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Mediation and In-Laws

strugglingSM's picture

DH had his mediation and it was sort of a shit show. I won’t share every detail, because I’m honestly pretty upset about how ineffective his lawyer was, but some highlights: 

1) BM demanded 24/7 access on the children and refused to budge on anything, not even restricting the hours during which SSs have their phones. Then this last weekend we only had one SS, not BM’s favorite, and she didn’t text him once. She is in constant contact with the other SS when he is with us, but ignores this other child. I sort of feel bad for him.

2) BM insisted that DH agrees to go to counseling with her “if SS’s counselor recommends it.” DH told me that he thought that was a trap. I told him that he was right and it was a trap, but she refused to remove it. DH has convinced himself that the counselor will not recommend this, but he forgets how strong the brainwashing has been from BM. 

3) The only real item DH got was to alternate holidays, so now I won’t have to spend every Christmas with DH’s family. I can actually see my family once in a while. Previously, DH had SSs on every Christmas Day starting at 10am. He shared this with both MIL and BIL and they have both complained. Of course, neither would ever change their plans, so we always had to Christmas Eve with them and one year, silent SIL wouldn’t let us stay at her house when we showed up on Christmas Day because MIL told us we were invited when really silent SIL just wanted to celebrate with her family on Christmas Day even though DH’s kids are only around on Christmas Day. But of course, DH’s family is all put out that they won’t see SSs every Christmas. My family was apparently supposed to disappear when I met DH because any time DH and I have ever celebrated a holiday with my family, DH’s family complains, not about seeing us, about not seeing the kids. 

In other in-law news, not related to the mediation, BIL is having a “family and friends” barbecue on Sunday. I told DH that I wasn’t planning to go because I’ve gone for the past few years and primarily get ignored when I’m there. For those who haven’t read my other blogs about it in-laws - BIL’s wife - silent SIL - has talked to me once in nearly five years. During that discussion she basically told me that she didn’t really approve of DH’s divorce and that DH “never calls” his sister (which is funny because DH calls his sister all the time and she never answers). Silent SIL didn’t come to either bridal shower, skipped the birthday party that MiL insisted on throwing for me one year, didn’t come to a barbecue we hosted when my parents were in town, and has literally come into my home and not said one word to me. She didn’t say a word to me at our wedding and several of my friends asked me what her deal was because she was sitting in the corner most of the night and only really interacted with BIL and SSs. When I first got the online invitation to BiL’s barbecue, I posted a reply “I think I have a conflict on this day, but DH will be there.” No one noticed or said anything. This week, I changed my reply to no. BIL called DH and complained to him that I wasn’t going. DH said, “I think she has other plans that day.” BIL told DH that he should ask me to change his plans. BIL said, “it’s for family, she really should be there.” I don’t understand my in-laws, I’m expected to drop everything to make them feel special, but then also not be offended when the whole “family” thing doesn’t go both ways. They act like DH’s family is some exclusive club and I should be happy to be a part of it.


Kes's picture

I wouldn't go to any social event where I am regularly ostracized - I would only go to DH's family events if and where I am welcomed and made to feel my presence is valued.  Because of this I have been no contact with my ILs for over a year.  I am surprised your DH puts up with how they treat you.  

Absolutely no way should DH go to counselling with BM - what a farce! 

justmakingthebest's picture

Yeah... hard pass on that BBQ. That sounds like hell. SIL doesn't "approve" of your DH's divorce. Oh freaking well! She doesn't get to make that decision for him. 

Just remember that it is ok to cut toxic people from your life, even if those people happen to be "family". You and your husband should surround yourselves with people that actually love and respect and support you. 

thinkthrice's picture

Chef's only full brother said the same exact thing..."I don't APPROVE of my brother's divorce to the Girhippo."

Who are these people? Judge, jury and executioner?

OP, the only BBQing they want to do is to BBQ YOU thus the seeming disappointment that the main course won't be there.

Harry's picture

Does not mean child hast to have his cell phone 24/7. She can call the house phone.  How about bed time, the night?  BM wants to wake up child at 2 AM to talk to him .

momjeans's picture

BM is throwing bogus, unrealistic requests out in hopes something will stick. Pretty sure the only one that will is alternating holidays. 

Yeah, don’t give SIL the gift of your presence at the BBQ just so she can snub you. The disapproval of someone’s divorce? She sounds batsh*t crazy, if you ask me. 

tog redux's picture

You really do have to stand up for yourself, because clearly, DH will not. Who gives a rat's ass what DH's family "expects" at Christmas? DH can put on his big boy pants and tell his parents you will be alternating years with your family, as many married couples do. If he won't do that, then go alone.

He also needs to tell his family that if they can't accept you as his wife, they will be seeing him a lot less than they do now.

He sounds like quite the Mama's Boy. You had "other plans" and can't come to the BBQ? How about, "your wife is rude to her, so she doesn't want to come, and I'd rather be with her. Enjoy the day!"

Curious Georgetta's picture

you are an adult and you  get to decide when, where and how you are going to spend your time.

If you are spending time in  situations that you find unpleasant, it is because you have made the decision to be in those places.

You cannot blame anyone but your self for your choices.

Make choices that work for you. Clearly, you are not making yourself  and anyone else happy by doing what you have been doing.


strugglingSM's picture

Georgetta, your tone is always one of blame for the person posting. I think this just represents your general bitterness toward stepmothers.

Saying “you cannot blame anyone but yourself for your choices” seems to miss the point. I made a choice not to go. I don’t see how I’m blaming someone else for my choice. I’m expressing my dissatisfaction that someone else decided to weigh in on my choice and also my dissatisfaction that DH didn’t shut down the conversation. 

I did decide not to go to the barbecue and it did make me happy to miss the event. My absence also did not ruin the event, according to DH. Silent SIL obviously ignored him, even turning her back to him at one point, but I don’t think that was the result of my absence.

Your trying to turn it around on me and imply that I’m blaming others for my choices is not helpful and not welcome.