Am I being unreasonable? (MIL problems!)

Feeling I'm loosing my sanity here today - basically can't stop crying (bl**dy hormones)! Sorry - I think this is going to be a very long post!

My husband and I have been together for 10 years and during this time I have never had a good relationship with his parents - I see them as rude and unwelcoming and I'm fairly certain they see me as having 'stolen' their little boy (he's 41 for heaven's sake!). Things really came to a head when we married last year - in the year run up to our wedding, they showed no enthusiasm, never ever asked after me or indeed the wedding, were very rude to my parents and my parents hospitality on the day (they did not contribute a thing and even complained they had to pay to travel to the wedding - they are NOT hard up btw!). In the last 10 years I rarely talk to them on the phone (nothing to say apart from Christmas's and birthdays etc) and we only have to see them every so often (they live abroad). My husband and I have a fantastic relationship, but if we ever argue 99.9% of the time it's about his parents and how they treat us!

Anyway - fast forward 10 months since the wedding and I'm pregnant - suddenly they want to chat to me all the time on the phone, be all lovely, announcing they're intending to move back to this country to be near their grandchild etc. I lost it big time with husband this morning, basically saying I can't just forgive and forget 10 years of hurt and rudeness, he seems to think that because somehow he's managed to put it behind him and although he agrees his parents behavior in the past is unacceptable, I now to have to move on, be happy to chat to them weekly on the phone etc etc.

I've said of course I don't want to hold a grudge, but 10 years of pain can't just evaporate over night and therefore I need time, I don't want to continually be phoned when previously they didn't care (it just feels like now that I have something they want they'll be nice to me). Personally I don't want to be fake, I just want to be civil and see where we end up! However, empathy is far from my husbands strong point and he just doesn't seem to understand what I'm saying and we just end up arguing!

Has anyone else had similar problems to this? Any advice? What would you do?

Thanks in advance, E xxx


  • Thanks Littlewolf - sadly they do know how we feel about how they have behaved towards me in the past and in the run up to the wedding - my husband had a massive row with them last December....
    I actually strongly believe (based on conversations they had with a few of their friends that got back to us) that they never thought we'd have children (they thought I was too old - I'm 31!!!!!!!) so until this point they never had anything to gain in being pleasant to me!
    I do want bygones to be bygones - I just don't think I can pretend they've disappeared over night! I'll try! XX
  • Oh chick - sounds awful for you, I totally can see where you are coming from and 10yrs of being ignored/treated like crap and then suddenly, because you're pregnant, then want to know you!?! thats just two-faced and rude IMO.

    I can understand wantin to be civil and to be honest, I don't think you need to be much more then that. If you don't wish to speak to them, don't answer the phone (assume you have caller id?) or if hubby answers and goes to pass the phone to you, decline are perfectly entitled to do so and if your hubby doesn't understand after 10yrs of illtreatment, then i'm afraid thats his issue to get over and not yours.

    I'm not sayin go all out and be a cowbag with them, you defo sound like the bigger person in all of this and I think being civil and polite is the key - I too could not forgive and forget 10yrs but then i'm a very stubborn person.

    i'm actually a bit peed off for you - I'd hate nothing more then to have inlaws who treated me this way then want to be my best friend as i'm pregnant - it would actualy make me want to ignore/reject them to see how they feel, but as I say, i'm stubborn and can be quite petty about people at times image blood is not always thicker then water in my eyes.

    Good luck chick x x x
  • Thanks youngmummy! I feel continuing to be civil and polite (as I have always been despite everything) is the best I can offer currently! Just wish husband could understand that's the best I can do for now but over time it may (and I really hope it does) improve!
    Sorry to hear it's not just you parents in law you have problems with. Thankfully my parents are fab and have accepted husband 110% into the family which he loves (which actually makes it harder for him as I know he does feel guilty about how his parents have been!)! XX
  • MrsPP - I'm glad I'm not the only stubborn one around here!!!!! I'm trying to be the bigger person, but it's just so hard! It doesn't help that over the years I've given up talking to my friends about how I feel about my MIL - it just used to wind me up talking about it, so up until now, I really have ignored it the best I can and reasoned they'd decided not to be part of our lives so why waste my energy thinking about it or stewing over them!!

    Sadly (and it's the only negative of being pregnant) being pregnant has bought everything back up to the surface and my blood's boiling once again! XX
  • i do feel for you! I really am not the most people friendly of persons when someone has upset me or bugged me.....even if it is family. I'm nice as pie to everyone and anyone but if someone is rude/horrid towards me - well, i'm not one for forgiving very well or easily. Manners cost nothing in my eyes and being polite to your DIL doesn't take much!
    I hope they don't move country for you - will make having the baby and dealing with them 10x easier.

  • God what an awful situation to be in! as I was reading I was thinking 'oh well at least they live away so you don't have to see them' then you mention they want to move back?! If that was me I'd be filled with dread!

    We don't get on with my hubbys MIL and Dad, they never really took to me as I met my husband as he was going through a divorce and he was living with mummy and daddy, they hated his ex wife and always slagged her off to me as she went off with a nother man and took the baby with her BUT as they had a child together they were SO two faced and kissed her bum to her face. (basically what they do with me as well!)

    They had been separated a year already before I met him. They hate me because they think it was my fault that he has no relationship with the child and they liked the fact he lived under their roof as it meant they had their grandchild on tap every weekend! despite my hubby being lonely and miserable and truggling to cope with life and looking after the child - his mum stepped in happily and completely took over. Even though he had his own house sitting empty!! So when WE met I encouraged him to move back into his own house and try and raise his child himself! I also moved in and we tried to be a family - but what with the inlaws getting twitchy, the ex wife reporting him to the csa and turning the child (who called me mummy on occasion!) against us both! and then trie dto stop contact as she met a new man and made the child call him daddy etc etc it was HELL for my hubby but all his bloody family were interested in was seeing the grandchild!

    Its not that we all hate each other - we just choose to lead seperate lives. I get fed of people saying how my children will suffer because they dont see their grandparents! what a load of rubbish, if the grandparents are a bad influence/useless/heavy smokers/moaning interferring old whingebags I think I have every right to keep them at arms length away from my precious children! nuff said.

    My view will probably be very different from everyone elses, as I think when theres just too much past history of things done and said its not forgivable, and maybe thats being stubborn but when the inlaws come a knocking again because they want to get their sticky paws on your babies after upsetting you and causing arguments WHY SHOULD WE give in? and how the hell will that benefit our children? awkward meetings bad atmopheres (no matter how hard I've tried before we alway come away talking about MORE things that have been said so its just not worth it) it not about whos the bigger person etc etc its about us (as mummies) making a decision on who is around our little darlings and involved in their upbringing.

    I'm a firm believer that until my children are around the age of 16 its me who decides not bloody grandparents!

    Just because I choose to have babies with my huband doesn't mean the inlaws own me or my children and after 10 years of crap from YOUR inlaws - I wouldn't blame you for not answering the phone to answer all their annoying questions to satisfy their need to know about their grandchildren - a little too late in my opinion. I NEVER pick up the phone to any of my hubbys family, and neither does he anymore he's also sick of their rubbish and interferring emotional blackmail! if they want to see the child from the first marriage they have to get off their own bus and go get him themselves, but now they have to do that....... they only see the child themselves about once every 6 months. It will get to the point that the child just wont want to hang around with old fogies! and rather be with their friends anyway!

    I agree with Mrs PP84 in that I also hope for your sake they dont move back to be near your baby! talk about 'invite yourselves' lol. but then if they do, you could always move! lol

    Don't feel bad at all about not accepting them back in your life. WHY SHOULD YOU? and if your hubby put pressure on you as well then you will need to spell it out like I have................... "Its MY life and I SEE who I WANT and I will never be forced to play happy families and pretend with anyone I dont want to" to be honest my hubby used to force me to go see his parents a lot a couple of years ago, but do you know the main reason he did????? it was because HE didn't want to go either so USED me as a buffer to soften it for him! cheeky sod as they wouldn't mention his first child in front of me in the end!. If he wants to see them now, he goes alone - hence why he hasnt seen them for 9 months!!
    He hasn't even told them yet that I'm pregnant again and I'm due in 9 weeks! So I'm quite fortunate that my hubby doesn't really want them in his life anyway and it has a lot to do with his past and his ex wife and his parents sticking their nose in and not understanding why he doesnt see his kid anymore - he got fed up of the guilt trips and how they thought we would play happy families and introduce my baby to his child from previous! its NOT going to happen but I know they'd go ahead and do it behind my back, so they will never be given the chance! their whole house is a shrine to my hubby first child so its very difficult for us to visit anyway! sometimes his mother even harps on about how much of a great father this fella is who lives with his ex! talk about a kick in the nuts from your own mother! but she just doesnt understand.

    We don't argue about things at all anymore and my huband is so much happier without his Mum breathing down his neck!

    I hope for your sake that you can speak up and be heard or you can reach a mutual agreement about it all that you are comfortable with and not pressured into. If you dont want to see them or talk to them or have them to stay, or let them take your baby away over night etc etc THEN DON'T!! its your life. Not theirs.

    I have the impending doom looming over me of 1) bringing another baby into the world that they will try and blackmail me to see. 2) my first babies 1st birthday coming up in a couple of weeks so no doubt the phone call will happen where they try to kiss my bum to see my baby. 3) and then the christmas situation

    I find its birthdays and Xmas that cause us the biggest problems as the inlaws think that because they buy a present for my children, its a passport to visit! ITS NOT!!!!
  • I think civil and polite are the best way to be hun - you'll look the much bigger and better person. I would be so tempted to tell them to naf off (but not quite so nicely) after they've been so rude to you.

    Maybe set some ground rules with your hubby - just say that that yes, it's nice they're finally showing an interest in you both but after 10 years of hurt, they cannot expect to waltz into your lives as if nothing has happened and nor will they - their involvement in your babies lives will be on your joint (you and hubbies) terms and certainly not you said, you need time and can't be forced into feeling things when you're not ready.

    The arrival of a new baby into a family can do funny things to may be their way of 'trying' to make amends but quite understandably, you need a bit more than that!

    Good luck!

    SF - 33 weeks today!! xxx
  • I have trouble with my MIL too. I don't think she'd ever like anyone who took away her son and I find her very irratating and rude! BUT I like to play the long ball game. Like SpraklyFairy said, I think being polite and the "better person" works really well. That way she always makes herself look stupid not me! So maybe turn this around to your benefit and say to your husband "look I'm prepared to let bygones be bygones here but after 10 years that's pretty hard so I expect some respect"... That way you look the better person and if/when they start playing up you can play the trump card! xxx
  • Apart from the living abroad part, I could have written your post!

    Without going into details (cos it will angry up my blood) I have had so many issues with the outlaws. They have been horrid to me.

    We have been together 11 years and in that time (on more than one occasion) we have come so close to splitting up because of the way my MIL has treated me. Like you we get on very well generally and only ever seem to argue over that one thing. Periodically I would feel really guilty that the relationship between me and MIL was so bad that I would start trying to put out an olive branch in the shape of a weekly phone call, but it was so patently apparent that she didn't want to speak to me that in the end I stopped that cos it was making me upset and angry.

    Then when I fell pregnant, all of a sudden they were like "oh well we will phone you once a week and come to visit you every month". HOW TRANSPARENT!! It made me feel so angry and upset. But also it feels very awkward because they are hubby's parents and he was so pleased: I didn't want to cause more tension between them by refusing to play ball, but on the other hand I didn't see why I should be the bigger person and just suddenly forget all the hurt and pain. I'm like you - how on earth can you just forget all that happened? As for holding a grudge - my hubby is always saying I should just move on, but I don't really see it as holding a grudge, more as making sure I don't forget so that I don't get hurt again. I think, how can you trust someone after 10 years of bitter water has passed under the bridge?

    If you ask me, his parents have ALOT of ground work to make up. In a way they need to start from scratch, as if they have never met you, but this time do a MUCH BETTER JOB!!! Then, and only then, do I think you should feel obliged to them in any shape or form.

    You could always do what I do - just don't answer the phone!
  • Thank you all for your replies. Whilst it really saddens me that other people are also going through tricky situations, it's wonderfully reassuring that I'm not alone!

    I just think I have to give it time (certainly go down the don't answer the phone bit for a while!) and try to show my husband that I do want things to be better with them but I can't be expected to go from 0 to 60mph in a few weeks as it will probably take years! I actually don't think I can ever forgive, but I think I need to stop wasting my energy stressing about it and just get on with the situation, sort of privately reassuring myself I actually have the upper hand!!! (Does that sound horribly harsh?)

    Moonandstars - are you sure we're not the same person!!!!??? If my husband had a brother I could swear you were married to him (but alas he's an only child)!

    E xxx
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