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Why did in-laws never once contact me?

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Nature_Girl posted 6/7/2013 10:35 AM

I don't know why, but for some reason today it's just bothering me that my in-laws never ever ever once contacted me once this divorce started happening. It shouldn't bother me, they had no use for me BEFORE the divorce started, never acknowledged my existence, so why would things be different once the express train to hell started rolling, right?

As I look back over my relationship with STBX and the few times I ever interacted with his family, there were some red flags early on that he was telling them lies about me. I remember a really bizarre afternoon spent with his sister as she quizzed me intently about the perfume I was wearing. It was a perfume that he'd given me, a really nice scent I'd always wanted but could never afford. I didn't understand why his sister was making such a big deal out of me wearing that scent. It was very popular at the time and it seemed so strange to me for her to freak out. She mentioned that STBX had dated someone before who wore that perfume. I didn't think it was a big deal at the time. Of course now I know that STBX actually has a sexual obsession with that perfume and bought it for all the women he was involved with (including the prostitute and drug dealer). Still, why didn't his sister just come out & and say what was on her mind, rather than quiz me as if I'd done something wrong?

She also got on my case about my name. The first phonetic sound of my name happens to be the same phonetic sound as the prostitute and drug dealer, although we all have different names. I didn't know that at the time. All I knew was that Sister was bitching about my name and asking STBX why he kept picking women with the same name.

Anyways, there are all kind of things I can look back on now & see were actually big deals, but I didn't know it at the time. I realize that he must have taken credit for all the gifts & purchased, the cards, the letters, everything I did to try and foster a relationship between him & his family. He would actually cuss me out for doing it, but family is very important to me and I thought that eventually A) his family would appreciate me & thank me, and B) he would eventually see the good I was doing and thank me. Neither of those things ever happened.

I remember the last time I saw my inlaws. It was a couple years ago. They came to our house for a week and did not speak to me but under absolute need. I was given the silent treatment in my own home by my houseguests. When it came time for them to leave I'll never forget my adult neice bursting into sobs as she looked at me, then turning to STBX and telling him how sorry she was. She was so, so sorry. And then she hugged him & gave me a really dirty look. No one said goodbye to me. I'll always wonder what bullshit story he told them.

Then when the divorce went down they all immediately unfriended me on FB and that was that. No WHY???? No YOU'RE A BITCH. No WHAT ARE YOU DOING? Just silence. Shunning. I never did out STBX to them, never told them was a horrible pervert he was, and now I'm questioning the wisdom of that.

Anyways, since these thoughts are bubbling up, I figure there must be some lesson to be learned from them, so I'm processing them here.

RyeBread posted 6/7/2013 12:48 PM

Unfortunately your STBX's family is HIS family. They will love him and support him regardless. I don't know your whole story but from what you wrote here it sounds like you are better off not having them in your life. Sound like very toxic people.

Do you have family or friends that support you?

gonnabe2016 posted 6/7/2013 12:50 PM

never told them was a horrible pervert he was, and now I'm questioning the wisdom of that.

Based on the dynamics of their family and how long his most-probable trash-talking of you went on's probably a good thing that you kept your mouth shut. They either wouldn't have believed you, would have blamed you, or would have just shrugged it off as no big deal.

Your stbx sucks and his kin suck too.

Ashland13 posted 6/7/2013 13:00 PM

Hi Nature Girl,

Some of these things are going on for me, too. A pair of in-laws are all I have left out of over thirty. They are the ones that matter, the people with any substance and who can tolerate and see beyond the huge amount of rug-sweeping that the rest do. They are also not fav's in the family and that is why.

Another I tried to maintain a friendship with, but her comments echo in my mind to this day and make my heart ache. She's the first ever to speak of OW wearing my shoes and attending the rest of my life in their special events. She said other things to me that still hurt and I suspect she has backwards, in favor of her brother, the Disgusting Pervert.

I'm sorry for your sadness, for we seem to be people pleasers and cannot please everyone, can we? One inlaw I've lost is DD's godmother, who Perv got to before me and I can only imagine what she thinks now. She was a "friend" and we did things outside the big get-together(s), so I do feel a gap or hole there and also anger. Ironically, her own family favors me if I attend the shindigs and spends time visiting with me when they are around...she does not.

My father told me once after my mother abandoned him, that he wonders if maybe people don't know what to do or say, when they know we've been so horribly wrong. Even though silence is deafening and its own insult, it's the easier road for an in-law stuck in the middle. Not all people can be mutual, I'm learning and many just leave each person alone.

My solstice is that many of them ignore Perv now, for the shock is so huge they don't know how to be around him.

I think this is one thing that changes that we can't control and we have to decide how to put out of our minds or get eaten up by the extra hurt.

Yes, WHs sister in your post is very strange and I don't like her already! There are similarities between Perv's OW and me that are so similar even he has had to mention them to the perfume you mention. Maybe it's some sort of bizarre comfort zone for them?

Yes, the Godmother has given me silent treatment in my own house, so I stopped inviting any of them, so I could get rid of the pain it made. They invite me for their occasions and if it helps any, the pain and agony is really intense to be there without...him.

Here, he is the unfriended one, so they tell me and the throngs of nieces and nephews don't know how to act around him or what to say. They are kind me and I am lucky that way, but don't seek me out...nor will they run me over with their cars. Many seem to mirror their parents feelings.

FWIW I have many thoughts of them too but don't spend much time wondering what they think of me, esp. after he was outed. Their religious background is too strong for much of what he would lie about to stick, once he was outed and I knew that.

I wonder if your thoughts of them are simply part of your grieving and moving on process? I know I find that if I don't have a puzzle piece, a thought won't go away.

beforeandafter posted 6/7/2013 13:10 PM

NG, so sorry to hear that. My STBX had her Mother and family and anyone who would listen convinced I was beating her. I think they do that so that nobody will ever question their actions. They would obviously remain home team regardless of what choices the WS made, but this way the wrong-doing of the WS is never questioned. The WS is never pressured by the family to get the help that they so obviously need.

stronggirl72 posted 6/7/2013 13:30 PM

I'm so sorry about how they treated you. My FIL's were fairly polite, but always kept me at arms length for the 10+ years we were together.

I say you are pretty darn lucky to have them out of your life; they sound absolutely nuts. You deserve to only have healthy people in your life who adore you, so try to focus on that.


TrustGone posted 6/7/2013 14:37 PM

This is sort of funny, as I was reading this my ex-MIL from my XWH#1 called to inform me that my XWH#1's father had died and the funeral was Sunday. Now these people turned against me when I filed for D from XWH#1, financed a custody battle over my DS (which they lost), and told lies about me in court. Now the ex-MIL is estranged from XWH#1 so she thinks we should be Mother/Daughter again now. I have no intention of getting anywhere near that family again. I was cordial to her, but did inform her I would not be attending her X-husbands funeral (they were both remarried when their kids were very young). She has apoligized for her role in the divorce and I have forgiven her bad choices, but that is as far as I am willing to go. She is no longer my problem in her old age. She is now the last of XWH#1's parents still alive. Her husband passed away in December. I did attend his funeral as he never once came to court or said anything negative about me, but now she expects me to be back in her life after what she did. People never cease to amaze me. I can now see where XWH#1 got his sense of entitlement.

dmari posted 6/7/2013 15:31 PM

Anyways, since these thoughts are bubbling up, I figure there must be some lesson to be learned from them, so I'm processing them here.
^^^ I love your attitude!! It sounds like from what you had shared that it would actually be suspicious HAD they contacted you. I think the fact that they haven't contacted you shows that they DO KNOW the divorce is due to STBX otherwise they would be rubbing in your face. In all honestly, I think it is healthier for you that they are not in your life. BUT at the same time, I know it would be wonderful had they reached out to you and your children. Especially your children.

Hugs to you as your process these feelings!!

courageous posted 6/7/2013 16:07 PM

In my case the in laws always treated me like the daughter they never had. Wen the cheating happened they circled the wagons around exwh. His mother told the judge I was not a good SAHM because ONE of the times she came over to our house it was dirty. Also that I let exwh cook.

They betrayed me just as much as exwh did in my book.

At least the ILs in your case stayed true to the way they always had been.

gypsybird87 posted 6/7/2013 17:01 PM

Hi NatureGirl,

Your header grabbed my attention immediately. My in-laws all adored me, and treated me as one of their own from the very beginning. Many times over the 8 years we were together, they would tell me I was the best thing to ever happen to WH and his five kids.

When everything blew up after D-day, two things happened. One, ExWH FORBID me to make any contact with his family, telling me I had no right to do so. And two, he simultaneously told his family we were splitting up (though he did not tell them WHY or about his affair), and said that I was very upset by all this and wanted no contact with any of them.

So they never reached out to me. And because I was trying to abide by his "command" while we struggled through in-house separation, I didn't contact them either. That reinforced what they had been told: that I didn't want contact with them.

Finally, once he was OUT, I couldn't stand the hurt any longer. Losing not only him but an entire family I loved, when I DIDNT DO ANYTHING WRONG!- was just too much. So I reached out, even though I was scared shitless at what response I might get. The family responded to me immediately, and were shocked and upset that he had lied to them about my wishes regarding contact.

Anyway, it sounds like your relationship with your in-laws was different than mine... my point is just to remember that you never know what crap your WH has told them. He may have even told them you had the affair, instead of him, or some other lie. Whatever it is, its probably nowhere in the neighborhood of the truth.

One other thought though.... though I was relieved and happy to reconnect with his family, and it did initially ease some of my pain, I find I have to be very careful. XWH is being VERY aggressive with forcing OW on all of them. I'm guessing they may get married soon.... and I may need to protect myself but cutting off or limiting communication, so I don't hear things that will still (unfortunately) hurt me.

phmh posted 6/7/2013 18:37 PM

Oh man, I could trade terrible in-law stories all day.

The first time I met my future MIL, I was 20 and super eager to please her. She looked right at me, said, "I will break the two of you up if it's the last thing I do" and proceeded to ignore me and sabotage my relationship with her son. She and XWH had a weird incestuous relationship, and XWH's MOW was essentially a (younger) clone of his mom.

I think your lesson might be that, although there are exceptions, usually the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. I thought my XWH was an exception to that, and I broke my rule about dating people whose parents were mean to me when we got together.

Given that your STBXWH is so fucked up, it's not surprising that his family is as well. You pretty much don't get his kind of major dysfunction with good, loving parents. (Barring mental illness.)

Luckily you've escaped the cycle for your kids and will provide them a good, stable, loving home. I am so glad you are away from that monster and his family.

whatdoto posted 6/7/2013 19:05 PM


Hon, yea, that's his family. I told MIL about WH's 2nd A, and she just stared out in front of her.

No communication to me, or WH.


So be it.

Having no expectations, means we don't get hurt. Learn it, live it.

Nature_Girl posted 6/7/2013 19:22 PM

This has been good for me to read the responses here. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences.

I've been examining this in my mind all day. I think part of me is upset that STBX is getting out of this marriage with virtually no damage. He's not gotten in trouble for his perjury. He's not had his relationship with the kids damaged (which is good for the kids, kinda, but that's thanks to ME and he escaped that hurt). He got away from me. He's going to walk away with a high-paying job & hundreds of thousands of dollars in the bank while I am almost penniless & back to applying for food stamps & welfare. There's no change in his lifestyle, not substantial. And since he is an NPD or full-out sociopath, he has no guilt, remorse, no rock-bottom to pick himself up from.

So if I'm honest I have to admit that I'm resentful that he's getting out of this unscathed, and I'm having revenge fantasies of telling his family what an absolute bastard he is. I'm fantasizing that they would finally be able to say something to him that would jolt his head out of his ass and at least trigger 30 minutes of remorse or guilty feelings.

But y'all are right. They're not doing anything different than they did during the marriage. They wouldn't be interested in the truth now. And even if they did believe me, what good would that do me? Or them?

Just another thing I have to let go of. To surrender. I think I'll indulge myself for a while longer in these thoughts to see what else percolates up.

[This message edited by Nature_Girl at 7:22 PM, June 7th (Friday)]

roughroadahead posted 6/7/2013 19:27 PM

MIL (herself a BW) was actually in town visiting waffle about a month ago. I saw her a few times as she was home while he was at work and a couple of days she watched my DD. In classic rugsweeper fashion, she chatted away about various family members on his side, about her plans for the "nice weather" and on and on, as if nothing had happened with her idiot son. It was surreal.

She obviously supports waffle, although I know she told him she thought he was doing "the wrong thing". Mommy is waffle's soft landing place. She is very good with my kids, so I intend to keep a cordial relationship, but I never was friends with her.

phmh posted 6/7/2013 20:33 PM

This is something that I really had to work through as well. XWH was a parasite who used me and legally stole a ton of money from me. I sacrificed so he could become a doctor, and he's the only one who gets to enjoy the financial benefit of it now.

But you know what? Neither one of our (STB)XWH's are really enjoying anything. They are incapable of it. You're going through a rough patch now, but you will come through this strong and even more amazing than before. You have such a wonderful life ahead of you. And STBXWH? He'll still be a pathetic, disgusting, creepy loser.

I remember sitting in my IC's office, crying because it was so unfair! I was a fabulous, wonderful, supportive wife. I'm certainly not perfect, but I always did my best to put him and our relationship first (including some not-so-healthy codependent things.) She told me, "I'd rather be you than him." And she's right. Me, too. Who would want to be a soulless, sociopathic NPD monster?

It does suck; it is unfair; but you will dig yourself out of this mess and the victory will be that much sweeter because of the distance you traveled to arrive.

As always, huge, huge hugs!!!

PhoenixRisen posted 6/7/2013 21:38 PM


NPDs spin manipulative lies indiscriminantly.

When we 1st started dating, my ex told me how "crazy" his ex girlfriend was and that she cheated on him. I now believe he was the one who cheated (class NPD to accuse your partner of your own wrong doings). She just another NPD victim and I'm guessing he is spinning those lies about me to a new potential victim.

My guess is that both your ex's and my ex's family know about the manipulative lying on some level, and have found it easier to go along with it (because accepting the truth really really sucks. We know as we've both had to face it). So they distance themselves from the ex wives to maintain their version of reality (however wrong it is).

Feel sorry for them.

You know that if his lips are moving he is lying.
They still believe his words & that is not only sad but dangerous.

downunder posted 6/7/2013 22:01 PM

Pretty much the same story for me. Although six years later the picture has become much clearer. His family must be in big denial if they can't see it.
XWH had to leave me because I was apparently abusive, terrible wife etc. Since then he has had three live in relationships, including the OW, all failed. Moved house about six times. Lost his job a few times. Has nothing to show for working. Is on many dating sites, still can't find anyone.
So maybe it was him after all!
My in laws never spoke to me again either.

gonnabe2016 posted 6/7/2013 22:17 PM

You know what, NG? It seems that his sister has his 'number'. Her giving you a hard time about your name is kinda f'd up. I mean, it's not YOUR fault that your name is common to his women, right?

If she was vitriolic at you, then maybe her anger at her 'fuck-up' brother was projected onto you.

Maybe she was trying to *warn you* or give you a heads-up that he wasn't 'right'.

Or maybe she was a bitch to you as a way to let him know that she *sees* him for exactly who he is.

But I just really don't understand how he is able to screw you so badly financially. I know that spousal support laws are pretty wacky in some states, but how is it that you aren't allowed any portion of the 'banked' money? Is he able to basically let you languish since none of the 'final' numbers have been finalized yet or something?

Honey, I feel so badly for you and your situation really makes me angry at the *justice* system.

But you get up every day and you put one foot in front of the other and you do the *right* thing. You have no idea how much I wish for the *good karma* fairy to visit you.

Douchebagfree posted 6/7/2013 22:20 PM

I've always had a good relationship with my soon to be former in laws too.
Enjoying good dinners, good conversation, laughs.
When I asked douchebag to move out, all I got from them was crickets. Not a single phone call. It bothered me tons at first that they didn't even call to see how I'm doing.
A few months later I found out from His brothers wife that he had told them that I was controlling, that he had no life (never mind the fact that douchebag has no friends) that we'd been sleeping in separate rooms, that I didn't want children, blah blah blah.

I think the no contact allows them to leave their heads in the sand. As long as there's a villain other than their fucked up son, all is well.
I do believe that deep down, they know the truth but its easier to pretend like everything is fine, otherwise, they may have to take some responsibility for raising a passive aggressive, manipulative douche.

Strongmama posted 6/7/2013 22:27 PM

I too can only imagine what my ex told his family...don't care anymore.
After he gave me the whole "ILYBINILWY" garbage coward crap and left the first time I did contact my in laws and told them I loved them and that I'd miss them. Crickets from them, but closure for me that they're all cowards, and liars and they can all fuck off and have each other in all the FUN they put in disfunction!
Not putting it lightly, and at first it was all overwhelming and hurt so bad. Now; not so much. Life is good without the cray's:)

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