To have sent this message?(100 Posts)
There's obviously a bit of a back story but you should be able to get the gist from the message. ExSIL recently got in touch after three years with the obvious intention of getting my DC's relationship back on track with their DF, her brother, as the DC have refused to see him for several months now. We used to get on well and I was hopeful that she might be able to get through to abusive XH. I was disappointed to find that she just brushed over the very serious issues which I told her about. Anyway, it a long message but was I unreasonable to send it? I'm not normally a confrontational person but her messages to me made me see red:
Hi XSIL. I'm not going to reply on Facebook to your last message but I need to get this off my chest as I'm frankly pretty disappointed about your position on this matter. When you got in touch, I was pleased and hopeful as I know you're a reasonable person and I thought that once you heard my side of the story and realised what was going on, you'd speak to XH and possibly get through to him. All I've ever wanted was for XH to be a good parent because my children deserve that and I thought maybe with your input, he would start being more reasonable. God knows I've tried to get through to him over the years but it makes no difference.
You say you don't want to take sides but the truth of the matter is you should be taking sides: the side of your nieces. I get that you might not be ready to hear it or confront it but the absolute bottom line is that XH is ABUSIVE and is an ABUSER. He abused me for our entire relationship and he still tries to abuse and control me now. I know you all turned a blind eye at the time and excuse me for reaching a place where I won't take his shit any more, but as a minimum, I expect you not to be complicit in his abuse of me and your nieces. I suggest you look up the term 'flying monkey' as that is what you are being at the moment. I get that at the heart of it, you want the girls to have a relationship with XH and hope that if we could just reach a compromise, then it will be possible. But you need to think carefully about what cost having a relationship will have to them. I want you to answer me this truthfully: do you think XH is a good father? Not if he has the potential, but if he actually is a good father right now?
What has annoyed me is the innocuous platitudes of 'it takes two people', 'both have to drop the animosity' etc. I'm sorry, but platitudes do not feed my children, keep them warm, clothed, fed, happy, healthy. Actual parenting does that. There is this implication from your messages that I am somehow complicit in this bad blood between us and I have to also 'try'. Well sorry, but I am already doing my bit AND his bit too. I do EVERYTHING for my children with limited help from anyone else and zero help from him. And I do all this whilst battling a chronic illness. Do you know what it's like when the cupboards are running low and you have fuck all money to feed your kids? What it's like to worry when they start outgrowing their clothes knowing you have nothing with which to buy more? What it's like to be stuck in all the time because you have no money to do nice things? To struggle every fucking day because ALL the responsibility is yours? I guess not because your DH wouldn't ever see you or the boys struggle. Let me tell you, it's fucking shit and scary to be the ONLY provider. So when I tell you that he hasn't helped in nearly a year with anything, hasn't given a penny towards the support of his children, and he responds that he will start paying WHEN he starts seeing them, were you not embarrassed to tell me that like it was an acceptable solution? It isn't. He has an obligation and your nieces are suffering because he doesn't give a shit. That isn't love. That isn't a father. And if you really cared, you'd tell him to forget seeing them until he can do the absolute minimum which is to FINANCIALLY SUPPORT HIS CHILDREN. What would happen if I decided not to spend my money on them? They'd be removed from my care, that's what. Why should it be any different for him? And to add insult to injury, he's living the life of fucking Reilly and it's one big fucking joke to his family. I've seen the memes you've tagged him in: ha ha, XH is an alcoholic who goes out on the piss all the time. Sorry if I'm not able to see the funny side when he's pissing up MY CHILDREN'S money against the wall and snorting it up his nose. It's a fucking slap in the face for me when I'm struggling so much. Aside from that, I have tried and tried and tried with him, yet here I still am, doing everything on my own and still taking his abuse. I deserve to be angry so don't tell me that I should also be trying. Been there, done that for 16 PAINFUL years. You should be telling him to PROVE himself first. Tell him you're not surprised that I'm angry given he does fuck all and our children are missing out. Don't tell me I should keep on taking his abuse 'for the good of the children'. Do you know there isn't a SINGLE occasion where we've spoken and he hasn't levelled some form of criticism of me or my ability as a parent? I don't know where the fuck he gets off trying to imply that I've done anything wrong. I REFUSE to listen to it anymore. Why should I? And then I start getting the same from you! You need to accept and admit to yourself that I've done nothing wrong, I've already tried, and it shouldn't be up to me anymore. WHEN and IF he is able to PROVE that he is a capable and caring father, then I will start believing it. Were you not shocked by the things I told you? Most people are. It's time you placed the blame squarely with the person that deserves it. I know better than anyone how difficult he is but if you love your nieces like you say you do, then be an advocate for them and stand up to him and tell it to him straight. TAKE YOUR NIECES' SIDE.
YANBU from me.
But honestly, she will take his side because he is her brother and you will be better off not expecting anything from her and not engaging any further.
If this was me I'd treat the lot of them as if they were dead.
Have you contacted CSA or whatever they're called these days to make him pay? I'm sorry he is such an arse.
Yanbu but it definitely won't go down well and you can probably kiss goodbye to her -which probably isn't a bad thing.
YANBU to think all those things, but I cannot see that sending that email will do one ounce of good for your DC. It will only reinforce your xSIL's impression that you are a part of the problem. Because your anger is evident, but people who have some affection for your ex won't see it as a result of his treatment of you but more as a cause of it (because people are generally dicks about this, hence all the problems we have making society take domestic abuse seriously).
I hope it was at least a cathartic vent.
Aderyn's advice seems good on the practicalities going forward.
Honestly I wouldn't have sent it but you did. I don't doubt that it's all true and that you want to get her on your side but it's not the most appropriate way and you've given her enough rope that she can twist what you're saying to suit XH agenda.
A more direct simple message saying "Due to XH conduct towards me he's welcome to see the children once a week at an appropriate supervised visitation centre and I'm very happy to take the children one he has made the arrangements."
No mentioning money, or criticism etc. Dot get drawn into it.
It probably and sadly won't help but bloody hell thats a good email.
YANBU. What a heartfelt and eloquent message. I can why you would feel the need to voice all that but as the others have said I am not sure how far it will get you but I think you know that.
You are strong, intelligent and you and your girls are a force to be reckoned with
I wish you well OP. The very best of luck.
The fact that you have used such long paragraphs and said so much makes it look like a rant.
That is one epic rant - kudos to you for that - but unfortunately she will side with exeykins as he is her bwuvver.
Unfair, but that's how it is
Not at all unreasonable. I think it is good that you've put it clearly and you've obviously tried other ways. You've not been rude and if it makes for a difficult read then rightly so.
I doubt you'll have achieved anything much by sending it, but I bet it felt good to send it anyway!
You're right to be angry, you're right to tell her that she's complicit in it and to tell her about flying monkeys.
Children are not "pay per view" as her brother seems to think! and she thinks that's ok?!
Well I hope indeed that her DH never puts her in the same position, I really do.
But remember that you're up against an abuser, who will doubtless have spun them a completely different bollocks story - and who they will tend to believe because he's faaaammmly. Your story will not match up in any way to his.
As I said, I doubt it will improve things - but you got your side out there and now it's up to them.
It probably won't help but OMG that is one terrific email! If it makes you feel better about the situation with the twunt Ex, bravo
I'm angry on your behalf reading what XH has put you and your girls through, he sounds like an utter wanker. I agree with PP's it's unlikely to have the desired effect on XSIL but I don't blame you one bit for sending it
Will she listen? Probably not. But sometimes in life the truth has to be said for our sanity as much as anything. Well done.
Wondering if you'll get a response. Should possibly have mentioned that it is irresponsible of her to suggest that an abusive addict is a suitable person to be left in charge of kids....
I'm not sure how much good it will do you. She can't control her brother, after all.
But I hope it made you feel better.
Have you stopped him seeing the dc?? It's not clear from the email.
I agree with pp; you need to get whoever the CSA is now on the case.
Oh, and should say - if he's an alcoholic and drug addict then you would be right to keep them away from dc!
Well if someone came bleating to me about how I should try and it takes two blah blah blah - I hope I'd be up to sending an email like that. Unfortunately rage makes me incoherent.
It doesn't sound to me as if telling her straight is going to worsen the situation. And if she's going to take the 'my bruv, right or wrong' line, then she's fuck all use to her nieces and needs to be told just that. She either needs to do something, or butt out.
I may copy it to my ex sil as it suits my situation perfectly.
Well done for sending it.
You're entitled to stand your ground, and blasting off a missile at the first incoming flying monkey might may the rest think twice about trying the same tactics. Might be the wake up call she needs, might be that she's so conditioned to accept that sort of behaviour as the norm that it won't make the slightest bit of difference. If she comes at you again you tell her you've said everything that you have to say on the subject, and it's closed. Third attempt, block.
Sadly, it's entirely possible that she's coming from an environment where that's the standard of behaviour that she's come to expect. Well done for making sure your girls don't grow up to think the same - you and they deserve better.
I disagree with others saying that you shouldn't have sent it.
I think it is articulate and considered and whilst there are points where you are angry, it certainly seems that you have the right to be.
You have known her to be a reasonable person so maybe this will make her take a step back and challenge the innate loyalty that we have to our siblings.
I don't see that you have much to lose - if she hasn't been in touch for a while and she isnt in touch again then you haven't lost anything but I hope it will actually have benefit.
I think you may well take some criticism on this thread so try not to take it to heart.
The trouble is, if she takes his side she won't be listening to the arguments in your email, she will just clock the anger and the swearing and will see all that as you being aggressive/emotional and part of the problem. You're also having a bit of a go at her which will probably just put her back up.
Over the years I've learnt the most effective weapon is to be calm, emotionless, clear and succinct. (But it took me a few rants to learn that)
I hope you're getting support because it sounds tough.
A powerful message.
I don't know you, so cannot judge it's accuracy or your circumstances, but what you have written sounds fair.
I hope you get a fair response.
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