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Mil excluding DH from family get togethers

(15 Posts)
finova Sun 16-Oct-16 17:45:50


My mil is very intense with grandchildren. She wants lots of contact with them and pretty much demands this. She will follow toddlers around and snatch babies from other family members.

We have lived in the area (30 mins away), for 8 years. Prior to this DH lived about 4 hours away from them for a number of years.
Mil sees DH's extended family very regularly for significant birthdays, anniversaries, meals out, theatre trips....
DH is never invited and is 'out of the loop' having moved away previously. However, he's been back 8 years! There was a spate of events last year that DH would have liked to go to eg a cousins party who he was close to growing up. I mentioned to MIL that I'm sure he'd love to go on a couple of occasions and she just brushes over it. He can hardly invite himself, but I think if she broached it with family he'd soon be 'back in the loop'. I couldn't attend as we can't get babysitters easily but would be happy for DH to go alone, so it's not about me.

This month there is a do every weekend. The last one was a pub meal, (which I think would mean MIL could suggest DH tags along and pay his way rather than a catered party which you might not want to add an extra person to). Mil knows that I'd like it if we/DH could get to know the rest of the family, and without me asking went to lengths to tell me that it was just 8 older members of the family at this meal. She named the people going and said it was just that generation.

Last night there were photos tagged on MILs page with 20+ family members- a couple kids, some in 20s, 30s, 40s and beyond. They then disappeared!

I'm annoyed as she herself hates being excluded and will invite herself along to things we do. Yet she has lied about this meal so she doesn't have to consider DH. I didn't even suggest he might like to go- she pre-empted it and fibbed.

DH says on balance he isn't bothered. It just upsets me as we live a long way from my family and these are all relatives of my DC as well as DH.
Would you say anything or not bother?

SeaCabbage Sun 16-Oct-16 18:02:56

As she sounds like a complete nightmare, I would count yourself lucky!

If you invite the people your DH would like to see, over to your house for lunch or something, you might have some lovely times without the evil MIL.

Sounds perfect to me. Plus it might have the added benefit of annoying her greatly. grin.

ohfourfoxache Sun 16-Oct-16 18:09:25

If she invites herself along to your things then you need to start saying no and meaning it. She sounds like a pain in the arse - but stop letting her get away with it!

It's not up to mil to decide who you do/don't have a relationship with. Start seeing extended family on your own (I.e. Without her) - it will improve your relationship with the extended family and piss her off into the bargain

ohfourfoxache Sun 16-Oct-16 18:09:58

X post Sea grin

SeaCabbage Sun 16-Oct-16 18:12:26

grin ohfourfoxache

OP I didn't see the bit where she invites yourself to your things. You have to stop that. How awful.

Maybe it's time for some separate socialising.

BombadierFritz Sun 16-Oct-16 18:12:54

if these are his relatives eg cousins/uncles, really as a grown man he should be staying in touch directly with them, then he would get invited. he probably isnt bothered, so he doesnt stay in touch.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Sun 16-Oct-16 18:14:41

I'm not surprised DH isn't bothered. She sounds a nightmare.

If the cousin couldn't be arsed to invite DH to his party then they obviously aren't that close. It would be really weird for an adult cousin to invite your DH to a party via DH's mum. That you expect all social events to go via the matriarch is bonkers.

Invite people round to yours. Don't invite MIL and tell her so if she tries to muscle in. She's not your social boss.

Helen1966 Sun 16-Oct-16 18:14:48

Invite the cousins, or aunties etc to your house, your MIL is NOT in charge of the entire extended family. Sounds like she's insecure and selfish.

You don't have to have a big do, just invite a family for tea or even just a coffee sometime.

And don't tell MIL !

Stevefromstevenage Sun 16-Oct-16 18:15:56

Have a party and invite the relatives. make sure mil is away on holidays you will soon be back in the loop.

ohfourfoxache Sun 16-Oct-16 18:21:31

Fwiw MIL was similar with us - DH's nan and aunt were told in no uncertain terms not to contact either dh or I, all communication had to be via MIL.

When I found out about this, DH's aunt and I took great delight in forging an extremely close relationship (she's an angel who has saved my sanity on many occasions and ds and I both adore her and her family). We flaunt this to MIL whenever possible, including putting pics of her with ds on social media (mil not on FB but shit stirring FIL is). She has stopped trying to control communication now, but she does sulk and complain that she is being bullied hmm

So it can work, but the problem may not be completely solved

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 16-Oct-16 20:05:55

You probably come from a nice and importantly also an emotionally healthy family unit. Unfortunately your DH was not so fortunate. This issue is hers and not yours to own or further carry.

I would not bother at all with his mother from now on and you need to raise your boundaries a lot higher than they currently are. You need to stop playing into her hands. Her actions are all about power and control and she really has it in for your DH.

Why would you want someone this intense around your children anyway?. Your DH is not bothered with her, you need to follow his lead. She was not a good parent to him and will also likely be a poor example of a grandparent to your children. Also stop inviting her to any events you yourself organise. Do not reward bad behaviour at all.

If you want to meet his wider family then do so without MILs knowledge. That may or may not work out well however, as she may have got to them as well.

Your DH is from a dysfunctional family of origin, his mother is part of a really unhealthy family of origin set up. Your DH like many people from dysfunctional families has ended up playing a role; his is one of scapegoat. His mother has made him the scapegoat for all her inherent ills.

I would suggest you read Toxic Inlaws written by Susan Forward to further understand the dynamics.

Wolpertinger Sun 16-Oct-16 20:15:26

Honestly, given she is a nightmare, you sound well out of it.

Also your DH is perfectly capable of contacting aunts, uncles, cousins etc by himself if he really wants to meet them without using her as a go-between. If he doesn't, I'd suggest he isn't as keen as you are.

If this hasn't occurred to him, point out it's a reasonable option that as an adult he can make adult relationships with his cousins, without his mum doing the invites like she did when they were children and see what he does with it. Maybe organize a cousins only party?

He knows his family best. If more contact with them means more contact with the emotionally unhealthy MIL, your DH probably has hit the balance right.

finova Sun 16-Oct-16 21:10:10

Thanks, I had wondered if I should raise it but won't bother.
I should learn that mil doesn't listen to hints. In my family people pick up on what is implied/hinted at. My Mum thinks maybe she doesn't follow social cues etc, I'm not sure this is the case? I think she just ignores what she wants to...
It's when things this happen, when she has lied to my face, that it hits home. She seems very very kind but I think has a cruel streak.

There are certainly some relatives we could see separately quite easily.
Others it would be more awkward as DH last lived near them 12 or so years ago.
I wouldn't bother it's just they are the family we have nearby and they do a lot of socialising. It would be nice to know some of them. That said, there are only so many weekends and we have a happy life just the 4 of us. In fact we have a great time.
I should make more effort to travel to see my own siblings, who are a few hours away. I should focus my efforts there.
I'm expecting again, so this is probably timely in considering mil's expectations/involvement.....what comes around goes around etc.
Thanks again.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Sun 16-Oct-16 21:21:45

Stop trying to get yourselves closer to a cruel person! Hang out with nice people instead. Like friends and your own siblings. Leave DH to manage his dysfunctional family, this might mean you barely see them. Trust him on that.

2rebecca Sun 16-Oct-16 21:26:50

Agree that if your husband wants to see his relatives then he should get in touch with them and invite them or arrange to meet up. Expecting everything to go through mummy as an adult is mad. I think you should let him sort his own family out, if he can't be bothered then maybe it's because he doesn't like large family events and doesn't want to spend time with people who don't want to actually keep in touch with him and invite him to stuff.
She sounds awful and not seeing much of her is maybe good.
Maybe don't have her as a facebook friend.

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