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MIL Still Tries To Have Relationship With Bio Mom

campingbonusmomma's picture

So, I am extremely patient, and I was raised to be kind to others, and respect my parents.  I do everything I can to respect and love my in-laws.  My father in law and I get along so well and I love him.  My mother in law... well, she is sweet and kind, but is a gossip and loves bringing up my husband's past and it makes him very uncomfortable.  I try to take the high road and treat her as I would my own mom, but I really struggle to trust her.  My husband's ex and bio mom to his only child is not nice at all.  She's mean, spiteful, rude, angry, and selfish.  She is very reactive and clearly has an uncontrolled anger problem.  She's chased my husband off her front step at drop offs screaming the f bomb, etc for little more than how to split up the yearly school photos.  Dealing with her is something we have drawn boundaries around and we limit all contact to very bare essentials for our own peace of mind.  She also has gone off on several occasions on my in-laws.  My FIL cannot stand her.  
MIL however still tries to stay connected to her.  Texts her to see if she can watch my husbands son/my step son.  Gave her $100 for back to school clothes for the child and nothing to us.  Goes inside her home and chats it up when she does drop him off after the occasional day of babysitting.
Husband has told his mom on multiple occasions that is makes him uncomfortable and he doesn't understand why she wants a relationship with her when she is so awful to us.  She acts like she understands and then a few months later she will casually say something like, "I think I'll contact "Jane" to see if I can watch "grandson." And then my husband gets defensive and says "why can't you just contact me?"  He has his son 50%.  He makes all sorts of efforts to give his mom and dad time with his son/their grandson.

Any advice for this?  How do we draw boundaries here?  Anyone in the least going through anything similar?  After a while it really eats both of us up and it causes us to keep a distance.  Just wondering if anyone has gone through the same.

justmakingthebest's picture

My advice? Leave it alone. 

This isn't about you or even your husband. This is about a grandma trying to be in her grandson's life. 

Remember how SM's have no rights? Well neither do grandparents. Even the few states that recognize grandparents it is a long and expensive fight for potentially one day a month visit.

If something happens to your husband, BM gets the kid. The end. She will have sole decision making on every level. Your MIL is trying to make sure that if something happens she won't be removed for her grandson's life. 

SeeYouNever's picture

I have a SIL that still communicates quite a bit with BM and we'll go around my DH to get SD. The issue over here is more of custody interference. I am pretty sure that BM encourages it because she knows it creates a divide within DHs family. 

However the root of it is the same, your DHs family doesn't respect him. Many grandparents care more about grandkids than their own kids so they go directly to the source (BM). It sounds like MIL doesn't want to be beholden to the custody schedule to see her grandchild and this works for both her and BM, and neither of them care about your DHs boundary.

I say this quite a bit, it's hard to accept but you can only control your relationship with people, you can't control their relationship with each other. 

Your DHS to talk to MIL and if he doesn't stop this then he needs to find a way to convince her to or just go low/no contact so you guys are no longer affected by this.

JRI's picture

I'm a grandmother and great-grandmother.  Thankfully, I dont have the awkward situation you describe.  But, if I did, I might be doing the same as your MIL.  I would be "making nice" with BM so I could see GS  more.  I'd also see it as doing a kindness for my son, keeping a benign channel open.  In my heart, Id probably hate her guts but Id feel like I was doing  it for GS and son.  It's like diplomacy.

As a matter of fact, that's our policy with our kid's and GKs' exes.  We maintain positive relations with them all, if they are still around to do so.  I know in each and every case, our kid or GK was at least 50% of the problem.

As your DH's wife, and seeing the crap he has to endure, I can understand how MIL's behavior seems odd.  Id just let her do her thing.  It's absolutely no reflection on you.  She thinks she's doing a good thing.

advice.only2's picture

As long as your MIL is respecting your privacy and not sharing any information with the BM, I feel it's really her choice of how she interacts with the toxic BM.

I have no relationship with my DH's daughter, but his family and many of my family do. I simply ask them to respect my privacy and not share any information about me with her, and vice versa.

ESMOD's picture

My MIL keeps in fairly close contact with my BIL's ex... she will to this day say that the woman was in her life and gave her 3 grandkids.. and tbh.. she is probably the BETTER of the two people my BIL married.. and even now.. will help my Inlaws if my FIL needs a ride to a DR appt etc..

I think they did have some contact with my DH's ex a bit.. but his EX is a more conflict ridden person and I think she burned her bridges with my inlaws a while back.. and all the kids are adults now anyway.. so it is no longer an ACCESS thing like it used to be with her.

As long as the MIL isn't undercutting or oversharing with the EX.. and it's a way they get to be in the grandkid's life more.. and it's not like they are invited to the family cookouts.. I'm not going to die on that hill.

ndc's picture

Is your MIL, in her relationship with BM, undermining your DH's authority with his son?  Sharing information about your household with BM?  Interfering with your DH's custody time?  In any way PASing the child or assisting BM in doing so, purposely or inadvertently?  Denigrating you?  If not, I'd stand down and stay out of it.  Your DH doesn't get to control his mother's relationships.  The most he can do is tell her how he feels about it and/or alter his own relationship with her.  

My MIL has a very friendly relationship with BM.  It's mostly on social media as MIL lives hours away, but she likes every FB post BM makes, comments frequently on BM's page, tells her she loves her and how beautiful and wonderful she is, etc.  This is the woman who cheated on DH and left him, so this love fest seems a little odd to me.  But it's none of my business and DH and I pretty much ignore it.  Also, if DH were to drop dead tomorrow, MIL's only avenue to see the skids would be through BM, so maybe it makes some sense. MIL also maintains an active social media relationship with BM's extended family, her new husband, and a woman to whom DH was engaged before BM, so it's not even just BM.   MIL is also kind to me and treats me like DH's wife, so I can't complain that she's favoring BM.  Sometimes you have to accept that things are odd but not worth fretting about.  

Rags's picture

Toxic GrandHags are no different than a toxic BM and cannot be tolerated any more than the toxic BM can be tolerated.

Time for DH to tell his mom that since she gets her GK time from BM, there will be no GK time on your DH's kid time.  DH can engage with his dad to go guy stuff where all three of them go fishing, etc... .while GrandHag stews in her toxic juices.