Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
ex inlaws and contact arrangements(17 Posts)
name changed as coupled with my other posts i am identifiable.
i spilt with my ex 2 years ago and have seen my ex mother in law a few times when she has collected my children (its not often as she lives abroad). my ex sees the children approximately once a month which is down to him and not a set agreement just when he can be bothered i think. The last few times my mother in law has been in the country she has texted me to see the children, i have arranged for her to spend time with them but its starting to piss me off. i am torn and dont know if i should be arranging contact for her or if she should go through her son. i would prefer she arranges through her son but think she is being "mature" (for want of a better word ) for asking me.
My ex ignores texts off me and tells me what hours are convenient for me to call/txt (i text once in a blue moon mainly down to property issues as he isnt interested in the children and i still get told off for txting) where as when he does call/txt me the time rules dont apply to him.
since we split i left the door open for ex MIL to be in touch to speak with the children and she didnt bother so as far as im concerned i have no relationship with her.
i always had a good relationship with my MIL until just before we split where she showed her true colours.
so what should i do??
I think you should just arrange contact for your kids direct with your MIL who is their grandparent: if you make her arrange it through XDH it won't happen and it's good they've got someone interested from that side of the family.
In view of your ex being a complete arse about contact, coupled with the fact that your mil lives abroad, the chances are the dc may not get to see their dgm or spend quality time with her if it's down to their df to arrange it and I suspect your mil prefers to deal direct with you as she knows her ds is an inconsiderate twat,
Given that she's not in the UK very often I would suggest you continue to facilitate her contact with the dc as, regardless of your feelings about her, it's in their best interests not to become estranged from their paternal family members providing they're not abused or have to listen to you being denigrated while in their company.
With regard to your ex, if he calls when it's not convenient for you tell him he'll have to call back and if you're busy when he texts don't bother to read his missives or respond until it suits you to do so, even if this means he has to wait a few days.
Your ex MiL has her son to arrange contact for his side of the family and its his responsibility, he's their parent too. The fact he's not bothering doesn't mean you have to step up and compensate for him, he's your ex.
Since its a good will thing, its largely down to the feelings of goodwill between you and ex MiL I would think? It's nice of you and I can see you'd probably choose to do it for the kids themselves if they wanted the contact, but isn't your default duty or responsibility.
Do your children like their grandmother and enjoy spending time with her?
If so, then that's your answer; it's about them, after all.
I do struggle to understand this, and it's the bottom line of a lot of MN threads. NRP Male parent is not doing what is needed/does not put children first. RP Female parent should therefore do their own majority part of the parenting (already being the one providing 24/7 care) and cover his too because female parent is upset (or morally should be upset) by the consequences to others of his actions as he isn't, and she should seek to prevent those consequences all she can.
If the situation was reversed, would he go to the trouble of arranging contact with your family OP? (Not saying you shouldn't btw, just asking about the inequality of expectations.)
i will end up facilitating it.
The problem is my ex could be the biggest twat on this planet (which i think he is) but his mother would still think the sun shone out of his arse! if i spoke my mind about how much he sees the kids to her she would defend him no end and somehow it would all end up being my fault. for all i know he could be lying and telling her i wont let him see them.
i am happy for her to see the children as we all had a nice relationship once upon a time, im just not sure why it had to turn so sour, if we could have kept up being on good terms then i would find it easier to deal with.
it all went sour when at a cruical point in our relationship rather than helping us deal with the problems or not getting involved they made them worse and i cant forgive that.
When it comes to the marital or other relationship problems of others, few of us are skilled mediatiors and it can rapidly become a case of 'damned if you do and damned if you don't' particularly when one's own flesh and blood is concerned.
In time you may find you can, at least in part, forgive your mil for her interference and/or unsupportiveness towards you, but you'd be wise not to forget it and continue to keep a cordial distance from her interaction with your dc.
It would depend to me what she did, and how much of a positive thing she is for the kids really.
Can't you text her back "great that you're over, kids would love to see you, can you arrange with <your arsehole son> when's best for him?"
It would also depend for me on what I had to do - e.g. Actively host her because she doesn't live here. If she just swoops in and takes them out - fab, enjoy the break. If you actually have to host her - she can fuck off up her son's, if you don't like her.
background info i didnt want to disclose this originally as it could out me but the reason i am struggling with my inlaws is outlined below.
my ex has had one emotional affair that i know about when our babies were born it affected me badly and i ended up on anti depressants when what should have been the happiest time of our lives was ruined, i also caught him kissing someone, he has threatened me physically over the years and broke doors in the house, told me if i was a bloke he would kill me.
i stayed with him for the sake of my children (which i now know was a mistake).
Our relationship took a turn for the worse if it could get much worse when i noticed him being distant, he started lying and distancing himself i was researching depression and mid life crisis as i thought my ex was suffering as he would not speak to me and would always be out at the pub avoiding us as a family (i now think he was having another emotional affair as he had a work phone that stopped coming home with him), i wanted to get to the bottom of his behaviour but he wouldnt tell me and was getting really frustrated, he wouldnt tell me what he wanted or even if he still wanted to be with me.
we had a huge row one night which resulted in me lashing out (slap) my ex went to the pub the day after the blazing row with his dad and he discussed the row and told him i hit him, they came home shit faced and my MIL gave him a hug my ex started crying and i went in thinking great maybe now we can start to move forward, "hes told them we are having problems and now we can deal with it" but they both stood and screamed at me for slapping him, told me he didnt love me and called me and my family disgusting names (my family had nothing to do with it and werent even there) it was 3 against one and my children witnessed the whole thing. my FIL punched cupboards and allsorts. (he is a huge man too and very intimidating)
i left with the children that night to my mums and didnt hear from them at all until my MIL texted to see the kids. ive never spoken to my FIL since.
the children still discuss that night, ive told my MIL now that she can see the children this week and told my DD and she has said she doesnt feel comfortable with them but she will go as she doesnt want to upset them.
wow it feels good to get that out... hope it doesnt out me
You poor thing.
But - PLEASE. Think about the lesson you're teaching your daughter. She does not feel comfortable with them - FOR GOOD REASON. She witnessed very frightening out of control behaviour from them. She doesn't want to go but will - to keep them happy.
I know this is hard, but now is the time to help her in a very good life lesson. That you don't have to keep abusive people happy.
They scared her. She doesn't have to go. Don't make her, and don't aid her in making herself. Let her learn that it's OK to say "no, I will not be around people who treat me badly".
You want her near your FIL who punches walls and shouts in front of frightened children?
Thank fuck they live abroad. Just say no. If they don't like it, they can take it up with their sorry excuse for a son. Don't send her into the lion's den.
If he is being a teat to you he is no doubt being a twat to his mother and that's why she is contacting you direct. I agree with others continue facilitating contact between MIL and children as long as they are happy to see her
Generally the family courts say that when your exH has the children that is when the grandparents should seem them. It is certainly not up to you to arrange and facilitate separate contact and also if you establish contact with them regularly if you fall out again, she could apply to the courts for contact herself as established.
Whilst it is perhaps morally right to a degree to do this for your children, do be a bit more wary and not encouraged by the well intentioned posters.
She has not been supportive of you and if your ex only wants minimal contact then she needs to give him a kick up the backside. It is no longer your role - whilst she may be your childrens' grandmother, she is not your responsibility. Your children are your only concern here, not her needs.
After reading the background I wouldn't want any contact! I deffo wouldn't want the gf having any contact (does he?) after the punching of cupboards performance. He's a violent fucker. Your dd isn't fussed about seeing them. That's the crux. It's not your job to build bridges between your dc and these gp who so rudely and stupidly backed their abusive son up. They showed zilch fairness and evenhandedness to you when you needed it so why be the bigger person (doormat) here when your dd has expressed discomfort at seeing them? If they wanna see their gc so much their precious son can sort it...
sounds like you need to stop picking up the slack for the slacker. The pils are not your friends and may turn your dcc against you. Support your dd in doing what she feels is best for her, not for others. When your mil wants to see the gcc , make her arrange it thru her 'wonderful' son.
They (ex MIL and FIL) can fuck off. They have no legal rights at all regarding you and your children. If the XP chose to see the children and include his parents in contact time, that would be his legal right, but given that he can't be arsed, and more importantly your DC don't want to see them, you can completely ignore them if you want to.
Now that you've expounded on your OP, I can only echo what SGB has said.
Please tell your dd that she doesn't have to go anywhere where she doesn't feel comfortable, nor does she have to go along with what anyone wants simply because she doesn't want to upset them.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.