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Help! My partner's family hate me & it's making me ill. Should I just walk away with my 6 month old daughter?

(13 Posts)

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Sundaygirl88 Sat 05-Dec-15 21:49:02

I'm in desperate need of some objective advice.
Me and my partner have been together 2 and 1/2 years and have a 6 month old daughter. We have been recently struggling in our relationship with regaining a balance or finding our flow as parents. I've been asking for relationship councilling to help iron out any issues we have with each other. (He resents me for not working and having to be the bread winner, I think he should help out more around the house and with our daughter etc.)
These problems, although stressful would be more manageable if his family didn't hate me and we're applying extra pressure on relationship.

I met my partner on a blind date which was set up by a mutual friend. I recently moved to the area, orginally been two hours away in a different county. Even after my contract at my job ended I found a new job and stayed as the relationship was blossoming. I got on well with his parents (whom he was still living with) straight away. Especially his mother who I felt I could talk to as equals - woman to woman. She seemed very straight talking and I liked that because I felt I knew where I was with her. I was invited on a family holiday and even extended an invitation for me to live with them after I left a live in job and needed to find somewhere to live after me and DP had been serious for a year.
After a few months of living there I had to go back to my home town as both my brother and mum were ill and my dad needed help coping with them. They both suffer from mental health problems and are prone to being suicidal.
DP's family think mental health problems are a weakness and pathetic. So I didn't go into details but left on a good note.
Whilst at home I discovered I was pregnant which was a surprise - I told DP and he was in shock but also was scared and reluctant to tell his family, even after it was confirmed that I was over 8 weeks.
It was then I found out his mother hated me and had been trying to get him to leave me for the majority of our relationship and had even been bad mouthing me to extended family.
Obviously I was devastated and completely blindsided. I didn't understand what I had done wrong or what I could do to make things better.
He told me I couldn't do anything because she hated me because he loved me and it wasn't personal she was just very controlling and had a warped view of other people when it came to him.
I suggested that I spoke to her face to face about her concerns for the sake of her grandchild that I was now carrying but he assured me it would make it much worse if I accused her of disliking me or bad mouthing me and that she would get over it eventually.
She sobbed hysterically when she found out I was pregnant and then pretended I wasn't pregnant and didn't exist for the following three months. I was told I wasn't allowed back in her house and she didn't want to see me by my DP who was still living there while saving a deposit for our own home. I continued living with my family two hours away until we found somewhere to live by which point was this time last year. We had to live near his family rather than mine due to his work comitments. I didn't see his family until I was a few weeks close to my due date by which point they acted distant but not hostile and nothing was mentioned other than they had bought X Y & Z for my unborn daughter (who they now seemed willing to accept existed) I kept the peace for my DP's and unborn child's sake and sucked it up.

Since my daughter was born I have had nothing but unwanted comments about my parenting skills and pressure to leave her alone and over night with his parents. They hate my breastfeeding as it means she cant be away from me longer than a few hours and she has always refused a bottle.
His mother has not directly spoken to me in all the times I've seen her, talks to DP or DD but never to me and won't look me in the eye if I address her. She has never once contacted me about arranging to see DD or coming over to my house to spend some time with her she only wants either to have her alone or with DP present and it to be at her house on her time and when she's available. If she doesn't get her own way she argues with DP and calls her husband, older son, sisters etc and cries about how I'm preventing her from having a relationship with her own granddaughter and I'm controlling her son and ruining the family.

I'm at my wits end! Me and DP argue about them constantly and although he agrees she's trying to turn everyone against me he says there's nothing anyone can do because she always wins and she'll never back down.
When I ask him to have my back he throws in my face any our recent arguments, or says he can't cut off his family because he's scared they're going to be right about me all along and I'll leave him.
He came back from his brother and sister in laws house a few hours ago mad as hell at me because he's been having to "defend me again" and there's only so much more he can take. I'm supposed to be spending Xmas with these people and they all hate me, when I pointed this out to him he told me he knew I would try and find a way our of it and that's what they've all been saying I'll do. To keep my daughter away and ruin everyone's Xmas.
I can't win! I feel like maybe it's time I consider cutting my losses and leaving him completely and moving back near my own family because I'm feeling so lonely and anxious up here with no support and a "mother in law" (for lack of a better word) who won't stop until we break up or I do as she says all the time and be bullied into submission.

Sorry for the long post, but any advice would be greatly received.

southernskies Sun 06-Dec-15 05:56:52

Bumping this for you OP.

I'm sorry you are in this situation. It must be hard to contemplate a long relationship with this family. Is there any way your partner could be persuaded to move with you?

His excuses about being scared you will leave him sound a bit weak when you have taken such a huge leap of faith and had a baby with him.

In your situation, I don't think I could ever trust my IL's again so them having so much power over you must be terrifying.

Hopefully someone else will be along with better advice soon!

shouldwestayorshouldwego Sun 06-Dec-15 06:39:16

flowers It sounds awful. Likewise haven't been in this position but I think that you will get some good advice if you report your op and ask for it to be moved to Relationships.

Unfortunately until your dp stands up to your MIL or cuts contact the problems will continue.

ShortcutButton Sun 06-Dec-15 06:52:08

Have you ever heard MiL say anything about you/your parenting with your own ears?

It sounds to me like your dp has fabricated the hostility. It reads as if he tells you she doesn't like you. And tells her, you don't like her.

She was friendly to you and invited you to stay in her house, you got on well with her. But dp says she hates you confused

ingenvillvetavardukoptdintroja Sun 06-Dec-15 07:03:57

You need to get this moved to relationships, you will get lots of good advice there.
I wouldn't invest any energy trying to work out the whys and how's or giving people chances. Their behaviour to you is awful and nobody should be treated this way. Please don't spend Christmas day being ignored while your daughter is kept away from you. Your only duty is to her and you owe nothing to your partner and his family while they won't acknowledge your existence.

You actually are in control here because they want access to your daughter but that's down to you. They think they can bully you into letting them have control. But actually, do you want her growing up seeing this as normal? That could be her in the future, saying 'that's just the way they are, they always win.' I feel for your partner but if he can't put you first it's not going to work. He's already believing them over you.

I wou ld if possible take your daughter and stay with your family for Christmas. Then it's up to your partner to work out if he wants to fight for your relationship or not.

WildStallions Sun 06-Dec-15 07:21:54

This is not all about your MIL!

Your DP is as much responsible for this as anyone.

I would leave and move back home. Not because of your MIL but because of your DP.

Jw35 Sun 06-Dec-15 07:37:22

Your MIL sounds like a jealous possessive. Your Dp says she always wins. Your Dp is allowing his Dm to control your relationship. Most of it is here say but you've felt pointedly ignored so there must be some truth.

Personally I'd go over your Dp's head on this one. Have it out with your Mil and ask her what's going on. If things can't be resolved and you are going to continue being treated in this way I'd leave.

It doesn't matter how bad you look. Fear of looking like the bad one often keeps people in unhealthy relationships for far too long. Do what you need to do to be happy.

DuchessofAnkh Sun 06-Dec-15 07:40:28

Just a word of warning here - I have learned the hard way to not trust what people tell me other^ people have said....

It is often them enacting their own agenda and telling you what they want to say.

thequickbrownfox Sun 06-Dec-15 07:49:36

The whole family sound nuts - your daughter won't benefit from being around this screwed up, controlling dynamic! My dd1's dad had a freakish relationship with his mother which was a bit like this. Neither of them see dd1 at all now (their choice, although they tell people I do t allow it). They live in a made up world and are totally ruled by emotional blackmail and delusions. I'd go as far as saying they are actually dangerous, in an emotional sense.

ShortcutButton Sun 06-Dec-15 08:33:19

jw mil would probably ignore OP if her DP was telling MiL that OP hated her

I definitely think you should speak to MiL directly. I think your DP had made the whole thing up

Sundaygirl88 Sun 06-Dec-15 09:10:56

Firstly thank you all for taking your time to reply - it's such a relief to get some perspective.
I've reported the post & hopefully it will get moved to relationships, I'm such a newb.

@southernskies - there's been numerous times DP's suggested we just pack up and move to a different city. This is always when he's had a huge row with his parents or feels emotionally invalidated by him.
He suffers from recurring anxiety & depression and is on medication. He believes a life time of living with his emotionally unavailable parents has made him untrustworthy and cynical. He has a lot of issues mixed in around his mother and has admitted he needs therapy which is highly recommended from his doctor.
Nothing ever gets done though, things are always swept back under the rug and there's a slew of excuses "I need them incase we need financial help" "they'd never speak to me ever again and I would have no one if our relationship broke down" 'she's my mother at the end of the day" etc.

@shouldwestayorshouldwego -this is my current mind set. I feel unsupported and at this stage if he's not going to have my back fully then it's only going to continue or get worse.

@shortcutbutton - She makes comments not to anyone in particular, usually talking through DD like "you want to stay here tonight don't you? Sleep in bed with your nana" or "you'd rather take a bottle wouldn't you? So you wasn't always attached to the tit, then you could stay here" or if I say she likes something she'll laugh and say "well that's just silly isn't it baby, you can't talk and say what you like or don't like" if she's due a feed "you're not hungry are you?" (When baby is crying/rooting/putting arms out for me) or "you're not tired, you haven't been here long at all!" (When DD is rubbing her eyes, getting very grizzly) she does all this in a baby voice. She'll never give me my DD either, always passes her over to DP and say "she wants you, she's such a daddy's girl, all for her daddy" and how much they look alike. These aren't normal passing comments, they're repeated over and over every time we go round. All whilst I'm being ignored. I always leave feeling passively aggressively bullied but warned not to say anything by DP.
I've come to the conclusion she was nice to my face when we first met because she thought I was just a bit if fluff and wouldn't be around long. I was from a different area and she assumed I'd leave when my job contract finished. When DP told her he loved me and we were looking to move in together that's when everything kicked off and intensified when I was pregnant as I'd "trapped him so I could sit on my arse and not work while he paid for everything" etc.

@ingenvillvetavardukoptdintroja - You post completely sums up my natural response to everything. It's where all my urges lead me to. My DP lost it completely when I told him I refuse to be bullied and ignored. How it would be a horrible Xmas and not how I want to spend my daughters first.
He said I was completely selfish and I've never got his back... I think he was trying to scare me into submission by shouting the point to put his foot down.

@wildstallions - I have to agree with you. I blame DP for this as much as his family for not supporting me enough and letting it get this bad. He is scared of them which to me is somewhat pathetic as they shouldn't have this level of control when he's an adult in his own family unit now.

@jW35 - I've been trying to go over his head since it started and you're right I need to do it. It owe it to myself to find out what's really going on and also as a last attempt at trying to sort this out. If she wants to deny it all or turn it all on me saying I attacked her unprovoked etc then my DP will have his choice to make and that can be his to live with. I have my DD and I need to be strong for her. Not weak and manipulated.

Thequickbrownfox - This sounds familiar. My DP's family rule with fear, control, emotional blackmail and some sense of "duty" to do what they say because they're his parents.
He was brought up to never question them because the world is a horrible place and they're the only people who have his back. His mother used to tell him when he was a child if he went out to play he would be snatched by bad people and they would never see him again. So until his older teenage years he never had friends outside school or went out. He said he always had a sense of fear and anxiety and it kept him in line. So messed up in my opinion.

BeccaMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 06-Dec-15 13:40:05

Hi all - we're going to move this over to Relationships for the OP.

JennyOnAPlate Sun 06-Dec-15 14:19:40

It's a highly toxic environment for you and your baby op. In your situation I would absolutely be moving away from them. Take control and make the decision to distance yourself and then have a long think about whether you want dh to go with you thanks

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