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With my ILs I can never get anything right but this is ridiulous

(28 Posts)
Restorer Sat 04-May-13 18:26:30

For years it's been like treading on eggshells, always only a matter of time before I do something that offends them greatly and we aren't on speaking terms, until I either phone them and say lets put it behind us, or make DH do the same.

On Friday, MIL came round to deliver a card with cash in for DS's birthday next week - they don't trust the post. I didn't know they were coming and was out, on foot shock which meant the car was on the drive.

I didn't answer the door AS I WAS NOT THERE. But apparently, she knows that I was and that I ignored her.

I don't think I'm going to make that call this time.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Sat 04-May-13 18:41:58

Indeed, leave them to it.

What they think and say about you is not an accurate reflection of who you really are. And since you can't control their thoughts or their words, just be satisfied in the knowledge that you are satisfied with your own behaviour.

Hissy Sat 04-May-13 18:45:05

Stop treading on eggshells. Stop apologising if you haven't actually done anything to require an apology.

LET it be their problem. STOP calling them to smooth things over.

TBH, if the shoe were on the other foot and you were accusing THEM of what they are accusing you of, how would they feel?

GET INDIGNANT! TELL them that you are not going to pander to them and the sooner they understand that, the better it will be for everyone.

Bowlersarm Sat 04-May-13 18:46:25

It's not your problem. It's theirs. Stop pandering to them.

BabsAndTheRu Sat 04-May-13 18:46:45

Yep I would be furious about this as she is basically calling you a liar, and tell her so.

Shellywelly1973 Sat 04-May-13 18:47:43

Don't call them.

Take control of this ridiculous situation. Why would you not, open the door?!

What if you did ignore the door?!
Your a grown up&don't have to answer the door if you don't want to the bloody door....

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Sat 04-May-13 18:48:22

Wow that's lunacy!

BerthaTheBogCleaner Sat 04-May-13 18:51:32

Well, even if you had been there and had chosen not to answer the door, that would have been perfectly fine too. People who get offended when others don't answer the door should learn to phone ahead and check that it is a convenient time to visit.

Enjoy the peace while she is ignoring you, and have a bet with your dh to see how long it is before she caves in and calls you.

Or you could get offended and call her - pick a time when she will be out so you can leave a message. And go all "How VERY DARE you insult me like that! I expect an apology at once!" on her. That would be fun.

How do you know she is offended, btw? Are there going to be lots of "he-said-she-said" conversations between MIL and DH? Because if so you need to get him to do the "how very dare you insult my wife" conversation. Then with a bit of luck you'll both get ignored for a nice long while.

(but make your dd send a thank-you card in the post!)

Restorer Sat 04-May-13 18:57:51

Oh I know because FIL phoned to tell me just how devastated she is by the way I treated her. Neither he nor she had any interest in the fact that I wasn't there.

If I'd seen her coming and thought I could get away with it, I might well have ignored her grin but I didn't.

I won't be telling them anything, as I won't be making that call this time. DH won't (he does get far more annoyed than I do about the way they treat me) he would have let them go long ago. I've tried to maintain a relationship for DC. We'll see if they call, but I doubt it.

They will be thinking that we "need" them for babysitting, but we don't really. That's another thing I do to keep the peace, if I ask my family or friends ahead of them, they get offended about others having more time with their GC.

Bowlersarm Sat 04-May-13 19:01:10

Leave them to stew. They are being so unreasonable. They will have to make amends at some stage as they are losing out re the grandchildren. Glad DH is on board, that must help

Mollydoggerson Sat 04-May-13 19:01:29

Your MIL is an insanely insecure person, who cannot control her own paranoia.

All you can do is maybe call and say sorry I missed you, I was out walking, would you like to call around tomorrow?

If that's been done and there is still an issue, then just chalk it down to their craziness.

WinkyWinkola Sat 04-May-13 19:03:47

If you just carry on your merry way behaving normally etc then you won't be fuelling their unreasonable behaviour. Just don't engage over it.

If it does come to anything just repeat ad nauseum that you were out and is she calling you a liar? But don't get angry.

They sound very hard work.

My mil is like this. She thinks she should be able to call on us and her dd whenever she fancies. Her dd was fast asleep in her house (5 months pg) and didn't answer the door. Mil kept her finger on the doorbell, rang sil's landline and got fil to call sil's mobile all at the same time! Ffs.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 04-May-13 19:59:15


Like many people you have fortunately come from a family where such familial inbuilt dysfunction is unknown. However, as you are discovering the "normal" ways of dealing with dysfunctional people like his parents do not work. You calling them to apologise actually makes them act worse, this is about power and control ultimately and this is their whole reason.

What you have tried to date has not worked so its now time for a different approach. I would suggest you detach from his parents and do not engage in their game playing any longer. Don't make DH apologise either for their dysfunctional behaviour.

FIL is both a bystander and enabler here and acts out of both self preservation and want of a quiet life.

You cannot reason at all with unreasonable people. Trying also maintain a relationship with them for the sake of the DC is a mistake, they do not need such awful people who treat both their mum and dad with contempt. Your DH got the measure of his parents a long time ago.

Restorer Sat 04-May-13 20:02:14

I think you have it more or less right Attila, but actually FIL is not the bystander/enabler, he's the one with a great big wooden spoon stirring MIL up, IMO

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 04-May-13 20:08:59

I would suggest you read "Toxic Inlaws" written by Susan Forward as a starting point.

Your MIL and FIL are both as bad as one another.

I used the word enabler re FIL because he called to say how "devastated" his wife was by the way you treated her. She could have called but chose not to. All this is actually part of the script uttered by such toxic and unreasonable people. They do not apologise nor accept any responsibility for their actions.

What does DH make of their latest nonsense?.

CheeseAndMushroomToastie Sat 04-May-13 20:12:23

OP I feel your pain. My Inlaws are good at making me feel guilty for everything and blaming everything they can on me. I do the bare minimum I need to with them now.

Definitely do not make that call. It's not worth the stress it puts you through.

Hissy Sun 05-May-13 09:50:33

NOBODY ever takes the decision to 'let their parents go' lightly

Agree with Atilla, as you have grown up with normal parents, you apply normal logic.

His parents are ANYTHING BUT NORMAL!

Please support him in letting them go. It will positively free your family from their toxicity. Your DC won't benefit from Knowing these people.

Focus on those that add to your life.

Good luck! :-)

Lavenderhoney Sun 05-May-13 10:00:53

I wouldn't call, just let them find out through your dh you were out but on foot. Not hiding behind the sofa or any other fantasy she has. Doesn't she have a mobile? She could've called you.

My dm once drove to see me as a surprise, spent ages banging on the door and finally left a parcel on the step where it rested all weekend. I called when I got back ( sent to Madrid from work, luckily always had my passport on me and a carry bag) to my df shouting what a bitch I was for not answering the door. Dm had spent the whole weekend moaning about me - she didn't try and call me at all- I would have answered from Spain.

Now, she had never before turned up unannounced ( 2 hour drive) and I was and am still not, in the habit of calling my parents and updating them on my movements, and back then I travelled a lot for work.

BerthaTheBogCleaner Sun 05-May-13 11:20:30

Oh well, you can just ignore then. Have you got caller ID?

Can I just ask about "trying to maintain a relationship for DC"? If these people weren't related to you, would you want your children to know them? Think about when your children are teenagers, looking for role models. How do you think they will benefit from a relationship with your ILs then? What good things are your children going to get from this relationship, and does it outweigh the bad things?

AdmiralData Sun 05-May-13 22:03:43

If like me OP you find it difficult to let go of toxic people in your life even though you know you should, I suggest NOT phoning and apologising this time (as stated in by a previous poster). If they want to have a relationship with you they will phone you or DH, if not ... no big loss really.
You've done nothing wrong, keep telling yourself that. Toxic families can unfortunately have the effect of actually making you think you are in the wrong! Don't let that happen OP.

perfectstorm Sun 05-May-13 22:33:23

If you hadn't been there you'd still have every right to ignore a visitor who dropped by without warning. Nobody is entitled to your time as of right without your agreement except children, and to a lesser degree spouse. When I was a teenager I had a friend who would ring and if nobody answered, let it ring out and just start again. I didn't always want to talk to her. She had no concept that this was okay of me - but she was 13.

I'd not make the first move, but I warn you the next move from her side is likelier to be a health complication than it is an apology, if you don't fall into line meekly within the usual time frame. Which, obviously, you should not.

jizjones Mon 06-May-13 19:40:58

^^What Hissy and perfectstorm and AdmiralData said. Wise words indeed - the Toxic attitude will not change, will not desist, and anything you attempt to do to smooth over this 'misunderstanding' will be for naught sadly. Nip it in the bud NOW.

Ok, so I'm bitter from my own experiences of radioactive in-laws - I reacted verbally to something (truly AWFUL) that they did, however their excuse was that they only did the thing they did because of what I'd said...but I only said what I said AFTER they did what they did, AAarrggghhh! Beat that kind of fucked up logic confused

Hope your DH is on your side with this, mine isn't sad

Wishwehadgoneabroad Mon 06-May-13 19:49:15

Are you sure we don't have the same MIL?! grin

Goodness me. There's more than one loon MIL out there.

Ridiculous. Ignore her.

That's what I'm currently doing with mine - who had not spoken to DP for 3 weeks, on the grounds of us 'ruining her day' (our wedding day) because we haven't invited who she wanted.

Best bit? We finally gave in on the silence and sent a text asking for some RSVP's please from her immediate family because they still haven't confirmed if they're coming..and she replied with a text saying,' Does family mean nothing to you?'

Erm. You're the one who hasn't spoken to your own son for 3 weeks and hasn't seen your own granddaughter since January. hmm

Thanks whoever it was for the Toxic inlaws recommendation - think I need to get hold of a copy of that myself I'm feeling blood boiling just talking about the bloody woman grin

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Mon 06-May-13 19:57:27

Good grief woman, your DH would have let them go years ago, your DC do not need toxic people like this in their lives... what have you been thinking? Start the party now!smile

JustinBsMum Mon 06-May-13 20:44:32

You were busy waxing your pubes and couldn't answer the door, could send photo as proof

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