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Being assertive

(32 Posts)
Chamonix1 Fri 25-Nov-16 08:24:45

When people just push and push.
What do you do when "thanks, but that's not convenient for us" if followed up by "well, what about this then".
I'm dealing with in laws who we have had such a rocky relationship with it's almost split me and dh up on several occasions.
Mil is a narcissist and fil her hatchet man.
They very nearly didn't come to our wedding, and I wish they hadn't because mil was nasty to me all day.
We see them monthly. But they are always Pursuing time alone with dd, especially "All day" and "overnight" which doesn't sit well with me, mainly because I don't think my mil is a nice enough person to be left alone with dd with out manipulating her, if I'm totally honest.
I struggle with assertiveness and yesterday they asked to take dd on a specific date just before Xmas.
They asked specifically to have her "All day" and "overnight" and I feel like I should start sending out booking forms for my child's company.
I feel they are entitled and never pleased. Just last week we had them
Over all day and for dinner and tried very hard to have a nice time and make them welcome, we are seeing them on Boxing Day too so really don't know why they need to push.
I told them "sorry, that's just not convenient for us, catch up soon though" and made the effort not to try and justify myself.
So in reply I get a less friendly, rather business like email asking "please inform me of when is convenient in the run up to Xmas"
I just don't know why they can't take no for no and enjoy our company when we've organised it and I'm now feeling incredibly anxious as don't know how to respond, knowing this could lead to the mother of all arguments because mil is once again hurt by the word no.

Joysmum Fri 25-Nov-16 08:44:16

Of course she's going to be upset my in-laws or own parents would have been too if they were being blocked from the sort of time many grandparents enjoy with their grandchildren.

Nothing you can say will change that.

I should just say that this doesn't mean I'm against what you are doing, it must be very hard for you to achieve but she's clearly well aware of you blocking her and so trying to force your hand to declare it openly so she can challenge you, or force you to cave to avoid that confrontation.

LesisMiserable Fri 25-Nov-16 08:49:34

I think you're being a bit tight and controlling if I'm honest. Your child isnt your possession. She deserves family relationships. Just because you dont get on with your IL's they are her flesh and blood. Youre being manipulative actually. So maybe the problem is you see it reflected back in your MIL. Something to think about

Chamonix1 Fri 25-Nov-16 08:50:21

I don't know what to say, perhaps that for 4 years now I have tried and tried to get along with my mil, honestly for my entire pregnancy I saw her more than my own mother, when dd was born she was less than a week old when I packed my bags and took her to stay with mil so she could spend time with her first grandchild, unfortunately my husbands parents have no respect for him or normal boundaries.
I wouldn't say seeing them monthly, often more, and making the effort to make their birthdays special and anniversary by cooking them dinners, taking them out and trying to buy thoughtful gifts is pushing them out.
I'd be very very happy with that sort of contact from my own children and their children, my own mother is too.

Chamonix1 Fri 25-Nov-16 08:51:08

If only.

Chamonix1 Fri 25-Nov-16 08:52:24

There's don't get on and find them unbearable.
It's funny because I've posted about them before and have been told to remove my child from them and never see hem again because they are so toxic.

Joysmum Fri 25-Nov-16 09:00:11

Chamonix your reasons are your own and it was predictable somebody would pop up and call you controlling despite you asking for practical ideas and without knowing all your reasons.

This confrontation is going to happen sooner or later unless you relent to avoid it. So think about solid you and your DH are on the subject and whether you could tag team so you aren't always the one to say no. I appreciate that if he conditioned to her then he won't be capable of this.

LesisMiserable Fri 25-Nov-16 09:02:09

I think removing a child from their grandparents because you dont like them is toxic. Sorry. You dont need to justify your decision on here, just to your DD when she's older.

LesisMiserable Fri 25-Nov-16 09:03:19

Yes it is predictable joysmum because its true (in my opinion,forum and all that).

Chamonix1 Fri 25-Nov-16 09:03:20

Id really appreciate the extra babysitter and they have taken her before alone, a lot and that's the problem. When she was younger I tried to fix things by doing as I was told and never saying no, ever. It didn't work and boundaries were always pushed.
I think if they worked on developing a good healthy relationship with their son and showed they can be reasonable that'd be a good start but they just want dd on their own and aren't fussed about much else.
They no longer contact my husband as he completely ignores there calls/texts and emails

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 25-Nov-16 09:13:18


You have written at length about these people before now and for some time now as well.

Stop picking up the rope they lay out for you to grab. His parents are toxic and will continue to make your lives an unrelenting misery.

You now need to sever all contact with his parents as well. Stop seeing his parents full stop let alone monthly; any visitation you make to them is an error. You have to keep the broken record technique up and keep on saying no.

You cannot have a relationship with a narcissist and her associated hatchet man (women like his mother always but always need an enabler to help them); it simply is not possible. Of course they are entitled and demanding; this is what they are really like. His mother wants your child to use as her own narcissistic supply, she does not care about any of you at all here.

You really do need to find another sitter to use; they were not good parents to your H and they are really rubbish examples of grandparent figures to your child.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 25-Nov-16 09:17:45

"You cannot apply normal rules of social engagement to such people because they are toxic; they see any contact from you as a weakness to further exploit and use against you. It is indeed a hard lesson to learn".

In one of my previous replies to you I wrote the above.

Your mistake here is to have continues at all to play by the "normal" rules of familial relations. As you have too clearly seen though that has not worked because his family of origin are dysfunctional, these "rules" do not apply.

Gingernaut Fri 25-Nov-16 09:29:26

They no longer contact my husband as he completely ignores there calls/texts and emails

And that's how to deal with it.

They are not normal. The normal conversational tricks don't work.

Stuck record. Ignore. Block.

Chamonix1 Fri 25-Nov-16 09:36:50

Hi again,
We don't use them for a babysitter anymore, ever. They see us together.
Husband won't not see them. Won't go to counselling either.
Doesn't like his mum but loves his dad.
FOG is also a big part of it all.
I don't feel our marriage will last if I decide me and dd will never see them again, as he wants to try and have a relationship with them (his father who is a far more tolerable person and actually nice when he's not carrying out mil's work)
I'm torn between the two.

Livelovebehappy Fri 25-Nov-16 09:44:58

It's difficult to comment on posts like this, because there are always two sides, and I expect your IL's might give a very different story. How old is your DD? Maybe just be guided by your daughter, and if she enjoys spending time with your MIL, then I would agree to her spending time with her. Children are astute, and over time if your Mil is as bad as you say she is, your daughter will back off from wanting to spend time with her. Maybe your total dislike of your Mil is clouding your judgement, and your poor DD is being used as emotional blackmail.

Trifleorbust Fri 25-Nov-16 09:45:10

Assert yourself more: "Overnights aren't going to work for us at the moment. I will contact you if that changes."

Usually I wouldn't advocate being so...ahem... rude, but it sounds like they aren't taking the hint!

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 25-Nov-16 09:49:25

Do not see them on Boxing Day; do something else instead rather than visit his parents. They only want to see your child anyway, well she certainly does. Her H will do all he can to facilitate that because he does not want to be in her firing line.

I think I understand why your DH wants to continue a relationship with his father (that is all due to FOG) but he needs to realise that his own dad has let him down abjectly here as well. He failed to protect him from his wife's excesses of behaviours and is very much still her hatchet man. Have you ever put those points to him and if so what was his response?.

Its also going to be hard to maintain any form of relationship if your H continues to ignore any calls made to him from his parents. His own inertia when it comes to his parents is simply hurting him as well as his own family unit i.e. your child and you now. It is not fair of him to get you to carry the can; he needs to deal with his parents and now before they really do destroy you as a family unit from the inside out.

Why is he so reluctant to seek counselling, what are his exact reasons for refusal? Is he afraid of what he may find out?.

Your job here amongst many is to protect your child from his parents malign influences. He may still want a relationship with his dad but it certainly does not follow that you have to. I think they have done more than enough emotional harm to the two of you already and they will do similar harm to your child if she is left with them even if you are there. Look at how your DH has turned out at their hands, he is totally afraid of his mother and his dad has allowed that to happen. Your H does not have your child's back or yours because of fear, obligation, guilt and his own inertia.

hellsbellsmelons Fri 25-Nov-16 09:57:37

'That is absolutely, not going to happen any time soon. Look forward to seeing you on Boxing day'
Them - 'Why not?'
'It's not something I'm prepared to discuss. We are happy to see you together.'

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 25-Nov-16 10:00:51


IIRC your ILs were the people who fed your DD lots of lemon and then took photos. Did they not also use a rope on your DD as well and put it around her person?.

Chamonix1 Fri 25-Nov-16 10:44:29

My dd loves them, she gets their full attention, is given everything she wants and more. But she's 3. She also would eat sweets for breakfast lunch and dinner, which as a grown up I decide isn't such a great idea. Unfortunately it's the same with my in laws. I can't trust them to look after her without overstepping boundaries and doing things like trying not to give her back when I say I'm coming to pick her up.
If they were balanced humans I wouldn't care, I don't particularly get along with other members of dhs family but can see they are good people really, I understand where you are coming from but my mother in law is not someone I trust.

Chamonix1 Fri 25-Nov-16 10:45:58

Yes, the played "cow boys" and thought that'd be safe idea, when I asked them to stop mil laughed at me and carried on. And yes she fed her lemon at a very young age. I asked her not to do that too. It gave her nappy rash

Chamonix1 Fri 25-Nov-16 10:46:49

He won't seek counselling I'm not sure why he just never went

Chamonix1 Fri 25-Nov-16 10:57:30

And I did try to organise it.
He's had it before but for other reasons.
My fil himself had abusive parents and I think it kids judgment over what is normal.
I don't think he's a band person.
My mil isn't intentionally nasty most of the time either but she routinely manipulates people to get her way and often her own way is asking too much.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 25-Nov-16 12:08:51

He won't seek counselling I'm not sure why he just never went

That's not good enough is it really?. Also you cannot and must not organise his counselling; he is an adult and is capable of doing that. Your DH is also part of the problem here because he will not go and will seemingly not tell you why. I think you need to find out his reasons for refusing to go as this problem will not go away.

This type of dysfunction goes down the generations; it is of no surprise to me at all that your FIL was himself abused. However, it is still no excuse for his actions now. Instead of seeking the necessary help he has simply continued the same old as he knows. The same with your MIL.

Chamonix - what is a "bad person"?. These people have done and will continue to do awful things to you all; its their way or no way as far as they are concerned. I think you are seriously minimising the harm his parents are doing and have done to you as a family unit, you only have to see how your DH has turned out to see the emotional harm these people can do. Abusive people are not nasty all the time but the cycle of nice/nasty is a continuous one.

Why can you yourself not go no contact with them, examine your own reasons very carefully.

RandomMess Fri 25-Nov-16 12:15:59

TBH I remember some of the back story

"You will never be having DD alone again, see you next month on xx as agreed"

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