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AIBU?

Resentful of MIL being friendly with DH’s Ex

297 replies

Bananabreadandstrawberries · 04/01/2024 15:06

Hi ladies, please tell me if IABU and what I should do, to make the best of this situation.

BG:
DH has an older child with a woman he was not in a relationship with (relevant as I feel this means she never was part of his family or their DIL). This woman is foreign, so has no family in the UK.

My in laws say ‘she hasn’t got her own mother here’ so seem to want to compensate by being extra helpful, helping with childcare, bringing things over, and also MIL went to this woman’s 40th birthday and housewarming (both of which DH did not). They exchange Christmas presents (and I think MIL got this woman a more thoughtful present than myself).

TBH, I would want myself and in laws to help with the child, but to have nothing to do with the mother. I am resentful that she is being treated as part of the family when I do not think she is.

I offered to meet this woman but she has not wanted to meet me (even though I help look after her child), which adds to my annoyance.

She has a bf (not sure if in laws are aware or it that makes a difference).

DH and I have a younger child of our own.

Please send advice.
IABU - I need to give my head a wobble and accept it / be friendly with her.
IANBU - how do I navigate this!

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

1741 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
91%
You are NOT being unreasonable
9%
Ghentsummer · 04/01/2024 15:08

You sound needy and insecure. And it's pretty horrible you want to cut this woman off from her support system in this country. If you couldn't accept the fact your dh has a past then you should never have married him.

randomstress · 04/01/2024 15:11

You and your MIL are not the same people.
She absolutely can be friendly with one of the mothers of her grandchildren if she chooses to be.
That doesn't mean that you have to be.
Your MIL as a grown woman can choose to attend any parties that she likes again it doesn't mean that you have to.
She may genuinely like this woman, she may feel that being friendly with her helps her keep contact with her grandchild or it may be both.
Her relationship with her really isn't your business and I wouldn't concern yourself with it.

VisiblyNot25 · 04/01/2024 15:11

Sorry but you’re being unreasonable. Your MIL sounds like she’s just being a kind, decent person & a good Grandma. Imagine how your DH’s daughter feel if her grandma was unnecessarily cold & distant with her Mum?

Tarmacadamia · 04/01/2024 15:12

Your mother in law's relationship with the mother of her grandchild is none of your business I don't think.

Different situation, but my in laws are still close to DH's ex, and while I'm not full of joy about it, I accept it's nothing to do with me.

Wictc · 04/01/2024 15:13

If you and your husband broke up, wouldn’t you want your child to feel they were supported by your husband’s family and they respected you by treating you kindly and being on good terms?

To them she is as much part of the family as you, both of you have had children by their son.

doodleygirl · 04/01/2024 15:13

My ex DH is still friendly with both my parents, I think it’s lovely as does my DH who to be fair is also friendly with my ex.

If your MIL likes this woman why shouldn’t they be friends, how is this impacting you?

Bananabreadandstrawberries · 04/01/2024 15:14

Thanks for the answers, I appreciate it.

Can you all go a bit further and give me advice on what I should do? I am very nice about it and obviously let them get on with it. Just feeling resentful on the inside and wanted to rant.

MIL does not help us with our child, if it makes a difference.

OP posts:
Thesearmsofmine · 04/01/2024 15:14

Your in-laws sound like decent people. What is the issue really? Are you jealous?

BoohooWoohoo · 04/01/2024 15:14

How does MIL being nice to his ex affect her treatment of you?

You should be reassured that if you split from your h then you might enjoy the same kind of relationship too.

The ex isn’t unreasonable to not want to meet. You aren’t unreasonable to want to meet but why does it annoy you that she doesn’t? I’ve never met my ex’s new wife and have no desire to either. My ex is responsible for exposing our children to people that he considers suitable and I have no influence over his judgement. He’s an equal parent to me (in legal terms) and my children are old enough to tell me if something happens at dad’s house. 🤷‍♀️ I am happy to accept that being divorced means having less control but I’m fortunate that ex doesn’t see the kids much and isn’t a bad person.

35965a · 04/01/2024 15:16

Your in laws are decent people, you should be happy about the fact they treat her well because it reflects well on the kind of people they are. My own family are still friendly with my brothers ex, who is the mother of his child. To us she is part of the family. She’s married to someone else with more children now but we are all on great terms with her and her new little family and we socialise. If my brothers new partner had a problem with that we wouldn’t care tbh.

Your boyfriend’s ex is no threat to you.

FrustatedAgain · 04/01/2024 15:16

Your MIL sounds nice. It sounds to me like she saw this woman had no support system when she needed one, she's stepped up and they've developed a friendship. It sounds nice and it must be good for the grandchild to see her mother and grandmother have a good relationship.
You sound jealous of this and you really need to get over it.

Newnameshoos · 04/01/2024 15:16

Your MiL has been able to separate out the relationship with her grandchild's mother from that with her son and you successfully. Given there's no icky history between them, I think you just have to accept it for what it is.

BigMandsTattooPortfolio · 04/01/2024 15:17

It’s really not for you to start dictating to this family who they can and cannot have close bonds with.

Bananabreadandstrawberries · 04/01/2024 15:17

Thank you, I guess this is where I feel we are not the same, as I am married to DH (so part of the family), and she was a casual encounter (so not part of the family).

OP posts:
ObliviousCoalmine · 04/01/2024 15:19

You're being unreasonable but I can see why you might feel the way you do, particularly if the MIL had a better relationship with her than you.

If it's just your MIL having a relationship with her then you just need to compartmentalise that. You said your husband isn't going to her birthday parties etc so presumably he isn't maintaining any kind of close relationship, which would be the thing that would be an issue in my book.

It strange that she wouldn't want to meet you though, considering she has a good relationship with your husbands mum, and you look after her child etc.

Thesearmsofmine · 04/01/2024 15:19

Bananabreadandstrawberries · 04/01/2024 15:17

Thank you, I guess this is where I feel we are not the same, as I am married to DH (so part of the family), and she was a casual encounter (so not part of the family).

But she’s the mother of his son which makes her part of the family just as much as you are.

WhamBamThankU · 04/01/2024 15:20

You don't get to decide if she's part of your MIL's family or not

ObliviousCoalmine · 04/01/2024 15:21

@Thesearmsofmine it doesn't.

VisiblyNot25 · 04/01/2024 15:21

Bananabreadandstrawberries · 04/01/2024 15:14

Thanks for the answers, I appreciate it.

Can you all go a bit further and give me advice on what I should do? I am very nice about it and obviously let them get on with it. Just feeling resentful on the inside and wanted to rant.

MIL does not help us with our child, if it makes a difference.

I don’t think there’s alot you can practically do really, other than (& I mean this in the kindest possible way) have a word with yourself - acknowledge your feelings but accept they might not be reasonable/ rational. Are there maybe other things to do with your own self confidence that might be making you insecure? If so, maybe do some work on your own self esteem. Or is it about wanting to be closer to your MIL yourself & feeling sad that you’re not? If you want more support from your in laws with your child, I’d ask for it directly rather than making it about this other woman - maybe invite your mother in law on a day out, just you, her and your daughter so you can enjoy your own relationships.

Newnameshoos · 04/01/2024 15:21

Bananabreadandstrawberries · 04/01/2024 15:17

Thank you, I guess this is where I feel we are not the same, as I am married to DH (so part of the family), and she was a casual encounter (so not part of the family).

But she is part of the family. She's your step-child's mother. You can argue that she's not (or shouldn't) be as far up the pecking order as you who married in, but if your MiL sees it differently all that trying to change things will achieve is damaging your own relationship and standing with your MiL who seems to be a thoughtful and good person.

MorrisZapp · 04/01/2024 15:21

Oh don't do that. Don't make a hierarchy based upon respectability. It's irrelevant, because there's a child involved. Of course your MIL wants to be on good terms with the mother of her grandchild, don't turn it into a competition you can't win.

35965a · 04/01/2024 15:22

Bananabreadandstrawberries · 04/01/2024 15:17

Thank you, I guess this is where I feel we are not the same, as I am married to DH (so part of the family), and she was a casual encounter (so not part of the family).

I suppose they have a different idea of family to you? They regard her as family because she is their grandchild’s mother. This benefits everybody, especially their grandchild.

blackpanth · 04/01/2024 15:22

Yabu

Thesearmsofmine · 04/01/2024 15:24

ObliviousCoalmine · 04/01/2024 15:21

@Thesearmsofmine it doesn't.

It clearly does in their eyes.

GodspeedJune · 04/01/2024 15:25

Bananabreadandstrawberries · 04/01/2024 15:17

Thank you, I guess this is where I feel we are not the same, as I am married to DH (so part of the family), and she was a casual encounter (so not part of the family).

She is the mother of your MILs grandchild, the same as you are. Being married doesn’t give you a firmer footing on the family hierarchy.

The MIL having a good relationship with her is very beneficial for all involved, but most importantly your step-child. For that reason alone, try not to be envious of their closeness.

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