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Family Event with ILs, need some perspective

(20 Posts)
PumpkinLatteTime Sun 21-Dec-14 22:54:30

Hi,

Have NC for this as Im worried it would out me. But I need a bit of perspective and advice for an upcoming situation. this is really long so i do apologise and thank you in advance to anyone reading;

In context: To put a long story short, my partner's (female) family member (cant say which or, again, it'd out me) was nasty to us when we told her that we were expecting a baby a couple of years back.

she had been okay with us up until that point, perhaps a bit offish (she seemed a bit jealous of Dp spending time with anyone outside his family), but when we told her our child was on the way she was vile..she told dp he was irresponsible, that his 'decision' was interesting and that he would burn bridges with his family by having a child with me. for what its worth DP and I were, and still are, in a comitted loving LTR, living together, working, got a place to live, finished studies etc. Her reaction would have suited an unplanned teen pregnancy announcement better!

Anyway, she did not stop there, she kept sending my dp abusive emails and phoning him, making out he was stupid for 'getting me pregnant', and all of this when I had met her perhaps once or twice at family events, and to my mind we all got on ok! it was none of her business, and did not affect her, if we had a baby so we really could not understand her attitude. DP tried to be tactful and feebly defend us/his unborn child but this woman (in her 30s) went as far as to say she couldn't be happy for us and what had happened to the man she once knew? as if dp was an ex partner or her son or something (he isnt!)
So I admit I lost it and flew into a rage and messaged her saying she would have no involvement, I didn't want her to have anything to do with the baby's life and I would not let her see him or her when they were born, because of how horrible she was being. She was being so toxic to my dp, making him so upset, and so vile about an unborn baby, who had done nothing wrong...so I pretty much told her to fuck off (which she didnt take kindly)

--Roll on a couple years and we have the baby, we manage perfectly well, we are all very happy, still n/c with above woman as specified (she shut up and went away after one last sarky text to dp saying 'she wished him well' and this was his disaster etc...really cheeky and passive aggressive but at least we haven't heard from her any more)

my dps parents (my in laws) have not accepted our falling out with this woman, they have brushed the situation under the carpet, and refuse to acknowledge how mean she was. we asked them, was she jealous and perhaps ttc when we announced our pg, but they assured us this was not the case as she doesn't really want or like children. so it really does seem this woman is against me and dp having a child, for some reason. we still don't know what the reason is but ILs act oblivious to the fact that she was so mean. I know I probably sound a bit PFB but in my mind they should be angry that their grandchild, and son for that matter, got an earful from this member of their family, for what i can tell is no real reason at all!! it makes me angry how they always mention her as well when we meet telling us all about work/charity stuff she has been doing and their recent meet ups with her...I dont begrudge them spending time with her at all (im not that sort of person!) BUT dp and I dont want to hear about her, we have been n/c for almost 2 years now, and have no plans to restart our relationship with her... ILs will always say things like 'oh --- moved house, heres her address' when they are fully aware of the situation, and then when we say 'we don't want it, we don't talk to her' they act as if we are the ones in the wrong, when i dont think we've done anything to deserve this womans awful behavor.

Basically (and the point of this thread is) my ils have booked a family holiday next year for the whole lot of us. this is very kind, except she has not only invited me, dh and dc, but also this woman we aren't talking to, and her side of the family. I stand by the fact that I absolutely do not want this person anywhere near my son, and my ILs know this. I have said to them beforehand that I will not change my stance on her, despite their indifferent attitudes. DH has tried talking to them before about this situation but like i say they brush it under the rug and refuse to acknowledge there has even been a fall out.
I do not want to go on this holiday because they are expecting all of us, inc n/c woman, to stay in the same house...it would be ok if it was a hotel or something, but all in the same apartment?! It is not happening because i don't want my dc near the toxic side of the family. dc is at an impressionable age and i dont trust this person at all, she was so vicious about my unborn baby, god knows what she would do or say to him, or do/say to me and my dp in front of him!
AS me and dp are made out to be the bad ones for some reason i know for sure the family would all side with her if she was nasty...and if we were at an event close to home i could just leave, but as we will be away on holiday that really isnt an option!

Thing is how do we say to ILs that I will not be there with dc? Im happy for dp to go alone to placate his parents but there is likely to be WW3 over the fact i am refusing to go based on this person being there.

it feels like they are putting this woman's feelings over those of their own son (she is not a DD for the record - think distant member of family...) and would rather have her on this holiday instead of me and baby because they KNOW i dont want dc near her!
either that or they are hoping it will be the break that brings us all back togerger, and magically solves all the problems in the past...npt happening sorry...until we get an explanation or an apology of some sort from this family member, i will not have my child near her.

What would you do? How should we broach this sbject with them? i really dont want to hurt my ils feelings by refusing the holiday (which they booked without asking us first, may i add, just assumed we'd go/have the time off work)

please be gentle with me!! i am willing to listen to poeple's points of view if i am being totally wrong.

AcrossthePond55 Sun 21-Dec-14 23:11:44

There really isn't much you can do to 'soften the blow'. All you can say is that although DH will be going, you and DC won't be going and offer no explanation. If they ask why (and I'm sure they will) then say that it's because you don't want to be around XX nor do you want DD around her.

Do you think that maybe they've planned this thinking that it will mean a big love-feast and reconciliation? I think it's odd that you've made plain to them that you want nothing to do with XX and they've still invited her, especially since she's a 'distant relative' (meaning to me she's NOT a sister, close cousin, aunt, or grandmother). She must be close to your iLs however.

Personally, I'd probably have my DH make my excuses when he accepts their offer. Although my DH wouldn't accept the offer to begin with since she basically slagged him off too.

Inertia Sun 21-Dec-14 23:12:46

You're not in the wrong. They shouldn't have booked you on a holiday with somebody they know you are NC with, and they shouldn't have assumed you could get time off work. You don't have to go.

Mulderandskully Sun 21-Dec-14 23:20:30

I think you need to be firm and say. "You know I won't be around her. I won't be coming neither will my son"

Very slightly similar but less serious we have a family member like this who is invited to the occasional family party and I either don't go or ignore here where I can go and am able to do that (something like a christening is easy enough)

wheresthelight Sun 21-Dec-14 23:27:21

I agree with the above. politely but firmly tell them that as they are fully aware of the situation between your family and this woman then you are certain they understand why you cannot accept their kind gesture of the holiday whilst ever she is going to be there but you hope they have a lovely time.

smile lots and keep repeating at every mention of it.

MonstrousRatbag Sun 21-Dec-14 23:35:43

Don't go. Your DH and son should not go either (don't reward this weirdo by giving her what she wants-contact with your DH without you and your child there). Your ILs are being very weird about this, and incredibly unreasonable. They won't learn to treat your feelings on this issue with respect until you take a stand

holeinmyheart Sun 21-Dec-14 23:36:17

To me, as a MiL, it seems inconceivable that anyone would contemplate booking a holiday without consultation.
They then make the problem worse by including someone who you are ( for very understandable reasons) NC with.
You have already explained yourself to your in Laws ad Infinitum. So I don't think you need to feel the slightest bit of guilt in refusing their offer. It isn't really a kindness anyway if it has a hidden purpose.
How annoying and infuriating of them to put you on the spot like this.!
You just have to whack it to them..... Sorry

FunkyBoldRibena Sun 21-Dec-14 23:39:27

Or they might think that you wont go, they can still take your child and thus this woman gets to spend time with her without you?

Personally i would be saying that this oversteps the boundaries, and not to book holidays on my behalf in future, no matter who else is going.

nicenewdusters Mon 22-Dec-14 00:06:53

There is no obligation on your part to go whatsoever. They booked a holiday to include you without asking first if you were available, or wanted to go. Moreover, the holiday includes somebody whom they know neither you nor your husband has any contact with.

I suspect they believe they are going to be the ones who will effect some miraculous reconciliation. I've seen this happen in families before. An individual takes it upon themselves to be the one who can succeed where all others have failed. They are totally blind as to the reality of the situation. They do not appreciate why one person just does not want any contact with the other.

I think both you and your husband should decline the invitation. If it is only you then it looks like only you have an issue with the relative, which is not the case. You can do so gracefully, but as they've knowingly put you both in a very awkward position, I don't think you have to tiptoe around to protect their feelings, they haven't done so.

I think your husband should also make it clear to his parents that neither of you have any interest in hearing about her. I would just walk off or start humming next time they try and tell you the latest installment.

Ohfourfoxache Mon 22-Dec-14 01:25:02

Think you're going to have to be blunt tbh.

I can't understand why they would book a big family holiday when they know that you are NC with this toxic piece of scum they call a relative.

You are under no obligation to go (and tbh I would not go iiwy - I'm NC with a relative and her husband and spending a holiday with them would be hell on earth) so don't. And don't subject your dc to this woman either - protect him at all costs.

Fwiw I would suggest that not only should you decline, but DP should also decline - a United front is far stronger than the rejected invitation of one individual. I wouldn't worry about placating them either - they caused this, not you.

CheeseBuster Mon 22-Dec-14 01:51:59

I think people treat an unborn foetus very differently to an actual child. I don't think it's healthy to hold so much anger after two years. I'd go and be civil but have an escape route. If you have to leave then leave. It seems a shame to waste a free holiday.

You can't avoid her for the next 50 years if she is a close family member- granted you said not close in blood but obvs close in other ways for pils to invite her.

What is your DPs opinion, from your post it seems as though he is just going along with whatever you say? I'm guessing him and this relative were close as children or in their teens, does he want a relationship with her?

sykadelic Mon 22-Dec-14 02:54:46

CheeseBuster It's not healthy for this relative to not apologise after so long either. I can't say I'd have any interest in "forgiving" when no actual apology had been attempted at any point.

Also, you're assuming there's still anger. Refusing to be around someone who's hurt you doesn't have to mean there's anger, it just means there's absolutely no interest in associating with them. The OP sounds more like she's annoyed/angry at MIL et al for organising this holiday, without asking, with a person they don't like in spite of their disinterest in associating with them.

PragmaticWench Mon 22-Dec-14 03:19:24

If your DH goes without you, he is in effect saying that it's your issue and not his, that he is fine with the toxic relative. I think you need to act together; you go (together) or you don't go (together).

Your DH also needs to be the one to explain clearly to his parents that their booking of the holiday without first asking you has created this situation. Don't passively let them blame you for the situation, although this can be said nicely and without being confrontational.

Whocansay Mon 22-Dec-14 07:36:48

I don't think any of you should go. Your PIL know what they are doing and are trying to manipulate the situation where you can be emotionally blackmailed into making up with this person (SIL I would guess?). I've had similar and have just refused to go (it was my family and my sister though, so perhaps an easier choice for me).

Hold your ground and protect your family. Your dh shouldn't go either. You need to be seen as united.

Quitelikely Mon 22-Dec-14 08:16:46

Can you show your PiL the emails she sent about you? Do they know the content?

Do they share this woman's opinion of you but keep quiet incase they lose their son?

The email content was quite nasty, how can they justify their approach on the matter? What did they say at the time?

Refuse to go unless the person offers a full apology

AskBasil4StuffingRecipe Mon 22-Dec-14 08:52:43

You are not being remotely unreasonable in not wanting to go and your perspective is not at all wrong, so please don't even think of believing that you're in the wrong here, you are not.

Nobody has to have a relationship with anyone they don't want to have and it's simply wrong to say "you're not going to be able to avoid her for the next 50 years". Yes you are, if you want to. This woman has never acknowledged her behaviour or apologised for it and so unless she does, by having contact you're agreeing to the unhealthy sweeping under the carpet that your IL's go in for. It's not about holding on to anger, it's about establishing healthy boundaries that you don't allow to be trampled.

I agree with those who say your DH should not go too - I actually think it's crucially important that you don't allow your IL's to divide and rule, which is what they would be doing if he goes. Also, why the fuck should he placate his parents? Why do they need to be placated? You are the ones who have been massively insulted and hurt, people need to be placating you not the other way round.

You don't owe your IL's anything. You really don't. They are being massively disrespectful to you by refusing to acknowledge that this woman has actually done something wrong here and needs to atone for it if she wants to have a relationship with you. They may be doing it out of a misguided, cack-handed attempt to impose peace on the family, but tough, what they are doing is wrong and they need to be told so.

I would get your DH to say to them that both of you are not going, that you want nothing to do with this other family member because of her abusive behaviour towards you and could they kindly respect that in future instead of ignoring what you are saying over and over again. It must come from him, so that there are no mixed messages and they're not left with the hope that they can somehow manipulate you all via him - otherwise they'll do this sort of thing regularly and you'll be left with the same sorts of dilemmas over and over again. It needs to be nipped in the bud.

AskBasil4StuffingRecipe Mon 22-Dec-14 08:59:04

Also, you sound like a very nice woman not wanting to hurt your IL's feelings - but what consideration have they given for your feelings?

You have made it clear time and time again that this family member behaved atrociously towards you and that you were very hurt by it.

What consideration are your IL's showing your feelings here? They're trampling your feelings, constantly offering you contact with this bloody woman who has behaved abusively towards you. They don't seem to care very much about your feelings, they want you to just pretend you don't have them for some sort of false family harmony. Bollocks to that, you have the right to have your feelings respected and to put them first, before those of your IL's. Don't be worrying too much about their feelings, they're not worrying about your's, are they?

AskBasil4StuffingRecipe Mon 22-Dec-14 09:01:27

God, sorry for the essay. grin

Tobyjugg Mon 22-Dec-14 09:19:33

You don't go and if he's any feelings at all neither with your DP.

Tobyjugg Mon 22-Dec-14 09:19:52

*will your DP

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