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I'm no contact with in-laws and they have sent DH a message threatening to turn up at our house to 'plead with' me.(33 Posts)
It's a very long story and I'm going to split it into three posts so it's easier to read.
But the short version is that I have not willingly had contact with my in-laws since the end of 2010, which they cannot accept. And yesterday they sent a message to DH threatening to just come to our house as they had nothing to loose, even though they have been asked many times by me, by DH and by various other family members, to leave me alone.
I'm asking now if I could get some kind of order to stop them coming near me but it's a long and complicated story and I'm not sure if I would be able to get one.
We've had a difficult relationship from the start. I met DH in 2000 and married him in 2001. Even before our wedding things were difficult with them sometimes and we had our moments of not getting along.
Under other names I've posted about the problems I've had with them but although we had our ups and downs, mostly over the way they tried to control us and the way they treated DH like a naughty child, we were able to maintain a reasonable relationship most of the time.
However in 2007 we lost a baby to stillbirth and in the very first days following his birth, MIL was exceptionally cruel. She is known in the family for 'speaking without thinking' but in this case and at that time, what she said to me more than once went beyond casual, accidental cruelty and into deliberate cruelty of the worst kind.
She continued to make these comments on and off each time she spoke to me but I was in a state of shock and grief and didn't feel able to confront her, so I tried to ignore her and carry on to keep the peace.
However we then lost another baby later the same year, this time to prematurity, and again MIL continued to make hurtful comments about both babies.
I was still trying to ignore her and let things go, but I found myself distancing myself from her and avoiding PILs when possible. DH was aware of some of the comments but has spent his entire life being told he must never upset his mother as he will be responsible for her mental breakdown, so he finds it hard to stand up to them and he and his siblings prefer to ignore even the worst behaviour rather than confront it.
Things came to a head in 2009, when we had our DS. MIL finally went too far, made a comment that was the final straw, and I found myself telling DH that I wasn't able to spend time with her alone anymore. She had said something terrible about our premature DD and then told some lies about me to our SIL, and I found out. To protect myself and our new DS, I told DH that I wasn't prepared to be left alone with PILs, that I would only see them if he was with me and that I wanted him to make sure I wasn't even left alone in the room with MIL, he had to be there, because the things she was saying and doing were too awful.
DH said he understood and told me he was going to speak to MIL about it. I asked him not to, because I knew that within days of him confronting MIL about her behaviour the situation would somehow be turned on it's head I would be to blame.
Which is exactly what happened. MIL convinced herself and several other family members that I had lied about the things she had said and done to try and force her out of our lives.
At this point I wasn't even thinking of going no contact, but PILs seemed to take my distancing myself as a personal challenge to force me to see and speak to them.
They were coming to the house every day, several times a day, calling repeatedly on the phone ten, fifteen, twenty times a day, sitting outside the house in their car to watch me, they followed me along the road in their car while I walked with DS in his pram, followed me to the shop to check I was really going where I said I was going, drove onto the pavement to block my path as I was walking with DS.
I felt like I couldn't go out without being watched or come home without having them turn up just moments after I'd walked through the door. They always had an excuse, they were passing and they saw me, they had been visiting someone further down the road etc, but it was too often to be coincidence every time.
I started keeping all the downstairs curtains and blinds closed, front and back, and the front ones upstairs, and making sure the doors were always locked. DS was just a baby and it felt like I was making him live in a crazy situation and even just letting the dog into the back garden was an ordeal in case they saw her out there and came around the back to just walk into the house.
They kept writing to me to force me to listen to them and I wrote back, I think three times, asking them to stop, trying to explain why I was so upset, eventually getting angry and telling MIL she kept the entire family hostage with tears and histrionics and lies. Every time someone knocked on the door or the phone rang or the post was delivered I felt sick and frightened.
DH is in the armed forces and worked away in the week, so he wasn't home every day to see how badly I was affected by all this.
We ended up selling the house and moving to the other side of town, partly just to get away from them, because they were living on the next street and even DH said it was an ordeal just to go to the shop because if they saw us pass by without calling in they were calling his brothers and sister to complain about us ignoring them.
I still thought at that point that we could have a relationship of sorts, not a close one but a civil one.
We moved house just before Christmas and didn't have much money. We managed to buy everyone a token present but PILs were offended by this and by the fact that we visited SIL rather than them one day and they rang DH to disown him. FIL said some terrible things about DH and me and ended by telling DH he was a tiny part of their lives that was no over.
That was in 2010, between Christmas and New Year, and that was the last time I saw them willingly. We had been to their house just before Christmas and spent a few awkward hours with them, but by the time we left things between me and MIL were thawing slightly, although FIL didn't speak one word to me the entire time we were there. If they hadn't then made that call to disown DH and call us both all kinds of names, we might not have ended up no contact at all.
But they did, so from that point between Christmas Day and New Years Eve, we were no contact. DH sees them now and again but DS and I haven't seen them from that day just before Christmas. DS was about 20 months old at the time and has no memory of them.
We didn't hear from them again until the end of February 2011, when MIL sent me a letter ℅ my parents house. I didn't read the letter, I returned it unopened with a note asking her not to write to me again or to try and contact me in any way. I said that after the telephone call at New Year I was surprised she was writing to me as they had told DH they were finished with us for good. And I said that SIL had told me they wanted us to collect the things we had stored in their spare room, so I would arrange a handyman to come and collect it all.
It was stored with them while we moved, DH's idea not mine, as they suggested it to him and he went along with it. I think now they suggested it so they had a hold over us.
Anyway, I did arrange a collection and asked SIL to contact them to make sure they would be in. They initially agreed that they would be so I booked and paid for the collection, they then went back on this and said they would not give our things to a 'stranger'.
SIL felt caught in the middle, so I phoned PIL's to try and make the arrangements myself. I didn't want to, just the thought of speaking to them made me feel ill, but they said they wouldn't do anything unless they spoke to me.
So I rang them. FIL put the phone down on me twice before I even started speaking. Then MIL came on the line and was awful to me. She said if I wanted our things back I would have to do as I was told, do as they said, because why should I get my own way over everything and if they gave those things to the handyman then I could just walk out of their lives and they'd have nothing to hold over me.
They tried to insist I went alone in my car, which is tiny so there's no way I could have collected everything they had in one trip, it really did need a van, and I explained that.
She then agreed to let the handyman go but ordered me to go with him and said they would only let him take the things if I went into their house to listen to what they had to say first. I agreed to go with him but refused to go in or speak to her and told her I would call the police if they tried to intimidate me while I was there. She shouted "do it then, do it, call the police" and then called me a bitch, wished DH had never met me, and hung up.
At this point I had a panic attack. And I did call the police on the non-emergency line. They were sympathetic, said they couldn't determine who owned the belongings or order PILs to give them back, but they could step in if PILs approached me against my will or caused any trouble on the day. They gave me a reference number (of 666 of all things) to quote if I needed to ring them the next day during the collection.
I tried to call PILs back but their phone was engaged. They were phoning BIL for advice and he told them to give the handyman the things. So when I did speak to them next, FIL told me they would let him collect it all as long as I was with him because "I am not giving my son's things to a stranger" and I made it clear to him that I would go but would not speak to them. I said I would sit in my car and watch but would not go into the house or speak to them if they tried to come over to my car. It wasn't just DH's things they had though. Most of it was stuff belonging to DS, a bouncer chair, his baby bath, some bigger toys etc, but they also had boxes of my things and even a box that had our wedding album in it.
And that's what happened. I went, they tried to argue with the handyman but eventually let him in, and then I drove home and he followed me in the van. And that's the last time I saw them other than from a distance in a supermarket cafe last year, when DH spotted them first and made us leave before our food arrived in case they saw us as he said they would definitely come over and cause a scene.
On the day with the handyman, as we were leaving they were sending messages to DH, who was working away, basically lying to him about me just turning up with some man to take all the stuff and being horrible to them while I did it, saying it was out of the blue and I'd written them a letter accusing them of all sorts of things they hadn't done.
DH rang me two days later when he came back from exercises and saw all the messages, telling me he felt like not coming home at all if this was what he was coming back to.
They've put a massive amount of pressure and strain on our marriage, at a time when we were already suffering from having two of our children die and then trying to find our feet as new parents.
They still wouldn't take no for an answer though. DH still sees them occasionally and they have tried to pressure him into making me see them.
At first we used to argue about it, because he used to come home asking me to talk to them, saying he felt caught in the middle etc. Now he doesn't really tell me anything at all but I know things haven't changed.
A couple of family members tell me the odd thing here and there and DH says things sometimes.
They keep telling people how much they love me and want to make things right, which doesn't fit with the way they actually speak to me when they are calling me names and wishing DH would leave me or had never met me to begin with.
They send birthday and Christmas cards and presents to me which they know I don't want and usually I just give them to the charity shop unopened.
MIL has started to write her life story, but has told DH it's alright because she's writing it as though she still has "two DILs who mean the same to her" and that she won't say anything bad about me in it.
She has this idea of passing it on to the grandchildren so I think she wants DS to grow up and think she's done nothing wrong.
There have also been instances where someone has interfered with our children's grave, and I can't prove it's PILs but I suspect it. Fresh flowers have been taken away the day after they were left, weird ornaments have been placed on it and even inside the vase with the flowers. The vase is a proper grave vase, made of heavy marble with one of those metal holders inside it. You take off the metal lid, which has holes in it to stand the flowers through, to empty the old water out and I've found small ornaments pushed inside it for me to find when I've changed the flowers.
As you can imagine this has made even visiting their grave a stressful thing. I've had to report the issue to the cemetery office, who agreed it was a weird, unusual and oddly personal sort of behaviour, not the usual problems people report, and asked if it could be anybody we knew. PILs are the only people I think it could be if it is someone we know. The office staff reported it to the police. I don't want to accuse them, but if it is someone we know then it's more likely to be them trying to send me some sort of message than anybody else.
Anyway, yesterday DH received four messages from them, basically asking him to get me to speak to them, telling him they are going on holiday soon and it's a long way to go so they want to sort things out with me, then saying "we might try to just turn up and plead with her, we've nothing to lose" and finally one saying they wouldn't just turn up but they want to speak to me and MIL is frightened it's all too late.
I know that doesn't sound very threatening, but just the thought of seeing them fills me with panic. I feel sick just thinking about it and it makes me feel dizzy and breathless.
I can't have them at my house, I'm scared that we're going to set off for school one morning and as we walk around the corning they'll be there in the car, waiting to follow us or to force me to stop on the pavement again and talk to them. I'm worried they will turn up at the school and DS will be frightened. I'm waiting for a knock on the door.
This isn't the first time they've threatened to come looking for us. I have a forwarded text from DH's phone on 2nd April 2013 saying that they felt like driving around the streets looking for our cars, along with a couple of others sent the same day and on the 10th of April, talking about being upset and jealous and asking why I hate them so much.
I don't hate them, I'm scared of them, and all this time later I feel stressed and panicked at the thought of them turning up. Especially if DH isn't here, as he spends the week on his base and only comes home at the weekends.
I don't think he'd want me to get a harassment order even if I could. Which is what I am asking now, based on this, could I get one if I wanted to? Because if they do come to my door I'm going to have to call the police and I need to know they won't be able come near me or DS again. Even if that means going against DH to get one, or threaten one at the very least.
Why are you having to deal with these people? Your husband should be supporting you and dealing with them. Not you and he needs to make that clear to them. I have no legal advise but that it just horrific and I am so sorry for your loss. Would you consider phoning 101 and asking what they would recommend?
First of all, I'm really sorry for your losses. It must have been so hard to loose two babies like this
Then regarding your question re harassment order, I will quote:
At this point I had a panic attack. And I did call the police on the non-emergency line. They were sympathetic, said they couldn't determine who owned the belongings or order PILs to give them back, but they could step in if PILs approached me against my will or caused any trouble on the day.
Just from that, I think that the police would back you up.
but you will REALLY need to have your DH approval. Otherwise you might not see your PIL but you will take the risk of losing your DH too as he seems to first believe his parents (see his reaction to his mum emails when you went to pick up the stuff at their house).
How much support is he giving you and how much of all that has he actually seen? Is he really happy to hear his mum talking about his 2 first children in the way she did for example? Or is she careful to not say anything when he is around?
Your husband needs to deal with all of this.
I was n/c with mine for almost 10 yrs, but dp supported me and provided the buffer between us in all that time.
Your DH is too ambivalent about his parents. This comment says it all: DH rang me two days later when he came back from exercises and saw all the messages, telling me he felt like not coming home at all if this was what he was coming back to.
On this occasion I think you tell your DH you are going to the police unless he deals with his parents - firmly and permanently. They are not to come to your house and to do so is harassment.
I don't know where you stand legally, but I think you should seek legal advice and have all of these incidents logged, whether that is with a solicitor or the police or both. Any evidence you have in respect of text messages, phone bills, etc., would also be useful. You probably won't be able to give exact dates but certainly the incidents of them following you in the car and mounting the pavement to block your path are threatening and should be logged somewhere officially. Please take some legal advice and also if they turn up at your house ring the police straight away and quote the previous incident for which you have a complaint number.
Also, just because they are members of your husbands family does not mean you have to have them in your life. They have no rights legally to be a part of your life, and no-one has to put up with people who threaten and upset them regardless of the family connection.
I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your children, and equally sorry to hear of the horror of what your in-laws have subjected you to.
Your dh needs to stand up for you and you should tell him that you are seeking legal advice on the situation to protect yourself.
Thank you everyone.
I wasn't sure really if I do have a case to make at this point in time as everything is said to DH or sent to his phone, not directly to me and I don't know if that makes a difference.
I have just been thinking over what I do have as proof.
I took some slightly blurry pictures of DH's phone with yesterdays messages on them.
I forwarded the messages from April 2013 from DH's phone to mine, but that means they came to me via him and don't say they are from MIL or FIL's phone on them. DH didn't keep the messages himself, and has a new phone anyway now.
I have one of the three letters she wrote me which in itself doesn't say anything bad, it's just the fact that she wrote it at all after I had asked her to leave me alone. It is the second letter of the three I opened, I can't find the first or the third letter and I sent the fourth one back unopened. I received that fourth letter on 23rd February 2011 though, I can remember that because it's a family members birthday.
I have an old laptop on which I wrote three replies to her letters and I think those three replies are still stored on it. I hand wrote the short note I sent back with the fourth letter.
I told some on-line friends about these incidents so can probably dig back through my old messages to see if I've got dates or times on any of those things.
And I have the date I called the non-emergency police in 2011 and the 666 reference number they gave me at the time.
But really, the most current things I have are a few forwarded messages from April 2013 in which they threatened to drive around the streets searching for our cars and now a blurry photo of yesterdays messages threatening the same, just turning up at the house.
And I really wasn't sure if that was enough or if the rest was too far back. Or if it will even count as the rest of it's just me saying "they did this and said that and made me feel ill" and MIL very determinedly and miserably saying "I would NEVER do or say any of that, we love her!"
DH knows what they are like. But he's spent all his life as the youngest following the lead of his older brothers and sister, and the rest of their family, in ignoring things for the quiet life.
He does know what they are like, he did speak to them when I first told him I wanted to back off from them and told them how upset I was.
But he's also been brought up all his life watching them do things like this and then thinking that 'sorry' makes everything better. And really it doesn't, sometimes it just can't.
I've posted what they said when we lost our babies before, and it makes me very recognisable because it is so awful.
Basically three days after our baby was stillborn MIL took it upon herself to argue with me about the time he was born, insisting I gave birth an hour or so earlier than I did. She then demanded to know when we were going to try for another baby and finally asked me if it still hurts to give birth if your baby is dead.
I know the time of birth thing doesn't sound like much, but when all your baby has is a name, a time of birth and a date of birth, it matters that people get things right. So even that was hurtful but when she went on to bully me into talking about trying again when all we wanted was our son, it was awful. And then to ask about if it still hurts. She's had four children, she knew exactly what she was asking.
Two days after that she was back, walking into the house without even saying hello, and telling us how terrible her own life was because she was worried about SILs mortgage and had had an argument with BIL. Not one word to us about how we were coping or feeling. Didn't ask once if we were alright.
She also started an argument with DH the night before our son's funeral, because he didn't sound cheerful enough when he spoke to her on the phone and she took offence at the tone of his voice.
From then it went on and on. She used things in the news, like Madeleine McCann disappearing and the debate on reducing the time limit for terminations to ring up and tell me how other people don't deserve children when "people like you" can't carry them, she kept asking if we knew what was wrong with me yet and if they could fix it before we tried again.
When I did get pregnant for the second time she barely took any interest until we also lost that baby. We were in a car accident when I was 20 weeks pregnant and I went into premature labour at 22 weeks and almost died myself from an infection that got to my placenta during an operation to try and put a cervical stitch in place. DD lived for two hours after her birth.
MILs first comment to me when she came to see us (a couple of days after DD's birth as they were living further away at that time) were "We know what's wrong with you. Pre-eclampsia. I know a midwife and I've told her about you, that's what she says did it."
Again there were more and more things after that, for months. Comments about how my babies weren't proper grandchildren like our BIL and SIL's children were, because ours were dead and didn't count. Always referring to BIL and SIL's daughter as her 'first granddaughter' and ignoring our DD. Asking for some of the precious few photo's we had of our daughter and then losing them, finally telling us they turned up in a box of rubbish they were throwing out.
And the final straw, asking if DD had been born with all of her face or bits missing.
She was alive for two hours and was utterly perfect and beautiful, just very tiny. You can see all her face in her photo's too, MIL was just being spiteful for the sake of it that day.
And still I have dreams about being pregnant and being told our baby has died. I was having them anyway, have done since our first DS was stillborn and we were told at the scan that he had died. But since MIL made that comment the dreams always include someone telling me that my baby's face is missing.
That was the moment I knew I was finished with them as far as any sort of relationship went. I was prepared to be civil to them but not to go out of my way to have them in my home or my life. DH was with me when MIL said that, and he told her off at the time, and she took offence because we were being unreasonable to be upset at what she had said when she knew what she meant.
A couple of weeks after this I found out from SIL (married to DH's brother, not SIL DH's sister) that MIL had been lying to her about something I had supposedly said and told DH I was finished, I wasn't prepared to see them alone even for one minute.
DH tries, although I would like him to cut all ties himself. But they are his parents and if he wants to see them I won't stop him. He hardly visits at all these days but he can't seem to make the final break.
I just ask that he respects my decision not to see them and to keep DS away from them as well. Which he does, as far as not trying to force me to see them goes. When they ask him to "make me" see them, and they have phrased it that way before "will you make Alice see us, can you make her speak to us, will you just tell her she has to meet us…" he won't do that.
I know he wishes things could be different, but I know he also understands that they won't be, can never be again.
I don't think he believes they will really come to the house. I believe from past experience of their behaviour that they will if they want to. When MIL gets an idea in her head, FIL helps her to carry it out regardless.
But if they do, I will call the police and ask for something to be put in place to stop them coming again. And I will be expecting him to support me in that because it will be their own doing. Although I know initially we would probably end up arguing about why I called the police, I do think that he would calm down and realise I had no choice.
They are stalking you.
Please look at the link to see if you think their behaviour might fit the description, and to see what sort of legal protection you might be able to get.
Her comments after your still births were absolutely unconscionable. You don't need to be at all concerned that they may not sound very serious to people who haven't been through what you have: they do.
Your DH may have grown up trying to keep a low profile to keep the peace but he's an adult now with adult responsibilities. He needs to step up.
Alice, that is awful.
I do think you should get all of it documented legally in writing, then if, as I strongly suspect, your in-laws continue to harrass and threaten you you will already have things documented and won't have to think at a time when you will be stressed and upset. I also think it will make you feel more in control to have something documented and on file.
Perhaps you could tell your dh you are having it documented for future reference in case things turn nasty again.
A solicitor may well suggest that they write a letter to your in-laws requesting that they leave you alone, again if they then attempt to contact you after that it is more evidence in your favour.
It may be an idea to speak to your GP as well.
Thank you again everyone.
What does documenting it legally really mean?
Is it just that I would tell all of this to a solicitor and it would sit on file until I needed to contact the police, or would something binding actually be done there and then to keep them away from me?
Is a solicitors letter an order to keep away or a request they can chose to ignore?
The awkward bit now is, they kind of are leaving me alone in that it's DH who gets all the text messages and phone calls and questions from them.
They don't contact me directly, they contact him wanting him to make me listen to them and asking him if I will change my mind.
I'm not sure if that means it's possible to do anything legally to stop them, because they are contacting him. It's about me, and it upsets me, but it's still him getting the direct contact now.
You have had an awful time. Your husband should be doing more of the protection over this. If you were out there working full time which I always did he would have to be home more dealing with it. Instead he is often even working away. Can he not get a job which means he is home more?
I don't think the things she said are that bad but clearly they had an awful impact on you after having the two babies who died and it is the impact they had on you which matters. She probably finds it very hard to understand what impact those words had on you.
I suspect it may be best for the next few years if the grandparents see the child only with their son present and not with you around.
You need more and better evidence. Keep everything in one place from now on. I would not seek a court order now but I would get your husband to deal with his parents better.
Many many people don't see their parents that often - we lived hundreds of miles from ours, had good relationships and saw them 3 - 6 times a year. These people seem very demanding and want a lot more contact that is normal even in some families where everyone gets on.
I don't think escalating it to court orders or solicitors will help at the moment. I would gather more evidence first and see if your husband can stop their contact for now.
I'm so sorry for your losses. I think this is between you and your husband though. Why does he tell you all the awful things they say and do, if he has minimal contact himself?
They sound truly unhinged but I'm not sure this is a legal issue, it's more of a private one for your husband to sort out. He is allowing their harassment of you, and acting as a conduit of it.
I'm not sure that just right not you can do anything. But if they do start following you, then you can contact the police like you have done last time. You can have it logged in. the police can intervene and if they don't back down, you will get an order in place.
I can see why your DH tells you all the things they are saying back to you. After all, they might have an impact on you rather than him.
He might think they will never do it. But I would suggest to him that just in case they do, then he should let them know that you do NOT want to get in contact with them.
And be clear with your DH that you WILL contact the police if they do even though it had been clearly said you don't want to be in touch with them.
Are you both very clear as to what will happen? ie you will not talk to them? Is there not a small part of him that hopes/thinks you should be talking to them and forgets about the previous behaviours?
Gosh. Don't know what advice to give really, but in terms of moral support, for what it's worth, I consider myself to be a strong, assertive person, who has never been through anything like the trauma you've suffered, but even just reading what you've related here, I find myself feeling panicky and stressed at what they're doing. How it must be affecting you, I can't imagine. Except that your distress comes through in every line.
I am so so sorry for the loss of your beautiful children.
Your in laws behaved and are behaving appallingly. I am honestly disgusted at them. You poor thing.
Your DH needs to decide what is more important, his family who emotionally blackmail and abuse his wife, or his family. I know it is hard when they are your family and you feel guilty that you should have a close relationship but they are deliberately using him to hurt you and upset you. He needs to cut them out if they cannot behave acceptably. Threatening to turn up at someone's house to confront them is not acceptable.it is not the way loving parents behave. He must see that surely?
Unfortunately, if they are not contacting you directly I don't think there is anything legally the police can do to protect you. It might be worth trying to have a face to face meeting with a community police officer to see if they might be sympathetic and have an unofficial word with them.
So sorry you are having to go through this.
The missing link here is your dh. I know it's hard growing up in a family like that, but he does have to conquer his fear and defend his wife!
At the moment he's leaving you to deal with the full force of his family in your own - and that's not ok. He's abdicating his role in this
Documenting it legally would mean sitting with a solicitor and having it officially recorded and signed, it could then sit on file in their office for future reference if necessary.
A solicitor could write a letter to them to the effect that you are reiterating your request to them that you wish to have no further contact with them either directly or indirectly, it would be a request/statement asking them to respect your wishes. It would, however, possibly up the ante initially as they would no doubt bleat to the rest of the family about it but you would just have to say to other family members that they weren't getting the message so you felt you had no choice but to have it spelt out to them dispassionately and objectively. They could chose to ignore it and then that would provide more evidence in your favour if you decided to escalate the matter further by involving the police.
Also tell your dh you don't want to know anything they say about you or any requests via him for you to speak to them. He is of course perfectly at liberty to see and speak to them but you do not want to hear anything about it. Perhaps he could also make it plain to them that he will not be passing any mesages on to you so they are wasting their time asking. This might work in the short term. Maybe you could ask your dh to do this and say that if it doesn't stop, they continue to try and browbeat you via him, or he passes on their messages then you will make it official.
I do think you should get legal advice, sit down with a solicitor and talk it through it might help to clarify the situation and as I said before give you more of a feeling of control as you have done something iyswim.
None of this is your fault they have caused this, they have no rights over you and you are under no obligation to have them in your life.
I totally disagree with the poster who said what they have said is "not that bad" it is utterly foul and no decent person would ever have said it, yes people feel awkward around bereavement but they normally say nothing as they are afraid of saying the wrong thing not come out with what your MIL did, not just once but several times.
What they've done is terrible. You made a wise thought through choice to go no contact after many, many attempts to maintain civil contact.
They aren't contacting you. They're contacting your DH who is offloading his inability to deal with his contact as a stress onto you. This is so wrong.
I do believe that even repetitive indirect contact counts as harassment though.
The route of the current issue is your DH. I don't doubt that he's in a difficult situation having spent a life being undermined by his family, played off against siblings and generally bullied.
He ideally needs to understand that he's the route of your stress by not handling his external, nothing to do with you contacts.
Would you ever consider some form of joint counselling/ mediation to work out a plan of action? If he would then seek support/ counselling for himself to help resolve his relationship issues with his family that would be such a big step forward.
After I went no contact with my DH's family, DH was able to get some counselling via the GP. He did some Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and with consellors support (unfortunately another nasty incident involving him directly) went no contact too. He's a much, much happier person for it. He admits he's never been so well (3 years on) and together with hopes and plans for the future.
We had restraining orders due to nastyness that ended in court and subsequently have moved areas.
Would your DH consider getting a new phone number for everyone but family and just using a PAYG phone for family contact that could be turned on once a week, not near you?
I have no advice on your PIL. Other than to say they are so in the wrong, and you are doing the right thing protecting your DS.
But I couldn't read your posts without telling you how sorry I am that your children were taken from you. How upsetting I found your pils comments about your undoubtedly lovely babies, and I'm so sorry that anyone could be that cruel.
My dd was stillborn, so I understand some of what you have been through.
I am so, so sorry.
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