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In Laws ignoring their own son

(16 Posts)
Mistressmiggins Mon 28-Dec-15 08:58:13

To cut a long story short, DH and I fell out with his brother 4 years ago and both his sister and parents seemed to take their side. His parents still spoke to us and saw us occasionally but not as much as they saw his brother and sister. Admittedly we live 40 mins away and they live 15 mins from each other. His sister stopped all contact and bday cards except to DH.

This autumn I put out an olive branch and it seemed to be taken. His brother and his family came to Sunday roast and we had a relaxed time. We've not seen them since but they lead busy lives. I stupidly thought if we made up with the brother, his sister and parents would be happy and we could all join in family occasions

We asked to see his parents either yesterday or 30th as not seen or spoken to them since Xmas Eve. His dad just said they were busy 27th and so we're going out to lunch with his parents 30th.

However (and I should just stop using FB) last night his dad posted a pictures of all of them playing a game at the parents house. It just hurts that we weren't invited round. I just can't understand how DHs parents can blatantly leave DH out. He says he's not bothered and as long as he's got me and my two children (he's stepdad) he's happy. We are very happy but I find the whole situation with his family so hard.

The sad thing is his dad has only just signed up for FB and like his wife, it's my DHs sister who posts on his behalf.

Should we just carry on with the lunch and accept we're outsiders? With such a good relationship with my brother and parents I find this hard.

SongBird16 Mon 28-Dec-15 09:14:20

I think your olive branch was a tentative first step, and they obviously accepted it willingly enough, but maybe feel that it's too soon to throw everyone into a happy families situation. Basically, you need a few more relaxed occasions throughout the year, and then maybe next Xmas will be different. They want a relationship but didn't want to gamble their Christmas on it going swimmingly.

Mistressmiggins Mon 28-Dec-15 09:18:47

Thanks - you're right we probably are expecting too much so quickly.

I think the reason it hurts so much was the fact we were alienated when it wasn't our fault we fell out. I just couldn't take the not talking any more which is why I made the first move in case they were too embarrassed.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 28-Dec-15 09:21:55

I would cancel the lunch on the 30th (cite illness if you have to) and make other plans instead. Its likely not going to pan out well for him or for you for that matter.

He does not need these people in his life and neither do you. (It also does your children no favours at all for them to keep on seeing you as their parents being so disrespected).

People from dysfunctional families end up playing roles; your DH here is likely the scapegoat within his family of origin and so his family unit all now get scapegoated too. This is why he has been ignored by his parents along with your olive branch; they were never going to accept any other view other than their own. His sister and other brother within the family are very much favoured and the parents took their side for whatever reasons (usually self interest and it becomes another way to get back at the scapegoat within the family). The roots of all this as well likely go back many years.

It is very hard for people like your own self who come from nice and also importantly emotionally healthy families to accept that dysfunction like this happens at all but it certainly does.

Remove yourself from FB as well, you do not need to keep looking at his family of origin either.

You've been more than reasonable and you've tried with the olive branch but you really now do need to follow your DHs lead on this however hard it may be to you. You have a nice family; concentrate on your own selves now along with your parents. Kick his to the kerbside. After all he has had a lifetime of their behaviours and you have not.

I would suggest you read "Toxic Inlaws" written by Susan Forward to further understand the power and control dynamics here. If your DH has not already read it, I would suggest he reads "Toxic Parents" by the same author.

Imbroglio Mon 28-Dec-15 09:26:20

If people have got into taking sides and cutting contact there will probably need to be a gradual redrawing of the lines to preserve everyone's dignity. It sounds like things are going in the right direction.

Sansoora Mon 28-Dec-15 09:28:47

It all sounds really hurtful, and horrible, but I would go to the Lunch just so you know you did everything you could should your olive branch not amount to anything in the long run.

It will either work out or it wont and if it doesn't you don't want to be second guessing yourself and saying maybe if we had gone to the lunch things would be different.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 28-Dec-15 09:29:19

"I think the reason it hurts so much was the fact we were alienated when it wasn't our fault we fell out. I just couldn't take the not talking any more which is why I made the first move in case they were too embarrassed".

No they were not embarrassed at all, they were and remain pissed off that you called them on their behaviours. That is also why you as a couple have been ignored and remain so. Nothing has really changed here. It was also a mistake on your part looking back to actually make the first move. Basically you tried to appease these nasty people.

You are thinking unsurprisingly here like a person from a nice emotionally healthy family. That is because you are nice and emotionally healthy yourself and there is certainly nothing wrong with that.

You cannot apply the "normal" rules of engagement to dysfunctional families like your DHs. What you need to know here is that in dysfunctional families the whole rule book about familial relations gets thrown out the window. People like his parents fall out with family members all too regularly and such relations are rarely mended.

Whoknewitcouldbeso Mon 28-Dec-15 09:31:10

I think you just need to try and rebuild the relationship slowly. Can you unfollow whoever it is on Facebook who is posting the stuff that's making you upset?

SongBird16 Mon 28-Dec-15 09:33:14

You're making a lot of assumptions Attila, unless there's a backstory somewhere that I'm not aware of. I don't think there's enough information in the OP to draw those conclusions.

Sansoora Mon 28-Dec-15 09:35:42

I think you just need to try and rebuild the relationship slowly. Can you unfollow whoever it is on Facebook who is posting the stuff that's making you upset?

Good idea, and not just because those pics were a pretty bloody crappy thing to do and I'd be more upset about them than the fact they'd had a gathering and not invited us.

Name7 Mon 28-Dec-15 09:38:16

What was it like when you saw them on Christmas Eve?

Mistressmiggins Mon 28-Dec-15 09:43:12

DH has always been the butt of jokes or snipes by his sister at family events something I've found hurtful but again, DH just shrugs it off.

Apparently his mother and sister hated his first wife so she rarely went to family functions, and when he met me, his mother and sister told him he shouldn't have a relationship but concentrate on his DD who was 10 at the time. I feel for his sister it was a great excuse to cut us out her life.

Its the women who are strong in this family and his dad and brother just toe the line for an easy life. Unfortunately as I'm not the favoured SIL /DIL we're on the outside.

They all have Xmas day together - we've never been invited and they live in a huge house so definitely not a space issue.

I've been with DH for nearly 10 years and it just feels like I've had enough of trying. His brother even booked a holiday in the middle of our wedding and asked us to move the date smile

Mistressmiggins Mon 28-Dec-15 09:44:37

Name7 - it was just his dad who came over. Like I said, his dad is lovely to us always. Just goes along with the flow....
Sansoora - it was his dad on FB but his sister posts for her parents so she knew exactly what she was doing putting that picture up.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 28-Dec-15 10:38:19


This type of stuff happens for reasons often going back many years. Emotionally healthy people generally do not engage in this type of behaviour and bring the parents into it. Its very hard for many to comprehend that people do behave like this but they most certainly do.


Also I note without surprise that your DH MistressMiggins has been the butt of jokes from his sister. That has likely been going on for many years too.

The best thing to do with these people is to live well and without them in your lives. Honestly they bring nothing at all positive to it. These females are not strong at all but bully their menfolk to tow the party line and continue the rifts that they themselves established.

Adalouisa Mon 28-Dec-15 11:36:39

I am sure there are complicated dynamics in your IL's family going back a long way and the sister sounds to be given a lot of power but I do agree with songbird that there is not enough information here to conclude that there is no chance of improving relationships.
I would take it slowly over a longer period and see what happens.

Branleuse Mon 28-Dec-15 12:02:27

I think you need to stay out of it. If you dont have complicated dynamics in your own family, it can be easy to underestimate it in others familes. You dont need to push them to get on or extend any olive branches. Its between your dh and his family

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