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Off Topic :
Blame myself for in law estrangement


 Gottagetthrough (original poster member #27325) posted at 9:04 PM on Tuesday, December 21st, 2021

In laws were passive aggressively mean for years. Finally when they decided to take a trip together during our proposed visit (we told them our plans months before.. they spring this a few days before we were to travel..)

Wh owns his business so taking time off is hard. There was a lot of planning on our end. We also had not seen them in 3 years, and they had never met our 2 year old

Mil and Sils have NEVER met their grandson / nephew

I spoke up told Mil off… Sils and mil freak out say im crazy , "attacked" mil, etc. they would call the cops if we showed up at Mils house.

(I never cursed or said anything false. I called her weak, amoral, said the fam didn’t treat my kids well)

Intellectually i know i stood up for my family. It was mils choice to flip out and call me crazy, it was sil choice to threaten to call the cops on us if we tried to visit. They could have just as easily said woah, we had no idea you felt this way! How can we work this out? The fact that they didnt is very telling.

They are using me as a scapegoat. They never wanted us there. Me "attacking mil" is the perfect excuse to cut us out

But i cant help wishing my kids got that big family for the holidays. It sounds stupid typing it out. But i feel like i shoukd have tried harder, taken more, troed to hid the in laws favoritism from my kids more.

I just feel guilty

Im mourning the fact the kids wont get the big family i want…. Which is ok…

But i need to realize not everyone CARES about a big family. Solid loving relationships are what matter to kids and i took some shitty people out of their life.

I think I accidentally journaled my feelings and came to a healthy realization on off topic 😂

[This message edited by Gottagetthrough at 9:19 PM, Tuesday, December 21st]

posts: 3674   ·   registered: Jan. 22nd, 2010
id 8705349

tushnurse ( member #21101) posted at 9:13 PM on Tuesday, December 21st, 2021

I have a couple of thoughts on this.

1. No family is sometimes better than some family or a big family. Meaning if they are highly dysfunctional there is no benefit of exposing the kids to it repeatedly. Ask me how I know. My parents were only children, both of them, I had no Aunts/Uncles, or 1st cousins. My parents also were weird about being actively involved with other family. We had cousins that lived very close that were slightly younger than us, but we never really knew them because my mother (who is nuts) didn't like them. We are all adults now and I am friends with my cousins, and the spouse of the one worked with me for a while, and she is darling and sweet and kind, and a great person.

2. Close friends that respect and love you are just as if not more important. These are people that choose to be near and with you, they don't do it out of obligation. Big difference. These people are kind and genuine, and the relationships are what is important to model to our kids.

3. You have been in this f'd up abusive relationship for so long you try to own all the bad. It's not on you. It's on your H, and his siblings. Neither are willing to do any work. It's best to keep them at arms length, and reassure the kids that you can't pick your family. They will understand this. Trust me mine did, and do.

Him: FWS
Kids: 21 &23
Married for 28 years now, was 16 at the time.
D-Day Sept 26 2008
R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.

posts: 19103   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2008   ·   location: St. Louis
id 8705350

wildbananas ( member #10552) posted at 7:45 PM on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

tush is very wise... as always. smile

I had a very small FOO. ex-asshat, on the other hand, came from a huge family. He's one of 8, as were each of his parents. My mother always said she thought I married him in part because of that big family and sadly, she wasn't wrong.

They were different from your ILs but it's only now, 14 years since we broke up, that I'm appreciating how they all put the fun in dysfunctional, no matter how great they all think they are. (Starting IC about 6 months ago has been the best thing I've ever done.) I felt guilty for YEARS, like I was at fault for everything. And I felt bad that the bunch only had... me. My family wasn't super involved for several reasons, plus they're all gone now... and his wrote us off after the D, especially me. When I say it was just me and my kids, it is not an exaggeration. No family to rely on, no child support, nada. We had to build a family out of friends and you know what? It's been just fine.

I think I remember you saying something before about maybe looking into IC? If you can swing it, I highly recommend it. My IC was the first person to say the word "abuse" to me about ex-asshat and wow, that hit hard. I had to sit with it for a few weeks before I could accept it. Because it's true - he was abusive. My go-to response when it came to him (and his family) was guilt, so I totally understand how you feel there. I'm finally now shedding that and while it's scary, it's also empowering.

Travel light, live light, spread the light, be the light. ~ Yogi Bhajan

posts: 16509   ·   registered: May. 1st, 2006   ·   location: Somewhere
id 8705499

OwningItNow ( member #52288) posted at 9:22 PM on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

Gottagetthrough, your in laws trigger major abandonment wounds in you--that is clear. (I knew this thread was yours before I even saw your name.) You work so hard (without boundaries) for their approval, and they (narcissistically) hurt you and take advantage of your desperate search for love.

Why do some of us (me too!) seek the love and approval of narcissistic game players and rejectors?

Usually it's because we spent our childhoods trying to win over a care giver who coldy or callously treated us the exact same way--and we just want that love and approval. Finally! We want it!


Please, please, please understand that these in laws are not the issue (they could be any asshats); it's your FOO playing out over and over, chasing and chasing love! You must learn to give yourself the love and approval you are chasing.

Get a good IC to fix this. Without great IC help, you will simply find new narcissists to chase when you give up on these people (your WH included). The solution lives inside of you. These people are just bit players you are chasing to fill the hole inside you.

[This message edited by OwningItNow at 9:24 PM, Wednesday, December 22nd]

me: BS/WSh: WS/BS

Reject the rejector. Do not reject yourself.

posts: 5349   ·   registered: Mar. 16th, 2016   ·   location: Midwest
id 8705520

humantrampoline ( member #61458) posted at 5:58 PM on Friday, December 24th, 2021


Is it possible that these feelings and thoughts are coming up more now because of the holidays? There is a focus on family/extended family and joy and cheer and all that right now. Maybe you are carrying around that outdated outlook or grieving for something that will never exist for you and your children.

You are in therapy and understand this all intellectually, as you say. Ingrained idealized versions of our lives that will never exist may still be present, and we need to them put aside eventually.

That's ok. You can actively grieve right now. Or as tushnurse and others have pointed out, you could also go about creating an alternative happy reality. I think there are many here how also share your feelings though.

I understand these feelings so well, not with a large extended family, but with other areas. I think of my deceased mother often at milestones for my children. I hadn't spoken with my father for years until I became pregnant with my oldest child. Then I wondered if it was fair for me to deny my children a relationship with their grandfather. I decided to let them interact in a limited way, but honestly it wasn't particularly healthy. Do you think your in-laws will really add anything to your children's lives?

posts: 423   ·   registered: Nov. 17th, 2017
id 8705895

 Gottagetthrough (original poster member #27325) posted at 9:02 PM on Friday, December 24th, 2021

Thank you for all of the well thought out, insightful comments.

I believe it is because of the holidays. I know just what they are doing now- about 20 people are getting together, maybe up to 31 if my SIL’s in-laws are there- are eating, doing a white elephant gift pass, and opening gifts to each other.

But thats ok because we are having a blast, me, wh (he is having a "good" day right now) three kids and my mom. grin

I realized, my grandparents all were dead by the time i was 6, i had one aunt and 3 cousins. They lived 13 hours away.

All I had growing up was my nuclear family!!! I never felt bad about it!! Ive gotten so wrapped up in this is what family SHOULD be and honestly, i dont think my kids care.

My parents had huge families and chose to stay in the college town they met in and become a little nuclear family, doing most holidays and special events just us 5.

Do you think your in-laws will really add anything to your children's lives?

No. One aunt has never acknowledged our 2 year old past a text the day after he was born that said Congratulations


The other aunt has mental health problems and while I think she is nicer she has a lot of issues that get in the way of being a healthy person for the kids to know.

MIL is a narcissist

Its Dec 24. Evening. Not one gift from the inlaws for the kids.

Hate me, fine. But by ignoring the kids, that just proves my point that you treat your grandkids and nieces/ nephews differently.

Later skater! We will be eating turkey and opening a crap ton of gifts And eating chocolate …. instead of sitting around

1- not getting any gifts while i watch others open gifts i gave them

2- feeling awkward around people who should be my family

3- having my kids treated like crap by an aunt or their daughter

4- having my kids exposed to drug talk by one cousin

posts: 3674   ·   registered: Jan. 22nd, 2010
id 8705918

OwningItNow ( member #52288) posted at 5:43 PM on Sunday, December 26th, 2021

not getting any gifts while i watch others open gifts i gave them

My friend went through this. Her MIL was so cruel--not to her kids but to her, in front of her kids. And she simply could not allow it anymore. The disrespect was toxic. They are now 15 years estranged from the in laws. These people never once offered to change, visit, accommodate, or adapt. They were willing to lose touch with the grandkids to retain narcissistic self-righteousness over their son and his audacity in replacing his mother as the woman in his life. It's all very sad but much more healthy. And my friend's kids are fantastic, well adjusted young adults.

You are much better off without these people who are desperate to stand on top of you if it means they can feel taller in their own minds.

me: BS/WSh: WS/BS

Reject the rejector. Do not reject yourself.

posts: 5349   ·   registered: Mar. 16th, 2016   ·   location: Midwest
id 8706036

homewrecked2011 ( member #34678) posted at 6:15 PM on Sunday, December 26th, 2021

My Dad purposely moved us 800 miles from his toxic family. It was a good call. We had a good childhood, and quality friends who are like family. He said he had a horrible childhood and refused to let that happen to us with his family. I’m now fb friends with my cousins, and that’s good too.

Sometimes He calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage, but calms His child. Dday 12/19/11I went to an attorney and had him served. Shocked the hell out of him, with D papers, I'm proud to say!D final10/30/2012Me-55

posts: 5378   ·   registered: Jan. 30th, 2012
id 8706038

 Gottagetthrough (original poster member #27325) posted at 11:40 PM on Monday, December 27th, 2021

Ugh. Mil texted DD (16 yrs old) that she was sorry everyone’s Christmas gifts would be late this year, she is still trying to shop and with Covid she doesnt get out much.

All the while- She writes facebook posts about being at the mall with her friends, she has lunch out in restaurants, she went on vacation twice this summer. One was that Hamptons trip she took when we were supposed to visit her and she decided lat min to go to the Hamptons instead.

I soooooo want to send her gifts back Return To Sender with a message, "you got your other grand kids gifts on time. We are not afterthoughts after you tend to your favorite kids and grandkids."

This is the narcissist trying to keep us in the loop.
If all the gifts come in one box i have a mind to just return to sender without opening

posts: 3674   ·   registered: Jan. 22nd, 2010
id 8706200

OwningItNow ( member #52288) posted at 12:36 AM on Tuesday, December 28th, 2021

Sure, I get it. Try for a good boundary that makes you feel strong, not petty. (I try to defend myself and not hurt the other person; that's my measure of "boundary not attack").

1. Send a Thank You card that says how much you appreciate them, and you've decided to store them and put them under the tree for next year! Sound appreciative and upbeat and talk about how it saves her from getting anything next year.

2. Take photos of the kids dropping them off at a church or charity. "We already got SO much this year, grandma! We donated the gifts in your honor and helped other kids because of your kindness, grandma. Thank you!"

Assume that the gifts will be small, inappropriate, insulting, or some other passive aggressively obscene miscalculation. So do not open them at all. Don't bother!

You didn't get any of them any gifts, did you Gottagetthrough?

me: BS/WSh: WS/BS

Reject the rejector. Do not reject yourself.

posts: 5349   ·   registered: Mar. 16th, 2016   ·   location: Midwest
id 8706209

zebra25 ( member #29431) posted at 1:29 AM on Tuesday, December 28th, 2021

Stop keeping track of what they do by looking at social media.

If the gifts are for your kids, let them open them and enjoy them if they want to.

"Don't let anyone who hasn't been in your shoes tell you how to tie your laces."

D-day April 2010

posts: 2603   ·   registered: Aug. 25th, 2010
id 8706214

OwningItNow ( member #52288) posted at 1:32 AM on Tuesday, December 28th, 2021

Can you unfriend or unfollow them?

me: BS/WSh: WS/BS

Reject the rejector. Do not reject yourself.

posts: 5349   ·   registered: Mar. 16th, 2016   ·   location: Midwest
id 8706215

 Gottagetthrough (original poster member #27325) posted at 3:08 PM on Tuesday, December 28th, 2021

You didn't get any of them any gifts, did you Gottagetthrough

No. And we didnt get them anything last year, either, at WH’s request.

Stop keeping track of what they do by looking at social media.

I unfriended them all over a year ago- and MIl blocked me about two weeks ago. (She wrote something for my birthday on WH’s page and I didnt respond)

i got on WH’s facebook account that he never uses today … I was pain shopping and wanted to see their Xmas pictures. Instead, I saw that MIL unfriended HIM within the past 2 weeks (the last tike I had checked her page via his). shocked

Wh will not know that he was unfriended because he doesnt use fb ever. But even though hes a bad person, i feel so sad that a mother would unfriend her son on social media. Effectively cutting all contact (he wont take her calls)

As a mom that makes me sad. As a human. I get it- their family is effed up and mama is p.o. that wh "took my side" when i told her off. But man… im a push over. Apologize, say, woah, had no idea you felt this way! I love the kids! Lets work this out!

Not, "you are not welcome here and if you come we will call the cops"

They wont reconcile this. And as a mom, that is so sad to see a mother and child not on good terms. It breaks my heart.

It also shows me how effed up they are and yeah, no contact is best.

posts: 3674   ·   registered: Jan. 22nd, 2010
id 8706261

 Gottagetthrough (original poster member #27325) posted at 9:10 PM on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022

Was going to post a new topic… but its not worth it laugh

Sil 1 and MIl both texted DD 16 about gifts before xmas. Its January 4. Nothing has arrived yet. My guess; Nothing will arrive.

I am shocked! I thought they would try to atleast pretend to be good family members but ordering something off amazon!

But like i said. They dont treat my kids like they treat the other grandkids. (They got the other 6 gifts for Xmas on time and opened them together )

I dont really see any reunions after this. They have pulled away just as much as we have it seems.

Good riddance! The kids had a lovely xmas without them.

posts: 3674   ·   registered: Jan. 22nd, 2010
id 8707426
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