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What is a fair way to ask for contact

(12 Posts)
MercuryQueen Sat 11-Dec-21 15:42:33

I think the relationship with your DH has to be the first thing built. And then extended to you. And THEN involving your children. It will take time, but I think that's a good thing.

The idea that your FIL and his wife can dismiss your DH (and yourself) but demand access to your children is wrong, imo.

CafeAuLait Sat 04-Dec-21 22:48:23

If I had got something like that, I would have sent back something saying that I have done my best to involve them (i.e., inviting them to visit, even though they chose not to, etc). I'd point out they had never invited me, although I would have accepted invitations. I would let them know that they are welcome to come and spend time with the family in order to build a relationship with their GC, but that they would not be having visitation with my young children until the children knew them and were comfortable and wanting that themselves. I would say that if they wanted to visit, maybe we could organise dinner/meet up in the park. Please let me know.

That would be what is appropriate in my own situation anyway, so just some thoughts.

bettydl Sat 04-Dec-21 19:42:57

Neither DD has ever asked about FIL, and while they are old enough to wonder I don't think they are old enough to explain

We aren't fully estranged, but we don't hear from them at years at a time and when we do hear from them it tends to be unpleasant. DH isn't keen to try and form a relationship because he really hasn't ever had one with FIL. He answers the phone out of loyalty to the extended family who he doesn't want to upset.

@OnStrike - I love your advice that there are jerks in the world and we have to be able to deal with them. It really made me laugh. There are moments when all of us aren't easy - some people just prolong it and make it permanent! If DH does have a change of heart and wants to see FIL your advice will make it a lot easier for me to just go along and support him.

@smileless2012 Thank you for your comment. It has given me food for thought. DH isn't strictly estranged, but we won't hear from them for months or sometimes years at a time. I'll definitely support DH whatever his choices are.

Smileless2012 Sat 04-Dec-21 17:37:38

It depends on the ages of your D's betty. If they are old enough you could have a conversation with them about it and see how they would feel meeting up with their GF and his wife.

If they don't wish to see him, then you have the answer.

If they're agreeable a conversation needs to be had, preferably between your H and his father about what you will not tolerate and if your f.i.l. seems willing to adhere to this, and your D's want to see him then you could organise a get together.

As mumofmadboys has suggested, a meal would be a good idea but I would suggest not at your home or theirs.

It may be that your H would be OK to meet up with his father and his wife on his own to begin with to see how that goes. Something for you to support as if he decides he doesn't want anything to do with him, that needs to be his decision.

I wonder if he's not all together comfortable being estranged as he still has contact, by taking 'phone calls from him.

mumofmadboys Sat 04-Dec-21 16:58:32

Could you invite them for a meal with all your family and see how it goes? Good luck.

Onstrike Sat 04-Dec-21 16:46:28

If your daughter is old enough to wonder about her grandparents, you could discuss it with her. Eventually, she will be old enough that you and DH will have no say in the relationship. It doesn't make sense that the GPs want contact with your daughter if they can't bring themselves to visit all of you at your home. It seems a very reasonable request to deny any contact without your supervision as long as daughter is a minor.

FIL sounds like a jerk, but the world is full of jerks and we all must learn to deal with them. Protect your family if they need protecting. Tolerate what you can for the sake of your DH because getting between him and his father can sometimes have unforeseen consequences (I am not accusing you of doing anything wrong).

GagaJo Sat 04-Dec-21 15:24:36

How old are your children bettydl?

They have to be your main focus. Not a grandad who has not really shown interest before.

DiamondLily Sat 04-Dec-21 15:20:12

I’d do what feels right for your daughter, primarily. But, obviously, your husband may have his own opinions about the level of contact he wants with his father.

Do what feels best for your family. There’s no right or wrong to it.

Hetty58 Sat 04-Dec-21 14:35:11

bettydl, you ask 'what is fair' but, surely, it's about what you are comfortable with? Does your husband want more contact? Does he want your daughters to see their grandfather? Would you agree to meeting up somewhere on neutral ground? It doesn't seem worth doing much, to me.

bettydl Sat 04-Dec-21 14:33:01

Thank you Violet. We've posed that to them a number of times, but they have refused. I feel slightly uncomfortable as we are now estranging them, but ultimately I don't want DDs to start a relationship with someone who effectively estranged us for no reason.

VioletSky Sat 04-Dec-21 14:29:24

I think you have already set a boundary and that is that FIL needs to have a positive relationship with his son before your daughters are involved.

It doesn't appear to me that he is trying to have a positive relationship with his son and is instead making demands and harassing his son at work.

I'd stand your ground, leave things as they are, until proof of positive change.

I'm not an estranged parent/grandparent though

bettydl Sat 04-Dec-21 14:14:20

I haven't posted here in some time, but the NC issue always seems to crop up around Christmas (sadly).

DHs father and new wife have never had very much contact with us. We aren't fully estranged, but every time DH has contact with FIL it tends not to go well - FIL being very rude about DDs private education for example. They've met DDs only twice, and although we've invited them a number of times they've never come. Quite a few years ago (several years before covid) DH and I decided that to be involved in the girls lives we'd need them to have a more normal relationship with us first.

Now we've started receiving letters and DH is getting phone calls at work blaming us for the estrangement and saying we are standing in the way of them having a relationship with DDs.

What is fair in this situation? I know there are quite a lot of estranged GPs on here so I'd want to know what you would consider 'fair' in terms of restarting contact. I don't want to be a diva about it, but I also want to protect my children from someone who appears flaky to me, a bit of a bully and hasn't been able to form a relationship with DH. I also worry that this is their 'flavour of the month' battle as they have fallen out with everyone else in the extended family (who we reguarly see).