Anyone successfully forgive and move on from MIL hurt? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 14 Old 12-08-2010, 01:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Truthfully, I have some days where I have no interest in forgiving my MIL but really think I can become a better person if I do forgive what she's done and start healing from the wounds she's caused. MIL's hurts are deep and unfortunately, I'm reminded of the things she's done rather often lately since it's the holiday season. I've posted about it before and don't want to be repetitive but she has told lies, tales and you name it to convince DH's family I want nothing to do with them and want DD to have nothing to do with them. This started shortly after she was born and unfortunately has escalated to the point that we don't get invited to  birthday parties or any family event. I think what hurts the most if none of them are in the least bit interested in our DD. It's sad because she really is a sweet child and I think it's unfortunate she doesn't know her cousins, extended family, etc. Anyway, one of DH's cousins called him for our mialing address because the wife of the cousin he is close to is throwing him a surprise birthday party in January. Everytime DH called her to get the details, her husband is home so DH asked me to call the wife instead. I have no problem with this. On the occasions I've been around her we had nice talks and we stayed at their home before and all spent quality time together.

 

When the wife gets on the phone, she was very cold. I asked her how she and the kids were doing. The only response I could get out of her was fine. I asked her for her email address so I could email her to chat. She gave it to me but the impression I got from her was, "what the f is she calling me for?" I emailed her and her response was so curt. I asked her how the kids were doing, what were their plans for the holidays, etc. Asked her if she needed help with anything regarding the party to let me know. I also asked her for the date of the party. It's out of state and if we're going we need to start making plans now.

 

Her response, "I'll need your address to send the invitation." Didn't bother to ask about DD who she's never seen in person although we've always mailed her and her husband photos.

 

Perhaps it's unfair to blame my MIL but truthfully, I've the big bad wolf who not only stole their good guy away but has made DH's mother miserable in the process. We're left out of so much. I know we should be happy to be spared having to be around people like this but to not be included and have people think the worst of you without truly knowing you is very hurtful for me. I don't mind people judging me  based on the things about me that are actually true but the things she's said aren't. She's managed to turn nearly an entirely family against not just me but her son and grandchild as well.

 

My bad feelings toward his mother are truly at an all time high. She's created such a mess and hasn't gotten her hands dirty throughout this all. She's turned his family against me and her grandchild but she still gets to maintain a relationship with her son and the same people who she talked crap about me too. How could someone be so cruel to do this to another person who's been nothing but kind to them? How can a person do this to THEIR CHILD? How can a person do this to their grandchild?

 

I feel such anxiety about being around these people that I don't see the point in being around them at all. It's obvious I'm not wanted there so why bother?

 

I've read Toxic In laws (a great book) hoping that would help but the pain is still there and it's deep. I don't think it's healthy to spend time around people like this but it's also not healthy to hang out to the deep resentment I feel. Any tips on letting go?

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#2 of 14 Old 12-08-2010, 01:45 PM
 
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Okay just curious here, but what does DH say in all this? Shouldn't he be setting mom straight?

 

Or you can look at it this way, if it's as toxic as all that, be glad that your DD isn't being tainted by it all.............and "family" isn't just people who are blood related...........sometimes friends are closer and better than wacky families (uhm, mine is very wacky, and disfunctional nut.gif)


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#3 of 14 Old 12-08-2010, 02:23 PM
 
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I don't think there is a way to restore the relationship unless your MIL wants to. She is mean, hateful and cruel is definitely the correct word to describe her. You can't forgive a person who has not asked for forgiveness, that's why you are having trouble being successful at forgiving her.

Your doing the right thing, and like Virginia Mom said find new family. And your DH should really stop talking to her, she needs to know her poor behavior does have consequences, hang up when she calls, block her on your families face book and make sure she knows it's because of her actions not yours.

Best of luck to you and don't feel bad.


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#4 of 14 Old 12-08-2010, 02:29 PM
 
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Forgiveness does not mean you have to allow someone in your life. You choose to forgive her and still not want her or your child in her life. I have no relationship with my inlaws (they hate me, have told people I am "mentally unbalanced" and anorexic, told my son I do not love him and have threatened to call CPS on me) and I have realized that they are deeply flawed people who probably are not capable of acting much better than they do. It's allowed me to let go of a lot of the anger (not that in never pops up!) and we're better off without them, as are my kids. I try to hold no ill toward them and I know my family is better off without all that toxicity.  We're not missing out on anything by no longer having people treat us that way. 

 

Good luck, I know it's hard. 


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#5 of 14 Old 12-08-2010, 06:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He's already told her about herself but the damage has been done and her bull you know what has very strong lingering effects. DH is hurt because, especiallynow around the holidays, he sees what she's started has become.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Virginia Mom View Post

Okay just curious here, but what does DH say in all this? Shouldn't he be setting mom straight?

 

Or you can look at it this way, if it's as toxic as all that, be glad that your DD isn't being tainted by it all.............and "family" isn't just people who are blood related...........sometimes friends are closer and better than wacky families (uhm, mine is very wacky, and disfunctional nut.gif)



 You know, I feel awful about saying it but sometimes I wish DH would stop talking to her. I feel like it's theonly way for her to understand what she's created although I thnk she does already and doesn't care. As long as she feels her relationship with her son is fine then her feeling is screw everyone else. Thanks for the kind words. It's something I know I need to get over.



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Originally Posted by KorbanJ08 View Post

I don't think there is a way to restore the relationship unless your MIL wants to. She is mean, hateful and cruel is definitely the correct word to describe her. You can't forgive a person who has not asked for forgiveness, that's why you are having trouble being successful at forgiving her.

Your doing the right thing, and like Virginia Mom said find new family. And your DH should really stop talking to her, she needs to know her poor behavior does have consequences, hang up when she calls, block her on your families face book and make sure she knows it's because of her actions not yours.

Best of luck to you and don't feel bad.



 

How sad that your in laws are like that. It really bugs me when people put children into their nonsense. Shame on them for saying those things to your son! Sometimes I have pity for her. She's an  unhappy woman who's still in love with a man she's been divorced from nearly 25 years. A man who she says treated her poorly but she does everything to try and be in his presence. I should be happy we live in a different state and I need to work on not giving her the power to make me so mad.

 

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Forgiveness does not mean you have to allow someone in your life. You choose to forgive her and still not want her or your child in her life. I have no relationship with my inlaws (they hate me, have told people I am "mentally unbalanced" and anorexic, told my son I do not love him and have threatened to call CPS on me) and I have realized that they are deeply flawed people who probably are not capable of acting much better than they do. It's allowed me to let go of a lot of the anger (not that in never pops up!) and we're better off without them, as are my kids. I try to hold no ill toward them and I know my family is better off without all that toxicity.  We're not missing out on anything by no longer having people treat us that way. 

 

Good luck, I know it's hard. 



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#6 of 14 Old 12-09-2010, 09:50 AM
 
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Okay, I just want to add my two cents to this........it may not relate or it may scare the bee-geevers out of you.......but this applies to anyone who is having inlaw/family  trouble etc..........We had to do this...............make sure your kids are protected-- God forbid something happens to you and your spouse...have an iron clad legal guardianship set up...with more than one contingency......(ours is a revocable living trust with three options for guardians, none of which are family). No one ever likes to think about the what if scenario, but like I said, just something to look into so that you know your babies will be cared by someone who loves them like you do.

 


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#7 of 14 Old 12-09-2010, 10:03 AM
 
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The book Boundaries helped me so so much in terms being able to forgive MIL. I do not trust her at all. I really still do not like her, but I have been able to forgive. It was recommend to me by someone on here.

 

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Originally Posted by gbailey View Post

 You know, I feel awful about saying it but sometimes I wish DH would stop talking to her. I feel like it's the only way for her to understand what she's created although I thnk she does already and doesn't care. As long as she feels her relationship with her son is fine then her feeling is screw everyone else. Thanks for the kind words. It's something I know I need to get over.


 


This I think is true. At least for us it was. The turning point that has made Dh get his family back and MIL at least back off was because Dh stood up to her and told her either you change or WE are not going to be part of your life. I posted about this in Parenting as few weeks back. It went well, but I don't think it would go as well for you as yours has been going much longer. But like I said I think it was Dh making clear he was choosing me and would not ever chose her that made the difference. (as apposed to her weird head fantasy where I stole him away and he was suffering desperate to come home)


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#8 of 14 Old 12-09-2010, 10:05 AM
 
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Have you tried to just be honest and open with other family members instead of just trying to talk small talk with them? When you describe your in law getting on the phone and being cold on the phone and in e-mail, if it were me, I would just up and say,

 

"Hey, I know that there may be some rumors in the family about me and I have been shut out of alot of family stuff, but I want very very much to get to know you and your family, and let you know me. Please ask me questions so you can get to know me. Even if those questions might be uncomfortable, I *really* want to get to know you and have you feel more comfortable around me. I am willing to talk about just about anything in order to get this stuff cleared up."

 

Say that to the person who you think might be the most open and willing to hear your side of things.

 

Because really, all you need is one family member saying "She's not that bad, people! Give her a chance!" for you to be able to start to get in that family better.

 

And your MIL will *hate* it!

 

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#9 of 14 Old 12-10-2010, 11:44 AM
 
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That sounds really hurtful, mama. I'm so sorry. hug.gif

I agree with PP that your DH needs to step up and lay down the law with his mother. The two of you are a package deal and if she can't treat you civilly, then there have to be real and immediate consequences. Your husband should not be allowing this to continue. Get him a copy of Toxic Parents if you think he'd actually sit down and read it.

As for his extended family, I really favor geekgolightly's idea of being bluntly honest. There's nothing a manipulator hates more than for their lies and machinations to be exposed, so expose her. If there's a relative you really want to get to know, there's absolutely nothing wrong with writing something that addresses this awkwardness in a straightforward and honest way. And it's true, it will drive your MIL crazy(ier) when you go directly to other people instead of letting her put herself in the middle. Right now she's triangulating you all like a spider in the middle of a web. You can easily circumvent her if you can work up the nerve to do it (easier said than done, I know!).

"Hi! I just want you to know that I'd really like to get to know you and the rest of the family better. I feel we don't see each other as much as we could and I'd love for [DD] to spend more time with her aunts, uncles, and cousins! If you ever want to get together for coffee or just call for a chat, please know that the door's always open. I hope to hear from you soon.

With love,

gbailey"

If your MIL's been telling people you want nothing to do with them, guess what? She looks like a liar. If she's been telling them you're crazy, evil, or whatever other smear she can think of, an email like that should make any thinking person start wondering. There's also a good chance that others in the family have doubts about your MIL but are afraid to confront her or rock the boat for fear of getting similar treatment. Opening the door to communications that your MIL can't control is a good way to defang her a bit.

And if you don't get a good response from your DH's relatives after such a friendly and honest approach, you'll know that you're genuinely better off without them in your life. Toxicity is rarely confined to one person in a family, unfortunately, as everyone tends to relate to each other in a deeply dysfunctional way. You and your DD may be much, much happier without their influence. greensad.gif

But mostly, your DH needs to put his mother in her place. You are his wife and she must at least be civil to you even if she doesn't personally like you. He should make it clear to her that the lies, smear campaigns, and other bad behaviors need to stop or his relationship with her will suffer or even end altogether. And I'm sure you already know this, but if a person can't be decent to you then they have no business whatsoever having any contact with your child.

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#10 of 14 Old 12-10-2010, 12:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So many great replies. Thank you. The thing with his mother is she's civil in front of her son...it's the things she does and says that have caused so much damage and anytime he calls her on it, her response is always she's not sure why people are lying on her becuase she loves me. DH knows it's B.S. I truly believe he needs to change how he deals with her. He has but not in the ways that I  believe really matter if that makes sense.

 

From what we know of, she's kept her mouth shut since the last incident but the damage she's done I don't think is repairable. I should have mentioned his aunt and I got along really well. I used to enjoy going over there to chat with her and same goes for his cousins wife and some of his female cousins. I always thought it was just the mother and sister with the issue. When DD was born things took a serious turn.Oh, the cousins wife who I emailed...we've spent overnight visits at their home (pre DD) and she and I have spent one on one time together. We have a lot of similar things in common. So, people I dealt with before with no problem treat me like I have lepracy.

 

There was nonsense before but after DD was born it really got bad! They were upset because I didn't bring the baby to the family reunion. It didn't matter that I had given birth via a C-Section less than three weeks earlier, could barely walk and didn't think Amtrak was the place for a newborn baby and mama who's legs that were still horribly swollen from the pregnancy. I know I need to forgive the mother while continuing to keep my distance. I know DD and I are better off but it's still hurtful.

 

Virginiamom, we are working on that now. Good advice.

 

Dakota, is that the book by the same author who wrote Toxic In Laws? I read that one first. I guess I need to read it again. LOL

 

Peainapod, your posts are always so straight to thepoint and so gentle and kind.

 

Oh, I forgot something...Before all of this nonsense started, I was pretty cool with his cousins partner. We chatted on the phone and would spend a lot of time chatting at family events. I contacted her on facebook. Oh, she's pregnant and asked me if we planned on coming to her shower. We had no  idea there was a shower or that she was pregnant! I told her we had no idea to please send the details as we would love to be there and found out where she was registered. I'm going.

 

Can I say that the support I've gotten on here really makes me smile and feel good. Thank you!

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#11 of 14 Old 12-13-2010, 07:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephenie View Post

 and I have realized that they are deeply flawed people who probably are not capable of acting much better than they do.



 This is so true and what I need to remember.  I've experienced a lot of hurt at the hands of people who were in my life at one time.....and this really really hits a nail on thehead for me.


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#12 of 14 Old 12-14-2010, 06:03 AM
 
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephenie View Post

 and I have realized that they are deeply flawed people who probably are not capable of acting much better than they do.



 This is so true and what I need to remember.  I've experienced a lot of hurt at the hands of people who were in my life at one time.....and this really really hits a nail on thehead for me.



When I first realized this it was a pretty big "ah-ha moment." It was so healing for me to accept their brokenness for what it was and made it so much easier to not take all of it so personally. 


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#13 of 14 Old 12-14-2010, 06:06 AM
 
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Quote:
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Oh, I forgot something...Before all of this nonsense started, I was pretty cool with his cousins partner. We chatted on the phone and would spend a lot of time chatting at family events. I contacted her on facebook. Oh, she's pregnant and asked me if we planned on coming to her shower. We had no  idea there was a shower or that she was pregnant! I told her we had no idea to please send the details as we would love to be there and found out where she was registered. I'm going.

 


Maybe she was just really busy/ having a bad day when you spoke with her on the phone that day?  I hope you have a great time at the shower and it is not awkward at all. 


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#14 of 14 Old 12-14-2010, 07:23 AM
 
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Maybe you're using the word "forgive" differently than I would, but I don't see any benefit in forgiving. I think your goal would be to try to get out of the enmeshment so it doesn't bother you anymore (either totally cutting off the inlaws or at least drawing major boundaries and just going on with life). But forgiveness? Why? Probably you need to be properly, deservedly angry with MIL first.

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