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To wish sil hadn't bought me this birthday present

(14 Posts)
thinkingmakesitso Mon 01-Jun-15 21:46:45

I am separated from h following his infidelity (long-term affair with a mutual friend, mainly taking place in our house while I was at work). We have been apart for about a year but still see each other lots as he does before and after school care for the dc. Initially the split was supposed to be temporary but I have told him since that it is over and think he accepts this.

Before splitting, I saw his family maybe 3 or 4 times a year. Obviously I would chat to sil at these occasions but we were certainly not close and a few minor but irritating things happened over the years that made me feel, when we split, that not having to go to these family occasions was a bit of a silver lining. I have nothing at all against her, but we are not friends in any sense of the word.

Presents between us have always been joint from ex and me, and she would reciprocate with joint presents for us that were obviously more for h - eg cookery stuff when I never cook. That was absolutely fine. However, last Christmas, and now for my birthday she has sent me a £20 voucher. I feel awkward about this and really don't want to start it. Of course it is a nice gesture but it just feels odd. Her birthday is just before Christmas and I sent her nothing - didn't even occur to me, and her Christmas gift came on the 23rd so no time to send anything back. I don't even have a number or address for her to thank her (not on fb etc), though I could get these from h, but really don't know what to put.

One reason I want no contact is that h told me while we were in throes of my discovery of his affair that he had told his family all sorts of personal stuff about us to justify his behaviour and that, together with the fact that I never clicked with any of them, makes me want to have no contact now. His mother keeps getting the dc to ask me when I will visit her with them and I want none of it, but don't know how to deal with this without sounding churlish.


ninaaa Mon 01-Jun-15 21:54:31

I can understand your not wanting to get in contact, but it sounds like, although you may not be close, your ex's family seems to genuinely want to keep in touch with you.

They didn't do anything wrong, it isn't their fault about ex's infidelity and exposing personal info.

Your dc are still their family, and they probably realise that the best way to remain close with dc is to remain on good terms with you. Maybe the gift is simply a nice gesture, a peace offering.

So yes, whilst it is understandable, I think you are maybe being a little U.

ItsTricky Mon 01-Jun-15 21:56:36

YANBU to want to cut ties with your ex in laws, but you have children so you need to be prepared to have to put on a brave face and see them occasionally.

As for the presents from SIL, could be an olive branch maybe? She could feel bad about what her brother has done. Maybe just send a quick note thanking her (could ex mil pass it on) and hopefully the lack of presents from you to her will be enough to stop her sending more.

Sometimes just keeping up with birthday and christmas cards is easier than going NC.. less awkward atmosphere when you may have to meet due to the children in the future x

Fatmomma99 Mon 01-Jun-15 21:57:05

Agree. Plus, it also seems to me that they're sending a message that they don't approve of their son's behaviour.

Fatmomma99 Mon 01-Jun-15 21:57:40

sorry, tricky, x posted

Squirrel78 Mon 01-Jun-15 22:01:39

You've obviously been through a lot of hurt and understandably want a clean break. The split wasn't your fault and you probably feel uncomfortable around his family who have been told God knows what. Instead of freeing you from obligations - you seem to be having more imposed on you. Whatever sil's reasons for giving the gift (it may be wholly out of goodwill) - it forces you into a position of grateful recipient. Gifts sometimes put us under pressure and feel more like s burden.

Please don't feel obliged to retain a relationship with her. A polite thank you will suffice and maybe next year when she hasn't seen you for months, she may not bother. Your ex can take the children to see his family, I don't see any reason why you should be compelled to do this.

I hope this is the beginning of a new and happier chapter of your life op. All the best.

Rainbunny Mon 01-Jun-15 22:05:28

Did your ex tell you what sort of personal things he divulged to his family? Stuff to make you look bad and somehow justify his cheating? I don't blame you for not wanting to have any contact with them, but it sounds like they are trying to keep a connection with you, which makes me think they may well see through some of his BS about you (if that's the kind of stuff he told them.)

Given that you SIL sent you some vouchers, if you haven't used them yet you could keep them aside to spend on a gift for her next birthday/christmas etc... If you continue with the no contact with your inlaws I think she will likely cease to send you gifts so it would resolve itself. I do think a nice thank you card would be in order though, even though you would rather she hadn't sent you the gifts it's better to keep to the high road.

WowProjectingMuch Mon 01-Jun-15 22:12:10

I'd get your sil address and write to her. Tell her you appreciate the gifts but that's there is no need to give them - perhaps you can say you are trying to cut down on them. Then just write some polite chitchat and sign off. Don't suggest a meet up.

Whatever happened to your marriage you are still the mother of their nephews and nieces (or grandchildren). It's understandable that they want to keep in touch.

I don't think you need to visit but the odd card won't hurt.

They probably think your Ex is a wanker too.

MomOfTwoGirls2 Mon 01-Jun-15 22:28:48

I have 3 brothers, all married. I'm not particularly close to any of them, though I am fond of them all.
But if they caused breakup of their marriage, I believe I would be sympathetic to my SIL and very cross with DB. And I like to think I would try and lend my support to my SIL.

Maybe that is what your SIL is trying to do?

MomOfTwoGirls2 Mon 01-Jun-15 22:32:37

And about the stuff he shared with them, perhaps they saw through it and think less of him for it, and are on your side.

CattyCatCat Mon 01-Jun-15 22:49:41

Yanbu. You can't be bought for £40 a year, don't give it another thought. I imagine it will stop soon if you don't reciprocate. Dh's family are no doubt able to keep contact with your dc via dh. You need not feel beholden to any of them.

newname64 Mon 01-Jun-15 23:07:30

Yabu. What is wrong with his family still wanting contact? Think this is a good thing for your DC. My XH cheated and his family made it clear that they still wanted to see me and DD as we always got on well.

A few friends thought this odd but as far as Im concerned I divorced him, not his family, and they will always be DD grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins etc and to deprive DD of their love would be wrong. XH not too close to his family so there was no guarantee that he would take DD to see them.

justmyview Mon 01-Jun-15 23:11:59

Another vote for his family seeing through whatever lies may have been told about you

I'd take it at face value, that they're trying to be supportive / welcoming

MiddleAgedandConfused Mon 01-Jun-15 23:53:14

I agree with the rest that this is probably just a friendly gesture.
If you would like to keep in contact with his family, it sounds like they would welcome it.
If you don't - that 's fine too. Let XH manage that.

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