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Manipulation with the In-laws

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NewMom0220 posted 8/19/2013 11:06 AM

Thursday Night: My in-laws call and ask me to come over. They watch the baby while I'm at work. On my way over there I had a feeling it was going to be some kind of intervention. I made mention of moving back home with my family to STBXH last week and he and his family are sweating it out.

STBXH is there and I can tell by his body language he is not happy I'm there and on the defensive. We all eat dinner together and although it is incredibly awkward, I keep focusing on the baby. I tell myself that I'm there for my in-laws and not STBXH.

My MIL asks me what our plans are. I tell her that STBXH doesn't seem to want to make things work so I have to make decisions that are right for me and DS. She asks if that includes me moving out of town. I tell her that I don't know right now but that is certainly a possibility. She cried and said she loved me and the baby and we are her family. They can't imagine a future where they only see DS once a month and holidays. I stay composed and tell her not to cry and that I love her very much and DS will always be a part of her life.

My FIL says that if STBXH and I could just have dinner twice a week and start remembering how much we love each other than we can work this out. I remind him that it's been almost 6 months since DDay and that STBXH doesn't want to make this work or he would have already. I tell him that I've asked STBXH to stay for dinner on occasion, go for walks with the baby, etc. FIL says that STBXH is hurting and not representing how he really feels. They tell me that he does want to come home, but that he can't handle my anger and resentment. I tell them that I've initiated MC, I'm seeing an IC, and I've made many attempts to fix this marriage but that STBXH isn't interested. MIL wants to know why we can't just put the past in the past.

I play along and say (knowing full well what is about to happen, but just showing my in-laws what I'm working with)..."ok, come home with us now. We will work on our relationship and our marriage the best way we can, but the door is open and has been open for you to come home and Reconcile." I say that we won't talk about the A and our marriage problems unless we are in front of a MC or a third party, but that he can come home and we can start to work on it. (I would need way more than this but I know he is going to say no so I do it anyway)

STBXH says, "no, it doesn't work that way. We are just going to fight and end up killing each other."

I look at my in-laws and say, "so there you have it." My FIL looks at STBXH and says, "she's telling you to come home....go man, go home to your family, show her that this is what you want."

He says no again. I tell them that the only other option for us is to walk away from the marriage because I cannot continue to live like this. My MIL says, "but you don't want to get divorced. What will divorce do for you, what about the baby?" I reply, "it will give me back my self esteem, my dignity, and control over my life."

STBXH chimes in and says, "but I don't want a divorce." I reply, "well I didn't want a lot of things that happened to happen." We start to argue in front of his parents. He says he hasn't seen or talked to the OW for months. He tries to say that his A and our marriage are "two separate issues" which is the bullshit he spewed to me upon discovery on DDay. He might as well have his tombstoned engraved with the phrase "two seperate issues" on it because that seems to be his motto.

I tell him that it doesn't really matter what he thinks anymore about any of it. I'm not happy. I tell everyone in the room that I believe everything he has said after DDay and our exchange last Monday was the last straw. He says that he was angry on Monday and that his true feelings were represented the following day when he apologized and told me he wished he could undo everything he has done.

I tell him that I don't trust him and he hasn't done anything to regain my trust and also, that we've never been more further apart from each other than we are now. We are not in each other's lives. He just brings the baby home to me every night and that's it. Like a taxi service. He gets very upset by the taxi comment and says, "I'm his father, not a taxi driver." I say, "you are right, but I guess I have another definition of what a father is than you do, but that is your business."

He leaves shortly after. I stay for a while with my in-laws. They beg me to give it some more time. I tell them it's been almost 6 months and I can't reconcile in my mind the amount of effort he put into his A with the little effort he has put into reconciling, taking care of his son, and treating me the way I deserve to be treated. I tell them he has emotionally abandoned us and my FIL agrees and says I don't blame you for feeling the way you feel, you've been stabbed in the back.

I have to explain why not getting the answers to my questions about the A is important to me. I tell them that sweeping everything under the rug isn't healthy. They tell me that they know their son and know that the OW didn't mean anything to him and that I've given her and the A more importance than it actually was. I tell them that I do believe that the OW and the A were probably a distraction for him and a way for him to cope with the impending life changes of having a child, but that I had to come to those realizations on my own. STBXH hasn't done any work to find out why he did what he did and it's easier to blame me and our marriage.

Anyway, I left feeling like he had used them to manipulate me further. It's been 6 months and I don't know if I've turned a corner or I'm just fed up...but I just don't think giving it more time is going to help. If anything I'm convinced now more than ever that filing for D is the right thing to do.

So the following day I had already planned to take the day off and go see attorneys. I was really impressed with myself for going and getting the info I need and doing it without getting emotional. All this time I thought I would break down and cry about even going to go see someone for a consultation, but it was quite the opposite. I felt empowered and it was a big step.

Now I just need to figure out what is best for my future. Do I stay in town or do I move back home.

Thanks to everyone here for the advice last week. NO ONE knows that I went to see lawyers or the plans I've been discussing with my family if I do choose to move. The best advice has been to keep quiet about it and keep my cards close to my chest.

That night, after I left the in-laws my STBXH texted "Sorry about tonight, I just don't know what to do."

I didn't respond. On Friday night when he brought home the baby he tried to tell me how beautiful I am and that he loves me. I just said thank you and closed the door behind him. It didn't phase me and just seemed like more manipulation.

I just feel like I'm dealing with a 15 year old kid, not a 36 year old man. I don't expect the enablers who helped him become the entitled POS he has become to be of any help in this situation, but my heart goes out to my in-laws. I know they are frustrated and hurting too. But life goes on and I have to be a selfish little B now.

STBXH is learning what happens when you treat people like dirt for a period of time...for some reason they just don't want to do exactly what you want them to do. Sad, huh? Poor taxi driver.

[This message edited by NewMom0220 at 11:15 AM, August 19th (Monday)]

NotGonnaTakeIt posted 8/19/2013 11:34 AM

I don't have any words of wisdom, but I just wanted to let you know that you have been heard and I am sorry for everything that you are going through.


P.S. You are not being selfish to put yourself and your son first.

Dark Inertia posted 8/19/2013 11:50 AM

Wow, I think you handled all that extremely well and was spot on. You're in it for you and your baby now. You are one strong chickadee.

[This message edited by Dark Inertia at 11:50 AM, August 19th (Monday)]

PhantomLimb posted 8/19/2013 11:52 AM

You rock. I wouldn't let yourself get roped into another dinner with the in-laws, etc... but I think you handled it well. It's nice for you to get a little vindication.

And I'm glad the L visit went well. Don't be surprised if you take another emotional dip at some point or feel a little susceptible to his taxi driver pity party... but, right now, you sound like you've got this.

Amazonia posted 8/19/2013 11:58 AM

Honey, he may have tried to use them to manipulate you, but he failed. You are strong, smart, and know what you're doing, and you gave them all more grace than they deserved. Amazing job handling their crap!!

And taking care of you and your baby is NOT selfish, including moving out of town if that's what's best for you. It's being a good mom.

NewMom0220 posted 8/19/2013 14:12 PM

Thank you for the support SI people. Last week was tough and I went back to read my threads once I was calm and could see where I had just become consumed by everything and how STBXH was trying to manipulate and continue to cake eat.

Don't be surprised if you take another emotional dip at some point or feel a little susceptible to his taxi driver pity party...

Pl, you are spot on. I'm shocked at how "normal" I feel right now as I stand here facing one the biggest decisions of my life. I know I have to be the one to pull the trigger and I expect some emotional dips when it comes time to actually follow through. I am very afraid at what my reaction will be to the hoovering and love bombing that might be coming my way.

I know there are some WS who snap out of it further down the line than just DDay, but I'm not counting on that. I keep thinking of the phrase, "actions not words" and so when he says something or texts something I first tell myself to not respond and then I tell myself, "actions not words."

For the first time in a long time I can see a future that does not include STBXH. I actually pity him a bit.

Housefulloflove posted 8/19/2013 14:35 PM

STBXH is learning what happens when you treat people like dirt for a period of time...for some reason they just don't want to do exactly what you want them to do. Sad, huh? Poor taxi driver.

@ the bolded. You would think that a grown man would understand that actions have consequences but people like him feel like consequences should never apply to them. You did SOOOOO amazingly well handling that pathetic scene! He is a man-child and his parents trying to step in and plead with you says it all. They know their POS son can't handle life and so they want to do it for him.

His lack of real remorse is a blessing in disguise. It becomes like fuel in detaching and getting away from a man who will never be the man he *thinks* he already is. (((NewMom0220))) There seems to be no reason to doubt your decision. I hope this the beginning of a much better life for you and your DS.

TrustGone posted 8/19/2013 14:44 PM

You have handled this very well so far. I am so very proud of you. You are right "actions and not words". Until he shows some type of action, then he is just lying with his words. I will caution you on the in-laws however. When push comes to shove, they may very well turn on you. It happened to me with my son. When I finally filed for D, they turned against me and even lied in court for their precious son to try and take my son away from me. It didn't happen, but they continued until my son was a teen and then he wanted to go live with the Disney Dad and his gift giving parents. I wished I had taken my son and ran home to my own family, but my XWH stopped that with a court order and then I couldn't move. Do not let them have any idea of your plans and play along until you and the baby are safely away from all of them. Remember blood is thicker than water in most cases and I don't want them to have an upper hand on you. I never imagined my in-laws would ever do that to me and now, years later, they regret what they did. They were scared and I realize that, but what they did has severely affected my DS in many bad ways. Don't trust them for a minute!!!!

momentintime posted 8/19/2013 14:44 PM

Your in-laws need to be talking to their son, not pressuring you to take him back with no work on his part.

Putting him on the spot was the best thing you could have done. He showed you and them exactly who he is, a boy masquerading as a grown up. Someone who can't own his mistakes and is looking for the easy way out. You did great and stuck up for yourself and the baby.

ps: if you do move away the in-laws need to understand that is a consequences of their son's actions. I know they will miss you and DS but you have to do what is right for you now.

[This message edited by momentintime at 2:47 PM, August 19th (Monday)]

eyesrnowopen posted 8/19/2013 15:22 PM

His lack of real remorse is a blessing in disguise. It becomes like fuel in detaching and getting away from a man who will never be the man he *thinks* he already is. (((NewMom0220))) There seems to be no reason to doubt your decision. I hope this the beginning of a much better life for you and your DS.

House, this is spot on.

User, you were awesome. I need your spunk when I go before my WH IC where he is trying to get me to agree for him to move back in. I like what you did with giving him the option and him saying no. I may do this by asking for a poly and a post nup. He will of course say no.

Fooled Me Twice posted 8/19/2013 15:55 PM

As the others have said - you did really well.

I will caution you as well though about your in laws. Mine do not live near us, so while it wasn't face to face they acted very much the same. Once shit got real though I have yet to hear from them - it's been a year and a half now. All they did was listen and believe the bs my ewh spewed to them and I'm sure I'm now the bad guy. Oh well - in the process I learned my ex is exactly like his mother - and that't not a compliment by any means. So I'm happy I no longer have to deal with them.

I wish you luck and peace.

gonnabe2016 posted 8/19/2013 17:47 PM

I don't know what the *plan* was....but I get the feeling that it backfired.
With the 'kiss and make up' message they sent, your IL's acted as if you were 2 small kids that got into a scuffle over a toy at recess. Sorry guys, but this situation requires more than a hug and an "I'm sorry." *shrug* AND they got the added bonus of actually seeing your WH's back-pedaling at the suggestion of returning to his family. Talk about your all-time-HELLO wake-up call for them.

You likened him to a taxi driver

homewrecked2011 posted 8/19/2013 17:53 PM

I would have moved closer to my family if my children were younger. Please consider this.

Where I am now, the main role model they have is their POS dad, and his friends --who took his side. I am having issues with the younger son saying things to me I know his Dad tells him....

When we went to my hometown this summer, my nephews (early 20's), my Dad, my brother, my brother in law,my friends' husbands, all of them would LOVE to be strong role models of a decent man for my sons.

I WANT TO MOVE! But my sons have roots HERE, friends, marching band, etc. If I moved now, they would stay in this town,, and I'm not leaving them!

Your inlaws are not going to live forever. Your XWH is probably going to date woman after woman who is going to want to move in and be a mom to your child. Plus your XH could even move in a few years, with you stuck in this town where your son will want to stay in one day. I see drama drama drama ahead for you. Do you have dependable, reliable family members in your home town? Then go. One thing I have learned thru this is that my responsibility is now to my two sons and me.

Also, another issue is that since I did not move back to my hometown, my mom has gotten sick and has needed me. I have gone to see her 3 times for a week at at time. The OW (who is a freak) was spending the night with my impressionable sons. I had to come back early because of my sons.

Anyway, if you have support in your home town == go back there. The inlaws can come and stay a week at a time if they are good people....

Heck, whats to stop them from moving closer to you and baby? Lots of grandparents do this. Your WH is all over the spectrum mentally, who knows what city he will end up in anyway...

[This message edited by homewrecked2011 at 5:56 PM, August 19th (Monday)]

hurtbs posted 8/19/2013 18:18 PM

Big hugs


Gently, his parents are not neutral and they are not MC's. Make sure you protect yourself and your interests, which means you will need to enforce some boundaries with them. They have a vested interest in keeping you in town and in dismissing their son's behavior.

It sounds like they're already pushing you to "forgive and forget" and to put your needs/wants on the backburner to keep access to their grandchildren.

Just keep this in mind. Maybe have have a plan the next time thy try to ambush you... even, "I'm sorry, but I"m suddenly not feeling well. Tehre's a bug going around work."

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