My four-year-old daughter does not have contact with her paternal grandparents, and has not had contact since March 2010. My husband and I initially made this decision as we went through marriage counselling for issues related to my husband's parents. Our daughter has always had contact with other members of my husband's family, as well as members of my family and my parents.
Both of our counselors believed that my MIL might be narcissistic, and said that his father displayed both narcissistic and borderline behaviors. We've had significant problems in the past with his parents recognizing boundaries that we've set out verbally and in writing. We've met with both of his parents to try to resolve our issues, and have been met with comments like, "I'm sorry you feel that way," or denial of behavior. Our marriage counselor said that my husband's relationship to his mother involved enmeshment, and that she recognized my husband as her partner, relying on him heavily during her divorce from my FIL 19 years ago.
We've had problems with his parents saying hurtful things, such as his mother making derogatory comments about me, telling my husband that she hates me, and she's told me that I wouldn't understand the special relationship that she has with my husband because I am an "outsider." My husband's father, on the other hand, tells my husband that he is worthless, that he is not a good son, and has asked my husband if he were worried that I would "psychologically" damage our daughter. When we've met with my FIL, he's avoided speaking to me, and does not make eye contact with me. Both of his parents have mentioned how our daughter looks nothing like me, and my MIL has referred to me as "the mother."
Throughout our period of no contact, my MIL has made requests for contact with my husband and our daughter via email and phone, despite our request that we would be the one to engage contact. To this point, we've refused, but my husband recently expressed a desire for my daughter to meet with his parents again. He said he feels like things weren't really resolved with his parents, and that he feels like his parents have the right to contact with their granddaughter. He knows that they're not going to change, but says he still feels like something is missing from his life without contact with his parents.
I love my husband very much, and I understand that he is hurt by not having contact with his parents. I know why he wants them to visit with our daughter--she is an incredible little girl, and we are both so proud of her. I am scared, however, of the impact that his parents might have on our daughter and our relationship with our daughter. I am afraid that they will do or say things that will make her scared or upset. I don't believe that his parents, who have said that they hate me and have no respect for me, should have any part in our lives. I am worried about the impact they might have on our marriage; the past two years of no contact have been peaceful ones for us in our marriage.
All of this being said, what is the healthiest, safest course of action for our daughter?