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To stop facilitating contact with PIL?

(67 Posts)
MumOfTwoMasterOfNone Tue 02-Aug-16 12:24:36

I have 2 children with DP under 3. DP has two other children.
A lot of things have gone on, but a summary is below:
I used to get on with MIL, but about 9 months ago, she told me she will always prioritise OHs other children as she feels sorry for them not living with their Dad (not their Dads choice - OHs ex left him for 21 yo). This really upset me and I told OH, who told me that I would have misunderstood her. I know I didn't.
In 9 months, she has visited us once when she was invited to DC1s birthday and brought OHs children. Their mum told her they weren't allowed to come, and she asked whether there was any point in coming without them hmmShe then turned up on the day with the kids after telling us they weren't coming and was so rude with everyone except OHs DC and just made a horrible atmosphere. Even OH said she was obviously 'in a mood' over something and he will normally defend anything to do with her.
She has other GC that she sees on a minimum weekly basis so I don't understand how she can just decide she doesn't care about seeing our children given her nature.
I said to OH that I doubted she loved or cared about our DC for whatever reason and he got angry, rang her and asked her outright on speakerphone whether she loved the other kids more than ours (he's a nightmare for this). She said she loves them all, but the more time she spends with them, the more she loves them. OH can't understand that she is confirming what I've told him, given she never sees our children.
OHs Dad didn't even send a card when we had DC2.
It makes me really sad as I have a very small family who absolutely adore our DC, but there are no other kids and they won't know the other side of their family. I can't force them to be interested but OH says if it bothers me I should be facilitating visits and ringing and asking MIL to see the kids. I disagree and we aren't really on speaking terms. She has recently retired so it's not like she doesn't have the time. AIBU?

Amelie10 Tue 02-Aug-16 12:40:01

Yanbu, leave her to it. It will be her loss as your DC won't really be close to her. When they are older and won't want much to do with her, then she will regret it. Your DC have your family and just focus on that.

MumOfTwoMasterOfNone Tue 02-Aug-16 12:49:49

I know it is, thanks Amelie. I'm on maternity leave so have a lot of time to think about it at the minute. They are very fortunate they are so adored by my family.
Do you think I should go NC, or make the effort to go to family events etc (not often) OH says I can't avoid them, but I do feel like it.

Amelie10 Tue 02-Aug-16 12:54:12

I don't think you should go nc, you just need to learn not to 'invest' in her so much. She won't realize it now because your DC are small, but when they are older there won't be a bond between them. It is upsetting to see your DC being treated differently though flowers

MumOfTwoMasterOfNone Tue 02-Aug-16 13:20:35

I know you're right, but I'm a bit embarrassed as I had a hissy fit and told her why I was upset with her during the phone call I mentioned above. She made an excuse about them being young, but OH had already told me that she had his DCs every Friday night from very a very young age, so I know it's a load of rubbish.
Think I'll just make excuses where possible and he can take my older DC to things on his own and I'll just have to hope they're nice to him.
Don't think they like me to be honest, but apparently they can't stand his ex either, so it shouldn't be an excuse when it comes to the kids in my eyes.

mouldycheesefan Tue 02-Aug-16 13:23:52

Leave it to dh to facilitate contact. Don't get involved. Move on from giving her any headspace.

MumOfTwoMasterOfNone Tue 02-Aug-16 13:36:08

Mouldy you are also right and I'm trying my best, but I'm an over thinker and doubting whether it's me being unreasonable. DP is much better at just clearing it from his head and can't understand why it bothers me.
It extends to the whole family as well. DPs DC get invited to cousins birthday parties etc and we actually turned up to one with DC1 we hadn't been invited to but didn't realise. It was only after when I realised DC was the only one to not get a party bag I was shock I thought they were being weird with me. It was a huge party as well, not like a few close friends.
I know NC might be a bit extreme, but I either give something my all, or don't bother so think for my sanity might have to just do it.

mouldycheesefan Tue 02-Aug-16 13:41:44

I know it's not easy as I am NC with DM. But seriously life will be better without her toxic presence in it.

NeedACleverNN Tue 02-Aug-16 13:47:21

Just leave it

My mum has made it clear my niece is more important because she was a first born grandchild, had been spoilt since birth and it would be fair to not spoil her as much now because I have had children.

My MIL has made it clear money is more important as she has rang demanding money and then kicked off when we have refused to give it to her.

This means that my children will rarely see my mum and will never see my dh's mum.

We get by. I feel sorry for my children because I have fond memories of my grandparents growing up but I will make it up to my kids

NeedACleverNN Tue 02-Aug-16 13:47:47

Wouldn't be fair to not spoilt*

MumOfTwoMasterOfNone Tue 02-Aug-16 13:50:29

That's really sad Need. I just don't understand and I think that's what I struggle with. Before I had DC2 I couldn't imagine loving anyone as much as DC1, but it just wasn't the case and I don't understand how others can treat GC etc so differently!

NeedACleverNN Tue 02-Aug-16 13:58:19

Humans are weird..

I will just make sure I learn a lesson and be the perfect grand parent when I have them

MumOfTwoMasterOfNone Tue 02-Aug-16 14:00:58

Good plan smile me too!

GreenHen Tue 02-Aug-16 14:40:28


It's really sad but the sooner you accept her and the situation for what it the better - it took us far too long before we disengaged!

We have a different situation with the PIL - they thrive on creating drama triangles and having everyone compete for their affections. The net result is the same though - the GC are treated differently because their own DC are (even though this is denied).

I engaged with it all far too long (DH did warn me what they were like...but they seemed so nice. Even he was shocked at how it has stepped up a gear since the grandchildren came along though) - probably because they are the only set of grandparents (both my parents died before I even met DH).

I can't believe the power I gave them now, looking back.

I have now completely stopped facilitating any contact with them and where ever possible even mentioning them. Going low contact was incredibly easy as I was facilitating 95% of the contact! Our marriage is much better, we're happier as a family...I wish I could say that they don't have any headspace either but I guess that takes time.

We pretty much only see them now when they want a favour or it is a special occasion that they want to 'tick off' as doing their duty on.

Our DC don't know any different and we have shielded them from everything that goes on behind the scenes so really I don't think it as effected them much.

On a more positive note - I think, hope, this will make me a better parent and if the time comes grandparent.


Dozer Tue 02-Aug-16 14:43:18

Leave it to your H to organise and worry about his and your DCs' relationship with his mother. The DC will be fine if they don't have a close relationship with her.

sallyhasleftthebuilding Tue 02-Aug-16 14:52:06

Yep PIL definitely favour nephew DH sisters eldest - always doing school runs sleep overs - has more pictures of him, does his favourite food, etc

It's blinding obvious!

Worse is during conversations - could be DD just got her red certificate in swimming and it's 'Oh DN hasn't done that yet' - no well done - always aback to him

You won't win - so don't engage - your vision of GPs is not their vision!!

MumOfTwoMasterOfNone Tue 02-Aug-16 15:11:08

I know, but I have kind of been hoping for a gesture since the phone call, which was months ago. Still nothing. She even pays for music lessons and has savings accounts for the other GC. She gets so wound up and involved with DPs other children and has written letters to the school head/governors and MP because the school wouldn't let DP say happy birthday to his son when he wasn't going to see him on his birthday day and his ex wouldn't speak to him. Yet even a twice yearly visit to our DC would be too much to ask. Makes me so angry and upset.
I'll admit I'm jealous of how they are treated compared to our DC which DP goes mental about with me and thinks I'm totally unreasonable but I can't help how I feel. I think because it's still DPs children, he doesn't get it, but I get the feeling if it was his brothers children that were being prioritised so much, that he might be annoyed about it.

Dozer Wed 03-Aug-16 14:54:36

Your DP is part of the problem here.

Dozer Wed 03-Aug-16 14:55:18

But seriously given her behaviour and unfair treatment your DC would be unlikely to benefit from more time with her!

MumOfTwoMasterOfNone Wed 03-Aug-16 14:59:21

How do you think so Dozer?

Dozer Wed 03-Aug-16 16:01:21

If she treats them worse than their older half-siblings and/or can't be arsed they will notice - DC do.

babyiwantabump Wed 03-Aug-16 16:10:02

This must be really common as I have the same thing going on with my PIL!

They favour StepDD over my DS's . They see SDD every week - they have seen DS2 about 3 times since he was born (he is 6months) and DS1 only about another 5(he is 2 and 1/2)

They also see DNeice every week without fail since she has been born . We actually live closer than all the other grand children so that is not the reason .

It baffles me as my parents and grandparents can't get enough of all their grandchildren equally!

I think they must have something against boys? I don't know

logosthecat Wed 03-Aug-16 16:37:57

I think it's normal and natural to feel jealous when one sibling's children are prioritised. Of course it's hurtful!

However, while it would be nice if there were no favorites in the world, that's not actually how many families work. It is quite a burden for those who are left outside of the inner circle, in the cold, but sadly it is quite common.

I think that you should reduce contact and create some distance so you are not constantly wounded by her clear preferences. Spend time with the people around you who do care about you and your kids, and try to accept as far as you can that she's just not a big enough person to love equally. Don't run around soliciting her visits - build your lives without her as a central part of them, but be polite when you do have the contact.

Missgraeme Wed 03-Aug-16 16:41:38

Doesn't sound like having her around your kids would be a positive experience for them anyway given her negativity towards u!!

TruJay Wed 03-Aug-16 16:42:44

Yanbu I'm in the same boat. It drives me mad! It's taken me 8 years to finally think fuck it! I've completely stepped back, I can't make them have the relationship with our children that I think they should have. I've mentioned, asked, screamed, cried and shouted, it doesn't work.
I feel SO much better since letting go, I have facilitated 99.9% of the contact with our family (DH, 2 dc and myself) dc are the only grandchildren and the PIL favour children of friends or DH's sibling's partner's sibling's children! They have slept over at their house, I do not understand it.
Now I've disengaged, they will step up for a bit and then it will go back to normal but I will NOT take my children to their house anymore, they live over the road for god's sake and once before when I've refused to facilitate contact, it was 6 months before we got a phone call!

It's so upsetting and hard. It extends to DH's siblings too, we've had the reasons "you never asked us to be aunties!" and "you're children are really loved by you two so I don't think they need our love as well"

I finally couldn't stand it anymore and the weight off my shoulders is immense. I always be saddened they won't have a wonderful grandma and grandad like I did but thankfully they have my mum.

I had to disengage as I know when dh's siblings have kids they will be the apple of their eye, I don't need to be witness to that.

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