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Please help, in-law problems.

(29 Posts)
Mammy5 Fri 21-Aug-20 10:47:55

I’ve come to gransnet for help as a desperate daughter in law. To warn you this is a long post 😅

My Husband and I have been together since 2011, originally meeting his parents I found them lovely. My Husband is from a small valley that nobody tends to leave and everyone knows each other. We became serious very quickly, he was my second boyfriend and an only child like my previous boyfriend was and never a problem with my ex’s mother.
I lived about 30 minutes away by car at the time and my Husband actually worked 5 minutes away from my parents house. Very quickly the excuse was closer to work but my husband moved in with myself and my parents. My sister had already left home and married so we were saving for a house while staying with my parents.

We would spend every weekend staying at his house with his parents I’d always look forward to the weekends. we seemed to get on great, not as loud and funny as my family are, they come across as quite posh but nice enough. I’d do her nails and her hair (that’s my job) and occasionally we’d go out shopping.
I started to notice that she started to change.. the way she dressed, her hair etc. I had very long black hair and once she said she wanted black extensions, my father in law laughed. We’d go out shopping and if I pointed to a dress I liked, she’d run to grab it etc.

Then things really started to turn strange... she’d show me photos of my Husbands ex girlfriend on her laptop but make out she stumbled across the photo by mistake then once passed the photo, she’d go back and say “do you know who this is” apparently she hated my husband ex girlfriend (no surprise there).
The next terrible thing... my mother in law has one best friend, this woman hangs on my mother in laws every word, thinks she’s simply amazing and nothing she wouldn’t do for her.
We’d sometimes go down there for drinks on a Saturday night, my husband would come too.
One Saturday afternoon as soon as we got into this friends house I was met with my mother in laws friend standing waiting for us to arrive with a very sorry looking 14 year old foster daughter. That is when I was told that my Husband had carried on! I don’t understand why his mum would hand deliver me into that situation. If that was me, I’d want to protect my son at all costs and give him a good talking to without his girlfriend present if it was true! Obviously his mum made out she was mortified and clueless but that could of spilt us up. We were shocked because my Husband was living with me, there would be no time! aswell as the fact that he isn’t like that at all, he’s such a kind and sensitive soul. I quickly clicked on to what was happening. We left straight away and when we got back to his parents house, I was still angry. My father in law asked what had happened but my mother in law quickly shut the conversation down.

We got engaged 11 months after meeting and married 2.5 years later.
the wedding planning was an absolute nightmare! you would think she was the bride! My parents are extremely laid back people but she wanted everything her way and couldn’t understand why I went mad over her wanting to wear a white dress. I just started seeing a completely different side to her from then. Looking back on my wedding video is horrible, spotting the stinking looks from her best friend as I walk down the aisle and the speeches from his dad is all about how fantastic and beautiful his wife looks etc, it’s just so shocking to watch. I was put on anti depressants from the wedding planning, but I managed to get off them to try for a baby, we fell pregnant two years later.

1st baby... she was way over the top! Buying and buying and was thrilled to find out it was a boy to carry on her family name as she said. They moved house, 20 seconds away from us by car. My son was born and all hell broke, literally! My Midwives basically told my husband to man up and sort it out because it was terrible! they would come down and pick up my sleeping baby, tell me I looked knackered and only wanted photos of my husband and son together. They didn’t like my parents being present because they were there a lot helping me over my nasty blues, my mother in law kept saying she was being denied her time with my son. I showed clear signs of depression and my family were worried sick about me whenever my in-laws would visit I would shake terrible. Gp put me straight back on antidepressants during that terrible time. There was fight after fight, his mother screamed in my face when my baby was 6 weeks old. Since then I’ve hated them, so much more have gone on it’s unreal! But for my husbands sake I act like nothing has happened. My father in law makes it clear as day he doesn’t like me and my parents as his wife can do no wrong, my mother in law is sly, very clever about it but still it’s clear.

2nd baby - we wanted a close gap and fell pregnanct just over a year later. My family were thrilled, we were thrilled... his parents were not at all! Never asked about scans, showed no interest! Unfortunately we lost our baby at 15 weeks, I went through hell! We all remember our baby and talk about baby although his parents refuse, like something that never happened. Every Christmas we hang angel wings, I have scan pictures in my living room etc never looked at by them or even talked about.

3rd baby - Probably not the best idea but I was desperate for my second baby to complete my family. I had a hard time battling extreme anxiety and worry, wouldn’t change it for the world now because I have my two beautiful children safe and well. She was better with my last pregnancy, not great but better.

Now my children are 3 and 11 months, things are just so strained with his parents. She continues to be sly, I’ve spotted stinking looks, they continue to hate my parents. Her family no longer talk to me and her friend is the same.
Social media is a pain... if I put a photo on of myself alone, myself with the children or my family with the children they won’t acknowledge it. If it’s my Husband with the children they can’t get enough.

I also find it upsetting their attitude, my children are my mini’s it’s so funny to see, how people can look so similar! My Husbands family have always refused to ever reply to a comment that my children follow their mummy in looks. Parties are hard, I’m very close to my parents and my sister. My brother in law was our best man, he’s my Husband closet friend as well as his work colleague. I find it so uncomfortable to have them over for parties that most we don’t ask them, as terrible as it is... I can’t cope with the one sided competition from her against my mother. And my father in laws snide comments to me! Luckily for him, he’s clever and does it when others can’t hear him.

I’d be so upset if this happened to my daughter and I wouldn’t dream of treating my children’s partner’s like this. It really does have such a terrible effect on a person.

Of course her relationship isn’t as good as my parents have with my children, my son acts completely different around my in-laws to my parents. She never rings or txts to see how they are just turns up very Sunday for an hour and then goes. I think she’d love to have them without me , she has in the past but things happened. I don’t feel she knows my children well enough, and that’s because I think she doesn’t like me. When they do visit, my eldest has to stand to attention that she has entered the room and he cannot go to anyone else, myself especially while she’s here.
I’m getting to the point I’m fed up, I’m hurt, I’m angry! My Husband doesn’t like confrontation but says he sides with me, that’s not always clear.
He’s offered multiple times to cut them out but that is a no! I would never allow him to do that, and I’d rather the children find out for themselves so I never stop them from seeing the children but I do not ask them for help etc ever from them anymore. Too much has happened, this post covered most but not all by a long way.

Lockdown has been blissful without them, I’ve struggled without my mum one day a week helping me, my husband is a key worker. I was not allowed to buddy up with my parents because my in-laws wouldn’t have it. I’m still a daughter and I still need my mother but she doesn’t care about that.

My question is... what do I do?
Do I confront her about all the things she’s done that still effect me? Although she won’t admit it I know.
So I just distance myself? I have no idea anymore. I don’t think things will ever be sorted and I’m waiting for them to get worse.
I just find it so hurtful that I’ve never been accepted into their family, because my husband is treated like a loved son by my parents I don’t think he gets how hurtful it is.

Although I’m no angel, the older I get the more I talk back to them and the more they probably hate me then.
I’ve been the type of person that can’t think of anything to say back at the time but after it’s done I can’t forget.

Would really love some advice from grandparents rather than going over to mumsnet where I’d probably be told to cut them off.
I realise I can’t cut them off and from seeing the children etc but it’s so hurtful to not be liked.

Toadinthehole Fri 21-Aug-20 11:12:35

Oh my goodness....don’t quite know where to start. The incident with the 14 year old girl, I couldn’t quite follow, but it seems whatever that was, was never resolved before you married. Am I right? However....you can’t change anything from the past, but you can from now on in. Where is your husband in all this? What’s he doing to protect his wife and little family? All I can say is, I know what it’s like to have difficult in laws, and the only thing that worked for us, after 25 years of ups and downs, was to shut the door on them. I don’t know how you can put this right. I do know, your children are vulnerable, and will start to pickup every detail as they get older. THEY are your only concern, not your husband, and certainly not his psychotic sounding family. For your own benefit, even if it’s just a trial run to start with.....separate from them. Do not let them near your children. Your husband can sort it out, with you and the children in the background. You need to enjoy your little family. They are precious. You’ll never get this time back. Look after them...and yourself. You won’t regret it, as they are the innocent ones.💐

Maggiemaybe Fri 21-Aug-20 11:21:09

I don’t follow some of your post. Your in-laws sound nightmarish, it’s true. But how can they possibly have the say on whether you buddy up (bubble?) with your parents, and how on earth can they make your son stand to attention when MIL enters a room? confused If I understand correctly, you only see them for an hour or two on a Sunday. How do they have so much influence on your lives?

quizqueen Fri 21-Aug-20 11:31:12

It all sounds so much like a competition; one where there needs to be one competitor less - you. Let your husband spend time with his parents and expect him to support you more and also move further away and don't engage on social media.

Namsnanny Fri 21-Aug-20 11:43:50

I'm confused about the 14y old girl too.
Is she his daughter?
Having read kits of similar posts, and been in a similar situation, I would step out of the relationship and let your husband supervise the children when his parents visit.
You probably wont forgive them, and they wont change in the near future.
The situation may stabilise and stay this way until the children are older and do their own thing.
Or you can ofcourse cut them out

Mammy5 Fri 21-Aug-20 11:57:26

Thank you quizqueen. My Husband doesn’t bother with his parents at all, which initially I found very strange but I know girls are often closer to their parents, not always but mostly. He wouldn’t think to ring her speak on the phone, We don’t socialise with them because they’ve never asked us over which is fine. They are invited here for the occasion parties and the occasional bbq but something always gets said.
Unfortunately we wouldn’t be able to move, I have thought about it Many times but our home is perfect for the children to grow up in, in a lovely area and walking distance to the school.

luluaugust Fri 21-Aug-20 12:01:23

If you don't want to cut them off then you have got to stand up for yourself and your family. Tell your husband he can visit his parents on his own and don't allow yourself to be bossed about in your own home IF you decide your MIL can visit on a Sunday. Quite honestly if someone screamed in my face that would be it. If you want to bubble with your parents why does anybody else have to know. Bit mystified about the 14 year old?

Mammy5 Fri 21-Aug-20 12:02:11

Thank you Namsnanny, my mother in laws friend used to foster children. To be honest my husband and I think that the poor girl was unfortunately made to lie by my mother in law and her friend. It’s seems like a harsh and childish thing to do to us but there’s no other explanation.
Yes I think it would be best if I stepped out etc when they visit, think Ive given enough chances.

Mammy5 Fri 21-Aug-20 12:13:33

Thank you everyone.
I’ve become vocal to my Husband regarding my upset and hurt but also my dislike of them now.
He makes out that he will stick up for me but his mother could say something and he’ll pretend he never heard it etc. My Father was exactly the same with his mother. I think because he’s never told them straight, he’s allowed them to get away with everything they do.
His parents have very thick skin and I’m unfortunately too sensitive! Nothing ever came of the incident with what the foster daughter said, the story was she had been told my husband was carrying on with some woman. Although couldn’t remember who told her and didn’t know the woman. 🤷‍♀️ My in-laws are coming tomorrow afternoon, first time seeing the kids since March.
I think his mother plays a major part In my life because I’m just so anxious from her presence!
She like to make her presence know to the kids and have their full attention, she never allowed my husband to be looked her by his fathers side of the family, something that’s now happening to her.

DiscoDancer1975 Fri 21-Aug-20 12:15:55

I agree with * Toad*, you can’t change the past, so any confrontation will lead to no where. Just learn from the past, and ask yourself do you want this to be your future. It it’s “ no”, then ad much as you don’t want to hear anyone tell you to cut off from them, there really is no other option, for the sake of your children and your sanity.

DiscoDancer1975 Fri 21-Aug-20 12:17:17

I also sends you big hugs💐. I’m so sorry you lost a child.

Jane10 Fri 21-Aug-20 12:17:49

I'd cut them out altogether and, if they complain, tell them exactly why their company and opinions are not welcome. Just be clear and unemotional about it.

geekesse Fri 21-Aug-20 12:19:13

I really don’t understand the 14 year old bit. Are you suggesting she might be his daughter, or that he was in a relationship with her?

Mammy5 Fri 21-Aug-20 12:21:54

Thank you DiscoDancer1975
Yes I think that’s what I’ll have to do. I know he wouldn’t take them to their house because my husband will not want to awkwardness. Instead I’ll just go out for the couple of hours, I feel like I shouldn’t have to but I won’t be responsible for my children not seeing them. Don’t want anything more to be said against me.

DiscoDancer1975 Fri 21-Aug-20 12:22:43

Just read some of your responses. Please don’t’ step out’, and leave your in laws with your children. You’re playing straight into her hands doing that, like a divorce. You’ll never sort it out doing that, it’ll just put more pressure on your marriage.

Mammy5 Fri 21-Aug-20 12:29:58

Geekesse.... oh goodness no! For her to be his daughter he would have been 10 having her.. and no way was he in a relationship with a little girl.

Basically my mother in law decided to come up with a plan with her best friend to split us up... this I’m sure.
They got her friends foster daughter to say she had heard from a friend that she had heard my Husband had a one night stand a few weeks previous with a woman living near his parents.

At a time when he was living my me, can’t be in two places at once.
His mother knew I had come from a very mentally abusive 7 year teenage relationship with my previous boyfriend. I was cheated on left, right and centre!

If it wasnt for the fact that I knew it was impossible, found it strange how this foster girl couldn’t give me names of the people that told her and the fact that it screamed set it... I probably would have believed it and split up with him.

Mammy5 Fri 21-Aug-20 12:37:29

Thank you all so much for your advice. I think what’s best is my Husband have a word with them on his own (if he willl)
Anything else happen then I will have to distance myself.
It is hurtful that they want a relationship with my husband and children alone but it is what it is, they’ll never change.

It’s been so lovely having your advice, I don’t know anyone else in this situation to talk to and my mother having gone through it herself says I have to just put up with it and smile. It’s so hard!
Thank you all 💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐

B9exchange Fri 21-Aug-20 12:59:24

They certainly sound a really toxic pair, and your husband is prepared to support you to the extent that he would go along with cutting them off, so that is a definite plus. So I think he is asking you what you want to do? If you still feel you want the children to have access to their other set of grandparents, then an hour a week would seem a good compromise. It is your house, and you and your husband have the say on whether your son has to stand up when they enter the room, it is not really an issue to go along with their idea of politeness as long as he is allowed to sit down when they do! grin

Any nasty comments should be treated with a joint approach from you and your husband 'that is not an appropriate comment, please withdraw it or we will have to ask you to leave'.

You have 1247 hours a week without them to enjoy your children and each other's company. Only you can decide if the remaining hour is too stressful for you and the children, after you have set out ground rules. Talk it over between you and if you are still struggling, then you will have to take a break from them.

Mammy5 Fri 21-Aug-20 13:09:26

Thank you b9exchange.

It is very odd why she feels the children have to only have eyes for her when she visits. She hasn’t had much to do with my youngest being so young but it’s always been the case with my eldest. If my son follows me out the kitchen, she’s running after him. It wouldn’t bother my mother one bit of my son sat on my lap the whole time she was with us.
It’s something I don’t think I’ll ever understand. Maybe it’s going back to her past when she wouldn’t allow my Husband to go to anyone. Maybe she thought my eldest would be like her having my Husband as a child again.
It’s all very unhealthy and strange. Thank you all 💐💐
As much as I’d hate to be the horrible daughter in law that keeps her children at a distance from grandparents, I have to protect them. I would never allow her to baby sit them after the last couple of years.

Lolo81 Fri 21-Aug-20 19:05:15

Mammy5 - you have tried to be the bigger person here and have put up with a lot from your IL’s (more than most would have).
Given that you want to keep trying, maybe set up an activity for your son which would occupy them in the same room for that hour long visit? Maybe a messy play table? Painting or something? It also then gives your MIL a chance to engage with the children without it feeling like a command performance?
Ultimately I would urge you to protect your own mental health above all else. If you feel like you are strong enough don’t let them get away with the comments - say something in the moment. It doesn’t have to be argumentative, but saying something like “what do you mean by that?”. They have fallen into a cycle of resentment by the sounds of it, that’s their issue - you can only control your own reactions and behaviour.
I wish you all the luck in the world, and please don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself x

welbeck Fri 21-Aug-20 19:33:05

don't pander to them, her.
let your son run about, or clamber on you, as he normally would. sheis not the queen.
good idea to have some messy activity on the go when she comes.
she can either join in or not but your children are to continue their normal lives. playtime is learning time for them.
good luck.

grandtanteJE65 Sat 22-Aug-20 11:48:42

Look, if your husband "doesn't bother with his parents" why are you so insistent on keeping up this difficult relationship?

Sit down and ask your husband how he wants to tackle the situation. If he is happy to ignore his parents, then the best thing would be to move away and stop seeing them.

It sounds to me as if you would be much happier if your stopped seeing your in-laws.

DiscoDancer1975 Sat 22-Aug-20 11:52:53

Sorry, but I think it’s kind of gone beyond “ messy tables”. I get the point, but to me, it’s not addressing the problem, but still accommodating the awful MIL and a husband who allows it.

annodomini Sat 22-Aug-20 12:54:44

I’d rather the children find out for themselves so I never stop them from seeing the children

I question whether this is the right decision. Perhaps it would be better to break the bond now than to do it at a later date when the children's loyalties could be challenged. And it's possible that, by allowing her access to them, you are setting them up to be hurt in future by her divisive behaviour.

cupaffull Sat 22-Aug-20 13:16:04

You've expended enough time and emotion on these dysfunctional people. Your husband, it appears has already learnt to distance himself given "he doesn't really bother with them" so you must do the same to the extent they don't impact your welbeing.
You can't change them, so you must change your attitude to them.
Grow some emotional intelligence, basically see them as the idiots they are and treat them with the distain they treat you. The MIL just sounds so terribly insecure and jealous of your little family and thereby tries to be controlling. The FIL knows better than to disagree as his life would be hell.

They will reap just reward when your adult children see them for who they are.
The ongoing situation clearly affecting your mental health so step back a bit from them and the Social Media fray.
Seriously why do people have to broadcast the content of their day???
Only have people in your lives who offer value not those who suck the life out of you.
Good luck and don't be quite so sensitive.