3 Years Of Misery, Finally Coming To An End. At The Cutting-off Point!

So sorry for the length! This is my first time posting here, so am hoping someone will have been through this before and have some good, solid advice for where I go from here and support for how I go about moving forward and supporting my husband through this cut-off. Here goes - a little (or a lot depending on how you look at it) background on the insanity that is my mother-in-law...

My husband and I met in December of 2009 and things moved VERY quickly. He bought a ring the following March, proposed in May and a week later we found out we were pregnant when I was never supposed to be able to conceive on my own - lots of changes very quick! His mom, however, was over the moon! We got along great and she was very excited for the baby and upcoming wedding. My husband and I started looking at houses together and that's when stuff started getting a little out of hand. His mom has MAJOR attachment issues to him (her youngest of two sons) and was devastated that we were considering buying our own home together. She wanted to fix up her basement for us and the baby to live in because she "couldn't handle the separation." I could understand if we didn't have the means to move out on our own and think that would be very kind of her to offer that up, but why would we even consider that when we were fully capable of purchasing our own house?

Once she realized she lost that battle, she started cornering me when my husband (at the time my fiance) wasn't around telling me that I needed to let her watch the baby for us, that she wouldn't be able to go on living if she couldn't see 'her' baby every day. He found out about this and confronted her, saying she needed to leave me alone and we had made the childcare decision together based on what we thought was best for our situation. At that point, it was clear that his mom had control issues, so there was no way I was going to have her watch our daughter while we were at work every day. I told my husband that she is OUR child and we are going to raise her the way WE decide, not your mom - he totally agreed. We decided to put our daughter in daycare and I think it was the best decision for us - she was in the same room with my best friend's son (he's three weeks older than her) and they were great to her. Plus, it was consistent care and they worked with us on what we wanted for her (organic meat and dairy, etc.). His mom didn't take kindly to this and said that she might as well not even have a grandchild if she can't see her. And to clarify, she saw her at least once a week, sometimes twice if there was a holiday/birthday/gathering thrown in there, too, so she was definitely involved.

Then when it came time for a baby shower, we quickly realized that both of our families were too big to have only one shower. We asked his mom if she would be willing to have a baby shower for his side of the family because my mom couldn't afford to rent out a facility and feed 80 people - my friends and family came to 40 people and so did his side. She said it wasn't her responsibility - we said ok, totally understand, but we're not able to have everyone at our house for the shower - my mom is throwing a shower for my friends and family. She flipped and was like so my family doesn't get to come to the shower?! We said there just isn't enough space to fit that many people in our house, but that she would certainly be included, just not her entire family. She finally reluctantly agreed to host one for us (and also came to the other shower where she left early without saying goodbye because she got bored). I was admitted to the hospital (preeclampsia) the week before the shower at 33 weeks, so we let her know that we wouldn't be able to make it and that we would gladly call everyone she had invited to let them know. She was like, "well, can't you just leave for a couple of hours to come to the shower?" Umm...no, I'M ADMITTED IN THE HOSPITAL. She went ahead and had the shower anyway, opened all of our gifts and then dropped off a list of who bought us what for me to write out thank you notes. I was just like, are you serious?!?! Ugh... While I was in the hospital, his mom would come visit every other day or so and the nurses noticed I would have really adverse reactions every time she came. They finally talked to DH and said she couldn't come see me anymore - she was making my blood pressure go up so high they were afraid I was going to have a seizure and they would need to induce me. He went to talk to her about backing off and she flew off the handle, chugged two bottles of wine and threw all of the baby gifts from the shower out on her driveway. She told my husband that he wasn't her son anymore and that she wasn't going to be in this baby's life. He called me to tell me what happened (he was crying) and I had a complete breakdown, and they induced me that night. His mom came to the hospital and kept trying to get into the delivery room and was asked to leave after she made such a scene (that, of course, according to her, was my fault too).

Moving onto the babysitting issue - his mom smokes three packs of cigarettes a day INSIDE her house and they have an Akita that is VERY aggressive, but his mom sees no problem with her being in a smoke-filled house as my daughter who was born with laryngomalacia (breathing issue in premies) is laying on the floor with this dog. So we talked to her about both concerns and she said that she wasn't going to change her life just because we disagreed. We then decided that his mom wouldn't watch her ever. So, my mom typically watches her when we need a sitter - she has her own room there and my mom keeps stocked on diapers, wipes, clothes, food, literally anything and everything she would need. She also has her own playroom there in addition to her room (and my mom lives 5 minutes away and his parents are 30 minutes away). Does it not make perfect sense that she would stay with my mom?

So, things continue with her passive-aggressive comments about how she's not a real grandma and how our daughter doesn't even know who she is and whatnot. We would continue to bring her over every week and just ignore it, but it never stopped. Then, last Thanksgiving, both of our families scheduled their gatherings for the same day and time - great! So we asked if we could come an hour early to his family's (just his grandma and parents) and stay for two hours and then go to my family's an hour late and stay for two hours - even time spent. She flew off the handle and said that we were ruining their Thanksgiving to accommodate my family, even though we were going to mine an hour late. DH called her back and tried to talk everything through with her and she went on to say that I was the most evil person she'd ever met, that I was stealing all of his money and spending it on myself (I'm the breadwinner and the cheapest person I know), that I never helped with the baby or around the house - that he was the one who did everything (are you serious?), etc. My husband told me everything she said (not a good idea) so I told him that I didn't think it was a good idea for us to go to his family's gathering anymore if she really said all those things and feels that way. So, we didn't go and she flipped out again - went back to the same antics as the baby shower explosion, that he was no longer her son, she wouldn't be in our lives, etc.

A couple of weeks later, we decided to have a big talk with them since our daughter's first birthday was approaching, to try and get everything sorted out, which just turned into a big "let's talk in circles for hours" game. They blamed everything on me, said that my husband needed to stick up for them and that I was the one that had a problem with them and needed to get over it. It was also at that time they informed me that they were taking me to court to fight for grandparent's rights - he and I still weren't married at the time and in the great state of Ohio, they can take you to court at anytime for rights if the parents aren't married at the time of the birth. Basically, even though he and I are married now, she could still take us to court because we weren't married when our daughter was born (they likely wouldn't have a chance of winning, but it's still crazy).

Then, two weeks after our daughter's birthday, I decided to let his mom babysit as kind of a peace offering to show we were willing to work with them if they would agree to not smoke around her and pen the dog up in another room while she was there (I know, I'm an idiot). We came to pick her up and everything was fine - we were getting ready to go and his dad did/said the most unforgivable thing he could have - here's where is starts to get REALLY messed up. His dad kept trying to put his finger in our daughter's mouth (she just turned one) and I asked him to stop - he said "I just want to see what she'll do." and kept doing it. He said, "I want to see if she's going to bite me." I asked him again to stop and said that we didn't want to teach her to bite, so don't. He put his finger in her mouth and she licked it. He laughed and said, "Oh honey, you're going to make some man very happy one day." MY BLOOD IS BOILING JUST THINKING ABOUT IT. I grabbed her and said, "Don't ever f*cking touch my child again!" and stormed out. The ride home was silent and the next day my husband and I talked about it. He agreed it was completely out of line and made him very uncomfortable. We agreed that we would not leave her alone with his dad, ever. Also, his mom laughed when his dad said this and said, "Well, you know he's just a horny old man who isn't getting any." Really, so this is a joke to talk about a grandfather touching his granddaughter and making sexual comments about her?!

From that day on, we decided that if his mom ever watched her again, that it would be at our house and his dad couldn't be there. We would only ask her to watch her on nights that his dad had basketball games (he is a middle school girl's volunteer basketball coach) and say that it needed to be at our house. We explained to his mom that at this point, we just didn't feel comfortable with him being around our daughter if one of us wasn't there. This worked fine for a few times and then one time we came home and his dad's car was in our driveway. I ran in, grabbed my daughter and took her upstairs. His mom told my husband that I was overreacting and that we couldn't keep her away from her grandfather. So needless to say, she has not watched her alone since and will never again (this was nine months ago). We also told his dad that if he ever said or did anything like that ever again, we were reporting it. If he were to do something to someone else's child, I would feel awful and that child's mother would hate us, rightly so.

We planned our wedding for July 2012 and every step of the way his family were completely difficult, they made a scene at the bridal shower, saying that they didn't even have a son anymore because I ruined him. They said I couldn't invite my friends from out of town to the rehearsal dinner (there were two of them and they were staying with us at our house) even if I paid for them, but invited a group of their friends that we didn't even know. His mom screamed at my mom during our wedding pictures and then they scowled for the entire ceremony and reception, left early and didn't even say a word to us during the entire thing. Then the kicker, for our gift, they got us a card that said they would pay $500 toward our car maintenance bill and that we would need to pay them the remaining balance of $500 by the end of the month. The bill was for maintenance we didn't even authorize and they couldn't even tell us what they had done to the car - DH asked for new brakes for Christmas, so they took the car in and had them done for him and allegedly all this other maintenance needed done. Over time, they told him for birthdays, Christmas, easter, etc., that they were paying the bill off instead of giving him gifts (the total from the start was $800 and should have been paid off in March 2012). Now all of a sudden that jumped to $1000 and we owed them $500 by the end of the month.

After the wedding - and then the honeymoon - they didn't contact my husband for six weeks. No how was the honeymoon, congratulations, we're so happy for you - nothing. Then all the passive aggressive behavior started again. My husband started going to counseling to deal with his parents in April and his therapist told him that his mother was incredibly manipulative and verbally abusive - he's still going to try and deal with everything they put him through growing up so he doesn't exhibit the same type of behavior toward our kids. The therapist asked him to invite his parents to a session to try and work everything out and he agreed - they came to talk at the end of August. It went BAD. His mom denied everything and said that he was killing his father and that if his dad dropped dead that it would be his fault and he would have to live with that the rest of his life. Same old, same old continued for the entire session. His dad actually apologized for saying what he did and said that he hoped one day we could trust him again, but until that happens, that he would do whatever we felt comfortable with - I do give him credit for that, although I don't think our feelings about him not being along with her will ever change.

A week after the session, we got three goodbye letters in the mail, one for my husband, one for me and one for my daughter. Mine was short and sweet, asking me to take care of her son for her. His was long and manipulative, guilt ridden and very over dramatic. Our daughter's was just messed up - she said that she was sorry her mommy and daddy wouldn't let her be a grandma and that we wouldn't permit her to see her. That she would have to watch her grow up on facebook and that she hopes her mommy doesn't block her grandma, so she can still look at her pictures.

After that session and even after the letters, they continued to go every week, with no progress - my husband started getting burnt out and contemplated just cutting them out all together. Then in September, we found out we were pregnant again and decided that we weren't letting the same thing happen again and laid out the following ground rules for his mom - she wouldn't have a relationship with our children until she did all of the following (and that the only guarantee was that if she didn't agree, then we would have NO relationship with them):
- She go to counseling to work on her own issues with depression and make a valiant effort to improve.
- Once she was in a better place on her own, she would need to go to counseling with my husband to work on their issues.
- After he felt it was in a good spot, me, my husband, his mom and dad would go to a counselor for a mediation period to establish boundaries and set expectations.
- Once we all agreed, she can start seeing our daughter/new baby again, but to know that if she goes against anything we decided, it will go right back to a cut-off.

She told him, "Sorry, but I'm not going. I guess it's not going to get better." Then she gave him our daughter's birthday present and said 'Here's her present since I'm not going to be allowed to see her." and left. Since then she's been texting me almost daily, wanting to know if our daughter liked her present, letting me know that her doors are always open, that she hopes the baby is doing well..blah blah blah. My husband also let her know at the last session that I'm having blood pressure problems again and am now seeing a cardiologist regularly for some pregnancy-induced heart issues. He told her that she is stressing me out and it's literally affecting my health - he said she needs to leave me alone and contact him if she needs to know anything. I've just been ignoring her texts, because he told her that I wouldn't respond even if she did text me, but that doesn't stop her. I then blocked her number and on facebook.

We decided she's not going to be a part of our lives anymore. That much we can agree on, but now he's struggling with his other family members. None of them will come to our house to celebrate our daughter's birthday or Christmas as long as his mom's not invited. They said they won't see us or talk to us until we can talk to her again. His grandma's in very poor health and this will likely be her last Christmas, so he's taking is very hard. Plus, it's not fair to our daughter that none of her family will have a relationship with her because of his mom (who they all agree is totally nuts, but that she'll never change, so we just need to learn to live with it and get over it so the family can come back together).

Part of me says, forget them. He doesn't need them. But then part of me feels bad for him so much that I'm like, well, what else can we do to try and make it better? To make his mom understand what she's throwing away. I keep going back and forth and am so frustrated with myself. We're at the point where we are going to proceed with a cut-off entirely. They will never have contact with me or my children again and my husband has agreed to not speak to them at least until the new baby is 3 months old - and possibly never again. I hope I don't sound like a crazy daughter-in-law who's trying to rule the roost. We really have tried everything we know how with no positive changes and at this point need to do what's best for our children and our immediate family now. If anyone else has gone through something similar or has any advice they'd like to share, I'd greatly appreciate it!
kad8986 kad8986
26-30, F
Dec 6, 2012