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Seem to have a breakthrough with DH and the way PILs treat us(19 Posts)
I don't want to speak too soon, but DH seems to have accepted that his parents are never going to change and has said he doesn't really want to have contact with them now.
It's a long story, some of you will remember my posts about how difficult they have been, how they have always been controlling and manipulative, how DH grew up believing that if he upset them then he would be responsible for MIL having a mental breakdown. Then when we lost our two children they were exceptionally cruel, said some awful things to me, and eventually when we had our DS they lied about a hereditary and potentially fatal disease they claimed BIL had, making us think that this might be the reason we lost at least one of the babies, and that DH and DS might also be ill. They also spent some time stalking me, watching our house and following me when I went out.
Anyway, I have been NC with them for several years, and refused to let them see DS in this time as I felt their lies and behaviour made them a danger to him. DH has found it harder and more difficult to cut contact, and also found it difficult to accept that their refusal to leave us alone was causing more problems, as they kept insisting they were trying to make things better.
Recently they have been away to spend time with friends and relatives in another country. They came home this week and must have called DH from the airport to start berating him about me and my behaviour.
I could hear the telephone conversation from the next room, and I heard DH actually put them in their place. He told them he wasn't going through all this any more, that they were not to upset me or DS anymore, and that if they were only calling to complain then he wasn't going to speak to them. And he told them they had to respect our decisions regarding being NC and to stop trying to involve other people and have them interfere. He said that he was putting us first and they were not to phone to cause trouble again.
I have never heard him speak to them that way before. What's more, he then came to find me to tell me what had happened, and said how exhausted he is with the miserable phone calls and the pressure they try to put on him, and how angry he is that they have upset me and DS for so long and how he won't allow them to blame me any more for all the problems they have caused. And he said he never wants to see or speak to them now, because they are always so miserable and awful, and they make him feel bad.
I've been waiting for this for so long. I never thought he'd get here. He finally seems to have accepted that we have done nothing wrong, that they have spent years making us miserable, and most importantly of all he seems to have realised that he doesn't have to put up with it just because they are his parents.
They phoned to tell him about something I have done, under the impression that he wouldn't know. His sister had spoken to them about it and they were phoning straight from the airport to let him know, because they were hoping to make us argue.
We'll it's backfired because he did already know the thing they thought they were telling him, it was something he decided and I did with his blessing, we didn't argue, we talked instead and it's made him more determined than ever to stop them having a negative influence on our lives.
He hasn't said he's going completely NC with them, but if they continue in the way they are then I think he will now. I think finally telling them how he feels and how awful they are has been a relief to him. He's been happier, we feel closer as a couple, he's spending more time with DS, and he actually looks a little different.
We needed this to happen, and since PILs usually manage to spoil every special occasion it's lovely that this time we seem to have come out of the trouble they have caused feeling happier and closer than we were. They've spoilt things for themselves this year, because instead of focusing on having a lovely holiday and keeping good memories, they've tried to cause trouble and finally pushed him too far.
I'm hoping this is a good sign for next year, and that DH continues to stand up for himself and us and they get the message that treating us like this just pushes him further away from them. And that they will leave us alone.
I couldn't have wished for a better outcome if I'd tried. I've been dreading them getting back from their holiday as their time out of the country is the only time I stop worrying about leaving the house and finding them sitting outside it. We were both expecting some sort of drama the moment they got back, and although they didn't prove us wrong, DH's reaction has been a surprise to us all I think. I'm so happy that it's finally happened, when I never thought it would.
That's monumental! How wonderful it is that you and dh are able to communicate and have thwarted them as a result!
I remember you! Yours was the first thread i ever read on MN - about 4 yrs ago - and I was totally shocked and horrified that people could be so destructive and cruel to their own family. Im so pleased you've reached this milestone. SO pleased.
if they are stalking you by sitting outside your home and watching you - please report this harassment to the police
Here's to a gloriously stress free 2016 for you and your dh, OP. I hope he's as chuffed as you are that he's spoken up and out and put your evil pils firmly in their place - and here's another to 'and long may it continue'
I can't tell you what a relief it is or how happy I am.
DH seems a bit surprised but very resolute, and we've chatted about it on and off since it happened on Tuesday and he's been insistent every single time that he now holds them entirely responsible and he won't tolerate it any more.
I don't know what brought it on, I think perhaps he's just reached his limit and decided enough is enough. God knows they have pushed him enough to get to this point.
Also DS is getting a little older now, he's becoming more aware of the trouble they cause, and he raised the issue at school just before the Christmas break started. His teacher spoke to us, PILs were still out of the country at that point, and I think that might have been a bigger wake up call to DH than anything else.
Whatever it is though, I hope it continues because I think it's done us all the world of good to have him finally speak out to them and tell them how he feels.
I would imagine it's done him the world of good to finally let rip and put his dps firmly in their place and I suspect he'll soon conclude that NC is the only way forward for all of you.
I haven't seen your previous posts but what you've posted here about your PILs' antics makes me shudder. May this be the start of a new era for you.
Very pleased for you Hygge. I remember your posts vividly.
What he will need in the coming weeks is reinforcement and support that he has made the right decision - do not be surprised by attempts made to question his rationality, or whether you have forced his hand. He has made a huge step. Happy new year.
Genuinely delighted for you, Hygge - I remember your previous threads only too well
I especially agree with the PP that he's going to need support; they're unlikely to let this go easily and I'm certain they'll try to rein you back in, probably with "illnesses" and so on. If/when they do, you know we're all here for support
It is an awful situation to be in and I am grateful and blessed never to have been where you are.
I agree that reinforcement and support to your DH is needed over the next few weeks.
That is really great but be aware that your feelings from here on in might not be as straightforward as you'd like. My PILs are nowhere near as bad as yours but lately I've had a bellyfull and DH has woken up to how manipulative they are. I'm delighted and it's a relief but I also feel resentful of how long I had to put up with their shitty behaviour and how long he expected me to do that. He put their feelings before mine for so long. Now that things are different I can see just how much they interfered with my life and how much DH let them treat me like shit. In comparison to your PILs it was very small beans, but it's still really hard to get over.
Also your DH is clearly relieved but once what's happened really sinks in he might find it very hard to deal with. I've struggled helping my DH facing up to how his parents are because I've had to deal with their shit for so long and it fucks me off that I now have to clean up their mess.
I am pleased that you have had a breakthrough with you DH - as is always said on MN it is not an issues withe the IL's but an issue with the OH ie how they chose to deal with it or not - who they chose to hear - who they chose to prioritise....and remember even doing nothing ie "rabbit in headlights" is taking a stand/making a choice.
There will be many more, probably more subtle but equally as sabotaging behaviour from them to come - it will be hard to watch and see if he steps up or not.
Thank you everyone.
I think you are right, PILs are not the type to just let go.
I am expecting that they may change tactics and come at him from a different angle, and wondering if he will struggle once the dust settles or they try to manipulate him from a different angle.
Hopefully as long as we are talking to each other, we'll get through whatever they try next and I hope now he's stood up to them this once, he will be able to do so again if need be.
Even if they do kick off again at least your DH has seen now that he can stand up to them.
Good for you all
I am expecting that they may change tactics and come at him from a different angle
I don't doubt it for an instant, but as you say, the important thing is that he's seen the way forward; with your help, hopefully he'll get better and better at dealing with their nonsense
What he can't afford to do - having started on this path - is to slip back at all
They seem to have gone very quiet.
DH was expecting they might send a new year message, but there's been nothing. Usually when they know he is at home they send a lot of messages. He works away so they know he's home at weekends, and there's usually something late on Friday or very early on Saturday, often before 7am, making some kind of misery appeal to him or some demand on his time.
But it's been completely silent since Tuesday now.
They did this once before, disowned DH between Christmas and New Year because we went to visit his sister and they thought that if we had two hours to spare it should have been visiting them, not her, and they didn't contact us again until the end of February.
Then they wrote to me. I don't know what that letters said as I returned it unopened, however they also contacted SIL and had her call me asking me to collect some things DH had left at their house. I organised someone to collect it and they were furious because I wasn't going myself. I had two days of awful phone calls, crying, shouting, name-calling, threats, bullying, hysteria, which ended in my having a panic attack and then telling them I would call the police if they carried on the way they were.
DH was away at the time, they allowed the person I had arranged to collect the things to go and get them, but then they rang DH and left messages claiming I had just turned up at the house with a man, taken all his stuff, threatened them, and walked out. I didn't even go in the house, we didn't see or speak to each other. It was all lies to cause trouble and it left DH feeling awful while he was miles away from home.
It was the first message he received when he got back to his base (he's in the forces) as I'd wanted to wait until he got back home before telling him what had happened. I was worried about him driving a couple of hundred miles with all that on his mind, they clearly didn't care, they just wanted to get at him first and make me look bad.
This silence reminds me of that one. I think they might be planning to wait DH out to see if he cracks first, and if not they will try a stunt like the last time to cause trouble again.
In the meantime I suppose we'll carry on as we are now. I'm not going to say anything bad about them, but I am going to try and reinforce DH's new stance with them and reassure him that he's done the right thing.
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