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Why MIL? Why?

(47 Posts)
SickoftheGames Wed 24-Dec-14 13:39:46

DH is nc with his mother. Various reasons which I respect.

We have a DS. I still facilitate contact with DS and MIL, I am friendly and simply refuse to discuss their NC as although I respect his decision I see it as not my business to discuss or mediate. DH respects the fact that I still speak to MIL for the sake of DS and is happy with the way we have worked round everything. DS is unaware of the NC.

MIL wanted to see DS over Christmas, DS wants to see her. I had arranged with her to go through to the city she lives to visit her between Christmas and New Year. Also to have a special 'Mum and Son' day with DS. This is nice for DS and I, and also allows for a reason to why Dad doesn't come without bringing a child into the family drama.

Why is she now, unannounced at my door?! She rang the bell and the house phone. She's been there around 20 minutes now. I have the feeling she won't leave until she sees us. I don't think she knows we're in as she'd be shouting by now.

She seems to expect me to 'take DH in hand' and demand he speak to her. DH and I don't tell each other what to do. He's made a decision as an adult and I respect it. Why has everything got to be a huge fucking drama on her terms. DH has done everything he can to keep me and DS out of the middle of this. She wants a huge happy reunion for Christmas, I get that. But argh!

I don't even know why I'm posting this. I don't want to cut her out, for DS alone. But I try to facilitate her seeing DS and I, we talk regularly and I keep her informed, but it has to be on her terms.

Puzzledandpissedoff Wed 24-Dec-14 13:48:38

Oh god, how awkward ... since you've really been put on the back foot, it seems to be between:

Stay out of sight and don't answer door
Answer door but say you're on the way out / some other excuse
Let her in and prepare for emotional chaos

What' your instinct overall - is she the sort who'll come in just for a while then go, or ould you be stuck with her??

Happy36 Wed 24-Dec-14 13:49:59

Can you come out into the street with her and go for a walk / a nearby café or pub?

spinduchess Wed 24-Dec-14 13:53:46

Keep hiding. She'll go away eventually.

If you go out she'll know that turning up unannounced works. Don't let that happen.

She won't do this again if it gets her nowhere.

Quitelikely Wed 24-Dec-14 13:54:54

Can you answer the door and dh go upstairs?

SickoftheGames Wed 24-Dec-14 13:55:44

Staying out of sight feels awful, like lying. I refuse to put DS in the middle of the chaos that would ensue (she's a firecracker and although a lovely calm respectful man, I would challenge any man not to react strongly as my DH no doubt would). She would not accept the 'on the way out' excuse.

It will have to be option A.

Phone went again. Now she can call, but ringing ahead - too much like respect. If she had she was coming through maybe we could have met somewhere neutral, DH has said he would have been happy to pop out for a wee pint or a wander to the shops if we wanted to see her in our home.

I swear I'm not a MIL hating bitch, I don't want it all my way. But I refuse to expose my DS to this mind game crap or let her try to manipulate DH or belittle his valid feelings through me.

I am now awaiting the FB abuse.

Quitelikely Wed 24-Dec-14 13:55:49

Perhaps she wants to talk it over with him. At least she's trying..........tis the time of joy and good will!

Kundry Wed 24-Dec-14 13:58:31

So she is too toxic for your DH, very difficult for you to deal with but you've thought it healthy for your DS to see her alone?

Unfortunately your solution was always going to end up biting you on the bum and it has now.

As a general rule too toxic for you = too toxic for DCs.

BarbarianMum Wed 24-Dec-14 13:58:32

<<But I refuse to expose my DS to this mind game crap or let her try to manipulate DH or belittle his valid feelings through me.>>

Hold that thought. And if you think your dh's feelings are valid, then be very careful about exposing your ds to her.

SickoftheGames Wed 24-Dec-14 13:58:52

X Posted.

"Can you come out into the street with her and go for a walk / a nearby café or pub?"

"Can you answer the door and dh go upstairs?"

She would insist on seeing DH, her baby boy, belittle the reasons he is NC and bring it up even though DS is there.

She's a strong character, very admirable in some ways. But she can be full on. I love her. But it's like holding a tiger by the tail sometimes.

DH is now feeling awful and DS knows 'something' is up. sad

Why couldn't we just go round like we agreed?

SickoftheGames Wed 24-Dec-14 14:02:01

So many x posts. Time of joy and goodwill, but he's her son all year round.

Contact is always with me there. She's constantly falling out with family. I just think of my own lovely Mum and how she'd be so hurt if she lost contact with one of her Grandchildren. I had hoped I'd shield DS from the toxic.

I'm close to tears here now. I am angry at her and feeling sorry for her, as is DH.

Puzzledandpissedoff Wed 24-Dec-14 14:04:40

Fair enough - if she's that much of a steamroller (and may abuse you on FB, for god's sake??!!!) then you're doing the right thing not even letting her know you're in

I'd also look again the contact your DS has with her to be honest - I don't think you said how old her is (?) but surely no child needs exposure to this kind of thing?

BarbarianMum Wed 24-Dec-14 14:05:02

<<Why couldn't we just go round like we agreed?>>

Because she does not respect you/your boundaries? Because it's more important to her to get what she wants than to keep your son out of an unpleasant situation? If you choose to play with a tiger then you can expect to be bitten, no?

BrockAuLit Wed 24-Dec-14 14:06:35

I think you need to put DD centre stage in this. Let her in, at the same time as DH goes out for a pint. She will no doubt try to stop him and weep and wail and ask why he won't see her.... Both DH and you need to make a firm, united, calm, kind "no thank you" front and go about your business (DH puts coat and shoes in and leaves after civil goodbyes for sake of DS, you welcome her into home and facilitate her enjoying DS).

DS will have a million questions afterwards which you will need to answer, again being calm and kind - mostly he will feel confused and unsure about how a parent/child relationship can be this way. It will require you treading a path between not "bitching" about MIL behind her back and being supportive of DH.

You've proven you can tread carefully this far, this situation just requires a touch more care.

BrockAuLit Wed 24-Dec-14 14:08:12

Sorry, DS not DD

BaffledSomeMore Wed 24-Dec-14 14:09:07

Hold on to angry and drop the sorry.
She has no respect for her son's decision. I don't imagine he made that decision on a whim.

SickoftheGames Wed 24-Dec-14 14:10:03

She's gone.

I think DH and I need to have a frank discussion about contact going forward. My side of the family doesn't have this dynamic and I feel rather under-equipped for all of this.

How do you explain to a child why they won't be seeing Grandma anymore ffs? Thank you for holding my hand through this and the good advice.

Puzzledandpissedoff Wed 24-Dec-14 14:10:12

If you're not letting her in, would it be worth leaving a message on her answerphone at home, saying all the best for tomorrow and that you're looking forward to your day over there?

I'm just thinking it might draw the sting a bit if she goes home in a temper but finds something a bit nicer on arrival?

Kundry Wed 24-Dec-14 14:10:32

Sadly I think you have been very optimistic about your capacity to deal with her.

Yes your DH is her son all year round - he also wants nothing to do with her all year round.

She may be a 'strong character' but he has many more years of experience of dealing with her than you and come to the conclusion that NC is the only way. I think you have been sucked in based on your experience of your family (who presumably behave like normal people) and her managing to behave OK for long enough for you to think she's lovable.

Your DS is entitled to know that we don't have to see people who are rude to us, even if they are relatives. I'm not sure how you were planning to hide from him that his own Dad never sees Granny?

It was never going to work and BarbarianMum is quite right - if you play with tigers, you can expect to get bitten.

SickoftheGames Wed 24-Dec-14 14:11:46

Just realised my last paragraph sounded like NC for us too was a forgone conclusion, it isn't. I'm just reeling from the fact it even has to be discussed.

SickoftheGames Wed 24-Dec-14 14:12:25

Doorbell just went. Jesus get me the wine.

Puzzledandpissedoff Wed 24-Dec-14 14:17:42

Just ignore - you'd do it if it was an unwanted sales rep or something ...

Having to hide on Christmas Eve is so wrong. She should've stuck to agreed contact times already arranged. Not to harass you all unexpectedly. If you did open the door would she barge her way in?

BaffledSomeMore Wed 24-Dec-14 14:20:35

It is a shock when you come from a relatively ordinary family and then all this fraught difficult stuff happens.
We sat our dc down and explained that the relative in question had been very badly behaved and wasn't prepared to say sorry. And we were going to let them behave like that around us.
There wasn't much relationship there so not so much trauma and it wasn't a huge problem.
Big relief though smile

hotblacktea Wed 24-Dec-14 14:25:09

sorry but this whole situation just sounds so immature
pretending you're not home, why would you even need to do that
just be the bigger person, answer the door, don't let her in, explain she must gtfo or never see her dgs again, her choice
and she must never cross your boundaries like that again

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