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I don't know how to write this(28 Posts)
Please bear with me as it's long and it may be in bits and pieces.
Mil is married to a man who has committed, and been convicted of, several sexual assaults against women. She is refusing to leave him and is expecting us all to play happy families.
Dh is caught in the middle. He loathes the man his mother has married, has a wife who refuses to spend time with his mum and her husband, but wants to maintain a relationship with his mother (which is understandable). I want to facilitate this but within the limitations of I don't want contact and I don't want my dc to have contact with this man. So far I am the bad guy in MILs eyes because "he's served his time". She is being an obstinate cow and refusing to see her son without her husband present, almost to prove a point.
It's breaking my husband into pieces. In his eyes his mum is a victim, in mine she's a manipulative and malicious woman who always has to have her own way. Through all this dh and I are fighting more and more and it's getting close to the point of no return for us which is probably what she wants.
I don't know what to do or where to turn or what to say to dh to help him.
Would meeting only on neutral ground be a possible compromise (eg: cafe / pub / etc.)?
What, specifically, are you and DH fighting about?
Stand your ground. Unfortunately your DH sounds deep in the FOG and I suspect she has been prioritising her relationships with (unsuitable) men over his well-being for the whole of his life.
I think neutral ground is the only way to go in this situation as the previous posted mentioned, I don't see another way.
Why does your DH want to maintain a relationship with his mother anyway given her own behaviour towards you both?. That question needs to be addressed.
Your H seems to be very much in FOG (fear, obligation, guilt) when it comes to his mother and his own inertia when it comes to his mother is simply hurting him as well as you. How has your DH reacted to your own position of no contact with her and her H?.
His mother is hurting him here and is being manipulative. You are more than justified in not spending any time at all with either him or his wife/enabler of a MIL.
Would your H be willing to sit down and talk with a therapist?.
Before that awful man claims another victim (your marriage), try and find a way of telling your DH that you don't want this to happen. Have a conversation that's not about picking over MIL's behaviour - but about how you don't want to fight. Can you talk to him about finding a resolution that works for you both as a team. If he knows that ultimately you don't want to see him this hurt and unhappy (even if he knows it, being told it can't hurt) perhaps he will find it easier to stand up to his mum for the sake of his marriage.
We are fighting because dh is of the view you only have one mum and he needs to do what he can to maintain the relationship. We are also fighting because he can't see why I'm not willing to compromise on this and play happy families for the sake of him having a relationship with his mother. Basically her wants and needs yet again come above mine and his.
I'm getting more and more wound up at being pushed around about this and the more they push the more I dig my heels in the more dh gets hurt.
She's awful. She's been a selfish cow his entire life and this is just the straw that breaks the camels back but he can't see it, she clicks his fingers he runs. I've suggested counselling before and he's of the view if you need counselling the relationship is over.
Unfortunately I think he prioritises his mother over his marriage and that's what's going to finish us
She refuses to see her son without having her husband present also?
Is your DH refusing to see his mother unless you attend too?
If not, don't give the impression you're digging your heels in, just tell him that it's fine for him to maintain a relationship with his mother. That is his choice and one day she may need his support. You, however, will not be meeting with them, or allowing your DCs into the presence of this man.
That way you phrase it that he's free to do what he thinks best, but so are you and when it comes to the DCs it's fair comment not to want them associating with a person convicted of sexual crimes, whether they've paid their time or not.
I know this is what you're trying to put across anyway, but I'm advocating taking all the emotion out of the situation and paring it to the bare facts.
What am I missing here?
Can't he go and visit her? You're not stopping him from seeing his mum!
You're not missing anything unless I am. I'm not stopping him seeing her, I'm just saying me and dc aren't spending time with them. But I'm the bad guy who's ruining the family.
Well then he's being a knob.
You are perfectly entitled to keep yourself and your dc away from a convicted sex offender and your 'd'h should be more concerned for his family's safety and comfort than his mother's!
There is nothing stopping your H having a relationship with his mother
Why do you need to be there ?
Whilst I accept that you are perfectly entitled to not have a relationship with these people, does he not get any say in who his children spend time with?
I think if his say involves having them around a criminal then no, he doesn't.
His children's safety and well being should be his priority.
His concern for his mother's feelings is clouding his judgement.
Yes but is there no scope for protecting the children's safety AND there being some kind of relationship? Is there not some way of managing risk?
How long has MIL been married to this man, and how long ago were the offences committed?
I do believe you are 100% in the right here btw, but if something was say, 10 years ago maybe there is a tiny, little room for manoeuvre? You clearly can't play happy families though, nor should you try. And DH should absolutely respect your views and also be totally onside. He is, as others have said, putting his mother's wants above yours.
Why should she have to manage the risk though?
If there were a rapist in my family I would steer clear, not only for safety but also to show that actually your behaviour is not ok and you don't deserve a nice, normal relationship with my dc and I.
She doesn't have to. She can have nothing to do with it. Why can't the husband be trusted to manage the risk?
Because his judgement is skewed based on his need to pander to his mother.
So, the OP can chose not to be around an animal like that but because children are too young to have their own voices, they must be around them so their father, whose job it is to protect their best interests, can play happy families with his toxic mother?
Well, then the only option is to say to the husband that the children will have no contact, that he has no say in this matter and that he cannot be trusted to keep them safe from a sexual assault. You're going to need to word that vert carefully
First of all, your DH is not putting his mother over you - he's navigating the situation too and has come to a different conclusion. Please try to see it from his point of view, he's right about only having one mum and you should support that.
I don't think you need to see Mil's husband. That's your choice and they can lump it.
In general, I usually think a DH should deal with his own family but in this case you have the problem and you sound strong enough to deal with it if you want to. Call your mil.
'I'll let DH come to his own conclusions about [husband] but I've come to mine. I'm happy to spend time with you but not with your husband. I've rung you because I didn't want to put DH in a difficult situation. I hope you'll respect our wishes.'
I'm just saying me and dc aren't spending time with them. But I'm the bad guy who's ruining the family.
You need to stop arguing about it - because I agree with you that it is likely to break your marriage.
I think a lot of drivel is spouted on MN about husbands having to prioritise families over parents/siblings. It's utter rubbish. NO ONE should ever be put in a position of having to choose between their partner or their parents. That's it. No one or other person should have "priority". Life isn't a grading system. You can love more than one person; you don't have to choose.
That is a completely different point from saying that the partner (here OP) should be forced to spend time with people they don't want to OR that children should be allowed to see people that their parent doesn't want them to see for good reason -eg. sexual assault convictions.
Seems to me a reasonable compromise is as follows:
1. You tell him that you do not wish to spend time with either His mother or the sexual assaulter. If necessary (and you agree) say you can deal with it say (a) you can cope with weddings/funerals/state occasions and (b)its fine for her to come the house (without the sexual assaulter and spend time with the children) but you will politely absent yourself without a big song and dance (eg. do some gardening, read upstairs, go out shopping)
This is actually not a big deal - lots of people don't like each other. It's not that hard to manage without forcing a choice.
2. Tell him you are fine with the children seeing her on her own. He can take them to see her but it is an absolute term of this that the sexual assaulter is not there at all. Again not that unreasonable, they can go out together, come to your house or go round to their when he is out doing his bridge club
or sexual assaulting or whatever he does when he's not with the mother.
3. That's it, the bottom line and you don't want to discuss it any more. Tell him that this is not an unreasonable position and you don't want to argue any more. Next time he starts on it (if he does ) just say I've told you my views and I'm not discussing it. And leave it at that. If necessary repeat. Be like a stone wall.
The important thing here is to stop the arguing but it can and will destroy your relationship.
I don't think it's drivel and utter rubbish to priorities your dc over adults, Cheers.
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