My In-laws Dislike Me But Love My Kids, Now What?

During the my marriage, my ex husband's mother made it no secret that she disliked me.  During those years, we often had disagreements.  She told lies about me and called me names that will never be found in a dictionary.

I went to great lengths trying to win her friendship, but my efforts were of no avail.   Although cash was tight, I bought supplies to make crafts to present to her.  I occasionally did her grocery shopping.  I helped her with household chores, the list goes on - - - .   

To me she was a spiteful, bitter woman who I could not please. We could never see eye to eye on anything, and I do mean that literally.   It seemed the more I tried coaxing her to like me, the more she disliked me. 

After about the tenth year of her insults, backbiting,  and the bickering between us, I knew this was a no win battle, and it was time to give up socializing with her.   By that time I loathed her and I would cringe upon hearing her name. I did not want to see her.  I did not want to talk to her.  I did not want to hear anything about her and I refused to be in her presence.

Despite my ill feelings toward this woman who I considered to be wicked witch of the west, and who made my life difficult, she was unfortunately, the grandmother of my children.  I had no doubt that she loved them and showered them with her affection.   Don'r t ask me how, but somehow,  I managed to put my ill feelings aside,  and I did not allow the relationship between her and I interfere with the relationship she had with my children.

I can say with total conviction, and actually I am rather proud of myself for having the ability to recognize the unfairness of separating my children from her. 

When I decided to cut ties, I was candid.   We made a mutual agreement that we would not say anything negative or criticize each other in front of my children.  I would not tolerate my children coming home after a visit to tell me that Nanny said this, that, or the other, and if it happened I would not hesitate to halt the visitation between them.

Thankful, she stuck to her word.       

You see when I was a child, my biological grandmother lived quite a distance from me, and as a result I did not spend time with her or have the privilege of visiting her.  The other woman, my stepfather’s mother, whom was supposed to be my grandmother, did not represent any sort of a grandmother figure in my life.   We had no connection.  

To be brutally honest, I was a little jealous, no actually, I was a great deal jealous of my sister for having the grandma that I longed to have.  As a child I cried many tears because I knew she did not treat me as she treated my sister.   I could never understand why she did not care for me.   I could not comprehend why she could not pretend to like me.    

When I became an adult I found the courage to confront her about us not bonding.  Sadly, she did not dispute the fact.  She flatly told me the truth.  Her words were, "because you are not my flesh and blood."  

That was a hard chunk of reality to swallow and to this day it still brings tears to my eyes.     

I guess the leading force behind why I did separate my children from their grandmother was the memory of my own childhood experience.   I believe  these memories were what inspired me not to with hold my children from their grandparents.    

I stand firm behind what I am about to day.  In cases when a parent does not get along with their in -laws we need to be adult enough to put our differences aside and think of our children.    We honestly do not have the right to discourage a relationship  between grandchildren and grandparents unless it is directly affecting the well being of our children. 

Grandparents play a vital role in our children' lives and they can teach our children many things that we sometimes overlook.    

sherry123456789 sherry123456789
46-50, F
19 Responses Mar 11, 2010

Sometimes grandparents need to be watched like hawks. My children's grandparents conducted a campaign to replace the children's affection for us for them. Whatever we did or gave to our children, they would have to go one better. The children also on occasions heard their grandparents' extreme negativity towards my husband. In the end we moved overseas, partly to remove ourselves and them from the grandparents' toxicity. Your advice is sound, as long as the grandparents are willing to respect your role as parent and not try to negatively influence their grandchildren towards their own parents.

It was very generous and selfless of you to allow your children contact with their grandmother despite the way she treated you. My own grandmother told me that when I was in college that when I get married I would no longer be part of her family because I am a girl and I would no longer carry their family name. I agree with your efforts to try and distance yourself from negative people while not harboring ill feelings to the degree that it consumes you. Wishing you well and sending you good vibes :)

I don't know how, or even why, you put up with your mother in law for so long, but it does seem a positive way to have brought her baleful influence to an end.

Sherry,<br />
<br />
I don't go out of my way to befriend my in-laws or step children. I tried for the six years my husband and I have been married, but I am still disrespected. Unfortunately, my daughter seems to be leaning more towards acting like her step brothers and sisters. I hate it. I would like to think I had more influence on her life. I don't guess it's entirely her fault. I have been sick more often then well from 2007 until 2010. I think that I missed very critical periods in her life when a child really needs her Mother. She is 16-years old now and I pray everyday that she will remember the morals and values I taught her. I also pray for my son. He is 14 and so far he isn't bad, but I think he wonders why I am still with his step-father.

..well ! I could be wrong !!! .. ...but the last I heard ... they call it 'Forgiveness' .

AND !!! ..Do you realise, that in every sense of the word --- YOU .. .. .... .... .... .... .. . ... ..... .. ... are the one ... to have initiated the process of 'the Original' that something, which sets us ALL free ??

Kudos !!!!! Ma'm ..

That's Gold. That IS Gold.

Or in other words : Out of the pain you experienced{as a kid}, >>YOU<< ..CONJURED UP IN YOURSELF... .. ... ... .. **THE GOLD**..._**THE VIRTUE**_ ... .. .. .. .. .. OF -- not letting any hard feelings affect 'THE' "..But I can say one thing with conviction. I would not stop my three children from going there. " DECISION .

PARADOX : pain you experienced{as a kid} led to - avoidance of pain to the kids{out of 'YOUR'; not letting hard feelings affect 'THE' "..But I can say one thing with conviction. I would not stop my three children from going there. " DECISION}.

A PARADOX : prejudice for 'flesh & blood' led to - kids being able to see their grandma .

Now I do not want to be rude as to pity either one of them .

I am afraid both of those women are unlucky to the extent of missing out on a person like you.

CONFESSION - I would have left the whole thing to itself much earlier .

...that's definitely definitely more patient than me !

Well .. 17 years !!!!! ... ye Gads !

Hey Sherry !! ...that's kind & patient .. now smile first :)

My stepdaughter gave me my first grandchild my sons then gave me 3 more I love them all with all my heart they are all mine some day they will grow up and drift away from me but till then I spend all the time I can with them and if I live far away thank the Lord for skype

I enjoy your stories and your point of view. One of things I truly appreciate about EP, is the sharing of points of view that are so different from mine....The interesting thing is that many of the actual experiences are very similar---but each individual interprets them in a unique way.