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inlaw apology advice

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hopeandnohope posted 4/17/2019 21:31 PM

My mother-in-law turned against me during the divorce. They even took me to Court for money their son owed them...just to get property from me to give to their son (they lost and had to pay my attorney fees).

I understand blood is thicker than water and her son is the most important thing to her but couldn't understand both of their (EXWH and his mom) hate towards me when he was the cheater, liar, drunken gaslighter.

Today, after 4 years, the mother inlaw I lost with the divorce, sent a card:

I'm so Sorry (front of card)

I wish life came with a big, fat eraser. (Inside)

(signed) Warmest thoughts and a big hug to you D---

This hand written part made me cry

Dear Hope,
I have thought about writing this apology to you for several years and know I can't procrastinate any longer as I want you to know how sorry I am that I was such a miserable "Bitch" to you after things went wrong with you and 'Mr Hope'.
I have no one to blame but myself for acting the way I have. Hopefully I have learned from my mistakes and you will find it in your heart to forgive me--if not, I will understand. Just know that I am truly sorry. I do miss you and our visits. You were a wonderful daughter-in-law. I hope you are well and happy.

I was very close to her but when I tried to hang on to my marriage and husband, I could feel her hate and that she dispised me. Not sure if she believed her son's lies or felt I was holding him back from true happiness with his real love, but not having any support from her was very hard. It was me against WH, MCOW and mother-in-lawi.

No idea what prompted the card. ExWH married
OW#2 but are already divorced...only lasted a year or so. Maybe OW#2 wasn't his key to happiness.

Not sure how to respond. I don't want her to feel bad as I am fine and over it and I understand her loyalty to her son...although I think she is a big part of why he is a liar and always a victim. Their relationship is odd.

How should I respond to ease any guilt she may have?
Just in case she is dying and making amends, what should I write back to her?

I've also wondered if EXWH is having regrets and she is trying to mend fences.

Any advice is appreciated.

h0peless posted 4/17/2019 21:34 PM

I understand the temptation to respond, but I wouldn't. My ex in-laws weren't bad to me at all during the divorce, but they dropped me like a bad habit after being family for ten years. I don't hold any ill will towards them, but I wouldn't respond to them reaching out either.

ChamomileTea posted 4/17/2019 21:39 PM

Is there anything you can think of that she might want from you? IOW, does she have anything to gain from a written statement of forgiveness?

It's a nice apology, and maybe she truly is feeling the need to right a wrong. But if she's jockeying for more visitation with the grandkids or a window seat to the goings-on in your life, that would put a different spin on it.

hopeandnohope posted 4/17/2019 21:42 PM

You are probably right hOpeless. Don't want her to feel she needs forgiveness from me though. If her letter is her true feelings, it must have been hard to write and send...and that's why I feel I should respond somehow.

hopeandnohope posted 4/17/2019 22:02 PM

ChamomileTea, we have no kids together. She was part of my life for 20 years but my kids were young adults when I met EXWH and have had no contact with his since 2015. There is no reason I can think of that would benefit her other than to ease her conscience.

She is an RN. I was diagnosed with triple positive breast cancer during the divorce. Being a nurse, she MIGHT feel bad about causing so much emotional damage, and no offers of help, while I was dealing with chemo and radiation and she, and her son, we're dragging me through the court system.

Her card was a total shock. It didn't make me feel good at all. Maybe if EXWH expressed he made the stupidest mistake of his life (when he cheated) I'd like it. Lol I don't want anyone feeling they need my forgiveness.

So no, I can't think of anything she has to gain by accepting her apology other than a clear conscience

Marz posted 4/17/2019 22:09 PM

No response needed. You just don't need the contact.

This was for her. To get it off her chest. At 4 years after the fact you should be and stay at indifference.

Any form of contact in this will just take up your headspace.

No kids, no ties. Just a faded bad memory that will fade even further over time.

Just let it go

ChamomileTea posted 4/17/2019 22:23 PM

These guys are right in that you have no obligation to respond. And personally, I've got no problem with letting a bad character stew in their own juices. But, if there's truly nothing she has to gain from it and it makes you feel like you've taken the high road, I'd keep the response short and bland. ie. "Thank you for your considerate card, but I am truly untroubled by any previous strife. I've moved on to a wonderful life and I wish you the same" or words to that effect. Honestly, my mother-in-law was a saint, but if I'd been treated like you've been, I wouldn't bother, but that's me and not you. As long as you're not giving her anything you value, I think you're good to go.

And on a side note, I've got a friend who beat Stage 4. I don't know where you are in your cancer treatment, but she's been clean for 26 years. I hope you do just as well and better.


maise posted 4/17/2019 22:57 PM

I don’t want you to respond from a place of feeling bad for her. I do think she cares and I do think her actions were based on the best she knew how to be in those moments. Does it make it right? No, absolutely not. And you one hundred percent deserve an apology, I also agree that she is the reason, least half of the reason, her son is who he is. But at the end of the day she’s only repeating a pattern, a pattern she learned as a child and a pattern she passed to her son. Does she feel bad? Probably. She’s probably having a moment of clarity. But your decision is up to you, don’t do it for her. Think of how YOU feel. What you want to say based on how you feel. Don’t make it about her. She’s had her fuckup. The ball is in your court now. Show up for you.

max2018 posted 4/17/2019 23:16 PM

Let them go fuck themselves

Don't open a door for them to. Creep in

Hurtbeyondtime posted 4/17/2019 23:34 PM

^^^^ .... as Max says...

hadji posted 4/17/2019 23:50 PM

What comes out of this forgiveness? It can only help her, to stop thinking about what she did to you. How does it help you in any way? She is "taking" from you without giving you back anything. Just ignore.

Adlham posted 4/18/2019 00:50 AM

I think that you should do whatever feels right for YOU.

I don't have a relationship with my ex in-laws. I did try for many years because they are my daughter's grandparents but I just got to a point where I started feeling resentful because I was doing all the work to ensure they had a relationship and they couldn't respect my daughter's boundaries with regards to their son.

I don't know how I would feel if I ever got an apology. I'd probably tell them to kiss my ass and that if they want to apologise, they can apologise to my daughter. But truth be told, I never actually liked them, either.

Maybe if we had been close at one time, I would be receptive and would respond in a way similar to what ChamomileTea said.

I guess I would encourage you to decide for yourself as to whether or not responding would be of any value to you. It may be of benefit to you to take CT's advice, if you are the type of person who might dwell on the feelings you mentioned of not wanting her to feel like your forgiveness is necessary, if that makes sense?

sinsof thefather posted 4/18/2019 01:49 AM

I'd look at it that she has done what feels right for her. She wanted to apologise whether anything came from it or not - and she's done it. She's eased her own conscience and that may benefit you but it definitely does benefit her.

So if it were me I'd look at it the same way for myself. I'd do what felt right to me whatever that was.

I don't think I'd want to continue any correspondence - but if I thought this may play on my mind going forward.. I may want closure... I might respond with how I felt about the apology - however that was. I think this really does depend on how you feel about it all. She's done what she feels is right for her... you do what feels right for you. You don't have to forgive, you don't have to respond unless you want to.

I'd definitely look at it though, that she has done what makes her feel better - so you do the same. Tell her off, forgive her, ignore her, they're all valid responses - sit with it for a bit, then do the one that you feel is the right one for you.

Bobbi_sue posted 4/18/2019 02:41 AM

This was a very nice apology. I am a forgiving person. Apologies are rare these days. I'd write her a nice, but short card back, saying this meant a lot (it would to me in your circumstances). I would procced with caution but be open to meeting with her and finding out what's new in each other's lives. It is possible that she is "up to something" or this is not as sincere as it seems but if in your shoes, I'd take that chance. If you started socializing with her a bit, I think you would soon know if she is "up to something."

I don't know how to say this but I don't like the judgmental trend I see today that if somebody does you wrong, you should never forgive them. Close the door and No contact ever again, even if that person offers a sincere apology.

I get that it can be a little more complicated if it is ex-in-laws and part of forgetting that chapter of your life is forgetting everybody he knew and his family, but it does not really seem that extreme in this case. Just my thoughts.

Cheatee posted 4/18/2019 06:39 AM

I found that apology to be sincere.

Personally, I would be somewhat heartened by that apology even if it's way after the fact. I would likely acknowledge it, though not go overboard. And I would remember that I can't trust these people again.

My ex-in-laws have generally been decent to me through the whole thing, although I know where their loyalties lie. And I will never put them in a position where I have to rely on them or trust them. Instead I will be warm when we meet to celebrate my daughter's milestones, enjoy their company and rely on them for nothing.

Thissucks5678 posted 4/18/2019 07:30 AM

Apologies means lot to me personally and this one sounds sincere. Life is too short to live negatively. Only you can decide whether to respond or not. Personally, I believe I would. I may not say in my response that I forgive her, but I would thank her for the apology and then kindly let her know that I’m doing great and have moved on from that chapter in my life.

Edie posted 4/18/2019 07:45 AM

I'm guessing also that your EX WH told her many lies about you and incited matters. And that they are now seeing his true colours. But who knows?

She is an RN. I was diagnosed with triple positive breast cancer during the divorce. Being a nurse, she MIGHT feel bad about causing so much emotional damage, and no offers of help, while I was dealing with chemo and radiation and she, and her son, were dragging me through the court system.

After that, I certainly wouldn't rush to respond. I'd leave it for consideration at another time. That has a twofold effect - one of silence from you, which is no bad thing, and secondly it gives you time to work out how you really feel.

I'm not sure about a 'bland' reply - why not be authentic? I wonder if something like:

"Thank you for your card and apology. I'm glad that you feel you are learning from mistakes. I know I am. I'm glad also to know that you feel I was a wonderful daughter-in-law. I missed our closeness and was bewildered by the hostility. Time is a great healer though and I wish you both peace and happiness."

Marie2792 posted 4/18/2019 08:29 AM

You can forgive her without responding to her. To me this looks like she’s looking for attention. It could be genuine, but sounds like she is fishing for her son, because maybe he wants tiu back and mommy’s trying to make it happen.

Chaos posted 4/18/2019 09:44 AM

I truly hope this was heartfelt and she has cleared her conscience and in doing so has purged a demon from her back.

However, she is in the past for a reason, and should remain there.

The1stWife posted 4/18/2019 14:21 PM

Thank you.

That is all you need to say.

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