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Situation with mil-toxic?(40 Posts)
Recently posted about this. In a nutshell. Mil and sil very close relationship. 18 months ago me and oh went nc with his dsis she had basically ignored our dd for first year of her life then went mad at oh for not being there for his dn's since having his own child/ instead of discussing it she was nasty towards us at gathering snide comments etc, on social media and then shouting at oh- texting nasty msgs you get the drift.
Anyway we decided enough was enough and cut her out. Mil was not happy with this and for the last 18 months made comments about patching things up and that we should apologise to dsis (even though she is blatantly the one in the wrong to rest of family.
Fast forward to recent times when we told mil that we wouldn't have dsis at our wedding mil went mad shouting at me even though I'm seven months pregnant, shouting at oh all in front of our dd. when we told her to calm down she wished that she was dead for all the stress we are causing her. Just a torrent of manipulation and nastiness ie she wouldn't come to the wedding unless sis invited- all until we all but cancelled the wedding- I was in bits.
She called oh a couple days later and he told her she shouldn't have shouted at me like that in general but esp when I'm pregnant- she said she would call and apologise, he said leave it for a couple days as bingo really stressed out about it all.
I didn't receive apology.
We decided that we would go ahead with wedding on our terms- she did come and she completely ignored me on the day and made a few choice comments before leaving. Luckily we still had a nice day anyway.
Since then I've told dh that I can't be around her ATM its too raw and feel like she treats me like shit- if he wants to see her fine but I can't right now.
She has asked why Im avoiding her dh said I was still upset with the things she said before wedding and that she should have apologised- she said she wasn't going to be told when she could and couldn't apologise so she had decided not to do it at all.
Does this all sound like toxic controlling behaviour to you? It seems black and white to me but need detached responses.
Sorry that nutshell was longer than I thought!
Things do seem very black and white to you, that jumps out from your post.
Did you try to build bridges with your SIL before cutting her off?
From your description of events with SIL and MIL, it does seem like you jump to a very defensive, and uncompromising, stance, very quickly.
It's good to have boundaries and to know the limits of what one will accept. But it sounds like your SIL, and then MIL, had hurt feelings that they were expressing very badly: acting out with resentment over something that was still ultimately resolvable. Maybe it would have helped to lower your defenses long enough to check whether they were willing to share these hurt feelings with you, rather than reacting in an even stronger manner to their resentful behaviour.
Thank you I've condensed down a long chain of events with sil it was over several months and numerous attempts to sort things out before we went nc but I'm not sure I got that across. It became impossible for dh to be around her without her shouting or snapping at him so in the end we withdrew.
I think you're point about the way they are expessing themselves is right though it might be they are so frustrated that their default is aggression and while I could understand that I wouldn't accept it.
When people are awkward with you, it doesn't necessarily mean that they're out to get you.
The vast majority of the time, they're just angry or confused or upset because their own expectations weren't met, and you just don't see what those might be, because you are not them.
Very few people are truly ill-intentioned or toxic.
It's good to give them the benefit of the doubt and to check what's going on, and what can be mended if there's willingness on both sides.
No-one needs to accept aggression. But you can dig and see what's really lying underneath that aggression. eg. as a mother yourself, maybe you can have some compassion for SIL feeling that her own DC were being ignored. After all, you had some of those feelings yourself when she showed no interest in your DC for a year.
I don't want to come across that I'm not accepting any responsibility if I should but to clarify- sil chose not to have contact with our dd after her birth, before that we'd been quite involved with her DCs so were surprised and sad that she had no interest in dd. dh didn't say anything even though he was upset- the falling out only started when she was making snide remarks that he wasn't doing enough for her and her dd's because he was too busy with own dd.
I should have put in my OP that we had been together 10 years before we had dd- so a long relationship with my inlaws before this all started. I've never been close with them I was used to their behaviour towards me and oh being cold and the sniping which I'd put up with but the treatment of dd is when we started standing our ground.
No advice, but I disagree with RiceCrispie, I would find those people very hard to be around. And I believe that pregnant women should be treated like waterford crystal, so your MIL comes off the worst in my books.
Your mil is clearly toxic, I don't think you jumped to an uncompromising stance, if she was being abusive over any period of time you don't need to take or tolerate that quite frankly. Your pregnant you don't need the stress and they sound like pita's.
Yes, she sounds very controlling and quite unpleasant - I can understand that she doesn't want her own children divided, but sounds like she was aiming her guns at the wrong party!
No need for her rude behaviour towards you, especially not while you're pg as well. Rude.
So - is she toxic - don't know. But you might as well get the book "Toxic In Laws" and see how many boxes she genuinely ticks. I've linked you to the US Amazon site because there is a useful 3 star review there that might be appropriate for you to take note of.
Thanks for latest comments. I'm going to download that book this morning seen if mentioned before but never read it.
I don't know what I'm after really just feels like by trying to take myself away from the stress its causing more stress wish I could disengage completely but it hurts. I want them to behave in a normal way so we could all get on- my dd is going to start noticing soon I'm sure
"I want them to behave in a normal way so we could all get on"
Ah, wouldn't that be lovely. That's what everyone involved with any level of abusive behaviour in a family wants but sadly it's not going to happen UNLESS they suddenly have a complete character transplant (rare as hens' teeth). So all you can do is find new ways to manage your reactions to their behaviour and work from there - and yes, your DD probably will start noticing and it will be sad for her as well, but your ability to manage the situation will help her deal with it better, I hope.
We have similar issues with mil and sil. We finally had enough too and went nc. Our behaviour may have looked very black and white and final but in all honesty we had had enough. We did explain repeatedly why we had problems with their behaviour but they wouldn't meet us halfway. Sometimes you have to meet people where they are and sometimes you've go to leave them there. Shouting at you when you are pregnant? What is she thinking?
Shouting doesn't necessarily mean they are abusive, it can just mean they are upset. People tend to lose the volume control when they are upset. Well done on you that you don't but is that really because you don't have as much invested in a relationship with your in laws as they do in a relationship with you?
You may not like that or feel comfortable with people shouting and that's fine too.
I think you need to remember that perspectives are very different. You can fall out with people and decide it isn't worth you perusing a relationship. Their perspective may be entirely different.
FWIW she basically was told to apologise which she agreed to do (possibly because she genuinely felt it, possibly swallowing her pride for your husbands sake and the sake of family unity.) Then she was told she couldn't. I'm not sure most people would want to apologise under those circumstances. Generally it's worth excepting apologies when they are offered,even if you excuse yourself from further conversation after. It shows goodwill on your part as well
I wasn't aware that the discussion about the apology had taken place when it did I would have rather have had an apology there and then my dh was trying to protect me that day as I had a hosp app and I think he didn't want me stressed out but in hindsight he wishes he hadn't commented either way he wanted her to apologise.
The shouting is one thing I think I'm more sensitive to it because I'm pregnant and when she went mad that day my dd was there Shes not used to that we're not a slanging match kind of house- but the toxic question was more to do with the controlling aspects - ie conditions on coming to wedding, trying to force us to apologise to dsis, withdrawing apology offer.
I think I remember your wedding post..didnt she insist on you inviting people you didnt want to?
It is nice to see you are developing some boundries and that your DH is doing exactly what he should and standing between you, but whilst you have boundries you seem to have failed to set rules in place for when those boundries are violated.
and yes - she is being controlling...without confrontation she could have appologised by sending a note - a text - an email etc..if she wanted to appologise she would have...she didnt want to so she looked at the situation and decided that her failure to appologise is because you are in the wrong, again.
not healthy - not nice -
She saw her family breaking down and she used what powers she could to hold it together. In the end she decided to drop it when she realised she was going to be cut out too.
I'm not saying it isn't toxic and controlling to you. But I can see why it ended up down that route. You were putting conditions on the wedding, but to your mind your wedding fair enough. But those conditions hurt your mil. Extreme responses (cutting people out instead of just icy politeness when you do have to meet) tend to engender more extreme responses.
Cut people out by all means but accept you will cause others pain in the process. You can't always be the good guy
Yes 665 that was me glad thats out if the way at least even if the fall out continues. Can you elaborate on the rules/boundaries part of your post please I do need the pointers I think.
toffee food for thought thank you. I do feel aggrieved that I'm painted as the 'bad guy' as this continues but I realise that I can't defend myself to the wider family without causing more drama so may need to just accept that while I think sil and mil have behaved awfully others might not agree.
I think OP you have to do what you feel is right for your little family. Hopefully your mil and sil will see sense when they cool down. Don't accept any behaviour you feel uncomfortable with and maintain firm boundaries. They may eventually come around.
"you cant always be the good guy"
NC is almost always a matter of extreme self defence - not a matter of being the hero in some fictional narrative in your own head
I have to say shouting at you while you are pregnant and in front of your child would be totally unacceptable to me. Granted the person might be upset but they need to manage their anger.
I would agree with 665 on nc. It's not taken lightly. We have a mil with temper issues. For the sake of our family we eventually withdrew. Not for everyone and maybe not forever but the way it is now.
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