Help with MIL problem....(229 Posts)
Christmas 2010 we went to the PIL a 5 hour drive away. This way my idea. Things have often been fraught between me and MIL but I was trying to please.
So we arrived to find them out. We had travelled 5 hours in a car with lots of luggage/presents a 3 and 4 year old. NIGHTMARE.
They were busy so we settled ourselves in our hotel. Hotel was necessary - as staying at theirs was too much trouble. Their words.
We let the kids run riot and burn off some energy. Much needed and then we make our way to PIL home.
Was nice. OK.
Then back to hotel to get ready for Christmas day. I decorated the soulless hotel room with a tree and stockings (for Santa to find) and more... then we went to bed.
Of course, sleep, stockings prepared and delivered and then at the usual 5.30am kids awake and of we go......
We had been told the the day before that we couldn't arrive to PIL until after 11.30am. So we made the first 6 hours in a hotel room as fun as possible with the kids.... they are still 3 and 4 years old.... It was pretty shitty really.....
We arrive at PIL and have a jolly enough time of it. We are all making an effort. Its ok. Christmas dinner is late IMO for small kids as it always is. It was 4.30pm before we ate. The boys were over it by then. One ate a bit the other didnt. The littler one was already showing worrying signs of over tiredness.
I have to say they behaved beautifully up until this point. I was very proud.
We (me and hub) ate (in a hurry) and then little one (aged 3) started shouting. I couldn't placate him and I tried every trick in the book. We eventually had to leave. Bath, bed, story etc was much needed.....
He had been up for over 12 hours and was hot tired. Something, I didnt know what, was wrong with him and I knew we had to get him to bed. Routine etc.
It was a 15 min walk to the hotel room in the snow.
We started to leave. Coat alll the rest etc.... while PIL etc were still eating cheese and drinking coffee after Crimbo dinner.
MIL came in and I was on my knees trying to get coat on 3 year old... She just kept repeating (bearing down over me) that we couldnt leave and had to stay as there were more presents to unwrap. I said that we had to go (coudnt she SEE?) and that she wouldn have to be up all night with little one?
We had to 'just leave' my boy was screaming.....
She told me that I just had to leave him to cry....? We dont do that in my house. My children are 11 months apart and when they cry - we go to them....!
We left. It was awful. Little one up all night with a fever... no calpol, no thermoter, no hotel staff just me and my hand on forehead and no sleep....
We went back Boxing Day. SCREAMING ABUSE. CHILDREN SCARED SHITLESS, SO WAS I. SCREAMING, SPITTING, OBSENITIES. Awful.
It took me six months to stop my 4 year old from asking why Daddy is a BLOODY SHIT!!!!
We had upset her because we left early. No consideration for her efforts over Christmas etc etc. FYI. Christmas dinner was reheated and not cooked. Pre preared roast potatoes (the best kind not Aunt Bessies) and all the rest pre prepared too....Not that much effort IMO.
Hub is really upset that they have behaved this way but undersatnds that this is normal behaviour for her.
I am expecect to brush under the carpet.
I was badly absused by MIL 40 hours after giving birth and cant brush this under the carpet again.
Kind of feel like we should split up.... Me and hub.
Sad. :O( Confused....
Thanks for listening. Any help/advice gratefully received. I want to leave Hub even tho I love him so I can be free of the last 18 months of hell Ive been in......
bergonia - exactly right. i suspect she will behave just enough to get to the DCs and spend time with DH and we will all be polite and MIL gets what she wants.
this could go on for years. DH like to think that with his new found strength and knowldge (and help of therapist) - that we wont make decisions based on what SHE wants but on what works for us.
ie. i wont be cooking, cleaning and tidying while she sits back, ingnoring me and indulging in DCs and DH.
we like to think that we will say she can visit for the day but then go home instead of her coming fri, sat and then sun. which was exhausting and meant we didnt have any quality time all weekend. then MIl would go home and put her feet up while I slogged on with DCs. (I had 2 babies in one year - its been knackering).
we like to think we would be able to say NO and she accept it without her screaming her head off and then FIL, SIL calling texting to say we have been horrible etc.
I dont know what will happend and I dont know how DH will cope.
Can it get any worse? If she does it again. Its over. Decision made. She made it herself and we move on?
Thats been the theory. But I see its horribly flawed.
bergonia im sorry about you father. you sound like you have got your head screwed on.
It's just horrible-that your husband has been reduced to tears but still feels he owes these people.
Hard for others to understand.
My MIL was always tiptoed around-although she always said what she wanted.
OMG-the performance/drama when she said something I didn't like & was told by her son that that wasn't on.
She was in tears & clinging onto my husband & asking if he still loved her??!!
Well,of course all it did was make my husband recoil in horror really at such a display.
I haven't read it all but I would say that you have to step back and detach from it all. Let it all go over your head. You never need to see them and neither do the children unless they themselves want to.
However, it is up to DH if HE wants to see them. He may love them despite knowing their flaws. He should be able to see them with no guilt tripping from you BUT he must accept that you don't want anything to do with them and you don't even want to hear about them/of them or about any of his meetings with them.
Step back and let it go all over your head. They are not your concern. Don't even waste two minutes thinking of them.
Leave it to your husband to do what he wants to do.
Begonia's right- it's not a normal state of affairs for a new father to be crying on the floor because of the onslaught of abuse from his father. The role of a new father is to help care for his new child and the child's mother, and beam proudly at everyone as he shows off this fantastic new person that they've made, and to be generally overjoyed if exhausted.
Maybe a change of perspective would help you Ilove- the status quo is the way it is going to be unless something drastic changes things. In your own mind, there is no contact and there will be no contact. It might be that the something drastic is that at some point in the future DH feels able to tackle his family and he instigates a change, which is to renew contact.
The problem with renewing contact until MIL kicks off again is that you would still be leaving the issue up to her- she'll be deciding how long she leaves it before crossing the line again. You'll still be under a cloud and waiting for her to call the shots- but with the added hassle of contact in the meantime. It feels like your under a cloud now, but at least you're not under a cloud with the ILs screaming at you about the weather and poking you with umbrellas.
Thanks all.... going to leave it all for now.
If we do do it - we probably need a better plan of action.
Its been REALLY good to take the rose tinted glasses off for a bit and remember how ghastly it really was.
Next upate.... soon.
Husband is going to see them today. Lots of faffing around and lots of arguing.
The long and short of it is that our marriage cant take much more of the pressure and he eithers sorts it out or ends it. One way or another we HAVE to move out from under this dark cloud weve been living under for 2.5 years.
So he sees them today at midday.
I don't know what Im doing.
good luck - are you and the DCs staying at home and he's going alone? Then this might be as good as it gets now, he needs to be ready to cut them out, you can only cut them out of your life and your DCs lives, you can't make him be ready to shut that door until he is.
Yes. Me, children and puppy staying home. Im doing the ironing?!
I think he is ready. Hopefully also for all the right reasons.
He has spent the last 2.5 years coming to terms with the fact that they would rather loose him than admit any wrong doing.
So this is to end it once and for all.
Not that that will make him happy - but at least we can move on instead of living in limbo.
Hopefully by seeing them alone, he might see them for what they are-especially if it's only him always putting up with their barrage of abuse.
Good luck, I hope today goes well. I can't believe how long this has gone on for you. xx
Oh, sorry-do you mean he's going to see them to cut contact?
I think it's time for you to draw your line in the sand. The PILs play no more part in your lives or that of your DC.
Hes going to see them to see if there is anything there that they can see was poor behaviour.
One last chance to discuss it.
If they wont/don't. Then he is ending it.
Bookie youre right. I haven't had DH support to really do this. I have drawn many lines in the sand. But he knows if he asked me (which he never has because he has had his own head in the sand) that I would see them again for DH sake.
But youre right - I do need to draw a line.
I have said that if they cant apologise or even try to or understand that what they did that Christmas was out of order. Then I wont see them again.
And the one thing I have always been consistent about - is that they wont be seeing our children without me being there.
I don't trust them.
He can put up with their shit if he wants to.
He shouldn't expect anyone else to.
They don't deserve to see your children & imo your children shouldn't be subjected to their abuse.
I would suggest that for his own sake he shouldn't see them.
He doesn't have to make a big announcement about cutting contact to them.
Just stop the contact himself & not answer/reply if they contact.
Hi OP. In your shoes I would utterly refuse to have any contact or allow my dc to have any contact with them, regardless of what my husband had to say on the matter.
I think your primary responsibility has to be protecting your dc from abusers and the only way to do that is to refuse all contact. If you see them, then you are giving your children a message that on some level these people are 'okay'.
I would encourage dh not to see them either, but ultimately he is an adult and will have to make that choice for himself. However, I would change my phone number or block them so contact is not easy for them.
I agree totally.
DH can and should do as pleases him.
I wont see them nor will DCs unless they apologise and accept that their behaviour was totally out of order.
They wont do this.
So it will be over for me (relief).
I do need closure tho.
Not sure how that comes about - but I need closure because we are heading for some kind of depression otherwise and our marriage is on its knees.
I'm not sure you're going to get the closure you're looking for. I went for counselling for the same reasons, although in my case it's my own parents who are toxic - in the end I had to come to terms with there are no answers, they will never accept that their behaviour is unacceptable because they don't see anything wrong with it - the only person you can control is yourself. I came to that conclusion and now I just keep them at arms length, talk to them if they phone me, but there is zero effort on my part and I managed to emotionally detach. I am a lot happier for it.
I hope a satisfactory conclusion is reached today.
You are not going to get closure though.
You just need to let it go, and stop thinking about them.
IF your H does what he really does need to do, and end it with them, you are going to have to support him a little. That stuff hurts like a bastard. He'd really benefit from some counselling tbh.
In time he'll feel free, and it will be better. Pangs of sadness and guilt will ripple in from time to time, but eventually it all hurts a little less.
I wish you all the very best of luck. I hope today was decisive for your H.
Surely if you get closure in the form of an apology-they'll expect to then carry on as usual??
I agree-decide that you & the kids won't see them-that's good enough, isn't it?
And support your husband if he decides not to see them anymore.
Will write more tomorrow. He talked and they actually listened.
He goes to see them again tomorrow to see if they 'have something to say'.
Yes. An apology will bring closure. I just want to know if one is going to come or not.
And yes. If he decides not to see them again - I will love and support him. Its not what I want for him.
Ive got to go but back tomorrow. Thank you all.
I also have a toxic mil and a fil who goes along with her. If your DH can emotionally withdraw that would be great. It's very painful to face reality. My DH has come to see that spending time with his M makes him unhappy so he just tries to avoid it as much as possible. I would love if they lived 5 hours away. My sympathy to you. Stay strong. You choose what's right for you and your DCs. Eventually your DH will stop wanting to please her. He is breaking the habit of a lifetime, which began when he was a tiny powerless child. He is no longer powerless but he needs to realise that himself. Good luck.
My mother listened.
She only adjusted tactics. She realised how close se was to me saying Shove It, so to keep her feed of someone to be the scapegoat, she apologised, but only after a good 15 seconds of angry staring in the distance, then a snap and the tears. You're asking for fundamentally damaged and nasty people to adopt a personality transplant.
Remain detached, stay away, and don't flinch.
Your H has to follow through and take a break from them anyway, at the very least.
If he falls for their speil, he'll be sucked back in with the hope of them changing.
They can't change. They don't want to. Not without a serious and dramatic event, and even then, odds are against them wising up.
Meant to say, someone said that an apology is worthless, it just gives them the green light to carry on as before, forgiven for past horrors.
"What's the problem?we apologised for that already, get over it."
Think about what you've written. Your DH went to talk to them about how they treat you.
He's having to GO BACK to find out what they have to say. IF they even have anything to say.
Normal people, when confronted with a situation where they've even mildly offended someone, would apologise there and then, they'd be mortified, and they'd come TO YOU to apologise, AND they'd never do it again!
His parents are sitting in their throne room, waiting for a little boy to come back and ask them again to spare him and his family from cruel and tyrannical behaviour.
Your DH, if this were anyone else, would feel able to say what he felt, and tell THEM to think about it and come seek HIM out when they had done so.
I know how hard this is, dysfunctional families like this are so hard to get through without therapy. Please get him to consider it? It'll be the greatest thing he's ever done in his life.
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