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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!

Putthatlampshadeonyourhead Sun 14-Apr-19 11:00:01

I an NC with my parents. They are very abusive.

However, I think your expectations of your mil are too high.

She kept in contact. If you husband was keeping them updated, there was no need for her to have constant contact. I am sure if she had have been you would have been annoyed

Going a funeral is a perfectly acceptable reason to not give you a lift.

Everything you have mentioned has been fairly normal. House buying etc.

It seems that you blame mil for a lot of the problems you have faced and have to high expectations.

It's also really off that you couldnt have her there without incident, but then expect her to not attend a funeral to give lifts. You refuse to let her be involved, then drip a hint, expect her to drop everything and come running.

Horsemenoftheaclopalypse Sun 14-Apr-19 10:51:41

It looks like OP isn’t getting the YANBUs she was hoping for so I doubt she’ll be back...

GarthFunkel Sun 14-Apr-19 10:44:34

You don't sound like hard work, OP, you sound like someone that wants a mum. A nice normal parent to do nice parenty things for you to show they care and that they are going to keep your safe and look after you in hard times.

But you are looking in the wrong place with your MIL. She's a fairly hands off parent to her own child and despite knowing you since you were a child, she's not going to be that person for you.

WhoAmIToTellYou Sun 14-Apr-19 10:31:23

Bottom line is, MIL has no interest to be involved in your family life in a supportive way. She seems very detached, calling to ‘check in’ sounds like a token act of duty not a genuine caring interest. She didnt ask at any point if there is anything she can do to help. Unless she’s old and frail and genuinely cannot be of any help then i think that is not how most mothers would behave. How old is she? Im guessing your son is around 15? So she is what, 55-60 ish?
She wants to be present for good enjoyable bits but not there when you struggle. Do people really think as a family she can pick and choose like that and still expect to be treated as if she’s fully commited grandmother? I don’t.
What happens when she gets old and needs help and support herself, people tend to forget that bit. Is she going to expect you to be there for her hospital appointmets, unpleasant and unsavoury bits of getting old? I bet she will expect that, she sounds just the self absorbed type for that.

I think OP can do what feels right to her and cutting ppl out who have proven to be a source of upset over the years is not a bad thing.

Yanbu in my view

Rumbletum2 Sun 14-Apr-19 10:09:37

I think OP has gone NC with us now 😏

mikulkin Sun 14-Apr-19 10:02:56

Isn’t that typical? Most of the people here say op is unreasonable, she chooses two who support her view, thanks them separately and disappears. Sometimes I think’ people post on AIBU just to reiterate they are not....
And yes OP you are very unreasonable, and by the way it is your DH’s home too, so you cannot really say they are not welcome in your home.

woolduvet Fri 12-Apr-19 23:12:46

Not unreasonable but I think your expectations are too high.
If she wants to come round that's fine, dh to host his side of the family and the tv must be child friendly as is conversation.

PinkiOcelot Fri 12-Apr-19 23:00:05

I agree with the first comment. You sound like hard work! However, I think OP has disappeared!

saraclara Fri 12-Apr-19 22:19:12

I think the OP might reap what she sows. Her children will be very aware of her attitude to her MIL, and think that that's how to treat parents.

(That's not a comment on her NC with her own parents, simply that her MIL doesn't appear to have done anything to deserve NC)

Playmytune Fri 12-Apr-19 21:59:50

I think that a lot of pps have been quite unfair on you. Implying that, as you don’t want either set of families being involved, it is you who is the problem! You are NC with your own family because of abuse, which must have been awful for you and to be fair probably does colour your judgement, however you are doing the right thing by ensuring your children have no contact in this situation. Would all these pps prefer you to allow your dcs to be part of an abusive relationship?

I agree with you going LC or NC with dhs mother. She comes across as pretty uninterested in your dcs and only interested in having any contact with them on her terms. A grandmother should support her ds/dd and her grandchildren and I would feel the same way as you do (actually I did, as my mil was not the most helpful person). I guess you feel that she wasn’t particularly interested when your ds was unwell and this, on top of the way she acted when she did use to visit has been the final straw. Why should she be able to call the shots?

You are not stopping your dh or dc from seeing mil, you just don’t want her in your space, which I think is fair enough. She wasn’t interested in helping or supporting you all when she should have been.
To all pps, I know that this isn’t a god given right, but you reap what you sow!

krustykittens Fri 12-Apr-19 14:47:15

I just wanted to add, OP, that when I went NC with my parents, it was really, really hard. It wasn't a wonderful sense of being free, instead I grieved for the relationship I wish I had had and it really affected my mental health. It took about 18 months of therapy before I had any peace of mind again. I am not saying this is the case with you but it might be worth considering?

krustykittens Fri 12-Apr-19 14:29:49

I am NC with my parents after years of abuse, I also have ILs that are not very warm or hands on but I think you are being unreasonable. My children have a very different relationship with their grandparents than what I have and I would NEVER tell my DH that his parents were unwelcome in our home just because they are quite distant. I have to agree with a PP, you have very odd ideas as to how parents should behave around their grown up offspring. You are adults, sort your own life out! We made our own decisions about things like buying a house, if we lost money, oh well, we learned and made a better decision next time around. You are going to be a nightmare MIL yourself if you insist on being so hands on in your own children's lives when they are adults.

dustarr73 Fri 12-Apr-19 14:13:49

Lets hope your kids,dont hold you up to the same high standard.Otherwise you might find yourself for the chop.

Dieu Fri 12-Apr-19 13:37:34

And I hope you at least have a strong network of friends, or your children will grow to be very insular.

Dieu Fri 12-Apr-19 13:36:18

I would think carefully before denying your children a relationship with BOTH sets of grandparents. Obviously we don't know what happened on your own side, and therefore can't judge, but it does seem terribly controlling to cut contact with your partner's parents, and it will cause a rift between you. Ultimately, I am not sure what you hope to achieve here, but would think twice before making angry, knee jerk decisions.

justasking111 Fri 12-Apr-19 12:54:07

You are NC with your own family, you expect your DH to do the same with his, is this what your thinking is?? It is not beyond the bounds of possibility to have two awful families, it happens more than you think.

FrancisCrawford Fri 12-Apr-19 12:51:30

When DD moved into her first flat, aged 19, she asked us if we would go with her beforehand, as she valued our opinion.

We were happy to do that, but it wouldn’t have crossed our minds to offer, because it is her life and we don’t want to impose. I didn’t ask my parents when I bought my first flat at 20.

You do come across as very black and white in your views and seem to take offence, where none is intended

Bookworm4 Fri 12-Apr-19 12:35:34

Diagnosis; OP is suffering from poor wee me syndrome
The majority of people set up home, furnish it, go to labour ward ALONE
You sound like you expect attention constantly, grow up ffs

OoohAyyye Fri 12-Apr-19 12:31:42

Sorry OP but you definitely expect too much. You're listing examples which don't scream desperate need for help tbh.

I do understand your frustration with how disinterested they seem. My in-laws are the same. But we wouldn't go no contact with them. We just except it. I think if we really needed help (not a lift home from hospital or help moving) they would be there.

Your DH doesn't need this either. You said you've both had a very stressful time lately. Well that goes for your DH too doesn't it? So I think you need to let this drop.

IvanaPee Fri 12-Apr-19 12:28:15

I know this might be turning into a bit of a pile on so I’ll just say I’m with the majority.

I think you need to grow up a bit. I hope your son is ok!

RhubarbandGin Fri 12-Apr-19 12:17:11

Poor MIL. Poor DH. You sound an absolute nightmare.

Time to grow up!

Ihatehashtags Fri 12-Apr-19 11:08:23

Thanks @PBobs 🙂

saraclara Fri 12-Apr-19 10:41:46

sorry - that should read "huge issues with my mother"

saraclara Fri 12-Apr-19 10:41:13

I feel terrible for DH as he naturally wanted his mother there but I didn't think we could have them around without incident.

You mean without you sounding off over nothing.

I'm veer between feeling sorry for your husband, and wanting him to grow a backbone and some loyalty towards his family. You are totally dictating terms. You say that your kids don't really want to go there. i wonder how they've formed their opinions about their grandparents? From you, perhaps?

I have huge a with my mother, stemming from childhood. But my children (now grown) knew nothing of it. I wanted them to have a warm family life. My mum was going to be in their lives, and I wanted them to have a happy relationship with their grandparents, whatever lay in my past.
So shut up and let your inlaw family in. It's not like they take up much of your life.

SallyWD Fri 12-Apr-19 09:23:23

Be careful OP. If my husband even suggested banning my mother from my home I would leave him. Don't force your husband to make such a decision. It must have been awful for him to have to tell his mother she wasn't welcome at the party.

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