AIBU To want nothing more to do with MIL/DH family(147 Posts)
Name changed as I'm about to lay it all out there.
I refused to have MIL round for DGCs significant birthday.
DS1 recently got into an accident while on a playdate, nothing life threatening, but serious enough to need a trip to a&e then a subsequent visit to hospital and surgery. The whole process has been harrowing, this was DS1 first surgery, coupled with the fact that the damage is something DS1 will have to deal with for the rest of his life. The whole situation left us (DH and I) physically and mentally exhausted, the previous weeks had already been stressful and busy (the day before the accident we'd thrown a birthday party for DS2).
During this whole period DH contacted MIL keeping her abreast of the situation, she called once maybe twice to 'check in'. I am low C bordering on NC with my family and have been for the entirety of our relationship, it was just DH and I ferrying DS1 to and fro from a&e and hospital appointments while still handling the responsibilities of work, university and general childcare for DS2. DH spoke to MIL on the day of DS surgery, told her DS1 was going to need surgery under general anaesthetic and was met with "I would offer to come but I've got a funeral to go to, how are you going to to get home?" (we do not drive and the funeral was for her friends brother.)
DH had planned on asking her if she could pick us up but after her response told her he'd ask a friend or take an uber, which she accepted.
A week later DS1 had a significant birthday, and MIL called to ask what we planned on doing as she was "going to make the effort to come celebrate his birthday with him." I was upset at this, as DH relayed it as MIL being thoughtful.... After the week we had just had, no offer of help and hardly any contact with DS1(DH had to ask MIL to speak to him), the word "effort" set me off.
It brought up feelings of resentment I've had towards DH side of the family and with a few days until DS1 birthday I couldn't/wouldn't sit around entertaining them on the day. I feel terrible for DH as he naturally wanted his mother there but I didn't think we could have them around without incident. I put my foot down and he told her he'd arrange another time for her to come and see DC. She got upset and said she felt like she had to make an appointment to come and see her grandchildren and it shouldn't be that way.
His side hardly see our children and are very lackluster when they do, DS2 refuses to go to them and DS1 is usually ignored when they do come round, one or two sentences are exchanged then they settle into a debate amongst themselves (MIL, DH and his siblings) or watch something wildly inappropriate for children on TV. (this happens EVERY single time!)
Their lack of effort has been on going, DH and I met in our teens and had DS1 early, we've been together for 15 years but the amount of effort has been consistently low. We were 19 and 20 when we had DS1. We've done everything by ourselves... left to find a place to live with no help or advice, left to go to the labour ward by ourselves, had to buy everything we needed by ourselves... more recently missing birthdays never doing anything with the children and many other little things have probably left me a 'bit' bitter.
We used to make our way every weekend to MIL House for 3/4 years as DH wanted DC1 to have a relationship with his side, but their lack of engagement with DC1and little sly comments eventually made me sour and I pulled away and stopped going, only attending when necessary. DH did have a word with MIL and she did eventually notice that DH was also pulling away so in the last year or two has suddenly wanted to come round a little more often (but DH and I also think this is due to tension in her own home as the two have coincided).
Their lack of support and the lack of concern shown recently has left me unwilling to accommodate them anymore, I was trying for the sake of DH but this last incident has left me wanting to go NC. DH and kids can obviously see MIL and the rest of his family whenever they want but I don't want to entertain them in our home. I cook and clean and do all that I can to make sure they are comfortable when they come round but I'm no longer feeling inclined to put in all the effort needed to host them.
This has become a bone of contention between DH and I. He does not believe their lack of support has been that terrible. He feels it, but expects it as that is what he grew up with. Dh believes I am judging her by my own standards and not everyone is able to give as much. But I can't help but feel like this kind of lackluster support is not normal, especially when we had DC1. Am I wrong and is he right?
Sorry for the long post, It'd be great to hear opinions on whether I've expected far too much from MIL and any advice on how to handle my feelings would be a bonus situation like this?
Thanks in advance!
In what way @ssd? Happy to hear your opinion
While it is really great to get help and support with young families you cant expect it as a given and TBH for many families I would imagine it IS normal to have to muddle through without help.
My in-laws are equally bad. No actual interest shown or support given but when they want to get involved we're expected to drop everything.
I think your plan sounds fine. You're not stopping them from seeing anyone else, just disengaging yourself. I am planning similar. We are seeing the in-laws next week and for once I am not helping the conversation along or making the kids talk to them.
Look after yourself
I’m really sorry about what happened to your DS, how scary for you all. However, other than MIL not being super involved I’m not sure that anything you’ve described warrants going no contact... maybe I’m missing something but it seems like a bit of an overreaction. I would question why you’ve been doing all the cooking and cleaning to ‘host’ though, shouldn’t your DH be helping especially as it’s his family? Surely there’s a middle ground here like seeing them every so often for the sake of your DH and get him to do the cooking and cleaning for their visits.
I can understand your frustration at the lack of interaction with your DC, it is frustrating, I have that issue with my in laws. You just have to smile and fake it for the sake of your DC, they will appreciate the effort eventually.
The rest, such as finding your own place to live, buying all you need etc, that is your job as a grown up and you can't expect anyone to do that for you.
You are already NC/LC with one side of the family, and now you want to exclude the other set of grandparents?
I think you need to think very long and hard about your motivation for doing this. Is it really in your DC’s best interest that they should have no grandparents at all? Or are you dong this to control your DH’s relationship with his family?
Perhaps you also need to think about forgiveness and acceptance. You seem to have taken various things as deliberate attempts to slight you. Your refusal to have MIL for DS’s birthday seems a complete overreaction, and rather immature. Real life is messy, people make mistakes. That doesn’t mean the only option is to cut people out of your lives.
To the specific example you gave (MIL not offering a lift because she had a funeral), if you wanted a lift, you should have SAID SO. Your behaviour comes across as textbook passive aggressive. And don’t diss MIL for attending a funeral. It is important, and proper, to support friends who are losing a relative. It matters hugely to the people you are supporting.
It does sound like you over analyse everything your DHs family say or do to the point that I guess whatever they do you will have a problem with. They might not be perfect but I really can’t see any justification with going NC with them. I sense that although you seem to imply you’re ok for your DH and DCs to have a relationship with them, that you will make it very difficult for them to do so. Are you sure you’re not harbouring resentment that as you are very low contact with your own family, that you are unhappy that he has a relationship with his? It will be very isolating for your DCs if they don’t have a relationship with either side of the family growing up.
This is mumsnet, you should be lucky if your in-laws throw a piece of old stale bread your way. Everyone around here, has had careers, 12 kids, running a house, an incredible body just with their own hard work.
I think, your in-laws suck. I’d feel rejected too if I was below their friends brother’s dog.
So how's your relationship with your side of the family, OP? You talk about having to do everything by yourselves. Presumably your DM and family helped out?
Sorry but I don't really understand why MIL was told she couldn't come over for DC's birthday? What was wrong with the way that she said it?
I'm also not sure what kind of help you expected with all the stuff that you've listed. My parents have never bought us anything, gifted us any money or run errands for us or generally helped out with anything. I still love them and want them to be a part of their DGC's lives. It's great if your parents will do all that stuff but I don't think it's mandatory.
I'm not trying to minimise what you've said here, I just wonder if maybe there's more to this that you're telling us because from what I've read here your MIL hasn't done anything wrong other than be less helpful than you would hope for, which isn't really a good enough reason to make it difficult for her to see her GC.
Hmmm I can see what you're saying but some people just aren't very hands on with kids. My in laws are much more hands on and excited to see my kids than my own family - but I know my own family love them just as much. Not everyone's good at communicating or playing with kids but it doesn't mean they don't love them. I think banning your MIL from the house would be a very extreme step to take and would cause a lot of heartache and difficulty for your husband. You can certainly step back from it all and let your husband do all the hard work when they visit but I personally wouldn't ban them over this.
It seems a big overreaction not to allow them to attend ds’s birthday. They weren’t a great support but they don’t seem to be abusive or cruel, just uninvolved and a bit absent.
How does your ds feel about you not allowing his gp’s to attend his birthday? I’m guessing he’s mid teens so he must have an opinion on it.
If you carry on like this you will lose the little support they do offer. They obviously mean a lot to your dh so I’d just suck it up.
I don’t think that yabu to back off. Your MIL doesn’t engage with your children so why continue to force a relationship.
She’s the adult in the situation and should be trying to be part of their lives but clearly isn’t.
Thank you appreciate all the comments!
@livelove This is exactly why I put it here, I don't have anyone in RL to talk to about it... I don't want to have my issues with my own family influence his.
I'm NC with mine due to abuse not simply because I wanted to. @boris
@boris no effort was made to see DS1 or call and speak to him during the whole horrible mess ... it was not seen as proper to support her son... no attempt to come by after or before the funeral.
How old is your DC1?
I am reading play date / significant birthday and I'm confused.
As for going NC? Really?
I'd be quite interested to hear why you are NC with your own family (wonder if this is clouding your judgement?).
IMO when someone is n/lc with both sides of the family the problem usually sits far closer to home.
TBH short of abuse there is very little valid reason to go NC with people, and the more people you cut out, the less likely that it’s them who is the problem.
And while we obviously hope for help from extended family, the truth is that your children aren’t as important to them as they are to you. It’s good when they do help, but sometimes there will be times when they can’t. And that doesn’t make them wrong. Refusing to have them in your home afterwards however does make you petty and spiteful.
And to be absolutely blunt, if I was in a relationship with someone who was NC with their own family and they then started seeking to do the same with mine alarm bells would ring for me about who they really are.
I really do understand OP and in your MIL sounds hard work..I'm hearing your frustration that she talked about making an effort after not bothering with your DS when he really needed it. You absolutely can withdraw yourself. Dont cook, clean or host for MIL. Reiterate a lot that she can visit GDCs whenever she likes, she just needs to let you (or DH perhaps)know. The comment about making an apt is just to make herself feel better about not having spent time with them so then she can say you make it difficult. My MIL tries this a lot so I use the broken record approach of saying the door is always open for you to visit. I would let the dust settle and see you feel but you really can't decide for DH what he wants to do. That's up to him. If he doesn't want to go low or no contact then he can see MIL without you.
@About, you wrote During this whole period DH contacted MIL keeping her abreast of the situation, she called once maybe twice to 'check in'.
So clearly, by your own account, MIL did think it proper to support her son, and did in fact check on him.
As for supporting DS1 by calling him directly, I think your expectations are too high. I wouldn’t have expected my GPs to have that sort of relationship with me, nor would I expect it between my DCs and their GPs.
I never understand why people have children then expect others to provide for them. Your'e grown ups so finding somewhere to live, buying baby equipment etc is down to you. Your choices, your responsibility.
She is your DHs mother, banning her from your home isn't going to do much for your marriage.
@blackcat, I use the broken record approach of saying the door is always open for you to visit
Don’t you think this is making things difficult on purpose? Many people (myself included) would never show up to a house uninvited. So saying your door is always open, if you are not specifically inviting them on any specific dates, is completely meaningless.
I'm in a very similar boat with my ILs. After many years of being accommodating, respectful and giving them all the consideration I could muster I finally threw my hands up and went NC. DHs family, DHs problem. I'm only vocal about it currently as my kids are young and "family" is not an excuse to get away with being a half assed toxic presence in my DCs lives. You sound very rational in your thought process and I don't think it's too much to ask of her. She is your DHs mother! A grandparent to your DC
My Psychologist told me the best way to manage is to focus on my own behaviour. Set up MY boundaries, respect and follow my own beliefs and feelings. I can only control how I behave in response to the ILs actions. For example ILs are no longer welcome in my home (my safe space) and my husband has to supervise any further contact. If he wants more then he needs to repair his own relationship with his parents instead of using ours as a bandaid.
Your feelings are valid and don't let them be thrown under the rug because they're "family".
Didn't realise thinking grandma would want to speak to DGC to ask how he's feeling, was expecting much. Duly noted @boris
Your mil sucks. However, allowing inappropriate programmes that your dh, siblings and mother all watch whilst ignoring the dc is something you should have stopped. Why do his sibs have to come round at the same time?
Your dh needs to step up and decide if he is supporting you. It might be horrible if he doesn’t.
The way your in laws are with your dcs is the way my grandmother was with me. Not much interest. I’m not saying she didn’t love me in her own way. Saw her regularly as my mother picked her up and brought her to our house. As for my grandparents on the other side, my grandfather didn’t take much notice of me either. My grandmother a little more so but I don’t have a childhood full of memories of playing with her regularly because I didn’t. I think grandparents in the past were often a lot less engaged. It sounds as if your in laws are of this ilk when many have changed and become more engaged like the modern parents of today.
So do I think you should go nc? No. It is fine to be disappointed. But ultimately you need to accept them for who they are. There is no abuse or neglect.
Nothing you’ve said would make me go non contact with her. Ok so she’s not full on into your children, but when she did want to visit in a birthday, you stopped her. I agree with a PP and also think that you sound very hard work.
we didn't expect them to provide for our child, which is why we were able to provide him with everything he needed, would have been lovely if we'd had someone who'd been through the whole process guiding our purchases... The same regarding a place to live, it came as a shock that nobody would come and view the houses we'd found with us, we were young and looked it, we ended up losing money due to our naivety... It would have been great to have hafsomeone more experienced along... I thought that was part of being a parent... Perhaps it really is having too high a standard.
Thank you everyone especially @blackcat and @kaleela lots of helpful advice!
So your DS 1 had an accident on a play date, Mil was a bitch, you and your DH have been together for 15 years, and had DS 1 early. Unusual set of circumstances, I mean a fifteen year old on a play date is probably not the norm.
As you're low contact bordering on no contact with your family, have you ever thought that you may have difficulties with family relationships?
We didn't have him immediately after meeting. We met in secondary school. Hope that clears up the time line for you.
I don't see what mil has done wrong. People have their own lives and she will have already have made plans. Your dh is an adult and well able to look after his child in hospital without needing his dm. She called a few times so was up to date. I cant see your DS age but possibly he was better not to be chatting on phone to GM while unwell.
Her friends brothers funeral is important so fail to see why you are sneering at that. She needs her friends especially as her dil seems prepared to cut her off. Those friends are her support system and she needs to be there for them.
You were frightfully rude not to allow her to birthday party. Stop making a big drama out of things and being so oversensitive. It is not helpful to your dh as only making his life difficult.
Take your mil as you find her. She is who she is. Acceptance is the way to a peaceful life and not taking offence over non issues.
I’m also confused by the concept of a play date for a 15 year old. Or am I misreading the OP?
I hope he’s recovered by the way.
Wow. No contact for that? And when she did show interest you prevented her from coming to the party? It's almost like you want them to fail.
Sorry, this is total over-reaction on your part. And the fact that you've gone virtually no contact with your own parents signifies to me that you expect WAY too much of people.
You and your husband are independent adults with older children. You shouldn't be relying on your parents for everything and expecting them to be at your beck and call. Your MIL had every right to go to that funeral. Your DS wasn't in any danger at that point - you just wanted a taxi service from her.
You sound very immature. You need to stand on your own feet and accept that Grandparents are entitled to their own lives. Don't go punishing them by cutting them off from social events, and certainly don't go NC. That's just bizarre in this context.
In my experience, people really don’t go NC or LC for no reason. They know it puts strain on the marriage, and managing those boundaries can take as much time and energy (or more) than sucking it up or giving in.
If OP says that her breakdown of relations with her parents was due to abuse, then we should believe her. Is it so impossible that she has good reason to protect her mental health and ability to parent? Posters here who are piling on are being unfair I think.
OP hasn’t said she expected weekly childcare, cash and buckets of emotional support from her in-laws, just a bit of consideration at a very stressful time.
My advice would be to let some time pass before making big decisions, you’ve had a tough few weeks. NC can be hard work, and there may be a middle way. When we’re stressed out, everything feels black and white, all or nothing, but normal life has more options than that.
Consider how your DC and DH can have contact, without you racing around providing comfort, snacks and supervision. Pick an activity (with fixed times) and bundle them all off for it. Certainly no need to host your in-laws all at once as a tribe.
The same regarding a place to live, it came as a shock that nobody would come and view the houses we'd found with us, we were young and looked it, we ended up losing money due to our naivety
Perhaps his parents considered you mature enough to deal with it since you had decided to, you know, have a baby. Did you ask them to come or just expect that they would?
In regards to your OP, nothing you have written would make me go no contact with a family member. Life is too short to be harbour such I'll feeling to your childrens grandparents.
So if you're NC with your own family, your dc won't really have any grandparents at all if you don't want dp's parents involved either. That's sad.
Thanks for that info, it's as clear as mud
I don’t know why they would be expected to help you get a place or get ready for the baby. Parents are responsible for those things. Just because you chose to be young parents, doesn’t mean that should change.
Family gatherings that have inappropriate viewing need to stop. Your partner should make sure visits with his family remain child appropriate, even if they aren’t particularly exciting for children.
I do get that not helping out with an injured child is a problem. When dd was hospitalized last year, the ILs helped with transport, delivered a gift, and even offered to bring us a meal. My family lives far away, but they still sent gifts or cards as their budget allowed.
Has it ever crossed your mind that you could be the problem here?
Low/no contact with your own family now trying to exclude husbands family.
I think your going to grow old a very lonely person
I didn't read the replies there op and see that you didn't choose to go NC with your family. My apologies
left to go to the labour ward by ourselves,
Erm....isn't that what normal people do?
We lived 100/150 miles away from my parents/his from aged 21. You just get on with being grown ups. We would never have considered needing our parents to view houses with us or anything like that. As for coming to the labour ward...!
You seem to have really weird expectations of parents. I thought people who had children very young had to mature quickly. It seems more as though you're in some sort of suspended childhood.
It seems to me that your inlaws simply see you as independent adults. There are a lot of people on this board that would sell their souls for non-interfering inlaws.
My mother is very supportive in every way with our DD but I think that she would have gone to the funeral. Especially if I hadn't arranged for her to give us a lift. It would in no way make me think less of her.
I understand you have had some stressful weeks OP, but it does sound a bit like you expect too much. You wanted them to help you get a house, they don't have to, you expect them to give you a lift, you could learn to drive.
She called when your DS was in hospital that's more than some people get, she couldnt give you a lift, she had a funeral to go to. She wants to see her grandchild on his birthday this has for some reason stressed you out. Why?
Just crack on with your life and stop expecting help and handouts from others. It's no one else's responsibility for you to organise your child's birthday, to get back from hospital. If you are lucky enough to have someone help you, great but dont get pissy when you don't.
Unless you've greatly downplayed the backstory, I think this is an overreaction tbh. I want to be sympathetic, because I'm no stranger to the world of LC/NC and appreciate how little people understand and empathise unless they've been through it themselves, but I don't feel anything you describe in your OP is that bad really. Much worse is posted on MN about ILs every day of the week.
Your MIL is a bit disengaged perhaps, but I also feel you're scathing where you needn't be. If supporting her friend at her brother's funeral was important to her, then perhaps that seemed like a place where she was more needed than flying to A&E when both parents were already there. She didn't give you a lift home, but then again you made a point of not asking. But one thing she did offer to do was come and see DS1 on his birthday and suddenly you don't want her input. YAdefBU about not getting help buying a house and baby things, and being"left to go to the labour ward by ourselves".
I don't know, maybe there's more to it than you've explained here, but on the face of it NC would be massively unreasonable imo.
Some of my friends siblings are quite close in terms of friendships, not my best friend but someone whose send off I would want to be at. Also if my closest friends lost a relative I would be and have been to the funeral to show support, your son's operation sounds like it wasn't life threatening or urgent so she probably made a judgement call but she did see what plans you had in place which to me suggests she cared.
She probably did feel it had been a tough couple of weeks so was going to make an extra special effort as you had been through so much and for that she has been rejected and possibly gone NC.
I think your hurt and anger at your relationship with your family is spilling over into how you see your husband's family
FWIW neither set of parents came to see our house when we bought it my friend's dad went to offer a professional opinion on her home when she and her DH bought and missed a massive flaw in the extension that cost thousands to put right and most people in his profession would have spotted it straight away.
Your MIL is probably disengaged because of you. Either she doesn’t like you, or she senses your attitude toward her.
I don’t think you should go NC. Your husband doesn’t want it, so that should be your guide. Either try to build a relationship with your in-laws, or sit back and let your MIL take the lead. Don’t be rude, treat her as a guest, but have no expectations.
Sorry but I feel sorry for your MIL. She phoned when he was hurt and checked in to see how he was getting on. He's clearly ok so maybe she didn't see it as dramatic as you did - and it's not like she just ignored it. She checked what you were doing for a lift even though she had an important engagement (supporting a friend at a close relative's funeral is NOT something you can just sack off) and you gave her an answer that reassured her. Incidentally, why don't either you or your partner drive if driving is necessary for your family? It's not really ok to just blame other people for not giving you a lift - you're not entitled to their time and money.
Then after all that had died down she wanted to see him for his birthday and you refused to allow her. That was incredibly unkind - there was no good reason for you to behave like this and I'm not surprise she reacted as she did.
Also, all this: We've done everything by ourselves... left to find a place to live with no help or advice, left to go to the labour ward by ourselves, had to buy everything we needed by ourselves
is called being a grownup. You sound very silly and petty to be cross that your/his parents aren't doing any of this. We did all this ourselves too and it never occurred to us to feel entitled to it being any other way.
So tbh I feel sorry for your MIL and for your DH (though he needs to grow a spine and not let you spoil his relationship with his mum).
It's you who is the problem, NC with your own family now doing the same to your IL?
Cut all contact and stop complaining, won't be long before you fall out with someone else.
Honestly? I'm sorry to say (just being honest!) but I think you're being VVU. She called to check in. She didn't want to miss a funeral to pick you up. (Ever heard of a taxi?) You imply that she's not right for going to the funeral because it's a friend's brother - this is awful. Who are you to say who she can grieve for and pay her respects to? Your son had both parents with him, he was very well supported, why would she need to come too? Yes it might have been nice but if she did come I get the feeling you'd have been complaining about her while she was there - that's just how the post comes across - like you're looking for reasons to be angry? As a grown man your DH doesn't NEED his mummy when there's an issue in his family, so I don't think you need to feel bad for him either that she didn't rush around. I'd say she behaved reasonably and you DO sound like hard work (like a PP said). If my niece or nephew had a minor accident I'd not be cancelling funerals and rushing round to keep a bedside vigil either, if both parents were there. Like you said, it's not life threatening, he was fine. It was scary but she phoned to check in. And when he was better she wanted to make the effort to come and see him which is what I'd do too, not wanting to get in the way beforehand or knowing I couldn't be of any real help when he's already being dealt with by both parents and trained professionals.
Needless to say I think this is a ludicrous reason for going NC and really horrible. Because the poor women didn't want to act like mother to your son/didn't want to miss a FUNERAL to act as your TAXI! (Is this for real?????!!!!) She did her job as grandmother by checking in and trying to come to see him later. Your poor husband. THIS is why you should be feeling bad for him.
So because she doesn't ferry you around everywhere and didn't buy you things, you want to go NC?
I think you need to grow up. It's not your mils fault you don't drive.
I agree the majority of other posters. For the reasons you gave, I would never go NC. My own parents are far less involved (they have never gifted me money and actually booked their holiday so they were out of the country when i gave birth) and they often forget my kids birthdays. I don't get offended at all - why should I? They raised me after all and have busy lives and it doesn't mean they love my kids any less. They make a fuss when they do see them and always will quickly buy a card and a gift when I gently remind them of my kids birthdays via a bday invite. I think you have overly high expectations of people in general and especially of your in-laws. Please don't go NC with them for the sake of your DH and kids.
Uninviting thier grandmother to the party is ridiclous! I gather you feel unsupported and wish they were more involved but that is so childish if you have a form for that kind of behaviour I don't blame the grandparent not being accommodating whitch btw sounds like she is ringing up specifically to enquire about your son wanting to spend time with him on his birthday !
I find your resentment over them no providing for you when you were a young couple slightly alarming. Your in-laws didn't force you to get pregnant and find living arrangements. You made adult choices so you should have expected to deal with adult consequences. How would any of that been THEIR responsibility?
I understand where you are coming from. MyOPs parents are pretty bad. The worst thing they did was when I was in a car accident, one of our children died and they literally came to the hospital for one day to see me. Stayed at our house, ate food our neighbor last brought over for us and then left. Left my poor husband to deal with everything. I’ve never forgiven them and am as low contact as possible. People can be arseholes.
So your dh kept his side of the family informed regularly but you wanted them to call more....all while being LC???
You don’t own a car and yet expected someone else to drop everything for you.
Now that the surgery is over and it’s okay to visit you don’t want them to come over?
I must be tired because it seems very confusing and can only imagine how confused your in laws are.
Either you want contact (calls of concern, help with transport) or you don’t NC.
Sometimes having it when it suits you makes no sense.
Could it be that because you didn't experience a positive childhood you are projecting what you think an idealised family should be like and finding your MIL to fall short of it? I'm sorry if that is full of assumptions - I'm just trying to understand your perspective and where you are coming from. I agree, she doesn't sound warm, fluffy and supportive but she also doesn't sound particularly destructive, aggressive or mean. Just as though she doesn't see herself in the doting mother/grandmother role. Which I think is fine unless you have higher expectations - which it sounds like you have?
I say this as someone who has a highly supportive mum and dad combo. They would do anything for me and have been going above and beyond recently. They have definitely tended to do this more as I have got older - because they have more time now than when I was younger I think. But I'm NC with my MIL who is just not very nice and displays narcissistic tendencies - although she is definitely not an abusive narcissist. If she were as you describe your MIL to be I'd be OK with it. We wouldn't be best friends but we'd rub along.
Sorry, but I don't see as your MIL has really done anything much wrong here. You are expecting too much and sound impossible to please
Why the fuck would you expect them to come and view houses with you? Normal couples just crack on and do that themselves.
Getting ready for the baby was your responsibility, not theirs. The odd gift is nice, but you can't expect it.
Whatever is wrong with having to make your own way to the labour ward? That is totally normal for most of us. It isn't a family event.
Your MIL did keep up to speed when DS was in hospital. He was OK and properly supported by both parents.
She also had to go to a funeral and support a friend. You are put out about that and think that she should have dropped everything and come running to be at your beck and call.
Sorry, but I have read and reread your OP, and the main problem I can see isn't your MIL, it is your ridiculous expectations and sense of entitlement.
Be sure you are not creating unnecessary additional problems. Most of what you seem to be taking umbrage at is stuff that is normally the responsibility of parents to sort out for themselves, not grandparents.
This is bizarre. Your mil was kept up to date on your son and called to check in. She checked to see you had a way home from the hospital. This just reads as a lot of entitlement. This all just reads as petty and immature. Her friend's brother died, and you are mad she couldn't drive you around. This is just sad.
It's definitely entitlement. Are you the princess of somewhere?
Whatever it is you need to get adult
Did she contact you at all? Or was he just expected to keep calling her and calling her I would hate that
I think you have had a shite time but it does seem as if you have overreacted to this one phrase she used saying that I would have gone apocalyptic so I definitely dont deal with stress well 😂🤷♀️
You need to look at your own behaviour OP. You are want your MIL to do all these things, but you just passively aggressively drop hints, then hold it against her when she doesn't immediately figure out your clues and jump to your service. You are expecting her to prove her love for your in ways that you see as having value to you, but may not hold value for her.
This is one of the posts that I would love to hear from the MIL's point of view. She's probably sitting over there saying 'I don't understand what I have done wrong. I've tried to give them space, I don't intrude on their lives, when she went into labour, I didn't keep badgering them, I waited until they came to me, I didn't go around there all the time when they had the baby so that DIL didn't feel I was trying to take over. They were 19 when they had their first and thought they were so grown up, they never asked us for anything. Now, I've tried to ask about my DGDs birthday party and been told I'm not allowed in her house. I have no idea what I've done wrong.'
Sounds like you’ve spent several years bottling up general dislike for your MIL and for whatever reason it’s all come to a head at this stressful time of health in your son’s life, and all those feelings have poured out.
I’m often confused by how many people say they are going NC without ever seeming to have even had a conversation to discuss the issues.
Your MIL will have no idea why this is happening (not that I think it should) if you or your DH don’t talk to her.
I do empathise OP that it can be frustrating to have ILs/DPs who are not as interested/helpful as maybe your friend's parents are/you would expect. However, I would agree with the majority of posters on here from the tone of your original posts (not your subsequent posts to be fair as you clearly are trying to see all sides) you expect too much/are hard work. Your MIL etc doesn't sound abusive just not as interested as you would like. Think you need to think long and hard about your behaviour towards them/how it is coloured by your past etc and whether NC is really the best choice.
* ‘Many people (myself included) would never show up to a house uninvited. So saying your door is always open, if you are not specifically inviting them on any specific dates, is completely meaningless.’*
This, avec les knobs on.
Particularly if travelling is a grind. Who wants to turn up to find hosts not in/having a bad day/with no food in the larder?
It sounds like you’re making a mountain out of a mole hill OP.
Your mil checked in whilst your dc was in hospital. Actually that sounds perfect to me, nothing worse than having to deal with overbearing people, who need lots of input, when dealing with that sort of thing.
They had a funeral to go to. Why should they then have to drop everything to ferry you about?
There’s so many threads on MN around overbearing grandparents, getting too involved. Your dh dm seems to have a fairly good grasp of when to get involved and when to step back. I’m not actually seeing an issue here. Maybe you need to think about standing on your own two feet and letting your mil be a grandparent
@BorisBadunov it's not about people turning up uninvited its about adults communicating openly and asking for what they want. MIL saw DD Monday but sent a text yesterday about how she missed her. Not asking is it ok if we pop by tomorrow at the weekend, not can we arrange somewhen to see DD, just a very passive 'we miss her'. It drives me crazy and is because they would like people to think they would see her more if only I would let them. IMO they would never bother unless I completely arrange it. I can see how this seems petty but week after week these small passive aggressive things grind you down and I've found reinforcing my truth (they are always welcome to see DD) stops their script from taking over.
I think your expectations of parents holding your hands while househunting and going into labour and in other areas are misplaced.
Either that or I am a terrible parent.
My DCs have not complained though, so I will go with my first thought.
Quite honestly, I think you were wrong to exclude MIL from the party and to be considering going NC (and expecting your DH to go along with all of that obv). I think you owe your DH an apology.
I don't think she sounds all that bad, and I think your husband has more of a feel for what is normal in families when children grow up than you do. You can talk to your DH about the wildly unsuitable TV programmes he and his family watch when they visit, but how old are your children?
Something is biting you, to have such a strong reaction. I would dismiss the idea that your MIL is a problem and dig deeper.
I'm NC with my mother and TBH I don't see anything here that warrants NC. I know how the awfulness can be lost in translation, but if it's really just them not making much of an effort (there's none of that angry silences, walking on eggshells stuff, she's pleasant enough to the kids, doesn't pick favourites etc) then I would just dial back my own efforts and let the relationship slide. Some people are just a bit selfish and not into family - you can't make them be what you want, and you're free to judge in your own head and resolve to be a better grandparent, but as long as she's civil I think you should be too. Let your DH do the work around her visits and stuff though, drop the rope on that stuff.
I am reminded of that advice book, 'Get out of My Life: But First Take Me and Alex Into Town'.
I think you should have called asking if she could take you home from hospital? She didn't say no, she said where she was and asked you how you were getting home. Although she wanted to support her friend at her brothers funeral she probably would have chosen her GC over them?
We are always careful how we ask MIL for things as FIL says they can be busy but if we ask she will cancel plans, so we always ask what she's doing first and if she's free then ask.
I think it's hard to go NC becuase of that and them watching inappropriate TV, if that was a reason to go NC I'd be NC with DH!
There may be more to the story so can't really say anything more, from your post I think don't go NC, just explain you were having a small party after all the upset of what had happened and hope it blows over. (Also hope your DH isn't a idiot like mine who would have said 'wife doesn't want you at the party'
I wonder if they backed off a lot when you had a baby so young because it is really easy for young parents to end up very reliant on their parents and they wanted to avoid that happening.
I honestly think your abusive family of origin has affected your thinking.
Expecting them to come and view houses and go to the labour ward with you is unrealistic.
I don’t see that what she has done is worth going no contact over and in the gentlest possible way, I really think you are over reacting and your DH is right.
It’s possible for you to go LC, and step back and let him manage the relationship with his side.
Inthink you've got to stop expecting people to respond the way you would, or you would like them to, it's unrealistic
It must have been very scary for you guys but perhaps they gave you distance thinking that's what you wanted? My parents are dead but they were very hands off and my brother is worse. He's there if I ask but wouldn't just plough in
My IL are much the same, they do phone and ask if they can help occasionally but it's rare. I have an aunt who I know would immediately say right I'm on my way and I'll print a cottage pie and dessert as you need much support whixh is great but that's just her way and I wouldn't expect it from everyone
Also just remember there's a fine line too, my IL who are prettty hands off, will try to accommodate if we ask, but they get over involved in some things which causes friction too, an example is an extension we urgently need - far far cheaper than moving house and also we love where we live but they're highly opinionated about this and it's really unhelpfu
Accept people are people and they're not really ever going to know whet you expect them to do, and people are thoughtless often expecting you or others to inform them, not the other way around, for whatever reason, who knows - I try hard to send a few texts to my friends having problems and offer help but I can't be sure if that's what they'd definitely want off me
I think I'm trying to say that you're being a bit harsh and a bit OTT to go NC
I hope your child is ok
OP it's ok to ask for what you want - help viewing a house, choosing baby stuff, a lift, but it's not good for you not to ask and then feel really resentful.
GP are not the best GP ever and may well be below average but they don't sound like the worst either, they are just not making as much effort as you would like them to. The best way to feel better about this is I agree to make less effort in return. This doesn't mean LC or NC though.
They are your DHs parents and if he wants them in his life and they are not abusive please try to support his wishes.
Counselling might help you to work through your feelings about it all as it's clearly complex.
It's not his mums job to ensure your house purchase is the right one. Nor to be there at your beck and call as neither of you can drive.
Old enough to take on the huge responsibility of being a parent means you don't need your parents to buy a house, go into labour, buy things etc.
It's difficult isn't it. I think focus on your own family and leave the door open for his parents. If they want to visit and you're free then fine. If you're busy then tell them. My parents are seldom interested in my children. I visit alot while they're at school to take them to medical appointments. When I leave they give me a list of things to do as long as my arm! I dont do anything social with them.
I think yabu
These are not reasons to go non contact.
Sure you can stop rolling out the carpet and playing hostess with the mostest...but it’s a mistake to “put your foot down” and not let them come to a birthday because you might have a toddler style meltdown....
A lot of your gripe/mil’s “crimes” are minor (truly)
Is she the best - no, not by the sound of it but is she emotionally damaging your family /vindictive/cruel... no
My future PIL are lovely but can be totally self absorbed. I can easily see them not picking up from the train station and letting my struggle across town with luggage because they “had to do the shopping” (both are retired!)
I also predict minimal help /engagement with any mini-horsemen
My point is they aren’t awful they just have different priorities and values and are set in their ways.
Also Learn to drive! Even in London is it unusual to have 2 children and not be able to drive...so that one is on you / your DP
I'm sorry OP, but I think it's likely you that's the problem. You are holding MIL to some imagined standard that it sounds she can't live up to. If she'd been more involved, I suspect you'd be complaining about her interfering, as it is you're complaining she's hands off. You dislike her, but you're annoyed she didn't offer to take you home from hospital. You banned her from a party, but you're moaning she doesn't see the DCs. See, she can't win.
I'm also confused about the ages tbh, sounds like you have a teenager but you're talking about playdates, so it's not totally clear age-wise.
I think you are being massively unreasonable. You come across as demanding, controlling and passive aggressive. have you considered councelling to get some help?
No time to do a long reply which this needs really due to your complete selfishness.
I am terrified almost to end up with a daughter in law like you, sorry to be so blunt but it's a genuine dread to risk losing a relationship with my children and gc due to this kind of thing....
If you decided you where adult enough to have sex and get pregnant.Well you're adult enough to stand on your feet.You cant have it both ways.
Your poor mil cant do right for doing wrong.
"I would offer to come but I've got a funeral"
She then asked how you were getting home. DH said you had it covered one way or another.
I wouldn't upset my friend by not turning up to her brothers funeral if I knew everyone was ok getting home some how.
I also would try and keep out of the way while the family were going through a stressful time. I probably would have made a call asking how he was and telling you to let me know if I could do anything, but that's really the only thing that was missing here.
Not to want to go to the effort of cooking and cleaning (which I assume you do anyway) for DHs family to come round seems and overreaction.
What have the rest of them done other than push you to stand on your own four feet between you when young and pregnant?
Unless she has done something absolutely horrific you can't ban her from coming to yours, and your dhs home. That's not fair on your dh.
You can tell dh you won't be entertaining and cleaning etc and you can if you wish make other plans if they are coming.
My fil has seen 5 year old ds about 10 times in his life. Fil lives 20 minutes away. Fil is a selfish cunt who isn't interested in ds, or dh really unless he wants something. I visit with dh and ds once a year at Christmas to support dh more than anything.
Fil can come to our home, but never does. Its dhs home as well at the end of the day.
What Boris says about forgiveness and acceptance. Don't overreact OP, it just isn't worth it.
"I think you need to think very long and hard about your motivation for doing this. Is it really in your DC’s best interest that they should have no grandparents at all? Or are you dong this to control your DH’s relationship with his family?
Perhaps you also need to think about forgiveness and acceptance. You seem to have taken various things as deliberate attempts to slight you. Your refusal to have MIL for DS’s birthday seems a complete overreaction, and rather immature. Real life is messy, people make mistakes. That doesn’t mean the only option is to cut people out of your lives. "
Myself and my OH have gone no contact with his family. We did this after months and months of abuse, it was the last resort and we did it for our own mental health and our children’s (they had no problem being abusive in front of our children) we even had to get police involved as our car was followed/people turning up at our home etc. In the nicest possible way, going NC was essential for us after trying every other option available. The reasons you state don’t seem justifiable enough to warrant complete no contact. I think maybe in life some people don’t gel together and that’s fine, but your case seems a more of smile and be polite in front of children for the sake of your partner and children having a relationship with them. I wish i had lovely in laws to rely on, your MIL may be a little insensitive with wording but I think that’s about it.
You do sound like hard work. If what you have described makes you want to go NC with them then you’re being absolutely ridiculous IMO.
You had a baby and had to make your own way to the hospital, as most people do!
Your MIL etc comes round and wants to interact with adults as well as your DC, again this is completely normal.
You didn’t ask her to take you to the hospital yet you’re complaining that she went to an funeral, it doesn’t matter who’s funeral it was, if she wanted to be there then that’s her decision.
It would be a shame for your DH to cause so many issues between him and his family and really not fair when they’ve not really done anything wrong.
They may not be perfect but they do have their own lives as well.
I think you need to lower your expectations and stop expecting so much of them or you’ll be the reason they go NC with you!
It sounds like the incident with your DS gave you a horrible shock and you are still recovering from it. I hope your DS is improving.
We can have lots of expectation and assumptions about others that we don’t even realize we have until we have a build up of resentment, which you certainly seem to have.
DH and I have never had any help or advice of any kind from his parents, in fact we help his mum and sister out financially, his sister has a job with our company. Most of what you are talking about is just the hard work of being an adult. I find what I would appreciate the most is emotional support. Unfortunately both my parents died when I was a teenager. DHs parents haven’t been any help as I mentioned.
I would be grateful for what is going well in your life, your happy marriage and two lovely children. I wouldn’t keep the children from their grandparents (unless abusive) because life is too short.
Fgs people the ds1 is, quite clearly, 10.
Op, there are some things i can see would be a little upsetfing, like the perceived lack of interest in speaking to the children directly, but theres an awful lot that are not issues at all and you come across as entitled thinking they are. Absolutely not enough to go NC and stop the children from having a grandparent.
MiL was perfectly reasonable to go to support her friend at her brother’s funeral. This was no issue at all. Nobody asked her to give you a lift either! Ridiculous to be upset at this. Why can’t you drive yourselves?
Why Are they watching inappropriate programmes when they visit? Why is the TV on at all when people visit?! Turn it off!
Be very careful about you don’t isolate your entire family.
I’m in a similar position.
I have reasons why I dont want to see the majority of my family and most of Dh - but I think that’s down to the issues I hold with in myself. There are something’s I can’t let go.
It might not be the same for your Dh. Don’t isolate him and his children from people they may want to see. I understand how your feeling but it’s also controlling.
You don’t want to be that person.
If your DS is under 15 then I'm trying to work out what would be considered a "significant" birthday but I've no idea! Also, if you got together with your DH as teens, even if that was 13 you'd be late 20s by now. Why haven't either of you learned to drive in that time? Then you wouldn't have to get peeved at other people not dropping important plans to ferry you around. I agree with PPs you sound like hard work.
I'll just echo the mass of posters saying step back, don't project your own childhood. Nothing wrong with MIL. The levels of support you have expected were/are unrealistic. Especially the one pitting your need for a lift against her commitment to a funeral.
Learn to drive.
I thought that was part of being a parent..
And herein lies the problem. You have REALLY odd ideas as to what being a parent to young adults/adults looks like. You seem to be stuck in some childhood loop of need and are trying to drag your DH in.
Parents generally don’t do any of the things you have listed as insults against you. They don’t do it because it’s not normal. At some point you need to learn to adult properly and that point would definitely be when deciding you are old enough to have kids and play families.
I certainly don’t intend to accompany my kids to the labour ward when the time comes. I also imagine my kids would be pretty mortified if I did. I thank god they don’t seem to have the expectations you do.
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