So, I posted in this forum earlier ("In-Law Issues--Really Long") and thought about posting this letter there, but felt bad about making people read so much...so thought I would post this separately. I would really appreciate some honest feedback about this letter I am thinking of sending to my FIL. We just had DS first birthday this weekend, and my FIL continues to completely ignore me. For the whole long backgound story, if you feel up to it, please see my previous post. I would especially love input from psychologists/counselors if there are any out there. I do not want to escalate things, but do feel the need to address this issue. I have waited for DH to step up, but he has not. Things have really degenerated to a bad place, so there is not anything to lose by writing to them. Here it goes, and thanks in advance:
I am writing this letter because I can see that you have some strong negative feelings for me. This is unfortunate, and you are certainly entitled to your opinion. DH told me that you apparently were very hurt when he tried to talk to you about cold sores, and that you blame me for that uncomfortable conversation. Also, DH and I asking people to wash their hands when visiting our newborn apparently did not sit well with you. This saddens me. Do you really want DH to feel uncomfortable talking to you about things that are important to him? Because I know that is the case. And do you really think it is fair to put the blame on me for anything we do that you don't like/don't agree with? We are all adults. We should be able to have these difficult conversations without so much fallout. I don't feel I deserve this silent treatment from you, and honestly it is making getting together with you and MIL very uncomfortable lately. As an example, I did not attend your birthday party because I figured you would appreciate my absence.
FIL, we gave you two beautiful grandchildren, and you wouldn't even say hello, good-bye or congratulations to us the first time you visited after DS was born. I was really hurt by that. Also, I noticed that you sent DH a nice email apologizing to him afterwards, but you did not include me in that email in any way. I gave you the benefit of the doubt for that oversight, but I now see that omission was purposeful. I know you love your children very much (don't we all), but they are grown-ups now, making decisions that you are not always going to agree with. And it is NOT fair to blame the in-laws for that. We are all people and we all deserve to be treated with respect, not just your kids.
Honestly, over the years, I have often felt that I didn't really exist for you. That you weren't interested in getting to know me...didn't even mention me in your speech on our wedding day. I have done nothing to deserve this current silent treatment from you, and have always tried to be kind to your family. I do not always feel I have received reciprocable treament in kind. I think you and MIL believe that I give preferential treatment to my dad/family, and that I try to keep you away from the kids. This pains me because I have gone to great lengths to try to make things equal between the families (holidays, visiting, etc.) But I feel I will never win on this issue no matter how equitable I try to be--it will not be enough. And I think a lot of the issues stem from DH's difficulty in talking to you both for fear of offending someone. I can now clearly see why.
In all honesty, lately DH and I have had to limit our visiting. There have just been too many hurtful interactions and comments. We very much want our children to have good relationships with their grandparents, but if you continue this behavior, we will be forced to further limit our visiting time for our own peace of minds. You may think I am a bad mother, wife, and daughter-in-law. Like I said, you are entitled to your opinion. However, these are our ground rules for getting together:
1. Common courtesy and politeness, like saying "hello" and "good-bye." I won't let you treat me like I don't exist in front of my kids.
2. No rude comments from either you or MIL that are aimed to hurt me, or undermine DH's and my parenting choices. We ask you both to respect our choices, even though you may not agree.
3. We ask that you and MIL not talk negatively about me to others in the family, or about decisions DH and I have made together that concern only our family and that are "different" from decisions you have made. We hear about it, and it has caused damage to our relationships with others in the family, as well as with you both.
4. Let's try to talk openly and directly about things that are happening/have happened that bother us so they do not fester into something they are not.
I hope you find the above agreeable. Moving forward, I want to say that everything DH has said to you or MIL (that you didn't like) HAS come from him. I wish he could reassure you of that. I also wish we could reassure you that you and MIL are important to us and we want to have a strong, healthy relationship with you both.