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Experiences of MILs (mothers of men who leave their partners)

(21 Posts)
Punkatheart Tue 04-Oct-11 12:40:38

I am having a hard time of things at the moment. Not coping emotionally. I would like my MIL to have contact with my DD - to keep that bond going. But have had a tearful conversation with her today - when basically the blame was firmly shifted back to me. OH wants to come over and sort out financial matters - to 'help'....but I know that I cannot cope with seeing him. I am shaking just thinking about it and have had to call the crisis team number given to me by the counselling service - I felt so desperate. So I refused and apparently that was the wrong thing to do. He is worried about us, he is hurting. I should be strong for my DD, I should not 'let myself down.' Blah blah.

She is a nice lady - I feel sorry for her in all of this. My DD does not want to see her father and that is tragic...but again the blame is being pushed toward me. My DD is 14 and old enough to see that her father has given us up without a fight. He is weak, he needs to be free.

I have now told her not to contact me....I really cannot cope with being painted as the one in the wrong. I understand the psychology of mothers and sons, to some extent.....but I don't know how to handle her slightly aggressive attitude.

Any similar experiences?

Confuseddd Tue 04-Oct-11 19:29:11

I Have not been through similar but recognise scenario of MIL backing up son (DH) to my detriment. It is difficult because she is a mum and evokes those warm, caring qualities; but she is not your mum, and her loyalties lie elsewhere than with you. No doubt if he is a spineless git like he sounds, she will have enabled that too.

Therefore I think you are wise to cut contact with her, him and the whole bloody clan and lean on your friends and own family for support. She is bound to hold you responsible - hard for her to accept her darling Diddums has done the wrong thing.

I hope you are feeling better - this is a hellmof a thing to go through and you deserve lots of love and support. Devastating to have someone just walk out without even trying to work things through.

Confuseddd Tue 04-Oct-11 19:31:55

I meant cut contact til you are past the crisis and feeling up to it - not permanently btw.

(hug)

fatchip Tue 04-Oct-11 19:43:22

I've struggled to know how to deal with my ex MIL too. Her son has behaved appallingly and effectively moved his family hundreds of miles across the country to abandon us for an OW, but she's never been able to acknowledge quite how awful this was, and our relationship has been very superficial since.

I've found at times that I've needed some space from her, and have cut contact until I felt stronger. She seems to understand this, and I do recognise that the blame doesn't lie with her.

I agree with Confusedd - take support from your own family and friends, and refuse to accept any negative feelings from the IL's. I think this kind of scenario just brings the worst out in everyone, and you need to surround yourself with support, and people who are on your team.

I really feel for you.

seriouschanger Tue 04-Oct-11 21:08:24

ds nan/gramp had a lot lot more contact with ds than the dad. So it was devestating for ds when they stopped seeing ds. All because their ds didnt want contact with his ds. Their is nothing you can do really if MIL is not wanting to see dd. It is her loss. If she is trying to use your dd saying if she wont see dd because dd wont see her ds then she is no better than her ds. You have a right to refuse to see him...he left you...you can say then I dont want to see you no more...after all your dd is old enough to make her own mind up and you or no oe else can or should change it (unless courts enforce contact?). You have enough to deal with and should be concentrating on getting better...change your number give ex your solicitor number for divorce/future contact. You are ill and dont need this crap off neither of them....he choose to leave a loving family and is getting his elderly mum to fight his battles ...dot let him shift the blame onto you....you need all the eergy and positive things in your life now to help you heal.....he will only drag you down.

vole3 Tue 04-Oct-11 21:18:15

Hi Punky, my MIL is quite happy to tell all and sundry that 'he's a bloody fool who should have kept it in his trousers'.

Equally she has also said 'well neither of you can afford to leave, so you'd better just get on with it'.

Must remind her of her duties to support a little boy who is stuck in a situation not of his making when she's back from her latest foreign jaunt.

plainwhitet Tue 04-Oct-11 21:48:51

fatchip I thought you were me for a minute there!!
H and I were married for 16 yrs before he left us 18 mths ago for OW. All a bad shock.
MIL and FIL have been wonderful to me and the girls over the years and I was really keen they should not lose touch. The problems are a) they live 4 hours away from us and are fairly old (mid 70x and nearly 90) so have to stay when they visit, b) H never really bothered with them and I did all the work (ie all the usual incl all the phone keeping contact). Also c) DDs are teenagers and frankly not that bothered with g parents at the moment and d) for various reasons we cannot go to them.
Last time they came it was pretty difficult as H had just introduced OW to them and I felt MIL made some hurtful comments re how happy H looked.
So I have just decided that actually H can do all the work for the time being and told him that his parents wanted to see the girls before Christmas and he should organise it. Which he has done.
I feel some relief I do not have to manage a weekend saying nothing and smiling and also the girls can see g parents.
Fatchip I do feel a good rship has now become superficial but I suppose I just have to live with it. I have friends and my own family (also miles and miles away) and do not NEED m and f inlaw as I did when girls were younger.
I am very sorry for M and F inlaw but at the moment need to conserve my energies for me and the day to day management of the DDs and myself.
H can do the g parent stuff.
OP I really sympathise.

norksinmywaistband Tue 04-Oct-11 21:58:28

DC still have contact with my ex in laws through their dad. I hoever have no contact as they refuse to speak to me.
Not sure quite what I did to cause this except divorce their son after he was unable to remain faithful - and yes they do know the whole story. Sad thing is we had a great relationship before the split

Punkatheart Tue 04-Oct-11 22:37:27

Thanks all. MIL does want the bond with my DD - that is not the problem. I have said that nothing will ever ever stop that. The problem is that my DD does not want contact with her father. MIL called tonight and told DD that she had cinema tickets for DD, MIL and my OH. DD immediately said no and was questioned if it was her decision. Of course it is but MIL is finding it hard to come to terms with it. She was very upset, apparently. Yes I feel for her and actually if blaming me will help - then let her get on with it. As long as I don't have to listen to it. I have enough - with effing cancer to handle and now overwhelming depression.

Sorry that you are in that situation norks...I think it is just the way they cope, rather than really looking at their son and seeing him as he really is....

diddl Wed 05-Oct-11 07:06:30

I think that you have done the best thing.

If she wants to see your daughter, she can surely do it without her son?

But I don´t think I would trust her to tbh.

vole3 Wed 05-Oct-11 07:37:18

Suppose the only way MIL will realise how your daughter feels is to arrange to meet her 'on her own', X turn up ' by surprise' and your daughter tell the pair of them exactly what she thinks of them.

Tough on your daughter, but then the pair of them will be left with no doubt that it is your daughters feelings alone.

seriouschanger Wed 05-Oct-11 07:46:13

Punk but dont you see MIL only wanted to go to cinema with dd if your OH was going? Why not MIL just go with your DD? Same situation really as mine but other way round....MIL will only see dd with her son present....if she cannot respect your dd wishes then so be it her problem...not yours and she knows it.
Mind you she will spend the whole time with dd trying to persuade your dd to see her dad. Which will then push dd from MIL too....

Punkatheart Wed 05-Oct-11 08:53:59

I haven't stopped anything - I would have no objection. The arrangement was originally just for DD and MIL - it was MIL who added in her father. But it is my DAUGHTER who made the choice not to go if her father was going. Then my MIL cancelled the whole thing - she was upset. I understand why she deceived me and I do not hold that against her. She is sad, desperate for things to be civilised.

oldwomaninashoe Wed 05-Oct-11 09:24:48

Punk, I really get where your MIL is coming from.

For some reason older children, teenagers and young adults take the breakup of there parents marriages very differently to younger chidren and do heap unforgiving "blame" on the erring partner(usually quite justified too!) The usual consequence of this is a refusal to see the erring parent, a frame of mind which often lasts for a great deal of time!

However "Erring parent" (usually Dad) often after being "rejected" by the teen several times gives up on trying to maintain contact, as "They don't want to see me/care about me".

I have seen this happen all to frequently in my own family and amongst friends.

Try and persuade your DD to see her Dad, probably best with MIL around to stop any awkwardness. Your MIL will want her son to make the effort.

In the long term it is preferable if your DD maintains a relationship with her father

Punkatheart Wed 05-Oct-11 09:35:14

I have asked my DD every day if she wants to see her father. In the beginning she saw him and was very distressed - her hair was falling out, she couldn't sleep and I had to take her to see a doctor. She begged for contact to stop and then she was happier. So I am not forcing things on her. If she woke up one day and said 'I want to see my dad' I would have no objection. But you cannot force a child to have a relationship with someone she hates.

There is something wrong with the man at the moment - he is not the same person we knew and DD was the first to pick up on that. He is either depressed or on the verge of a breakdown. She just wants her home, her animals, things she knew to stay the same.

MarginallyNarkyPuffin Wed 05-Oct-11 09:48:21

We might call divorces 'no fault' now, but often there is clear fault. And children and teenagers aren't stupid. Your DD has every right to be furious with her father. She might learn to get past that and have a relationship with him in time, but forcing her/pushing her to have contact with him isn't going to do any good. Have you tried telling a 14 year old to do something they don't want to because you know better than them what's good for them?

Your MIL needs a reality check. Her GD is pissed of with her DS. And within her rights to be so. By trying to force contact and, perhaps more importantly, by pulling out of spending time with her GD because she won't see her father, she is punishing a 14 year old girl who's going through a shitty time. And sending her GD the message that their relationship is conditional - see your father or don't see me.

For the time being, focus on looking after your own health. Can you get a trusted friend or relative to come and help you with any urgent financial stuff? They can deal with talking to him for you. Get as much help and support set up around you as possible and take the help they're willing to give - my SIL would be shit at emotional support but she would be happy to come and cook/wash/sort out paperwork, and that doesn't stop needing to be done.

Ladylou83 Wed 05-Oct-11 20:15:39

Im in a similar boat. Its all very raw stil as he only left 2 1/2 wks ago. He has been playing away for the last year, and at 1st MIL was very angry of him and very supportive of me and DD. FIL just kept his head in the sand. Now its turning, as I expected they are now fully supportive of him, fighting for him to keep the house etc etc etc. We had a family holiday booked to go to spain in a week and a half to see his parents who live out there. Although he is now not going im still expected to take DD out there, where no doubt I will be verbally subjected to 'how wonderful' their son is. He has told me I have to go....!

Punkatheart Wed 05-Oct-11 21:06:58

Lady I am sorry that you are also going through this....yes the initial support sounds very similar. Do you really have to go to Spain? It sounds awful. He cannot tell you anything any more! He has lost that right....not that any man should in any way....

I send hugs. Please come back and vent on here, if you wish. Sadly there are now lots of us, all at various stages. I wish you love and happiness in the future...remember you deserve it and he is the arse...

ShroudOfHamsters Thu 06-Oct-11 09:37:56

Err, Lady - you don't have to go.

Maybe if you don't, it'll send your PIL a strong message as to what they need to think about before they turn on you. If they want a relationship with their GD facilitated through you - perhaps they need to butt the fuck out of 'fighting for him to keep the house' - what the hell does that have to do with them?!!

Please - don't go, and tell your ex where to get off with his ordering you about. Time he saw that he's created a new status quo, one where you don't have to listen to a word the cheating shit says!

diddl Thu 06-Oct-11 13:08:19

Lady, I can´t believe that you´re even thinking of going tbh.

Can you get any money back?

Or tell him to go to see his own parents.

Eglu Thu 06-Oct-11 13:24:07

At least your DD is old enough to make decisions for herself. Let the contact be only between her and MIL. Also either her or yourself can tell MIL that she is happy to see her but if she tries to involve her Dad in it then she won't see her.

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