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(207 Posts)
Hullygully Thu 07-Feb-13 15:36:39


What did you think would happen?

DameFanny Sat 09-Feb-13 00:04:29

I've got quite a large extended family - lots of cousins, and we all used to camp together as kids in the summer holiday when different countries' holidays coincided. And we're not close, but we all get on like a house on fire, probably because we've been brought up too make allowances for differences. It's a fantastic craic at weddings and even funerals - it just is.

Compare with dh's family, who used too be geographically close. They all walk on eggshells and seethe with resentment at each other, all unhappily pretending to be close, while working through the latest lies that mil has told them about each other.

The mil that told me after I'd known her a year that her mother had told her to have her dd1 adopted because she was a devil child. The same mother that apparently sexually abused her as a child, bit when I greeted the mother with politeness got told off for not being warm enough.

You're right. I should have run for the hills. [regret]

FakePlasticLobsters Fri 08-Feb-13 23:52:33

If I had known then what I know now, I wouldn't have married my DH because of his parents and the way they have treated me.

But we married very quickly, after just seven months of knowing each other, and I thought at the time we would be able to get along most of the time once we got to know each other. I didn't know MIL very well but I believed that as we got to know each other, the odd things she said and did might settle down and we could have a good relationship as we do have a lot of interests in common and we could have been friends.

They never did get better, instead they got worse. To the point now that I don't see them anymore and DH rarely does, through his own choice, I haven't stopped him.

MIL is a bitter and unhappy woman, but she can put forward a good face and if you met her, you might like her. But is is unable to sustain a proper grown up friendship because of her behaviour.

I've always gotten along with boyfriends parents in the past, so it came as a shock to me to realise that nothing I did with MIL would or could change her behaviour (and I have a very long, unanimous AIBU thread somewhere telling me IANBU in cutting contact with her following a detailed description of just some of the things she has done and said.)

We had been married for over six years before she really showed just how awful she could be, married for eight years when DH told her she had to stop upsetting me with nasty comments, and ten years when I finally said enough is enough and cut contact altogether. We are coming up on twelve years of marriage now and these past two have been so much better for not having MIL hanging over us dripping poison into our lives.

It was hard at first as DH felt guilty but even he has admitted now that his parents controlled and manipulated him all his life and have never been happy or normal people. And he says he never could see or speak to them after he left home without coming away feeling depressed and unhappy.

I do love DH but I really do believe that if someone had told me the future on my wedding day, I would have turned and run while I still could.

The poor relationship I have with them is not something I wanted or something I am happy about, but they virtually stalked me and drove me to a breakdown that made me ill for months. I haven't chosen this situation, they have made it happen with the way they behaved. It would have happened no matter who DH married and they have been exactly the same to their other sons wife too. They've now emigrated and SIL says their behaviour was a big deciding factor to do so for her.

Bogeyface Fri 08-Feb-13 21:57:24

I see my parents every day, and speak to them atleast once a day too on the phone. They live around the corner, we get on very well (at last) and I help out caring for them as they both have health issue. Luckily they adore H and he loves them too!

MrsKoala Fri 08-Feb-13 15:54:37

Crikey, I don't think I like anyone enough to see them that much, just thinking about it has made me come over all hot and itchy smile

WankbadgersBreakfast Fri 08-Feb-13 15:35:51

DP and I have huge extended families and we all live quite close to each other. We see FIL, SMIL, SGIL, SIL and BIL for Friday tea, and my mum (and sometimes my brother/brother's current GF) for Sunday tea.
We don't see it as being in each other's pockets, it's a regular time for DD to see her family, and for each of us to catch up with our parents.

Suppose it helps SIL and I were close before DP and I started dating.

My MIL is a "raving fringe lunatic," convinced she is chosen by the Lord to be an avenging angel. Every time we see her we're lectured on our sins, and how we will be going to HEEELLLLLL and that we must get DD baptised at ONCE because maybe (just maybe) she won't be condemned then.
She does love DP and DD though- adores them. She's just insane and has no sense of personal space and often smells like mothballs.

giveitago Fri 08-Feb-13 15:05:06

Oh OP - well I saw a few signs but ignored them as I wasn't of their culture. Did that entire well I'm a multicultural person from UK so can deal with anything. Oh wrong. Plus didn't speak their lingo very well. But now, she affects our relationship every day of our life even though we don't live in her country. I blame dh more than her, though. He has choices, he's made his.

Hullygully Fri 08-Feb-13 14:53:37

We certainly do.

MrsKoala Fri 08-Feb-13 14:50:42

As you said, it's what you are used to. Everyone I know with big families who do everything together strike me as odd tbh. I would consider seeing my extended family more than once a month 'all the time'. It was once a year while I grew up and that was too much! If we had anything in common I suppose it may have made sense but no one did. My half sister and I can barely manage a few words together. We've never fallen out, just have nothing to say to each other.

Ds will have to grow up with no cousins or extended family. I feel sad for him sometimes, but hope we can have more do and make enough friends to fill any gaps. You've got to play the hand you've got I suppose.

Hullygully Fri 08-Feb-13 14:40:23

It's not all the time, it's whatever anyone feels like.

We are all different.

I like it, it's nice for the dc to feel part of a big family as I did.

MrsKoala Fri 08-Feb-13 14:37:47

I wouldn't find it nice. At best I think I'd find it boring to be with the same people all the time. I like small quiet family units. I would find that all very overwhelming. Both dh and I are essentially only children so like our own space.

Hullygully Fri 08-Feb-13 14:27:57

Oh, he does have two odd dbros we don't see much to balance things out, tho they are now making efforts and their dc speak to mine on fb.

Hullygully Fri 08-Feb-13 14:27:01

normal is just whatever you're used to (of course!)

I am close to my family and see a lot of them, even my third cousins and such. My dc know my cousin's dcs etc. My mum comes ot stay with us on holiday, as does my dsis and also my dh's dbro, wife and three dc. All my family and his family now know and like each other and all came for Christmas which was splendid.

I thoguht it was nice, not weird!

Arcticwaffle Fri 08-Feb-13 14:23:54

I agree MrsKoala, people who get on with their parents and see lots of them, that's weird...

Nasty or dysfunctional or just tedious families kept at a safe distance, that's much more normal, I can cope with that.

MrsKoala Fri 08-Feb-13 14:18:11

Having pondered this further, I have concluded I would rather be with someone who had a small, difficult, estranged family than a really close, in and out of each others houses, go on holiday together, type one. I find those really creepy tbh. Better the devil you know I suppose. If I met a bloke who wanted to go to dinner once a week at his parents etc, I would run a mile.

RainbowSpiral Fri 08-Feb-13 14:03:29

I considered not marrying my partner because of his mum and dad. That was one of my main concerns and it is an issue, but we live geographically far from them. It was just one factor, I married him because I loved him.

HumphreyCobbler Fri 08-Feb-13 13:33:57


You must be very lucky! I am lucky enough not to have people like this in my family but I have come across them at work, and through friends. The negative energy some people generate never ceases to amaze me - how can spite, rudeness and malevolence be the guiding principles of someone's life?

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 08-Feb-13 13:11:05

Oh and I would only not get involved with a bloke with fucked up parent/s if he expected me to go along with pandering to them.

You can never blame someone for there parents only for how they expect me to behave if they behave badly towards my children or mr.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 08-Feb-13 13:04:43

Nobody really notices other people's behaviour towards there family because bad behaviour usually tends to be hidden from the general public.

Very few people are nasty to apsolutly everybody the people who they are nasty to tend to be those involved in actual relationships with them so whilst they may be perfectly nice and polite to the gas man they won't be to someone they have a relationship with who they arnt very keen on,we seam to care more about what strangers think of us than we do other people,that's probably why you havent seen any of this unless you are on the reciving end.

I know I prefer to actively choose who I form relationships with and one would think most people are much the same about things like that.

Obviously your born and you grow up so you have no choice who your own parents and siblings are yet you are expected to form a good relationship with someone who if they went involved with your adult child or the family of your partner you may not choose to have any associating with,I'm pretty sure that's why it can be so fraught for the people in those relationships.

I think that problems can start when a commitment is formed because it kinda like shoving in your face that now you have to form a relationship that's often more than just a transient one.

Or when children come along because when your own parent in there excitement oversteps the mark you can quite easily tell them to back the fuck off knowing that at some stage down the line they will probably forgive you due to all your history and involvement but you can't really get away with doing that to someone else's family.

I can remember once when my mother was totally overstepping yelling "what exactly were you doing at 2:43 on the 17/08/93." Her response "I was with you whilst you gave birth" to which I replayed " well fucking remember you were watching me,not doing it yourself and back the fuck off" at her.

She stormed off but got over it because she had to in our relationship I was the only person she had to get past as my DH would have said "your dd you deal with it I won't get involved" where as if she had fell out with dh in her mind she still had someone with a whole life of involvement with her to work on to get her way ( even tho I would have said exactly the same thing as dh she was not to know that) I think its much the same to your partners and there parents they rely on the whole life involvement.

Its very easy to over step the mark with a baby who you are related to because baby's are mostly the loveliest things and are so exciting and I think lots of female relations who haven't had a baby in the family for awhile can often get hung up on the lets pretend the baby is mine thing even if they don't let on whilst the mothers of those baby's are experancing a perfectly normal biological reaction to having there own baby ( that being generally protective about everything to do with that baby) but its easy to forget that when our own baby's are adults so if your not careful you can do unfixable damage.

And no matter how much you dress it up no matter how much you don't want it to be true when it comes to baby's that are either not yours legally or ones you didn't give birth to,they are not yours and its always going to be down to you to act accordingly and not attempt to behave like they are yours.if you don't or can't then you are going to have huge problems.

Oh this isant exclusively female relations that may do stuff like that my ex fil has recently had my child's name tattood on him ( first tattoo so its not as tho he already has his own dc's names done) its weird.

twitchycurtains Fri 08-Feb-13 12:33:57

Meant couldn't

twitchycurtains Fri 08-Feb-13 12:32:05

Mrspolka: mine seems to blame me for BIL's wife leaving him, apparently I filled her head with all kinds of 'feminist rubbish' as SIL is from the old country MIL felt she would be grateful to be married to a Brit and was 'brought' over. She left BIL because she could cope with a) her husband being a complete mummys boy and b) interference from mil and sil in her marriage.

But of course me being the heathen man hater I must have put her up to it.

mrspolkadotty Fri 08-Feb-13 12:15:46

Because she didn't show her true colours and real opinion of me until we'd been together for 4 yrs (married for almost a year). Their other DIL had an affair, caused lots of hurt and upset to BIL. This, it turns out was all MY fault. Their family was fine until i came into it, i'd trapped DH with marriage and babies, yadda yadda. Sun shines out of SIL's arse, she can do no wrong. I on the other hand am the black sheep of the family, half don't speak to me and the rest barely tolerate me. Hateful woman.

If DH and I hadn't already been married at that point then i'd have cancelled any wedding plans. He stood there and didn't say a word to defend me against her tirade of abuse. Milk sap. Made all manner of excuses for her etc. I gave it straight back at her and then threw her out, told her she may bully her husband and sons but if she thought she could do the same to me she'd another think coming. Now we are sickeningly polite to each other grin Old witch.

Fakebook smile

Fakebook Fri 08-Feb-13 12:12:14

I don't have a mil and neither does my DH. It's quite sad our children have no grandmothers. But I didn't marry DH just because his mother was dead, although my dsis thinks its an added bonus.

LadyFlumpalot Fri 08-Feb-13 12:07:16

Mine is very much in charge of her house. She doesn't work and is very proud of the fact that she is the home-maker. She runs her family (FIL, SIL and her boyfriend who live them) with an iron rod. I believe she thinks her sons house and family are also under her jurisdiction.

I do get on ok with MIL most of the time, it is only when she starts trying to run MY house under HER rules that we clash. We have proper alpha female battles, but they are done in a covert, discreet and quite sneaky way.

The one thing she did do, that I will never forgive her for however, is announce to me that my own son was going to live with her, to save us childcare costs. She lives over 100 miles away, she suggested we come to see our own son, at her house, on weekends.

I kicked her out of my house for that one.

manicbmc Fri 08-Feb-13 11:51:32

My ex still lives with his mother (out of some misguided sense of duty hmm ) . He is 50 and she won't allow his gf to visit because she thinks it is all wrong that he is getting on with his life (3 years since we split). She treats him like shit even though he does loads for her (shopping, gardening, diy, washing etc). She regularly doesn't speak to him over the most trivial things.

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