Flying monkeys?

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Flying monkeys?

Postby Mara » Wed Aug 30, 2017 3:23 pm

My situation is relatively calm right now. Completely NC with all ILs, aside from paternal AIL who chauffeurs H to his weekly visitation with the kids. Although her and I do not even acknowledge each other after the day we argued about MIL's "rights." No other relatives have even attempted contact aside from maternal AIL and her DD's. I suppose they are probably flying monkeys (although I am not certain if they fit the definition?). At first, they reached out to me and acted sympathetic "we love you, we are here for you, we are sorry you are going through this," etc. they said anything I shared was completely confidential. They told me they don't talk to my PILs since AIL and MIL have their own drama (which I had previously heard all about). They are pretty "normal" people unlike many of the other ILs.

I was still guarded, but thought they were safe to communicate with. Then I found out maternal AIL shared something I posted on social media with MIL. It created HUGE drama. I rarely share anything on social media and don't believe there was anything wrong with what I shared, but that is just how MIL is... I wasn't upset with AIL because i knew the root of the drama was MIL being ridiculous as always (and she was probably angry AIL knew her business). So then, next time AIL sent me a message, I wrote her a little and she responded about how the solution was to just bring the kids to see MIL and sort out the issues! Maybe MIL and AIL resolved their issues? And who knows what lies MIL told AIL. I nevrr responded to AIL after that.

Now one of her daughters asked how I'm doing. I'm conflicted to respond. On one side, she may just be fishing for information for MIL. She lives faraway and we haven't seen each other for years (due to PILs hiding H's mental illness then MILs drama with AIL). On the other side, she is a nice person and we have a lot in common. It's probably safest not to respond. Another casualty of the toxic PILs...
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Re: Flying monkeys?

Postby Melody » Wed Aug 30, 2017 3:48 pm

[quote="Mara"]My situation is relatively calm right now. Completely NC with all ILs, aside from paternal AIL who chauffeurs H to his weekly visitation with the kids. Although her and I do not even acknowledge each other after the day we argued about MIL's "rights." No other relatives have even attempted contact aside from maternal AIL and her DD's. I suppose they are probably flying monkeys (although I am not certain if they fit the definition?).

YEA! Glad to hear things are relatively calm for a change!!


At first, they reached out to me and acted sympathetic "we love you, we are here for you, we are sorry you are going through this," etc. they said anything I shared was completely confidential. They told me they don't talk to my PILs since AIL and MIL have their own drama (which I had previously heard all about). They are pretty "normal" people unlike many of the other ILs.

For a week - until they get bored - oh wait, they already are.

I was still guarded,

YES - please continue.

but thought they were safe to communicate with.

Nope!

Then I found out maternal AIL shared something I posted on social media with MIL. It created HUGE drama. I rarely share anything on social media and don't believe there was anything wrong with what I shared, but that is just how MIL is... I wasn't upset with AIL because i knew the root of the drama was MIL being ridiculous as always (and she was probably angry AIL knew her business).

AIL's fault, completely! She KNOWS MIL is ridiculous, but chose to gossip anyway. FLYING MONKEY status CONFIRMED!!!


So then, next time AIL sent me a message, I wrote her a little and she responded about how the solution was to just bring the kids to see MIL and sort out the issues! Maybe MIL and AIL resolved their issues? And who knows what lies MIL told AIL. I nevrr responded to AIL after that.

Go FFFFFF yourself AIL - she CLEARLY doesn't get I AT ALL!!!! Maybe its time to find someone else to bring DH - and that would be the only "sorting out of the issues" I would consider.

Now one of her daughters asked how I'm doing. I'm conflicted to respond.

"Fine", don't elaborate. "How are you?".
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Re: Flying monkeys?

Postby PutMILinherplace » Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:04 pm

Now one of her daughters asked how I'm doing. I'm conflicted to respond. On one side, she may just be fishing for information for MIL. She lives faraway and we haven't seen each other for years (due to PILs hiding H's mental illness then MILs drama with AIL). On the other side, she is a nice person and we have a lot in common. It's probably safest not to respond. Another casualty of the toxic PILs...


Let me ask you an honest question. Could ANY good come out of a relationship with her daughter? And does that good outweigh the bad? Does anything that MIGHT come out of it override the stress you will constantly feel wondering whether or not she is a flying monkey? (My bet would be no)

Why subject yourself, and more importantly your kids, to it? The daughter might be a perfectly delightful girl and may have perfectly honest intentions. HOWEVER, nothing against her, it just may not be a relationship that is worth having.
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Re: Flying monkeys?

Postby Mara » Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:16 pm

Melody wrote:"Fine", don't elaborate. "How are you?".



Yes that is a good idea. Vague response no sharing any sensitive information. I know it's confusing keeping track of the AILs, but the paternal one brings H to visits. I do not talk to her at all, she is an unpleasant person. Maternal AIL is the flying monkey who acted like she was here for me.

Actually - I suppose they are both flying monkeys! I just know better than to talk to paternal AIL because it was so obvious.
Last edited by Mara on Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:34 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Flying monkeys?

Postby Mara » Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:18 pm

PutMILinherplace wrote:
Now one of her daughters asked how I'm doing. I'm conflicted to respond. On one side, she may just be fishing for information for MIL. She lives faraway and we haven't seen each other for years (due to PILs hiding H's mental illness then MILs drama with AIL). On the other side, she is a nice person and we have a lot in common. It's probably safest not to respond. Another casualty of the toxic PILs...


Let me ask you an honest question. Could ANY good come out of a relationship with her daughter? And does that good outweigh the bad? Does anything that MIGHT come out of it override the stress you will constantly feel wondering whether or not she is a flying monkey? (My bet would be no)

Why subject yourself, and more importantly your kids, to it? The daughter might be a perfectly delightful girl and may have perfectly honest intentions. HOWEVER, nothing against her, it just may not be a relationship that is worth having.


That is a very helpful perspective! I was thinking that myself. I can grieve the loss of a potential friendship because realistically, whatever relationship I could have with her is not worth the anxiety, stress, and risk of drama. It's not a safe relationship if I have to always be careful about what I am sharing.
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Re: Flying monkeys?

Postby rubycrownedkinglet » Wed Aug 30, 2017 5:46 pm

I know how you feel Mara and I agree with all the other posters about the value vs. the risk of keeping contact with extended ILs that, now or later, may be flying monkeys.

We also had DUIL and DAIL, and CIL and his wife whom we liked very much and got along with well. However, we were never so very close to them and just saw them every few years when we visited with the PILs in Redneckia. The extendeds lived an hour or two away and made the trip especially to see us and we enjoyed the visits. When FIL was in the hospital for a month before he died, DUIL and DAIL came and stayed in town to be with us during that difficult time and we got to know them a lot better. They saw first hand how EBIL went AWOL as soon as it was determined that FIL would be in the hospital for a while and how ESIL got banned from visiting after badgering FIL and upsetting him so much he nearly died.

After FIL died, they witnessed that EBIL who had come back to town after we had to return home for a few days, took off again and missed FILs funeral. They witnessed ESIL getting her things ready to move into the house that was supposed to be sold and they knew that it would take an act of congress to get her out, ever.

When it all was said and done, and we had cut the ESIBs off completely, the others still kept in contact with us through Christmas cards and invitations to special events in the family. We didn't go into details about what happened with the ESIBs and we didn't have to because they knew how they were.

However, they would never totally cut off any of their nieces and nephews. They believe in strong family bonds and might avoid difficult people, but they would never have cut them off, so we had to decide to be polite and send a Christmas card, but have very little to say. Otherwise, there was that chance that information would leak to the ESIBs or that even just the mention of us would trigger the ESIBs to start badgering us again with calls and letters.

It was sad because we like the extendeds, but they are the blood relatives of the ESIBs, not adopted DH, and they are just about the only other relatives left alive. DH decided that we just wouldn't respond to them anymore and let them think we moved away or something. We were never going to travel to their state again and would probably never see them again anyway.

ETA: It was DUIL who notified us by text that ESIL had died, which I responded to and I really appreciated. How else would I have known when to start singing, " Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead!"
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Re: Flying monkeys?

Postby bsfighter1 » Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:16 am

Everybody here already said what I was thinking.

Just my two cents... when my stepmonster il and 2 nasty sils were causing so many problems for me years ago, and DH's blood brothers and father just sat back and shrugged their shoulders, while the extended ILs celebrated these witches, I warned him even then, through all my confusion and emotional torment, that targeting one person in the 'family' has a ripple effect on all the other relationships, including the extended il relationships. While the evil ILs carry on with their out of control gossip and meanness to the one they consider the 'least' what they are really doing is hurting themselves too and others in the long run when the target finally takes her power back and rejects them, including their children and all the other flying monkeys.

Even with the severe narcs like stepmonster il and now separated wife of bil who don't seem to care, I think deep down they do. How could ANYONE sever ties for good with stepmonster il and treat her and FIL like they don't exist as grandparents for our children?! Just how much it bothered her was confirmed when she and her puppet (FIL) wouldn't even acknowledge DH at a family gathering a few months ago.

And then with ex-SIL, her main motto in life was "No Regrets" while she brought so much chaos and trouble into other people's lives). I doubt she cared at all when I left that family with my kids going NC with them soon after and DH going very LC, but up to this day (although I'll never know for sure) i have a gut instinct that one of the reasons why the marriage didn't work between her and bil was because of how much our cutoff from the family affected him. She's probably way too stupid toknow that her nastiness toward me and eventual cutoff of that family was one of the many things that might have eventually caused her marriage's demise, and have her scouting around town for baby daddy #3 I hear.

As for the extended ILs who just sat back comfortably and watched the shit show unfold, they were also too stupid and entitled to think that me falling out with the other ILs would have an impact on them. I remember people just shrugging their shoulders like DH's grandparents after the final blowout between me and the ILs, and telling DH "that's too bad" very nonchalantly. I was just DH's wife after all, nothing to be too concerned about. Guess now it's also 'too bad' that this insidious type of family drama has also had an impact on their relationships with DH and my children, and that the children and I don't go to any of their things and doubtful I will be carting my children off to attend any weddings or funerals of theirs putting myself in uncomfortable situations for their sake.

Yeah ripple effects.

That's why relentless abuse of a target in a family is so insidious, because the harm ricochets onto everyone else (guilty and innocent alike). And honestly, bystanders like your DH's maternal aunt who say one thing but then feed into the drama (like my aunt ILs did) deserve it when the relationship with you fizzles.

When a narc(s) inevitably destroy a few relationships in the family, they basically ruin relationships between everyone else too, in all the generations involved.
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Re: Flying monkeys?

Postby Mara » Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:18 pm

I never did respond to AIL or her daughter, and they've never reached out to me again, so I guess that's settled!

bsfighter1 wrote:That's why relentless abuse of a target in a family is so insidious, because the harm ricochets onto everyone else (guilty and innocent alike). And honestly, bystanders like your DH's maternal aunt who say one thing but then feed into the drama (like my aunt ILs did) deserve it when the relationship with you fizzles.

When a narc(s) inevitably destroy a few relationships in the family, they basically ruin relationships between everyone else too, in all the generations involved.


bsfighter1 - Yes, that is so true. And so unfortunate. :( Years ago, I told EH (estranged husband) that I wanted us to break the cycle. I told him, "I don't want OUR kids to HATE YOU the same way you hate your dad." (which is the same way FIL hates his own dad). Back then, I thought it meant not cutting family members out of our lives the way the PILs/ other ILs have commonly done. I now see that NC unfortunately was necessary due to the extent of the ILs toxicity/abuse and how it was having a significant impact on the safety and well being of my children and myself. I don't know what "end this cycle" looks like, aside from forgiving them and making sure I am healed and healthy and harbor no bitterness. So having NC differently than they do (without the anger, bitterness, resentment, emotional damage that continues to harm current and future relationships).

rubycrownedkinglet wrote:I know how you feel Mara and I agree with all the other posters about the value vs. the risk of keeping contact with extended ILs that, now or later, may be flying monkeys.

It was sad because we like the extendeds, but they are the blood relatives of the ESIBs, not adopted DH, and they are just about the only other relatives left alive. DH decided that we just wouldn't respond to them anymore and let them think we moved away or something. We were never going to travel to their state again and would probably never see them again anyway.

ETA: It was DUIL who notified us by text that ESIL had died, which I responded to and I really appreciated. How else would I have known when to start singing, " Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead!"


Yes it sounds like you made the best decision for your family. It is still hard though, first to mourn the loss of having wonderful ILs when yours are not, and second to mourn the loss of potentially likable IL relationships because they are not worth the baggage that comes with them.
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Re: Flying monkeys?

Postby PutMILinherplace » Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:09 am

It is still hard though, first to mourn the loss of having wonderful ILs when yours are not, and second to mourn the loss of potentially likable IL relationships because they are not worth the baggage that comes with them.


But what have you really to mourn about? Are you mourning what he relations actually could have been or what it MIGHT have been had they been decent people? Think about that for sec. Is there really anything to mourn about? Did you REALLY loose anything worth being sad about? You may be sad over something that never could have existed in the first place. Does that help?

And the next time AIL says some crap about making up with MIL I would look her straight in the eye and say with all calmness and sincerity you can muster (and maybe even touch her arm or hand gently) , "AIL's name, anything positive MIL's name might bring by having a relationship with her grandchildren and me is just not greater then the negative she brings. It is not it just isn't worth it have all of MIL's crazy behavior and cruel comments in my life. So no, we will not be making up or allowing her back into our lives. We have discovered how great and less stressful our lives are without her. So please stop bringing it up or I may have to do the same to you. " Smile , pat her arm and then go about your business. If she tries to bring it up again, put your hand up and go, "stop. we have already discussed this. Its over. IF you continue, I will have to ask you to leave and you don't want to cut short what little time H's name has with his children. Excuse me while I go make some coffee. " And then ignore her. Once you show how strong you are, you will be throwing her off.
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Re: Flying monkeys?

Postby Mara » Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:09 am

PutMILinherplace wrote:
It is still hard though, first to mourn the loss of having wonderful ILs when yours are not, and second to mourn the loss of potentially likable IL relationships because they are not worth the baggage that comes with them.


But what have you really to mourn about? Are you mourning what he relations actually could have been or what it MIGHT have been had they been decent people? Think about that for sec. Is there really anything to mourn about? Did you REALLY loose anything worth being sad about? You may be sad over something that never could have existed in the first place. Does that help?

And the next time AIL says some crap about making up with MIL I would look her straight in the eye and say with all calmness and sincerity you can muster (and maybe even touch her arm or hand gently) , "AIL's name, anything positive MIL's name might bring by having a relationship with her grandchildren and me is just not greater then the negative she brings. It is not it just isn't worth it have all of MIL's crazy behavior and cruel comments in my life. So no, we will not be making up or allowing her back into our lives. We have discovered how great and less stressful our lives are without her. So please stop bringing it up or I may have to do the same to you. " Smile , pat her arm and then go about your business. If she tries to bring it up again, put your hand up and go, "stop. we have already discussed this. Its over. IF you continue, I will have to ask you to leave and you don't want to cut short what little time H's name has with his children. Excuse me while I go make some coffee. " And then ignore her. Once you show how strong you are, you will be throwing her off.


Yes, I mean mourning the realization that I will never have wonderful ILs. "Something that never could have existed in the first place." My extended family, everyone genuinely likes each other and we have fun together. I suppose I'd always expected to marry into a family that was the same way. But I didn't and it is sad.

I don't talk to AIL at all. We don't even acknowledge each other. That's her thing (she doesn't even acknowledge my other family members, even when they cheerfully used to say hello to her). The last time she tried to do MILs bidding, I used the comment, "I will not allow MIL to abuse my children." AIL completely lost it! Someone on this forum gave me that advice (maybe you???). She went off and my preteen cousin who was present stuck up for me. My poor cousin was very upset after that encounter. I was afraid to be around her for a while after that, but now I just act like she isn't there and don't let it bother me. She can be sitting literally five feet from me and I just act like she doesn't exist (she does the same to me). I'd rather her not even be present, but I guess EH needs the chauffeur. At least the PILs are smart enough to never show their face around here.

Ohh, I just realized your comment was referring to the other AIL who emailed me trying to get me to reconcile with MIL. I haven't spoken to her since that email and may never see her again so I don't need to worry about taking her hand :D
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Re: Flying monkeys?

Postby PutMILinherplace » Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:19 am

The last time she tried to do MILs bidding, I used the comment, "I will not allow MIL to abuse my children." AIL completely lost it! Someone on this forum gave me that advice (maybe you???).


That does sound like the advice I give so probably so.

She can be sitting literally five feet from me and I just act like she doesn't exist (she does the same to me


I am laughing my rear off at this. You KNOW this just makes her seethe that you would ignore her. No doubt she just cant stand it. My own MIL would use this tactic as a manipulation tool against her children. She knew it would hurt their feelings. It frustrated her to no end that it didn't work on me. I didn't care. As a matter of fact I preferred it that way. She just didn't know what to do with me. Then she would just come up to me and try to act sweet , I gave her a dirty look and walked away. She would get so upset because then I would ignore her!
At least the PILs are smart enough to never show their face around here.


For this be eternally grateful. When I blocked her phone number and called the cops on my MIL was when she finally got the fact I was done with her butt. She didn't try to cross me openly again. She still tried crap with my then DuH & sweetheart of a SIL, but she learned not to cross me.
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Re: Flying monkeys?

Postby bsfighter1 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:42 am

Hi Mara. Just wondering why paternal ail is still in your general vicinity that you both have to not acknowledge each other? I know she is your husband’s chauffeur, but why is she even in the same room as you and your children? After the way she flipped out on you and mistreated you in general, why is she even allowed near you and your children? If it was me, I would ban from being anywhere near me and my children. The visits are for your husband, not for her. And if she decides to stop chauffeuring him because of it, too bad so sad for him. He’s a big boy. Get on a bus or grab a taxi. Mental health issue or not, he doesn’t sound like the type who is deserving of you to bend backwards for him just to make his life a little easier. I’m all about getting rid of people who bring nothing but poison and bad energy into my life unless you absolutely MUST associate with them (and those cases are rare). And from the sounds of it, ail and you aren’t even civil. Tell her to take a hike. She’s long forfeit any ‘rights’ she thinks she has to be around you and your children. It’s up to husband to figure it out. Just my opinion. Sounds like you’re getting even stronger.
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Re: Flying monkeys?

Postby Mara » Sun Dec 10, 2017 6:01 pm

PutMILinherplace wrote:
She can be sitting literally five feet from me and I just act like she doesn't exist (she does the same to me


I am laughing my rear off at this. You KNOW this just makes her seethe that you would ignore her. No doubt she just cant stand it. My own MIL would use this tactic as a manipulation tool against her children. She knew it would hurt their feelings. It frustrated her to no end that it didn't work on me. I didn't care. As a matter of fact I preferred it that way. She just didn't know what to do with me. Then she would just come up to me and try to act sweet , I gave her a dirty look and walked away. She would get so upset because then I would ignore her!

That's great! Give her a taste of her own medicine. And show her that her tricks don't affect you.

bsfighter1 wrote:Hi Mara. Just wondering why paternal ail is still in your general vicinity that you both have to not acknowledge each other? I know she is your husband’s chauffeur, but why is she even in the same room as you and your children? After the way she flipped out on you and mistreated you in general, why is she even allowed near you and your children? If it was me, I would ban from being anywhere near me and my children. The visits are for your husband, not for her. And if she decides to stop chauffeuring him because of it, too bad so sad for him. He’s a big boy. Get on a bus or grab a taxi. Mental health issue or not, he doesn’t sound like the type who is deserving of you to bend backwards for him just to make his life a little easier. I’m all about getting rid of people who bring nothing but poison and bad energy into my life unless you absolutely MUST associate with them (and those cases are rare). And from the sounds of it, ail and you aren’t even civil. Tell her to take a hike. She’s long forfeit any ‘rights’ she thinks she has to be around you and your children. It’s up to husband to figure it out. Just my opinion. Sounds like you’re getting even stronger.


The funny thing is, the very first time she played chauffeur, she brought something to do and planned to sit in the car while he visited. DM thought she would be hospitable and polite and invite her in. And now AIL has always come in with EH (estranged husband). Multiple times my uncle was around and he'd politely say hello to her (she doesn't know him or have anything against him). She would never even acknowledge him! She has NEVER acknowledged my dad and only acknowledges my mom sometimes when my mom speaks to her. She doesn't even say anything to the kids unless they say something to her (which they are very warm and sweet to her). So she is the one who prefers to ignore.

After that altercation, I didn't feel comfortable being around her, so it was like I was banned from going in my own living room while she was around. Then there were times I had to be around her against my choice, which is when I realized ignoring her existence was the best solution.

My teenage cousin, who was involved and really upset by the altercation, said she never wanted to see her again. But we continued to let AIL come in as a courtesy. DM and AIL had friendly conversations for a few visits, until AIL had an outburst with her one day. AIL was telling DM that MIL has a right to see the kids. AIL got angry when DM said that is between me and EH to figure out.

Then Today Happened. EH showed up 45 minutes early. I was annoyed that he was here early for the second week in a row (last week was 30 minutes early I believe). It was a coincidence that I was home both weeks because normally I am not. Both weeks I made clear to him that our arrangement is for a specific time and we are not home earlier. I was having this civil conversation with him in the dining room when AIL starts spewing her angry hateful shouting. I asked her to speak respectfully, but when she persisted I completely lost it. I shouted at her to leave if she could not behave respectfully. She told me DH would be coming with her. I replied HE IS AN ADULT (which his family unfortunately doesn't understand) and can make his own choices. I left to the back of the house. I was so emotional, crying and having anxiety symptoms. My brother very calmly spoke to AIL. She was continuing in her out of control ugliness and telling him this isn't his business (which he replied, you are a guest here, I am trying to understand why you are so angry. She finally shut up when he asked her why she was shaking!).

We've given AIL enough changes to be a decent human being while a guest in our house. But she has shown multiple times that she can not. I will make it very clear to EH that she is no longer welcome in the home. She can sit in her car. I don't care if it is -20 degrees!
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Re: Flying monkeys?

Postby PutMILinherplace » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:23 am

Yeah, I would say AIL has worn out her welcome. She has disrespected your home and I would let her know as such. "Since you can not behave like a decent respectful guest, you are no longer welcomed in this home" If the DuH cant get a ride because of it , then that is his problem. He is a big boy and while they don't treat him as such, you do.

I would also NEVER acknowledge her in the driveway. Have whoever is there treat her as they would a car in the driveway. Seriously.

I would also arrange to have another friend or relative , preferably male, present when she and soon to be ex come to visit. Sitting on the front porch reading or playing with their phone, never even looking in AIL's direction would be great. I would not be alone with him and/or her again.

As for arriving early. Make sure you have a paper trail or a text trail. Text them the time . Frankly , if they are over 20 min early , you do not have to let them in or answer the door. This seems more like a power play to me. While you could make sure you are out and about until the time for the visit, I think I would not answer the door or do and tell them, "sorry you are very early and you will have to wait a few min until I am dressed and ready" Then close the door before they get a chance to answer. Better yet, text them. If they drive off, so what? Its their lose.

Also, if AIL does start showing her ...rear again, I would tell her to leave or you will call the cops and then follow through with it. That is what finally got through my MIL's head that I meant business. I was done with the Insanity Games. Scared the crap out of her. It was great. :twisted:
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Re: Flying monkeys?

Postby itisallmyfault » Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:03 am

I completely agree with PutMILinherplace.

Don't be alone with AIL and soon to be ex - who knows what crap they might pull next. Always have somebody to witness and don't open the door if they turn up early. That's their problem, not yours. Definitely sounds like power play, don't participate. Do whatever is best for you and what you feel comfortable with. Your house, your rules. If they don't respect them, don't hesitate to call the cops. That way, you will have proof of their behaviour for future reference.
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