Same old question

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Love

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Same old question
« on: January 22, 2020, 12:33:50 PM »
So many times I have ask this question on this forum so I apologize. Is there any benefit for Dh or I meeting up with PD inlaws, on our invitation?
My Dh and I are in no contact with his parents.  We still get messages from them through text, and FM grandmother.  My Dh chooses not to respond.  Really the text and calls/voicemails are all the same.  The PDinlaw family plays the victim of Dh and my decision to separate from them as they say "for unknown reasons". 

I ask for my Dh and myself.  What would be the purpose of meeting up?  This is a constant discussion we have and we usually come the conclusion that it would lead nowhere.  The idea behind this invitation or meeting would simply be for my DH to feel like he did his due diligence if that makes any sense. 

It has probably been 4 years now that we haven't seen them, the better part of 6 years no contact.  The problem that always makes us hesitate and rethink is the concept that we would either sit with them and talk small talk about nothing and in the pd inlaws mind that make "us all good" or we are kind but honest with them and ask them some sort of question like "what do you want from us?" 

I don't know, and that's it I don't know.  Would this help us?  We know what to expect from pdinlaws - nothing, victim-blaming, shifting, all the things. 


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Thru the Rain

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Re: Same old question
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2020, 08:29:46 PM »
My DH and I have been out of contact with his F and StM for over 10 years now.

We went NC long before I knew anything about personality disorders.

If I were in your shoes, try to recall what made you stop interacting with your in-laws before you re-engage with them. This may help you decide whether you want to remain no contact or if you want to try low contact.

It sounds like your DH doesn't want to reconnect with his family. I think you may have your answer right there.

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Starboard Song

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Re: Same old question
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2020, 10:02:33 AM »
Is there any benefit for Dh or I meeting up with PD inlaws, on our invitation?
My Dh and I are in no contact with his parents. 
We still get messages from them through text, and FM grandmother.  My Dh chooses not to respond. 

The PDinlaw family plays the victim of Dh and my decision to separate from them as they say "for unknown reasons". 

What would be the purpose of meeting up? 
The idea behind this invitation or meeting would simply be for my DH to feel like he did his due diligence if that makes any sense. 

I agree with Thru the Rain, that you went NC for reasons and you should consider those. That said, I know people who've resumed warm relationships after even 7 years of NC. These were always caused by some blow up, however, like a very big argument over something like a child's sexuality, and were never caused by personality disorder behaviors. So think about those causes of NC, and what they tell you about the prospect of future success.

Consider blocking them from all technology. I will not accept texts, emails or social media posts from my in-laws. We've blocked them coming and going, though we leave open one method of communication that we've told them they may use: if they have the temerity to speak to me they may call me personally on my mobile. Keeping that method open is my due diligence. In a series of emails that documented and progressed our rapid move to NC, I concluded every message by reminding them they could call that number at any time if they wished to speak with me. They called exactly once in 4 1/2 years (2 1/2 into NC at that point), and it lead to nothing.

Regarding the "unknown reasons," check out this article at Down the Rabbit Hole, all about cases of PD people saying they don't know the reasons, often after thoughtfully listing the reasons.

Your DH's desire for due diligence is well-understood. I have tremendous respect for it. He needs to ask himself how much diligence is due. I mean, the bank will loan you a quarter million dollars after a quick credit check and title search. That's due diligence. But I struggle with this too, and it is because we went NC rather suddenly, due to a blowup, and I never got to run through the course of trying to establish boundaries, failing, trying, and failing again, intermittent silent treats, and ultimate NC. We jumped all those important steps. They are morally important to me, so I struggle to this day, though I know we did the right thing.

I'd encourage your DH to respect his quest for due diligence, but also to dispassionately consider why you are where you are, and whether due diligence can be achieved by reviewing the record, without accepting fresh testimony from witnesses. His quest for due diligence is honorable and nothing to be ashamed of. But over-indulging an endless appetite for it can be a mistake.

You two should talk. Talk it to death. Take walks and talk. Eat dinner and talk. Have some wine and talk.

You can get there together.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2020, 10:12:55 AM by Starboard Song »
Radical Acceptance, by Brach   |   Self-Compassion, by Neff    |   Mindfulness, by Williams   |   The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama and Tutu
Healing From Family Rifts, by Sichel   |  Stop Walking on Egshells, by Mason    |    Emotional Blackmail, by Susan Forward

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Bloomie

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Re: Same old question
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2020, 12:48:24 PM »
Love - I like the flexibility that you and your DH show in continuing to think through the estrangement with his parents as it stretches out over time. How honoring of yourselves and the seriousness of this very difficult decision of NC to talk that through and confirm this is still the best and right status for the relationship with his parents.

Do you have any reason to believe that meeting face to face with your in laws would be productive? Has anything significant changed that would give you hope or warrant a face to face?

One of the things I have had to learn is very important and a way to show consideration and respect in an estranged relationship with one of my in laws is to be consistent in my messages.

What my own uPD in law invited us into, after a direct communication about harmful behaviors that were causing disconnection with us, was more of the same. Nothing has changed. She is still willing to have a relationship with us at any time as long as we are wiling to absorb and tolerate her toxic behaviors because she is forgiving and loves us sooooo much. No thank you. :no:

So, what is a consistent and kind message in such a stalemate for us is to stay the course and keep our distance.  We do a check in with each other as things arise or when we need to process how hard all of this is and how unnatural.
"If you focus on the hurt, you will continue to suffer. If you focus on the lesson, you will continue to grow." Dr. Caroline Leaf

Bloomie 🌸

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all4peace

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Re: Same old question
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2020, 10:37:37 PM »
Hi Love,

I love how others have pointed out that it is kind and generous to keep revisiting this important question.

One thing has helped me in my nearly NC, and that is thinking of myself being "actively" waiting, waiting for them to change. Rather than thinking of it as walking away, abandoning them, or even shutting them out, I often try to think of being active in the waiting process. My last written words to my parents on the topic was that I would keep my heart open to them when they were ready for the hard work of changing. So I'm trying to stay in that place of softness. I certainly often don't manage it, or often forget about them entirely.

Would this help you at all? To see your waiting as being "active" and not abandoning? You speak often of your faith, so do you think it would help to pray for them while maintaining whatever level of contact or NC that you are currently choosing?


My parents and ILs are like Bloomie describes above--willing for relationship EXACTLY as they were before, but that didn't work for us. We invited them into something different, but they didn't want that, and we accept that. And wait.