MIL returns!

  • 5 Replies
  • 928 Views
*

Kit99

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 910
MIL returns!
« on: May 13, 2017, 04:39:25 PM »
I won't go into the long back story but my prior MIL understood why I had to leave my now exH ... she saw the damage he did to our marriage and family and they've always had a volatile relationship. Love/hate, push/pull. He has a long history of PD behavior growing up apparently and I was never aware of the full extent.

Anyway, she completely goes no contact with me until my exH decides he's no longer talking to her (says she can't see/talk to the grandkids), then she shows back up in my life all "buddy buddy." Since the start, I've taken the high road and have told her that she's always welcome to see or call the kids. She's visited once, so it's not like they seem to be a huge priority for her.

The dysfunction with his family continues to amaze me... its like they enjoy being parents or grandparents when it's "convenient" for them. They rely on my empathy and morals to always be here to accept them back into my life when they decide to show up.  It isn't hard to see that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

I don't want this cycle to repeat with my children...
Are any of you dealing with similar situations? How do you handle it?

*

kazzak

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1989
Re: MIL returns!
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2017, 08:30:03 PM »
I can relate to your situation. My DS6 is no contact with his mom, so that leaves me to facilitate DS' relationship with divorced FIL and MIL. In my case, I believe MIL is uNPD. Converserly FIL is a healthy influence, nonpd and not an enabler. Here's what I do.

I put the relationship in their court. FIL and MIL are free to visit DS6 when they want. They both live far away, so it is not frequent. When either comes to visit, I tell them that they must plan ahead so DS knows what to expect. No surprise visits. I have a boundary with my home, they aren't here to visit me. They pick up my son at our front door and take him for their day of planned activities. Then drop him off at my door when done. This leaves me out of their day, and I get support with my son. Versus the alternative of us all going out to spend the day together, and me essentially doing it for them. I establish what is normal and healthy by facilitating it with healthy FIL. I demand unpdMIL also do the same.

In essence, I'll facilitate their relationship with my son. But I won't do it for them. The rest is up to them. In my case, I've seen the healthy side shine through for my son. He knows what to expect, and enjoys his time with his grandparents. And I'm not in the mix, beyond a cheerleader for normalcy. After a year or so, MIL has spent 3 hours with DS6. FIL visits every few months and stays at a hotel for a weekend usually. Son sleeps at home, but they have a nice time together during the days. Healthy, putting the childs needs first in the end. While keeping me out of "their" relationship. It's the best I can do. I'm not sure if it is right or wrong, but it works. Something I had to figure out flying solo, as my son has not been in therapy for awhile. Just what I found worked here. I really am not seeking a relationship for myself with MIL/FIL, but it is important for my son to have his grandparents in his life.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2017, 08:31:57 PM by kazzak »

*

Liftedfog

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 2254
Re: MIL returns!
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2017, 03:27:43 PM »
You are a good mom Kazzak and what you are doing is really sense making.  It is putting your son first.    :bighug:     Hugs to you!

*

Kit99

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 910
Re: MIL returns!
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2017, 02:08:07 PM »
"I'll facilitate their relationship with my son. But I won't do it for them. The rest is up to them."

This sounds like a great approach, Kazzak. I think (perhaps unintentionally) I've taken a similar approach. I've told both of his parents (divorced) they can call or visit. He's estranged from his Dad and apparently not talking to his mom (again).

I was sending them pictures and artwork for a while but I stopped going out of my way. Occasionally they send a card or a package for the kids and I'll have the children call to say thanks or write a card. I'm not going to sustain the relationship for them. They're adults... and if they want to make their grandkids a priority they can and will do so.

I have this problem with wanting people to think well of me/like me so unfortunately it's been challenging for me to establish good boundaries.

*

kazzak

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1989
Re: MIL returns!
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2017, 12:31:33 PM »
Yes, all that. My ex's family lives in a fog. That triggers me when I'm left to deal with them alone. They are enablers. They were silent when my son was abused, but have no issue piping up to complain about me. I'd like others to think well of me also. But I'm not sure they are healthy and I should be judging myself based on them. If they were Out of the FOG it would be easier, I guess they are enmeshed.

Quote
I was sending them pictures and artwork for a while but I stopped going out of my way.

Me too. Did they ever send anything? Nope. It was confusing as it seemed more about their needs than the child's.

*

all4peace

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • 8111
Re: MIL returns!
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2017, 02:01:07 PM »
I've lived next door to uNBPDmil and enN?fil, gcSIL and her family my entire marriage of 20+ years. I have kids in their teens. I had to nearly beg the family to acknowledge or spend time with our kids. IL's maybe initiated contact with our kids once per year. mil was reluctant every single time we asked her to watch our kids, which happened once every 3-6 months (sometimes more regularly, but not often). But once we finally were hurt enough to stop trying to force ourselves into their lives, then they started turning their focus on our kids, actually just our daughter.

There is no rhyme or reason, no logic, no consistency. If people are truly PDs, they lack empathy and they often see other people as objects, their sense of time is distorted, and they will not understand that relationships require 2-sided effort, some level of consistency, and all the other things like honesty, kindness, trust, etc.

At this point be grateful she rarely shows up. My biggest regret is drawing my ILs attention to their lack of regard for our kids. I should have kept my mouth shut and been grateful.