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In laws and impact on our relationship (hugely long)

(63 Posts)
Tiredtrout Tue 14-May-13 08:39:43

I have posted about this a few times recently and I'm hoping someone can come up with a bit of a clue on how to move on. I have a feeling this could be quite long to try and avoid the drip feeding.

Imet my dh 14 years ago when I was a single mum and trying to get a divorce, he was also going through a divorce which was straightforward as the were no dc or property but mine was a bit difficult and took an age. During that time we got engaged and I got pg with our ds. This was an issue for his dp, they are evangelical Christians who are leaders in their church and I am Rc. They do not like this.

Because of our work sending us to two different ends of the country we decided that it would be for the best if I left my job (RAF) he rented a place off camp, and we got married soon as my divorce was final.

In the meantime whenever we visited his dp there was drama. His mother souls do the 'her or me thing' I was told I would burn in hell as would my dc for not being of their faith, I got shouted at at the table for making the sing of the cross when they did grace, I was berated for not taking communion in their church. All sorts of stuff.

Meanwhile my exh was dragging his heels over the divorce, it eventually came through and we had a rushed registry office wedding followed by the pub for lunch two days later. This was 3 weeks before our due date. Both sets of our dps came, mine were lovely, his insisted on going sightseeing on the morning of the wedding almost making dh late! They also wore black.

Strangely with all the stress our ds was born a few days later. My dps were unable to come all the way back up to us as it was a 1000 mile round trip. Dh dps arrived within 2 days and I was expected to go out sightseeing with them, our lease on our house had run out so we had to move that week too, and dh's work announced that he was to be posted again with no chance of me following for at least 3 months.

We moved, I was very sore and tired, mil bag side the bed, we were sleeping on the sofa with ds and dd was on the floor, dh was having to work and fil had gone home. Mil insisted on staying for a week to help. I caught her trying to persuade dh to let her organise a christening in their faith behind my back and I kicked her out the next day

When dh was posted I went to stay with my dps with the dc for a while then we moved to where he was. Not long after his dp came to stay again, I was told that I wasn't a proper wife and I was lazy. Their was more stuff but they made sure it was all done out of dh earshot.

Dh still wouldn't believe that his lovely dps would be horrible to me. They kept telling him they loved me!

We visited them for Christmas, I made a lot of the fancy trimmings and took it to them to try and make amends they refused to eat it, bar one mouthful each, they both came down with a tummy bug and blamed my cooking

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 14-May-13 08:49:45

I think, if he's not going to back you up, you have to be a lot less accommodating towards these people, forget trying to make amends, and stand up for yourself. They are bullying you in a particularly nasty way and you are going to have to dish it back and dish it back hard or they will never respect you. They already don't like you.... might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb. smile If you are told that you are 'not a proper wife and you are lazy' tell them in no uncertain terms to piss off. Glad you kicked them out about the behind-the-back christening.... well done.... but follow through and just don't give these ridiculous god-botherers so much as an inch.

forgetmenots Tue 14-May-13 08:52:11

I'm guessing you've cut off midpost here tiredtrout.

Your ILs are horrible, but it's not them or their religion that's the problem in what you've posted so far. You are not being backed by your DH. It's crucial in any situation like this that the two of you are on the same page.

I'm waiting to see if you post more and hoping that your DH has come round and stood up to them...

If your DH isn't prepared to stand up to them then you've a hard road ahead of you.

I would go no contact if I were you and let him visit and do his thing but have nothing to do with them.

Tiredtrout Tue 14-May-13 08:55:12

And there's even bloody more!

When we got posted back to the uk I took the opportunity to go back to work, I found a job, I found an au pair and we started to be able to afford to actually have a nice life.

Pil made it very clear they disapproved, it became even more apparent to them that iwas not a good wife, nor mother, even though I was doing all childcare stuff while at home, and the house was good, food on the table blah blah, their was still the little snipes and comments. I found another job, better paid, more interesting, shift work. It meant I was working 4on4off. I thought it was great, less reliant on the au pair, more money more time with the kids. Still not enough, I was abandoning my dc, my dh was neglected, I was still going to burn in hell etc

That Christmas I had to work during the day, it was how the shifts fell, no choice. Dpil came to stay, I prepped everything, made decorations, arranged days out, prepped all the food. All done for them. Work allowed visitors for the day so we could all see our dc, I got up did the stockings, went to work. Pil turned up at my work, fil demanded to know everything, I couldn't tell him or show him certain things as I was working for the police in the control room. He got very cross, more snippy comments were made, they went home, they overlooked everything I'd prepped ruining it, opened all the presents, didn't save me dinner or pudding. When I got home they'd put my dc to bed having seen them open their presents. I got blanked all night

Any hoo, this sort of thing has continued for years. My dh is very cowed to them and too scared to say anything too them.

I change jobs again, because of what it is same employer, but different role I have to go on a residential course. I gt as much ready as possible before I go, I'm at home every Friday leaving on the Sunday. I work my arse off, dh copes fine at home, we talk several times a day, he has the au pair still. Pil hate my job, it's not suitable for a woman, I'm supposed to be a mother, all the good stuff

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 14-May-13 08:57:02

Oh definitely don't invite this horrible pair back. Your DH may be too scared to say anything but it's your home and you get to say who crosses the threshold and it's not the Holy Terrors..... hmm

Tiredtrout Tue 14-May-13 09:05:40

And more, only half way!

Anyway nature of the job is such I work shifts, have to do courses which are at times residential and every now and then I get hurt. The most memorable one led to a very drawn out miscarriage, which occurred around dh 40th birthday, the baby was very much wanted and throughout the 2 week period it was happening for we were told the baby had a chance. On dh birthday his parents arrived, I had just got back from a scan, baby was still alive and I was told to rest, fil had a go at me about the kitchen not being clean and me not getting up for them. Dh explained yet again what was happening, that I needed to rest and that we just wanted to get a takeaway for dinner, he immediately booked and paid for a meal in their hotel and insisted that we all attended. I had a bleed while at the dinner, and they kept refusing to let us leave.

The next day was dh party, I got up, did all the food bar a salad, which I asked mil to help with, it took her hours, we set up at the venue and they told everyone they were throwing their ds a party because I couldn't be bothered! I stayed and cleared up, 5 days later I finally miscarried. I was told that it was gods will, and also it was because of me not being a proper wife. I cut them off for a time, dh was very upset by what they said but didn't feel that he could cut them off

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 14-May-13 09:12:56

"5 days later I finally miscarried. I was told that it was gods will,"

Know this quote? ""With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil—that takes religion. " Your IL's are evil.

bamboobutton Tue 14-May-13 09:24:09

Good grief! How have you not stabbed these arses to a bloody pulp? Just reading what they have done gives me the stabby rage. How have you tolerated it for so long?

I cut my toxic narc FIL out of my life and it has been brill.

Tiredtrout Tue 14-May-13 09:26:36

Anyhoo, I'm ill for a long time after the mc due to various complications, infection, untreated anaemia, depression, finally get back into the swing of things at work. Then get ill again, this time with an ovarian cyst which ruptures, have adhesions bad enough to need surgery. I'm signed off work, we are still trying for another child but as you can imagine it takes a while.

Our dc also find things difficult because they are scared of how ill I am with it all. We had almost lost our dd a couple of years before over the Christmas, she was in hospital for 3 weeks, my dps, drop everything, take care of everything so I can be with her and help nurse her, arrange care for ds, are just amazing. Pil visit the hospital twice, make comments while she's on life support about how she's at deaths door and other inappropriate things. They barely call to check on her or me the whole time.

I'd also discovered that the dc do not wish to stay with them alone anymore as mil goes through their mobiles after confiscating them, listens in to our phone calls and makes them attend their church.

I get pregnant again 13 months after the mc, I've managed to reduce contact to four visits a year. During the pg I receive no calls from them asking how I am. I was due last week, they invite themselves to stay from the due date for 5 days. The visit is a total disaster, I'm overdue and booked in for a home birth. I ask dh before they arrive of the visit can be postponed till after the baby is here. They refuse. They turn up a day late, make their usual comments, I am having a lot of pain and discomfort. On Sunday I start having strong pains and think I may be in labour, I get followed around by fil who keeps trying to talk to me, I end up shouting at him, the spin goes out to extended family that I had a fight with him. Their was no swearing, I just shouted 'please stop talking to me, leave me alone, I'm in pain'. They also made a number of offensive comments to both dc throughout the weekend. I go upstairs to get out of the way, strangely labour stops again. The next morning they leave, I get a text saying 'I hope for your sake that baby comes soon'.

I end up having a row with dh about it, all I've told him I'm not visiting them anymore neither are the dc. Any ideas on how to resolve all of this shit anyone? I hate putting dh in this situation, he loves his dp very much but can see what they do to us as a family.

Tiredtrout Tue 14-May-13 09:27:59

And to all those who've managed to read all this without committing hari Kari thanks

Tell him they are his parents, if he wants to see them he can go ahead.

Never ever see them again.

thanks

Branleuse Tue 14-May-13 09:38:50

id dump the lot of them.

oohaveabanana Tue 14-May-13 09:41:45

Wow.

2 initial thoughts:
- what's your dp's feelings about his parents and their behaviour now? What does he want?
- Why can't you/dp say no? 'They invite themselves to stay from the due date for 5 days.' In my house, that would simply have been a 'No', and I LIKE my in-laws....

NotKathyReichs Tue 14-May-13 09:42:01

I second what frebbie said. You do not have to have these people in your home!

You dont want to see them and your dc dont want to see them, so wtf are they doing in your house?

CalamityKate Tue 14-May-13 09:43:02

What Frebbie said. Simple.

The thing is, I could post a long post about talking to your DH and relations for the sake of the children and blah blah.

And I don't mean my post up there to sound rude.

But. Really. You do not need this shit. And if it's not this shit it'll be some other shit.

Your DH is a big boy. If he wants to see them he can go right ahead. Don't facilitate any contact.

If it were me I'd just decide they didn't exist any more to me and make an end to it.

If you don't you'll still be here in 20 years time - different crap same shit.

You don't deserve this, you don't need it, it's not you it's them.

And just let them to go hell.

Tiredtrout Tue 14-May-13 09:48:37

For some reason they just don't hear the word no, last night dh admitted that he doesn't want to see them because of the impact they have on us all but he is terrified of their reaction. He just can't get the idea that you can have different views to your parents. He has always believed they are acting in his best interests, even though their beliefs affected his education and all sorts of other things

CalamityKate Tue 14-May-13 09:50:40

Well if you tell them "no you may not come and stay" and they turn up, surely you'd say "what are you doing here? We told you that this wasn't convenient" and send them on their way?

CalamityKate Tue 14-May-13 09:51:33

They HEAR it alright. They've just learned that it means nothing and you'll let them get their own way anyway.

forgetmenots Tue 14-May-13 09:52:57

Tiredtrout, my ILs are similar and I haven't seen them in years. Luckily we had no dc to protect, dc1 is due very soon and I don't think ILs know. I only say this as a bit of a backdrop to what I'm going to say, it's biased as hell because I've been there.

You have been plunged into the middle of a dysfunctional family. The reason why your DH is struggling is because, for him, this is normal. Has he spoken much about his childhood? His parents both have personality disorders (they are following the scripts to a T) and I'm afraid because he doesn't know any different he is enabling them to hurt you and his children.

I will try and dig out the old post I made at the end of my tether, I had already gone NC with my inlaws because I couldn't take any more. Like you I didn't want to force my DH's hand (it's still up to him if he sees his family). Where your situation is different is that you really must stop them affecting your dc. I agree with whoever said up thread - tell him you and the kids will no longer be visiting. He can make up his own mind.

What worries me, though, is that your language is one of accepting this position. When you went for dinner and you were bleeding (I'm so sorry for your loss flowers ) you say they'd refused to let you leave. Without being harsh, they can refuse all they like but you and DH have minds of your own, unless they had a gun to your head there was no need at all for you to stay. This tells me that either you, DH or both of you are scared of them and their reactions, and if you are you can bet your dc are too.

Can I add that I was very ill for the last year or so of contact with my ILs, we were TTC, I was signed off work, had every illness in the book, it was amazing how quickly I healed once that stress was diminished in my life. You may find the same, and wouldn't that be a huge step forward?

The main issue here is your DH, I agree completely with your approach but I think you need to get tough and say no more for you and the kids, and leave him to it. (In the case of my DH, he lasted two years of on and off contact, being abused and put down every time they spoke, before also cutting them off after his mother threatened suicide so he would have it on his conscience, and this wasn't the first time). You need to show him that you can have a functioning, happy family much more easily without his parents, and that you intend to do that with or without his blessing just as he doesn't require your blessing to have a relationship with them.

More than happy to share more on pm if it helps, it's a horrible, nasty situation. Good luck flowers

KatyTheCleaningLady Tue 14-May-13 09:54:09

Put your foot down hard. Let your dh choose if he thinks he has to, but you have the right to never see or speak to the cock nozzles ever again.

expatinscotland Tue 14-May-13 09:55:01

I'd have dumped your lilly-lived excuse for a husband long, long ago.

There is only one way to deal with people like this.

If they turn up, say you were told it didn't suit, and turn them away.

I did it with my exSIL - she was told not to come, came anyway, and I turned her at the door. She'd driven 2 hours to get to us and my name was mud. Meh. So what. It was mud anyway no loss.

You have control. You have to decide if you want this - if not then it's short term pain for long term gain. Like ripping off a plaster.

I'm going to pm you xx

KatyTheCleaningLady Tue 14-May-13 09:55:20

And don't argue with him. Say they're never welcome in your home, again, and be very clear that you mean it, but don't talk on and on about it.

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