My in-laws again!


#1

Sorry, but I need advice and I really need to vent. Since receiving a total of 56 pages of insults from my MIL in January, my husband wrote them a letter and told them if they couldn’t accept me as part of the family, there would be no relationship between them. He also told them not to send anything to our children in the mail (they send their bday gifts, xmas gifts, etc in the mail instead of hand delivering them to avoid us) because it only confuses them since we have tried to invite them over 5 times and they REFUSE to come because my insane MIL has “issues” with us and she “can’t face us”. They have not seen our children since May of 2005 (our youngest child who is their first and only grandson was 5 weeks old).

Well, today I received 3 valentine cards…one for each of our children. Although she didn’t write their return address on the envelope I KNOW it is from them. She called me “STUPID” 6 times in her 56 page letter, so she evidently thinks I am not smart enough to recognize her handwriting :rolleyes: . We have both decided not to give the children the cards, but should I send them back “return to sender” (keep in mind there is no return address - so I would have to write it in) or do I put it in one big envelope with a letter hilighting where we specifically asked for them not to send anymore things in the mail?

My MIL is really insane, and I am so SICK of her doing what she wants. She has NO respect for me as her son’s wife and NO respect for her boundaries. My FIL is the same way. I am so sorry to vent this way, but I really need advice. Please HELP!!! :frowning:


#2

Obviously they aren’t willing to do as your husband requested and stay out of your lives. I think sending back the cards will give them the message that you and your family are not going to live according to their desires or kowtow to their hatred for you. Just be consistent and eventually they’ll have to get the message. And, if necessary, get a restraining order against them so they will pay a heavy price for bothering you and your children. Doing these things are sometimes necessary for your safety and your own peace of mind. God doesn’t expect you to put you and your children at the whims of people who are insane. Heaven knows what might come into their heads to do if you allow them to keep up this nonsense. Nip it in the bud for all your sakes.


#3

Did you keep the letter she sent you? Did your DH send his reply certified? Do you still have a copy of it with a time/date stamp, something that would stand up in court if it comes to that? Keep the cards, still sealed; they are proof that she/they aren’t interested in listening to you where your children are concerned and the documentation could come in very handy if they start making “GP Visitation Rights” noises.


#4

SaHM:

You can’t communicate with your inlaws, they aren’t listening, so throw the cards away. Your MIL wants to confuse you and she is doing just that. Keeping the cards around only validates the power these people are trying to exert. Make a decision today to immediately throw away anything you receive in the mail from your inlaws.


#5

[quote=jazzbaby1]Did you keep the letter she sent you? Did your DH send his reply certified? Do you still have a copy of it with a time/date stamp, something that would stand up in court if it comes to that? Keep the cards, still sealed; they are proof that she/they aren’t interested in listening to you where your children are concerned and the documentation could come in very handy if they start making “GP Visitation Rights” noises.
[/quote]

Yes, I do have the original letter she sent me. SHE has no copy of it; we are the ONLY ones with the hateful letter. My husband didn’t send his reply certified (didn’t really think of it to tell you the truth :o ) , but he did put the date at the top of the letter when he typed it and mailed it. We really don’t want to keep the cards, but I see you have an interesting point. Sending them back will show them we mean business - we don’t want them involved if they continue to be hateful. I don’t think they could get “Grandparents Visitation Rights” if they tried because both my husband and I don’t want them around us since receiving MIL’s hateful letter. I am serious…you can’t imagine how bad this letter was. It’s too uncomfortable for me to talk about. And if something were to happen to my husband, he has written a letter to a “judge” if I ever need expressing his wishes for his children. This is the first time they send something to the children since my husband’s request. All 3 of their birthdays are within the next 8 weeks, so that should be interesting too. And no, they were NOT invited to the parties.


#6

My first thought is that you should not be making the decision about the cards. Let your husband decide if he will return them (with or without a note) or throw them away.By anguishing over what do do with the cards you are letting her get to you again. Just make sure that your kids don’t see the cards.


#7

What is her problem with you? Is it religion?


#8

I have gone back and scanned your other threads regarding your in-laws. You have my sympathy in this difficult situation.

So long as you and your husband are in agreement that his parents are beyond reason and you cannot deal with them, then I would simply throw away anything that arrives in the mail from them. If they call, don’t answer (the beauty of caller ID!), don’t listen to any voice mail. All they are trying to do at this point is control your family. Having a relationship with them is obviously not healthy for you, your husband or your children. Is there any possibility of family counseling?

Don’t give up praying for them, you never know what might change their hearts down the road.


#9

[quote=Cupofkindness]SaHM:

You can’t communicate with your inlaws, they aren’t listening, so throw the cards away. Your MIL wants to confuse you and she is doing just that. Keeping the cards around only validates the power these people are trying to exert. Make a decision today to immediately throw away anything you receive in the mail from your inlaws.
[/quote]

I know what you are saying, and you are so right. It’s so hard to just throw it away or send it back because like Jazzbaby said, what if they make noise about grandparents visitation rights. I know they wouldn’t have a leg to stand on now, but what if in the future something happens to my husband and they take me to court ------- Would having the cards in my posession be in my favor or not? I worry so much about things I have no control over and what makes me so angry is that no one in my husband’s family sees this woman for what she is (with the exception of my husband and his maternal grandmother).


#10

I would not send the cards back; I don’t think that would accomplish anything.

Here’s some food for thought - and you may or may not be able to apply this to your situation… My in-laws used to drive me crazy. Never any harsh offenses, such as a 56 page letter, but enough that I found myself complaining about them quite often. My father-in-law died last year. Now I really miss all of the small annoyances.

Do you have any hope of mending fences, if for no other reason than your children?

I didn’t like a lot of things that my father-in-law did, but he was an outstanding grandpa. Now my children are really missing out.

I like to tell people this, because if I could go back and enjoy my father-in-law a little more, instead of focusing on the negative, I would.

I don’t know if this is possible in your situation, but I wanted to offer some food for thought.


#11

[quote=Jabronie]What is her problem with you? Is it religion?
[/quote]

When I figure it out, I will let you know. I guess it just comes down to the fact I married her “baby” and I am not good enough for him. It is not religion, we are ALL catholic, including my side of the family. I am from south Louisiana, and my hometown is predominately Catholic.


#12

You are letting her have power over you by having any reaction to this. Sending them back is a reaction. My MIL sounds very similar to yours and I found through trial and error that silence in response to her mind games is far more effective than any sort of acknowledgement whatsoever of her actions. We still get “communications” through mail forwarding but reading her hateful words and guilt trips is not helpful to us. They are tossed immediately. We do open to give a cursory glance in order to see if she has managed to say the words, “I’m sorry,” as we would gladly read something along those lines, but we do not waste any time reading the content otherwise. Soon mail forwarding will cease and we won’t be bothered by it anymore. (They don’t have this address.) A nice benefit of tossing communication is that you save yourself the internal reaction of reading whatever she has to say and dealing with her distortion of the truth. We also know that it absolutely KILLS her to not have a reaction–an angry or defensive reaction is what my MIL loves best. Any sort of response, such as sending items back, has resulted in her re-doubling her efforts to get yet another reaction out of us.

You can’t contol her actions, but you can control your own. If she wants to send things after you’ve explicitly said to stop, then that doesn’t mean you have to give them to your children. She can send send send but if you don’t make the choice to give them to your kiddos, then her efforts are fruitless and while she may not know that for sure, she will definitely wonder. Either way, you have the emotional security of knowing that even if she tries to impose upon your boundaries, you still have the personal power to say no.

It has helped me to forgive my MIL by picturing her as a very wounded, confused person who otherwise would not act the way she chooses. As much as they may pretend to enjoy acting so hatefully, I have come to realize that a healthy person who has natural goodwill toward others is able to interact with kindness and courtesy. My MIL has not shown any indication of being emotionally healthy and nor has she shown any goodwill towards myself or her son. That said, she does have freedom to make her own choices and she chooses to behave the way she does. If she were to choose differently, then we would ease up on our rigid boundaries and consider reconciling. Until then, it is a healthy choice for us to not subject ourselves to her abusive ways.

You might consider getting some outside counseling to validate your feelings and help/guide you in discerning future interactions with in-laws. It might give you some peace and help you not allow your emotions to take control and react to their poisonous behavior. Most of all it will enable you to set and KEEP healthy boundaries. Good luck, it’s tough, and it’s not an ideal family situation, but whatever keeps your mental health intact and your children emotionally healthy–is necessary.


#13

[quote=stayathomemom]I know what you are saying, and you are so right. It’s so hard to just throw it away or send it back because like Jazzbaby said, what if they make noise about grandparents visitation rights. I know they wouldn’t have a leg to stand on now, but what if in the future something happens to my husband and they take me to court ------- Would having the cards in my posession be in my favor or not? I worry so much about things I have no control over and what makes me so angry is that no one in my husband’s family sees this woman for what she is (with the exception of my husband and his maternal grandmother).
[/quote]

V-day cards are not going to make or break grandparents’ visitations. :slight_smile: Is the letter your husband has written notarized? My hubby and I have plans to do the same thing. Do you have a lawyer you use regularly? Give him a copy. Is your will set up to exclude them from taking custody of the children should something happen to both of you simultaneously?

If you have a 56 page hateful letter, that is plenty of evidence. Keep in mind that SRS would get involved, they would talk to your children and ask about situations, they would speak to you, they would speak to your husband–if something had happend to him, SRS would read your husband’s notarized letter, if you find a counselor and talk about your in-laws dysfunction, you’ll have a professional witness to attest to the tumult these people have caused your family, etc. Your in-laws would have a VERY TALL ORDER to convince a judge and SRS that they would be a benefit in your children’s lives, especially given your husband left wishes beyond his death that they have nothing to do with his kiddos!

You are letting the fear take over. Don’t let these people have such power over you! I know it’s not easy, but the sooner you start trying to let go of the fear the more peace you will have.


#14

[quote=jazzbaby1]Did you keep the letter she sent you? Did your DH send his reply certified? Do you still have a copy of it with a time/date stamp, something that would stand up in court if it comes to that? Keep the cards, still sealed; they are proof that she/they aren’t interested in listening to you where your children are concerned and the documentation could come in very handy if they start making “GP Visitation Rights” noises.
[/quote]

:twocents: I think this is prudent, plus by keeping them at least one day maybe with God’s help your family will be reconciled and the kids can receive the cards. Unless they are filled with awful messages about their parents… :rolleyes:


#15

I think it is very important for you to consult an attorney about this situation. The letter your husband wrote may not be enough legally to protect your children from those people if something happened to your DH OR to BOTH of you.

Find a reputable attorney and get a will written up ASAP.

ETA, and if it were me, I’d just throw anything coming in the mail directly in the trash and don’t give it a second thought.


#16

I wouldn’t send the Valentines back to MIL. Just keep them in some envelope somewhere or throw them away. The only reason to keep them, is if there is reconciliation some day. Other than that, pitch them. I agree with others who said that sending them back will just fuel the fire with a person like MIL. Don’t get worked up about things coming in the mail. Quietly dispose of them, and get on with your life.


#17

The good news is that these are your in-laws. You can see more clearly than if they were your own parents.

And, stayathomemom, you see very clearly.

I think you should remember that the most important people are your husband and your children, period. You need to keep these in-laws away from your children because they are harmful. No cards, no gifts, no calls. And I wouldn’t bother returning anything, either. Just stay away. These people are not rational. And you can’t fix them.

I guess having a will is a good idea, but that is a good idea whether or not you have psycho in-laws. I don’t think you need to be moving out of fear here with certified letters and keeping cards still sealed…this is just panic.

I don’t think these in-laws will ever change. I know some people have the best of intentions, but they really don’t know what they are talking about when they tell you to try to mend fences here…you don’t have a ‘normal’ situation. It is not possible to mend a fence when it has been blown to peices by the bomb of the 56 page letter. You need a whole new fence! And I just don’t think you should hold your breath waiting for that to happen.

I also think you should try and make these people a back burner issue. Keep them in your prayers. Keep away from them. Focus on the people in your home. And trust yourself, you are doing a good job.


#18

[quote=newf]The good news is that these are your in-laws. You can see more clearly than if they were your own parents.

And, stayathomemom, you see very clearly.

I think you should remember that the most important people are your husband and your children, period. You need to keep these in-laws away from your children because they are harmful. No cards, no gifts, no calls. And I wouldn’t bother returning anything, either. Just stay away. These people are not rational. And you can’t fix them.

I guess having a will is a good idea, but that is a good idea whether or not you have psycho in-laws. I don’t think you need to be moving out of fear here with certified letters and keeping cards still sealed…this is just panic.

I don’t think these in-laws will ever change. I know some people have the best of intentions, but they really don’t know what they are talking about when they tell you to try to mend fences here…you don’t have a ‘normal’ situation. It is not possible to mend a fence when it has been blown to peices by the bomb of the 56 page letter. You need a whole new fence! And I just don’t think you should hold your breath waiting for that to happen.

I also think you should try and make these people a back burner issue. Keep them in your prayers. Keep away from them. Focus on the people in your home. And trust yourself, you are doing a good job.
[/quote]

Thank you for your kind words (and everyone else for their advice.). We both know that they won’t change. It is just so frustrating and I know I have probably said this on a previous post, but I am trying to rationalize unrational people. My husband sees this very clearly too, I just feel so bad for him that he has to go through this with his parents. He is such a kind, giving person - he does not deserve this. What really got us angry (more me) yesterday was that his parents just do what they want and don’t respect their boundaries.

After my husband got home from work last night, he took the envelopes, stuck them in one big envelope with the request in his previous letter hilited that they not send anymore things to our children. He stuck it in the mail this morning. He said that he wants to just return to sender anything they mail to us. It’s what makes him feel better, so I couldn’t argue with him. He doesn’t want anything from them.

Once again, thanks to everyone for your advice and listening to my problems once again. :slight_smile:


#19

[quote=stayathomemom]I know what you are saying, and you are so right. It’s so hard to just throw it away or send it back because like Jazzbaby said, what if they make noise about grandparents visitation rights. I know they wouldn’t have a leg to stand on now, but what if in the future something happens to my husband and they take me to court ------- Would having the cards in my posession be in my favor or not? I worry so much about things I have no control over and what makes me so angry is that no one in my husband’s family sees this woman for what she is (with the exception of my husband and his maternal grandmother).
[/quote]

Grand parents Visitation has been shot down in so many court cases and i have even seen it ruled against in state supreme courts, but if you are concerned a letter from your hubby if something to happen wont stand up in court, you actually need to get a lawyer involved…

as far as the cards go, I wouldnt throw them away, box them up and save them, you may not approve of your mil, or how she acts but she is still “family”, someday when the kids are older they may have questions, or by Gods graces maybe things will get really good,either way when they kids are old enough to understand everything they can at least know they were thought about occasionally and not put in the trash so to speak by Grand parents…and they can be given what is rightfully thiers…

as far as the 56 pages of Insults go, work on one insult at a time
lol,tell this woman you will consider to correct 1 insult a year if its valid, you will start at the first one for the first year,if it not a valid “insult” then its been corrected and yu will wait till the next year for the next one…or you could do whats really needed and just ignore them altogether, :slight_smile:


#20

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