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In Law issues - should DH bring this to a head?

(11 Posts)
allibaba Tue 12-Jul-11 22:20:14

Hi there

This isn't the first time I've posted on here about on about probs with the IL but looking for a bit of advice as at the moment I feel I should let all this go and wash my hands of it. Sorry if this ends up being a bit long!

Bit of back ground, FIL has never liked me and we've never really got on as a result. I brought "Toxic Inlaws" book on advice I saw here and it has helped but we are still in same situation as DH insists on sticking his head in the sand (family trait).

Anyway this isn't really about me. I will have to accept that I'm not the DIL that FIL wanted and to just move on. And as long as he can be polite to me when I'm there that will be fine as I don't want DS (15mo) to notice an atmosphere. But I suspect there are a lot of under lying probs here anyway. DH & SIL are adopted (seperately) and SIL has had a lot of probs (all her own doing, mostly financial). SIL gets better treatment by IL despite this (they had to bail her out) to the detriment of DH, who is treated badly as his one bad decision of his life was to marry me.

I think there are a lot of underlying issues tied up around the adoptions and IL feelings about this and possible abandonement, not that that would ever happen. The whole faimly don't really open up to each other and properly talk, its all secrets and lies and pretending everything is ok when it clearly isn't. I should mention that both IL are not well with illnesses that have probably screwed their rational views on things. Also I havn't been going round either as my presence only makes things worse.

I think DH should sit down with them all and thrash this out as until things are out in the open and discussed nothing will ever change between me and FIL but more importantly between DH and his DP as he doesn't really want to spend time with them or see them as it depresses / stresses him out so much due to bad atmosphere whenever he goes round.

This is becoming crucial as DS is getting to an age where he will notice the problems and I don't want him getting upset. What worries me is that FIL will snap, like he does with me, and get angry at him for no reason and he just won't understand why.

I don't think I'm explaining this very well but what I was wnating to ask was should I be forcing DH to talk to them about all this or should I just leave it, not allow DS to go round and hope it changes of its own accord.

kalo12 Tue 12-Jul-11 22:26:23

I would leave the relationship between dp and fil alone, if you don't like him anyway, why are you bothered if dp sorts out his relationship? isn't it better that this just dwindles.

solving issues is not the only way with families, sometimes just minimal contact is best for all concerned. If you try to resolve all issues you could change everyones life dramatically. not necessarily for the better.

I think you are meddling. If you don't want ds to feel the impaxct of FIL's behaviour then keep him away

TheArmadillo Tue 12-Jul-11 22:56:27

The problem with people from 'normal' families is that they often think getting round a table to thrash things out will sort out problems and make everything better. When you come from one of them you know that that is almost certaintly not going to be the case. If the golden rule of the family is that things are not discussed then the one who breaks the rule will be punished. I am not trying to be patronising but people who haven't grown up like this often belief that if it came down to it people are reasonable beings and will try to avoid hrting others, especially their children. Unfortunately this isn't always the case.

Secondly you cannot force your dh to deal with this and it probably will have a very bad impact on your relationship if you try. You can encourage him, you can be supportive but you cannot force it.

If your dh is pulling away from his parents because of this and spending less and less time with them then can you just encourage this (subtlely)

LesserOfTwoWeevils Tue 12-Jul-11 23:05:20

I agree with TheArmadillo. One attempt at discussion isn't going to make them see the error of their ways or change the habits of a lifetime.
Instead, the person who raises the problem will become the problem.
If even your DH doesn't want to spend time with them...then don't.

diddl Wed 13-Jul-11 08:13:41

If he doesn´t want to spend time with them, why should he?

And why subject your child to them?

Dozer Wed 13-Jul-11 08:35:29

Sounds stressful, but agree that thrashing it out sounds like bad plan.

With respect to DS, small kids really aren't that sensitive to this sort of stuff, and as he gets older, if you choose to continue seeing the in-laws, you can explain some of the issues to him (in sanitised terms!). I had toxic grandparents and always knew that there were problems between them and my parents, but just accepted it and gradually came to understand more as I got older. They were always fine and cheery with us grandkids (we saw them rarely and only ever with our parents present). If your in-laws do anything out-of-order towards DS, then that's different, obviously.

MizzyTizzy Wed 13-Jul-11 09:13:59

I've just had vision of myself 'thrashing things out' with my own toxic parents....WW3 would have nothing on the devastation caused by us lot gathered around a table revealing our true feelings!!

My advice would be just leave it have no idea how big the can of worms is that you maybe opening and prodding!

I would let DH deal with it his own way in his own time.

FWIW I am no contact with my own toxic family as my own way of dealing with things...if my DH had tried to interfere in this decision then DH would have felt 40+ years of wrath (which should have been aimed towards my parents) directed at him.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 13-Jul-11 09:21:57

I would have to concur with the others here. Wash your hands of them.

Your DH's family unit from whence he came is deeply and emotionally unhealthy but there is nothing you can yourself do to change that and you will incur all their wrath if you try to have any sort of discussion. The "normal" rules governing familial relations do not apply in such cases because they themselves are not healthy emotionally functioning individuals.

WriterofDreams Wed 13-Jul-11 09:23:57

I think the only thing you can do wrt the relationship between DH and FIL is chat to DH about it and try to encourage him to find a way to make things better for himself, which might be not to see his parents that much any more. As for your son, you have no duty to let his GPs see him. My FIL is a grumpy man and can snap. DS is 6 months at the moment so it's not an issue but if he ever snaps at DS later on (other than for totally legitimate reasons) then I will have no hesitation in telling him he needs to change his behaviour or he will not see his GS. Adults should not be allowed to ride roughshod over children in order to make the adults feel better.

feedthegoat Wed 13-Jul-11 09:36:30

We had the big thrash out with IL's. I have no wish to divulge details but it was a no option situation, it was not something we could pretend wasn't happening.

Dh now has no contact with his parents or siblings. We left the door open for his parents to see ds, exclusive of us and have reiterated that we are happy for it to be any time at their choosing, even a regular agreed weekly or monthly thing. They have seen him once since xmas for an hour. They live 20 minutes away. Apparently it is all our fault as we have stopped them seeing him.

Just be prepared that there is no accounting for other people. Even when you are absolutely in the right with your issues with them.

allibaba Wed 13-Jul-11 13:04:44

Thanks everyone for the advice. I do agree with you all actually so I think thats what I'll do.

I've asked Mumsnet to take down the post as I am worried that DH will see this and I don't want him to feel worse but thanks again for the input.

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