AIBU to let this happen, or should I dissuade him?(9 Posts)
DP has announced that he is no longer going to call his family, invite them to anything or make any effort whatsoever. I feel that I should encourage him to maintain the link, although to be frank it's not really the end of the world if I never see them again.
His reasons are these:
1. They are racist. FIL used the P-word in front of our DCs a few weeks ago, leading to DP asking them not to express these views if they wanted to see their grandchildren. His sister isn't racist, not in front of us anyway, but his brother's family (including teenage DD) often use questionable language.
2. HE had an accident earlier this year and we needed help with kids as I had work/job interviews etc and he had hospital appointments. He had surgery and was on crutches. None of them came to see him and when he swallowed his pride and asked outright for his mum to come and look after the children for a day she said no.
3. He has made a massive effort to take the children to see them once a fortnight and to see SIL once a fortnight over the last year (SAHD). PIL have been here twice, once at Christmas and once when DS was born. No-one came when DD was born, even when invited. This is probably because we live in East London and it makes them nervous.
4. His brother and sister and their families have all gone on holiday together and not invited us. For the second year in a row. And not told us, leaving MIL to spill the beans.
He has never been that close to his brother, but he is close to his sister and he saw her the week before this holiday, so I know he is really hurt by this deception. Our DS is 4.5 and really loves his cousins and would have loved a holiday with them. (I would rather poke my own eyes out but I'd make the sacrifice for the kids....) DP doesn't want him to be hurt by seeing them occasionally and being rejected.
I just don't know if all of this is enough to break family ties. They aren't as toxic as some of the families I read about on here, but they do make him unhappy and I certainly don't want my children picking up on some of their attitudes.
So, you want to insist that he continues to plead for attention from his racist, uncaring and disinterested family, who aren't bothered about seeing or spending time with any of you anyway?
I think YABU and if he wants to cut them loose, he's got reason enough!
He hasn't said that he is breaking things off only that he isn't making the effort. I suggest that he just leaves things and see what happens-if they approach him he can be friendly.
My thoughts are that you only get one family and it is a good lesson in tolerance and love to accept them the way they are. That doesn't mean doing all the running though. I would let them make the effort and welcome it when they did but that's me.
As for the racist language I would exit the company of the people using it if they continued to do so.
"They make him unhappy" there you have it - why would you want/try to make your DP do something that makes him unhappy? (given that it's something that him doing or not doing isn't vital or life threatening or anything - obviously if it was something he HAD to do then he'd have to suck it up so to speak, but this, nope) - he's a big boy, let him decide and stand by his decision and support him in it. At the risk of sounding totally 1950s, that's your job almost, to support him - I'd say the same of him if the situation was reversed,you're there for each other. Especially given that you worry about the effects on your children, just let it go. Sounds like you won't be actually losing/missing much anyway!
OP let him stop making the effort. If his family cba with making the effort then they have made their position very clear.
Not sure how to say this but, if you don't particularly care for his family, might that somehow have come across to them and therefore you're the reason they haven't asked you to join them on holiday/come to help whilst you're tied up with things/visited after you gave birth?
Not excusing any of it, particularly the racist comments, but just a thought.
Thank you. Themagnificent, when you phrase it that way it sounds clearcut. I think he does feel he's pleading a bit and for a proud independent type like him, that's horrible. Clam, I do understand what you are saying, and I think that may be why I'm worrying about it. But, I don't think they are aware of my feelings (which are mostly related to how they treat my partner, rather than them personally).They know that we are worlds apart politically, because I will express my opinion. But I swear to god I have never let them feel that I don't like them as people. I have been close to his sister, going out with her alone, and we have socialised a lot with them pre kids.
I'd be inclined to do as others have suggested. Just stop doing the phoning and running.
See what happens - what have you got to lose? They don't sound very involved anyway and it may just make them respond more positively.
If he doesn't phone them or go and visit they may be spurred on to call or visit themselves.
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