My sister in law really pulled the wool over my eyes....Not.

Community Leader
Registered: 05-19-2008
My sister in law really pulled the wool over my eyes....Not.
3
Fri, 08-30-2013 - 1:58pm

OK, just sharing cause this is kind of funny.  SIL/MIL/FIL and I/DH and sons do not have a relationship any longer.  For the past months (since only one incident in February) and nothing over six months prior to that, all has been quiet and nice and my life is peaceful.  Youngest son's bday was yesterday and in the mail is this card with no return address.  

I told MIL/FIL that they were not allowed to come to our house or send anything ever.  And, they've adhered to that.  While I never said my SIL couldn't - I really didn't have an issue with her and her family it was her choice to side with the MIL/FIL etc and she made it clear how she stood.  She still thinks I'm in some way going to let my son visit her and her family when she wants nothing to do with me or her brother.  It doesn't bother me that she wants to send a card - that's her choice.  It's just funny that she must have thought it would get by me and to my son without her address on it. Duuuuhhhhhhh.

I gave it to him right away, but knowing it was likely from them.  Some people are just so stupid.  My point to her is simple:  if you want to have a relationship with our son and our family we welcome it - but it is under our rules and we come together as a family.  Divide and conquer may be how their family operates but it is not how my family operates. 

I'm thinking about having son send the thank you to them (as he would for anyone who gave him a gift) and not put a return label on it.  She'll probably not get the point, but I digress.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2001

How old is your son?  And why must the relationship of others be on your terms?

FWIW I've terminated the relationship with my inlaws, things have reached a breaking point this last year too. I CAN NOT decide that for my children or my husband however.  My teenagers stay connected with them on facebook and they will always be my husband's family.  Be careful, you have every right to decide what works for you but when you pass that down to others you could be setting yourself up for resentment or backfire in trying to impose that on others.

A thank you card is a nice gesture. 

 

 

 


 


Community Leader
Registered: 05-19-2008

Some background - I have had ongoing issues with DH's family for many, many years.  DH and I are going on 25 years together.  I finally, last year decided no more.  I had enough and was tired of seeing how their ongoing actions affected and hurt my family, myself included.  I sent a letter to mil/fil and explained and I also attempted to keep sil and her family out of it.  I have wanted to maintain a relationship with them.  They chose to side with the parents and to stop speaking to us (brother and I).  Now, I never speak for my adult children or my DH.  I made that clear in the letter.  But, I do speak for my son who at the time was 10.  What gives me that right to set a relationship for my child on my/our terms - parenting.  My son was often hurt by them, by their lack of even wanting to be around them.  In ten years, never once did they ever ask to spend time with him.  Never once did they ask to have him come to their house, want to take him to a movie, or out for ice cream....never once.  Now, because I stood up to them and said no more.....now they'll want to upset us even more by showing fake interest and only to manipulate and bully us and the situation.

They had an open opportunity to be around our son for ten years.  To me, that is long enough trial and error.  Plus, many of the things they would do was very deeply hurtful - obviously favoring the sister's kids much more.  And, it was as obvious as showing up at the holidays to the cousin's elementary school the same one that our child (their grandchild) attended to have lunch with him, to celebrate with him in his class room and to do no more than to waive hi to their other grandchild while they are they.  And, it was as spiteful as putting one of our other children in the front seat of their automobile when just the day before, we told them he was not old enough to ride there.  Truth is - they cannot be trusted and I will not let my child be unsupervised with someone I do not trust.

As for having a relationship with his Aunt,  that isn't denied.  But, if someone wants nothing to do with my husband and I but thinks that it is acceptable to want to have a relationship with our child - sorry - in my book that does not and will not happen.  We are a family - we are united and someone, even extended family does not have the right to try and divide us.

My sil was and for now still is welcome to see us - but it is see us all.  I look at it like this, if you are so committed to not wanting even a tiny relationship with us - then no, you have no rights to our children and while it is sad, it is what it is.   Again, the situation with older sons was different.  They had a different relationship, they are old enough now to decide for themselves - sadly though, the truth of the matter is, while they still love and think of these people as their family, when it comes time for holidays and gatherings - they will want to be around their parents and siblings more.  

Also for claification - I had no restrictions on sil and the card - she just tried to be sneeky by sending the card without a return address - because she knows right now, her mom/dad and not welcome to send anything to my home.  The card was given right away to my son and we actually sent a thank you to them yesterday.  I teach my kids to do what I and their father feel is right - My DH and I both feel that our extended family on his side has hurt us and treated us badly and especially treated our kids badly and unfairly.   There is so much more, but anyhow, we believe that first you try to overlook the small stuff, you try to forgive when someone makes a mistake and apologizes and that you address when something continues to happen that hurts you and when/where no one is acknowledging that.  At the end of the day, to teach our child that they should just smile and take it (even from a family member) is not the message we ever want to pass along to them.  It may not be how others live their lives but for us - it is our message to our children.  

Treat people with kindness and respect and expect to be treated that way back and when that doesn't happen, stand up for yourself and to others and surround yourself with people that do not want to hurt you and say it is okay "because we are family."

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2001
I'm sorry you are going through what you are, and it does sound familiar - spiteful and hateful on so many levels are descriptors of my inlaws too. My kids are fairly young, 16 14 and 10. I try to shield them from a lot of the hurt but the obvious is poking through. I just don't want them forming relationships based on what I think a relationship should look like and I know I can't control that. I hope things are well for you and your DH, My husband feels the pull which can be both funny and sad at the same time, Lol. He's a grown man, he can send her a card for her birthday, a gift for the holidays if he wants, I used to do that and I think I'm going to step back from doing those things too.