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Old November 15th, 2009, 03:21 PM
NotPlaying NotPlaying is offline
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Cutting off contact - what's it like?

I've been married 9 years. I've finally reached the decision that I'm cutting off contact with my FIL and MIL. I have my DH's understanding in this decision (can't quite call it support, but it is close). What I'd like to hear about are other people's experience with acting on a decision to cut off contact - be it the immediate term, 1 year, or longer. Why? Selfish reasons, of course. And I'd love to tell my story. Primarily, I do not like or trust my FIL - if under other circumstances, I wouldn't spend time with him socially or professionally for any reason. He is an emotional abuser/bully. No friends. Known in the past to hit his wife. Superiority complex. Damn near deaf, and not a good listener before that excuse developed. Conversation hog. Likes to incite debate which really just means creating a way to humiliate others. Smart, and arrogant about that fact. Wealthy, and threatens loss of inheritance to DH (who does not care - not materialistic). Insults my parents. Insults his own family. Gossip and backstabber. Constantly hostile to me, yells at me when I decline an invitation. Has written me hate-filled letters that I "need professional help" with my mental health problems. I thought he was about to slap me once - now I keep carefully out of arm's reach. As to MIL? She loves the drama. This is her second husband; had 2 daughters with the first, 17 and 15 years older than my DH. FIL forbids MIL to have contact with DH without FIL present. My DH? A wonderful, kind, and patient man who adores me. One of his many strengths is his ability to get along with anyone (not true of me); but the taken-to-excess side of that strength is that he avoids confrontation. We don't have (and won't be having) children. Another reason why I don't measure up to FIL and MIL. Oh, the stories I could tell. Not as bad as most, really, and I get it that my threshold or tolerance for BS is quite low. Regardless, it is my right to set that boundary. So no more visits. I haven't in about a year anyway - only seen them at extended family events (wedding, graduation). I'm still quite happy to attend such things, but no more FIL, MIL, DH and me stuff. I need the safety of numbers. So, what has it been like to cut off contact with inlaws over the long haul? Thanks, Call me "not playing any more"
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Old November 16th, 2009, 07:18 AM
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Re: Cutting off contact - what's it like?

If your FIL hits your MIL and you believed that he would hit you, too, then cutting them off is the right thing to do for your own safety and the safety of your children.

What the long term effects will be depends on your DH. Does he see the abuse or does he think it's normal? If he sees it and recognizes it, then there should be no major long term effects. If he doesn't, then you have some rocky road ahead and marriage counseling with someone who specializes in treating children of parental abusive relationships.
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Old November 16th, 2009, 07:39 AM
NotPlaying NotPlaying is offline
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Re: Cutting off contact - what's it like?

DH does see this as abuse and assures me that I haven't done anything wrong. Thank goodness.
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Old November 16th, 2009, 01:47 PM
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Re: Cutting off contact - what's it like?

I can't help you with cut off over a long term/permanent period, but we have pulled back on the amount of contact. Now it's usually just once a month visits (when it was several times a week, then reduced to several times a month) and DH calls about three times a month or so (instead of daily calls).

We hear about it from MIL and FIL when we do go or DH calls (though not all of the time - and if it gets out of hand, DH ends the phone call or announces it's time to leave), so it hasn't fixed all of our issues, but it has improved and is no longer putting strain on our marriage.

You said you have your DH's understanding, but not necessarily his support - I hope that doesn't cause issues. DH at first "understood" why we need to cut back, but didn't actually act on it or follow through with what we agreed (when yelling starts, it's time to leave...certain topics are closed, etc), but it did make him actually look at it from an outsider's perspective. He was of the "that's just the way they are" chorus, but I said that doesn't make it right. When he first started ending the calls or visits when trouble hit, he second guessed himself, but now he has zero tolerance for their antics.
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