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35 replies

Dasher789 · 12/05/2021 01:19

FIL, FIL wife (FILW) and their DC live around 700 miles away. Have not seen them since pre covid. The relationship between FIL and my DH has always been a bit lacking (FIL left when DH was 5 and saw him less and less the older he got). Recent years have seen each other once or twice a year. Distance obviously doesn't help but we are all in the UK.

DH had mentioned to FIL we planned a weekend staycation next month close by to him and arranged to spend the one day of our trip with him+FILW and DC. FILW has now informed us they have a holiday booked at that time and won't be able to see us.

DH and I got married and SIL gave birth during covid. Her baby is now 1 and never met FIL (babies DGF) nor FILW+DS. Its a bit stinging that his and FILW priority was a holiday, over visiting immediate family who have celebrated significant life events.

DH has pulled FIL up a few times about his lack of interest pre covid. Things pick up for a few weeks and then fall away again. I don't know about SIL but DH could definitely make more effort so its not totally one sided, but it seems like FIL has his new family and just isn't that bothered. FILW has openly said that whilst she is happy to be a part of the family dynamic, DH and SIL are not a priority for her.

AIBU - keeping plugging away and trying to keep contact for DH/family sake.
YANBU - FIL is selfish and won't change.

I am sad because DH and I hope to start a family soon and I don't want FIL to be involved with the baby if he won't make any effort and don't want the baby to grow up to know they have a DGF who basically doesn't care. I appreciate the distance is an issue and we won't see them every weekend but its not like they are at the other side of the world.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

violetbunny · 12/05/2021 01:26

YANBU. I think you and your DH need to accept that, for whatever reason, FIL does not consider you a priority. He's making that blatantly obvious in his actions. Wishing he will change is only going to lead to further upset on your part. You can't change who he is, only how you react.

I say this as someone whose dad moved countries when I was a child, I only see him every couple of years at most.


GrumpyHoonMain · 12/05/2021 01:29

Just go no contact. He probably won’t care.


BoomBoomsCousin · 12/05/2021 01:44

I am sad because DH and I hope to start a family soon and I don't want FIL to be involved with the baby if he won't make any effort and don't want the baby to grow up to know they have a DGF who basically doesn't care.

You know he won't make an effort. He obviously and clearly won't make an effort. Stop trying to force a relationship he isn't interested in, you (and your future DC) are worth more than this. It's sort of sad for your DH, but if it's something he thinks is actually worthwhile for him, let him make some effort.


Toomanyradishes · 12/05/2021 02:08

To be fair if they had already booked the holiday why should they cancel it? If you are planning on making a trip near someone and visiting them it seems a bit thoughtless not to find out mutually convenient days first.

Unless you are saying fil booked the holiday after finding out when you were visiting in which case you are probably not BU, it depends if the visit was offered if convenient or if fil was just dictated to as to his involvement etc


Lou98 · 12/05/2021 02:15

I get that there's obviously more to the back story but just on the example you've given in the OP I don't really understand how your FIL is being U.

It sounds as though they already had the holiday booked and you never checked to see if they were busy on the dates you've booked the weekend away until after you booked it - I don't think it's fair to expect them to cancel a holiday when you just assumed they would be free. Why couldn't you go another weekend? Just because you got married doesn't mean they need to rearrange a holiday (if it was booked prior to you booking the weekend which it sounds like it was)

Same with your SIL - why did it have to be that one weekend that they're away that they met the baby and not any other time? Obviously a year without meeting his GC isn't great but with lockdowns and restrictions that's the same for a lot of families this year.

As I say I get that there's obviously more to this and you'll know the background more than we do but just from the information provided in the OP I would say yabu


Changechangychange · 12/05/2021 02:26

“it seems like FIL has his new family and just isn't that bothered”

Yep, that is exactly what it sounds like. I would stop making an effort, tbh.

DFIL is similar with us, and he doesn’t even have a second wife to blame it on. He’s just a crap and uninvolved father. He hasn’t seen DS since before Christmas, or bought him any Christmas or birthday presents, or made any moves to meet up. Then bitches that DS is closer to DM, who sees him every week.


BlueVelvetStars · 12/05/2021 03:34

Did you check your booking dates with them ?

Did they check their booking dates with you ?

It happens. Flowers


Coyoacan · 12/05/2021 03:52

To be fair if they had already booked the holiday why should they cancel it?



DifficultBloodyWoman · 12/05/2021 06:54

He’s just not that in to you.

Unfortunately, that can apply to family members as well as boyfriends.

The advice is the same - he isn’t worth the effort.


HercwasanEnemyofEducation · 12/05/2021 06:57

The holiday I wouldn't be that bothered, holidays haven't been a thing so everyone is desperate to get away.
The rest of his attitude must hurt your DH.


denverRegina · 12/05/2021 08:16

Ive booked a few holidays, I won't be cancelling them because a family member wants to meet up for the day.

You can have relationships with people without them being intense and all consuming. Just accept it is what it is rather than demanding "all or nothing".


Dasher789 · 12/05/2021 09:35

@BlueVelvetStars yes, we checked out dates with FIL about a month ago and all was fine. Yesterday, FILW told us they were away.

@Lou98 @Toomanyradishes Of course if we presented dates that were inconvenient we would not have expected them to change their plans but had been told our dates were fine and arranged our travel accordingly.

I don't care per se that they are going on holiday, if they had said initially that they couldn't see us because they had booked a holiday and suggested coming down to see us later in the year, I wouldn't have thought twice. I think the crux of the hurt comes from them having booked the holiday seemingly after we had made an arrangement and then secondly, them having no interest in suggesting scheduling anything with us.

OP posts:

Babdoc · 12/05/2021 09:43

OP, it looks to me like they booked the holiday deliberately, to avoid having to meet up with you. Why else do it when you had already agreed a date with them?
I think they are giving a clear message that they don’t care about DH and have no wish to see him or be involved as a family.
Stop trying to flog a dead horse. FIL will never be a loving caring dad to your DH. He never was, and he won’t change now.
Forget about him, and focus on creating your own loving family with DH. Don’t give the obnoxious bloke the power to hurt you.


toocoldforsno · 12/05/2021 09:46

but it seems like FIL has his new family and just isn't that bothered

You already know the score. Stop flogging a dead horse, he just doesn't care.


NeedNewKnees · 12/05/2021 10:00

Stopping chasing them. They aren't interested, and nothing you do can make them want to see you all more.

If FILW has already told you that your DH and SIL aren't a priority, I don't understand why you are still flogging this dead horse.


StillCoughingandLaughing · 12/05/2021 10:14

I am sad because DH and I hope to start a family soon and I don't want FIL to be involved with the baby if he won't make any effort and don't want the baby to grow up to know they have a DGF who basically doesn't care.

But I’m not sure how you think you can prevent this. What’s your plan - to tell your in-laws that they see their child on your terms or not at all? And what will you do if they say ‘not at all’? Your child will still know they have a grandparent who doesn’t care - unless you’re planning to pretend he’s dead.


Dasher789 · 12/05/2021 10:15

@Babdoc thanks, you are right, it is good to see it in black and white.

During lockdown we offered to courier up an old violin for DC to practise out of school as they didn't have their own and just got a no thanks back. They are not interested.

Would you still send birthday/Christmas gifts?

OP posts:

Dinosauratemydaffodils · 12/05/2021 10:24

Given the lack of interest in your Sil's child, I don't think you need to worry about them being involved with your future children. Children adapt, my paternal grandmother hated my mum so much she didn't want any involvement with me as a child. Looking back I think it's sad but it didn't both me at the time. I barely saw her until I was in my 20s and visits only became regular when I had my dc in my late 30s/early 40s.

Would you still send birthday/Christmas gifts?

How old are your dh's half siblings? I'd probably send a card to fil and his wife plus small gifts/cash to the kids with the intention of reviewing when they turn 18/21. Definitely wouldn't be putting effort in though.


Dobbyisahouseelf · 12/05/2021 10:27

You need to stop investing time and effort into your relationship with your FIL and his family. I understand it is hurtful but you will be continually disappointed with your FIL'S lack of effort in maintaining a relationship with his son.

By all means continue sending a card and small gift to their child bit don't tie yourself in knots over it. Something generic is fine, ie minimal effort on your part. In time you and your DH will focus on your own family and that may not include your FIL, it will be his loss.


Spudina · 12/05/2021 10:33

Time to give it up I’m afraid. He obviously booked the holiday to avoid you. Don’t waste your energy on them. He won’t be any better when you have your own children. And honestly, kids can be pretty resilient about that stuff. They won’t miss what they have never had.


BecauseMyRingBurnsSheila · 12/05/2021 10:44

′′Let go the people who are not prepared to love you. This is the hardest thing you will have to do in your life and it will also be the most important thing. Stop having hard conversations with people who don't want change.

Stop showing up for people who have no interest in your presence. I know your instinct is to do everything to earn the appreciation of those around you, but it's a boost that steals your time, energy, mental and physical health.

When you begin to fight for a life with joy, interest and commitment, not everyone will be ready to follow you in this place. This doesn't mean you need to change what you are, it means you should let go of the people who aren't ready to accompany you.

If you are excluded, insulted, forgotten or ignored by the people you give your time to, you don't do yourself a favor by continuing to offer your energy and your life. The truth is that you are not for everyone and not everyone is for you.

That's what makes it so special when you meet people who reciprocate love. You will know how precious you are.

The more time you spend trying to make yourself loved by someone who is unable to, the more time you waste depriving yourself of the possibility of this connection to someone else.

There are billions of people on this planet and many of them will meet with you at your level of interest and commitment.

The more you stay involved with people who use you as a pillow, a background option or a therapist for emotional healing, the longer you stay away from the community you want.

Maybe if you stop showing up, you won't be wanted. Maybe if you stop trying, the relationship will end. Maybe if you stop texting your phone will stay dark for weeks. That doesn't mean you ruined the relationship, it means the only thing holding it back was the energy that only you gave to keep it. This is not love, it's attachment. It's wanting to give a chance to those who don't deserve it. You deserve so much, there are people who should not be in your life.

The most valuable thing you have in your life is your time and energy, and both are limited. When you give your time and energy, it will define your existence.

When you realize this, you begin to understand why you are so anxious when you spend time with people, in activities, places or situations that don't suit you and shouldn't be around you, your energy is stolen.

You will begin to realize that the most important thing you can do for yourself and for everyone around you is to protect your energy more fiercely than anything else. Make your life a safe haven, in which only ′′compatible′′ people are allowed.

You are not responsible for saving anyone. You are not responsible for convincing them to improve. It's not your work to exist for people and give your life to them! If you feel bad, if you feel compelled, you will be the root of all your problems, fearing that they will not return the favours you have granted. It's your only obligation to realize that you are the love of your destiny and accept the love you deserve.

Decide that you deserve true friendship, commitment, true and complete love with healthy and prosperous people. Then wait and see how much everything begins to change. Don't waste time with people who are not worth it. Change will give you the love, the esteem, happiness and the protection you deserve."

Anthony Hopkins


Fixitup2 · 12/05/2021 10:47

Anthony Hopkins has just made me re-evaluate my longest friendship which is extremely hard work as I rarely get a response. So many truths there Anthony.


Dasher789 · 12/05/2021 10:49

@BecauseMyRingBurnsSheila wow, thank you. That perfectly sums it up.

OP posts:

FinallyFluid · 12/05/2021 10:53

Oh God give it up.

I come from a happy connected family, DH doesn't I tried to keep contact going for years, then I had a road to Damascus moment.

I stepped back, they didn't step forward, job done.

We still observed the niceties, birthday cards etc, BIL's card came back no longer at this address, turns out they had moved countries three months earlier.

Even for DH who professes not to care, that was a kicker.


Supersimkin2 · 12/05/2021 10:59

FIL's a fail.

He's happy to fail you and disappoint you. He won't change.

Smile and leave.

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