PIL issues- feel so sad for DP(16 Posts)
Apologies in advance- this might be long, trying not to drip-feed.
We have an 18mo DD and fell out with MIL over a year ago (we still see FIL occassionally). Things started to go pearshaped shortly before DD arrived, previously I would have said I really liked MIL. We used to visit them every couple of weeks and I kept them up to date with midwife appointments/plans for baby etc. The very rarely visited us, maybe once every 6months or so but this suited us, we live quite a private home life and don't enjoy people popping in and out etc although we are warm & generous hosts when we invite people etc.
MIL started with low level control type statements towards end of pregnancy which I put down to excitment around what she was going to do with the baby/buy for the baby etc, these grated on me but I ignored them. I was induced with DD and had her after 50+ hours in labour. We called as soon as she was born to tell them and DP text on our way home 6hrs later to say as I hadn't slept in 3days I was going for a nap with new DD but we'd call in a couple of hours for them to come over to meet her, I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow and they arrived 10minutes late ringing the doorbell- they were 'too excited to wait' apparently and demanded DP bring DD down to meet them. I felt that they took away my chance to be there and it made me feel that they weren't bothered about my feelings/wishes. Perhaps a touch OTT but I was tired/hormonal.
Despite the above we took DD to visit the next day and I didn't say anything. Over the next few MIL turned up unannounced twice and walked straight in to the house, DP asked her to please call before she came over as sometime we were sleeping etc and it wasn't convenient. She was put out but seemed to accept it. Then the next week she turned up with her sister (who had already met DD so it wasn't just that she was desperate to meet her) without calling ahead and walked straight in. This time we had been up all night with DD, we had blinds closed and front door locked- she came all the way round the back and let herself in. I was in my underwear in the living room. I ran upstairs and DP asked her to leave.
After this we recieved messages from her and other family stating that if she hadn't to 'make an appointment' to see her DS and GD then she wouldn't. She also told various parties that I was stopping her seeing DD. This was never the case, we honestly only asked her to call. She called DP stating that I had lied about not being allowed visitors on the labour ward and that I had spoiled her being a proper GM as she hadn't taken DD out on her own etc (DD was 6wks at this point). I was returning to work at 8wks and DP was SAHD so I just took myself out of the situation and focussed on spending time with DD. i have not spoken to her or about her to anyone other than DP since.
DP seen her on his own sporadically with DD but it made things strained as she continued to talk badly about me to him and others. Eventually she got wind that we were thinking of moving (only about 30miles away) and sent DP a long letter basically slagging me off and saying that she couldn't believe he was happy and that DD was going to be affectec by not having a relationship with her that we were selfish etc. She was really nasty about me, the vast majority of it was completely untrue and the rest only loosley based on fact. At this point (about 4months ago) DP decided that he didn't want to see her anymore either.
It just makes things so difficult as we are now basically outcasts from the rest of the family as she has spread so many rumours. I feel so awful for DP as he is basically losing his whole family. She has said so many hurtful things and all she had to do was apologise to begin with that I don't feel I can go back. I'm just so sad that it has all come to this. Should I do anything? If so, what?
Thanks if you got to the end. Feel better for having written it down.
"Should I do anything? If so, what? "
The best revenge is to live well. Your MIL has obviously worked herself up into a froth about the baby, has gone totally OTT when things haven't gone exactly as she planned, and I think the best treatment is to leave her to stew. I would predict that if you get on with your lives and enjoy your DD, she will eventually cave and get back in touch. At that point, you and DP can decide if you want her back in your lives and on what terms. You may never get an actual apology but I would think she's feeling pretty embarrassed right now....hence the nasty comments.
That is entirely my sentiment. I just worry that something happens like she dies <morbid> unlikely as she is only in her 50s and in good health but I sometimes lie awake thinking what if she does and DP isn't on speaking terms because of me.
I would say do nothing. Anything you do will be wrong in her eyes. At some point she will realise that the only one suffering is her and she'll come crawling back.
In the meantime, think of the privacy that you have gained. You can enjoy your baby in peace!
Your DP sounds fantastically supportive. You have a united front. This must really annoy her, as she clearly thought she'd be able to get round him.
I also think moving would help, as the physical distance will allow emotional distance (if that makes sense!).
Just read your second post. Remember that DP isn't speaking to her because of what SHE has done. Not you.
She'll probably outlive the pair of you.. Think yourself lucky that you have a partner that is prepared to stand up to his mother in your defence and call her out for being unreasonable. Thousands wouldn't.
you hold all the cards, she wants to see DD but can't unless she does what you want. Eventually she'll either break and start behaving or you know her hand wringing about wanting to see DD is just talk and she doesn't really care.
Can you DH approach family directly? Ask if they would like to come over etc? Then he can keep a link with his family not via MIL. He can keep repeating you just didn't want people to come round without calling first to make sure it was OK. Most normal people consider this to be acceptable, there are so many threads on here where people (particularly parents) seem to think it's not only ok to just pop in without checking first if someone is available, but when being told they are not, get an arse on because you should always be available to them.
I note your man has also decided not to see his mother any longer. Good for him to back his own family unit ultimately, some men would have caved in the face of their mother and continue to kow-tow to such a woman. She has done the usual divide and conquer strategy on her family that such damaged types employ; its all par for the course. These people have a script.
You did not make this woman this way, her own birth family caused that particular damage to arise. BTW do you know much about her own childhood, that would give clues.
I would do nothing and let his toxic mother stew in her own juices. She will never apologise to you both nor actually take any real responsibility for her actions.
You may actually want to read "Toxic Inlaws" written by Susan Forward as this could well help you further under the dynamics behind such dysfunctional behaviours.
BTW I would not let his Dad off the hook here enitrely as he is likely to be the bystander who acts out of self preservation and want of a quiet life. He has seemingly done nothing to try and stall his wife's toxic actions towards her son and yourself. Such women too always need a willing enabler to help them and she found that person in your man's dad.
You are right about FIL. Completely. He calls and asks to pop in to see DD and when its convenient we say yes- this is after all what we asked for. We don't proactively spend time with him. He did have a go at us after the letter as DP hadn't responded, about DP disrespecting his mother by not responding. It is the only time i've broken my silence on the matter. Asked why she was to be respected regardless, but i deserved no respect as DDs mother, outlined exactly why we had made the decision not to have any further contact with MIL. The penny seemed to drop as he moved from as stance of 'none of it being here fault' to it 'not 100% her fault', he absolutely enables her to behave the ways she does.
You might need to talk to you dp about the "if she dies" thing.
If my mother (vvv toxic) was dying, I'd still not see her (and if you're reading, mother, as I know you do, hello!).
But she sounds even nuttier than my family. I'd hve no bother cutting them out!
Don't know much about her childhood to be honest- her parents had died before I met DP. I always got the impression that her Dad was difficult but that she'd had a reasonably happy childhood.
I think your DP has bravely done the right thing here, and you should support his support of you - don't talk him into having a relationship with her that neither of you really want! She sounds like a nasty piece of work (and I know what it's like to have an MIL who lies about you, it's something that you can't really defend yourself against).
Let the two of them work it out, or not. You can get on with enjoying your family (congratulations!)
This has been on my mind again today... thought i'd bump for any more views.
ok you probably not going to like this. but imo lifes too short...... i would just approach the woman. infact if i was you i would invite her out to tea and cake. i would proceed to be very kind t her but i would ultimately express my shck and upset over her lies etc - say it like it is .....give her a chance to explain herself. then i would proceed to explain myself vvv clearly, if she wants to resolve things she must respect you and clear your name with everyone explaining she was speaking wrongly - just give her a chance to correct things.
if she doesnt and it gets messy, stand back and avoid her.......you can only try.
Please don't be swayed by lemons post. I had a deeply toxic GM and we would all have been so much better off if my DM hadn't offered an olive branch and invited her back into our lives!
I agree with emskaboo. Your dh has been very supportive and done the right thing - don't let her back in. She might behave for a few weeks then it will all go tits up again. It's her loss. Good luck.
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