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To not be interested in BIL's OW and think my MIL is being unfair on ex-SIL?

(68 Posts)
MtnBikeChick Wed 28-Oct-15 16:05:28

I can't work out if my feelings about a situation are unreasonable or normal.

My husband has never been close to his brother or the rest of this family. His brother has been very unkind to my OH in the past and I saw the repercussions of that (hurt, mainly). The brother had an affair 3 years ago and left his wife (my SIL) when she was pregnant. I am godparent to their two children. He moved in with the OW quite quickly (she had another child from previous marriage). BIL abnd SIL are now divorced (less than a year) and BIL has a daughter with OW. Family relations are fairly tense but main situation is that MIL has becme very close to OW. SIL was very hurt by MIL behaviour after the separation and affair (having OW to stay in her house before they were divorced, etc), and I have a lot of sympathy for how she feels. As a result, ex-SIL and MIL no longer speak or communicate (there has been lots of 'blocking' on facebook, etc (life without facebook would be simpler!)

I have actively avoided meeting OW and her kids. We don't see BIL often anyway, and I have no interest in meeting this woman. I ensure my kids see their cousins via my ex-SIL and that is that. I don't want to become pally with the OW. For me it is too soon. I know that soon enough they will probably decide to get married (sigh...) and I am not sure what I will do about that. Maybe they will do something small anyway. Ex-SIL is still very hurt, angry and raw about it all and I really do feel for her. My OH couldn't give two hoots and travels constantly with work so any arrangements with his family are made by me.

Am I unreasonable?

Leelu6 Wed 28-Oct-15 16:11:39

YA probably NBU but need more info.

Did the OW know BIL was married?

Does the MIL see BIL's and ex-SIL's kids?

BackInTheRealWorld Wed 28-Oct-15 16:14:42

Mil is bils mother I assume and not sils?
I think you and sil are very naive if you think a mother is going to put dil before own son. He had moved on and his mum has moved on with him. Time for the rest of you to move on too.

LetGoOrBeDragged Wed 28-Oct-15 16:15:45

Yanbu. Your sil is your friend. Your bil means nothing to you, so why would you want to befriend either him or his OW at the expense of your sil's feelings.

Sometimes in life, you have to choose a side - I would certainly pick sil's side.

As for mil, I would tell her straight that I wouldn't be attending any wedding because I have no interest in any contact with them.

ElsaAintAsColdAsMe Wed 28-Oct-15 16:16:35

I can see where you are coming from, but your BIL has a child with his partner now, it seems unfair to me that you are taking nothing to do with the child who is also cousin to your dc.

As for the rest of it, it's a whole big mess, in your shoes I would try and be as neutral as possible and try to get on with all sides, for the sake of the kids if nothing else.

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 28-Oct-15 16:16:39

I am the Ex-DIL, the only way I can reconcile my Ex-MIL's behaviour is that at the end of the day my Ex is her son and she will always choose him over anyone else (even her DGD).
As much as it hurts I think this is the way your Ex-SIL needs to view it as honestly it protects you from further hurt down the line.
In the Ex-MIL's eyes she probably sees it as her son and the most likely route to continue to see her grandchildren.

OurBlanche Wed 28-Oct-15 16:17:45

No, you are not!

You would be if you were rooting for your DH to ignore his DBs new partner, just as anyone who chooses to be nasty to ex is making a rod for their own back.

I would, and have, reminded a darling grandmother that, regardless of how lovely and shiny and perfect her little boy is, he made 2 kids with his ex, and being a grade A bitch to her now he has exchanged her for a younger model, when she fell pregnant, makes life for her grandchildren miserable.

Mind you, I don't advise saying anything like that, unless you are prepared for the answer I got. And I hesitate as DH and I are still not sure she said it: "Well, I have the baby now. So if her brats feel left out that is her problem".

Thankfully she is DHs aunt, not his mum, so we could walk away from that one.

But you are NBU at all. Your kids deserve a relationship with their cousins and your godchildren deserve a relationship with you. All of which transcends the silly buggery of parents.

BestZebbie Wed 28-Oct-15 16:19:34

Yes, your MIL is being very harsh on your ex-SIL - presumably she only valued her as the person her son chose as his partner, and so now that role has been reassigned, so have her affections. As well as being unpleasant/disrespectful, I'm not surprised that rankles with you personally, given that you are the person her other son has chosen...
To try and play devil's advocate, do you think your MIL might be scared of losing contact if she upsets your BIL or have a 'I will support my son whatever he does' mentality and so is trying to pointedly side with him and his new choices in the spilt rather than his wife?

Learningtoletgo Wed 28-Oct-15 16:24:11

I completely understand your feelings but agree with the posters who've said that BIL will always be her son so she will always put him first.

You can chose to prolong the pain and hurt by taking some kind of stand, which will probably be pointless in the long run anyway as even ex-SIL will probably move on at some point or you can remain neutral and help the children caught in this situation to have as much peace and stability as possible.

pictish Wed 28-Oct-15 16:28:12

I think yab slightly u. I understand why you feel as you do, but ultimately you'll have to respect your bil's choice of partner. It's a fucker but there it is.

ravenAK Wed 28-Oct-15 16:30:55

I'm the DIL in this situation, & have had the joy of talking 10yo ds down after MIL took it into her head to give him an almighty bollocking for not wanting to go out for dinner with STBXH & OW...this 6 months after I discovered STBXH's affair & hoofed him out.

Very happy to tell her dgs that he was 'a naughty boy to upset your dad'

I have a SIL, OP, who like you, has been a mate. I treasure her.

So I don't actually know if YABU or not, but I'd like to buy you a wine wink.

Onedirectionarestillloved Wed 28-Oct-15 16:43:27

Bloody hell op how awful.

Continue to be friends with sil and keep involvement with mil and bil to a minimum.
As your dh isn't close to bud brother thus shouldn't be a problem.

If I were you I wouldn't instigate any meetings with bil and ow.

Donnadoon Wed 28-Oct-15 16:45:37

What Learningtoletgo said.

caroldecker Wed 28-Oct-15 16:45:55

What about your children's new cousin?

Chippednailvarnish Wed 28-Oct-15 16:46:31

Good for you OP!

pictish Wed 28-Oct-15 16:48:27

I don't think 'unfair' is quite the right word for what mil is being.

"SIL was very hurt by MIL behaviour after the separation and affair (having OW to stay in her house before they were divorced, etc), and I have a lot of sympathy for how she feels. As a result, ex-SIL and MIL no longer speak or communicate (there has been lots of 'blocking' on facebook, etc"

You see...I think sil was naive to imagine her ex mil would turn her son's new dp away from the door out of loyalty to her. I know it seems hard of me to say that, but reality bites. Mil values her relationship with her son much more. She's not being unfair. Callous maybe, but not unfair.

Purplepixiedust Wed 28-Oct-15 16:53:37

Not sure if I have this right but it seems SIL is pissed off with MIL because she has accepted her sons new partner and this has caused them to fall out. SIL in my opinion has no right to be pissed off with MIL for this really. MIL can and should be ok with both of them if possible. They are both the mothers of her grandchildren after all.

As for you OP, I think you also need to accept your BIL's choice of partner. If you don't like BIL fair enough but to not meet OW so as not to upset SIL seems a bit much. Her child is also your children's cousin as well as SIL's kids. 3 years is quite a while and while it is absolutely fine for SIL to continue to be pissed off with her ex and to see his new partner as the OW for eternity, you don't really have to on her behalf. As you rarely see BIL, to meet OW on the odd occasion isn't that big a deal. How long will she remain the OW to you?

MtnBikeChick Wed 28-Oct-15 16:56:25

Leelu6 yes: yes, OW knew he was married. They worked together. She was also having an affair.

MIL does see the kids but via BIL. She doesn't have contact with ex-SIL. There is a lot of physical distance involved too - MIL is in Wales and everyone else in the South East.

I understand the comments about the new baby cousin. I find it hard to explain to my kids so I haven't really.... (one can't understand as he is 2 and the other one is 6). We sent a card and a gift when he was born but it was never acknowledged.

MIL is essentially making ex-SIL out to be the witch now as she hasn't moved on. Basically saying "everyone else has moved on, it has been nearly a year since the divorce etc etc". I think what she fails to realise is that exSIL is dealing with the repurcussions on a daily basis - upset and emotional kids (she has a 7 year old as well as the baby born after BIL left), difficult exOH (he is quite manipulative), etc etc. I think she's wrong and I am not good at holding my tongue in these situations!!!

Enjolrass Wed 28-Oct-15 17:05:00

What else would you expect mil to do?

Refuse to let her son and his new partner stay at her house out of loyalty to sil?

miaowroar Wed 28-Oct-15 17:05:11

She says "nearly a year" as if it is a lifetime! A year is nothing at all - things must still feel very raw to SIL.

Obviously, MIL was not going to go NC with her own son, or not acknowledge her new GC but she could do this without fawning all over the OW. I am not surprised SIL feels it.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 28-Oct-15 17:08:28

I think you are very nice to think of ex SIL's feelings in all this and she's still mother to MIL's grandchildren so it's unkind of MIL to dump her so fast. What's your relationship with MIL like, btw? Unfortunately like many, she chooses to favour whomever her offspring favours. Fwiw I'd really like to think I'd remain loyal to a DIL or son-in-law in that situation I hope it never comes to that.

Even if your DH is not close to his brother he will probably not go so far as to jettison him altogether and it's not like you can pretend OW-as-was (now his DP officially in residence) doesn't exist. The new niece is an innocent in all this. However, you don't have to be best friends with this woman, just tolerably civil on occasions you see her. With any luck there won't be many such family events. BIL is I hope still making provision financially for his DCs so apart from feeling like you are standing up for his ex, I don't think it's helping ex SIL in the long run to perpetuate hostilities.

Meanwhile, stay friends with ex SIL, resist the temptation to report back any goings on with the rest of the family, focus on encouraging her to make positive strides forward.

MtnBikeChick Wed 28-Oct-15 17:09:26

Actually, the visit I am taking about happened just a few months after they separated and when SIL's new baby was a month or too old. Frankly, if it were one of my boys I would really hope I would have the strength to say "you know what, this is really soon, are you sure this is a good idea?"

Who knows what I would do in practice, but I truly hope I am raising my sons to have a sharper moral compass than BIL such that they would never suggest it in the first place!

cantucci01 Wed 28-Oct-15 17:12:50

i can see your point, I'd want to shun BIL and OW too - there's divorce, and then there's leaving your pregnant wife - he must be a special sort of horrible a*hat and I wouldn't want my dc getting too close to BIL or OW. OTOH, you'll never be able to punish him, if he cared he wouldn't have done all the things he has, and minimal cordial relations have to be resumed at some point so I'd explain it to ex-SIL. Your MIL sounds unpleasant if she thinks your ex-SIL should have moved on 'already' by a year after the divorce when she has very small DC, you might want to see your GC and be on ok terms with both ex and new DIL but you don't have to curry favour by slating the ex. You can't fix it though...

MtnBikeChick Wed 28-Oct-15 17:14:31

My relationship with MIL is OK. It has been better but we've never fallen out. She knews what I think of the BIL situation, and she sees me as having sided with ex-SIL (even though I have remained quite neutral in discussions with MIL thus far!). She wants OH and BIL to be best pals but unfortunately that won't happen. They did not speak for 8 years. Then OH helped BIL out financially and they reconciled. Then BIL did something very hurtful to OH and that has meant they live fairly separate lives, meeting 3 times a year or so. To me it is all quite weird - MIL rings OW for chats several times a week, etc etc...!

expatinscotland Wed 28-Oct-15 17:15:34

'Refuse to let her son and his new partner stay at her house out of loyalty to sil?'

Who walked out on her grandchildren? I would be fucking raging if my son did that. What a hound.

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