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Ive torn my family apart (MIL related)

(73 Posts)
Mildinsanity Wed 16-Nov-16 12:15:28

I need to get this off my chest, Im devastated for my DP right now and I dont know how to fix it.

There is a long backstory which is religion based and I dont understand a lot of it so to keep this shorter:
DP was brought up jehovahs witness, got baptised then decided he no longer beleived... due to this he has to be shunned by his religious family.
His mum did however keep in contact and basically broke that rule.

I get on really well with MIL we often go over there for tea and chats, I dont believe in her religion and up until yesterday fully respected her rights to believe what she likes, we often discussed her beliefs as I have a curiousity in religion not as a believer but I have a general interest in religion, as an aside JWs like to try and convert everyone its one of the things they are taught and I dont see the harm in letting MIL try and convince me if it makes her happy.

Anyway we were there sunday and as usual me and MIL were just chatting and we were talking about how I couldnt do it because I couldnt give up certain things required and she was saying how its not like that no one will push the rules and I stupidly brought up the fact she breaks the rules herself with having contact with DP, to which she said the congregation knows about her contact and the rules arent broken just bent, We left it like that, all nicely hugged bye as usual.

Last night DP and I got home to a letter from MIL saying she had thought about what I had said and I was right she is breaking the rules and cant do that anymore so she is no longer able to have contact with DP.

DP is devastated, he has had over 4 years of contact he shouldnt have had and this is a complete shock.
I dont know what to do, if I hadnt said anything this wouldnt have happend.

I spoke to SIL who cant believe her mum would do this and she is angry.

I also rang MIL she is very sorry but stands by it, she can keep in contact with me but not DP, she reiterated that I was right but she doesnt blame me its her fault for breaking the rules in the first place.

DP doesnt blame me but I feel awful, its all my fault.
We are planning our wedding and MIL was very involved so have to re think everything.
He lost his dad years ago and now had to face losing his mum and I dont know how to help him.

I want him to be angry with me.

Bunkai Wed 16-Nov-16 12:24:33

You are not responsible for MILs actions. She could have done this at any time. Support your DP rather than prod him to be angry with you.

bloodymaria Wed 16-Nov-16 12:32:54

You've done nothing wrong, MIL has made her choice. So sad for your DP.

jellymaker Wed 16-Nov-16 12:34:52

Just an observation - I have friend who this happened to - there was a life time of trying to get back into her mum's good books to no avail ( also JW). This way only lies pain. Eventually she gave up but although I have never said this to my friend, I think she should just have gone NC and spared herself the agony. Call your MILs bluff and say fine - if thats what you want. If she wants to grow up and acknowledge that you are adults with your own views, then she can come back when she is ready. Before then, you are way better off not trying to get back on terms with her. It will only cause you no end of gried

sortthetacheoutbernard Wed 16-Nov-16 12:37:36

It's not your fault.

birdybirdywoofwoof Wed 16-Nov-16 12:40:42

She's the only one who can fix it.

Unfortunately, she is in the grips of a cult (kind interpretation) or is an idiot. (less kind interpretation)

Bluntness100 Wed 16-Nov-16 12:46:03

Oh, this made me drop my mouth open in shock. When someone prioritises their religion over their child, when the child has done nothing more than not take part in the religion, then something is deeply wrong with that person. For me, religion is often highly destructive. How many wars are started in its name, how many people killed.

I agree with the other poster, just say fine uou both accept her belief system, that you both love her dearly but it has to be her decision. And leave it there.

You aren't at fault, she is. Every which way,

MrsNuckyThompson Wed 16-Nov-16 12:48:26

Not your fault. Totally bonkers. She will come round when she realises what she is missing out on.

AutumnRose8 Wed 16-Nov-16 12:49:53

Your partner is the one who created a problem for MIL by turning his back on her beliefs.....something he had every right to do. The fact that for four years she has ignored the "rules" suggests that her religion hasn't meant as much to her as she would have you believe. Anything - religion, politics etc - that results in cutting out family who have different beliefs, is not something that most mothers would even contemplate. If your MIL is now prepared to do this, then you and your partner have no choice but to accept it.

Organised religion has a lot to answer for in my humble opinion.

Finola1step Wed 16-Nov-16 12:51:23

You are not at fault. Your soon to be MIL can make her own decisions.

Just a thought...maybe she thinks you are beginning to waiver and this is an opportunity to pull you and then dh back into the JW family. Call me a cynic.

BeingATwatItsABingThing Wed 16-Nov-16 12:54:01

JW is the religion I will never understand. I, like you, find religion fascinating but this one sounds more like a cult than anything else.

I'd say your DP is almost better off without. Hopefully, she realises the error of her ways and comes back to him on her knees but he doesn't need to beg her at all. This is all her doing.

SeaEagleFeather Wed 16-Nov-16 12:54:03

"Ive torn my family apart" is taking a little bit too much responsibility on yourself here <gently>

In the end, it is her responsibility and in fact, the real split happened when your DP decided he no longer believed.

That's the crux of this.

What has come after, the secondary and smaller turning point on sunday, follows on from that decision years ago. There is no blame here; he cannot carry on in that faith if he doesn't believe it, and MIL equally has intensely strong belief and pressure from the elders.

This would probably have come at some point. Your words happened to be the ones that hit her, but the same realisation would almost certainly have happened anyway. Don't take too much blame on yourself here, it's a waste of energy, though it's a pity that this turning point came.

I think you have to be there for your DP and yes, maybe at some point he'll be angry. But in the end, it was MIL's decision and you can only wait and hope that one day she finds a way to a religion with more humanity.

ZippyNeedsFeeding Wed 16-Nov-16 12:54:55

Unfortunately I don't think she will come round. She has had to choose between her faith and her child and she chose her faith. She will feel that she has made some sort of righteous sacrifice and will in all likelihood be encouraged to think like that.

Either she will stop believing, leave and contact her son or she will ignore him until she dies. Does she honestly think that she can continue a relationship with you but not her son?

Blueemeraldagain Wed 16-Nov-16 12:57:26

It's not your fault.

Also, if she's been in contact with him for 4 years you may find she waivers (especially if she doesn't have a partner or family members "reminding" her) soon. Especially with your wedding coming up soon.

Be patient and kind if/when she caves. (All things preached by religion...)

PerpetualStudent Wed 16-Nov-16 12:58:50

I have family members who are JW, so this comes very much from my experience - it is a cult, and encourages people to behave horribly to family members. As PP have said, it is her choice/loss. Please try not to feel it is your fault

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 16-Nov-16 13:01:48

You are not responsible for your MILs actions. I am glad your DP does not blame you. The split in his family of origin really occurred in his family when he decided he no longer believed.

SemiNormal Wed 16-Nov-16 13:01:51

I agree with SeaEagleFeather in that this would have happened at some point anyway, so blaming yourself really isn't needed although I do understand why you feel the way you do. Please don't be too hard on yourself.

I think you have been more than understanding of her beliefs and if she cannot extend that same to you and your DH then that's on her. I am non-religious but completely respect everyones individual beliefs, UNLESS they try and force that onto me. I find it absolutely heartbreaking and callous that people would turn their backs on their family over religion - for me, it's emotional blackmail in the extreme.

Why can she keep contact with you but not your DP? I thought they weren't supposed to mix with non believers?

SapphireStrange Wed 16-Nov-16 13:06:38

How awful of her. I can understand why you feel wretched, but please try not to.

I'd suggest the 'call her bluff' approach too – shrug and say 'OK' and see if she is actually OK with that.

DoubleCarrick Wed 16-Nov-16 13:07:47

op my husbands parents are JW's. He left the congregation when he was about 14 and it was a really hard decision for him to make. They are dedicated JW's but they never make him feel bad for his decision. Equally, we still had congratulations cards on our wedding day from some in the JW community so it may not be as set in stone as you think.

I can see why you guys are feeling devastated. Something like this would rock DH and I to the core and we would be gutted.

I have no advice but just sympathy and empathy for you. Feel free to give me a PM if you fancy a chat in further detail. I could chat to DH and see what his perspective is.

EleanorRigby123 Wed 16-Nov-16 13:09:25

So much damage caused by irrational belief systems.

Not your fault.

Emmageddon Wed 16-Nov-16 13:15:25

I worked with a JW who claimed her children were her life - until her eldest son came out as gay, then she, her husband and 3 DDs, all shunned him immediately. The lad was friends with one of my DDs, and she said he was absolutely devastated. But 5 years on, there has been no change, he still has no contact with his family whatsoever.

I find it a harsh, unforgiving religion.

WatchingFromTheWings Wed 16-Nov-16 13:16:13

You've done nothing wrong. If I were in your shoes though I would not want contact with my MIL whilst she shunned her son.

YelloDraw Wed 16-Nov-16 13:17:54

When someone prioritises their religion over their child, when the child has done nothing more than not take part in the religion, then something is deeply wrong with that person.

Agreed 100%

DinosaursRoar Wed 16-Nov-16 13:22:07

OP - its not your fault. This was a ticking time bomb anyway. True it was your comment that set it off in the end, but it could quite as easily been a throw away comment from so many other people, or her church elders could have confronted her... it was going to come to a head at some point. At some point, she'd think about it and make a choice.

She's made a terrible choice.

I wouldn't want to have contact with her or have her influence the DCs. I would go see her a last time, explain that if she is determined to not speak to her own child, you will be ending contact and ending contact with the DCs. That you and DP will always be there for her if she wants or needs you, but she needs to accept you come as a package.

It's not your fault that she made this choice. You do not have that much control.

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