Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
DP and his family, cant keep my anger contained(41 Posts)
I know I am going to get flamed for all this but I really cannot help how I feel. I am just unsure of what to do next.
Long story but I dont want to drip feed.
DP and I have been together for 14 years, I have 2 older children and DP and I have DS who is 12 and DD who is 5 months. For some reason when DP and I got together his parents didnt really approve of me (divorced with 2 kids) and things were always "strained" when i met them (we live in the same town).
Things got better but were never brilliant. Then something happened which made DP's nan fall out with me and DP. She is not some nice sweet old lady but a nasty, backstabbing battle axe! Anyway, DP was duly forgiven after 6 months but his nan has not spoken to me for over 10 years. The family all knew what the falling out was about and although they knew I was innocent they took the nans side and it drove a BIG wedge in my already fragile relationship with his family.
I have avoided a lot of family events as everyone sits together and me and DP and the kids sit somewhere else as the atmosphere is always strained and his nan always gives me looks that would kill an elephant on sight! I avoid going to weddings/partys/family meals as the atmosphere is not fair on the hosts and I am always on edge round his family.
Anyway, to the dilema, things are slowly improving with his mum and I, since DD was born. She is making an effort and things are thawing, the problem is his nan. She has never met DD and I will not let them meet. But she buys DD presents, when she was born, easter, and when she has come back of holiday. Only small bits, like clothes and (yes I am ready to be flamed) I throw them in the bin. The though of this nasty woman having anything to do with my daughter makes my skin crawl.
She has sent a present for DD via MIL and I have bagged it up with a note asking her not buy DD anything else and saying that everything gets binned and any further presents will also be binned. I want her to know that her gifts are not welcome and I also want her to stop wasting her money as she is a pensioner.
I do not want her stuff in my house or near my DD. She caused so much pain and hurt for me with DP's family. I cannot forgive her for the damage she caused and how I was unfairly treated by her and the family for a very petty "crime". His nan has no desire to make the peace and is more than happy for the grudge to continue, it doesnt affect her as I am the one who got pushed out.
By returning the gifts I know it is basically a hand grenade and there will be a lot of grief and DP will be upset (although he has supported me he never sticks up for me and when I am blamed for something he doesnt put them right, his family can do no wrong and I am always being unreasonable)
I spoke to DS about it (my eldest) and he thinks I shouldnt do it but I want her to know that her tat is not welcome and not wanted. I understand why he thinks I shouldnt do this, I really do, but how else do I get the message across that her gifts are not wanted?
It will cause a lot of problems but the thought of walking out on DP and never having to deal with his fucking family again is actually very appealing.
What should I do??
I think you should continue to take the high road on this issue, I'm afraid.
Sending anything back will put you firmly in the wrong, in their eyes, and you will come in for a world of crap from them.
Don't give them the ammunition.
I'd love to know what your perceived misdeed was in the beginning?
I do not think you should send any stuff back. Why make things worse? You want her to know that you are angry and that she has hurt you but she won't feel remorse, people like that never do.
as donnny says, keep the moral high ground.
Don't do it, you will not get any benefit from this bar the initial sense of tit for tat, I'd just continue to send everything to the nearest charity shop.
Have you considered that perhaps she's sending gifts to piss you off and by getting a reaction from you, she gets to renew her war against you and the thaw between your MIL will return to arctic proportions again.
There's only so much bitching one can get from one incident, don't give her fresh fodder.
Just don't do it - all this energy and effort even thinking about it, you will be continuing to engage in the drama by sending them back. Just take the gifts straight to a charity shop. Job done.
I understand the motivation, I really do - my preferred approach to conflict is confrontational. But if you start it and it does escalate into WWIII be prepared to follow through. Do you have the tenacity (and support network) for a big extended blow up? It might be better to start building a coalition of people on your side by other means... Because I doubt from your description that she'll take it quietly.
For those wondering what my crime was - well, 10 years ago I was using my mobile phone as an address book to write out the Christmas Cards, and I accidentally put her name on the card instead of nan. And for that I have been ignored and frozen out for 10 years.
Oh ferrchrissake, what a nonsense (her, not you). Don't engage, charity shop the gifts and enjoy the improving relationship with your MIL.
"I want her to know that her tat is not welcome and not wanted". Why do you care what she knows? Do not waste the headspace!
Blimey, I'd delegate all xmas card writing for IL's to your DH from that point onwards then....clearly you do not possess the exacting standards required for such a delicate task.
Woman has time on her hands, do no engage. It will only send your blood pressure up, she'll enjoy it.
I wouldn't do although I'd daydream about it too in your situation.
Give the stuff to the charity shop.
If you did it then you will be made out to be the evil, ungrateful cow who threw an old ladies gifts back in her face.
She will spin the gifts into some kind of peacmaking gesture that YOU rejected and dine out on the victim status it will give her forever and a day.
Keep a dignified status.
You know that her stuff is going nowhere near your DD. No one else has to and if you donate the stuff to a charity shop it's a tiny bit of good from a bad situation.
Don't do it
You say there is progress with your MIL -- this would destroy all that
The nan will disappear from the scene sooner or later, bide your time
Your husband and your son both say not to do it -- listen to them!
Just take anything to a charity shop, someone can benefit then and you wont have her stuff in your house.
I'm in a similar position, I can sympathise on the want to pack up and run away. The stress is hard to live with and pretty constant as there's always something family planned coming up.
Don't send the stuff back as others have said it puts her in the right, even get your oh to send a thankyou note. Make sure you always look like your in the right
Don't do it. She will love the fallout. You will be giving her the gift of conflict, which she loves.
Although your DP sounds like a wet Wednesday. Fgs, he should have stood up for you properly years ago!
I can see why others had said don't do it and I do agree with them but tbh I think I would do the same I wouldn't want her to be bitching about me saying things like " I'm a pensioner with no money but I buy things for that chld and the evil VodkaJelly won't let me see her" and things like that, so I'd send them back. I wouldn't do it through your mil though because that's putting her in an awkward position
I am so glad I came on MN before doing anything drastic.
I wont return the stuff, just bin it, cant really charity shop it as it is a soft toy with all tags removed and a hideous t-shirt!
I guess I was lashing out and trying to hurt her but as fuzzywuzzy said it will only freeze my relations with MIL again.
Not much chance of making a coalition as everyone is on her side. DP's sister is very close to their nan and is very precious about sharing the family with DP, doesnt like him to spend time with is parents so this fued suits her fine. She is another oddball who stopped speaking to me 9 years ago when i stopped being useful to her with regards to childcare.
After this I made DP write his own bloody Christmas and Birthday cards, I will not buy them, write them or post them. He has to sort it out!
And as LifeofPo said, she wont be with us much longer. I can go and do a jig on her grave (evil I know)
Write thankyous using her real name!
I love this idea!
As much as you think you should send them back it would be better not to retaliate in this situation. Just send the gifts to a charity shop, if it's a small enough town then she may even come across them in the shop anyway.
Erm, why not grow up and be the better person? Holding onto a grudge like this makes you sound as bad as her; the situation would improve massively if you stop continuing the war by being all flouncy and self-righteous. Accept the gifts, write her a nice thank-you note, be all sweet and charming... and make a voodoo doll of the old cow to stick pins in when she isn't there.
I haven't spoken to dp's family for almost 10 years.
Dp takes dd to see them. They buy her presents. She likes the presents. It's what grandparents do. I accept that they and I will never, ever get on. I don't give a fuck. But I will never lower myself to their level by refusing their relative (my daughter) a relationship with them. That would actually take me lower than their level.....
You are 100% totally in the wrong by not allowing your child to see her family. (and I speak as someone whose MIL went to my school to tell the headmistress I should be sacked as I was a trollop and told me I could never take my daughter to the UK to see my family because "her place is here in Italy")
Ebay the presents.
Then use the money - but only to buy bin bags or loo roll. Then you get to use her gifts as well as throw them away!
I wonder if she hates the fact that your mil is making an effort to come and see your dd so she's deliberately sending stuff in the hope that you will send them back and it will cause another big fall-out.
Not sure how old she is or where she lives, but in many cases people of this generation had their youths and often friends and family stolen from them by the 2nd world war. It has fucked them up a bit I think hence all the simmering rage they take out on all the innocent people around them.
She is obviously a cow but thinking things like that helps me not take their behaviour personally and never, ever, join the battle on their level.
I'm not suggesting you are in any way at fault here or that she isn't being a stirring old cow but if you carry on as normal and try to summon a bit of pity for her I bet she will lose her power to hurt you.
Join the discussion
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.