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Relationship with in-laws breaking down ...

Discussion in 'Personal' started by smoothnewt, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    Quite right, too. Why should you be?
    I'd stop right there if I were you. I really wouldn't put myself out an inch for them. Put that ball back in Mr Tarte's court and let him decide if he can be ar$ed to buy anything for them - the miserable pair!
  2. tartetatin

    tartetatin New commenter

    Thanks for your reply, SN [​IMG]
    I wondered if it was just me. I've been pondering the situation and letting it get me down for months. I finally plucked up the courage tonight to ask tessers' opinions! You know what it's like with your own friends and family - they're not impartial enough.
    The truth is though that they wouldn't pis.s on us if we were on fire.
    Ok, slight exaggeration I'm sure ... but you know what I mean.
  3. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    That's the bit that would have done it for me. I would have decided at that moment that they were no longer worthy of my consideration, and from then on would have had no further dealings with them. How does Mr Tarte feel about this situation?
  4. doomzebra

    doomzebra Occasional commenter

    Dump 'em, break off all pseudo-friendly formulaic contact like birthday cards etc
    Simply being related is no reason to pander to want-wits
  5. redz

    redz New commenter

    This could well have been written by me and OH. We have decided that from now on we are not initiating any contact until they phone us ..,been 5 months so far. We always went to visit fortnightly or phoned but never reciprocated. After lot of hurt etc that is decision that has been made. We will not organise meeting at Christmas leaving it up to them to get in touch, been married over 15 years only been invited twice! So to avoid any more tears hurt we are shutting the door on them, wonder if they even notice we haven't been around. It's husband feel sorry for, my family are so different

  6. My advice? **** 'em. If they're letting your kids down they're not worth it.
    This is good advice too though :)

  7. marshypops

    marshypops New commenter

    I'd just stop bothering, they obviously aren't bothered that you are part of their family - sounds as if step mum in law has a lot to do with that though - or am I reading too much into your OP?
    If they don't reciprocate birthday presents/ cards/ postcards/ thoughtfulness of any kind then I'd stop that too, unless this would upset Mr Tarte? If so then he can do it :)
    Like all folk some family are worth the bother others are not, these sound as if they are not worth the effort so leave them be.
  8. Tarte - I 'got rid of' my own mother for years because of the one-sided effort that went into the relationship. We had no contact, simply because I stopped making the effort. Without me trying, we simply didn't see each other. Since I had the baby, she's been in regular touch (two years now, wow!) so I've forgiven her for her past ****-ness and apparent indifference.

    If I were you, I'd stop bothering. Even the lure of grand-children doesn't make them make the effort, so...
  9. Sounds like you're rather surplus to requirements in their lives, so maybe it's time for you to decide that works both ways?
    I would also have cooled off a lot when they first demonstrated a keenness to have some grandchildren to stay but not yours.
  10. In an ideal world all granparents would have rosy cheeks and adore their grandchildren. Unfortunately life is simply not like that and you have no option but to make a decision about this relationship that is acceptable to you, your husband and children.
    Your choices are:
    • You can as other posters suggest drop all contact with them. If they don't initiate contact nor do you.However will this upset your husband and children?
    • You personally stop taking responsibility for maintaining contact. So often women in families are the ones who organise and arrange family occasions. Maybe you could suggest to your partner that he takes responsibilty for family contact. If he doesn't bother that is his choice or perhaps the in-laws may be prompted to communicate more.
    • Lastly you could accept that this relationship is unlikely to ever be loving and close and instead try to form a different but civil relationship. Your mother in law is bound to feel differently about her own grandaughter. If she was a more considerate person she would understand the hurt this is causing and try to make amends, but she is what she is and is unlikely to change.
    I have been in your shoes and understand the yearning for lovely, huggy grandparents. I used to feel envy for friends whose children were babysat and holidayed with grandparents but that is life I guess, we don't always get what we want.
    You must make decisions that suit you and your family. There is no need to feel guilt, some relationships simply do not work and changes need to be made if they are causing you unhappiness.

  11. Good post.
  12. inky

    inky Lead commenter


    I can't help wondering what your husband's relationship with his dad is like.
    But I also can't help thinking that the Evil Stepparent is alive and well!

    Presumably you and your husband have done lots of inviting, only to be disappointed.


  13. 1. If any possible benefit could accrue to you and yours in any way, then smile, nod and send cards, invites and presents.
    2. If there's any hope in the future that the relationship between you, your OH, and any joint/own children might benefit from the even nominal connection of having a quasi-grandparent, however dilatory, then smile, nod and send cards, invites and presents.
    There's nothing in it for you at the moment, and that may turn out to be absolutely nothing personal, just the way some people order their lives and drag others into it. But don't get the hump on anyone else's behalf, just in case.
  14. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Somereally good (and impartial) advice given.
    I agree, you may need to accept that you're never going to have a close relationship with your in-laws. When the m-i-l obviously feels differently about her stepson's children, you're probably not going to change that.
    What does your husband feel? Did he suggest you move closer so they could play more of a part in your lives? In which case he's probably feeling disappointed too!
    I agree with Lilyofthefield, keep up the statutory contact, people do sometimes mellow, and get on with your own lives.
  15. clear_air

    clear_air New commenter

    Are you related to me, Tarte? You sound like you have (almost) my in-laws! I regularly wonder what I (we) have done to offend them - but I can't put my finger on it.
    In the end I ahve come to these conclusions - slef preservation perhaps?
    1. Don't expect anything. Then you can't be disappointed, and when they do turn up/do nice things it's a pleasant surprise.
    2. Keep civil, send the cards/presents etc.
    3. Make the OH do the communicating with his family.
    4. Try not to take it all to heart. Don't obsess. Things are as they are.
  16. Blimey, there is a lot of it about isn't there?
    My dad died 10 years ago, it took my mum 6 months to sell up and move to the other side of the country and buy a house 750 yards from my brother. Now, when she does ring (every 6 weeks or so) she moans we never go and see her. The kids like their Nan, but the woman has been the reason I left home 4 weeks after my 16th birthday, and didn't go back, at all, until I was 25. Then only for my Grandads funeral. Went again for another 6 years after that!
    You can't choose your family. I have been out once for a drink with my brother in the last 30 years, he bought his mate along, who didn't know he had a brother. My brothers comment "Well, we aren't exactly the Waltons" Never been out with him again, that must have been 1990ish.
  17. wrldtrvlr123

    wrldtrvlr123 Occasional commenter

    It sounds as though F-I-L made his choice (or allowed her to make it for him). Her family counts, his doesn't. He is apparently fine with that. So, sod him.
    My wife's S-I-L has done virtually the same thing. Anyone on her side of the family gets everything. We are his family and don't really rate. It kills my wife and so I try not to exacerbate the situation (which has involved nearly biting my tongue clean off at times).
  18. landaise

    landaise Occasional commenter

    I too am a in a similar situation. I ring my parents regularly, they have rung once in thee last three years. OK, we live in different countries but they could occasionally pick up the phone....My husband has tried encouraging me to call more often, but you get sick of making all the effort.
    They do send birthday cards but never any presents (my eldest had their 18th birthday: I really thought they'd send something then, but no......)I know that they buy things for the grandchildren in the same country as them, but not for our kids. Obviously it would be too complicated to pack and send a little gift! (not for me to send to newborn nieces, though)
    In short, I make a minimum effort, it's not that they don't care, more that they don't really think about us. Best to take care of your own family and get on with life...
  19. lurk_much

    lurk_much Occasional commenter

    I like him!


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