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to be pissed at my MIL for suddenly deciding to move 12,000 miles away?

(116 Posts)
babeinthewood Sat 23-Jul-11 16:29:15

My MIL phoned earlier to announce that she is off to NZ to live...........

bit of background: My SIL moved over to NZ about 20 years ago, and has lived there ever since. MIL and FIL used to go over every other christmas for three months. FIL died 18 months ago, about 6 months ago she was talking about buying a small house over there, and moving between the two countries six months in each, we said we had thought she would probably emigrate at some point, and she said absolutely not. She was so against it that two weeks ago she gave us a long spiel about the UK being her home yadda yadda yadda.

we are very shocked and upset, she doesnt appear to have thought about the 5 granchildren and son she is leaving behind at all. Theres no way we could ever visit her. Am I being unreasonable to be really pissed off that shes just apparently made this snap desision without letting us know she was thinking about it?

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sat 23-Jul-11 16:33:08

You're not unreasonable to be upset but your attitude that she hasn't 'thought' about it is really unkind. I bet she's thought about little else since she started making plans, even if it seems sudden to you.

Why are you upset, really? Because you'll miss her? Because you do stuff with her on a daily/weekly basis? She obviously thinks that she'll be happier in NZ with her daughter and who could begrudge her that?

You talk about her not thinking about her 5 grandchildren and her son... her son is an adult and her grandchilren can be kept in touch with by Skype, letters, etc. Sorry, but you sound mean and a bit selfish.

Tillyscoutsmum Sat 23-Jul-11 16:33:18

Has your SIL got children ? Maybe after spending time with her grandchildren in the UK, she's now decided its your SIL's "turn" ? Presumably, she'd come over for a few months every so often in the same way she's been doing the journey to NZ ?

YANBU to be upset but ultimately, its her decision

aquafunf Sat 23-Jul-11 16:34:09

yanbu to be pissed off. however prob not a snap decision-would imagine that she has agonised over it and telling you.

she prob has thought a lot about what she is leaving behind and what she is gaining by moving.

leave her to get on with it- what else can you do? she prob will have fatored in making trips home each year.

sleepindogz Sat 23-Jul-11 16:35:21

wow good on old MIL, good luck to her in her new life

i will be shoving off too as soon as my pension hands out smile regardless of who wants what and who disapproves

mumto2andnomore Sat 23-Jul-11 16:40:25

I can understand why you are upset especially as you hadnt realised this was on the cards. Nothing you can do though really,its her life.

babeinthewood Sat 23-Jul-11 16:42:43

I know its her desision but shes just 'dropped' it on us out of nowhere, shes already made the application. I just thought families talked about this stuff before they made massive desisions like that.

My main upset is to do with the children.....they have been through alot particularly my DSD who in the last 18 months has lost her biological mother and 2 grandfathers, she relies heavily on the world around her, has huge emotional issues and my MIL is a big part of that, thats not even going into what she went through before all that. shes only 8. then theres the four boys as well who have a good relationship with her.

maybe she will be happier (although hubby and I are not convinced, but thats none of our business), but it would be nice to have had some idea of why and how she feels, rather than to just dissapear out of our lives. she knows we could never visit, SIL has been over quite regularly, yes there is skype and letters etc, but its not the same. :-(

Then theres hubby, she is the only family he has apart from us, and he does an awful lot for her (which she then moans to people he doesnt do properly) and he feels quite hurt that she didnt say anything.

I could understand if shed talked about it and led up to a decision, and sorted out the whole, when will you see your grandchildren etc etc. :-(

LITTLEGEEK Sat 23-Jul-11 16:44:25

I agree with Lying, why are you upset? It's understandable if you spend lots of time with her but I don't think it will have been an easy decision to make. What age are the 5 grandchildren? She may be thinking that as they get older they wont want to spend as much time with her and be off with their friends, then she may be rather lonely. Tell her you'll miss her madly but wish her all the best and use Skype etc to keep in touch.

exoticfruits Sat 23-Jul-11 16:45:24

It doesn't sound like a snap decision. I expect that she realised that moving between the two wasn't going to be a sensible option as she gets older.
Good luck to her. You can easily keep in touch with skype. You may not be able to visit as a family, but your DCs could go when older and you could go in the future. I expect that she will come back and visit.It is mean to put on the emotional blackmail.

exoticfruits Sat 23-Jul-11 16:47:06

Maybe she didn't want to talk it over because she knew that you would try and talk her out of it.

sleepindogz Sat 23-Jul-11 16:48:12

what if the roles were reversed

would you not go just because MIL might be upset? Or would you still go and put yourself and your family first as difficult as it felt

SandStorm Sat 23-Jul-11 16:51:28

I can understand you're upset seeing as it's come out of the blue. However, she is a grown up and can make her own decisions and you need to respect that.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sat 23-Jul-11 16:52:07

Babeinthewood... I still get the feeling from your posts that you perceive it as MIL's duty to stick around for you all... it seems to be one way-traffic too. She hasn't 'dropped it on you', she's communicated her decision. There was nothing to talk about until that decision had been made.

You refer to your MIL as 'moaning' about what her son does for her, he does a lot and so forth. Well perhaps he doesn't do as much as you think he does. You seem to be very down on your MIL and to be honest, I think this will be so good for her. Your relationship with her doesn't seem strong, not any of you in your family, it's all about what it will mean to your kids. To be honest, they are your children, your responsibility and perhaps when your MIL has gone, you'll realise how much of a presence she was, not just a 'waiting in the wings' person ready to leap into action for you.

The fact that your MIL has decided to go tells you all you need to know about her family ties in this country. It isn't all about YOU and your children... they are resilient and, if you let them and help them, they will continue to have a good relationship with their grandmother. The type of relationship you and her son will have with her is entirely up to you and I'd really give that some thought because she doesn't sound very happy.

Go Kiwi MIL!!!

SheCutOffTheirTails Sat 23-Jul-11 16:52:56

Keeping in touch via Skype doesn't come close to substituting for seeing someone in person. It's very much a consolation prize.

Really it's up to her - she'd rather spend her dotage with her daughter than with her son and is prepared to sacrifice her relationships with her English grandchildren.

That's obviously hurtful, but there's nothing to be done here other than wave her off happily and wish her the best.

exoticfruits Sat 23-Jul-11 16:57:03

I would think of it the other way around. If you wanted to go as a family and she was piling on the emotional blackmail would you be happy? I bet you would delay telling her because you knew she wouldn't like it. Words like 'sacrificing' really are piling it on. Of course it is second best to have letters and Skype but you can maintain the relationship-it can add a new dimention to it.

babeinthewood Sat 23-Jul-11 16:57:43

the children are 20, 18, 8, 5 and 2. the boys over there are used to her not being there, they've never had her around, they are 12 and 10, so wont be any more interested in her than mine will be at that age. By the time the young ones are old enough to visit her she'll be long gone, shes 73 now!

We havent said anything to her about it yet. I guess I just thought we were more important. theres the practical things too like, what will she do when she becomes infirm, shes got lovely friends etc here and us, over there she just has SIL she doesnt make friends easily and alot of her friends have dropped off now that FIL isnt around. and when she does eventually die - ok this is a bit selfish - hubby wont be able to go to the funeral, she'll miss the kids weddings, graduations and all that stuff, because she'll be too old by the time they get to that stage.

I wouldnt ever consider moving out there, I have far too much here to leave behind, and I thought she did too :-(

I dont understand how she will visit either, when she goes over there she stays in sil's annexe for three months, we barely have enough room for us, theres no way we could put her up :-(

exoticfruits Sat 23-Jul-11 17:02:06

I think that you are getting a bit wound up about it all. She could drop dead tomorrow or dementia could set in-anything could happen if she stayed here.

SheCutOffTheirTails Sat 23-Jul-11 17:03:09

Well you are adding a new dimension and taking away all the good, existing dimensions.

You can talk on Skype to someone in the next room if you're that bothered about the wonderful new "dimension" it adds to relationships. The fact that most people don't bother doing this tells you a lot about the quality of communication it allows.

allhailtheaubergine Sat 23-Jul-11 17:03:16

Oh my goodness would you listen to yourself??? shock

It's ALL about you you you you you and your family.

"I thought we were more important..." than your MIL's other family?

"The boys over there are used to her not being around" All the more reason for her to get to know them before it's too late.

Am gobsmacked by your attitude.

exoticfruits Sat 23-Jul-11 17:03:29

You have said that she has lovely friends over here so she could stay with them when she comes over-if you don't have room.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sat 23-Jul-11 17:03:59

If you can't put her up on a visit, OP, what difference would her becoming infirm in the UK make to you?

I don't suppose she'll care much about attendees at her funeral...

PonceyMcPonce Sat 23-Jul-11 17:04:57

Sounds like it will make her happy.
Assuming she is accepted.

exoticfruits Sat 23-Jul-11 17:06:29

Living in New Zealand and being able to tell the DCs all about the new experiences with photos etc is the thing that adds the new dimention-not talking on Skype confused
I don't see why you are 'more important' -it seems to me that SIL has missed out and will now get a turn.

exoticfruits Sat 23-Jul-11 17:08:00

If it something really important like a wedding I expect she can come over-and stay with a friend.

squeakytoy Sat 23-Jul-11 17:09:32

Sorry, but you are being incredibly selfish and unreasonable.

It is her life, and perhaps she wants to be with her daughter now, and why shouldnt she?

Why can you not go out there to visit?

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