to be hurt and upset and wonder what to do(7 Posts)
Back history – we have been very low contact with MIL following a fairly epic fallout 4 days after birth of dc2 nearly 2 years ago involving major denunciation of our parenting, characters and behaviour…this carried on for approx another year in heated phone calls culminating in near radio silence until a few weeks ago. MIL had moved to nearest city for a new job which she has now decided to leave (or sort of…she may actually just be reducing hours). There is a thread on here somewhere about the fallout, but I’m not sure how to find it…
So she met with DW and chatted for half an hour or so (apparently), before another half hour of defending her comments/opinion and basically turned on the waterworks and said she was sorry about everything and would say anything to resolve the situation… so DW came back and we had a long discussion about where to go with this…DW is obviously keen to make things better (entirely understandeably), and I, for her sake, agree. However, given the degree of hurtful vitriol sent my (and DW’s) way and the length of time that this has dragged on for, I made it clear I was wary of rushing back into this relationship and stated that while I was comfortable with meeting up to try and move on, I wasn’t happy with the idea of contact with the DC without one or other of us there for the moment, until some level of trust/respect has been regained.
We went and met them for a walk on the beach and strolled along and then went and sat and had coffee and bacon rolls and MIL barely spoke to me and it was just pleasantries… and away we went…all good…bay steps and all that!
Fast forward to today, DW and I are both going to a colleague’s leaving do tomorrow night, planned for some time with SIL babysitting for the evening and as I won’t be drinking and we’ll go pick DC up from hers 11ish and take them home. (for info, SIL has, although she has said she is neutral, been fairly pro-MIL all along and wanted DW to “sort it all out because she was finding it difficult”).
So DW let slip this morning that MIL was going to help SIL tomorrow evening….I questioned this and DW went on the defensive saying “she said sorry” etc and she that she wants to be able to take advantage of family support (its been a long two years with 2 kids under 3 and my folks live about 10hrs drive away). I got a bit upset and angry about this and said it all felt a bit underhanded and deceitful and they were all conspiring to do this behind my back. DW then said that MIL and SIL didn’t know that I didn’t know and DW didn’t want tot tell me earlier because she was worried that I would be unhappy about it and she just wanted us to have a nice evening out together…
So, thanks if you’ve made it so far, my question is AIBU to feel really hurt and deceived by this and wondering where to go from here….
sorry to hear about your tricky situation!
My advice is that I think you should cancel the evening to show your DW, SIL and MIL that you won't be manipulated (or they'll do this again) AND more importantly because it doesn't sound safe for your DC with MIL there. MIL needs to regain your trust and by the sounds of it, so does your DW. DW needs to deal with why she's trying to please MIL ahead of you.
...and of course it is reasonable that you feel hurt and deceived.
The immediate problem here is your wife & not your MIL, its totally normal for you to feel to feel hurt as you have been doing a very delicate balancing act supporting your wife whilst still making your opinions clear. Your wife has then trampled all over your compromise & made a decision that directly impacts your children whilst knowing you would not agree. Of course you feel shitty & deceived!
Just out of interest, why did the MIL almost ignore you completely at the beach, was she being purposely difficult or was she genuinely trying to build bridges with her daughter & didn't mean to ignore you?
I think that whatever you do about your night out then you need to have a serious conversation with your wife about how she feels, why she thought it was OK to lie to you & why she is prioritising her mother over you & your children.
I think your DW should go to the leaving do and you should stay home with the DC.
And then plan another night out with SIL babysitting, with all parties agreed that MIL won't be there. Eventually, if things go well, then you can review that of course. But for now, these are the rules.
I agree that small steps are the way to go. I'd put this latest thing down to a misunderstanding between all parties (though I suspect that it is boundary-pushing on MIL's part and your DW not wanting to call her on it so soon after this reconciliation) and start again.
Your DW needs to be clear she cannot keep things from you. Ever. She wants you to have a good relationship with MIL but thought that deceiving you was the way to go about it? Going down that route practically guarantees that the relationship with MIL will go south again. She needs to understand that.
Perhaps I have misunderstood: there was a falling out and your MiL insulted you and her DD (your wife). Thus you went to minimal contact and your DCs cannot be left alone with her because...why?
You were happy to leave the DCs with SIL, but not if her mother is in the house?
It makes no sense. Your DW should have told you that her DM would be visited SIL but given the lack of logic around the MIL/DC relationship I can almost understand why she didn't.
You have a choice here: if you believe your DC to be in danger then assert your authority, override your DW (DC's mother) and deal with the fallout....or if the DCs aren't at risk, have a frank discussion with your DW about being a united front, not keeping secrets from each other etc and go out for the evening as planned.
thanks for your comments..much appreciated.
bombay in answer to you...i think maybe "there was a falling out and your MiL insulted you and her DD " is understatement rather than misunderstanding...and i apologise that i wasn't more specific in detailing the incidents, but the detail wasn't hugely relevant other than the basic point that she attacked our parenting, insisting that it was detrimental to the DC and they were in danger from me (and my "pushover" DW) and "insult" doesn't really cover the character assassination that followed (eg suggesting that i had anger management issues due to unresolved feelings relating to (she alleged) my dad abusing me at a young age which i had either forgotten or blocked out...this sort of thing that was extremely offensive, rather than us just taking the hump because she had called me a numpty or somesuch)....anyways, upshot was that we didn't feel that we could trust her to uphold our parenting values and due to the toxicity of her comments did not feel that it was in the DCs best interests to potentially be exposed to that...
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