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To forgive this and move on?

(18 Posts)
Mirrorimage2345684 Tue 12-Mar-19 16:42:28

I’m looking for some advice on what to do about this situation.

My parents have a history of emotional abuse towards me and can be downright cruel with some of the things they say/ do. This all came to a head a few months ago when they said something that for me, crossed a line. Since then I’ve had very limited contact with them, however they’ve recently got in touch to discuss the issue in the hope of putting it behind us and moving on. Now, they have apologised for what they said but have basically turned it round on me and made it all my fault. Think along the lines of, “we’re sorry but it’s your fault because we don’t actually like you.” I’ve realised now that I’m not going to get a genuine apology or get them to accept any responsibility for their actions. Despite this, they are my parents and I do still care about them and want a relationship, however I’m finding it hard to move past this. My children also want a realationship with them so I don’t really want to cut contact with them completely. I guess this is more of a WWYD? WIBU to forgive them for the sake of my own children?

HollowTalk Tue 12-Mar-19 16:46:05

But why do you want your children to be involved with such horrible people?

Mirrorimage2345684 Tue 12-Mar-19 16:46:50

I have no doubt that they love my children and don’t treat them in the same way they treat me.

DoneLikeAKipper Tue 12-Mar-19 16:48:15

I’ve said before on here, I personally don’t believe in ‘forgiven and forget’. All forgiveness does is alleviate the perpetrator’s conscience, what does it do for you? Especially if they’re not even sorry, as is evidently the case here. You can’t ‘forgive’ someone without healing yourself first, it is far more important you find closure on the things you went through rather than easing anyone else’s guilt, or just sweeping it all under the carpet.

Could your children have a relationship with them without your full involvement?

ContessaIsOnADietDammit Tue 12-Mar-19 16:50:04

I have no doubt that they love my children and don’t treat them in the same way they treat me.

Bet you a quid they'll treat them exactly the same as you when they're older.

Mirrorimage2345684 Tue 12-Mar-19 16:51:24

Not at the moment as they are too young to maintain a relationship themselves.

I certainly will not be forgetting all the things they have done but maybe forgiving them will help me move on from it?

Singlenotsingle Tue 12-Mar-19 16:53:22

Carry on as you are then. If they haven't genuinely apologized, they're not going to change and you can expect more of the same treatment. If and when they're prepared to see the error of their ways, you could look at it again. In the meantime, depending on how old the dc are, they could visit on their own or dp could take them.

Nanny0gg Tue 12-Mar-19 16:53:58

They may not treat your children the same but your children will see how they treat you.

HeddaGarbled Tue 12-Mar-19 16:55:11

I think you should read the Stately Homes threads:

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/3436970-But-we-took-you-to-Stately-Homes-survivors-of-dysfunctional-and-toxic-families

hyggehigh Tue 12-Mar-19 17:00:43

The trouble is, even if they treat your children well (for now) are they witnessing this toxic dynamic between you and your parents? That in itself can be very damaging.

I don't believe you can forgive and move beyond a dysfunctional relationship, rather put up with their bad behaviour and try to accept how it makes you feel. It's up to you to decide of you're happy to do that. If you are doing it because you feel guilty or because you think you should then don't, it's not worth the effect to your mental health.

Ultimately it's your choice but I would prepare yourself to be hurt again down the line as they are not likely to change.

DoneLikeAKipper Tue 12-Mar-19 17:01:12

but maybe forgiving them will help me move on from it?

Will it? Or will it just be an empty sentiment all round? You forgiving just to keep the peace and the pretence of a normal relationship with you parents, them being forgiven for something they’re not even sorry about. Whatever your issues are with them will be buried forever, never to be mentioned again because ‘you forgave them’.

londonerinleith Tue 12-Mar-19 17:07:31

You sound like a very reasonable and caring person to be considering maintaining the relationship with your parents.

My IL's haven't spoken to MIL's parents for the past 6 years (similar reasons I think, years of very difficult relationship with my MIL decided to cut off once and for all).
Although I understand their decision, this puts huge strain on my DH and his brother as they are the only grandchildren and so basically the only people there to support and keep an eye out for their grandparents (now in their 80s). They also have to watch what they say to parents/grandparents and the whole thing can be very stressful/awkward (e.g at our wedding).

If you think your children could benefit from a relationship with your parents and have no reason to believe they'll be emotionally abusive towards them, maybe you could maintain a cordial relationship with them while keeping your distance (eg letting your children spend a couple of hours with them while you go and do something else)?

DoneLikeAKipper Tue 12-Mar-19 17:17:27

Although I understand their decision, this puts huge strain on my DH and his brother as they are the only grandchildren and so basically the only people there to support and keep an eye out for their grandparents (now in their 80s).

Well that’s the thing with being a shitty parent, you then don’t get to moan when your kids don’t give a shit about you in your old age. Sorry you husband feels he needs to take on that responsibility, but his mother owes nothing to people I presume treated her very badly (I find people rarely go NC without a damn good reason).

Limensoda Tue 12-Mar-19 17:21:20

You forgive for yourself, not the other person so yes, forgive if you can
Forgetting is different. Never forget because you learn from experiences. I think you have to assert yourself whenever your parents say or do anything cruel or unfair. Don't argue or justify or defend, just state you don't accept whatever it is.
They seem to want a relationship with you and you with them. You also want your children to have contact with their grandparents. They need to acknowledge that they are emotionally abusive and that it's caused you pain.
Don't believe this crap that it's your fault when they are abusive. We choose our words and actions and no one makes us say or do anything.

ChristmasFluff Tue 12-Mar-19 17:22:12

My mother tried to be nice when my son was around, because she likes little children. But he ended up telling me, 'I don't like Nanny'. When I asked him why, he said, 'I don' t like how she speaks to you.' He wa snly a tiny.

Don't assume your kids would be missing out on anything.

Mirrorimage2345684 Tue 12-Mar-19 17:57:28

Thanks for your advice everyone. It’s so hard to do the right thing and preserve my own mental health!

londonerinleith Tue 12-Mar-19 19:16:05

It’s so hard to do the right thing and preserve my own mental health!

Although it’s very admirable to aim to work things out with your parents and allow your children’s relationship to grow, ultimately I would hope you prioritise your mental health in whatever decision you make.
Good luck with it all!

screamifyouwant Tue 12-Mar-19 19:23:50

It's really an apology is it ?
Saying I'm sorry but ...is not a apology .
Similar to me that I want a apology from my dad and to admit he's wrong before I have contact . Apparently he's said this to my mum hmm
But I said I need him to say it to me as it's not a apology. Of course he won't because he's a unreasonable sod . Don't let someone bully you just cause they are family . Your dc won't care I used to worry when they were younger but now they are older they never ask after them .

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