Motivations for horrible IL's to insist on having "a relationship"

Talk about anything and everything in-law related.

Moderators: Phred, willthetruthbetold, meimei

Post Reply
Posts: 1726
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:28 pm

Motivations for horrible IL's to insist on having "a relationship"

Post by Melody » Mon Nov 02, 2020 6:52 pm

As per a previous discussion and suggestion. Why do horrible IL's insist on maintaining contact when they clearly don't give a crap about us?

Does it feed their narc supply? Is it because they fear looking bad in the eyes of outsiders?
Is it just for show? Is it "proof" to themselves that they somehow don't suck?

I've told plenty of stories but as an example. Stepmonster had decorations in the front yard saying "Grandchildren spoiled here" and "Milk and cookies served here". It MAY have been partially true of BIL's kids but couldn't have been a bigger lie with our kids (my two who are older than BIL's kids and two younger). I mean, NEVER any kind of effort and a blatant disregard for their safety and well being.

Once we visited and their were kiddie pools out. I was pleasantly surprised for a minute until I realized the kiddie pools were NOT for the kids - they were for the dogs.

When everyone around them is bragging their grandchildren is THAT the real reason why they DEMAND pictures just so they don't have to say the quiet part out loud. - I REALLY DON'T GIVE TWO SH*TS ABOUT THE KIDS, and their parents haven't allowed me to train them. I ONLY CARE ABOUT MY DOGS BECAUSE THEY WORSHIP ME!

When we stop catering to THEIR needs, it can't be fun for them anymore. So why do IL's bother with us at all?

Posts: 240
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2018 7:25 pm

Re: Motivations for horrible IL's to insist on having "a relationship"

Post by WhyOhWhy » Mon Nov 02, 2020 8:07 pm

You hit upon every single reason that I'm CERTAIN my IL's stay in touch with us when they clearly resent the hell out of us. I've given up caring about the attention they get on their end from bragging about being the world's best grandparents who are clearly victims of us not allowing them to emotionally abuse our children as regularly as they might have liked. If they want to brag about how doting they fashion themselves to be, I really couldn't care less. The people who listen and believe all the crap shoveled on are mindless sheeple who are nearly as miserable as my IL's themselves. Meanwhile, being a bit further away means we don't have to be around it. They can enjoy their fantasy world all they like but I know at the end of the day their victory is pretty hollow as they always return to feeling miserable.
*** The North Remembers ***

Posts: 43
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2015 1:02 pm

Re: Motivations for horrible IL's to insist on having "a relationship"

Post by evilebroodovipers » Wed Nov 04, 2020 11:46 am

It came down to "Knowledge is power". It was easier to control/manipulate us when they knew where we were, or what we were doing are at all times. Plus they looked like a close knit family when outsiders enquired about DH.
At gatherings, I always felt like background furniture: just part of the scene set that make- believed a happy happy family

Posts: 2019
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:20 am

Re: Motivations for horrible IL's to insist on having "a relationship"

Post by rubycrownedkinglet » Sat Nov 07, 2020 5:24 pm

It does baffle the mind why people who clearly don't like us would want to keep up contact, as though they are obligated somehow. Let us go.

My DH made it clear to his ESIBs that their relationship was over, literally saying to each of them, "Don't ever call me again!" I'm not sure why that wasn't enough. I suppose they each had their own reasons.

To EBIL, the concept of family loyalty and duty was really important. That was one of the few things I ever liked about him. For him to say out loud that his family members no longer spoke to him would have been shameful, against his code. The first time he reached out to DH after the cut off was when a cousin died. He would have been asked about DH at the funeral, so being able to say he'd spoken to DH could have hidden the fact that EBIL was completely cut out of our lives. To give the devil his due, I think EBIL believed it was his duty to inform DH about ESIL's death a few years later. He asked our local police department to come to our door.

ESIL was even more transparent. After we cut her off, she desperately tried to contact us multiple times using one excuse or another, but ultimately, it was all about her needing money for something. When DH and I were really honest with ourselves, that had always been true, even when she was a child/teen/young adult. She called us twice per year; two weeks before her birthday and Christmas.

As an adult, ESIL didn't call us at all except to entertain us with stories of things that had happened to them that required a cosigner, a big check or an open invitation to come live at my house. I'm not proud of the fact that she saw no other use for us, but that's the truth.

It was only after she had been cut off for 4+ years and had failed to get us to respond to anything that she accepted it was over. She wrote on Facebook about how sad it was she'd lost her whole family, using the post to garner sympathy like she was such a victim. Sympathy was the only thing she had left to gain.

Posts: 87
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:08 pm

Re: Motivations for horrible IL's to insist on having "a relationship"

Post by livingmylifeforme » Sat Nov 07, 2020 8:24 pm

I think it’s a mixture of wanting to look good for everyone else, and control. They may not care about you, but they like having control over people. Trying to cut them off probably drives them nuts because they’re losing their grip on someone they once were able to pressure into doing whatever they wanted. So they’re probably hoping to get you back in line somehow.

My MIL does try to contact my DH, but only on days where it would make sense to contact someone like his birthday and even texted him to say happy anniversary on our anniversary. I think she realized I blocked her phone number because my number is no longer part of the threads. I do believe she loves him and genuinely wants to see and spend time with him. She just messed up her relationship with her son by treating me (and my family on our wedding day) poorly and encouraging her family to do the same. I don’t think she wants to try and repair the relationship with me. I highly doubt she’d even apologize and give specific examples of what she’s even apologizing for. She tried a generic and fake apology that just said sorry. That was only after talking to my DH and he told her off and stuck up for me, not even when I brought up specific examples (only a few as there are many) of things they’ve done during the five years between me and my DH getting together, and getting married (we cut them off a month after getting married). Her attitude towards that was basically “So what? It’s your own fault,” but she only fake apologized after my DH stuck up for me and brought up the same things I did.

I do believe my MIL pretty much treated my DH as a stand in husband. She was too jealous when we fell in love. One example was when my DH wasn’t feeling well, and I started to massage his neck. Not long after, she got up from where she was sitting, walked over and pushed my hands aside and started massaging his neck. As he lived at home at the time and she had him financially (in other words, could control him a little more by threatening to kick him out if he wasn’t in line which she and her husband often did) I said nothing.

So I do think she wants to be able to see her son, and that is why she’s trying to contact him. She even said once that she “loves” me. :lol: okay, lady :lol: Funny how she told him that, but never said it to me. For her, I do think it’s a mixture of wanting to see her son, wanting to look good for her friends especially on Facebook as she posts pictures of her sons and other DILs for holidays and such (they might ask her where my DH is and who knows how she’s excusing his absence), and wanting attention from my DH who used to be her stand in husband since her own husband would rather spend time in his computer room than out in the living room with her.

Post Reply