last guilt trip disguised as a goodbye.

That message was designed to rile up your DH into replying in order to explain that it's not a grudge (on his part) and why it's been so long. Good on him for not rising to it.

There's no way they'll tell people why you aren't there, but that they "tried", they'd have to admit that you have been NC for ten years and that's bound to shock their guests so they'll just make up an excuse that you're away or something or the kids are poorly so you had to cancel last minute.

Roussette Mon 25-Nov-13 10:58:15

Spring's post of 18.23 is very much like I think also. My parents were absolutely hopeless as parents, I also have the therapy bills also. I just gritted my teeth and carried on - they weren't out and out toxic after all.

Then they got very old and died and I was there for them right up until the end, and I am glad I was. I could not have lived with myself if I hadn't been. OK... it was hard, I was still trying to win their approval after all these years but I can hold my head up high and know I gave my relationship with them my all and when my mother was lying on her death bed, I held her and I somehow knew she loved me even though the parenting was crap.

None of us are perfect. Of course 10 years is far far too long but I would not have let it go on so long... I would have done anything, absolutely anything, to have some sort of relationship with my parents, albeit a superficial one. This comes from having DC's myself... I don't get it right, in fact I often get it wrong and who knows what will happen in the future, I just do my best.

Perhaps the OP's inlaws are doing their best and they have had sleepless nights and the Golden Wedding is their olive branch and they are hoping against all hope that they can start again with a relationship with both of you. Parents of a different generation don't sometimes have the tools to talk, engage and they don't know where to begin with apologising because they probably dont know what they are actually apologising for! My parents never apologised for anything, I just accepted they were incapable.

Belize Mon 25-Nov-13 11:07:52

That text is saying everyone would love to see you, not WE would love to see you. Also the bit about life is too short to bear grudges, that's them throwing it back at you (your DH) that it is him that is the problem.

Well done to your DH for leaving it at that.

Hi Roussette,

re your comment:-
"Perhaps the OP's inlaws are doing their best and they have had sleepless nights and the Golden Wedding is their olive branch and they are hoping against all hope that they can start again with a relationship with both of you"

No, I do not think that is the case at all particularly in light of their last text message to their son. Its always been their way or no way with the OPs ILs. Their text message is truly loaded with trying to further guilt LoveandLife's DH.

I think your late parents treated you appallingly throughout your life and thus failed you abjectly as both a child and adult. They put their own needs first and ignored yours. You tried to have a relationship with them and they never bothered to respond in kind. I bet you were always expected to apologise for supposedly "not measuring up".
No-one told you that you did not need their approval any more. You ended up going back for more of the same from them, that often happens too. Its not your fault they were this way inclined and still is not. Its not purely a generational issue to my mind either although familial dysfunctional relationships do seep down the generations.

Like many adults of such toxic parenting also you sought their approval (which they never fully gave) up until their own deaths. FOG (fear, obligation, guilt) is truly a powerful and damaging legacy left by such toxic people to their offspring.

You do not and would not treat your DC in the same manner as you were because you know what your late parents did was wrong and remains so.

Roussette Mon 25-Nov-13 11:52:49

Hi Attila... don't totally agree with your post! As I said, my parents weren't toxic... they were misguided, useless at parenting and being the stroppy mare I am, I didn't ever ever apologise... I stood my ground and they didn't freeze me out, they wouldn't dare. So my situation IS different to the OP's. It did cause me problems later in life, but hey... who's perfect here... none of us are. I just know how close I am to my DC's and that's all that matters and also am very aware that there are many MNers who went through far far worse than I did.

I just know they were a product of their generation... they both had a cold victorian upbringing and they knew no different. No excuse I know but that's how it was.

Do agree with your last para... when I had DC's I used their parenting as a reverse template. i.e. whatever they did... do the opposite! And it's worked!

LoveandLife Mon 25-Nov-13 12:32:52

Obviously I would prefer never to have been in this situation because of the hurt it's caused DH and I would prefer my DC to know their GPs but I do find it an interesting study in human nature.

I find it interesting that some people feel that the people here who have difficult parents but stand by them regardless fit the FOG Attlia talks about perfectly (or so it seems to me)

I don't accept the generational thing. My parents are old and on the surface, to outsiders maybe look cold. e.g for my Dad to say he loves you there will need to be some really momentous event and I haven't had a hug from them since I was very young indeed. They were very strict parents. However their actual behaviour isn't cold at all. I have always known, even (especially?) as a rebellious teenager that there was nothing I would do that would stop them loving me and that they were thrilled with every little achievement. Not because they told me all the time but because of the way they were. They would drop everything if I needed them and expect nothing in return.

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

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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