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stepper47's picture

I ended up not going to SD's parents weekend at college yesterday.   My son is moving our soon and he and I had made plans weeks ago to shop and pick up some furniture. He is on a weird work shift so this was our last opportunity before his move date, plus I wasn't going to give up a chance to hang out with him.  If it weren't for that, I probably would have ended up going.  DH ended up taking MIL and our niece and nephew, which was great so that they could see SD's new life.  BM attended (drove up separately), but her boyfriend did not.  So they all traveled as a pack to tour the campus and get lunch. My SS and his girlfriend were able to meet them for lunch.

I am not jealous of BM in terms of DH, them getting back together does not worry me.  But the idea of her hanging out with "my" family did feel weird. Apparently during their marriage, she and MIL didn't get along great, but after the divorce my MIL just seems to love her - she often brings her up, so I know they communicate, and there have been a few times MIL has invited her to go do things. I have even been called by her name, which was fun.  I don't believe MIL is trying to hurt me with any of that, she is just thoughtless about it. But, some of it has bothered me over the years.

Last night I got a text from a friend asking if I had gone to the campus. I realized there must be a picture on social media, and sure enough, MIL posted a picture of the whole group, minus SS's girlfriend, but with BM.  People were commenting about what a happy family.   It got to me, of the pictures I am sure were taken, why would she post one with BM.   Like BM is more a part of the family than my SS's girlfriend of 4 years.  So weird, and I feel like it's disrespectful to me.  

I did bring it up to DH last night, he had actually just been complaining about some other things that went on with MIL on the trip, plus some bigger issues happening, so I thought that's what we were doing last night.  He didn't say anything until a little while later, he came to where I was and whispered in my ear that he was sorry I was upset by the picture.  I started to ask if he thought I was wrong to feel like it was disrespectful, and he cut me off with "you knew BM was going to be there, you should have assumed there would be pictures with her".  That, and his tone, really hit me wrong so we had a bit of an argument and kind of retreated to different corners.   I was not expecting him to do anything about it, I was just sharing my feelings and wanted to know what he thought, but I am guessing he was trying to do his normal conflict avoidance thing he used to do in situations with SD, he probably thought I wanted him to talk to MIL and it's much easier for him to just try to manage my feelings.  He and I will talk about that again later.

Anyway, thought I would as here in a group of peers.  Would it bother you if your MiL posted a "family" picture on social media that included BM?  That picture and one other weird one of MIL, DH, SD, and my niece and nephew where no one appeared to be ready for the picture were the only 2 she posted, so it's not like she just uploaded a batch of pictures without thinking about it..

tog redux's picture

I think this will be different for everyone depending on their relationship with BM. I can't remember your story - is BM high conflict and has she made your lives hell in the past? If so, then yes, that would annoy me. If BM was a decent person who has reasonably co-parented with DH, then no, it probably wouldn't have. 

In my case, I can't even imagine DH and BM being at the same event, much less in a picture together, there was so much conflict. MIL lives far away, they don't all attend events together so I don't have a frame of reference. But I have a friend with an amicable divorce, and there were all kinds of pictures of her and her ex and former in-laws at her son's graduation, but they all got along fine, so it seemed normal. 

stepper47's picture

DH and BM (and I) get along on the surface, but from things the kids have said and what has gone on in especially the last 2-5 years, I believe there has been some PAS and I know she has undermined DH and our household. She is a bit controlling and opinionated, and the little bit I have been around her in the later years, she always finds a way to work in a dig toward DH.  Do, not overtly contentious, but I don't trust her. I think it's great that they are able to put their differences aside and do things like this for the kids, I don't have a problem with that at all.  I don't even have a problem with pictures.  It's that my MIL chose to post it on social media.  My MIL is overly involved in social media, that is one of her main topics of conversation, who is doing this or that, so it just bothers me that she wouldn't think about how it might make me feel to see a family pic with BM, and how it might look to other people basically BM being in my place.   I have often felt like I am good enough for BM to ask me to do things for her, but i don't mean a lot outside of that, and I guess things like this kind of reinforce that feeling.  But maybe I shouldn't take it personally. 

tog redux's picture

I wouldn't take it personally. Social media is full of fake nonsense. I'd also stop looking at her social media, though. 

stepmomnorth's picture

I can see how it bothered you and I probably would have felt the same way in that situation. My MIL has a large framed photo of all the family with my partner and BM. Partner and BM were married at the time, all dressed up and attending my SILs wedding. I know my MIL has the photo there because of the memory of my sister in laws wedding but everytime I see it, it kind of makes me feel bad. 

I think it's a bit insensitive of her to post the pic with bio mom but I probably would just let it slide. Sometimes people are aloof about this kind of thing. 

tog redux's picture

My MIL has a similar picture, but it was a point in time that happened, so it doesn't bother me, she has tons of pictures of everything.  But to be fair, I rarely see her, as she lives 5 hours away and DH barely speaks to her. So I've only had to look at that picture once. I'd be annoyed if she was still in contact with BM now, but she isn't. Only because BM has been such a nightmare for us. 

stepper47's picture

I am definitely going to let it slide as far as MIL goes.  I think last night with my friend texting me (and she was asking if I was there bc she also thought it was weird to post a pic with BM instead of me), I just wanted to get it off my chest to DH.  I was looking for him to say, you're right, that's disrespectful, sorry my mom isn't thoughtful, but that's not what I heard him say.  MIL posted some pics including BM from SD's graduation, but they were in a group with others and that didn't bother me.  Just hit me wrong in this case.  

 At least it wasn't where they had gone to a photographer for actual family photos, like my brother in law had done and posted when BM took the kids to visit him in his city years ago right before DH and I got married.   My in laws are weird.  

Stepgram's picture

My MIL kept DH and ex's wedding photo up on the wall in the living room with her other children's wedding photos. I told DH that I thought it was odd considering that he has been divorced from the ex for quite sometime. He found excuses for his mother. 

When we got married, DH gave her a wedding photo of us - she put it away in drawer but still kept up the wedding photo of the ex!   I told DH how disappointed I was.   DH was good however and told her off, got the old photo removed and ours got put up on the wall. 

She now keeps the wedding photo of the ex on her bedside table.  She had offered us to sleep in her room when I was pregnant years ago and I declined as soon as I saw that photo.

She's a good catholic and only 1st marriages count. My FIL is an alcoholic who verbally abuses her but she won't leave him because of that. 

DH and I have been married for over 24 years and it's still the same. I have pretty much given up on her and keep our interactions cordial for DH and my 2  DDs' sake.

Someoneelse's picture

I would have slept in the room, and somehow accidently destroy the photo.  "Somehow it must have gotten knocked over and i accidentally knocked my water glass over on it, I'm so sorry" *insert eye roll*

hereiam's picture

of the pictures I am sure were taken, why would she post one with BM

Why wouldn't she post one with BM? BM was there, it was her daughter's campus tour.

I really don't see the big deal. Why would you feel disrespected? It was SD's campus tour and it was a picture of those who went on the tour with her, including her own mother.

how it might look to other people basically BM being in my place

But, BM was not in your place, she was there because she is SD's mother, she was not there as DH's wife.

I don't blame you for spending time with your son, instead of going on the tour, but I don't understand feeling disrespected over the picture.

I get that seeing it hit you wrong, but I think you should try to look at it differently. You keep calling it a "family" picture but that's not  really what it was.

As far as your MIL, before and after the divorce, I've been there. My DH's sister hated BM, at one time, then was suddenly best friends with her for awhile, after the divorce.

It's a weird dynamic and I have often wondered if it boils down to jealousy/resentment of the woman he is with at the time. Your MIL might have seen BM as a threat, when she was married to her son, not so much after the divorce.

stepper47's picture

In the light of day I am feeling better about it, like I said, it hit me wrong in that moment,  and then DH's reaction to me saying that it bothered me made me mad. We talked about it today and he said he understands how I feel, but he also knows how his mom is and the only thing on her mind was posting a picture to share with the world and probably didn't think about who was in it.  I was referring to it as a family picture because people kept commenting about beautiful family, and all she had said about it was that it was a visit to the grandkids.   And I know other group pics were taken bc my DH showed them to me, maybe MIL didn't have more but she is usually all over adding her phone to the mix if someone is taking pictures.  I think when I see or hear things like this I just need to shake my head or roll my eyes to myself and move on.  

Mamabearof3's picture

My MIL never liked BM till years after we were married lol now she likes her and not me. Whatever. But I'm sorry. Mil was petty and wrong for sure posting that picture like that. That's gross. 

CLove's picture

As sweet as she was, my MIL with her bouts of dementia and overall huge heart that accepted everyone, each holiday would put me through the wringer due to her constant invitations to Toxic Troll to attend. UGH. I would not say "luckily shes not with us anymore", just that any stress she inadvertantly caused went away when she went.

Im glad you are feeling better now! I dont think it was a personal thing.

papayag's picture

Any chance your MIL is just a bit...dense? Maybe wanted to show off a big smiling happy family to her friend circle regardless of who or what might be on display?  Or show off that her grandson is going to be big man on campus, and only had two crappy photos to do that with?

If she's old there's a very good chance she's terrible at social media - especially if the other photo seemed unprepared. Maybe she just thinks "I have these photos, I need to share them to show off my grandson is going to college, that's what social media is"? 

Someoneelse's picture

I would be SOOOOOO tempted to write something immature something like "I love my sweet men in that photo, Sorry I couldn't make it and make it the whole family"