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any advice?

Started by dilstress, April 17, 2012, 09:00:19 am

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Mil and dil advice needed....its been quite some time since my last entry. I was under user name stressed out before. So if need be can catch up on previous conflicts w mil.mil has not spoken to son myself or grandkids ages 3 and 4 in over a year.  Here is my problem..mil sends cards on holidays..so yes she is just a holiday grandma..but misses bday intentionally due to she likes to punish us. We have tried to make amends w her but she told hubby she will never have anythng nice to say to me. And will never accept apology from me. Then bshe turns arnd and acts like she is the victim. ??? We prerty much disowned her andhave never spoken abt her to the kids since they think they receive gifts from mr.amazon when she send xmas presents. I guess I am lookng for points of vieww on why mil is so unwilling to try to communicate on her end and try to make it work. We tried on our end and it ends up same way...mil yells at son and hangs up...is she ever going to realize tht because of her behavior she just misses out on grandkids and our lives? Or will she just grow old and play the victim her whole lofe?  side note she lives far away from us and lives w her other son and grandchild. So at least we don't hve direct contact w her but she always goes thrgh son instead of communicating directly w us.  We decided tht we no longer want her part of our lives or kids lives since they will just b disappointed by her at some point.  Question..has anyone ever experienced this same thing? And do people finally open up their eyes and realize she yhas to some how change her behavior for the better or is this just a lost cause and we should just face it tht shis out of our lives forever????


Quotewhy mil is so unwilling to try to communicate on her end and try to make it work.

Sometimes, it's not that the person is "unwilling" to communicate but that the person is "unable" to communicate.  Those with mental health issues and personality disorders would fit into this category.

QuoteQuestion..has anyone ever experienced this same thing?

Yes, not my mother-in-law but my sister-in-law.

Quotedo people finally open up their eyes and realize she yhas to some how change her behavior for the better

Maybe, but in our case - not yet.  I do feel that my sister-in-law does have some personality disorder issues and without lots and lots of therapy, she can not change.  And, she will not change.  By the way, my sister-in-law totally discounts what I say and what I do and whom I am (in fact, she's tried everything to make me "disappear" or at least "leave" the family).  I am redundant to her family/life (I suspect your MIL feels the same about you).

Quotethis just a lost cause and we should just face it

Probably ...


But DILStress, just think, if your MIL were to listen to your apology and try and work on a relationship with you, would she get as much attention as she does now?

Right now, she cries to her friends, neighbours and family at how terrible you guys are, that you don't want a relationship with her and that she sends you gifts and yet, she gets nothing.  I'm sure everyone she meets pats her on the back and says "oh you poor dear!". 

And if she wants to feel the love of a DS / GC, she has that at home, she doesn't need to go looking to you guys, so far away, to get that.

Sorry DILstress, but she has to be getting *something* out of this set-up and I think this is what it is.  And if you look at it this way, then she's getting more out of THIS set up than she would out of a relationship that she has to work on.  I just don't think you guys have the right "currency" to bargain with her.


I agree with Scoop and yes, she will grow old and play victim her entire life until she decides to change. 
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


So do just let sleeping dogs lie? Or do we confront her and tell her please do not send anythng to kids since it is so inconsistent and we do not want any contact w her ever again? It has been quite refreshing not hvng her in our lives.


My take: "Whys" may not exist. We can't make sense of the senseless. And we can't change others. Sometimes they can change themselves but often it is easier to be right and blame everyone else. You have the right to protect yourselves and your kids from negative behavior and role modeling. 
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


If you guys decide to make the total cut-off decision, then I think you have to put a stop to the gifts, no matter how sparadic they are.  I think if you don't, you are sending mixed messages.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


And if she doesn't listen and the gifts don't stop, you probably need to inform her that they are going to a Thrift Store without being opened.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Yeppers, Luise is right.

Of course, take my two cents with a grain of salt.  I'm an all or nothing type girl!
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


My husband's parents are deceased, but my XH's M was a rig. She would cut you off and not speak to you, then all of a sudden send the kids presents so that her son would have to call and thank her. Then she'd make him feel so guilty for not contacting her he'd cry. I understand that he has been estranged from her for several years now. 

She has one daughter she had not spoken to in maybe 20 years, and when her husband became ill with Parkinson's disease, that daughter contacted her in order to see her father before he passed. I was shocked to hear that they had had a reunion. So I guess I'm saying it's never too late.

My advice is to live without stress if you can. If it looks like a reconciliation is possible without you having to stand on your heads for her, give it a try. Worst thing that can happen is you go back to no contact, which is where you are now. Then stay there knowing you tried. That's all you can do.


My husband and I hve tried to reconcile..I sent an apology letter on my/behalf for my behavior. Mil called son and said she would never hve anythng nice to say to me and tht the famile never wants to hear from me. How does one respond to that? Then over xmas mil had son who she lives with give us guilt trip. Saying we just hold grudges and keeping our kids away from mil on purpose. Don't we hve a valid reason why we don't want anythng to do with her?  Would love to send her text sayhing just stop communicating w cards to kids altogether and until she grows us stay out of our lives. But hubby is type to hold it all in and doesn't like to put fuel on the fire..advice?????  I never hve dealt w such mean family before and its hard for me to. Just sit back and take it all in wout saying anythng.


I'm of a mind (today) that you could just accept who she is. I think all she wants is to be the the GM who sends gifts on holidays. I don't see a problem with the recipients (the kids?) send a nice handwritten thank  you note.  I would let the social mores run the situation.  She gives a gift, she is thanked for the gift.   I wouldn't originate any communication to her (she has said she doesn't want it).   If she sends something, send a polite message back and that's it.    You be the polite person - don't let her turn you into herself.

Don't expect her to change and (my new hobby horse) don't send emotional messages on texts or email!!!  If you must have some heavy, charged conversation, have it face to face or just don't have it. 


Only you can say if your reasons are valid. Hopefully you and your husband feel the same way.

If you have written a letter of apology, and that didn't smooth things over, what else are you supposed to try? She basically drew a line in the sand and said she would never accept your apology or have anything nice to say about you. You say it's refreshing not having to deal with her. I'd say that's your answer. Ignore the poor brother who is being used as a bad will ambassador.

If you have really decided to have no contact with your MIL, you can write Refused on any cards or items that she sends provided you don't open them first and return them to the Postal Service.

You know, never is a long time. Hopefully things will get better, but if not, don't sacrifice your peace for some crippled relationship with someone who has made her feelings for you pretty plain. That's what I'm learning here.


Welcome :)

Coming from a similar experience, DH and I adopted the philosphy if you cannot or will not have a relationship with the parents, you will not have one with the child.  Sends too many mixed messages, IMO, to a child to receive gifts but doesn't know the actual person who is giving them.

Just my take, you have to do what is best for you.
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift


Thanks for the advice everyone. We did decide a long time ago..no relationship w us then no relationship w kids.besides the kid don't even know who she is. From here on out we will be returning tosender on cards and donating any items that may come ourway. Mil will never change and her selfish ways is somethng she will hve to live with not knowing her grandkids. We r happy and healthy andhve dealt w this issue for a number of years so its good to know tht other people hve this issues as well and I did not cause all of these problems on my own.  Thanks again and any other advice is helpful. This site is a huge stress reliver for me being able to talk abt issues tht other people hve w their mil.