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No Contact MIL and Christmas, advice?

(17 Posts)
Injuredbychristmastree Tue 01-Nov-16 15:46:22

Have NC for this, and have also been asked to put this on by DP.

His DM is, by my googling and what I can see, a narc. I'm not quite sure where to start, and obvious don't want it to be too outing in the process.
DP went NC with her in August, after being almost NC for the previous two months before that, (we just didn't see her from Father's Day to her birthday) He (and I) are now starting to feel the upcoming Christmas anxiety, doubled as its DDs second Christmas, and his birthday is right before Christmas. Less than 10days.

Starting to wonder if we've done the right thing, as I think anyone would usually do as its a big thing to do, to cut off from your mother. The reasons start 3 hrs ago, after we moved into our own house together and all she came round with was criticism, and sarcasm of the fact our furniture didn't fit in the house but hers was "perfect" and she could go home to her "furniture that fit" .... This and other stuff was tolerable, even when she told DP at his DGM funeral that she was buying his DB a drink "but not you two, you've moved out and left me now so can buy your own" ... (DP uncle ended up buying our drinks and then she offered one the next round)

Everythinghowever seems to have come to a head since I was pregnant and have given birth, only giving brief incidents she...

Told I HAD to let her in at the birth, and if not tell her when I had my first contraction and then, "send me a picture of your show or plug and I'll be there!"
Told me if I didn't then she would ring DP find out anyway and come to the hospital and sit outside with sandwiches until I was moved to the ward and then come in. "I don't care if you're being stitched up, I'm just there for the baby"

When I did give birth, DP rang her to let her know, she cried on the phone and got angry that he hadn't told her I was in labour, and then passed phone to her DH and didn't speak to DP again.
She then turned up at our house the day after, unannounced, with presents for DC. When she found out I wasn't there, she was angry again. DP offered to take her to hospital with him to see us both, she then said "no, we're going to 'city' and I can't change my plans for you" and picked up and took presents with her "I'll come back tomorrow"

Ever since its been usually pushy.. " you will let me look after her..." Coming round to just take pictures of Dc and then leave and complain when DC got sick up on her jeans. Not listening to our requests for how she holds/feeds etc DC (not in a PFB way, more she is ignoring us and then making DC sick) and inviting us to parties in order to carry DC around and show them off to a room full of people even though we've said she doesn't do well in crowds.
We gave opportunities for her to get to know DC better, as we felt this may help.... But the answer was no, she wanted to take DC out alone and when we said no, "they're MY GRANDCHILD"
She's called DC fat, at 9months old, and has really brought to a head the problems DP had with DM when he was a child.

DP has (mild) SN and it's looking like DC is exhibiting some of the traits shown by him at their age, (confirmed by DP DDad). She commented on them last time she saw them in a derogatory "oh we'll have to get that out of you, or you'll never do anything with your life like DP"
DP obviously does want this for DC, he was always told by her at any life event "I'm proud despite your SN" or "well you can't do that because of your SN" even when he was at uni and afterwards.

Recently, she hasn't seen DC since April. Posted derogatory things on DP FB (recently deactivated and blocked) after DP wished his DF a happy Father's Day ("it's a shame you don't remember who made you who you are")
DP went NC after this. Her BIrthday came up, he sent her a card, and got a call in response from her DH that we were awful, never let them see DC, hadnt told them we'd moved, etc... And we should let DM be as "she wants to PLAY the grandmother role" and she's "crazy, but you've got to forgive her and love her for it"

DP told her, after realising life was much happier, calmer and generally better without her.. That he doesntt want anything to do with her.. And she went quiet for a few weeks.
She then sent him an "apology text" saying how she respected his decision, and how DC will probably want to see her in future anyway... But the icing on the cake. "You're my first born, my son and I was always the only one who ever made excuses for you being different".

IM resolved to my position of I don't want to see her or had DC see her for the time being as I know it's between DP and her and they need to sort out the angst from childhood first as theirs the issue of her and DC and their emotional wellbeing being around her. DP is determined he wants nothing to do with her, and life in last two months has, again been great... But with Christmas (and birthday) coming up is having a "what do we do?" Wobble.

Sorry that was so long..., questions are --

Wwyd/what do those who are NC do to handle Christmas and big occasions with those who you want nothing to do with, as I know she'll be texting/turning up with gifts?

Also, additionally how do you handle living so close to those you are NC with? she shops at the same shops/towns as us and I know it's only a matter of time til we bump into her, she drove past us when we were coming out of asda the other day.

I know you can't all tell me if we are/were right with out actions, but some reassurance would be nice.... Now I need some cake

Mishegoss Tue 01-Nov-16 16:16:02

We are NC with my partners entire family pretty much and it's horrible but it is what it is. We haven't seen his mother since September last year. Xmas and birthdays haven't been acknowledged from either side and to be honest we're happy with it.
It would feel really bizarre and disingenuous to try to spend time with them and celebrate when we never see them otherwise and actively dislike each other.
So from my point of view I would say just make plans with people you want to see and enjoy it. I appreciate it's more simplistic for us as we don't see any of them but obviously you have his dad and brother and everyone.

hellsbellsmelons Tue 01-Nov-16 16:16:04

I can tell you - YOU WERE RIGHT.
Absolutely right.
She sounds absolutely awful.
Toxic, abusive, spiteful and downright crazy as a bucket of frogs.
Just keep the NC going.
Your lives are better without her in it so keep it that way.
I've no idea how hard this must be.
So many parents are just awful, thankfully mine are amazing.
She is way too toxic for you or your DH so do not inflict that onto your DC!
Keep strong. Keep silent. Keep happy!

Injuredbychristmastree Tue 01-Nov-16 16:29:11

Thank you both. And hellsbells I think the crazy as a bucket of frogs is right... sometimes I think 'you couldn't make this up'

We have no intention to be spending any time with her, or her new husband or family, at Christmas, DP father has been divorced from her for 8 years now, so that's easier. Just hoping she does just not bother at all, as so far it's been just the big occasions she's "kicked off".

DP doesn't see his siblings, and his DB still lives with her but have waved/said hello when I've seen him. They have both done the Facebook protecting her and keyboard warrior thing with us though. hmm

Even just writing this out and putting only a few reasons has been cathartic...

TheNaze73 Tue 01-Nov-16 16:37:08

You were 100% right & I'm so pleased you & DP are united & have each other's backs on this smile

She sounds horrific, stand by your guns

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 01-Nov-16 16:41:28

"IM resolved to my position of I don't want to see her or had DC see her for the time being as I know it's between DP and her and they need to sort out the angst from childhood first as theirs the issue of her and DC and their emotional wellbeing being around her".

You need to keep away from his mother permanently; you cannot and must not subject any of your children to her. This is also more than just angst; your partner has come from a very dysfunctional and emotionally unhealthy family of origin. She was not a good parent to your partner and she is not and will not be a decent sort of grandmother to your child. Narcissists in particularly make for being deplorably bad grandparent figures and often use the child to get back at the errant offspring.

Your first sentence in your above post as well simply will not happen; nothing will get sorted out because his mother believes that she has done nothing wrong here.

Re your comment:-
"DP is determined he wants nothing to do with her, and life in last two months has, again been great... But with Christmas (and birthday) coming up is having a "what do we do?" Wobble".

Radio silence from you two must be maintained. No presents should be at all accepted and if she turns up do not answer the door nor let her in. Ultimately you may well have to take out a non molestation order against her if she persists in harassing you both. Block all means of her contacting either of you and consider removing yourselves from FB. If you do not want to do that then raise your privacy settings to their maximum.

Her H in this is her willing enabler; women like his mother always but always need a willing enabler to help them. He is a weak bystander of a man who will always put his wife about the wellbeing of any of his now adult children. He is her hatchet man really and cannot be at all relied upon.

This is very hard for you both and I would suggest you read the Susan Forward publications on Toxic Parents and Toxic Inlaws. I would also read "Children of the Self Absorbed" written by Nina W Brown.

I would also suggest your DP sees a therapist to discuss all this. He needs to find someone who is highly versed in the machinations of narcissistic family structures; such people do exist. BACP are good and do not charge the earth.

Moving away is also something I would now consider too. You both need to put physical as well as mental distance between his parents and you people..

mrssapphirebright Tue 01-Nov-16 16:44:31

I am watching this post with interest. I have been NC with my narc MIL since March, my dh since August. I am absolutely dreading xmas and any potential shit that will probably come our way.

We too live 10 mins drive away from the inlaws and my dh lives in fear of bumping into them etc.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 01-Nov-16 16:45:15

Not all that surprised to see that she has been divorced from her H for quite some time. Women like your partner's mother cannot do relationships at all so the men in their lives are either as narcissistic as they are or are long since discarded.

HIs siblings want to maintain their favoured golden child status with mother; they do not want to be on the receiving end of her narcissistic rages.

Hissy Tue 01-Nov-16 16:51:36

Some great advice here op, you have and are doing the right thing.

Keep on, as you are, it does get easier

WatchingFromTheWings Tue 01-Nov-16 16:57:48

I'd concentrate on having the best Christmas ever with just your little family (you, DP, DC). She'll only spoil it for you. I've been nc with my DM and DSis since July. Looking forward to a stress free Christmas! It'll be a cheap Xmas for me too!

GiddyOnZackHunt Tue 01-Nov-16 17:05:49

We're blissfully nc from FIL (divorced from MIL).
It does mean no contact. Don't send cards, texts, gifts etc. Don't be guilted into conversations or explanations. Don't engage. Keep walking if you see them in town. If they acost you just repeat "Leave me alone please".
If they send gifts, don't acknowledge them. We either regift, give to a charity shop or occasionally they'll pop up from Santa.
They'll try to provoke a reaction.

pileoflaundry Tue 01-Nov-16 18:18:25

I've been almost NC with my M since having DC, to protect my DC. My main regret is that I didn't do this 10 years earlier.

I contact her by phone on her birthday and Christmas (because I am still in the FOG a bit) (Fear, Obligation, Guilt). Her emails go into a separate folder which is in a sub-folder, so I can't even see when she has emailed. I check these every couple of months or so. She texts me to tell me when someone is very ill or dies (fair enough).

I wouldn't dream of seeing her at Christmas, or any other time. Saying no actually worked, no excuses as then she could try to find ways round, just no, we won't be visiting, no, you can't visit.

Joysmum Tue 01-Nov-16 20:46:40

Sounds like you are doing the right thing.

I'm NC with my grandparents. I actually don't think of it as being NC, more a case that there's no reason why I want to see them so I don't.

Would looking at the lack of contact in that way help you and your DP to process the lack of contact?

You have the choice to see her if you think yours, and your DC's lives will be enhanced by her. All the time this ant going to be the case then you simply don't bother with her. Your choice, it's not final and it's only because it's her choice to be the type of person who is detrimental to you all.

Injuredbychristmastree Tue 01-Nov-16 21:42:16

Thank you again everyone. And especially atilla for the advice on therapists.. I'll have a look into it. It has all come to a head this year, and the more DP thinks of it the more he remembers and needs to sort through.
She even once introduced him to a man she was having an affair with "this is going to be your new dad" hmm

I am planning on, as you said you do giddy not acknowledging any gifts, (her a nephew on the way so that's more of an option now!) or charity shop.

no texts, emails or calls have been responded to, and DC nursery are aware of the situation as she has also threatened to go collect them once before! and her hubby threatened to "have it out" with DP on the car park!

Unfortunately moving away isn't an option due to my family ties, and we've just bought our home. And as for DPs DF, he's a ps spineless as anything, not a word said to his adult children over this, and all he could say re recent events was "we'll have you given her a warning, like you get in school?!" angry

Thank you for all the advice, validation and everything. I can't manage to reply to everything, but it is all very interesting and made me feel so much better, have shared link with DP who is grateful to.

And yes watching it will be the best Christmas ever!! I can't wait, and this time next year we'll be fucking glad we cut all ties.. grin

Cherrysoup Tue 01-Nov-16 22:30:38

Stay NC, why let her back in? You've done the hard bit, just carry on. She's sounds batshit, frankly.

mummyto2monkeys Tue 01-Nov-16 22:30:39

We have been NC with sociopathic narcissistic in-laws for the past 4/5 years. I honestly can say that it has been one of the best things we have done! My dh has finally been able to grow into himself and after three lots of therapy and four years free from emotional and psychological abuse he (and as a result we) are happier than ever. My husband has made the decision that for his own mental health, he cannot ever have contact with them. Apart from last year when his Mother turned sixty, dh felt it would have been wrong to ignore so he sent her flowers and a card from himself . He regretted it immediately when he was subjected to a tirade of abuse. So together we have decided on no contact unless there is an emergency (family member sick). MIL is a pathological liar and as result of her spreading horrendous rumours, DH is now the black sheep of the family and I am the evil snake that tempted dh away from his loving family. Some Aunts still maintain contact with dh, so he kind of sees what is happening on Facebook.

My advice is make your security settings very high on Facebook. We learned this the hard way! But block all family members who you are nc with. Set your profile so that nobody can post anything on your wall without your permission. If you are receiving abusive phone calls contact BT and block their numbers. Give the inlaws the details of one mobile phone number and an email address for emergency contact.

Do not share any photographs of your DC on Facebook/ Instagram, especially if your dh has any family members on his page. You could make settings to share photos only with certain Facebook friends. We share all photos through the messenger app, so that our family/ friends can still get updates without opening our child's image to be scrutinised/ copied/ shared with in-laws.

At Christmas my husband sends a card, usually only with my husbands name on it. We have never had one back but it makes hubby feel better. We do not receive any gifts/ cards on children's/ DH's birthday mostly because they had decided they wanted nothing to do with their five year old grandson but wanted to continue to send gifts to and see our little girl who at that point was only three years old! So dh informed them that there was no point sending gifts as he would not allow our son to be singled out that way.

Injuredbychristmastree Tue 01-Nov-16 22:47:20

There is some great advice on this thread. I can't say thanks for me and DP enough.

She's definitely not coming back in to our lives. I hate that we are even having this wobble... It's just all so new I suppose. confused

Facebook has since been deactivated.. And she's been blocked on all the people who she knows and family members who know my family and friends too. Yes she has an emergency contact number as well as probably using DP father. She once rang him up as there was dog shit in her garden would you believe?! Bat shit!

2monkeys that sounds awful, who singles out grandchildren like these people?!
DP sent a birthday card with just his name on In August, now he thinks that zero is best, as I think like your DH too, he'd instantly regret it.

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