Help! Backslide.

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Help! Backslide.

Postby Melody » Wed Jul 12, 2017 2:00 pm

So we've been low contact with FIL and Stepmonster (whom I've written so much about on this forum) for quite a while (and its been BLISS!). Its been two years since we've been to the lair. DH invited them to one of our kid's moving up ceremonies (ughh). DH sat with them, and I said with the older kids, never exchanging a word. Still made me sick as stepmonster dove in for photo opts as much as possible.

Now DH wants to take the kids up to the lair. He claims our kids (his bio) want to see their grandparents and he won't cut them off because "Melody doesn't like them".

We went for counseling and the counselor told us that I couldn't ask DH to cut them off, but it was HIS job to protect his family from them (i.e. stepmonster). DH claims he knows what stepmonster does and its "All about controlling the situation". DH thrinks I should "stay home" since it is just one day and it stresses me out. I told him that's what stepmonster would love. Of course he didn't want to talk about it after.

Ughh, what can I do. (He wuon't accept just him going because the kids allegedly want to - and they might).
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Re: Help! Backslide.

Postby PutMILinherplace » Wed Jul 12, 2017 2:41 pm

He claims our kids (his bio) want to see their grandparents


When my kids were little, they wanted to play in the road. Now they didn't understand the danger, I did. They thought I was just being a meanine. But it really didn't matter if they understood it or not, I was their mother and protecting them.

When my kids were toddlers, my MIL & DH would take the kids swimming in my MIL's pool next door. It ticked her off that I would make her wait until I got their shoes on because even though she lived next door, I didn't want them to run barefoot and get something in their feet. I was told I was wasting time, being ridiculous, the kids complained , the DH complained etc. Then DuH started getting involved with the same bs. So one day he rushes the kids out just to SHOW ME. Well, the 3 year old got cactus spines in her toes . As I was trying to pull them out , my daughter was wailing. My DH got upset and said he was leaving the room he couldn't handle it. I said, "Get your ass back in here. You thought you would show me up to play up to mommy. Well guess what, you will sit here and hold her down and you will hear every single cry and see every single tear and see every drop of blood and know that YOU are the cause of it and you better never forget it that next time you try to undermine me with your mother. "

DH thrinks I should "stay home" since it is just one day and it stresses me out. I told him that's what stepmonster would love. Of course he didn't want to talk about it after


Tell your DH that you are done playing this game. The kids will not be going as you do not trust him. He can not or will not (doesn't matter which) protect his children from abuse. Because of that YOU are now in charge and you care little what he thinks or the children want. Frankly, they WANT ice cream and cookies for dinner every night but that doesn't mean they can have it nor does it mean that is good for them. Since he does not see the need to put the emotional well being of your children first, you are now stepping up to the plate. If he pulls they . "well I am their father and I have the right to blah blah blah, " You can counter (as I did) with , "you lost that right when you put your children in an abusive situation and can not or will not , doesn't matter which, protect them" DH wants you to stay home so he doesn't have to hear b***hing about not bringing the kids. He knows darn well he wont protect them. This way he can cover it up.

When I went NC with my MIL, no easy task since we lived next door, I made it clear to DH he was on his own. The children and I were out of the game . I said all the stuff I wrote above. When he was foolish enough to bring it up I would ask him, "Why do you want to put your children in an abusive situation?" and keep asking that question. That shut him down. "The kids want to go" "Why do you want to put your children in an abusive situation? What are you getting out of this? Why do you think this is a good idea?" and repeat. Now I could not trust my DH and never left him to babysit the kids nor did he ever take them out for ice cream without me. . Yeah, it sucked but I knew I could not trust him. NOW he sees the light.

Ughh, what can I do. (He wuon't accept just him going because the kids allegedly want to - and they might).


You already know what to do. They are trying to wear you down. What he accepts and what the kids want is irrelevant. And I would say so. You don't care what the kids WANT to do you will do what is best for them and since DH seems determined to do what is unhealthy for them you will be fighting him too. And I would tell him just that.
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Re: Help! Backslide.

Postby bsfighter1 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:45 am

You said his bio kids . That's a bit trickier because you're the stepmother?
"I've learned that with narcs, absence doesn't make the heart grow fonder, it makes the heart grow free."
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Re: Help! Backslide.

Postby Melody » Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:04 am

Good question BSfighter. I'm bio mom to all four kids. DH's two stepkids (mine from a former marriage - he and stepdaughter butt heads sometimes, but he and stepson get along amazingly well and share hobbies and interests. ) and his younger bio kids - a son and daughter.
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Re: Help! Backslide.

Postby Yacky » Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:35 am

There are a couple of fun options here to consider (and I realize it's not a joking matter, but why not have fun if you need to deal with their BS?):

1.) Consider planning something AMAZINGLY fun for the kids on that same date, and really sell it to the kids. Ask your friends to get involved. Do any of your friends' kids have a b-day around that date and they'd be willing to throw the party on that day, or would they at least be willing to throw SOME kind of fun party on that day (cookie baking sleep-over, water park day, etc). Tell your friend you are more than happy to help plan it, pay for things, etc. This way it will look as though this person planned this amazing thing all on her own and invited your kids along. How could your kids say no? Really sell this event so the kids would much rather go to it. Even if there are only 2 other kids going, ya'll can make it sound like it's a really fun event, and at the "last minute" some kids just couldn't make it.

2.) I saved the best for last. I've done this before on a couple of occasions, but the last time was really the one that helped push things over the edge...

When we were abroad, MIL wanted to insert herself into the kids' birthday party. Before I knew it, FIL and AIL were coming along as well, and there seemed no real escape. So I did what any ganged-up-on person would do: I called in an ally. I invited a friend of mine (and I use the term "friend" loosely, because she was a real pill but her son was around the same age as our son and the two boys were good friends).

This "friend" is the most obnoxious person you have ever met...and she had heard all of my stories about my ILs and had a very crass attitude about them already. I told her I really needed a friend to lean on for the party, and she was MORE than happy to comply. This woman shot off at the mouth throughout most of the party, telling long-winded stories about her life (she's rather narcissistic), and basically annoying the hell out of everyone there. My ILs like to tout themselves as "classy" at such events (although at their own events, they are more likely to be drunk and act like idiots, but that is conveniently ignored when they need to act better than the rest of the world)

This friend was also very sensitive to how they were treating **ME** at this party, and so she never really left my side, whispering conspiratorially in my ear regularly (I just nodded politely, probably irritating her that I wasn't being more overt about my true feelings in the moment, so she was starting to get visibly agitated, which of course made EVERYONE feel a bit awkward (I was loving it, of course).

By the end of the party, my ILs couldn't leave that party fast enough to get away from HER, who was still clinging closely to my side and rambling on and on about some inane thing as we all walked to our cars. FIL was so irritated by the day (he'd been trying to shoot me glares since before my friend showed up, and once the friend arrived, each glare he shot me was met by an even MORE horrendous glare from HER, as she was having NONE of it). He said his goodbyes to DH and the kids and then hopped into the car and sped off as I was approaching to thank him and say goodbye.

DH saw this ridiculous display of childishness and RUDENESS and made a long note of it. That was one of the days when DH really lost respect for his father, because his father had been shooting me some serious shade all day, and whether or not my friend was obnoxious was no reason to leave w/o saying goodbye to me.

Moral: invite a rude friend, or one you know COULD be rude if asked. Be sure that friend sticks close to your side. It will annoy the hell out of your ILs that you have an ally in the first place....and it will be particularly annoying if that friend is somewhat obnoxious in the process. They'll have to openly ask your H that the friend never return, at which point you can turn on the tears and say:

"I go willingly to an event where I KNOW they all hate me, and I should be able to bring a friend who LOVES and SUPPORTS me. I want to be there for my kids, to show we're a united front and that we're a happy, functioning family. It's too bad your family thinks my SUPPORTIVE and LOVING friend is not quite their cup of tea, and perhaps a bit inconvenient for them to deal with...and yet no one cares how **I** am always treated. THIS is what you call "working on things" and "finding compromises". I went because I'm trying to find a balance here, since you insist on exposing our children to those toxic people. I am making an EFFORT, here, and if I need to bring a friend along so that I am not ganged up on by everything there, they are just going to have to deal with that."

It's hard to argue with that logic.
~~ Some people really need a great big high-five....to the face....with a baseball bat ~~
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Re: Help! Backslide.

Postby Yacky » Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:43 am

Oh, and p.s. if you can invite a friend that your kids really adore, she can lavish all kinds of attention upon them at the event, steering them in HER direction the entire time. She can bring candies and treats in her purse that they love, doling them out regularly. She could bring a fun, new game that they would love to play to draw their attention away from your ILs. She could bring ipads, laptops, etc with fun games on them, she could do all kinds of fun things and be the "life of the party" for your kids. This will piss your ILs off like noone's business, and the kids will associate the fun time they had with your friend, not with the ILs. Later on, in the following weeks, keep bringing it up with the kids "Didn't we have a GREAT time with Judy last weekend?? Gosh she was so much fun!!". Then, later on, "Judy" can start holding fun things (like mentioned in the previous idea) on dates that just HAPPEN to coincide with events the ILs have. It will be a no brainer that they'll prefer Judy's event.


You can then blame it on Judy's "kindness" and "fun out-going nature" and come out smelling like a rose. 8)
~~ Some people really need a great big high-five....to the face....with a baseball bat ~~
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Re: Help! Backslide.

Postby Melody » Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:54 pm

@PutMILInHerPlace - I've tried but am not as strong with you and haven't been able to quite pull this off. DH insists that she's NOT abusive to the kids and won't listen to anything I have to say. Apparently I'm "hysterical" and he "has the situation under control now" and is very inssistant. He even suggested he could just sneak the kids up to see their grandparents.

I told him that would be a REALLY BAD IDEA - which I know he took seriously. I told him one of the FEW things his parents do right is that no matter how horrible stepmonsters behavior is HIS FATHER and psycho present a "united front" and that I certainly deserve absolutely no less than this. I believe he finally got the point.

My plan is if he sticks us going to the lair, I'm bringing a laptop. FIL always watched whatever sports event and ignored us, I will do the same when MIL starts blabbing incessantly about her boring existence. But I'll watch her like a hawk. As soon as she acts up though, I'll call her on it or follow her if she tries one of her sneak offs with my kids.

The kids are 9 & 11 now and DO have a lot of sense. I'd actually feel more comfortable leaving them ALONE at home than anywhere near that witch.

@Yacky - LOL - we think very much alike! I've booked a lot of cool things during weekends to avoid this crap. Some not just for the kids, but many that DH would like that involve his hobbies. As far as BDay parties are concerned, DH FINALLY figured out that I did all the work and that while FIL COULD have been a pleasant addition, stepmonster adds NOTHING to the equation. And a USELESS "grandparent" does not belong at children's birthday parties if they are, say, over the age of 5 (nor do the kids even acknowledge them, lol) .

LOVE your thought process though! I have to up my game a little.

BTW, I've been that friend you described. I'd like to think I am not obnoxious, but all it takes is someone to listen to a narc talk about themselves to be an effective detractor.
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Re: Help! Backslide.

Postby bsfighter1 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:08 am

Melody, I'm confused. If YOU are the mother of these children how does stepmonster trump that? It's like my H telling me that his stepmonster is more family than me and therefore has more right than me. I'll tell you something, the moment that H's psycho stepmonster crossed the final line with me and I kicked her out of my life for good (along with the rest of the poisonous ILs) my very first action was to tell my very young children not to refer to her as 'grandma' anymore because she was not truly related to them, and not even a grandma by heart as we wishfully hoped she would be.

Referring to her as grandpa's wife broke the tie to her as family which needed to be done to save my children from any future obligations and abuse. Eventually, as my children got older referring to their blood relatives as 'grandpa' and 'uncle' disappeared on their own because the men proved throughout the years that they weren't real family either and not even truly caring and accountable individuals which is what I suspected all along.

My point is, a lot of these so-called 'famiky' do not have the right to be around your children, ESPECIALLY stepmonsters who are absolute nobody's in terms of staking claims on your children when they treat the mother like crap. From my perspective, It's a privilege as it for actual, blood-grandparents to be a part of their grandkids lives (NOT an entitlement) so how much more of a privilege is it for some other person, who shares no DNA with the children to be called 'grandma?'

I'm also deeply troubled by the disrespect your husband is showing you... calling you hysterical and basically invalidating you and your concerns altogether. The counsellor said your don't have control over who HE wants to associate with, but they didn't say anything about your children. And if a counsellor ever set foot into telling me how to raise my children and who they should associate with , As a mother of minor age children, i would never return to such a counsellor as it is not their job to dictate to you... just a heads up incase you ever run into a counsellor like this.

To be honest, I'm more mad at your H than anything else. He is essentially walking your children into an abusive environment (and the longer they continue to associate with these psychos the more likely your kids will be drawn into it) and completely disregarding you as his wife who has had firsthand experience with their abuse. It's up to you how you want to handle it Melody, but for me that would be a deal breaker right there. NOBODY bullies me into putting my kids into what I deem to be unsafe situations, not even their father, and I would seriously start to question the judgement of that person and overall respect they had for me if they tried to bully me like that.
"I've learned that with narcs, absence doesn't make the heart grow fonder, it makes the heart grow free."
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Re: Help! Backslide.

Postby Melody » Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:28 am

Crap, lost my original reply! BSfighter you are absolutely spot on on so many points!!!

DH has a lot of "mommy issues". He was adopted, so he feels like his birth mother rejected him . He doesn't speak to his adopted mom (met her a few times - super entitled - thought I would pull them out of school and put my then 10 and 8 year old on a plane to spend a few weeks with her. DH lived with her until he was 12 (not stepmonster), but then moved in with his farther and IT. He claimed stepmonster "saved him".

I don't blame the counselor. She is a woman in her 70's who's seen a thing or two. She made it very clear that DH was to "protect his family" from her. I took this to mean ALL the kids and myself. This counselor helped cut back on dealing with a lot of the crap.

I'm laughing a little as DH's cousin (whom I adore - she's like a sister) is administrating a will where DH is due some money. DH begged her not to tell "his paaaaaaarents" that he's coming into some money. LOL! Gosh, why not? They ever so mean well! So now he's less inclined to see them. (To which I feel, REALLY? over a few $$ - not because she's a monster to our family and he's her enabler?).

But yes, I couldn't agree with you more. FIL enables his C*nt of a wife to do whatever and DH drinks the Kool-Aid - less than before but still, its there.
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Re: Help! Backslide.

Postby PutMILinherplace » Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:50 am

The next time your DH accuses you of being hysterical, you need to say the following in the most calm and as a low voice as he can hear :

Accuse me of being hysterical once more for wanting to protect my children from abuse and I WILL BECOME hysterical just so you have a comparison reference. That BS manipulation will not work on me. I know you learned that from your dysfunctional family but I am warning you now it only doesn't work on me, it merely pisses me off and trust me, you don't want that. So cut the bs out, DH.


Then watch his eyes become wide with terror. Proceed to go back to whatever you were doing....calmly and say no more.

Now if he is stupid enough to say it again, start screaming, crying throwing stuff around for about 30 or so sec, then stop and calmly say," I warned you. Now you know what hysterical really is." and then go back to what you were doing calmly.
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Re: Help! Backslide.

Postby Mara » Wed Jul 26, 2017 1:52 am

Melody - that is a difficult situation. I've been reading a lot about abusive spouses. I'm not saying your husband is abusive, but one thing they say is an abusive spouse will minimize your concerns (saying you are being hysterical or overreacting to make you doubt yourself). I hope DH will come to see your concerns and be willing to support you.
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Re: Help! Backslide.

Postby Melody » Fri Aug 25, 2017 2:07 pm

Update - FIL told DH this Sunday was good to "come up for lunch". My biggest concern is I don't want the kids around stepmonster. And Meanwhile there is never any food available except for what went bad in their refrigerator and a half eaten back of potato chips. That's "lunch". Well HALLELUJAH!!! I mentioned to DH that we hadn't been to a nice park by us in a while. HE suggested cancelling the "lunch" he had "penciled" in for this time (not the rest of the weekend for whatever reason, lol). He also apparently isn't going to invite FIL or stepmonster to join us in the park.

He then asked me if we "weren't going" to BIL's house the following week for a craptastical event that apparently the kids "never have fun at". I said this was his call, and he said, "No, I'm asking you." To which I replied that YOU just said no one enjoys this, so why would we? I believe he is emailing them now "no'.
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