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MIL issues and not sure what to do

(24 Posts)
Grinchatchristmas Wed 21-Dec-16 09:04:17

Since my first son was born 6 years ago there have been issues with my MIL due to the fact that we would take him to her house as BIL who lives there to is a heavy smoker and smokes in the house. I have since had two more children. At the time my dad was very poorly with cops and has since died. SIL is also toxic as she kept saying I used my dads death as an excuse to not go and said some horrible things about me and my son.

I have always tried to involve my MIL and invite her down but there has always been a problem at the last minute about why she couldn't come, the one that hurt the most was when I had a section with my third child and she let us down while I was in hospital. I didn't even ask her for help she volunteered and kept mentioning it throughout the year.

my mom very sadly died this year unexpectedly and I still am suffering so much from her loss, especially so close to Christmas. I have spoken to my MIL regularly nearly every night just to talk and tell her about the children and just generally trying to keep in touch. I do need to mention that she is unwell with chronic heart failure so I am aware of her limitations.

The problem we have is she has kept saying she will come to see the grandchildren but it hasn't happened since April and prior to that was 2 years so she saw her third grandson for the first time when he was 17 months old. She has other grandchildren her end and I know she favours 2 particular granddaughters as her son and girlfriend have broken up and she said to me that she hoped she wouldn't be stopped seeing the girls because she loves them. I did think what about your 3 grandchildren here?

The other day my husband asked his mom if she would like to come and stay for a night or 2 and she was trying to come up with reasons why and she said we'll bring the xhildren here, which is what it stems from, we won't go there because of the smoking so she won't come to us. She ended up putting the phone down. I tried to call her to chat 2 days ago but she didn't answer the phone so my husband called last night the my BIL answered.

He asked what had gone on and he said MIL had gone to bed and he told my husband that MIL is always tired and breathless(totally contradicts the smoking argument as he is the one who smokes in front of her but swears blind he don't but MIL told me she can't breathe because of it) he also said which has really upset me that the children were jumping around(my eldest has ADHD) they were probably just excited to see her. I am always trying to calm my eldest, my middle one is calm anyway and my toddler was 17 months! They were probably a little unsettled as we had just moved house and they had just lost their grandmother.

MIL also helps look after her granddaughters. We are not asking her to help just come and see the grandchildren, nothing is expected of her just sit and enjoy her grandchildren. It came to the conclusion that MIL will never come down and she won't go out anywhere neutral so that seems to be it. Don't know she put BIL on the phone to say this. My husband is upset and so am I so close to Christmas and it being the first Christmas since losing my mom. I have never felt so isolated in my life as I do now. I also do not have any siblings or many friends so we are having no visitors over Christmas and it seems so lonely.

Grinchatchristmas Wed 21-Dec-16 09:04:45

sorry that was longer than I thought.

Grinchatchristmas Wed 21-Dec-16 09:50:51

I'm going out for the day shortly so I will read through any replies when I get back. I haven't disappeared. Thanks.

xStefx Wed 21-Dec-16 09:58:30

Is there any way you can take the children there and ask BIL not to smoke while the kids are there? would that work. If BIL swears he doesn't smoke in front of MIL then surely he wont smoke in front of your DP, you and the DC's when your visiting her. Sorry if ive missed the reason why your unable to do that :-)

dowhatnow Wed 21-Dec-16 10:00:05

Can you visit her but take her out for the day?

You won't visit her understandably because of the smoking, and she can't or won't visit you, so you will have to compromise or accept you won't see her. If she doesn't visit others either, then it isn't personal. If she does go out but just won't visit you, then why is that? Yanbu to feel upset.

Grinchatchristmas Wed 21-Dec-16 10:08:46

She won't go out anywhere neutral, we have said we can pick her up and take her out but she refuses. As for visiting other people she goes to her friends a couple of times a week and goes out shopping with them a couple of times a week too. She also goes to her other son's house admittedly more local than us.

It does feel personal and I think it is to do with us not going to her house.

Thank you for your reply.

Grinchatchristmas Wed 21-Dec-16 10:11:34

Xstefx- we took the youngest down in May and we took MIL shopping and when we got back and went into her house he was smoking in the kitchen which is directly through to the lounge as a small house so I don't think I can trust him. That is how it started when I was pregnant with my first,. MIL phone me to say BIL wouldn't smoke in the house and he did.

xStefx Wed 21-Dec-16 10:59:01

Aw yeah that's not on is it. If he didn't then that would make life a lot easier. I wouldn't want my DD being around passive smoking either. How rude of your BIL x

dowhatnow Wed 21-Dec-16 11:04:29

Id try it again but make sure you say beforehand, that the second he lights up, that you will be leaving.

Tbh though, an hour of a bit of smoke isn't likely to do much long term damage and I'd be tempted to just go anyway. It wasn't long ago that pubs, restaurants, planes etc were all smoky atmospheres. If she's set in her ways, she won't understand your point of view, how ever reasonable we think it is.

Cherrysoup Wed 21-Dec-16 12:11:14

Does the other bil smoke? If not, could you meet up there?

xStefx Wed 21-Dec-16 12:12:11

I agree with dowhatnow, try again but be blunt and say " the second he lights up we are off" And if he does, Then leave and never try again.

Softkitty2 Wed 21-Dec-16 14:02:29

Based on what we are experiencing now. Love those who love you and actually want to spend time with your family. Our extended family has screwed us over in the most horrible way. Made us realise our family is what matters. No more forcing relationships, our business stays our own,.. Those who are closests to you do the most damage.

Grinchatchristmas Wed 21-Dec-16 18:01:07

Thanks for your replies, going to my other BILs isn't an option as my husband and him do not really get on. I agree with what Softlitty put and I think that's the problem. We are probably trying to force them to have a relationship with our children and MIL obviously doesn't want that. I just wish she wouldn't keep going on about her other grandchildren about how she is worried she will not get to see them.

I suppose I'm upset about it because my mom was so attached to the children and MIL is their only surviving grandparent and she doesn't want to know.

cafenoirbiscuit Wed 21-Dec-16 18:12:15

That sucks. Your MIL is the one missing out. Make some Christmas traditions and memories for your own little family. Your future starts here!

Grinchatchristmas Wed 21-Dec-16 18:44:56

Cafe, we will definitely make some new traditions. It's quite a relief in a way as before children we used to go to hers Boxing Day and there used to be about 6 people smoking in a small room which played my asthma up terribly.

NavyandWhite Wed 21-Dec-16 18:51:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Grinchatchristmas Wed 21-Dec-16 19:12:20

Thanks Navy, you are right. It just makes the last 6 months seem like a farce. When my husband spoke to BIL last night he said we can't tell him what to do in his house but it never started like that. We didn't mention the smoking, we just stopped taking the children and when MIL asked why the children didn't visit at hers we said because of the smoking but we didn't ask anybody to stop. They do need to respect our decision though.

NavyandWhite Wed 21-Dec-16 19:14:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Floridasunset Wed 21-Dec-16 19:29:01

We are the same OP. We wouldn't take our dc to PIL because they smoked indoors. Even if they agreed to smoke outside whilst we were there the house was already so smokey that my eyes would water. No way would i take a baby there.
Sorry to hear about your mum flowers

Grinchatchristmas Wed 21-Dec-16 19:55:48

Thanks Floridasun. I remember Christmas 6 years ago SIL phone my husband drunk out of her head having a go about me, telling my husband that I had caused all of the tension and he needed to stand up to me. He hung up on her but it has just escalated.

Floridasunset Thu 22-Dec-16 08:32:58

I'm sure my in laws have said similar about me. But you and your children are your husbands family now and the health of your dc come first.
I hope you have a great Christmas together with your DH and dc

CalleighDoodle Thu 22-Dec-16 08:51:00

Yes him not smoking just when youre there isnt a solution as smokers hosues smell anyway as the smoke sticks to everything. we viewed a house recently, walked fhrough the door and the smell of stale cigarettes was foul. They told us they had brand new carpets and i just thought what a waste as theyd need ripping out. My family has a party every year and my parents cannot attend because people smoke in the kitchen and neither of my parents (70s and on inhalers) can breath properly after, so theyve stopped going.

It sounds like your mil is punishing you. Id stop phoning to tbh. Maybe take some biscuits and chocolates to an old people's home this week. I bet theyd love a (prearranged wih the home) visit.

bangingmyheadoffabrickwall Thu 22-Dec-16 09:08:07

Leave them alone. Let them make contact with you. MIL obviously has a closer relationship with her other grandchildren than with your own children and some families are like that. Obviously distance and a lack of visitation on BOTH sides has probably caused that. I am not saying you are wrong with your decisions, far from it, but this is the effect when both sides stick to their desires so to speak.
You sound lonely (citing no relatives, siblings, close friends etc) and inwould concentrate on the life you have with your husband and children and not include them or rely on them for future happiness.

Grinchatchristmas Thu 22-Dec-16 14:21:34

Banging my head, your right, I do feel lonely. I know I have my children and husband but because I don't have any birth family left I feel really isolated and anxious. I said to my husband the other day that I needed to call his mom as it gets to a point when so much time passes it gets awkward and we are at that point now, apart from the fact she ignored my calls. Im not going to call her now but I just thought myself and her were ok.

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