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Posting here so I don't msg Xmil

Planetx posted 7/13/2020 19:49 PM

The other day my Xmil messaged me and it has really been bothering me.

A little BG- XWH has been MIA with the kids for months, I homeschooled and worked from home during the quarantine totally alone, and he has not paid any type of child support in almost a year. All I ever hear from his family is oh, poor XWH, he's taking this so hard, blah, blah, blah. He has mental health issues and isn't allowed to see the kids at the moment because he threatened to drive himself in front of a semi and then said he was going to pick up DS2 from daycare like 10 minutes later. He has issues he refuses to get treatment for, I know its not his fault but he has been refusing treatment for years! He is also out there living a semi normal life, he is living with his girlfriend and her children but doesn't even see his own.

Anyway, she messaged me the other day "Haven't heard from you in a while. Keep in touch, you'll always be my grandkids' mom."I know she means well, but I am being super sensitive and reading too much into it. I think I am just resentful of her because she raised such a terrible person!

Here is what I want to respond:
Hi Xmil. How presumptious of you to think that I don't reach out to you because I divorced your son. I am not that petty, and our lack of relationship has nothing to do with that. XWH moved out in November, and I haven't heard anything from you asking how the kids were doing. Who do you think has been paying for everything and taking care of the kid's 24/7 while your son is doing whatever he wants? You haven't reached out once to see if the kids needed anything or how they were doing when there was no childcare available for months. Honestly, I don't like to talk to you because when I MAKE the kids FaceTime you (you never call them!) I hear you grilling them for info about how much they are seeing their dad. I would appreciate it if you asked XWH directly and kept my kids out of it. Just ask them about their day, or their favorite toys, or whatever but do not weigh them down with you and XWH's emotional baggage. You are always welcome to call and get an update on the kids or to speak with them, but don't ever tell me it's my job to maintain a relationship with you. Honestly, I work two jobs and am raising 2 kids alone so putting in the effort to create some kind of relationship with you is the last thing on my mind. You can always call and talk to the kids, but it's up to you to maintain the relationship with them.

Ok, I feel better. I just ignored her message and will probably not respond. I don't think it would do any good!

Darkness Falls posted 7/13/2020 19:55 PM

Your feelings are totally valid.

I would caution you, though, about blaming her for how her son turned out. As you can see from my signature line, I am the WS in my situation, and I guarantee you that my behavior was not in any way reflective of my mother (or my late father, for that matter) or how I was raised.

Children choose their own path regardless of FOO. Can it contribute in some cases, of course. But shitty behavior doesn’t at all mean the parent(s) caused it.

Charity411 posted 7/13/2020 20:31 PM

There is something I came to understand going through a divorce from my cheating ex. Betrayed spouses, kids and parents of cheaters are all collateral damage in the shit storm of infidelity.

I was lucky enough to have a wonderful MIL. She died about fifteen years ago and I still have a picture of her in my living room, and think of her often. What her son did killed her almost as much as me, but she had to live with it because he was her son. And she did her best to live with his choice to marry his mistress. One of the reasons we had such a good relationship after the divorce was open communication and empathy for each other.

My suggestion to you would be to let her know that you know this is hard for her too. It is. The asshole is her kid. Your children are her grand kids. There is no manual for this when it comes to ex in laws and grandparents.

The blame belongs squarely on your ex, but the mamma bear in her probably doesn't want to hear criticism of him. The best thing you can do for the sake of your kids is to cultivate a relationship with her for their sake. Yeah, its hard. But you can have an ally in her if you can come to some understanding, based in thoughtful honesty. She probably doesn't want to see her grandkids go without either. She just doesn't know how to help without choosing sides. Help her with that.

Thanksgiving2016 posted 7/13/2020 20:55 PM

I see nothing wrong with what you wrote.

LadyG posted 7/14/2020 04:16 AM

My XMIL covered for my WH during his last A.

So I let her have it when she criticised me for leaving him.

She demanded that I move back into the family home and just forgive and forget about all the abuse from narcissistic STBXWH.

At least XMIL was giving my adult children guilt money. Trying to buy their loyalty. Told my children to take her money or WH will just spend it on doing more no good.

My financial settlement is going to be a doozy as I own 50% of XMIL house. She’s been living there for free past 20 years.

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