Ex-in-laws and the Grandparent thing - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 10-11-2012, 12:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have three ex-husbands.

 

Ex #3 - His parents have zero interest in seeing or having a relationship with any of their grandchildren. Grandma Kat went as far as to tell the kids on a rare visit, "just call me Kat, don't call me Grandma or any variation of Grandma because it makes me feel old". Ok, whatever, they probably won't see her again for years so who cares. She lives 20 minutes from me.

 

Ex #2 - His parents have a wonderful relationship with their grand daughter (my daughter) facilitated by me because they live 40 minutes from me here in the states and ex-husband lives in Malta (off the coast of Italy).

 

Ex #1 - His mom is great. She and I arrange visits between her and the kids all the time. She is about 20 minutes from me.

His dad and step mom live 5 minutes from me and they have children at the same school as my children. They have NOTHING to do with my children but they let their other grand daughter live with them! I have tried reaching out to them via email (as was encouraged by my children's aunt, my ex's sister, when I talked to her about my concern that they had basically no relationship with that part of the family and I have to say that even though she lives in NY, the aunt has really been making an effort to engage the kids via email and phone) and they completely ignored the messages. My ex lives in Hawaii now and we are in GA. Even when my ex lived here he would only very sporadically take the kids to his dad's house. My 12yr old doesn't even recognize them when we see them at the grocery store. They "friended" my kids on Facebook so now the kids can see all the pictures from family reunions that they weren't invited too! I think that last part and the fact that they see their other grand-daughter is what really pisses me off. Last year there were all these pics from Thanksgiving and over the summer 4th of July family reunion that my kids brought to my attention. We are coming up on holidays again and I am getting irritated just thinking about this. Should I try another email? What should I say to the kids?


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#2 of 6 Old 10-11-2012, 03:12 PM
 
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EX#3:  That is just their loss.  If the children "want" to see them, I'd just do a phone call versus an email to let them know they are being thought about. 

*** My husband's mother has nothing to do with my SD.  It's not that she doesn't care, she can't financially take care of herself and is embarrassed not to do anything or not have toliet paper or a car or anything.  She does love her, she is just too crazy.

 

 

EX#2:  That is wonderful you allow her to spend time with her GPs even when the dad isn't around.

*** I have a SD. My parents, with no blood relation, used to try to see my SD. They all live east coast. I am active duty, so my family is never close. And after my parents getting turned down so many times, they stopped trying. Now, the ONLY time the BM takes my SD to see them is when it's time to pick up bday presents or Christmas presents. It's so frustrating... It wouldn't be so frustrating if they didn't treat her like their very own GD. My sister has children that my mom rarely gets to see - different situation. My children are always around the world with me. My SD has her own room at my mom's. It has her name on the walls. My mom calls it my kids' room, but it's all been picked out by my SD and has her name only in there....

 

EX#1 Mom:  That's great. 

***My SD is 11 and we have her a cell phone.  My father in law is just now starting to have a relationship with him.  He calls her, and she calls back.  If it wasn't for the cell, I doubt they would ever see each other.

 

EX#1 Dad:  Do they know how or regularlly check email?  I know my SD's BM is ridiculous not tech savy to say the least.  She acts like she doesn't know how to read text messages unless she asks if she can have support months in advance.  But they have a FB so surely they do, maybe try to message them there.  I know that FB is automatically set up on phones, but you have to do your email by yourself.  Who knows....  They prob see them, but just giving them the benefit of the doubt. 

Like I said for ex3, maybe give them a call and tell them the question is coming up from the kids and you don't know what to really say.  Put them in their place, but out of concern and not scolding. 

How old are the kids?  If they ask, just tell them to call them and talk.  It's a shame that kids would have to initiate the relationship, but maybe they don't realize that your kids want a relationship.

 

I know it breaks your heart, but you can only do so much.  Address the issue with the GPs.  If they don't return the favor, then the kids will eventually know that mom tried.  And that's all you can ask them to understand. 


 

Quote:

"The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life."

Richard Bach

 

 

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#3 of 6 Old 10-14-2012, 05:27 AM
 
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It sounds like you are trying your best with them!  We've got a blended family (DD is not my husband's) and his family has really embraced both of us, which is fantastic.  My step-father, who had divorced my mother 14 years ago, was still very much her grandfather up until he passed.  I think that is a sign of a good person.  When a divorce happens, family ties don't cease to exist, know what I mean?  

 

With my ex-in-laws, I contact them and set very clear boundaries.  They don't get to play around with my daughter or speak positively about her absentee father.  So, I think you should send them a very clear e-mail and let them know what you think is appropriate and not.  Sometimes people need to have things plainly spelled out for them.  If they don't respond and you think your kids are being hurt by seeing pictures of the family events, have them de-friend the grandparents.  I've had to do that with my biological father's family.  I send them a quick message explaining why and then bye-bye they go.


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#4 of 6 Old 10-15-2012, 12:51 AM
 
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Originally Posted by pattimomma View Post
 They "friended" my kids on Facebook so now the kids can see all the pictures from family reunions that they weren't invited too! I think that last part and the fact that they see their other grand-daughter is what really pisses me off. Last year there were all these pics from Thanksgiving and over the summer 4th of July family reunion that my kids brought to my attention. We are coming up on holidays again and I am getting irritated just thinking about this.

 

 

How do your kids feel about this? Is it like pouring salt into a wound, or it is not that big of a deal to them? If it only bothers you, then I would advise venting to your friends and here, but not letting on to your kids how YOU feel about it.

 

if it bothers your children, then you could encourage/require they unfriend grandma and grandpa. I'm not a big fan of facebook, but my kids have accounts. One of our rules is that we (my DH and I) can veto any facebook "friend" for any reason. It's only ever come up once, but I think it's fine for parents to set boundaries.

 

However, I wouldn't nix the grandparents as friends if this is mostly getting under your skin, not the kids.

 

sorry you are going through this -- what a hurtful situation.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#5 of 6 Old 10-15-2012, 10:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by WorkingMom30 View Post
EX#1 Dad:  Do they know how or regularlly check email?  They check it regularly and I sent them a message on Facebook.

 

 

How old are the kids? 12 and 15

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

How do your kids feel about this? Is it like pouring salt into a wound, or it is not that big of a deal to them? If it only bothers you, then I would advise venting to your friends and here, but not letting on to your kids how YOU feel about it.

 

if it bothers your children, then you could encourage/require they unfriend grandma and grandpa. I'm not a big fan of facebook, but my kids have accounts. One of our rules is that we (my DH and I) can veto any facebook "friend" for any reason. It's only ever come up once, but I think it's fine for parents to set boundaries.

 

It bothers the kids, therefore it bothers me. I am not friends with the grandparents online so I only knew about the pictures because the kids pointed it out. They don't understand why they are not included.

 

UPDATE: My Ex's sister that lives near me has a DD the same age as my DD. The grandparents do see her DD and in fact her DD has been living with the Grandparents while she finds a new place to live (another story). Anyway she contacted me and she is furious about how the Grandparents are treating my kids. She wasn't aware that I had reached out. She just assumed that the kids were never over there because her brother wouldn't bring them over. Once she found out that I had offered to facilitate the relationship and the Grandparents ignored it she got really mad. The sister wants (with my permission) to "call them out on their hypocritical behavior" her words. I'm not really sure what that's all about, the hypocritical part. It sounds like there is a lot of family drama that I have no clue about. The sis also told me that her step mom and dad ended up going to 12 step meetings because of the step mom getting mad at the dad for enabling my ex. I guess he was forking out a lot of money and my ex would only visit or call when he wanted $$$. So it sounds like they decided to write off my ex and included his kids in it. IDK.


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#6 of 6 Old 10-17-2012, 01:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pattimomma View Post

So it sounds like they decided to write off my ex and included his kids in it.

While this is incomprehensible, it's not the first time I've heard of it!  

 

A friend and I met because, basically, we were married to step-brothers.  (OK, I wasn't actually married, but that's beside the point.)  Her now-ex-husband's mom and my now-ex's dad are married.  

 

My ex and I split up first.  His dad and step-mom were very involved with our two little kids and have remained so.  His step-mom expressed regret to me that we broke up and thought my ex made a mistake, leaving.

 

Later, my friend and her husband broke up.  They also had two young kids and the grandparents had been very involved, throughout their lives.  I hope I'm a good mother, but she DEFINITELY is.  She is an all-around, stand-out, delightful, loving, positive, exceptional person and was a big role model for me, as a first-time mom.  Yet evidently her MIL (my ex's step-mom) disagreed with some of her approaches to parenting (I can't imagine what.  It had to be very minor.  She doesn't do anything particularly controversial.)  So MIL cut her off.  AND the kids!  My friend even reached out to her and said, "You don't have to like me, but the kids are very hurt.  Why don't you just take them out to a movie on occasion, without me?"  But MIL wouldn't.  And my ex's dad, her husband, didn't intervene, despite what a devoted, involved grandfather he is, to my kids (and was, to my friend's kids, until this).

 

It is so totally the MIL's loss, as it is for your ex-in-laws.  And that's really the only thing to tell your kids:  "You guys are so tremendously loved, by so many people.  You're wonderful.  We're happy.  We have a good life.  If your dad's parents are so confused and wrong-headed that they would miss out on knowing you and watching you grow up it's their loss.  How sad for them.  But we're going to focus on all the people we DO have in our lives, first and foremost each other."  

 

You don't have to "unfriend" the grandparents.  That's hostile and can become one more reason, in their mind, that they have nothing to do with you guys.  Just block them.  Your kids won't see their posts and they will be "mysteriously" unable to access your kids' FB pages.  They may think your kids cancelled their accounts or there's just a glitch in the system.  No drama.  But no, if it bothers your kids to see what they're excluded from, you should make the executive decision to block the grandparents, as you would a kid from school who was being mean to them, online.


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