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Cutting toxic family member off(26 Posts)
Since finding out we're expecting me and dh have always know that a certain family member were always going to be kept at a distance when our lo arrives. But after this weekend we've decided it would be best to cut ties all together.
Sil has always given us trouble before I was dating dh, sil has a history of attacking him (more than once with a knife), activity trying to break up any friendship or relationship he had and made a very serious false accusations against him.
During our relationship she's made multiple threats of violence, openly screamed unprovoked fowl insults at family events and spread false rumours about me.
Well this weekend was just the cherry on top my dh was summoned for a meeting with his parents which I was not permitted to go to. During this meeting I was accused of writing a fb post slagging sil off, which although tempting I haven't. I use fb mostly for business and have many clients added. I couldn't defend myself and my dh was lectured on my behalf as his mother seems to think he's my keeper. All the past accusations against dh were also brought up again from his sil.
So now I'm expecting we've made the decision to not allow sil near our family.
I'm unsure how to tell his family, I wouldn't have bothered telling them but we're having the baby christened and she'll be expecting an invitation. Despite all the things she's done, sil just COULDN'T understand why she wasn't invited to our small close friends and family wedding. I'd rather get this conversation out of the way before baby arrives and dragon mil demands her presence. Mil knows all that's happened but still fights her corner sil is just misunderstood in her eyes.
I'll never get a face to face talk with her she actively avoids conflict with anyone that she can't manipulate.
Not sure how to tell mil and sol we'be simply had enough and I will not put my child in toxic and potentially dangerous situations.
Then don't. Get your husband to do it.
Did he stand up for you at this family meeting?
My husband and I have our moments, but if he'd been summoned to a meeting where the sole purpose had been to his family slag me off, he'd have walked out in the first 5 minutes.
He did but she determined to believe anything her dd says despite my fb security being set to high and no mutual friends.
It wasn't the only thing they talked about that comment was thrown in at the end. It was mostly about how they think he should forgive her and say sorry for not inviting her to the wedding.
He's not great with confrontation which is probably the main reason I was 'banned' she doesn't like it when people are brave enough to argue back. Although he did manage to tell her that her threat of excommunication means nothing to us now after the last 2 years.
Their childish games have caused enough grief fir a life time but the mil a whole other kettle of fish.
Are you BOTH prepared to cut off SIL and MIL? Sounds like you need to do both?
If DH can't or won't tell his parents and sister that she is no longer welcome in your home, then would he be willing to sign a letter to that effect? The two of you could sit down an write a brief letter/email stating that because of SiL's past treatment of you, both of you have decided to cut contact with her and that it isn't open for discussion. If his parents decide to get stroppy about it, tell them that you have decided you will not have ANYONE who is not supportive of both of you around the baby. Hopefully, they'll get the hint.
It's just the sil we're wanting to cut off mil is more manageable doesn't make scenes in front of people. She has her nutter moments but never says things to your face and small controlled doses of her are ok...for now.
The only reason mil involved is because she likes to think her children are still children, incapable of making their own decisions. We only ever see sil at extended family events I went 6 blissful months of not seeing her due to work before. Family parties are always on the same weekday and time.
It's just I know the christening is going to set her off. My main concern is not exposing lo to openly agressive sil. We're waiting to see if mil decides to calm down now gc is on the way.
thank you AcrossthePond55 this was half asking advice half rant.
Hearing mil going on and on how it isn't a big deal brings back memories of an abusive relationship I was in years ago, he didn't mean it either and it wasn't a big deal (according to him) I've had quite enough of putting up with abusive type's.
Rant away! I know what you mean. My ex was great on the 'why do you always overreact to what I say!!!'. (After calling me names and telling me I was worthless)
Just remember that you do have the option.
Do you know why she is so against her brother having a relationship? Seems a bit weird...
Funky, I thought the same thing, it's very strange. As for the serious accusations she has made, are you 100% sure they are false? It seems odd to me that the family would effectively take her side if they don't believe it, although there are some batshit crazy families out there, so it's possible.
I would imagine the trick to going NC is not to get drawn into a conversation with anyone about it. Tell them what is going to happen "we no longer wish to have SIL in our lives at all. We don't want to rake over old ground, but you all know the reasons why. We are protecting out DC and anyone who seeks to force or persuade us to have any contact with SIL will get the same treatment. She will not be welcome at any gathering we arrange, including our lo's christening. This decision has been a difficult one to make, but now made it is not up for discussion."
Any further attempts to discuss should be met with "we're not discussing it, we've made our decision".
Yes I know it's 100% not true. His family don't back her up on that and have said they don't believe her. She has a history of making things up and going to the police. His mum would rather stick her fingers in her ears and ignore everything and she likes to twist stories too. According to her sending threatening text messages wasn't a good enough reason to not invite her to my wedding
She is a really weird girl his aunt once slipped up and told me she was treated for some sort of personality disorder. Which wouldn't surprise me with the way she acts and his two other brothers have been diagnosed with other disorders.
It's kinda if difficult to write everything in a post, I know its false because last year we were looking at applying to adopted and I told him I needed to know everything. That was brought up, her claims were discredited by social services, the police and marked down as wasting police time and resources.
Thank you for everones responses so far.
Then I can't see how any reasonable family would not respect your decision. Good luck
You sound very sensible and going NC sounds and excellent idea. But rather than having a big show down to announce it, could you not just do it quietly and cease communicating? No replies to phone calls, no messages or emails. She will notice and get the hint but what can she do? If she turns up uninvited at your home you call the police. Seems less difficult to do than standing up and provoking an argument. Good luck anyway and all the best with the new baby x
given what you have posted I am not sure that going NC with the SiL will work if you don't go NC with the MiL.
Congrats on your pregnancy
I think that you might be forced to go NC with the MIL too. She might well just 'forget' to tell you that SIL will be turning up at events ... kind of hard for her, she's her daughter. She sounds already as though she's half-way to blaming your DH and you for all sorts of things, true or not.
But if your SIL is given to making threats and is dangerously unstable it's absolutely right to keep your little one away from her.
She's toxic. Have nothing to do with her. She sounds barking mad.
In my experience with cutting off a toxic family member, you will often have to go nc with their main defender too. Your MIL will no doubt see her poor little daughter being victimised and run to her side. However, she sounds just as toxic, although a bit more sly, so it might not be a huge loss.
Three out of four children have diagsnoed personality disorders in the family and the one child with no diagnosis goes to a meeting and you take it all as hearsay?
Growing up in the family your oh grew up in will have meant he will have needed to adapt to survive and will have picked up behaviours himself. Has he had any help with any of this?
Be ready for it to get worse before it gets better when you go NC with SIL - she will kick off & do nutty things but weather the storm it is worth it.
If you dont go full NC with MIL you will need to be really upfront with her and communicate your boundaries - ie we do not want to hear about SIL, you are not to share info about our child our lives to SIL, you need to respect/tolerate our decision, we need to be notified if you are aware that our paths are likely to cross with SIL so that we can choose to avoid it.
Your MIL also needs to know the consequences of not respecting your boundaries....that if she cant be trusted or you cant count on her support you all (dh, gc) will need to cut contact with her as well.
I went NC with my sister - other sisters and most friends didnt notice or care -- however my sister then deliberately struck up a relationship with one of my oldest friends which was manipulative and intrusive, soley to bad mouth me, extract info and get info to me -- all v toxic and dysfunctional.
Repeatedly when I met with friend she brought up sister issues and I had to say this that this topic is off limits -- I had to be v firm v often with that statement. Also I knew that my friend was feeding back info - so in effect I could not have a relationship with her of any value as I could only talk about the weather. Friendship v v sadly for me has now ceased.
Your MIL loyalties are clearly to her dd and not you or her dh. You need to manage this v up front from the start with MIL and always be on your toes for the rest of your life as she will be under manipulative pressure from SIL. She will do things behind your back - expect her to invite SIL over or take baby to see SIL if she is babysitting etc....
SiL has a history of attacking your husband, more than once with a knife.
Have the Police or the health service not been involved? They seriously should be.
When you say you are planning on having a Christening for your child do you mean a "proper" Christening in a church or your own little ceremony? I only ask because I was under the impression that you cannot ban anyone from a church - they are open to anyone at anytime, strangers can walk in off the street and attend your wedding if they so wish!
I just thought I ought to mention it so that you can think about keeping the date/venue to yourselves until the last minute. It may be that your SIL (or MIL for that matter) might not know this, but forewarned is forearmed and all that.
Sorry I didn't word that very well his brothers dont have personality disorders one has as and the other had adhd. Dh has had quite bit of counciling about the environment he grew up in, he's improved a lot in the last few years much more open and willing to stand up for himself now.
Yes it's a church christening I'm know she can just show up if she pleases I'm more bothered about her following us back to the after bit. I maybe able to get away with the last minute announcement it's very normal in my family to do it when lo are only a few weeks old I could get lucky.
We always knew cutting mil might have had to be done, her being trusted to babysit was never going to be an option. We were just waiting to see if anything else changed.
Again thank you for all the great advice my parents went through something similar with my own granddad but its nice to know other people have these issues and I'm not just super unlucky!
Do keep talking in RL to your parents for the support you will need to keep up the effort protecting and watching those boundaries for many many years to come...but it will get easier (after it initially gets harder) and is worth it .
You are doing the right thing - be strong, keep calm and look forward to a toxic free family life - good luck with the pregnancy. Sx
Sorry can I go back to the violence? I think this shouldn't be minimised.
I think I would stop contact with your SIL without making dramatic announcements etc and just wait to see how MIL reacts when Sil is not invited to Christening etc.
If MIL questions it just say that SIL has told upsetting lies about both you and your husband. MIL's reaction will give you an indication of whether it is feasible to maintain a relationship with her.
Your SIL does sound unwell but you need to protect yourselves.
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