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Issues with mil that's tearing my family apart

(86 Posts)
Joanne279 Sat 06-Apr-13 06:43:51

Hello everyone. I'm new here but looking for some advice on a situation concerning my mil.

Quick bit about me. Mum to 3 wonderful kids. Dp, is dad to youngest and step dad to older 2 aged 8 and 5.

Mil and I always got on well (I thought) until our baby girls birth approached. I heard comments from her about 'her baby' and I have to be the first to visit, or have a picture or hold her. I found it too much but bit my tongue for arguments sake.

When dd was a few weeks old, she complained we didn't visit. I had a csection and a uterine Infection and dp can't drive :/ the first few weeks were hard.

She then was asking at 2-4 weeks old when she could have her overnight. And even got annoyed at dp for taking her out in the pushchair to school one morning because mil 'hasn't done that yet!'

I text albeit a bit rude and put her in her place. Things were ok for a bit but things kicked off again.

She haven't seen any of the kids for 9 weeks. She has told dp she wants nothing to do with me at all, but expects him to take all 3 kids up to see her still.

Dp is trying to please all parties but I'm refusing to let them go up her house without me. Why should I be excluded? Can she not be gracious to be nice for an hour or so?

Out compromise was to offer for her to see the kids at our house. It's not our intention to stop her seeing them, but we don't want the older kids to see me excluded and wonder why. She flatly refuses. Claiming ill guess I won't see them then.

What do we do? It's pulling me and dp apart and I often doubt wether im being reasonable or not.

There is alot more to this story but Ivd kept it simple. For info, this is her first grandchild. She was happy to accept my other kids, but now feel her 'blood' grandchild is more important. I'd like my kids to be treated the same

Please, please help.

Joanne279 Sat 06-Apr-13 06:52:34

Sorry, but thought I should add youngest is now nearly 6 months old. X

exoticfruits Sat 06-Apr-13 06:53:40

I think it is DP's job to tell her that you are a family and she will be seeing all if you, she has an open invitation to your house and you will not be visiting unless you are all welcome. At the same time he needs to tell her that he has 3 children and not one child and he isn't going to have favouritism. He will have to be tough.

exoticfruits Sat 06-Apr-13 06:54:54

Once he has told her then it is up to her.

Tee2072 Sat 06-Apr-13 06:55:40

Well, then, she won't see them. Her loss.

NorksAreMessy Sat 06-Apr-13 06:59:43

Well, I think I would let him go with the baby TBH.
Now is not the time for point scoring or people getting offended or you and your MIL staring at each other daggers drawn, or chancing the possibility of her saying something to offend you.

This is the man you love and have married. Hopefully you will be married to him for a long time. If you are already worrying that this is 'tearing your family apart' something has to change.
This is your child's grandmother and always will be.

It is time to start to rebuild some bridges and the first brick is a visit by your DH with the PFG. Then SLOWLY build up to a friendly relationship with your MIL.

Be kind, be dignified and be diplomatic.

exoticfruits Sat 06-Apr-13 07:06:03

If I was him I would not go with the baby- he has 3 equal children. She has 3 grandchildren. I have DSs who are half brothers- all the grandparents treat them equally - it never came up, but no way would I let them single one out for favouritism and have first and second class grandchildren.

Joanne279 Sat 06-Apr-13 07:06:23

Norksaremessy- why only let dp visit with the baby? What about the other 2?

Mil is not at all interested in building a relationship with me. Ever.

exoticfruits Sat 06-Apr-13 07:07:11

It is all very well being 'dignified and diplomatic' for yourself- but not when you are allowing someone to treat your children differently.

exoticfruits Sat 06-Apr-13 07:09:56

Joanne- that is her problem- don't take it on yourself, or DP. She knows where you are, she knows you are a family- the rest is up to her. Just tell her that you are ready and willing to be friendly - but it is up to her and then leave it.

Joanne279 Sat 06-Apr-13 07:14:25

Exotic - thanks Hun. Dp hates seeing his mum upset and I think she plays the passive aggressive card by crying to him so he gets annoyed at me because his mum isn't happy. She sits back and waits for him to solve I rather thank picking the phone up and being able to sort it herself.

Im happy to be nice so she can come here to see the kids. Why can't she accept? I'm lost for words. Her winning has become more important that seeing the kids sad

exoticfruits Sat 06-Apr-13 07:16:27

Can't you both go and see her and talk it over? It seems emotional blackmail to me.

tribpot Sat 06-Apr-13 07:21:37

Her winning has become more important that seeing the kids

Well, so what? You have stated your terms, they are fair. If your DP doesn't like it, and can demonstrate why he thinks they aren't fair then you have something to discuss. Unless he can or will do that, there's nothing more to be said, is there? Given the game-playing and possessiveness already demonstrated, there is every reason to suppose she will use your absence to say things to the children you would not want them to hear and/or to favour the baby in front of your other two children.

Unless your DP can come up with a reasonable alternative, there's no reason why this should pull you apart. This is his problem to solve.

Joanne279 Sat 06-Apr-13 07:24:18

I've been offering (via dp ) to talk for 9 weeks. She outright refuses saying she's done nothing wrong and wants nothing to do with me

I feel she has been wrong at times but have told dp I'm not asking for an apology, just not to be excluded. She has no compromise In her. Her way or no way.

If im honest its got so bad I'm not fussed if she sees them, but I accept she should hence why we invited her to ours. We felt it gave everyone a bit of what they wanted. X

tribpot Sat 06-Apr-13 07:28:37

If she wanted to see them, she would be. Instead she wants to use them in a power game. Her loss.

LovesBeingWokenEveryNight Sat 06-Apr-13 07:30:51

Is there anyone in the family she does listen to that can tell to get a grip (unless the stuff you've left means it's not surprising she wants nothing to do with you)

AThingInYourLife Sat 06-Apr-13 07:30:56

If she won't have anything to do with you, she can't have anything to do with your children.

I'd stop offering and make that clear and tell your DP to grow the fuck up.

Joanne279 Sat 06-Apr-13 07:38:41

The stuff I've left out is just more of what's gone on. Ita sll very dimilar i just didn't want to go on for ages. We always got on well until I refused to hand over our baby for her to have all day and overnight x

Joanne279 Sat 06-Apr-13 07:40:55

I'm quite happy to admit I've said things I shouldn't and I've apologised. The times I've had a go at her have been on 2 occasions over her insisting her right to have the baby overnight x.

OrbisNonSufficit Sat 06-Apr-13 07:49:25

I hate this kind of emotional blackmail game your MIL is playing op, she is behaving like a teenager. If it were me I wouldn't engage with it at all because it's such silliness. She wants to see her grandchild, fair enough. But she's more than old enough to know that she doesn't get to set conditions on that relationship. Ultimately it's your DP's problem to solve. Him getting cross with you because he'd like everyone just to get along like magic is kind of childish too. You've made your position clear, it's totally reasonable, don't feel at all like you need to fix anything.

LovesBeingWokenEveryNight Sat 06-Apr-13 07:54:05

Then I would be suggesting to dh he tries once more and make it clear this is the last invite as if she refuses she will need to make the effort.

At the end of the day you can't make her but you can give her facts and a choice come round and see the baby or don't.

HotelTangoFoxtrotUniform Sat 06-Apr-13 07:57:03

Is she specific about why she doesn't want anything to do with you? If its something you said that she has taken huge offence at is it something you can smooth over for the sake of your DP? I'm not suggesting you're in the wrong but sometimes it's worth it for an easy life. Or maybe you could build a bridge by sending the children and your DP to her for one visit so you've met her "conditions" and stress that next time you're all included. You could be "busy" so your older children don't see you being excluded, and you'll take away her complaint that you're not letting her see the children.

She sounds like hard work, but she is your DP's mother and he must feel awful stuck in the middle. We grew up with a difficult GP and it was horrible as children. Best to see if you can nip it in the bud IMO.

TheSloppelganger Sat 06-Apr-13 08:01:38

If she really desperately wanted to see her son and grandchildren then she'd get over her hissy fit and come and visit you all, or accept that having you darken her doors was the price for having her son and GCs come to visit.

As you don't sound as if you've done anything dreadful to warrant such exclusion she sounds like a selfish old baggage who just wants things all her way - no matter what.

I don't think you can do anything other than have your DP keep meeting every emotional blackmail attempt with the declaration that he, you and the kids are a family, and you all come as a package deal and she can't just pick and choose which people she wants to see from a family unit.

So she can see all of you, or none of you.

Her choice.

saintlyjimjams Sat 06-Apr-13 08:06:28

She sounds ridiculous. It's a fight over control of dp & your youngest dd now. Really dp needs to stand up to her & make clear to her that she is not his immediate family unit now.

I wouldn't back down or meet her half way (your offers are perfectly reasonable) or she'll get into a competition over every single issue she can.

MrsMangoBiscuit Sat 06-Apr-13 08:18:22

In a way I'd say you've already "backed down" but only to a fair compromise. You could have taken the same stance as your MIL and said "I've done nothing wrong, you've been a dick and I want nothing more to do with you." and refused to let her in your house.

As it is, you've offered a very fair solution, but refused to pander to her power games. Not only do I think you're being very reasonable, but I also think that's a good example to set for your children.

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