IL's, no contact, aibu & wwyd - it's long, sorry(43 Posts)
Sorry I have a lot going on there in my title, I guess I am looking to know if I am being unreasonable, what you would do and if you are no contact with you in-law's how you handle it. Sorry this might be long
So I used to get on really well with the in-law's, wouldn't call alone but always got on perfectly. MIL is a piece of work, lovely woman on the surface on a really superficial level but scratch the surface or cross her in anyway and my word the woman can hold a grudge, it used to be a running joke with me and DH, I would often say memo to self never cross your Mum! She has fallen out with so many people over ridiculous things and when I say fall out I mean she is an utter evil bitch in what she says/does toward them for possibly years, or until she decides she will move on to another victim, God help you if you stand up to her and her whole family including extended family just say nothing as "it's not worth it" or "you know what she is like", the woman is not happy unless she is fighting with someone.
Anyway late 2010 I fell out with her. It was at a family event after a few drinks, she had words with dh over the behavior of another family member, I was not there at the time but when I returned I sat beside her and she absolutely slated DH to me, I said nothing, I was polite, calm, but she pushed me, she was seething, almost taunting me, over and over again, on the 5th time of her saying these awful & untrue things I called her an f'ing bitch (not my finest hour), I have never ever cursed at her (or any of the family) before and as I say I am not proud but she goaded me (I believe), it wasn't her first time doing it, she did it a year previously to me too (same stuff said re DH) and I just said nothing, so I guess it was like poking a dog with a stick, eventually they snap and I did Although I wasn't there I know what was said between her and dh was much much worse.
Anyway, we have been no contact since. She hates me, I offered to apologise for dh's sake at the time, and many times since but other family members told me not to as she is too unpredictable. And she made is clear that I was not welcome to call to her house to discuss it. My apology would only be for cursing, she did indeed act like a bitch on the night, she said awful things about dh because he is the only one that will be truthful with her and not let her do/say as she pleases, I was horrified a mother could speak about her son as she did so my apology was entirely for dh (although she would not have known this), she has not spoken to me since, she didn't speak to dh for a while either but forgave him, she has used me as a scapegoat, she said she can say what she likes to who she likes that is her right but not my right to answer back, I should keep my mouth shut. She has called me horrible names, as has spineless fil, who like the rest of the family is afraid of her ( I used to have a particularly good relationship with him so this was really hurtful). Dh brought the children to see her twice, at first she was all over dh like nothing happened, then she ignored him, it was a yo yo situation. Each time he visited I was dropped off around the corner as I wasn't welcome. I have put up with this since 2013, last year she ignored one of my dd's birthday's, she sent a gift out for one but not the other, she says she has a gift bought but told nobody and obviously I had to have the "Why do gp's not want to see me, do they know it was my birthday etc etc" off dd, poor dd was really hurt.
Anyway (if anyone is still reading, sorry), she has asked dh to call over with the dc's, dh wants to, I understand it's his family, he has recently decided that it's just not worth fighting about, he is willing to just accept her as she is, when she gets nasty to just not get sucked in and walk away. I am struggling with this, he knows this, I am struggling with letting her have contact with dc's, I think she hasn't asked after them in nearly a year, she was awful to dd on her birthday, she doesn't care about any of us, she is a negative influence my children do not need. I have told dh that I will be civil at events, I will not call to the house, he can call alone with the children if that is what he wants but and here finally is my aibu - I have said that as I am not welcome in their house, as they continue to treat me appallingly (I am referred to as "that girl" not by name etc) that she/they are not welcome in my home, he can see them, they can see the kids (this really annoys but I'll suck it up), but no way she is coming into my house to make me feel uncomfortable in my home, this would only be for events, dc's birthday really, but I said to dh that tough they will have to miss out, they/she are the ones that have dragged this out for so long, they have to accept that they can't have it all their way. Dh thinks I am being unfair, he thinks I am unfair "putting him in that situation", I think he is getting frustrated that I don't agree with his & the whole families attitude of "that's just how she is, better to say nothing than rock the boat", I think he is being unfair, this is going on since 2010, he has suddenly decided to put it behind him but he is not the scapegoat, not the one being called names, not the one being dropped off around the corner, not "that girl" who is at fault for everything, I think me saying of course have contact without me, let them see the kids, I will be civil is plenty for now and "come in to my home, to the party I am hosting, to make me feel uncomfortable" is just one step too far for me - aibu? Aibu unreasonable to say I won't go to things they host and they don't come to things we host? If they are going to treat me as they do is that really so unfair?
Are you no-contact with in-law's your partner and children see? How do you handle it?
I think it is completely reasonable to say that he and the kids can go there but the person who has behaved badly to you can't come into your home. I think your DH is letting you down on this and also that he should have stood up for you before. No doubt the kids have heard you being criticised when they have been round there without you. That's not on
We're NC with my FIL, by the way, after a list of bonkers, self centred stuff I won't bother to list but the last straw was my DH being ranted at and the subject of vicious and unfair criticism spouted about him by FIL to other people, all because of things done by other family members, but which my FIL decided were my DH's fault. It's a shame but it's totally his loss.
Sorry, just to be clear, none of us have contact with my FIL. He tried texting me after all this happened but I would not reply or deal with someone who had treated my DH in that way.
I completely agree with you OP. Your DH should be backing you up. Why do twats always get the people around them pandering because "thats just the way they are?" Big fucking deal. Maybe if enough people stood up for themselves, they wouldn't have an audience left to act like twats with.
You should not let this vile woman into your home and your DH shouldn't really be exposing his children to her. How long before she turns on one of them? How long before she starts badmouthing you to them? Have they picked up on the fact that you are referred to as "that girl?" which is unbelievably rude in itself.
Your DH is wrong and he should be on your side in this.
Are your dc being trained to never challenge their DGM even if she bad-mouths you to them?
Are they seeing their dad stand by while you are being bad-mouthed? What will they think of him and you? Actually, there is one obvious reaction: that DGM must be right about you because otherwise daddy would have told her she isn't. How will your relationship with your DC become, especially in the teenage years.
I can't believe your DH would put her feelings over yours. Why would he even want to be in the same room as her when she treats you like shit.
You really have a DH problem.
To be fair to dh up to this point he has stood up for me, after he called twice he put his foot down and said it wasn't fair and that he wasn't dropping me off around the corner because I wasn't welcome. However, you are right to a point, I am feeling let down now, I'm not sure if I am being unfair, he has had mainly no contact, he has stood up for me, but I feel now he wants to forget it and put it behind him that I am supposed to do the same, but I am struggling as I feel I am the one that has been blamed for everything. He doesn't get that I can't just accept that is how she is, everyone else can, why can't I? But I think that's a cop out, why the hell should she be allowed to treat people as she likes. My head is melted over this, I can't cope with the ah let her off attitude, it's gormless, I don't see how she should be allowed come to celebrate my family occasions when she doesn't consider me family.
Are you NC long TendonQueen, do you have dc? Do they notice/care you are nc?
Sorry x posts TendonQueen, that's exactly how I feel, I only called the woman a bitch in defense of dh, because like you I was appalled that a parent could speak about their child like that, look where that has got me
Crapbag that is it exactly! If people hadn't pandered to her over the years maybe now she would be different, but her behavior is just brushed off "it's not worth it", I told dh I had my pride and yes it is actually worth it!
GloupySoupy, at the moment my dc's haven't really been exposed to this (hard to believe), one is too small, the other is old enough but as she has only been up twice since 2013 and because we just said gp's and dh & I had a falling out she jut sort of accepted it. I do know if she badmouthed me to the kids dh would take them out and that would be it (maybe not forever as his latest turn proves though)
I am torn in so many ways about this, no contact is not something to be taken lightly I know, it's a big ask, I never realised it was so common until I joined mumsnet to be honest, so I don't expect him to do it lightly, even at all but it's very hard. He went to a gathering recently without me and to see the family photo a fb felt like a giant punch in the stomach if I am being honest. I know the family photo of our wedding was long since taken down from their wall, it's like I never existed, which I find hard when actually we did get on well (as I say even though it was superficial as I knew what she was like)
One DC and we still talk about FIL if anything related to him comes up but we have just dropped any talk of going to see him or him coming round. While they got on OK when they did see each other, it had never been so often as to forge j really deep relationship. FIL had got in touch 'not understanding what he'd done wrong' (he knew perfectly well) but then my DH had a frank conversation with him about how he would want things to be in future if they resumed contact. FIL, like all such people, wants everything his way and didn't like anyone else having conditions/requirements, said he would disappear from our lives. That was about 18 months ago. Up till then, FIL had had a history of being difficult and after a rocky period, DH had been really patient with him and tried hard to build a bond. The result was that he got blamed for things done by other people who hadn't made nearly as much effort. It was the last straw. People like this see kindness and an effort to do the right thing as a sign that they can take out their frustrations on you because you will suck it up, they think. Which goes on till the target snaps. Then it's their fault for reacting! Sound familiar?
You have described my exh auntie to the letter. She had fallen out with everyone in her family at some point or another then just suddenly starts acting as if nothing ever happened at some arbitrary point sometime years in the future. She had hated me since 2010 because she wasn't andas far as I know still isn't talking to her son and her mother his grandmother died and she decided unilaterally that he couldn't know because she didn't want him to. I discussed it with exh as were were still in contact with him and his wife and I said I was happy to take the fall out for telling them before the funeral because I didn't like her anyway so falling out with me would be bliss.
Everyone does the oh that's how she is or ooh you'd never believe what such and such has done to her <insert made up slight> but nobidy seems to accept that she is the one common denominator I'm all the fall outs.
I like you put my foot down. I would go to events she was at but she was not coming to any in my home. Ex mil went on and on when she had asked if she could have a little get together for her 60th at my house about feeling she could ask her. In the end I said ask all you want if she turns up here I will close the door on her she won't get in.
YANBU at all. It is your home. The one place you should be comfortable and not allow people in that behave that way towards you. You are being the bigger person and have said you will attend events she is at for family harmony but you have every right to put your foot down on this one.
Carbon copied!!! In every way , from my dc's relationship with eldest (youngest is too young and was newborn when this all kicked off), to the conditions/requirements, everything. Can I ask if you dh is ok with no contact?
Nobody has to put up with viciousness from anybody. Your DH is a drip. Sorry to sound harsh but he needs to get his priorities right - who is more important; you or his mum?
My GM and DM fell out years ago when I was 7. GM had said some truly horrid things about my mum to my brother (he was 10 at the time). My brother told my mum who then phoned my GM and told her that she was never welcome at our house ever again. My DF had no backbone and refused to stand up against GM so DM and DF separated for a while.
It took years for my GM and DM to be on speaking terms. During all that time we visited DGM but she was never allowed to visit us. It suited everyone that way. She still got to see her son and grandkids so didn't have an issue about not being allowed around at ours. Then 5 years ago she moved into a bungalow near us and DM ended up caring for her!!!
So I think it is absolutely right that your DH and kids still visit her if they want to but in her home not yours. Your home is your right and you are entitled to feel safe, comfortable and without fear. But if your kids begin to feel unhappy about going then their wishes should be adhered to.
She will end up one very lonely woman.
Youmakemydreams that is exactly what I said, same wording, about her being the common denominator in all of the family arguments. The family see it but like that "It's just they way she is", I feel like banging my head off a brick wall saying that isn't an excuse.
I'm glad you think I am not being unreasonable regarding her coming to me house, do you think does that extend to events we host out of our house, say restaurant/pub etc, I know dh thinks I am being unreasonable there. I'm hurt he thinks that, he stood up for me all along and now she wants to see dc's after not giving a shit for so long it's like he has gotten weary of the fight and just thinks he should move on, he knows I will only be civil, he doesn't expect me to apologise or make any effort more than being civil but when I said no to family occasions he thought that was too much and I really don't
I think your solution is a fair one. Neither you or your MIL appear interested in reconciliation so this way your DH and kids will still get to see her. Why on earth you would be expected to welcome her to your house is beyond me. For kids birthdays etc your DH could still meet up for a treat elsewhere.
No your right Ridingthestorm, my mil is what she is, I will never change her and I don't care enough to try, I'm not will to let her treat me like crap so your right my issue is with dh. Your situation sounds "ideal" for want of a better word, I would be happy enough with that, but I want to make it clear from the start what happens with occasions, I tried to say it to dh today, as I said he disagreed, towards the end he seemed to be relenting but I know by him it was for a quiet life but it is so important we reach an agreement now and he knows that when an occasion roles around that I will be putting my foot down and expecting no resistance from him or anyone else. I can't believe your mother ended up caring for your gm, talk about a turn around! I don't think I could be trusted with mil's medication ;)
Maybe I should have said that inabeautifulplace, that they could have a treat elsewhere, I didn't think of it
because the thoughts of that would annoy me
I get the pandering thing because one of my aunts is quite difficult. She is one of those people who has her opinions and will not listen to anyone else. She tells everyone what to do and has behaved quite badly in some ways.
She gets away with it because no one will call her out on it and it gets brushed away as "she won't listen so what is the point". Drives me mad!
Personally I think it extends to outside the house too. If you are hosting she doesn't come. If this was a friend treating you like this your dh wouldn't tolerate it.
The reason your mil and ex's auntie get away with it is because people do give in after a while and go back to acting like it never happened. I've heard all the oh younknownwhats she's like and pussybfooting around because of it. Well I won't and I'm glad you won't too.
Your dh is annoyed because it's easier to be annoyed at you and forgiven than to actually put on his big boy pants and tell his mother she isn't welcome. Sorry the description of being a drip is true. You need to stand firm on this.
If it were me as I already am person non grata I'd offer to be the bearer of the news that she wasn't welcome and let dh off the hook. She s already talking about you so what's another thing for her to bitch about?
I could say it youmakemydreams but I don't really want to, for two reasons (1) She'll play the victim and I will be seen as the bad guy and (2) I sort of feel dh should, I think if he is going to start calling over with the dc's he should say "I'll call over every few weeks with the kids, myself and nocontacthelp have chatted about it and she is fine with that, we both feel there is too much water under the bridge to salvage any relationship between you other than being civil, which we would both like if you could be, and nocontacthelp is happy enough to not call and let it me me and dc's, there are two "conditions" the first is that if she is ever bad mouthed in front of the children (by rights this is be bad mouthed to anyone) then that will be the argreement over for good and she is fine with not being welcome in your home once you realise that extends to our home and our occasions" .
I really think I am being fair there, I'm so glad you do too, I know dh won't though, I know he won't. He'll say he won't say it but he'll agree to it with me, I'll think all is fine until dc2's birthday and it will be "what will I do about mil" and then it will be an issue all over again
I can totally understand why you don't want to say it. In my case I didn't give two hoots if I was seen as the bad bitch.
Like I said it is easier to have these arguments with you about what to do than say that to his mother. It's not fair and it's not right but also a little understandable.
His whole life has been pussy footing around her and doing what it takes to keep the peace. He is scared plain and simple. He is safe in the knowledge you are nicer and more understanding than she is. He also hopes that you will cave and let him invite her over. He won't say it for the time being at least he will make up excuses to her as to why she can't come over and she may even believe them for a while because her head is so far up her own arse that it just won't occur to her that her son would allow something like that to happen. Her family are well conditioned to do it her way.
You need to break it down into these components: (1) your relationship with her outside of your marriage and children (ie, treating her just like any other person in the world) (2) your relationship with her as the mother of your husband, who you love as an equal (3) the grandmother of your children for whom you would put up with a lot.
YANBU to refuse to have her in your home: your home is YOUR home (which you also share with your DH, but then he can have her there when you're not around. It's not about the bricks and mortar, it's about being attacked or made to feel anything other than 100% comfortable in the place where you have 100% responsibility and, therefore, rights).
Personally, I would invite her to events you host outside of the home, for the sake of (2). If it would make him happy, I would be fine to be civil to my MIL for my DH's sake on these, presumably pretty rare, occasions.
For (3), I think you are doing the right thing allowing your DH to take your DCs to her, and allowing her to continue to have a relationship with them. It's in their best interests (that is, I would tend to agree with you if you think so).
I am NC with my PILs, and DH sees them occasionally.
DS has not seen them since he was about 20 months old.
I didn't go NC overnight. They have always been difficult and as with your PILs, the entire family used to make the same excuses. You know what they are like. They speak before they think. They can't help it. They are too old to change.
Fuck off with that one, MIL was only 47 when I met her for the first time and she was already well established in her ways. FIL was 49 and facilitating MIL's bad behaviour. They are both in their early to mid sixties now.
SIL tells me she can just about remember a time when MIL was happy and nice to people but by the time I met them they had long since started to be unpleasant, manipulative and controlling.
DH, as the youngest of four, can't remember them being any other way and says he grew up being told that if he upset his mother he would be responsible for her mental breakdown. He's normalised this and it's taken a long time for him to realise and admit there's something not right about it.
So, as I say, they had been difficult since long before I met them. DH and I met and married very quickly and the first six years of our marriage were made difficult by PILs and their demands, their behaviour, their up and down treatment of us.
In January 2007 we had a stillborn baby, and later on the same year we lost another baby to prematurity, and this was my relationship with PILs really started to disintegrate.
They were cruel. They said awful things about me and the babies we had lost, blamed me, discussed my health with strangers, said vile things about the babies, things that gave me nightmares. I have posted on here before about the things they said and did during that time.
However it was after DS was born two years later that our relationship really fell part, they went too far one time too many.
DH spoke to them. MIL cried and within a week the entire family were blaming me for upsetting her. They actually walked out of our house and said they were never coming back until I learned how to make them more welcome in it.
I still kept trying to maintain a relationship with them but it didn't work. They wouldn't stop doing and saying the hurtful things, in fact they got worse. They were telling lies about me but they were also following me, effectively stalking me, they were trying to split DH and I up while at the same time telling everybody that they were trying to heal the rift but I was being cruel to them.
I did still go with DH to visit them, and DH also used to take DS to see them without me, but that stopped the day they called our house and lied to me about their reason for calling, to trick me into telling them when I would be at work. They then told DH they would be visiting while I was out because they preferred it that way.
We had a last ditch effort to see them again at Christmas that year and it seemed to go well, except that FIL didn't speak one word to me the entire visit. But then they rang DH to disown him because and call us both names, for no reason other than that we had visited his sister the day before and they thought we should have visited them instead.
They had some of our things at their house and they tried to hold them over us and say we would only get them back if I did as I was told, that I had to do as they said, that they were in charge now and they were going to make me do what they wanted. They called me names, put the phone down on me more than once, and basically just shouted at me until they drove me to a panic attack.
Then they rang DH and lied about the entire conversation before I was able to speak to him.
That was the last time I spoke to them. I refused to see or speak to them again, and I said DS wasn't going near them either. They are toxic. DH still goes sometimes but I feel I need to protect myself, my DS and even the two babies we lost from PILs bile.
And all of a sudden, the same family members who started to defend them by saying they were too old to change are saying they deserve a second chance.
If they can't change, why give them a second chance (more like millionth chance) to do the same thing?
And if they can change, why have they behaved so cruelly for so long? Why have people allowed it and made excuses for it?
Because they are cruel. I've said before I don't know if they are casually cruel or deliberately cruel, I think actually they are both, but I've given them many years of chances and I've come to realise that this is it. I've seen MILs face before she says things and she's got this sharp look on it, she knows what she's doing even if she doesn't know why she's doing it.
You can possibly fix a relationship that is broken but I feel like they broke our relationship and then ground the bits to dust.
I can't change how they are or what they do, and I don't believe they will ever change it themselves.
All I can do is change my reaction to it and to that end, I've cut contact with them.
People might find that harsh but they looked at the photo of our beautiful daughter, who was tiny but completely perfect in every way, and MIL asked me if she had been born with all of her face or with missing bits. She also asked me, three days after our son was stillborn, if it still hurts to give birth if the baby is dead.
And still, after those two comments, made over two years apart and with a whole load of equally cruel comments about both children and me being made in-between, I tried to find a way to keep seeing them for DH's sake most of all. Until the final straw, but event that took from January 2007 with the first awful comment about our stillborn son to March 2010 when they made me so ill I had a panic attack and felt like I was having a stroke it was so bad and so frightening.
It's not worth it. I'm not having my children insulted or used against me. I'm not having my DS grow up hearing things like that about his brother and sister. I'm not putting myself through panic attacks and pain and stress and fear and anger at every visit and family occasion just because it's easier for the wider family to give in to them than support me. I'm not going to let them drive me to illness just because they are cruel and spiteful.
I deserve better. DS deserves better. My babies deserve better. DH deserves better but he is a grown man and makes his own decisions about seeing them or not.
But they do not have the right to best bits of a relationship with any of us if they cannot behave like decent people. And they have proved time and again that they can't. I'm not having DS grow up like DH, tiptoeing around an adult who ought to know better just because she likes to have her own way. Or made to feel physically ill at the thought of seeing them, like I was.
You deserve better as well OP, and so do your children. But your DH needs to support you. My DH found that hard at first but he's come to accept that I'm not going to see them again.
Alice that's horrendous- I can't understand why your DH would even want contact with people who have been so vile to you and your children.
Nocontact actually I don't think you're going far enough- MIL has hurt one of your children dreadfully by refusing contact on her birthday, and buying for one child and not the other. As horrible as she's been to you, I think she needs to be NC with the children too for the simple reason that she is using them in her spiteful games. There is no way your DH should insist that the children are exposed to that level of hurt.
Youmakemydreams in fairness it's actually the complete opposite, the reason she said awful things about dh that night (& others) was because he hasn't spend his whole life has been pussy footing around her and doing what it takes to keep the peace, he is the only one to ever stand up to her in the whole family, he always has done, he is definitely not scared definitely. I think he is weary actually, he always stood up to her, nobody else bothered, I think he feels "where did it get me", all the agro, nothing has changed, everyone else has the quiet life, maybe they have a point (I don't think they do, I mean I think that's what he thinks)
BrockAuLit I hadn't broken it down like that before, actually it makes sense. Part of me knows that you are probably right about letting her come to things outside the home, maybe I am stubborn, too hurt, I don't know, I will try, but the thoughts of them encroaching on a happy occasion for me just seems too much for, which I appreciate is probably selfish
AliceLidl thank you for being so honest with me. I'm so very sorry for the loss of your daughter and son, I can't begin to know how awful that was and then to have it made even worse with their absolutely disgusting behaviour! Your a better woman than me, you gave them so many chances. Some of the things you said have really hit some, even the way some of it is phrased, I'll be copying it for my discussion with dh But they do not have the right to best bits of a relationship with any of us if they cannot behave like decent people. I will definitely be saying that!
Those of you that are nc, how do you find little things, those who's dc's still see their il's, did you find it hard watching them go off to see them without you? Even imagining it doesn't sit right with me, I know that might sound childish and I will put it to one side, I said I would and I will, I won't say it to dh or make an issue, but I find the image of them playing happy families with my children so hard, sickening even, playing happy families when they are so dis-functional and too deluded to realise it
You see Inertia you say that and then I change my mind and think you are right just tell dh he can have a relationship but me and the kids are out! I cried this morning about that very thing, they think it's ok to say we have a present here for her, it's like the point is lost on them, her birthday was 6 months ago, her sister got a gift 2 months prior (sent out with sil) and they think it's ok to say we have one, I told dh that he should have told them our crystal ball was in to serviced so he couldn't have known!
My head is spinning, one minute I'm saying let him off on his own, then I think the kids can go, then they can't, then I'm cross he wants contact, then I understand, this is all in my head and I need to resolve it for my sanity, I am giving them more headspace than they deserve and I need to resolve so I'm not the one that ends up bitter and angry
The thing is nocontact to a certain extent he will pussy foot around her. He maybe stands up to a certain extent more than other people but he is also in the routine of doing it then backing down and brushing it under the carpet. He is still letting her away with it albeit to a lesser extent than the rest of the family. He is showing this by saying that you are being unfair putting him in this position. If he was 100% standing up to her this wouldn't even be an issue. She just wouldn't be invited end of story.
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