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AIBU To want nothing more to do with MIL/DH family

(147 Posts)
Abouttoovershareagain Thu 11-Apr-19 22:10:11

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!

BorisBadunov Thu 11-Apr-19 22:53:40

Glad I could help

Mummyoflittledragon Thu 11-Apr-19 23:00:27

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.

Joebloggswazere Thu 11-Apr-19 23:01:58

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.

Abouttoovershareagain Thu 11-Apr-19 23:02:49


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.

Abouttoovershareagain Thu 11-Apr-19 23:09:25

Thank you everyone especially @blackcat and @kaleela lots of helpful advice! smile

Absolutepowercorrupts Thu 11-Apr-19 23:09:55

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?

Abouttoovershareagain Thu 11-Apr-19 23:14:14

We didn't have him immediately after meeting. We met in secondary school. Hope that clears up the time line for you. smile

junebirthdaygirl Thu 11-Apr-19 23:15:58

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.

BorisBadunov Thu 11-Apr-19 23:16:48

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.

BorisBadunov Thu 11-Apr-19 23:17:15


cliquewhyohwhy Thu 11-Apr-19 23:18:52

Why not just say how old your son is?

saraclara Thu 11-Apr-19 23:19:43

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.

Skittlesandbeer Thu 11-Apr-19 23:22:03

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.

PolPotNoodle Thu 11-Apr-19 23:32:07

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.

Singlenotsingle Thu 11-Apr-19 23:35:09

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.

Absolutepowercorrupts Thu 11-Apr-19 23:51:35

Thanks for that info, it's as clear as mud

Purpleartichoke Thu 11-Apr-19 23:54:10

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.

Hersheys Thu 11-Apr-19 23:59:48

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

Hersheys Fri 12-Apr-19 00:01:19

I didn't read the replies there op and see that you didn't choose to go NC with your family. My apologies

saraclara Fri 12-Apr-19 00:01:44

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.

SickOfThePig Fri 12-Apr-19 00:05:35

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.

MrsTumbletap Fri 12-Apr-19 00:08:14

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.

MattFreisWeatherReport Fri 12-Apr-19 00:11:25

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". hmm

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.

Incywincybitofa Fri 12-Apr-19 00:14:57

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.

Halo84 Fri 12-Apr-19 00:38:10

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.

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