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So I pretty much have to be nice now, right? UPDATE post 78 - Page 2

post #21 of 89
I'm going to be the first one to actually go so far as to say that MAYBE she doesn't actually have cancer. I went a year of no contact with my own toxic parents. One of the "hoover" techniques used to suck me back in was that my dad had cancer. Turns out it was a pre-cancerous thing. I never contacted them beyond saying that I wished them the best through the difficult time and that I was hoping for the best outcome(no, not praying...I'm not a praying person).

Anyway, if your dh feels compelled to stay in contact with his parents through this, then of course he should. But that in no way binds you and the children to do so. Particularly taking into account the incredibly toxic behavior they have forced upon you time and time again. No way. It's not fair to your children to put them through anymore grief with them.
post #22 of 89
You can be very supportive in your heart without exposing yourself to toxicity. This was very freeing to me when I learned it.

Send positive energy, send a card and send your love through your dh if he chooses to see her. Forgive her but don't engage with her. Forgiveness doesn't mean I give you the opportunity to hurt me again, it just means you have let go of resentment and are in a healthier frame of mind yourself.

I hope you MIL is fine long term.

I hope you keep yours and your family's peace intact as well.

Allgirls
post #23 of 89
This is so supportive. Can I just say This thread has helped me so much too.


Quote:
Originally Posted by allgirls View Post
You can be very supportive in your heart without exposing yourself to toxicity. This was very freeing to me when I learned it.

Send positive energy, send a card and send your love through your dh if he chooses to see her. Forgive her but don't engage with her. Forgiveness doesn't mean I give you the opportunity to hurt me again, it just means you have let go of resentment and are in a healthier frame of mind yourself.

I hope you MIL is fine long term.

I hope you keep yours and your family's peace intact as well.

Allgirls
post #24 of 89
Has she reached out to you like she wants to patch things up? I am in the camp that you don't have to forgive and forget all because she has cancer. You can think positive thoughts and wish her well without having to absorb all the toxicity. I have cancer is not an excuse to be horrible. If she does not come forward with a desire to work things out she is using her own illness to manipulate. Just my first thought and I swear I am not a callous person. You have your kids to think of to and they clearly don't need that kind of energy around.
post #25 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by shishkeberry View Post
Agreed. If ANYONE told my son that I didn't love him, family or no, they'd never see my son or me ever again. Breast cancer or no.
I agree. The line was completely crossed and trashed here. They have no respect for you and your children should never be alone with them again.
post #26 of 89
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for your input.... Allgirls, I really needed to hear that.

To clear a few things up:
The dinner incident, hubby said it was all of us or none. They chose none. No dinner happened.


Our kids will never be alone with them regardless. We've agreed it's just not a good idea.

Dh wants me to "make nice" with her... I want to support him. Worrying about your mom is hard no matter how crazy she is, and having your wife hate your mom is hard all around, even when you agree that said mom is out of line. I just will support him and not mention my anger towards her. Better for me anyway to not hold onto it as much as I have been...

I'm sending a card, supporting dh if he wants to go up to WA and see them. I won't go, nor will the kids if he does. That's all I am going to commit myself to at this point... if she apologizes (not likely) or if it looks like she won't live, I may change my tune, but you all are right, after all I have been through with these people I do not owe them anything...
post #27 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post
I think you have to be nice to your husband. I think you can be supportive of him while still not having a relationship with these evil, nasty people.
I'm a little late chiming in but, this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephenie View Post
Dh wants me to "make nice" with her... I want to support him. Worrying about your mom is hard no matter how crazy she is, and having your wife hate your mom is hard all around, even when you agree that said mom is out of line. I just will support him and not mention my anger towards her. Better for me anyway to not hold onto it as much as I have been...
I agree with you. I'd let it go, for yourself and your husband. I would not "make nice", as in suddenly go out of my way to be friends with her, or act like everything is okay. And I would tell my husband why.

As far as what your FIL said to your son, I would have - and still would, if I were you - bring it up that you KNOW what happened and cannot accept that kind of behavior toward your children. As almost everyone above has said, cancer does not suddenly give you a right to get away with horrible behavior. And I'd be cautious about believing anything she said as well. They sound... not quite in their right minds. Good luck.
post #28 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by bri276 View Post
ITA. The consequence of being pyschotic towards your DIL and grandchildren is that your family isn't close and they're not there for you in the capacity you want when you need them to be. It's very sad. Clearly, your DH should do whatever he wants, but there's no reason for them to be alone with the kids ever again.
Totally agree with this.

Call me cold-hearted, but having cancer doesn't magically absolve these people from sabotaging your relationship with your son and acting like a UAV.

Stay away mama, and keep your son away too. I wouldn't put it past her to use being sick as an excuse to interfere more, and god forbid the woman dies that may open up a whole 'nother family drama.

BTW, I believe it is entirely possible to forgive but not forget.
post #29 of 89
Thread Starter 
When he says to make nice I don't think he expects me to be her friend. That's never going to happen... I just think he can't take my negativity about her while she could possibly be fighting for her life. I'll keep my mouth shut about her for awhile. I owe dh that much respect... I won't be seeing her, I won't be calling her. I sent a card and basically, that is as far as I am willing to go.

As for calling them out on what happens... I go back and forth. I hate conflict. I hate drama... and bringing it up would create lots... ignoring them from thousands of miles away and not letting my kids ever be alone with them again is just easier. Cancer or not they lost the chance to be a big part of our lives.
post #30 of 89
I agree with not instigating drama. I think that sounds like a healthy, respectful plan.

Also, in living with/being family to/having to deal with folks who engage in that kind of destructive crap, the potential to call them out is a card in your hand. I know that sounds cold, but if they're set on playing that game, you might as well outplay them.

They know what happened, you know, they know you know. They behaved badly and got busted. Adding a confrontation (or even more words) to the situation only gives them a way out. It doesn't make you more right.

As far as the card in your hand, in my family, me holding that card has resulted in utter politeness and pleasantry. My in-laws are scared pantsless that they're going to tick me off and I'm going to call them on several major instances of bad behavior. And they know I'm right.

I'm actually never going to call my in-laws out on their bad behavior (I leave that to dh.) My dh is hurt enough by it the first time--me dissing his parents just adds insult to injury. When they behave badly, I just pick up and leave, tighten the boundaries, insert some time/space...whatever the situation calls for.

I'm sorry to hear about the cancer.
post #31 of 89
I heard a good quote on forgiveness recently "Forgiving someone means giving up your right to get back at them". I think in your case it means letting go of the resentment but not the lesson. They are not to be trusted, they do evil things to you and your family (I can see them calling CPS and making up bs just to get you out of the picture). Don't let them around you or your son- not because they don't deserve to see you guys but because of the damage they could inflict on you both.
post #32 of 89
Send flowers with a brief note rather than a long, involved card or email ('cause really... what could you say?). Don't trash talk her to your DH. Duty done.

If you lived 10 minutes away I could see that family obligations might mean a few casseroles or pots of chicken soup, but you live far away. You can certainly be a sweetheart by not contributing to her stress (ie by sending her nasty emails or shouting at her on the phone), but I'm not sure it's wise to do more than send disinterested sympathies. They sound psychotic.
post #33 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by *bejeweled* View Post
You are being a good person by encouraging your DH to be a good son. That's enough IMO.
I agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by elsie View Post
I completely agree with tinuviel_k

I would pretty much keep my distance, let DH have whatever kind of relationship with her he needs and keep the children from being alone with them. Having cancer is no excuse.
Yep.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MariaMadly View Post
I feel awful asking this, but is it possible she's just saying she does?
I also thought this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephenie View Post
Thanks everyone for your input.... Allgirls, I really needed to hear that.

To clear a few things up:
The dinner incident, hubby said it was all of us or none. They chose none. No dinner happened.


Our kids will never be alone with them regardless. We've agreed it's just not a good idea.

Dh wants me to "make nice" with her... I want to support him. Worrying about your mom is hard no matter how crazy she is, and having your wife hate your mom is hard all around, even when you agree that said mom is out of line. I just will support him and not mention my anger towards her. Better for me anyway to not hold onto it as much as I have been...

I'm sending a card, supporting dh if he wants to go up to WA and see them. I won't go, nor will the kids if he does. That's all I am going to commit myself to at this point... if she apologizes (not likely) or if it looks like she won't live, I may change my tune, but you all are right, after all I have been through with these people I do not owe them anything...
It sounds like you are doing all (and much more) that can reasonably be expected of you for someone who has been that cruel to you and tried to brainwash your 3 y.o. I mean, that's just sick and beyond toxic.
post #34 of 89
Oh, and to answer your original question: I don't think you have to be nice. Be polite and say things like, "This must be so difficult for you."
"We're hoping you are better very soon." "Take care of yourself."
I am very forgiving but even I don't think I could summon up nice in this situation.
post #35 of 89
I haven't read all the responses. But my short answer is - no, you don't have to be nice to her. You don't have to make up with her. Just because she's sick doesn't excuse all the crap they've done. She doesn't get carte blanche to treat you like crap just because she's sick. And unless she actually apologizes for the BS she's pulled (and FIL does the same), I wouldn't give her the time of day, cancer or not.

That being said, if your DH feels the need to reconcile with her, I wouldn't stand in his way. But I would make it absolutely clear that he's on his own - neither you nor the kids will be subjected to them.
post #36 of 89
What do you mean by nice?

Having DH visit her often? Okay.

Putting together a thoughtful care package during chemo? Yep.

Seeing the kids a lot? No. They have already been waaaaay in appropriate, cancer doesn't wipe that slate clean. They are not to be trusted with your children.

You going to visit a lot? No. She doesn't care about you (imo) anyway.

Be kind, but remember cancer is not a cure for familial dysfunction. If anything it will make things worse.

V
post #37 of 89
I agree with the above advice. Be civil and encourage your husband to be supportive, but do not ever leave your child in the care of your in-laws again. Never. You should be firm about that.
post #38 of 89
One more thought that's important to mention: assuming she does have cancer, do not assume this means she has only months or a few years to live. Your husband may be asking you to "make nice" because he feels his mother has only a short time left, and that may not be true at all. A friend's mother lived for 17 or 18 years after a stage 3 diagnosis of breast cancer. In that case the cancer recurred about 6 or 7 years after the first diagnosis, and she still lived a decade beyond that. In some cases drugs can massively slow down the progression of breast cancer.
post #39 of 89
Here is the situation with my own mom. I love her and she is a beautiful woman but she has issues. Part of her issues are not wanting to take responsibility for her life. She is bad with money and bad about taking care of herself. She has a LOT of health issues and we have been through numerous hospital death scares with her, including diabetes, cancer and heart issues.

One main issue we had was late in my pregnancy she really hit rock bottom with the health issues. I felt she was lying about the cause of some of her issues to excuse her bad habits. Not eating well, still smoking and mistaking medications. She always seemed completely out of it and on verge of falling over when I’d see her. She kept insisting she babysit our infant son. And because I was always a nervous wreak around her, she really begged that she watch him alone. I was like hell no! My other family thought I was over reacting and I needed to let her have anything she wanted. It was tough to have the conversation with her but I finally said she needed to focus on getting herself healthy and not the stress of babysitting an infant. And I compromised that I would bring him over more often for visits.

So, here’s the thing. People find themselves in scary and aweful situations. They need our support. But supporting someone is not the same as giving them what they want, when they want it – despite the needs of others involved. You still need to think of your life, your DH’s life and especially your son’s life. Be supportive of your MIL’s health issues but do not feel pressured to bump your personal limits to the wayside.

Send your MIL positive thoughts that she will be ok and perhaps even better (body, mind and heart) then before. Sometimes health scares can bring about “aha” moments for whole families.

Blessings,

Rhianna
post #40 of 89
wow! s what a horrible situation.
I don't know what I would do. but I don't think the fact that she now knows she has cancer really changes much. If I were in your situation, I would probably let her know (without my son around) that I feel terrible for her, and love her, and want to be there anytime I can. I would, at the same time, make it obvious that I am not forgetting what has happened. Idk if I would necc SAY anything, but with my actions I would show her that I am keeping a distance (emotionally and otherwise neccesary) because she can't be trusted.
So sorry mama... s
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