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Desperate situation with mil please help(31 Posts)
Hi I've married into a family with a very sad situation, my husband has lost two of his brothers to cancer. One aged 14 died 10 years ago and just before we met, the other died aged 27 a year after we married. Since then he is a single child. My mil is deeply depressed has been in and out of hospital, high risk of suicide. My FIL is an uptight damaged man who puts up with his wife's depression and his loss. Together through the years they have repeatedly criticised me on how I run my house and accused me doing saying things which I haven't. My hubby has tried talking to them on numerous occasions however it hasn't made any difference but got worse. Since giving two kids which they adore they have been even more difficult, highly critical, as we live 5 hrs away from one another when they come and stay they dismiss me, refuse to eat my food etc. I have continued to be polite with them despite them not giving a shit about me. For me the last straw was after staying with us for 10 days refusing to eat my food, refusing to ask me how I am etc. on new year eve I went to wish my mil a happy new year and she basically pushed me away and walked off, I'm no considering stopping my contact don't really know if I should have minimum contact or no contact also but not sure how to go about it as the situation is so delicate any advice would be much appreciated. Thankyou
Have they always been awful? I mean, before you met them? What was your husband's childhood like?
A family member lost her son in tragic circumstances. It was awful. She is not a nice person and people make excuses for her. Because her son died. But I've known her all my life, and frankly, she was NEVER a nice person.
As I see it you have 2 ways to choose from.
Either ignore their behaviour and continue to deal with their responses to you on a case by case basis.
Or tackle it head on and state your position to them . Either they shape up as PILs /Grandparents or you will ship out and they will not see any of you again.
They have probably got themselves stuck in that awful grief state and cannot see anything past their terrible losses. This is to be understood.However for your present relationship this is not helping and if they actively do nothing to try to help their relationship with you maybe you need to put some space between you and them.
But I do think they need to know why you are putting this space between you.They need to know that they are sadly not the first family to suffer a loss and if they want to have continued contact with DGCs they need to step up and accept you too.
Their loss is no excuse for their bad behaviour. I have lost both my siblings who died in their early forties, meaning that my DM who currently has cancer herself has lost both a son and a daughter. She still makes it through each day and manages to smile and you know what, so do I.
Do they perceive you as a barrier to their son? How does he get on with them. I know that I (particularly at the moment) find it hard going from youngest child to only child.
Your DH has his own DC's who must be a priority over his parents. Their behaviour is just not acceptable no matter what they've been through and I would hazard a guess that this is more down to personality than bereavement. Yes it changes you, but it doesn't make you behave in a despicable manner to those you love and cherish.
You need to sit them down and have it out. If they don't like it or won't change then they'll lose their other son too.
But for the fact that it would be taking their remaining son away, I would say you should go no contact immediately. But in the circumstances they should probably be given one final chance. So I agree that you should have a conversation along the lines that you realise their conduct is affected by their grief, but you simply cannot accept being treated like that in your own home. Suggest they need to get help for themselves otherwise they will push away their remaining son and his children. And, in the final analysis, unless they treat you with ordinary politeness when they come to stay, you can't have them to stay again.
Thankyou all for your responses, my mil at one point was doing ok and we had a ok relationship especially after she had been in hospital for psychiatric help. My husband says they have always had up and down relationships with everyone. My mil has a bad relationship with her mother And says she has always put her down. She has just lost her father which she was estranged to due to domestic violence. My fil lost his mother aged 7 so mil never had a relationship with her own mil. So they at pretty messed up people even before the grief but I would have never said that they were nasty before just highly critical. The problem is I don't think my husband has got it in him to say that he won't have anything to do with them. He is very distant with them due to everything and he says they don't treat him much different. However I do feel they care about him still. I am now suffering from high anxiety and have lost a lot of my confidence when speaking to them despite trying not to play the victim I find my anxiety peaks. If the topic comes up and they decide to have another family meeting about how many things I have done wrong I just begin to feel shaky. I don't think I can cope with it any longer however just the thought of having no contact and the arguments that is going to spark off is making me feel terribly anxious.
What a sad situation.
Would it help it you encouraged your husband to see his parents on his own or with the children for a while? You sound like you need a break from them.
You don't have to say that you're going no contact if that would spark off arguments. Just be busy with other things when your husband is seeing them for a while, and see how it goes.
What awful lives they've had :/
Whatever the rights and wrongs of their lives, your life needs to be tolerable though.
I can really see why you don't want to go fully NC, though at the same time you may need to consider it because they make life unbearable. It sounds like they actually hate you - perhaps not on a personal level, not because you are you, but for some other reason. Maybe they hate life.
They live 5 hours away ... Hmm.
What about a two stage plan?
1) Have that blunt conversation with them. They need to treat you with a touch of respect or else they are not welcome.
2) If they cannot do that, then how about that your husband goes to see them every few months and stays overnight in a hotel / with friends nearby? it's not on to expect you to put up with this treatment from them. So, no need for you to go. But as the last child, he could go and visit them now and then.
That's what I was thinking of doing, maybe hubby could take our toddler down with him on the train but I stay with the baby. It's baby's first birthday in February so going to try and avoid them coming by booking to go away. I've tried having minimum contact but they often question me why haven't you called etc. and still call me to speak to the children. I really now think they hate me, but I have come to realise that they would have hated who ever their son married. My mil projects and scapegoats all her suffering on to others especially onto me. I feel she feels she treats me the way she is treated by her own mum but the bottom line is its mentally and emotionally abusive. It's been going on for years. A few years ago i planned to frame some photos together of our family she threw a tantrum as I didn't want an individual photo of her dead sons but only wanted my children but was happy to have a group photos of them. She called me a heartless cow and threw a major tantrum about it. She threatens saying she's a mental case etc.
Hmm. mummy2b83 I'm afraid that I don't think it's a good idea for your husband to take the toddler. This behaviour of hers is a terrible example. If your husband won't stand up to her, she could be saying awful things about your to your toddler and sometimes, those things stick.
It could be a good idea to make an ultimatum during the blunt talk: that you (both) expect her to treat the mother of her son's children with respect and well. If she cannot or will not do that, then you cannot have that example set before the children. It's harsh but it is probably necessary. You (and everyone else) deserve to be treated with courtesy at least. Warmth between MILs and DILs can be impossible sometimes, but there does need to be civility.
Also given how unbearably rude she's been, why not block her from the landland and your mobile and get your husband to deal with her? Either directly, or say outright during the blunt talk that you insist on being talked to civilly or there can be no contact. Then if she strops, block her.
I do hope your husband has your back here. He is in a difficult position but when you marry, your partner should come first and you (or actually, he) should insist they are treated with respect.
Whatever the backstory and however tragic doesn't give you the right to treat people like shit.
They don't deserve a relationship with their son or GC whilst they behave as they do. Do you want your children to witness this toxic behaviour as they grow up?
You and your children are your DH's family now and take priority. If his parents want to be part of that they they need to behave appropriately.
You should all go no contact with them explaining that you won't put up with this any longer and they are not welcome. If they want to think about their behaviour and mend their ways you can suggest a meet up in 3 months on neutral ground - if they fuck that up then game over.
You would have thought they would be highly supportive of their remaining son rather than do everything to warrant shutting them out - bizarre....
A friend of mine lost her adopted child in terrible circumstances. She was unable to have children of her own.
She grieved for the rest of her life but she was the kindest, loveliest person you could ever meet. Everyone who knew her adored her.
Your MiL is awful because of her nature which is probably made worse by her depression. You do not have to put up with them and your children should be protected from them.
I agree, she's just being rude. You would think that she would make the most if the one son she has left. I'd get DH to tell her she has to change her attitude.
she sounds like she has some mental health challenges that aren't properly being addressed by her doctor
i would talk to your husband about addressing that issue with his parents, and yes, i would keep both my children away from her until she can treat everyone with basic courtesy - if she is treating you that way, i cant see what good will come of exposing the children to that type of behaviour or influence
grief aside, there is no excuse for the way she is treating you
DH has to stand up for you. He should be protecting you from her. If he is choosing her over you then that's very bad.
Your problem is with her not him.
If the topic comes up and they decide to have another family meeting about how many things I have done wrong I just begin to feel shaky.
Are you seriously saying that your DH goes along to a meeting where they say say mean things about you and he doesn't tell them to fuck off and walk out? Really? And this has happened more than once? How can you bear to look at him?
Doh! Your problem is with him not *her.
MIL is his DM, not yours. She is his baggage that he brought to the marriage. He protects you from her. He should not be serving you up to her for a kicking.
If the topic comes up and they decide to have another family meeting about how many things I have done wrong I just begin to feel shaky
WTAF? who are they having meetings with about your behaviour with?
I am speechless on your behalf.
woah - a family meeting about all the things you've done wrong? seriously? this has happened in the past? oh my lord
honey, either your husband stands up for you or you get a damn fine lawyer because if he particpates in that farce then he is as bad are you MIL and you need to get the heck out of there as fast as you can
stupid autocorrect - "he is as bad as your MIL" not "he is as bad are you MIL"
If the topic comes up and they decide to have another family meeting about how many things I have done wrong I just begin to feel shaky.
This is abusive behaviour. They do not own you or your life. They are not your rulers though their disgusting attitude and treatment of you certainly presents them as tyrants.
Their losses are immense but in truth not relevant in the here and now. I think there should be no contact at all with these despicable people. Which leads on to the next issue which is DH. I'm not smiling at him from the sidelines at all. I have a very large "hmmmm" going on about him at the moment.
I'm sorry you are being so abused. Reject them Mummy2b
These sessions which have happen maybe 6-7 times have been between the four of us, they come about after mil and fil look for an argument dh and myself try to explain our position but they tend to happen ad hoc. I try to avoid getting into these sit down and go back to 5 years ago you did this, you did that bla bla bla and dh does back me up but I do think he is too soft. They don't shout at me but accuse me of saying things I didn't, accuse me of being disrespectful etc. dh is not English so the traditional background does add to the mixture of we are the parents and you listen to us. Mil will say I am the mum here, we are the parents bla bla..
mummy you have to stop putting yourself in the path of these abusive people!! Honestly - family meetings where they just use you as en amotional punchbag - are you serious?
This has to stop. As PP have said their loss does not excuse their behaviour. My wonderful aunty lost a son in his early twenties and now has cancer herself. She is one of the loveliest, warmest, kindest people I have ever met.
Tell DH you are going NC with his family. If he wants to stay in contact with them then he can. I would also try to keep the DC away from them as they will probably try to turn them against you.
If DH hasn't been backing you and has been allowing you to be treated so appallingly why are you still with him?
Thing is, dear soul, tradition is just that. Sometimes an older way of doing things is fine and good, sometimes it isn't. Like when it's oppressive and tyrannical, cruel and abusive.
These people have NO entitlement to put you on trial for perceived sins committed years ago when they are not even sane by the sound of it. That is obsession and delusion, the exercise of assumed power to destroy another. That goes against anything I would call a family value of any worth or validity.
I know it will be easier said than done to cut contact but truly, I wouldn't want children around such nasty, twisted folk nor would I be their punchbag.
Whoa, back up the truck.....a "family meeting".....to discuss what you "have done wrong".....erm? WHAT?? And precisely WHO attends these?? Hardly a meeting if no one goes......
Where does your husband stand, will he back you up if you go no contact or will he put pressure on you to see them?
I think for your own sanity you need to either toughen up and call them out on every disrespectful thing they do to you or just drop them.
They are majorly rude and you should not have to put up with it, meetings to discuss all they see as your faults, how humiliating. Who do they think they are.
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