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Long Term IL Problem

(29 Posts)
onlyhereforthebiscuits Thu 19-Dec-19 19:14:33

FIL called up earlier. Don't think I've seen him since Christmas Day 2018. Says he has stopped calling because he is hard of hearing and can't hear the DC! Hard to tolerate him but he just walks on in so I've little choice. Have been NC with MIL since shortly after birth of DS2.

Anyway he's left me feeling like a shit mother, daughter, wife and daughter in law. During his visit he comes out with "I didn't like the way you handled DS1 when we came to visit you in hospital. I never said anything but I didn't like it". That was 18 years ago!

Another thing he came out with was "I could never understand why your mother left your wedding reception early". That was 21 years ago. For info the venue was difficult to get to/from. Even when I explained my relations (DM, aunts, uncles, cousins etc) all live in same village and had booked a mini bus to take everyone home, he still couldn't get his head around it. TBH I wasn't aware DM had left any earlier than the majority of other people who weren't staying overnight at the venue.

Recently he forgot DD birthday but sent a card about a month later with money and a short letter saying "I'd do more than send money if you came to visit". I asked him today what did he mean by that and he wouldn't answer, so how can a 13 yo know what he meant?

Now after all those insults he is asking us all to go to dinner with him and MIL at their house playing happy families as if nothing as ever happened! MIL has never called to visit or make contact with 2 younger GC and hasn't seen DS1 for over 15 years. DC never ask about them/her or ask to visit. He threw up the "I could be dead next week" card but so could we all. DS2 heard it all from kitchen and after FIL had left gave me a hug. DS2 has been the butt of his insults over the years too ... "why are you so short and fat compared to your brother" (none of my DC are short or fat); even though they both done really well in exams, money was sent up for DS1 and the message to DS2 "you'll get some when you're as good as your brother". Surely if he wants to rekindle some sort of relationship between GP and GC, you don't go round to their house and make all sorts of accusations to their DM?? Surely if you're not getting what you want, you don't continuously ask for more? Being old isn't a free ticket to say what you like and not hurt someone's feelings.

MissAdventure Thu 19-Dec-19 19:16:30

So don't go.

onlyhereforthebiscuits Thu 19-Dec-19 19:30:56

I feel sick at the thought of it but don't think I would feel any better if the DC went on their own without me. FIL is just a sneaky character who I no longer like or trust. MIL said some cruel things when I was at my lowest. Whether she wasn't thinking before she spoke or meant every word, I've never been able to forgive and forget. Allegedly I'm the only one in the whole country who doesn't get on with her.

M0nica Thu 19-Dec-19 20:05:36

onlyhereforthebiscuits I notice that you do not mention, your husband, FiL's son. Are you separated, or has he died?

If either is true then the ball is entirely in your court. Have a serious chat with your DC about this relationship, it is clear that they know what both grandparents are like. I suspect that they would be no more enthusiastic about their grandparents than you are. In which case, just say thanks, but no thanks for the invite, for all of you.

After that, do not become estranged, but just put the relationship into neutral, do not cut them off, cards as appropriate, if that is what you do, leave DC to visit as they please, but otherwise do make any effort to contact them.

It doesn't matter whether everyone in the world gets on with your MiL, (which, lets face it is no more absurd than her claim that everyone in the country, or even her road, gets on with her) you don't, and that is all that matters.

Grandparents are not a necessity, they are not sacred. There seems to be a cult of the grand parent around these days. Children will grow up quite happily and undamaged, whether they have grandparents or not and if the grandparents are unpleasant, they are probably best out rather than in.

Talk to your children, reach a joint decision and act on it, and just leave these grandparents to marinade in their own unpleasantness.

onlyhereforthebiscuits Thu 19-Dec-19 20:17:07

@M0nica thank you for your reply. I will certainly use what you've said.

Urmstongran Thu 19-Dec-19 20:25:32

I think your father in law had been sent over to offer an olive branch.

Yes it was cackhanded.

Perhaps meet them halfway? Don’t go over for dinner (could be super stressful and you’d be stuck) but suggest an hour with tea & biscuits would be lovely!

A lot of water has gone under the bridge. They might regret a lot. I’d give it a (limited) go.

phoenix Thu 19-Dec-19 20:26:46

onlyhereforthebiscuits (phew, that's a long name!)

Are you a new member?

(Forgive me asking, I'm a long term member but have been on here much lately, so might not be completely up to speed!)

Bibbity Thu 19-Dec-19 20:40:14

I’d just laugh and say no.
Don’t subject you or your children to anymore of this man.

onlyhereforthebiscuits Thu 19-Dec-19 20:47:09

First time he mentioned bringing DC over, he just wanted to show them where he lived. He said he could would arrange MIL to be away for the time. He never gave us a date and I never pushed for one. Now it's all rose tinted goggles sitting round the dining table eating and playing board games.

onlyhereforthebiscuits Thu 19-Dec-19 20:47:38

@phoenix I've only posted once before a few months ago

Naty Thu 19-Dec-19 23:43:54

Weird situation... I would do a compromise like meeting at a coffee shop and they can pay for the kids' stuff instead of dinner.

And be DIRECT about your feelings and protect your kids. Be as blunt to them as they are to you. If they say something insensitive, point it out..."well..that wasn't nice to say"..."you being older isn't an excuse to say whatevrr you want."... etc.

These people sound bizarre.

Protect your kids, but give the grandparents a chance. Some people are a bit brain dead and insensitive. But stick up for your kids.

Hetty58 Thu 19-Dec-19 23:50:42

I think I'd just laugh and tell him he's very funny - they really don't like it!

BradfordLass72 Fri 20-Dec-19 00:33:20

I am not saying this applies to your circumstances but just recently, in our family, we have had similar approaches from grandparents who have insulted, betrayed and otherwise caused a LOT of grief to their daughter (my son's partner) and her son.

They too hinted at largess and benefits (they are seriously wealthy) - if their daughter toed the line and let them see their grandson more often. (he has refused)

They love this little boy so much that they never fail to tell him what a terrible person his Mummy is and what a disgrace he is for loving her.

A few years ago, when he was 5, they evicted Mum and son from the home they'd lived in 14 years and was the only home the little boy knew - and why? Because she didn't do as they ordered.

They have not shown one jot of genuine love or care for him, or their daughter and in my opinion, it is beyond them to do so, even if she jumped to obey every ridiculous order they gave.

She tried this when she was young and they still weren't satisfied, still insulted her and tried to make her do everything their way...and punished her when she didn't.

Such people are incapable of love - they just want power and control.

It may well be that yours are the same.

If that man had come into my house saying the things you posted above, he wouldn't have had time to say the next sentence, he'd have been shown the door and told, as he exited, what I though of his "offers".

Namsnanny Fri 20-Dec-19 00:51:00

I think you've already made your mind up, so just go through with it.

TwiceAsNice Fri 20-Dec-19 08:02:59

Why would you put yourself and your children through the experience of such a miserable day, especially Christmas Day? They are horrible people it is not compulsory to see them

notanan2 Fri 20-Dec-19 08:15:38

I wouldnt go to his house TBH. You'll be a "captive audience" so harder to walk away if he starts insulting the DC. Meet somewhere neutral if youre going to, not for food where youre sat waiting for service. Somewhere you can change the subject like a museum

Mollymalone6 Fri 20-Dec-19 08:26:20

Biscuits lock your door and don't answer any communication but give one message - stay away!

BradfordLass that's terrible. Kudos to you for being so supportive smile.

Nico97 Fri 20-Dec-19 08:38:51

It's a no brainer - why would you ? confused

onlyhereforthebiscuits Fri 20-Dec-19 09:16:59

Thank you all for taking the time to comment. A huge part of me was expecting to get slated for being a cold heartless DIL! The more the man talks, the worse he's making the whole situation.

Cabbie21 Fri 20-Dec-19 09:54:27

What does your husband think? ( Assuming your are still together.)
In your shoes I would not be subjecting myself and my children to this relative’s nastiness.

annodomini Fri 20-Dec-19 10:23:05

Please don't subject your children to any more contact with this very unpleasant man. He tries to drive a wedge between them and leaves at least one of them feeling inferior and unloved. He clearly loves no-one but himself. This is a situation in which I would definitely say, 'No contact'.

endlessstrife Fri 20-Dec-19 10:52:34

Don’t waste any more time on this, in my experience, nothing changes. Draw a line under them, and concentrate on your own family. Your children need you, your in laws don’t.

OutsideDave Sat 21-Dec-19 18:34:29

He sounds awful. Don’t waste your time with him.

Tedber Sat 21-Dec-19 20:47:22

I am probably going to be the exception here but I think I would go.

It isn't clear in your post just why your inlaws haven't seen your children for so many years. Are you still with their son? (apologies if you have explained)

Whatever reason, I think they are both realising they don't have much time left and it is their way of trying to offer an olive branch (as someone else said). His comments, although well out of order, may be a form of altzeimers (not spelt that right) dragging up things from the past etc.

Sending a 'belated' birthday card sort of indicates they DO want to rekindle contact. His comments about getting more if they called? Well maybe his kack handed way of asking your daughter to come see them?

Personally I would have to go and see what happens at the meal they are planning. Give them some leeway. IF it is a disaster then you know but I really feel they are just not socially educated and don't know how to go about making amends?

Just one other thing....IF someone cannot hear properly it is very difficult to hold phone conversations. Especially youngsters who mumble their way through conversations with a whole new language.

Probably not what you want to hear and not what anyone else agrees with but for me, I would go, take the children and see how it goes.

onlyhereforthebiscuits Fri 27-Dec-19 14:38:02

Well he phoned DH Christmas morning and I could hear him say "I'm on my up". I felt physically sick and was shaking. I tried to busy myself in kitchen. Landed in and said "are you not speaking". I reminded him how rude he had been previously. He said he wasn't. He went behind my back into other room to ask DC to visit next week. Every year he turns up, stirs the pot, causes a row then slides away for another few months. I now honestly believe he is worse than MIL and SIL. Every time he has opened his mouth over the years, he makes the whole situation worse. If he's hoping to rekindle some sort of relationship between family, why throw up insults from donkey years ago? My stomach has been in knots since then and I've barely eaten.