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Should I Write to my In-Laws?

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marlie2014 posted 4/30/2014 13:59 PM

So we went to court on Monday and somewhere in the next two weeks, STBX and I will be officially divorced.

I know that since he moved out and especially in the past few months since he's been escalating his behavior, he's had precious little contact with my soon-to-be-ex-in-laws (they're 1,200 miles away). My almost ex-mother-in-law called me a few weeks ago and asked how her son was doing. While I wanted to respond in irritation (what, am I his keeper?), I felt sorry for her and said that I had little to tell her and would have nothing to tell her once we went to court, as there would be no contact after that. She sounded surprised and sad, even though she knew we separated in November. I think she hoped we might reconcile.

I don't know exactly how much my in-laws know about what he's done, but I suspect that they probably know only about half of it. My stepson knows even less. If he knew the truth, he might need therapy just to absorb the horror.

So what I want to know is, not if I should tell them the extent of his perverted crimes -- I don't think that's necessary -- but once I get the decree, do I let them know? Because I don't think STBX will bother telling them at all. Part of me would like to write a compassionate letter, and part of me says it's not my problem or responsibility to tell them that it's officially over. On the other hand, I have no desire to receive any more "how's my son" calls from my almost ex-mother-in-law.

gypsybird87 posted 4/30/2014 20:12 PM

Hi Marlie,

Like you I had no kids with my XWH, but I was stepmom to his kids (5 of them!). My xIL's live much closer than my blood family, and I loved them very much. It is hard to let those relationships go, especially when you feel that lies are being handed out and that most likely your ex is presenting you as the one at fault.

Personally, I couldn't live with that. I gave 8 years of my life to this family, I made HUGE sacrifices for him and his kids... I just couldn't bear to think of these people hating me, or thinking that I wanted the divorce, or that *I* cheated, or whatever lie XWH decided to hand them.

Finally I reached out via letter to xMIL, and to my x-stepdaughter. I told them that I loved them and always would, and thanked them for welcoming me into the family, and for loving me all these years. I told them I was heartbroken by this divorce, and that it was NOT what I wanted, but what else can you do when the other person has already moved on with someone else...? (That was as close as I got to addressing the affair in the initial letter).

As it turned out, both women responded immediately. They wanted and received details from me... right down to the dirty nitty gritty. Now, one year later, xMIL and I communicate pretty regularly and have gotten together a few times. Same with xSIL. My xstepdaughter and I are VERY close, as we always have been. We communicate pretty much daily and she's texting me as I type this, lol.

This was my experience, and thank god it has been positive. I would caution you to remember that you cannot control the outcome. You may also get a positive response. Or it may be negative. Or you may get crickets. Or they may tell your STBXWH they heard from you and he may freak out on you. I cannot stress this enough:

Only reach out if that is what will give you the most peace,regardless of the outcome. If a negative or non-response will hurt you, DO NOT DO IT. I went through every possible scenario I could imagine, and felt it was still worth it to send those letters. It was the only way I could find some "closure" regarding the IL's, for lack of a better word.

Please also be careful, because it sounds like any ongoing contact with you MIL may indeed lead to more "how is my son?" type calls. Knowing you were separated didn't seem to discourage her. Divorce might not either. Of course you did tell her you were going to have no contact, but who knows if she actually heard that. My xMIL was still hoping for us to reconcile even after XWH had introduced him to OW the convict whore. (By the way.. xMIL does know she's a convict whore- I made sure to tell her about OW's criminal record! )

Anyway, sorry to have gone on so long. As you said, this is not your responsibility to inform your IL's about who their son etc really is. And honestly, they will love him over you regardless, and that is infuriating but its just a blood is thicker than water thing. So do whatever will give YOU peace. YOU are the one that matters.

((marlie))

Hugs to you. I know its not easy, no matter what you decide to do.

[This message edited by gypsybird87 at 8:16 PM, April 30th (Wednesday)]

sadcountryboy posted 4/30/2014 20:25 PM

I've thought about it only because I was very good friends with her dad. But I have restrained myself as part of the 180 is to not contact her family.

badmedicine posted 4/30/2014 21:46 PM

I agree, you have to be ready for any response and realize that, at least in the short term, her reaction could be quite painful. I wasn't expecting support from my MIL but what I got was blame, "you should have known", and even claims that she had figured it out before I did. Just cruel! I was crying on the phone and she was telling me how I hadn't been very nice to them all along. Even now 5 months later it hurts just to think about. I'm still glad I did it because I don't think they would have known the truth. My goal was ONLY for them to know what really happened and I accomplished that. In retrospect I think writing would have been good, but hearing her reaction was helpful to me to support my decision to D. My exact thoughts as I hung up were "Get me out of this family!!" Good luck to you with whatever you decide. You can always write a letter and think about it for awhile longer.

fireproof posted 4/30/2014 21:56 PM

I was tempted to do the same but blood is thicker.

I would write the letter and hold it for a year. Then see how you feel.

Good or bad and right or wrong they are HIS parents. You can't afford a 50% crowd after divorce. They will be there and I think you will feel differently more at peace with what you decide.

Focus on you.

womaninflux posted 4/30/2014 22:21 PM

One of the benefits of divorce for me would be to not ever have to see my MIL again. Talk about the Queen of Denial. Cleopatra has nothing on her.

So I vote, NO, do not write to her. What purpose does it serve? I think by telling them about how screwed up he is you are just keeping your foot dipped in the drama. It's one more excuse for you to remain connected to him via his parents.

If you really want a clean break and move on in a healthy way for yourself, writing to your stbx inlaws is probably not in your best interest.

marlie2014 posted 5/1/2014 08:30 AM

Thank you all for your replies. Honestly, I would only have done it out of a sense of duty. My in-laws were quite the opposite of welcoming to me; they were prejudiced, although they'd never admit it, against me because of my race and cultural background. After staying with the WS so long in his country, I finally earned their grudging respect.

As for my 18 year-old stepson, I was hurt that over the past months he kept calling me just to see how his dad was or to say, "Please tell my dad to call me, I need to talk to him about xyz etc." I finally told him about two months ago that I was not a message bellhop, that I had feelings, that I had raised him for half of his life and deserved a little better treatment than "hi, how's dad?" at this point, and if that was all he had to say then to stop calling me.

I haven't heard from him since. I had no intention of going NC with him, but his loyalty is clearly to his dad although he knows he was the cheater, and frankly the prospect of never being bothered again by my outrageous in-laws is a nice side benefit.

So I guess I'll skip the letter. I felt sorry for them, thinking they'd have absolutely no link to the STBX now and no way to know how he's doing. Well, that's tough nuggies I guess.

womaninflux posted 5/1/2014 09:02 AM

It's part of the cost of infidelity and divorce IMO. And it's not your job to make them feel better about things or to provide a link. If anything the parents showing up at the 11th hour wanting to know how he's doing serves as an example of how things were likely handled in his childhood and why he has such poor coping skills. They show up in a crisis but where are they to provide support and guidance before the crisis?

When all of this stuff happened and I was processing it and beginning to learn more about my husband's childhood and what his parents were like as parents, I really wasn't surprised he became who he became. His parents were so busy working (that was his mom's excuse) that they did not know what was going on with him. Sorry, but I don't buy it! My parents both worked - they just stepped up when warranted so I did not get into trouble. Believe me my parents were deficient in a lot of parenting skills but I definitely did not become a narcissist and liar and cheater and soothe myself with porn.

careerlady posted 5/1/2014 09:25 AM

I was thinking of starting a similar post.
My MIL is seriously disturbed, created the Snake, and will spew venom towards me regardless. So lost cause.

But my SIL and her family have always been so good to me. I told her about the first A but he got so mad about it i didn't tell her anything more.

I know that the Snake hasn't told them anything yet even though we'll probably be divorced this week. I don't want it to seem as though I haven't thought about or appreciated them. I was thinking of writing SIL (and maybe MIL out of politeness?) a thank you card. Not sure whether to mention the As but I at least want to say thanks for everything (even MIL treated me like daughter it's just she doesn't treat her kids that well ). Plus we have a young toddler together so our paths will cross. Thinking about it

OP if your in laws are that bad I would just tell them the next time they call you

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