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Old May 25th, 2017, 09:47 AM
yaya yaya is offline
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Cutting Off MIL Still Only At 90%

I know many of you will appreciate what I'm about to say. It's been over a decade that I've been dealing with horrible treatment (of myself, my kids, AND my husband, although he is loathe to admit it when it happens). My ILs crossed far too many lines last year, and as a result I've been on a crusade to cut them off 100% out of my life (they are all removed from my FB page, and I only answer emails - the few my MIL has sent - when it is important or when she can be a decent human being in the email).

My darling husband, however, has always been the lone hold-out on cutting off these toxic folks. I've tried everything I can think of to get him to see reason. I've pointed out their every cruelty over the past decade. For years, he would actually DEFEND their actions with such phrases as "You're probably misinterpreting what happened, I'm sure they didn't INTENTIONALLY mean to be cruel"

It was only when my ILs crossed the line SO BADLY, that even DH couldn't ignore that it was done on purpose. The ILs would continue to cross the line, and he'd SEE it and agree that it was horrible, but then when mummy dearest sent him a message, he'd respond as though everything was JUST FINE. It would rattle my bones to see that, and so I told him "Look, you are REWARDING her for her bad behavior! By responding with such a lengthy and friendly message, you're letting her know that everything is forgiven and forgotten and back to "normal", so she never has to answer for anything."

He slowly over time started to agree with me on that point, and his communications with his mother have been MUCH less this past year. However...

He DID send her a picture of the children a few months ago when she so "sweetly" said "a recent picture of the kids would be nice" (as though she deserves it after how she's treated those children). I wanted to scream.

So recently, I asked him **WHY** does he still communicate at ALL with her. I mean, on the one hand I get it. She's his mother. OK, fine, but she pitted all 3 of her children against one another ALL THESE YEARS with her toxic BS, and now she's trying to pull her crap with OUR CHILDREN...playing favorites to the point of sending a Christmas gift for one child and not the other...and then she had the b@!!$ to send us a message saying "I just sent out an xmas package for the kids! Make sure EVERYONE gathers around to open it together!!!". I knew better, because she has left out kids in the past on gift-giving, so we opened the package privately in our bedroom, which is a good thing, because if everyone was "gathered around", my son's feelings would have been VERY hurt to see that his grandmother send a gift for his sister but not for HIM for Christmas. What a lovely, thoughtful grandmother, eh?

It was clearly a game set up to hurt someone's feelings, because clearly she gets off on that sort of thing.

Even with that most recent example, my husband still refuses to just cut this woman out of our lives (fortunately she lives too far away for her to just drop in). I've put my foot down and told him that I don't want that woman to have anything more to do with our children...and that if she asks for pics, she is NOT to get them!! I said he shouldn't be updating her with "how the kids are doing", and at best to simply say that they are "fine". But, of course, I don't understand why he bothers to be in touch with her at all after all that she's done.

Communications with her ALWAYS include an element of passive-aggressiveness. She simply will not allow a single communication to go by without SOMETHING said. Recently, when she found out the kids had new bikes for their birthday, she asked DH if he and I were getting bikes, too. I know this sounds innocent, however she is always making it clear that she doesn't think we're thin enough or in shape enough for her liking (she does this to her other 2 children, too...always making everyone feel they can never measure up to her. Oh, and p.s. this woman could lose a few pounds as well, but clearly I'd never say anything to her about it because I have this crazy thing called MANNERS).

My husband has made it clear to her SEVERAL TIMES in the past that he is sick of her always making references to us needing to exercise more or need to lose weight. She just ignores his request to stop. I mean, for god's sake they hardly ever talk any more and she's going to waste precious time commenting on our bodies??? Really? She just HAS to get that jab in whenever she possibly can. By the way, she wouldn't even have a clue what our bodies look like, because we don't get on webcam with her anymore, so her little comments suggesting we need to work out more are only coming from a place of wanting to be cruel and judgmental and to remind us that we'll never measure up.

Even with all that, and even though his relationship with his parents have been very strained even before I ever came along, he still seems to want to jump on any message he gets from her. He's a lot slower to respond these days, but he still **IS** responding, even when her messages contain jabs and ridiculous passive-aggression.

I love my husband very much, and of course I don't want to take his fantasy away that one day his parents might morph into decent human beings...but all evidence is to the contrary, since they have been horrible people the entire time **I** have known them, and according to very good sources, they've been like this pretty much forever.

It's sad to sit back and see this very good-hearted man sit and deal with this toxic, dysfunctional woman, but of course it's not my place to insist that he not speak to her at all. I can only tell him that she will **NOT** have access to the kids anymore (and that insistence only happened this year, after she crossed one too many lines to the point that he simply could not deny that she's an emotionally abusive influence in their lives).

I'm not exactly asking for advice. I just needed to share this with people who will understand. We love our husbands, and it is their generous hearts and ability to forgive that made us fall in love with them in the first place (well, it's part of the reason, of course)...now if only they would extend that just a bit further to PROTECTING us and our children from their toxic families.

My husband is doing better, and as my subject line suggests, he's at about 90% cut off with them, but there's still contact there...and every time that GD "woman" (egg donor) sends him a message I want to reach through the computer and slap her in the face. I know you all can appreciate these feelings. Thanks for listening, I just needed to put it to "paper" today.

Last edited by yaya; May 25th, 2017 at 09:55 AM.
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Old May 25th, 2017, 01:30 PM
AMH1231 AMH1231 is offline
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Re: Cutting Off MIL Still Only At 90%

I feel like you're telling me about my life with the exception of my husband is an only child and I only have one child who is still too young to understand. Lol. But the stuff with the kids is what I'm sooo scared of. Choosing favorites if we have another, or telling my son that mommy is the one who kept him away so long... ugh. It's all so passive aggressive and our husbands have become so normalized to it that they don't even notice it anymore, am I right?!
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Old May 25th, 2017, 02:52 PM
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Re: Cutting Off MIL Still Only At 90%

You didn't ask for advice, so I'm not going to give you any.

OK. I lied.

This line got me:
Quote:
I love my husband very much, and of course I don't want to take his fantasy away that one day his parents might morph into decent human beings.
Your husband will be so much better if he gets rid of that fantasy and deals with reality. I strongly suggest you read up on sons of narcissistic mothers. Maybe you'll understand how difficult it is for him to give up that fantasy because the reality of not being loved by someone who isn't capable of loving is horrible. And maybe you'll be in a good place to comfort him and help him grieve when he gets to that point.

Good luck.
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Old May 25th, 2017, 04:48 PM
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KayKay KayKay is offline
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Re: Cutting Off MIL Still Only At 90%

I fought this battle too, for many years. I finally quit fighting, and that's when my MIL stopped "winning." Drop the rope. Christmas gift for just one kid? That equals Christmas gifts for no kids. No argument, no fuss, just donate the gift. Let your DH deal with any fallout from that, and he'll come around sooner rather than later.

As far as pictures of the kids? No argument, no fuss. Just make sure DH sends ones that won't make your MIL happy (even if that means limiting his access). Pictures of them in Halloween costumes (with masks) or from behind so their faces don't show. Pictures of them smiling and happy, hugging other adults (not the ILs). Pictures of them with the family dog dressed in the outfit MIL sent for a present. Stuff like that. Hey, sometimes you have to fight passive-aggressive with passive-aggressive.
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Old May 25th, 2017, 05:05 PM
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Re: Cutting Off MIL Still Only At 90%

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Originally Posted by KayKay View Post
Pictures of them with the family dog dressed in the outfit MIL sent for a present. Stuff like that. Hey, sometimes you have to fight passive-aggressive with passive-aggressive.
I didn't know you had this in you!

I like it, though.
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Old May 25th, 2017, 05:25 PM
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Re: Cutting Off MIL Still Only At 90%

Well, we don't have a dog. But you know, things fade and accidentally shrink in the laundry all the time around here.
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Old May 29th, 2017, 03:55 PM
yaya yaya is offline
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Re: Cutting Off MIL Still Only At 90%

I donated the dress MIL got the very next day (I let my daughter wear it once without telling her where it was from...but, mainly because MIL refuses to actually care about the grandkids enough to ask what size they wear or what they might actually want, the dress was a size too small and couldn't be kept anyway).

p.s. all mail/packages/correspondence into this house comes through me. It's unfortunate that I had to start intercepting everything, but I couldn't keep allowing my MIL to try her little games of slighting one of the kids with her little "gifts".
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Old May 29th, 2017, 09:28 PM
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Re: Cutting Off MIL Still Only At 90%

Quote:
Originally Posted by yaya View Post
she pitted all 3 of her children against one another ALL THESE YEARS with her toxic BS, and now she's trying to pull her crap with OUR CHILDREN...playing favorites to the point of sending a Christmas gift for one child and not the other
I bet that gives your DH some trust issues. He was raised always in "the middle" and being made to choose sides. I bet he is a pro at not rocking the boat even when, or maybe especially when, his feelings are hurt.
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Old May 31st, 2017, 02:08 PM
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Re: Cutting Off MIL Still Only At 90%

There's something to be said about being "BLUNT" when you really want to get your point across that has failed several times in the past.

I really hate to admit it, but telling someone to STFU about a certain topic has worked - especially when its spun around the my head a couple hundred times.

I wish you the best.
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