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Cutting off ties with your mother-in-law: What about the kids?

(19 Posts)
vannah Sun 19-Jul-09 21:17:53

My MIL has always been a vile, gossipy trashy type of woman and a lot of her nasty traits only came to my knowledge after I had married her son. DH and I have a pretty rocky marriage, she has played a role in that, but is no means the main cause of our conflicts.
My MIL has now done something that is unforgivable. For years she has gossiped maliciously about me, not just to her own friends (fine) but to my husband's close friend too.
A few days ago I explained to her the trauma that I was going through after my DD (18 months) was in a horrific burns accident which my DH was responsible for. I asked her to STOP gossiping about me once and for all, and that once we had all gotten over the trauma of our baby's accident I would sit down with her and work out a way of moving forward and try to make our relationship work. She cried and said she would like that very much,

and the next day went and gossiped about me to my cousin who lives near her, more or less blaming me for the horrific accident (I wasnt at home) and saying that her poor son should not have had to be cooking for the children. (??!!)

She has crossed the line too far, and I have now firmly told DH that I will never see her again.
The former arrangement was that he would take our 2 children to see her every saturday at her place, but now since the accident I dont trust my husband with the children. He needs to be supervised (he has caused many near accidents and left out hazards before the burns accident) and MIL is completely accident prone and derranged.

She will need to come to our house to see her grandchildren. But I dont want to see her and cant afford a 'babysitter'. Is there a way out of this? I personally dont care for her 'needing' to see them every week, but something tells me I dont have a right to cut off that relationhship. They dont much give a damn about her.

any suggestions? thankyou

MaggieBeBold Sun 19-Jul-09 21:23:59

hmmmm, I think this is going to be hard when you're with your husband.

Agree to a regular time, once a month eg, when he takes the children to see her. She may be a bitch and a gossip but they're probably not going to come to harm wth 2 adults there.

I sympathise more than you know. My xMil was a vile hideous woman who saw the bruises her son left on my face and said 'i don't see anything'. She screamed down the phone at me when I left, adn told me I only left because I wanted an easy life (not being beaten up and abused?). She despises me now. I can feel the hatred coming from her. She can come and see the children, but she doesn't. Not sure why. Because I removed them from her sphere?? All the women at her golf club and bridge club and all her neighbours have been told how evil I am.

Hope it all works out for you.

vannah Sun 19-Jul-09 21:49:49

thankyou mbb, thats a really sad story. Glad she is not part of your life anymore..

Miggsie Sun 19-Jul-09 22:13:11

My gran was a horrible person and a really horrible MIL to my mother.

I was glad when I did not have to endure the "duty visits" twice a year. My mother (normally very strict about politemess) let me off travelling to see Gran (her MIL) and I think she would have loved to cut her out of her own life but went on the visits because my dad thought he should go as "she was his mother". My dad never stood up to his mother even though she was vile and made my mother and my aunt's life a misery.

I didn't miss her or the indescribable tension those visits always incurred.

macaronie Mon 20-Jul-09 06:07:46

I loathe my MIL too, and we are barely on speaking terms.

I would suggest she comes over to yours once a month for a day. You might have to just leave the house while she is there, and trust your DH. If you got divorced, he would have time on his own with the children. If your DH said this wasn't enough, I would suggest once a fortnight but no more than this.

Hope your LO gets better soon. My MIL also bitches madly about me to other people and would blame me for everything and her son for nothing. Nothing you can do about it except avoid them.

petunia Mon 20-Jul-09 07:07:17

I'm another DIL who barely tolerates her ILs!

I'd lay down the law with your DH that because of your MILs behaviour and seeing as you can't trust your DH or your MIL when it comes to your childrens safety, that your MIL will have to visit you and say that it's going to be weekly/fortnightly/monthly (whichever you think is best) and for a set time e.g 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours. Then when she visits, say that you're giving them that set time and go upstairs, so that you don't have to be in the same room but are still in the house. After that set time and if MIL hasn't left by then, gather up your children and go out. MIL's time to visit is over.

Miggsie- your post is the sort of thing I hope my DDs (aged 10, 6 and 3) say about me in the future! I went through 12 years of abuse from my ILs and like your Dad, my DH has never stood up to them (he actually said during a row 10 years after we married that, "husbands and wives don't stand up for each other if it's going to upset families!") and relied on me to 'sweep everything under the rug' and keep his parents happy everytime. I quit visiting when he said that and now because I don't visit, DDs don't either. But I've always got at the back of my mind that one day they'll accuse me of not letting them see their other grandparents. I tell myself if this happens, that I've never stopped them from visiting, they choose not to. I also don't hide why I don't visit and have told DD1 that the ILs don't like me, simply because I married their Son. I barely tolerate them once a year now, when they visit at Christmas, and the atmosphere is awful! And I think Vannah, this is the thing your children will pick up on as they get older; that the atmosphere surrounding visits from your MIL isn't nice, they'll want to do their own thing and won't want to see her either!

aGalChangedHerName Mon 20-Jul-09 07:12:05

I absolutely would not allow DH to take them to mil's by himself. I used to be taken to my gp's and it was awful sad It was a huge bitching session about my mum.

I would echo what petunia said. I would have her at yours and stay upstairs. That way you can control the time and duration of the visit.

Poor you,hope dd's recovery goes well xx

junglist1 Mon 20-Jul-09 11:21:10

My MIL isn't allowed to see my boys. FIL and SIL are but not her and BIL. Luckily she lives in Turkey for 6 months of the year. I blame her for the way her son is (he's an immature abusive cunt)he wasn't brought up properly and if I knew I never would have bothered with him. She offered my twat a buisness if he left me when I was pregnant with our first son. Then swore on Allah she's never had a problem with me. I've told P during our rows she should have been shot at birth and I mean it.They really are a family of village idiots. If my sons were abusers I'd have something to say about it mate. Rant over

forehead Mon 20-Jul-09 11:45:31

I sympathise with you OP because my MIL is truly the mil from hell. After many years of trying to be tolerant, i eventually cut off contact with her. At the beginning i had no problems with my DC's seeing her at her own home, until she started to spread the most malicious gossip,even phoning my own relatives. I then decided that she could no longer see my children and i don't regret it.
If i know she is going to be somewhere i simply don't go. My dh has no choice in the matter , as he knows how vile his mother is.

MaggieBeBold Mon 20-Jul-09 16:13:20

Junglist1, I've accepted (well, 85% accepted), the abuse that my x put me through, but I can not comprehend my MIL as a woman, knowingly siding with her son against me when she saw my injuries. It is just a stretch tooo far for me. Although obvioulsy it's hard to understand abuse full stop. Hope that makes sense...

I'm not preventing my xmil from visiting the children either, but she can't bare to because she wouldn't be in control.. Control freakery runs in their family.

junglist1 Mon 20-Jul-09 18:58:53

I'm still with my twat, but he's agreed to move out and is looking for somewhere as of now. I can't understand any woman who enables abuse either, it's sickening. I understand your position.

vannah Mon 20-Jul-09 22:03:40

thankyou so much everyone. What a real comfort to log on tonight and find a whole pile of replies from those of you in very similar positions. Junglist that really was a rant, you sound as angry as me, but I have to say I had to read your post a few times as your MIL sounds virtually the same as mine and your situation is also very similar.
Petunia that is exactly what I will do. Thankyou, its a huge weight off my mind to know how to organise this. It makes perfect sense that Im upstairs, can poke my head round to see kids ok, maybe even invest in video monitor!

many thanks all

junglist1 Mon 20-Jul-09 22:12:11

Sorry Vannah I didn't even advise you on your situation just went off on one!!

vannah Mon 20-Jul-09 22:45:26

totally understand...

petunia Tue 21-Jul-09 09:58:59

Vannah, honestly it's what I do to when my ILs come and visit! I used to work myself in to a tizzy doing everything for IL visits but since DH said his "husbands and wives don't stick up for each other" comment, it's now his problem job to do it all! I just say a 'hello' and go off and do jobs upstairs now. It's amazing the amount of laundry sorting and tidying up that I can do in the few hours that they're here! So I'd take the opportunity to either (like me), do those jobs or just take a coffee up, sit on the bed, read and relax. And at least you're still in the house to check on your childrens safety.

expertinscunthorpe Tue 21-Jul-09 10:06:27

I can totally understand why you're upset.

TBH though, reading the OP it's not the MIL that would be worrying me most, it's the fact that your father's children can't be trusted to look after them. I would deal with that as my main priority.

llareggub Tue 21-Jul-09 10:11:22

Was just about to post the same things as expertinscunthorpe.

Is there an underlying reason for your husband's uselessness? Personally I don't think you should worry about arranging the MIL visit. If your DH wants his children to see them then he should arrange it. They are his children too.

Reginamygina Tue 21-Jul-09 10:29:21

Junglist, grin @ your twat. Excellent!

Girls, I really need to take a page out of your books. I have come to the conclusion that my Mil is sick in the head. She is delusional, tells lies more than she does truths, and denies the lot. Has a major paddy every 6 months about her not being the centre of our life (I kid you not).

Yet, I am still in friendly terms with her. Every time she lies and I find out, I get very wound up...but don't do much about it. Ils are the only family Dp has got (well, apart from us that is), and they live nearby.

I think the tension of me not talking to them anymore would be worse than this shitty situation..

Teach me!

Op, I would echo pp and say I'd sort your Dh out first, then your Mil.

vannah Wed 22-Jul-09 19:29:59

thanks again everyone for the replies. There is a chronic problem with my husband, we are trying everything to find out what it is. He has been to the GP expressing his concerns over being so careless/forgetful to the extent that accidents have happened and they have arranged for a brain scan. They say he is too young to have a mental disorder. He is in my opinion simply scatty and careless, and clumsy just like his mother. She spend her whole life walking into roads without looking and the inevitable happened last year when she was hit by a bus. Amazingly, a year on she is fully recovered and a few months ago took my son across the road, lo and behold - did not look before crossing (I knew she wouldnt so I was right behind them)Its a genetic thing I think..dippy to the point of being dangerous and never able to learn from a mistake.

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