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Mil blatant favouritism

(24 Posts)
Littlegreyhat Wed 05-Aug-15 19:06:30

Dons hardhat- I've namechanged for this.
Long history short my oh's mum favours his sister over him and her children over mine as I see it.
Oh and his sister fell out a year ago its pretty much agreed within the family that she was in the wrong and he couldn't put up with her behaviour so cut her out. His mother blames him for this rather than looking at the various reasons leading to him cutting her off she just sees that he is wrong.

She spends all her time with her dd and her children we rarely see her especially now we don't see his sis. Mil doesn't seem interested in our children. She makes a point of saying that she treats them the same financially ie same amounts birthday presebts but she doesn't in time.
Last christmas she wouldn't let us visit or visit us as it would upset sil too much so she didn't see our DCs but spent Xmas eve, day and Boxing Day with sil DCs.

I've tried to include her in things but at this point now feel like she's just not interested. My oh is withdrawing further and now doesn't want to go and see her as much as 'she's not interested'. It makes me sad.
Am I expecting too much that she would want to see her son and his dc as much as sil?

Tucktalking Wed 05-Aug-15 19:21:32

Times change. After 15 years of being married, I have seen MILs change. Relations between my 5 SILs change. Some for the good, some for the bad. Things between brothers change. Its all a phase. We are all human and our opinions keep changing. I now conclude that you should give your husband and children the best attention and care. All else is secondary. They will come to you in due course of time.

Littlegreyhat Wed 05-Aug-15 19:33:57

Think its more than a phase in terms of her being much closer to her dd. I get that she probably has more shared interests with her than my oh but expected when we had kids she would want to spend the same time with then as her other gcs.

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Wed 05-Aug-15 19:35:54

Well I think I would just give up. I mean you are trying to involve her. But if she wants to throw being involved in your gorgeous dc's life then that's her loss.
I think it is a case and it is true for many women they are closer to their daughters children than to their sons.
My nan had 3 dc's 2 boys and a girl (my mum) and her relationship with me and my sister was entirely different to her relationship with my cousins. She saw me and my sister everyday whereas she was lucky if my cousins visited her once a year,
But at least you have tried to involve your DC grandmother. There's not much more you can do,

BarbarianMum Wed 05-Aug-15 19:37:09

I think your dh has it right and you should try less and expect less and give her less head space. Never mind what she should be like - she's making it very clear who she is.

Littlegreyhat Wed 05-Aug-15 19:50:30

I think it may come to that I don't want dc to ever notice it when they get older which is likely to happen. I feel so sad for dh sad
She's so involved in her other gcs live babysat them since birth most weekends she's never once offered to look after ours we did ask one time but now I don't think dc would be looked after by her as they don't know her well enough iyswim.

Atenco Wed 05-Aug-15 20:03:27

Actually I had a horrible grandmother living with us who either favoured my cousins or liked to make it sound like that. It is a shame not to have a good grandparent, but better not to have any, than a bad one.

Littlegreyhat Wed 05-Aug-15 20:13:42

Strangely as children her DCs were the ones overlooked by her parents. My dh told me it used to upset her no end that they would go on hols with other gcs and daytrips but never with hers this is history repeating itself but she doesn't see it.

Goldmandra Wed 05-Aug-15 20:14:55

Never mind what she should be like - she's making it very clear who she is.

My DM does this and my DF goes along with it for a quiet life.

My DPs spend fortunes on my DSis's children and see an awful lot more of them. It isn't about DSis needing help financially, as her income is roughly double ours. They have done a lot of childcare for her which she really did need and I'm sure was better for my DNs than even more hours in nursery and holiday clubs.

I've come to the conclusion that I can't change it. My DDs are becoming less bothered as they get older too so that makes it easier.

The one thing that does bother me is when my DPs have my DNs, she asks us to meet them for nice lunches out then pays for her, DF and DNs and I pay for me and my DCs. Bearing in mind that we can't really afford to eat out at the places they choose, I find this hard to swallow. Nowadays I just say we can't afford to meet them unless DPs are paying for all of us.

People will always spend more time with those who enhance their lives more. Grandparents have the right to choose to spend more time with certain DGCs in the same way that parents have the right to choose to see more of one set of grandparents than the other for all sorts of reasons.

You can't make someone want to spend time with (or money on) you or your DCs. You just need to accept that. Trying to change it just risks causing conflict and making everything harder.

Littlegreyhat Wed 05-Aug-15 20:47:04

Think you're dealing with that very well gold it must hurt when its your own parents I see how its hurting dh at least I can vent to family and friends he just bottles it up he doesn't want to slag his mum off but he's disapointed in this situation.

Goldmandra Wed 05-Aug-15 21:25:26

I have been hurt and I have been angry at times, especially when the children were smaller. I'm sure I will be again but I have also realised that I can reduce my DM's power to hurt me by having no expectations at all. When my (rare) requests for help with childcare were met with refusals, I stopped asking altogether and made sure I had other support networks. If I don't ask, I can't get hurt by the refusal.

It probably helps that we made a positive decision to see even less of my PILs that we do my DPs because they never made any effort to be welcoming or even pleasant, made it very clear that BIL was very much their favourite and they lived 150 miles away. We couldn't very well choose not to make the effort to spend time with them, then complain when my DPs did something similar to us.

I hope your DH finds a way to make peace with the situation soon.

chickenfuckingpox Wed 05-Aug-15 21:33:44

could be worse my mom has never met one of my children and hasn't seen the other since he was six months old she saw my daughter till she was nine we haven't spoken for six years my son is aware he has a nan i think but he is six and doesn't ask questions

MadamArcatiAgain Wed 05-Aug-15 22:49:38

Are you for real? You and your DH cut out her daughter and then you wonder why you are not invited to family christmasses?

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Wed 05-Aug-15 23:00:05

"Are you for real you and your DH cut out her daughter and then you wonder why you are not invited to family Christmases"
Hardly the fault of the op's children though, is it

Littlegreyhat Thu 06-Aug-15 07:51:01

Last time I checked her own son and grandchildren were part of her family too!

Littlegreyhat Thu 06-Aug-15 07:51:56

Plus we didn't want to be invited for the while Xmas we just asked if the kids could see her for an hour or so. If that we're me I wouldn't have said no.

vdbfamily Thu 06-Aug-15 08:21:06

Although this is a bit of a generalisation,I think that it is unrealistic for DIL's to expect to have the same relationship with MIL as MIL has with her own daughter/s. One of my SIL's used to think I got preferential traeatment because I was at my parents so often. I never ask my parents if it is okay to visit.It is open house to me and always has been. However my 3 SIL's would tend to wait for an invitation. This DIL used to complain if she was visiting and we turned up as her kids were not getting quality time with their grandparents. In truth, The kids just wanted to play together as cousins and were not really that bothered about QT with GP's. There were occasions when we spotted her car and left again to avoid the confrontation.
My DH has 2 sisters, one is single and spends alot of time at home and the other lives abroad but stays a couple of times a year with her parents. We have to email with a few weeks warning and visits are a lot more formal when we go. My DH has a very different relationship with his mother than his sisters.
I am not sure I am making much sense here but what I am trying to say is that whilst we are still pretty much stuck in the pattern of mothers being the main carers for their kids, women will see more of their parents than their brothers. When the above SIL left my brother and he had to care for 4 small children every other week, suddenly he was at my parents all the time and they suddenly got heaps of QT with their GP's.
On a similar note, my GM lived with us for 20 years when I was a kid and she hated my mum and made her life miserable. She had 3 sons,my DF being one of them but she disliked all their wives. She used to buy things and bake things for her one daughter who had 5 kids and used to pay for this daughter to have help at home. Meanwhile she used to taunt my mum about what a rubbish mum she was. So it can all be very unfair and we just have to make the most of it and not be bitter.

Littlegreyhat Thu 06-Aug-15 08:32:55

Good point I really don't want to be bitter about it (its a quality I hate most in people). Think I need to accept it and expect it almost but I won't keep pushing dh to visit his mum as I don't think I can make this better.

brassbrass Thu 06-Aug-15 11:00:18

Its not the 1950s anymore. No one has to live with matriarchal figures who think they can dictate family dynamics and enforce roles between siblings.

We had a similar scenario. Our role was to prop up and fawn over a very entitled SIL who had made no effort throughout our marriage. When we detached from her after some flagrantly selfish behaviour MIL decided to get involved by taking sides. So we detached from her as well.

Lying down and accepting abusive behaviour is not the answer. The GM who lived with a family for 20 years but made her DIL miserable. Why didn't you pack her off to her DD? I don't think it's necessary to be a martyr.

ApocalypseThen Thu 06-Aug-15 11:33:49

My brothers and I were the less favored grandchildren - children of the son rather than the daughter. I suppose I found it unfair as a child, but my aunt and grandmother were close, spent lots of time together and my dad wasn't that bothered having a one to one relationship.

These days, I'm the daughter with what must look like the favourite grandchild. I'm close to my parents - was before the baby was born, continue to be now. But the real difference for them between my child and my brothers' children is that they can say and do what they like. Whether we accept it, when it's not your daughter's child you do have to watch what you say. How many threads do we see here every week where a mother in law has made a tactless remark that has caused outrage?

I firmly believe that people generally take the road if least resistance. It's easier for your mother in law to continue a close and mutually beneficial relationship with her daughter. I assume losing that would leave a gap that you're neither willing nor able to fill.

brassbrass Thu 06-Aug-15 15:11:07

It's not difficult to have relationships with more than one offspring. Nor do you need to base it on gender.

And there are enough threads on here that show DM's should watch what they say to their own daughters.

I think some women just have issues. And it's unfair to say to the OP that she is neither willing or able to have a relationship with the MIL. They have tried and been rebuffed.

Theycallmemellowjello Thu 06-Aug-15 15:52:18

To be honest, I think that many mothers would be upset and angry if one of their children refused to talk to another, even if that other had done something wrong. So I'd say that even if your DH has good reasons for 'cutting out' his DSis, you should remember that that is likely to be extremely hurtful to his DM. So at the moment she is spending time with the child who has not hurt her - even if that's not how she thinks of it consciously, and even if that's not fair.

It's obviously it's not great if her feeling of hurt is affecting the children though. BUT I think that if her relationship with her son has been damaged, as it sounds like it has, then she is going to end up seeing less of his children as a consequence of spending less time with him.

I think you need to separate the issue of your DH's relationship with his DM and your DCs' relationship with her. Unfortunately, by refusing to talk to his DSis your DH has probably damaged his own relationship with her. But it would be good to salvage a positive relationship between her and your DC. Could you contact her and tell her you're keen to foster a good relationship between her and the DC. Don't put it in terms of blaming her or in terms of a comparison with her other GCs, that's not helpful. Just suggest that she and the children have a day a month together, or whatever it is you like. I do think that it is worth putting aside your feelings that she is behaving unfairly (maybe true but what can you do?) in order to at least try to make sure your kids can have a positive relationship with her.

I'm in sort of a similar situation with my DM & sister. DM looks after my nieces frequently, babysitting for entire weekends so sis & BIL can take trips etc. She helps with housework for sis, who is a SAHM. DM has never once looked after my DD, and has only bothered to take me & DD out a couple of times in the 3 years since DD was born. I work & could really use then help. I was told that I need to pay for childcare for DD (which I do) despite the fact that DM was regularly looking after my niece/s. We all live within a couple of miles of each other. It's very clear who my DM prefers. I see pictures of them doing things together on Facebook & feel sad for my DD. I got over it a long time ago but my DD is too young to realise yet. I hope we can move away before she figures it out.

I think, sometimes, things cannot be salvaged, or aren't worth it. It's too hurtful.

scrappydappydoo Thu 06-Aug-15 16:08:42

My DM favours my dB and his family. It's not about money its about time. We live 10 mins down the road and have seen her twice this year. Whereas she looks after my older siblings kids every half term for the whole week (overnight) and my younger siblings kids overnight once a week and some weekdays. I do ask/invite but 99% of the time she is too busy (retired not working) so my coping mechanism is to expect nothing then I won't be disappointed. I think that is all you can do really. It's her loss.

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