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Dealing with awful in-laws

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NWfleur posted 7/26/2013 02:05 AM

My ex MIL is making it very difficult for me to want to foster her relationship with her grandkids. I put up with her passive aggressive nonsense for 13 years, but now that I'm divorced from her son, I feel like I shouldn't be having to play her games anymore.

Since my ex moved across the country, most contact she has with our DSs will need to be through me. She lives in the same town as my parents. I try to work it out so she gets to see our boys, even though she drives me insane. I do it for them, for that relationship.

Well, she happened to run into my dad the other day. They started talking about an upcoming visit the boys are going to have to see all the grandparents. Then, out of the blue, she starts in about how her poor son worked so hard on the marriage, had to move so far away from his kids because of all the child support he has to pay, how bruised his self esteem was...blah blah blah. Her victim son. Nothing about his affair, lies, how he treated me, nothing...It's like she was talking about a totally different person. SO inappropriate. My dad told her he had no interest in discussing any of that with her, ever, and to stop. She continued on for awhile and then went on her way.

Whenever I'm around her, she is miserable and negative and extremely anxious, it's unbearable. I see her as a part of the puzzle of why my ex has so many issues. Do any of you have difficult in-laws and if so how do you deal with it? Talking to my ex does no good, he will just tell me "fight your own battles with my mom, leave me out of it." I would just completely cut off contact but I don't want to do that to the boys...

exhausted lady posted 7/26/2013 02:16 AM

If your boys are old enough (10 or over?), I would let them take the lead on how much time they want to spend with the old dysfunctional bat. If they don't want to be around her, don't force the issue. If they do want to see her, don't stick around for the whine-fest.

If she wants to see her grandsons, maybe she will adjust her behavior. I think she'll either wise up, or your boys will just lose interest in being around her.

Ask yourself if you're doing these visits for your boys....or are you doing them so you look like a dutiful mom. Sometimes allowing your kids a choice is the best route to follow. She sounds toxic, at best.

Bluebird26 posted 7/26/2013 02:46 AM

I have an extremely toxic ex Mil who kept playing the blame me game and poor exWH blah blah. I also suspect she is a lot of the reason for the my ex's many issues. He used her while he was setting up his new life and then when he didn't need her anymore he has made no effort to keep in contact with her.

I eventually cut any ties to her for a period of close to 2 years. She then ran into one of my kids when they were visiting their cousins. My oldest son who was 14 told her exactly how it is and what a jerk his father was (and still is). She then reached out to me and apologised and realised that I am not the problem that her son is. She also realised that the only way she was going to see her grandchildren was to foster a relationship with me. I keep a close eye on my back though, I will never fully trust her but I allow contact for the sake of the kids.

Maybe if you give it some time and don't have any contact she maybe able to realise the truth of the situation. Sometimes time and space is what is needed to heal. I guess that is why NC works so well.

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