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Has anyone gone for counselling with their mother- in- law

(28 Posts)
rivergodess Thu 25-Jun-09 19:08:48

I am about to divorce my husband because of his parents.
To cut a long story short, i married an only child whose parents invested a lot in him ending being on top of his game at work. They have hated me from day one,i met them once before getting engaged that's when it kicked off. She has been open with her hostility for the past six years to the point where on my son's birthday we said we needed space from in-laws.
Now on fathers day they came over and asked if they could stay and my dh asked me away from them and i said no, also we were expecting a guest who was coming to stay till today, they discussed this on the street my answer.
Later on when they were leaving they said can we see our grandson tommorrow i said its not convinient as he is in nursery at £70 a pop a day ,and they said we have rights as grand parents i walked away as she started to use emotional blackmail,
in the end for the sake of peace i said to dh they can pick him up that mon, which they did when they came i said you do not have any rights it's from me wanting my ds to have a relationship with you.
They said we will take you to court and since our son is a solicitor he can defend us, I SURRENDED now how do i go from this my dh says they are evil and wont change so i should deal with it.
Now i only see my option as counselling is it worth it apart from that divorce.

rubyslippers Thu 25-Jun-09 19:11:35

they sound awful

are you really about to divorce over this?

Counselling is a good idea in terms of helping you deal with their behaviour but it won't change them

sometimes it is better and healthier to withdraw from a realtionship

does your DH support you or not?

dittany Thu 25-Jun-09 19:12:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mamas12 Thu 25-Jun-09 19:15:00

Who exactly are you married to? Her or her son?
Don't engage with her anymore. Let your dh speak to them, be polite and don't put up with rudeness.

Do they really expect your dh to defend them in court against you. They sound sooo toxic. Can you not move away from themI take it your dh is of the same opinion as you.

Look your baby your rules, okay.

controlfreakythecontrolfreak Thu 25-Jun-09 19:15:28

you sound a bit confused to me!

if your dh says they "are evil" what does he expect from them in terms of their behaviour etc?.

why are you "about to divorce" if it sounds like there's a chance of you and dh presenting a un ited front? do you want to get divorced??

from what you've posted it sounds to me like it's you and dh who might benefit from counselling..... not you and mil (MAD idea imo). you and dh need to talk about priorities / boundaries and how to deal with this as a couple....

rivergodess Thu 25-Jun-09 19:16:22

thanks ruby , i just thought of the counselling today and have not told him, my dh is the kind of person who says this has happened deal with it he never comes up with any solutions, he has says at work he deals with conflict when he comes home he wants peace and to be honest i feel abused and bullied by in laws and dh says they wont change i should deal with it.

BCNS Thu 25-Jun-09 19:17:44

heck.. IME it might be worth a try.. but they sound like control freaks. yes of course they want to have a relationship with your ds.. and it's handy for you to have them there to help if needed. . but and here is the thing.. they have done their child rearing bit.. and they need to allow their son to have his own life and family. and doing the we're going to threaten you bit.. really doesn't bode well at all.

divorce still won't stop them being control freaks.. i'm still living with that.

maybe a mediation session would help.?

dittany Thu 25-Jun-09 19:18:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

rivergodess Thu 25-Jun-09 19:22:19

thank you ladies i have taken everything on board and i hear all your questions, they, in-laws feel dh owes him for the life he has. The mom has even told him she lost her figure when she had him and could not love him, she says she gave up on him when he was seven, when he left for uni he just saw them 3 times a year. she said this 3 yrs ago after another row.
i feel that i am not getting any sympathy from dh, and they always want to play us aginst each other.

warthog Thu 25-Jun-09 19:24:30

i think counseling is not the solution.

the solution is to have very clear ground rules with your fucking insane lunatic ils: when they see your ds, when they're included in family stuff and whatever else is causing probs. basically a contract. and if they overstep the mark, pull them up on it.

your dh has pretty much washed his hands, so i wouldn't take his relationship with them into account. you can't as he won't get involved. just do what you need to do to make a happy life for yourself. even if it means cutting them out totally.

take you to court? pah! they've lost their marbles.

don't divorce your dh though. you married him, not them.

rubyslippers Thu 25-Jun-09 19:25:36

i think Warthog is right ...

warthog Thu 25-Jun-09 19:25:50

i'll bet that your dh isn't getting involved because he simply can't. he's dealt with it all his life, and he can't deal with it anymore.

maybe you should also not see them except for a couple of times a year?

rivergodess Thu 25-Jun-09 19:26:18

My advice to my ds would be date the parents first, he says i was the first woman he took home, as he felt i could handle them, they live four hours drive away but within 30 min of visiting they are already having a go.
Maybe divorce is a figure of speech BUT what can i do.

sarah293 Thu 25-Jun-09 19:26:25

Message withdrawn

dittany Thu 25-Jun-09 19:31:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

rivergodess Thu 25-Jun-09 19:31:41

Gosh warthog, you are so right he says he has had to put up with this, they used to play good cop, bad cop with him,
We have discussed all this with them they DON'T care they pretend that nothing ever happened, even when they picked up ds on monday they just acted like co-wee.

rivergodess Thu 25-Jun-09 19:36:34

off to feed ds and cook thank you so much to everyone will take pen and paper and list down all points so i can make suggestions to dh.

dollius Thu 25-Jun-09 19:36:52

I think you should both stop seeing them altogether.
End of.

CarGirl Thu 25-Jun-09 19:38:15

If your dh isn't bothered about having a relationship with them I don't understand why you are putting up with them?

I'm a bit confused about what you've written, I would just stop completely.

springlamb Thu 25-Jun-09 20:16:58

Well, if my DH said 'they are evil, deal with it' I would not hesitate to do so (and I would not involve poison, as much fun as it sounds).

1. Deal with it by deciding that your family unit are not seeing them at all for the next six months. Then you will review the decision.

2. Deal with it by telling your dh that he is to take ds to visit them once a fortnight for a couple of hours. And you don't want to hear anything about his visit.

3. Deal with it by saying that you are so busy you need to be more structured in life. Therefore they are invited for lunch once a month at a weekend. You do not see them alone.

See, if he wants you to 'deal with it', he has no say in the 'how' of it, does he? There's a saying that fits if you excuse my language - shit or get off the pot.

Tortington Thu 25-Jun-09 20:37:41

think of circles....

me dh and kids - we are in a circle. this is the important circle - any one not in this circle is secondary

outside this circle is a bigger circle - this is mums and dads aunties uncles from both sides - their wants and needs are important - but when it comes to family - your family is in the first circle

then there is a wider circle still

other people important to us.

thee is a hierarchy or importance with these things.

but every member of the first circle needs to be aware that every one else - whilst importat and loved - have shit all on the people within that circle


2rebecca Thu 25-Jun-09 20:57:56

If they live 4 hours away they shouldn't be that important to your everyday life. To be honest if they'd travelled 4 hours to see you keeping the sprog out of nursery for the day wouldn't have done any harm. The cost is irrelevent, it's not costing you more for him to spend time with his grandparents. Their attitude is awful. You and husband need the couselling, if anyone does although you sound quite united. Seeing less of them and being firm with them sounds like the best option. Otherwise you could go out for the day when they visit and leave H to them.

charlotte1978 Thu 25-Jun-09 21:35:00


Please, please don't give up. Don't surrender. Play them at their own game. They are petty, nasty people and I suggest you relax your hatred for them and believe me the change will be amazing.

My in laws hated me from the start and I was tearing my hair out over their insults and emotional blackmail, then a colleague, who had been married for 30 years, gave me a piece of advice. Be Nice, Be so Nice!

I gave it a try and the change was amazing. I found my husband, who usually defended them, took my side because he could see me being nice and them being nasty. When they asked to see my daughter I said 'yes' even though I didn't want them near her, they saw her a few times and pissed off in the end. Believe me my daughter is better off but because of this unbelieveable tactic they are so nice now it's bearable.

I know how hard this may be. They sound dreadful but believe me don't let them destroy your life. That is what they want.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 26-Jun-09 08:03:36


Would urge you not to divorce your H if his toxic parents are the only issue. You give them what they want in that case. This is about them asserting power and control over you both and they will continue to do so.

Your H has had a lifetime of it and has been conditioned accordingly hence his attitude. You most likely have come from a family where all this crap is thankfully unfamiliar to you. Toxic people as well don't play by the "normal rules of families". Its what they want - power and control.

Your H and yourself both need counselling to deal with the immense fallout that comes from dealing with toxic parents and inlaws. Toxic people like this do not change nor accept any responsibility for their actions. You have not made them this way and you are not responsible for them, they would have acted the same regardless of whom he married.

BTW given their behaviour towards you both why would you want your son to have any relationship with them?. Out of societal convention?. Toxic people are more than happy to pass all this onto the next generation as well and your son will suffer too from them. Their threats to take you to court are empty ones; grandparents have no legal right in law to see their grandchildren and there's no chance at all that they would be permitted to have their son defend them in a court.

Would NEVER go to counselling with MIL full stop. She would never agree to such a course of action because in her eyes she is not responsible (again this is typical of toxic parents).

I would suggest you read "Toxic Inlaws" written by Susan Forward.

Bucharest Fri 26-Jun-09 08:22:11

I cut my (not)inlaws (am not married) out of my life 5 yrs ago or my relationship with dp would have ended. I know it would. So I come to this from the opposite end to you IYSWIM?
I was lucky in that dp supported my decision- he still saw his parents, took dd to see them, recognises them for the fvckers that they are.
I'm in Italy where legitimate grandparents do have the legal right to see their grandchildren even if both parents are against this. For this reason alone I'll never marry dp, because while we're not married, in the eyes of the law, dd has no paternal grandparents. smile
Your dh needs to deal with them more than you do, tbh.
Attila is also right about toxic parents becoming toxic grandparents...a good friend of mine in the same situation as me (but divorced) has to put up with her 5 yr old son coming back from his grandmothers and relating all the vile things she's said about her. My dp knows that the first time dd comes back and even says "Grandma says you...." will be the last.
Good luck.

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