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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

theoriginalmrstiredandconfused Mon 27-May-13 07:33:46

Firstly, huge congrats on your DD! Lovely news!

Sorry but it would be a cold day in hell before I let her into my home again. You don't need the excuse that she is ill not to see her (although I agree that this is perfect) - you do not have to put up with their shit, they are utterly vile and have put up with them for quite long enough.

I know you feel like you are giving DH an ultimatum, but you're not - he is more than welcome to see them if he wishes, but they are not your responsibility.

And fuck this whole "inviting themselves over" lark - remember, no is a complete sentence. And if that means that they don't get to meet your newborn then, frankly, sod it. You would all be far better off without them. (I say that as a perpetual mug who has finally been pushed far enough to go no contact with a close relative - it has taken years so I don't say this lightly)

mathanxiety Mon 27-May-13 03:49:55

Tired, your H needs to go to counselling and try to get to the point where he can stand up to his parents. Do you think he might be willing to do this? I can't see him just standing up one fine day and flipping them the bird all on his own. He needs help. His parents sound like brainwashers.

You could maybe get him a copy of 'Toxic Parents', by Susan Forward.
Maybe he cold browse through 'Boundaries and Relationships: Knowing, Protecting and Enjoying the Self', by Charles Whitfield.
'Adult Children: Secrets of Dysfunctional Families' by John and Linda Friel might hit the spot too.

BerylStreep Sun 26-May-13 20:06:22

Congrats on your new DD!

They are vile. I honestly think you should put your foot down and tell them they are not welcome in your house. They hate you anyway, so what have you got to lose? Your DH doesn't seem able to stand up to them, so you need to.

And on a very serious note, if your MIL is unwell, don't let her anywhere near you or DD.

Thumbwitch Sat 25-May-13 15:53:52

God you poor woman!
I've just been having a wee whinge about my own MIL on FB, but jeez, she's a solid gold saint when measured against yours! shock

I'd say the illness is at the very least exaggerated, how on earth can they know it's pneumonia without having seen the doctor?

Your DH - God love him - needs to realise that they don't actually have any hold over him bar what he allows them to have. They sound bloody awful, and quite frankly you'd ALL be better off without them in your lives at all - so he should stand up to them and let them make their own choice as to whether that involves them being cut off from him/ their DGC. Obviously you and your DC will be the better for it, but what does he get out of the relationship with them? Cos it doesn't sound like anything good.

I hope that they continue to stay away - see if you can offend them slightly a little more, perhaps by suggesting that you don't want them seeing your new shiny baby while there's the least chance of them infecting her - and that you can find a way forward that doesn't involve this dire situation continuing.

Congratulations on your new DD, btw! thanks

FriendofDorothy Sat 25-May-13 15:42:31

Better off without them. My inlaws are a pain at times but they are saints in comparison to yours!

Hissy Sat 25-May-13 15:02:53

Or was it 6 years...

Best to err on the side of caution i'd say...

Hissy Sat 25-May-13 15:01:33

You know i'm sure I heard that pneumonia is dangerous to be around for.. ooh, let's say, 6 months wink

Whocansay Sat 25-May-13 14:41:43

Congratulations!

Tell your MIL to fuck off and keep her germy carcass away from your newborn!

Seriously, even if she was the loveliest woman on the planet you wouldn't want her round your newborn if she's ill. She's given you a cast iron excuse not to see them....

goonyagoodthing Sat 25-May-13 11:34:06

Congratulations on your lovely little babby.

Hopefully the lunatics will stay away for a very long time. Have you got anyone who would be willing to act as a barrier between you? What I mean is, your DH is not going to do it, so is there anyone else who can ring them and tell it to them like it is? Your father, or a member of your DHs family?

I am the biggest doormat in the world. I have it tattooed on my forehead. But even I would bar them from ever setting foot in my house again. If you don't feel like you can do it, get someone who can.

Fuck them, don't feel guilty or bad, they are the ones who caused it. If they had at least basic manners you might have a chance, but they don't. They are not even ignorant, they are just bad, nasty people, expressing their prejudice and evilness under the guise of religion.

Tiredtrout Sat 25-May-13 11:33:55

Or manipulative pretendy illness, either way I don't have to see them, which is nice, just a little too tired to push the point with dh right now xx

Anniegetyourgun Sat 25-May-13 11:29:05

I notice they're still telling you when they're coming to visit, not asking whether it's all right with you (the answer to which, of course, would be "no, it's not all right" - which is presumably why they don't ask). What extreme bad manners. Clearly you have enough on your plate without fighting that battle right now, but when things calm down a little it may be time to send a card right back saying they are NOT visiting on Sunday because it is not convenient for you. It could get rough...

Hooray for strategic pneumonia though.

FrequentFlyerRandomDent Sat 25-May-13 11:00:11

Congratulations flowers on the birth of your baby daughter!

I am glad you did not have to fight the ILs during/around her birth.

Tiredtrout Sat 25-May-13 10:35:16

Well thought I ought to update, we finally had our dd last Sunday. Since then there has been no phone calls or texts to me from them just to check how things are, my dh has been back to work full time ever since as he is in a course for his new job and it would be impossible to keep up if he had a day off let alone a week. Our other dc have been having exams all week so I have been trying to do everything to let them study. My dps have been over a few times and brought cards and presents for the baby and have arranged to take the older dc in half term for a couple of days. We received a card Wednesday from the in laws, they said they were coming for the day on Sunday, then it was changed to mil is feeling poorly so we might not we will let you know, this morning dh got a call from his df saying that mil had pneumonia but hadn't been to the doctors and they won't be coming tomorrow. Sil had also been invited to get that side of the family seen so we don't have to do it again but she hasn't said if she is or not.

LittleBearPad Tue 14-May-13 22:30:20

DH doesn't need to choose. He can still see them, just not at your house. It is ok for you to pull back from seeing them.

JohnSnowsTie Tue 14-May-13 18:13:23

What vile, nasty people. They don't deserve you or your DCs in their lives. Utterly unbelievable. And the worst possible examples of Christians - completely unchristian.

Seriously, cut them out. They're not worth spitting on. I know people who've relieved themselves of their inlaws for far less and their lives have been thoroughly enriched.

Leave them to their own fire and brimstone. You owe them nothing.

Fuck me people like this make me angry

forgetmenots Tue 14-May-13 18:09:54

What whocansay said.

If you were asking him to choose you would say 'I will leave you if you see them again' - or similar. You are saying (I hope!) 'things in your life can remain as they are, but for me and the kids, enough is enough'.

I second what Attila said about counselling for your DH too.

BerylStreep Tue 14-May-13 18:05:37

Oh Tired, how crap.

They sound truly horrific. They aren't from NI by any chance?

You need to put your foot down, hard.

You are under no obligation to see them at all - why the fuck would you spend even another second of your precious life with these judgmental bigots?

If it was me I would go no contact, completely.
I would also be stipulating that they are not welcome in your home ever again.
Nor do you want to hear from your DH what things they have said about you.

If your DH wants to continue a relationship with his parents, by all means, but it doesn't have to involve you.

And promise me that you will not let either of your PILs over the threshold, and even worse, give up your bed, when your baby is born!

Finally, good luck with the baby, let's hope it comes soon! smile

Whocansay Tue 14-May-13 17:50:36

OP, you aren't making your dh choose. He can see his parents on his own. You're just asking that he not inflict them on the rest of you!

They are truly nasty, and you do not need them anywhere near you or your children.
flowers

Tiredtrout Tue 14-May-13 17:41:54

Thanks for all your advice and support. When I say putting dh in this situation, I mean putting my foot down and refusing to take their crap any longer, effectively saying them or us. Bloody horrible, I hate ultimatums and I don't like making him choose. They are not going to have anything to do with any of my dc anymore if I can help it.

It's so difficult, I've been brought up to respect my parents wishes as has he, it's just my dps are relatively normal!

Dh has been deeply affected by them, due to their beliefs he was not allowed to do English lit olevel as Macbeth was on the syllabus. He was not allowed to just hang out with girls, he has an odd relationship with alcohol as they are totally tee total, no sherry trifle at Christmas, he has been brought up to not show emotion and that the man of the house is in charge, when fil is present we are expected to defer to him. He doesn't know how to have a row and after a small argument over nothing which I thought was normal it takes days to recover because he has never seen anyone argue back against his df. His df when his dgf died leaving him half the house demanded that his dsis move out within 2 months even though she had lived there all her life and had cared for both their dps until their death, because she didn't rush to it as she was grieving he has cut her out, she's his only sister.

All of this makes it incredibly hard for him to stand up to them and I get that.

This comment made earlier by forgetmenots is spot on and you need to take heed:-

"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"

Your DH is mired in a state known as FOG re his parents - fear, obligation, guilt. He has all three in spades. It will take an awful long time to come to an acceptance of such a state even if he were to now properly acknowledge his parents utter failings of him and his siblings. It could take years actually along with a lot of counselling with an experienced counsellor.

Stop trying to treat and think of these people as other "normal" family relations; toxic people like these two do not and never take any responsibility for their actions. Its either their way or no way with such people, they can never ever be reasonable and it is a mistake to think of them on any level as such. These ILs of yours will go on to cause your children emotional harm if they are subjected to any contact at all with them. You have seen all too clearly how they have acted with your H and look how cowed and emotionally damaged he now is. That's the legacy toxic people leave and this crap as well does filter down the generations.

Do not have your ILs in your house under any circumstances; your job is also to protect your children from such malign influences. If your DH is not strong enough to do that then you have to do that for them. Their welfare is paramount.

I would suggest you read "Toxic Inlaws" written by Susan Forward and your DH certainly needs to read "Toxic Parents" written by the same author.

paintyourbox Tue 14-May-13 12:13:14

Your ILs sound like mine, myself and DD will never be accepted as DP and I aren't married.

They gave me a really hard time during my pg, I was in hospital early on as I was very unwell, they didn't so much as phone to check we were okay.

I posted on here for advice and the posters were spot on. They told me to put my foot down as if I didn't they would always treat me badly.

DP thought I was unreasonable until he was on the recieving end of their nastiness. Now he supports me 100%

If they come up to stay, they don't come round to our house. I told them we don't tolerate unkindness and rudeness in our home and thus they are not welcome.

DP goes to visit them, I always seem to be "busy". They don't tend to notice.

DD doesn't see them for long, they say they don't like dealing with a "screaming child" as it "spoils their meals" she's 10 months old for goodness sake!

Put your foot down, lock the door and if they turn up unannounced don't let them in. Use the stock MN response: "Did you mean to sound so rude"

Hope you are ok op. nothing to add over what springy said

olgaga Tue 14-May-13 12:00:44

I hate putting dh in this situation

Eh? It's him that's putting you in this situation through his unsupportive and downright cowardly behaviour.

Your problem is with your DH, not your ILs. Stick to your guns and refuse to see them or have them in your home again.

If they want to visit your DH and children, they can book themselves into a local hotel and DH can take the children to them. If he wants to visit his parents, he can take the children with him when they are all old enough.

springymater Tue 14-May-13 11:47:13

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

Totally this.

YOur story reminds me of (sorry to say) asian abuse ie a dil who is hideously abused by her ILs.

They are truly, truly toxic. Get them out of your lives. Your husband could probably do with some therapy to process the effects of his evil viper parents.

rootypig Tue 14-May-13 10:40:25

Congratulations on your pg OP flowers

So do I gather you are now overdue? if that is the case I would say first order of business is some enforced nuclear family time, ban the vile awful PILs from darkening your door and cuddle up and enjoy new baby with your other DC. Keep them away for a set period and during that time put them out of your mind. They are wretched people and you must be extremely stressed as a result.

I would ban them for as long as you can get away with - a few weeks, a month? it might give them a short, sharp shock and a taste of how much they have to lose. It sounds as if until now, to your credit, you've been incredibly accommodating and pleasant, but I wonder if it's time to pull the plug on that. It's been years and you're making no headway, they obviously think they can just ride roughshod over you. Though my issues with my MIL are pretty standard and nowhere near this level, I have noticed that when I snap at her, she winds her neck in. Ultimately, PIL behaviour is driven by insecurity in their relationship with their own DC / DGC. A bit of a show of iron will might make them play ball. If it were me, I would ring, explain that they're not welcome and why, and hang up.

As for their DS-! OP, you don't say much about how things are emotionally with your DH. But it sounds as if the central person in all these relationships - him - is AWOL and neither you nor PIL are expecting nearly as much from him as you are from each other. He needs to set and enforce boundaries for them around his marriage, not least that they'll treat you with some fucking respect. And he needs to work on his relationship with them so that they feel somewhat more secure.

I've just started reading this book, and am finding it helpful, you might too?

Good luck for the birth smile

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