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Toxic MIL Pushes Mediation ‘For The Children’

Narcissist GoldfishDear Chump Lady,

I’m 3 weeks a chump and my cheater is your usual no-remorse, gaslighting passive-aggressive joy who is now playing at being the perfect father on email (he’s also an over-entitled peacock, spending secret money on posh clothes, fancy haircuts and hours lazing in the sun to get a beautiful suntan, while I toiled indoors in a sleep-deprived haze looking after our baby and toddler). Yet how is it that most of my brain energy is being spent on his mother?

She knows about the affair (started mere weeks after I gave birth, if not before), the historic domestic violence, him hiding money while the children and I went without. Yet she’s never once condemned what he’s done to me.

Sure she sends me messages saying she’s thinking of all of us and sending us all love. Yet…

Two days after I became a chump (numb stage), she rang me and the first thing she said was to say her son was very upset and could I feel sorry for him. What??? Then, she went straight in to saying it’s not about couples therapy anymore, it’s about mediation. She proceeded to bang on about how we needed mediation now and she’d found some info on the Internet, which she’d email to Cheater Son and me. Two days in, I was still wondering what my Cheater was going to make for dinner, such was my lack of comprehension, and here she was, pushing me into mediation!

Then it was “it’s all about the children now.” As if I don’t exist! Everything he did to me, all the pain, suffering, neglect, all of that doesn’t matter now, two days after D-Day, in her eyes?

The final straw was when I saw her and she offered me a hug. It was a weak, pathetic hug and as she was hugging me, she took the opportunity to whisper in my ear to remind me that it is all about the children (again). Not, I’m so sorry. Not, you’ll get through this; not, we’ll always be here for you and the children. No, she steamrolled over me once again under the guise of a hug. Shall I just call her Brutus and be done with it?!

What I want to know is, is this common? This lack of condemning what the Cheater Son has done and steamrolling over the Chump? Both her and her husband have cheated on each other, so do they have some kind of “cheating is normal, get over it, loser” attitude? It seems like both my Cheater and my MIL are behaving as if this is a normal break-up, like I haven’t been wronged. I can’t stop writing her emails in my head telling her how much she’s hurt me. Do I tell her how she’s made me feel? We have to have contact because of the children. But I can’t take any more “my poor son is so upset he’s had an affair, poor poppet”. Help!!!

Off the Crazy Train


Dear OTCT,

Is it common for narcissistic cheaters to have enabling, toxic parents? Show of hands chumps!

Unfortunately, if my mail is anything to go by, YES this crappy dynamic is very common. You gotta ask yourself, total fuckwits — nature or nurture? But it’s hard to know. Your cheater inherited DNA from both parents, plus he had the crazy We Cheat On Each Other “values” modeled to him. So, can we be surprised that your shattered heart is a big shrug to these people?

What did you think would make you safe? Your many years of investment in them? Your vulnerability as a young mother with an infant and a toddler? Your devastation at learning of your husband’s cheating?

Hey, you’ve ceased to be kibbles. There’s the exit. Make way for the replacement!

You’re still reeling, and your mother-in-law is guilting you into mediation “for the children”?

This isn’t her first mindfuck rodeo. Welcome to the Discard. It’s hard enough to wrap your mind around your husband cheating — it’s even harder to comprehend the conspiracy of it. That you’d already been plotted against, your place in the family usurped, with a thinly disguised Your Services Are No Longer Needed. Do we lamely hug the meter reader? Why would we? It’s awkward and inappropriate. Who’s the meter reader to us? Okay, if you insist on this mawkish display of “affection”, whatever…

do they have some kind of “cheating is normal, get over it, loser” attitude?

Yes. You were a good baby vessel and now that you’ve bred (thank you for the grandchildren), please sign away your child support (it’s mediation… for the children! don’t be bitter!) and make a hasty retreat. Or we’ll call security.

It seems like both my Cheater and my MIL are behaving as if this is a normal break-up, 

To FWs, this IS a normal break up. No shame. No self-reflection. No fair settlement. It’s all about THEM. (Who are you again? Didn’t you already read the meter? It’s there… behind those thorny bushes, and the wasps’ nest… bill me later… or preferably not at all.)

She’s using your vulnerability and paralysis to guilt you into an unfair settlement — aka mediation — and grotesquely guilting you that it’s best for the children.

Securing a decent settlement and child support IS for the children — you’re the sane parent. Get yourself a proper lawyer and your own legal defense. Mumsy and cheater do NOT have your best interests at heart. (Or the children’s for that matter.)

Mediation is what you do with honest brokers. You don’t have one of those. You can read my arguments about mediation with cheaters here. Also go read the guest blog post from divorce financial analyst Vickie Adams.

I can’t stop writing her emails in my head telling her how much she’s hurt me. Do I tell her how she’s made me feel?

NO. Why don’t you tell that lamppost how you feel instead. The lamppost has more depth of feeling and the lamppost won’t use your innermost thoughts and vulnerabilities against you in a custody trial.

Absolutely do NOT reach out to your MIL or show her ANY weakness. You must go total no contact on these people to protect your sanity. Maybe on some distant Tuesday, when you’re truly meh (it will happen, I promise), you can stand to see her face (in the nursing home, or hooked up to a ventilator, or wandering in the rose garden at the dementia ward). Until then, do not engage. Your STBXH can handle the visits and drop-offs.

I can’t take any more “My poor son is so upset he’s had an affair, poor poppet.”

Poor Poppet should go live on Mumsy’s sofa for awhile. She can bring him warm milk and graham crackers and comfort him from the affliction of his stupidity.

His “upset” is not your concern. Protecting yourself and your children is your priority. Give zero room in your head to his manipulative case of the sadz.

Move ahead with that un-mediated divorce. The upside of losing a family of freaks, is it frees your life up for better people. Big ((hugs)).


This post ran earlier and has been updated.

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  • This is awful!! Lawyer. Lawyer. Lawyer. Lawyer. Get some support for you too, don’t engage these crazies anymore and surround yourself with sanity. He’s already making sure to document everything (the good dad emails), you do the same!

  • My MIL of 22 years knew about my then-wife’s serial cheating because I confided in her during false reconciliation. She never once condemned or criticized her cheating daughter. After a further d-day, I filed for divorce. MIL then sent me a last email, which was unspeakably cruel (e.g., blaming my wife’s cheating on my “difficult” personality), and then disappeared from my life (thank God).

    I’d guess that cheaters are emotionally supported by their knowing families close to 90% of the time: Cheater blood is thicker than chump water. It’s not fair, but facts often aren’t. NEVER rely on in-laws if you have ANY alternative.

    • I too was cheated on by my ex-wife with knowledge and total acceptance by in-law family, mother, sisters, brother etc. Including nieces and nephews I babysat, vacationed with, supported and was the generous fun uncle for 30 years. They welcomed the rando OM(s) to (their family) get togethers while I worked, and maintained our home in a different city. They pretended nothing was happening or wrong with my wife of 28 years showing up with a male “friend”. They were adults at this point, and they knew what was going on, and they never mentioned it to me or said anything to my ex about being uncomfortable with it. Even after the discovery and the break up. They just didnt care. This little nugget of pain is one of the worst circumstances of my personal encounter with FW’s. I have finally come to understand that, as in nature; “the cheater was a snake, their family DNA make snakes”.

      • I hope your DDay was awhile ago and you’re at peace now. It sounds like your head is no longer in the fog. You’re right, the cheater was a snake, and the DNA is there. Unfortunately, I think I have a snake for a son (who cheated on his now-divorced wife). I was so frustrated with him. He saw the pain that I was going through and it didn’t phase him to do the same. He goes through a string of women regularly. He has made it known that he only likes women that ‘look good’ and ‘take care of themselves’. I stressed! What did I do wrong in his upbringing? Eventually someone convinced me that my DNA was only half of the makeup, and really, it may not be half. My son may have gotten more of his fuckwit dad’s traits than mine.

        • Amazon Chump, I have a lot of kids and one of them seems to be a lot (too much) like her father. It makes me very sad, but there’s nothing I can do about it. I did the best I could while she was growing up. It’s up to her to be a good person now.

    • It’s not always easy to piece the story together of how cheaters/abusers are created by their families because adult abusers tend to lack insight about negative family traits and behaviors they internalize but the creation of narcissists is no accident. Minus the clumsy, redemptive ending, your ex-MIL sounds like Miss Havishim from Dickens’ Great Expectations who raised adopted daughter Estella to be a loveless climber who viewed men only as rungs on a ladder or chew toys to sharpen her teeth. Maybe because Charles Dickens was a notorious cheater and gaslighter in his own right who married the daughter of a publisher to improve his circumstances and then tried to institutionalize his wife to get her out of the way of his affair with a teenage actress, he knew a thing or two about what it takes to groom unfaithful narcs from the cradle.

      • Nooooooo!!! Not Dickens!!! Why, Chuck, why?? I’ll never be able to watch “A Muppet Christmas Carol” with the same eyes again…

        • His Chump wife was mother to his 10 children. He told them when he left their mother for the OW, that he would disown them if they ever talked to her again. I think it was something like only 4 of her children ever spoke to her again. Harsh. Absolutely just breaks my heart.

  • You poor woman! I feel for you. I made the mistake of telling the ex’s narcissistic parents what their narcissistic son had done to me, in the mildest and most reasonable terms. I tried to explain my hurt. No kids, so I didn’t have to be cherished like their eldest son’s first wife. The father wrote me a letter, making it clear to me how expendable I was (after 26 years – the longest marriage out of all their cheater sons). I could immediately see where the ex got his abusive character from (although in truth I already knew). I would step over those people if they were dying in the street (and at their ages that’s a possibility). I wish them nothing but ill. It’s all about them, and always was. Hard to come to terms with the fact that they used you too. Treat them with the grey rock they deserve and good luck.

  • I have a slightly different take. The MIL seems to have conceded that the marriage isn’t acceptable and is not sending RIC information. She is trying to focus both (?) parents on the long term needs of the children. She appears to not be close enough physically to help with the immediate needs. She seems to be acknowledging that her son will need a third party to structure the custody/visitation. She’s not on Team Chump. As always, chumps need to find their own support team (lawyer, therapist, doctor, friend) and move on from unhelpful suggestion. The MIL may be the least of the concerns.

    • Everyone knew the marriage wasn’t salvageable at that point. I most certainly was not hoping for a reconciliation narrative from her. But I was still in very deep shock. Being told what to do from her – who clearly didn’t have my interests at heart, made things worse for me.

      I realised I couldn’t trust her. I got pushed into mediation and guess what – it was an expensive failure.

      • So sorry that mediation ended up being just another shit sandwich for you, in the shit sandwich buffet that is Chump life. Hope you and your kids are going ok now …

        I’m 5+ years since Day and me and my boys are pretty much dead to Cheater’s family. It’s really sad for the kids, but at least a v clear, brutal illustration of the narc mindset where people are 100% replaceable.

        As described in the above messages. The ex-in-law snakes never bonded with you, they never really even knew you, much less cared.

    • Maybe…, but when she’s worried about her son’s sadz and wants OTCT to be empathetic, I lean more to the fact the MIL exampled not-good behavior to her son.

  • “Is it common for narcissistic cheaters to have enabling, toxic parents? Show of hands chumps!”

    My hand is so high in the sky you can probably see it. FW’s mom is up there with the worst of the narcissists — as soon as she was done crying for herself upon hearing that son had left me and her grandson for his coworker, she turned on me like a viper. Then it became about image management. She needed me to be the villain and rewrote the story so that I had thrown him out and AP saved him. She spread that lie far and wide. And when anyone questioned it and asked me directly, boy was she ANGRY when I told the truth.

    As soon as MIL turned on me, I cut her out. No contact. She’s still married to FW’s dad, but he’s a desperate loser nailed to a narcissist. Although the trauma and confusion was there, I recognized that I’d get no help from them. They were nasty and mean to me by then, so it made it easier to chop them off.

    So here’s the deal. You know MIL awful and self serving. It’ll take your heart time to catch up and you’re still dealing with the trauma… but trust your brain here. She does not have your best interests at heart. And she’s gaslighting you that “This is for the children.”

    Mediation is for FW and her. Period.

    Get thee an attorney and take FW for everything. If you hear from MIL again, don’t be afraid to say “you’re absolutely right… I took YOUR advice to do what’s best for the children. THANK YOU! Thanks to you I got professional legal advice on the best way to support them.” And watch her head explode. If she starts freaking out or arguing, just smile and thank her for the recommendation to protect the children. And move forward with whatever legal means necessary to protect you and the kids. Don’t tell her. Don’t tell him. Serve FW and get free.

  • CL is completely on target with her response and I hope that this lady took every word to heart.

    The whole “its all about the children” is bullshit and communicates to us that we have zero value and that inevitably gets under our skin and influences our self image. That toxicity needs to be treated like the kryptonite that it is.

    Not long after discovery, I was at work and called to the Emergency Dept to respond to a pediatric death. Grandpa was soothing his new (very young) bride (step grandma) who was distraught and his XW grandma (the actual grandma) was all alone in a corner repeating “the only thing that matters is the kids, we just want them to be OK” and I remember thinking “woman, when did you cease to matter?”. I saw myself in her role going into the next phase of my life and it terrified me. I went to the Chaplain for support after seeing that toxic soup.

    Chumps matter. Yes, they need to keep the kids central and be the sane parent but throwing themselves under a bus wont help.

  • I needed this. The ExFIL doesn’t talk to ME because I decided to divorce his cheating daughter who was screening strange in the park while pregnant with our third child. I was supposed to suck it up and stay with her. After all, “I wasn’t perfect either.”

    Go no contact on them.

  • Try not to use any headspace, on writing MIL emails to explain your pain. Nothing can make her care or see the injustice. I would ask for everything house, contents, alimony and child support. Send that to MIL final line should say, for the children, this is the best outcome. Then block every avenue. I stayed for years, for the children. My children learned, there are users and those that get used. When my son discarded his wife, under we grew apart flag. After the shock I called BS. Never invited new wife for anything. Always, politely let her know my disdain for her. I have let my son know, time won’t change things and he is the architect. I try to put my money where my mouth is. Support his ex financially, emotionally or just friends. Best way to get through heart ache is anger. Ask for help from good people, find support.

  • Don’t listen to the “for the children” guilt trip. Was he thinking of the children when he did this? My FW moved out three months ago. We lived together for six months after D-Day, as I had a long game I had to play to prove his alcoholism to the court. So I’ve had a taste of both sides, and can confidently say I’m a much better mother now that I’m not living in chaos. Most of these FWs are lazy, so my workload hasn’t changed. I hope you find the same and I agree that going NC with the MIL will help you find some peace.

  • “We have to have contact because of the children.” MIL can have contact with her grandchildren while her son has custody. She is not entitled to contact on YOUR time. If it’s a question of child care, sometimes money is the cheapest way to pay. BUY the child care and avoid her.

    I hope this LW avoided mediation and got a good lawyer. I would love to hear an update on this one.

  • My own kids asked me why when I always tell them when they do something wrong Grandma didn’t tell their dad?! They couldn’t understand how their Grandma didn’t punish their Dad for having an affair with their “auntie” (my close friend). See? Even children get it better than these FWs and their FOO.

  • Every time I read something like this it reminds me of Scott Peterson being called the golden child. If you have someone who is eco-centric you have that kind of mother. This kind of enabling comes straight from the mother and he’s not going to change because it gets him what he wants.
    Jettison her, preferably from a helicopter. You owe her nothing.

    • Does everything have to come back to being a woman’s fault? Can’t a grown man’s actions be their own damn responsibility?

      I have a teenage son, let me tell you, I have NO ability to control his actions. I can give my opinion, I can strongly disagree, but I can’t live his life and make his decisions for him. I am sure this MIL would have stopped her son from cheating if she could have, just like we all would have stopped our FWs from cheating if we had magical powers.

      Can we stop infantilizing men and assigning blame for their actions to their wives and mothers? They need to bear their own accountability.

      • The fact is if there had been a father who had been hands on this man might never have become this narcissistic. If you have a child that’s smothered and hovered over you’re going to have some issues one way or the other. It doesn’t matter which parent but in this case it was the mother.

        • I simply don’t agree. Just like there are plenty of us who were horribly abused and don’t abuse others, there are plenty of people with over involved parents who don’t feel entitled to lie, cheat, or steal.

          His actions are his own, because he is no longer a child. He is a grown man who does what he wants to do

  • I view the “it’s about the children now” as massive foreshadowing of how they plan to win in mediation/court, by trying to make the chump seem hysterical and/or greedy for wanting a reasonable settlement. So common, and so easy to create that vibe when a chump is still deeply hurting — because it’s easy to make us show our pain early on (and for women, the easy social go-to is to treat pain as hysteria).

    I view the collusion-like behavior from the MIL as massive foreshadowing of a future “boo hoo, woe is me, she’s mistreating me as a grandmother and hurting the kids by ruining their relationship with me, she’s not being all about the children, she’s mean and vindictive” etc. Same song, verse 2, of the hysteria argument.

    I like CL’s references to how things tend to work in court. They care more about facts than feelings. Neither mediators, nor judges, nor lawyers are ultimately concerned, at all, about how wronged we feel. That’s for friends and therapists to help us sort out. In legal proceedings, the task is to apply law to scenarios and see what shakes out.

    Knowing the ex’s (and supporting in-laws’) approach to abusing us helps to strategize factual arguments that will hold up. The more the chump can show how their side of the negotiation does a better job of aligning with applicable law while ensuring the children will have their basic needs met while coping with the family reorg, the stronger the arguments.

    Also, the more a narcissist observes they aren’t getting the chump’s goat, the angrier the narcissist feels and the more likely the narcissist is to try to punish the chump, even right there in open court. Attorneys use this to their advantage all the time. (I had a friend whose abusive ex was trying to avoid a restraining order, and simply not breaking down in tears or seeming scared in court — achieved after much coaching by the lawyer — caused the guy to become so furious, he literally openly threatened to kill her painfully, right there on the stand next to the judge. I looked over at the attorney as this occurred, and he was sitting there with a satisfied smile, as if to say, ‘mission accomplished’.)

    We chumps often feel worried about “being manipulative” because we’re decent, honest people. When attempting to navigate our sails away from sociopaths, we have to shift our thinking to see what we need to do to survive as “being strategic”. You aren’t trying to negotiate terms with a friend anymore. You’re trying to escape a torture chamber. That takes strategy and deliberation, not reasoning, and not mediation. If we end up having to go to mediation, we should go strategically, with a goal of asking for a fair and equitable breakdown of shared marital assets and resourcea that aligns with the law, and which provides well *legally and financially* for the children.

    • This is why I walked out on meditation. My lawyer had told me “today we will find out if he will negotiate or he won’t.” He would not. I wouldn’t just agree to his proposed settlement. So I left.

    • “I view the collusion-like behavior from the MIL as massive foreshadowing of a future “boo hoo, woe is me, she’s mistreating me as a grandmother and hurting the kids by ruining their relationship with me, she’s not being all about the children, she’s mean and vindictive” etc.”

      Yes, and if you’re going to be accused of it anyway, it might as well be true. I’d cut the bitch off. Somebody that vile shouldn’t be around children.

    • “You aren’t trying to negotiate terms with a friend anymore. You’re trying to escape a torture chamber. That takes strategy and deliberation, not reasoning, and not mediation. If we end up having to go to mediation, we should go strategically, with a goal of asking for a fair and equitable breakdown of shared marital assets and resourcea that aligns with the law, and which provides well *legally and financially* for the children.”

      Exactly!! I think it’s hard to get through our chumpy brains that this person we’d trust is now the enemy and not looking after our best interests.

      My lawyer recommended mediation instead of going to court. Each of us had a lawyer. A retired judge presided and awarded me 55% (in a no-fault state).

      x signed on the dotted line but weeks later tried to renege. A cheater who wants to go back on his promises!!! Who would’ve predicted? Anyway, I doubled down. Said that I would ask for more if we re-mediated the divorce. x caved.

      I credit my kick-ass attorney with the favorable outcome. I also give myself credit for remaining calm and composed while in the presence of my lawyer and the judge/mediator. I saved my tears for my friends and therapist.

      Good luck, fellow chumps! Stay focussed and calm. Keep your eyes on the prize (i.e., a favorable financial settlement).

  • Oh how I can relate. One of the most traumatic aspects of this whole debacle was the behavior of my ex in-laws, who of course, each had multiple affairs throughout their marriage – “open-minded” 60s/70s types. After a 24 year marriage (28 yrs. together) I discovered a 4 year affair and my ex felt “we could still be friends”..blah.. blah..Just like Mom and Dad. Nope. They did that young boy a disservice by normalizing betrayal and making a mockery of marriage and commitment. Ex MIL kept saying, when I was done and wanted a divorce, “No! You’re not ready!” Huh? She and ex-FIL were separated for something like 17 years. No lie. Bizarro world. Mediation was also pushed. Biggest mistake of my like. Soon the affair partner was being lauded on social media about “how happy she makes my son”, how “she’s beautiful inside and out”. Things I was meant to see, and comments my children might have been exposed to. Nice Grandma….This was who I considered my mother for many years. My mom died when I was 30 and I was divorced at 50. I had no one to stick up for me. Pure devastation. Please, if you do nothing else, DO NOT mediate and cut that toxic MIL out of your life. YOU MATTER!

    • “Soon the affair partner was being lauded on social media about “how happy she makes my son”, how “she’s beautiful inside and out”. Things I was meant to see, and comments my children might have been exposed to.”

      🤬 Evil bitch.

  • This chump also has her hand up high. About 6 weeks after the 2nd D-day my MIL thought she was being kind by emailing me to say she wouldn’t take sides in our “marital problems”.

    Only, of course she had been firmly taking the side of her cheater son for all 27 years of our marriage, adoring and enabling him, thinking he can’t do any wrong. Her daughter was the same towards her brother.

    It’s pretty cut and dry to me: honesty, loyalty, keeping marriage vows and not deceiving our partner (and many others) is the only right stance. If someone has been has been devastated by the absence of those things, it’s totally legit to side with the offended partner!

    Not my circus anymore. Poor poppet is living with his mom and sis, enjoying all the doting and “warm milk and Graham crackers”, and constant sympathy about mean old chump who had the audacity to get angry and leave – to not take it anymore.

    I now see their tight family triangle as being self-absorbed and self-serving. I wasn’t just discarded after no longer being useful to them, I was never really important to them in the first place. Increasingly I am at meh about it.

    • Dday was the revelation that he’d spent the past half of our 22 r marriage – starting when the youngest was a few months old – going to prostitutes and gay saunas plus a ton of porn (and that’s just the iceberg tip he ‘fessed up to). ExMIL described that as:
      “The sadness that has been visited upon your family”.


  • “Both her and her husband have cheated on each other, so do they have some ‘cheating is normal; get over it, loser’ attitude?”

    There is alot of truth and dynamite in that dynamic. You’re dealing with people that have normalized and accepted a far lower bar of trust and decency in relationships. This low bar extends to the ways and means they see and handle circumstances in their lives. You’re just another “circumstance” that popped-up from their son’s choice to model their dysfunctional character, conscience and lack of courage. There will be plenty more of these “circumstances” as your ex trips and stumbles through life ahead.

    Cut them off. This isn’t about them. They’re strictly manipulating and strong-arming you while they have the chance.
    All they want is the best possible outcome that serves the needs of their son, his money, image management, and the kid’s access to them. At present, you’re just a means to an end. These are low bar people.

    Find an attorney to protect your interests and that of your kids. Take off your wedding ring and put on your business hat. Cut them off. Nothing good can come from dealing with generational cheaters protecting themselves.

  • OTCT, Sorry that you are going through this. You will never be able to mediate with a FW and there will be no friendly or amiable divorce. Ask me how I know.
    I think in the majority of cases, the FW family will side with the FW. I know my Ex’s family was totally on his side. They totally bought into his story of how I made him cheat with my awfulness and how i alienated his adult son from him and the family. The actual truth is that he just want to skip along happily in a beautiful garden of orifices and there he found his 32 years younger Schmoopie. The other truth is that my adult son saw his amateur porn that he accidently saved to the wrong account (son’s family photo share account). Oopsie. Nope I did not alienated the son, the FW did that on his own by doing that. Naturally, his family never asked either of us about our side (yep, we expected it). FW MIL will not even speak to her grandson (so much for the person who considers herself so family oriented). If you are not on Team Fuckwit, you are pond scum.
    FW tried to draw out the divorce process as long as possible and was unwilling to settle (went for adultery in a fault state). Finally, the court ordered a settlement conference with a retired judge overseeing it. My pitbull lawyer went in with all the evidence and brought it out (separate rooms with the retired judge going back and forth). Needless to say, within hours after that FW and his attorney were more than willing to settle. Now I am divorced (not even a month).
    So how does this help you? Please get a tough attorney and be prepared for a long drawn out battle. You have young children so it may be even worse for you. Cut out all contact with his family. Block, block block. Cut out all the friends that may side with them. Be the sane parent. No emails or text or calls to Team Fuckwit. I have seen my friends with younger kids use an app for all communications. Use it and nothing else with Team Fuckwit. Any other stuff will be used against you so give them nothing.
    Practice some self care, get tested for STDs and STIs and give yourself plenty of grace. The process is long and painful but IT DOES END. It will get better. Please come here often because CL and CN know how you feel and can help you to deal. This site saved me.

  • Tell your STBX-MIL to fuck the hell off. Then go 100% Zero Contact with her and do NOT cross that boundary for any reason!

  • My ex is a product of his narcissistic parents. He was raised to be special and it’s always someone else’s fault for their poor behavior.

    The final D day was with an employee of the family business. Ex MIL said “If you were nicer to him, this wouldn’t have happened.” My response, “You’re the one who hired the (garden tool)”. Not the response she wanted. Years later I am still the evil one who destroyed the marriage. 🙄. NC with the whole bunch is the best way to deal. Don’t buy into her nonsense, she is not looking after you or the children.

    • GoneGirl: my xMIL told my kids that I hadn’t been very nice to their dad & he deserves happiness with OW. How nice hey?! Props up her golden boy by maligning her grandchildren’s mother. Nothing said to them about all the shitty things her son did to their mother though. xMIL’s own father was horrible to her mother (her words) & yet she continues this generational toxic abuse. I saw her awhile back in a park using a cane & I saw her struggling to get up a little hill. I kept walking in another direction. And that is not who I am at all! There are some people that when you finally know they will never appreciate you or your kindness or use it against you, you just have to walk away in the opposite direction.

  • “That you’d already been plotted against, your place in the family usurped, with a thinly disguised Your Services Are No Longer Needed”. The cognitive dissonance is harsh & heartbreaking when one moment you’re family & the next you’re an enemy to be taken down. Having people around you that can give you this reality dose is crucial.

  • The Dickhead came from a family with fucked up morals. Both his sisters, mom and supposedly his father all were cheaters. When they were all together, they gave off this strange vibe like they weren’t really a unit. I’ve been to many different family functions, which were no relations to me, and I’ve never felt what I felt with them. It was just freaking weird.

    For anyone reading who thinks you need to keep contact with in-laws or spouse’s friends, you absolutely do not. In the case of this MIL, she needed blocked immediately. The cheater can deal with his own mom. Don’t be afraid to cut ties with people who are toxic or spirit killers. You don’t need them mucking up your life and your peace.

  • Narc FW peacock ex was the entitled son of FW parents, one of them a narc peacock… But shit, at least FW & Peacock parent had the grace to apologize. These people are horrifying. Run away, straight to a lawyer’s office.

  • Oh, my x-MIL is #1 narcissist! Always has been!

    Upon hearing of her son’s multiyear affair, she expressed dismay–“What happened to my son!” But she quickly snapped to and hopped on Team FW. She literally embraced the OW only a week or so after D-Day. I was out of the picture. She never said, “Hey, I really miss you.” Instead, she exhorted me to forgive, sending religious writings on the topic.

    In the end, I was the bad guy BECAUSE I stopped all contact with her and her son. Interestingly enough, her own daughter–also a chump–pointed out that she has nothing to do with her own x-MIL, but xMIL replied, “I’m different. I’m better.”

    A few months ago, I heard she was on hospice care, so I sent her a card to wish her well and hope that she wasn’t in too much pain. Within days, she died. I didn’t go to the funeral.

    I’m not sure of my point here except to say that her tit was dry and, I suspect, always had been, which I’m sure was an issue for x while growing up. It doesn’t excuse his behavior, but rather provides some insight.

  • dear off the crazy train, you are pulling yourself away from a dysfunctional and mean family. soon you’ll feel freer/better than you have in years, but it will take time and effort. i hope you have a therapist/GP/divorced friend/gym team set up.

    i do not miss my in-laws, not one bit. all there is left is my SIL and she’s a narcissist, just like my deceased MIL. i’m certain my MIL is dancing in hell, celebrating the demise of her golden child’s marriage to me. she tried hard to break us up in the early years. the long and short of it is that i was never good enough for her son, in the same way that the SIL’s husband was never good enough for her daughter. narcissists chant LIFE IS NEVER GOOD ENOUGH in their heads all day.

    after one phone call in which SIL said that the kids and i would always be welcome at their home, crickets. it’s normal, i think. and i’m relieved. we’re happier and healthier than ever. life is manageable/enjoyable without the dysfunctional and mean person in our midst, my X.

    most narcissists like to control the narrative, so mediation sounds better than divorce court. “see, we get along but we’ve grown apart, right? there is no other woman/man/goat.” also, narcissists think they’re smarter than their chumps, and there’s potential to “pull one over” re: finances. also, narcissists think they can control the mediator. i actually went to mediation for several months and got most of the separation agreement sorted, except for the spousal support, before bailing out and taking it to my lawyer.

    i did have a lawyer that i spoke to in the background of mediation (who wouldn’t in the case of divorcing a narcissist) and she kept me on the path. you know, i always knew i’d end up with the lawyer, and, if i had to do it again, i would go straight to the lawyer because of the relief of having someone advocate on my behalf. it eases the pressure. my lawyer commented that she thought mediation probably worked in my case, because it gave my X, an executive at a big company, the chance to feel like he was in control of the mediator. maybe? but, as i said, i wouldn’t do it again. it wore me down.

    the only contact with X should be by email.

    • I actually think my fw thought he could control my lawyer and the court system. I mean he had controlled me for 21 years, why would he stop now.

      He was wrong.

      He went on to fuck his life up so bad it almost made me feel sorry for him. Almost.

      Sadly he didn’t realize that the problem in his life was him, and to be honest I doubt he ever figured it out. Just one long stream of bad decisions. He could have rebuilt his life after his crash and burn; but he chose to double and triple down. I am sure he blamed others.

      • Same. FW seemed surprised that the courts didn’t buy his BS like all his “friends” did. He thought he knew better than his lawyer (and mine, whom he insulted regularly via email) and his lawyer basically gave up and just sent out the ridiculous documents and letters FW gave him to send me. My lawyer said she would have dropped me as a client if I’d insisted on sending out things like that. It was embarrassing, and my lawyer said it wouldn’t have been worth her reputation to do so.

        FW’s life fell to pieces, and got to the point where he felt helpless and ended it all. He blamed everyone but himself in his suicide note.

  • Great balls of fire! You don’t go into mediation with wife beaters! That woman is out of her tiny mind, and CL, as usual, is right. You need to go NC with MIL, too. Go NC with the whole rotten lot of them. Protect your kids from the influence of these crazies. Look at how FW turned out, then imagine your kids being subjected to the same bullshit that created him. You should also create a paper trail regarding the abuse. Tell your lawyer about it. Tell people at the local domestic violence shelter than you are leaving an abuser. They’ll know how to handle it. Other people knowing about it is your protection. They are your witnesses if he decides to try something drastic. Do not keep this bastard’s secrets. Abusers become even more dangerous when you slip out of the chains. Never forget that.

  • When these toxic in-laws say they want the best for the child/children, the child they have in mind is their child, the cheater.

  • 26 years invested in relationship with my in-laws. 4 kids. After Dday, not one of them ever spoke to me or their own grandkids/nieces/nephews ever again. Sickening. It hurt almost as much as what XH did. The bad apples definitely do not fall far from the trees. 8 years later….Today I trust they all suck. My kids and I have absolutely nothing to do with them. Life goes on and we just fine without those toxic POS.

    • Hey, this is exactly me! Married 27 years, 3 kids, none of them ever spoke to any of us again, it’s been 8 years. The difference is we are tickled pink to be rid of them. My daughter refers to toxic MIL as her “ex-grandmother,” lol. The kids and I are going on a vacation together for Christmas, which certainly wouldn’t have been possible back in the day. Here’s to our new (better!) life.

    • I hear you on that MC99. It’s good to be away from all that dysfunction and toxicity. In four years, MIL has never spoken to me and only spoken to my daughter once, and even then it was only because DD was skyping with her cousin and MIL happened to wander into the room, whereupon she graced her with a few inane words. Not one Christmas or birthday card for grandchildren or great-grandchildren in all that time either. I don’t even think she remembers the great-grandchildren exist.
      Fortunately, I do not like my MIL, SIL or BIL. They are all cheaters, grifters and narcs. So I am relieved to never see or talk to them again. It does bother me that they wrote off my kids like they were nothing though. On principle, it matters, but in actuality, it is preferable.

      I was told that MIL even assumes I will invite her to my family events (she doesn’t even know my family FFS) despite not speaking to me for years. She’s crazier than a junebug. Now my ex is stuck taking care of her all by himself, since his siblings are too lazy to help. He had to get power of attorney to stop her from blowing her tiny pension gambling and buying dinners for his cretinous siblings and their unfortunate spouses. Have fun with all that, FW.

  • Wow. I had the same MIL interaction just this am. I said after 4 years I am finally leaving your son. I went to court, he bailed the kids and I are to stay in the house. “One more thing”After court I caught him seeking prostitutes at the spas again! I wish I had talked to my lamp post. She said well both people aren’t innocent in a relationship.🙄 Please do not contact your MIL anymore, I’m so sure it will just ruin your day. Move on, move ahead. That’s what I’m telling myself……

    • “She said well both people aren’t innocent in a relationship.”

      This kind of false equivalence fries my ass.🤬

      Yes to NC with her. Any communication will come back to bite you. Good luck.

  • I saw that this post had run earlier. I hope OTCT went complete “No Contact” because that was the only way she was getting off of that train. I had a toxic MIL who was very concerned about her fuckwit son with the sadz. Since OTCT found out early, as horrible as it right after giving birth, I hope it took much less time for her to get off the train than it did me. But 30 years of riding that train was very difficult to get off. When I jumped off the train, I literally felt like I was losing my life. Fortunately, I found my life once I got all of the fuckwits out of it. While married, I wasn’t living ‘my life’; I was just dancing to all of their tunes. Sometimes I would have to dance fast, sometimes slow. I am so glad I’m sashaying around in peace these days.

  • I endured a nasty gossipy backstabbing sister in law. Oh she was always ‘there’ for us! But thought nothing of bad mouthing me to my own children( !!). Getting her and the rest of fuckhead’s family out of my life was a dream come true I never realized. Not dealing with them is just so nice. Don’t miss them in my life at all. Sweetie, just get a lawyer. Don’t listen to anyone from his tribe.

  • Mediation isn’t always bad. It’s a weapon we chumps can use, too, if circumstances are right. A whole lot depends on context and on whether mediation happens with lawyers in the room. My own sweet FW used mediation as a way to accomplish many months of delay, with the express goal of waiting for my financial picture to become more favorable for her. When I realized this, I filed for court.

    Fast-forward, and through twists and turns and court dates we ended up in mediation again, with lawyers. I have never in my life seen such effective cutting through BS. My ex would go nuts on me. I gave it the old gray rock. And her crazy didn’t work on a room full of lawyers. My settlement was way better as a result.

    • Yes, it really depends on how “mediation” works in your area. Where I live, almost all divorces are mediated and it’s very rare to have a trial. My mediation was in separate rooms with lawyers and accountants involved. I never saw the asshat that day.

  • Yep! Excellent advice! Leave the FW and his family of idiots behind. No contact. You don’t need anymore guilting or advice from the opposition. Hugs! Use your friends during this difficult time. Know who your enemies are.

  • OTCT should not pick up the phone when she sees that Monster In Law is callling. Just because they want to engage doesn’t mean a person is obligated to do so.

  • “It’s all about the children now” is an interesting turn of phrase. Sounds to me like the only child she’s concerned about is hers, not yours.

    • So interesting it wasn’t “all about the children” when FW was lying, cheating & gaslighting his family. Selective best interest of the child in that family!

  • Oh, gosh. One of the best things about getting rid of the cheater was never having to deal with his mother any more. She was one of those people who seem absolutely perfect to the outside world, but on the inside was a mass of seething awfulness. It doesn’t really matter if it’s nature or nurture with these people. All that matters is where we are now.

    My former mother-in-law tried to impose her wishes on me and my children exactly once during the divorce. She requested that the children have their Christmas visitation on a particular day and time because that’s when she was planning her gathering. The newly minted visitation schedule did not fit with her plans and I was planning to take the kids out of town to see MY family. She got a big fat no. She did not suggest any kind of alternate schedule and her asshole son, the father of my children, did not bother to take the children for ANY visitation time over the holidays.

    When a marriage breaks up the former in-laws take the side of their own family member 99% of the time. They believe all the lies. And if they are crazy enough, they want their child to remarry quickly and then take full custody of the children so they can pretend the previous spouse never existed.

    Full and complete no contact with the soon-to-be-former in-laws is the road to happiness. If they want to see the kids, they can go through their own child.

    • Lizza Lee same here. If I had to endure one more speech from my ex MIL about her family’s superior breeding whilst her nutty kids ran around acting like entitled flogs, I’d have had to end it all. And it turned out ex, who was so humble and self deprecating, really did believe he was superior. It was cult like brainwashing from birth. How could he not think he as superior (other than looking in the mirror but I digress).

      In order to neutralise this effect, I’ve impressed upon my kids they are one of eight billion people that no one owes a favour. One thing about these people is they teach you who you dont want to be.

  • It is difficult to maintain a relationship with the fw side, even under the best of circumstances. My ex MIL tried for several months, and in the short term she helped me deal with the horror. Not in a financial way, but emotional way. Her h was an alcoholic, who had cheated and even hit her a couple times. He was also financially abusive, really, really abusive. I really believe she wanted so bad to stand strong; but in the end blood won out. She went to the dark side.

    I get it, she had to depend on him, she also had to blame me for her losing the house she was living in. I got that in the settlement, so it had to be me; not his wandering dick. He had lied to her too, he talked her into moving into that house and it was obvious after Dday that he knew he was leading a double life when he did that. But, he was still playing the great son and husband. He might not have even been planning to leave then, but he was still lying to everyone about who he was.

    To be fair my side was never going to turn against me, though if I had been the one to do it; I am betting my family wouldn’t have blamed him for my sins. In fact when FW went on an apology tour (I never knew what the hell that was about) and though my dad and my brother let him come in, they were polite but cool. My dad a lay preacher, told him he needed to walk away from sin and straighten his life out, but he also told him he can not ever go back to his old life; that is done. My dad was petrified he would end up back with me and stomp me again, which for a short week before I had enough he did. But the apology tour was after that happened, so my dad knew I was done. Still he wasn’t taking any chances.

  • I came from a family that exhibited a lot of dysfunctional behavior. My ex’s did, too. I often wondered if my life would have been different if there had not been so much bad behavior modelled to everyone in my life. I really don’t even know what “normal” looks like. I have had to settle for “Is this acceptable to me.”

    My children were my first priority in every decision I made. I did not go for a ruthless lawyer, because I wanted to have a civil relationship with their father, FOR THEM. I did play the “what is best for the children” card often. It is a legitimate question. I don’t believe in 50/50 property settlements. I will probably never marry again, but I wish I had paid attention to a prenup. I didn’t think we had enough to worry about, but I did not foresee the future.

    I also had to learn not to care about what the family or anyone else thought, too. Most of the time, what they think is irrelevant. If someone is going to support you, they show up with what you need. If they want to trash talk, they can do that from afar. Being the independent sane parent is always a difficult job. Flying monkeys are a distraction you cannot afford.

    Just learn to take good care of yourself, so you can be a healthy parent for your children. If you concentrate on the basics (Food, housing, medical care, school needs etc) you will be very busy. It does not matter what your FW is eating for dinner, or what his mother believes you should do. Those things are no longer your concern.

    This may sound harsh and/or heartless? I just know I only had so much energy and limited resources, and I had to stretch those assets to their limits. I did not have time to worry about people who offered no concern for my welfare, or my children’s welfare. I learned to compartmentalize and prioritize. That was my survival strategy. It worked for me.

  • This is sadly very common. One of the most shocking things about going through my whole divorce nightmare was how many times I had to look at people and say, “Do you understand that I’m a human being too?” Sometimes I would literally get a stupid, quizzical look in return as if they had never thought of that and then they’d launch back into justifying why we should all care so much about the feelings that urged him to con me and have an entire second life of perversion and why my feelings about it don’t matter. My wasted 20 years doesn’t matter as long as he’s living his best life and happy now.

    These people have to be cut out. They don’t see you as a human being. There’s no working with that.

  • I’m so glad I never had to do mediation. They almost always insist on it in my state before agreeing to a trial. But since there was DV involved, they bypassed it. The lady from the court who called me to discuss it was very nice, and asked if I would feel intimidated by my stbx if we did mediation and I said yes, very much so. I gave her a brief rundown of a few of the worst DV incidents, and that was that. We did have to do a custody evaluation (at FW’s insistance), which was bad enough, even though it was all via Zoom calls. It still left me shaking and feeling sick. I can’t imagine mediation with him. The custody evaluator did listen when I explained what our relationship had been like (during a fortuitous moment when FW’s phone cut out) and allowed us to do our “history” sessions separately.

  • “We have to have contact because of the children.” No you don’t! Mil can have contact with your ex regarding the children, not with you. You owe her absolutely nothing. Block!

  • I am lucky. My in-laws are awesome. They know the truth because my SIL (who knew everything) ensured that my MIL and FIL stopped buying FW’s BS. I cannot imagine that my situation is normal, and I’m very thankful.

    That said, with time memories fade and they want so desperately not to think of FW in a negative light, so after several years I can see some subtle changes in their attitude towards FW, essentially rehabilitating him in their heads. They’re still good to me, though, and they all live very far from me, so we don’t really interact a lot. Oh – and they’re not stupid. They know that their grandchild is close with me and not FW. 😅

  • Cooper, I too was replaced by my in-laws with weird ease after 25 years of Christmases, birthdays, Mother’s Days, and Fourths of July celebrated together, as a single family, often at my house. Everyone apparently ignored how they got together, the family he destroyed, and me: all “disappeared” as if we never existed. I’m not sure if they’re a family of snakes. It’s possible, but it’s also possible my ex MIL is just a weak and cowardly person who can’t admit both her children are losers and users.

    • Same here. I was easily replaced and erased…after 35 years. To be clear, I wanted nothing to do with them. Still, I was surprised that they so quickly accepted my replacement.

      They are cowardly, devoid of empathy, and shallow. They can’t imagine what we are feeling and how we have suffered at the hands of their kids. They also blame us and buy into the FW’s rationalizations.

      Not engaging helped separate me from the toxicity.

  • Block MIL. She is manipulating you. Lawyer up with a bulldog lawyer who has experience with the disordered and have them take him down. FW will be in a chaotic situation and probably will not take the kids on his allotted days and holidays. Therefore MIL will be SOL on seeing the grandkids. Make her play nice or no visits. No reason to go out of your way for her. FW will get new kids and your kids will be an afterthought to MIL. If you have family that arent aholes move closer to be with them and have a support system. It really sucks in life when your parents suck or are dead and your other family members suck, and then you pick a crappy spouse. Of course you probably would have picked better if your original family were nice!

  • Germaine Greer said something along the lines of “The problem isn’t that men hate women, it’s that women hate women”. During post D Day communications (before I went GR), I refused to blame mother in law, AP, sister in law or any other woman who probably was very much involved or enabled ex’s behaviour. He’s a total misogynist and thinking a bunch of women were fighting about him would have given him an irreversible stiffy. I didnt think that was fair for him to have to endure.

    • Good point. I do think as hard as it is to say that it is mostly women who blame the wife, likely because of their fear of it happening to them. So therefore it has to be the wife’s fault or…

      I think men because they know men, don’t usually buy that bullshit.

  • Unfortunately my experience as well … my MIL, after having been summoned for a talk with my PILs after D-Day, basically started the gaslighting straight away, I was still reeling from the shock of it all, her comment was “I can’t say I am surprised” (basically implying that I / our marriage was to blame) … really? Because literally everyone else was surprised / shocked – my brother in law, my sister in law, all our friends, my children, our neighbours all where shocked and surprised …

  • Damn. In hindsight I wish I’d read Vickie’s article after my Dday. However because I’m gifted with loyalty and was in complete shock in the follow up 8 weeks I couldn’t have processed it anyway.

    I did jump into action somewhere between confirming my suspicions of adultery and once I understood xW had multiple dicks to fall on the game began. Internally I went into survival mode and ramped up my actions to protect myself. I understood that I had to totally separate myself financially from her. NO CONTACT was integral in maneuvering out of the hopium and allowing my traumatic FW-induced brain injury to unwind to my then current reality.

    Both xW parents were dead and Yes, they were as dysfunctional as a field mouse nest in a sock drawer (I lived in the countryside). All the psychotic markers in both. Thank GOD our kids were grown adults that had started their lives elsewhere.

    This was my second rodeo and rather than wait out a mediation I drew up a divorce settlement document defining what I wanted which she signed and became part of the final 2017 divorce decree. 10 months and was free.

    I generally don’t trust women anymore with the exception of my daughter and 85 yo mom. I don’t see myself with another wife or gf even. They’re way too expensive in every way. Beagles, …not so much.

  • Sadly and tragically, cheaters don’t comprehend that trust, critical in all relationships, is interconnected and structured like a chain link fence in a family, and among people in general. If A assaults B, if I am C I cannot and should not trust A.

    “Well, he didn’t murder ME, so I should not judge him.”

    “Well, she didn’t burn MY house down, so it’s none of my business.”

    If one parent violates the other, it means the trust is broken among the members of the entire family system, not just between the cheater and the partner they cheated on, whether they are aware of it or acknowledge it or not.

    With infidelity, when the grandparents sanction or ignore the behavior, the trust is broken between the grandparents and the grandchildren. And yes, I believe the kids should know the truth as soon as age-appropriate in the interest of not perpetuating intergenerational trauma. Sick families deal in secrets, lies, denial, and perpetuate/ ignore problems. Not behavior which produces trust and safety.

    I suspect the horrific trust and loyalty issues created in a family system when someone engages in adultery is why it made the list of commandments.

    When someone intentionally harms anyone, lies to anyone, etc, it very much is my business because I need that information to decide who my safe and trustworthy associates are.

    • Yep, and my fw proved it. Years after we D’d he tried to hide one of his debts into the house my son was buying from him. My son caught it on the signing day, cancelled the deal and had the real estate guy rewrite it.

      Low life pos.

  • Oh, Phil Anderer’s parents are lovely people…
    His mom is the lifetime reigning queen of the mindfuck rodeo. For instance, she tried to convince me that my son does not have Down syndrome (he does). She’s a gaslighter’s gaslighter’s gaslighter.
    She threatened not to come to our wedding because the date was inconvenient for his sister…who was still in high school at the time. I wish I hadn’t come!

  • OTCT,

    Let me tell you a little story…wait, no, let’s focus on your story. Your fuckwit ex and your ex-MIL don’t care about you. And that’s a good thing. Why? Because you are so much better than they are!

    You’re a chump. Which means you loved fully. And honestly. What can those rejects say? Everything has to be about me/us? How goddamned pathetic.

    Once you get some time and distance, you’ll realize how much better off you are w/out uncaring idiots like them in your life. I’m not going to lie, it’s going to be tough to get your heart to match up w/your head. But you will get there, if you let yourself.

    No contact/grey rock is key. Minimize those interactions. Don’t give them anything to work w/except their own awfulness. Then ignore them. Or, if you have to, treat them to neutral, business-like replies as much as possible. Imagine them going nuts over your level-headed replies. You’ve got this.

    As for that other story? Well, let’s just say there was a man who loved his wife as a friend and lover for over 25 years. Then, when he’s at a low point in his life, she decides he’s not worthwhile anymore, and seduces/is seduced by her rich, older lech of a boss. And she exit-affairs this guy for her loser boss.

    In this time of distress, he reaches out to her four sisters, hoping they may help him get her back, give him some words of wisdom, and maybe even talk to their sister about her shitty behavior. Instead, he gets told that the XW wasn’t happy for a while (which of course gives her the right to fuck around on him and blow their family apart 🙄), and one sister says that she wouldn’t have recommended her leaving for another man, but basically that it’s the guy’s fault (aka the chump).

    Then he realizes that these soon to be ex-SIL’s are not really the great people he thought them to be. Two had affairs w/their bosses (great examples for his FW XW), one left her husband and family when she was unhappy w/out at least trying to work things out, and the last one felt that although it was a bad move by her sister, whattaya gonna do? Her fuckwit sister was UNHAPPY. Can’t have that. Ever.🤬 Totally excuses the abuse of infidelity towards the guy, of course.

    The upshot is, thru the painful process of time passing, self-examination and self-healing, the guy realized how much better he is w/out these awful people in his life.

    And you will too. We’re all rooting for you. Best wishes to you and your children. Live full lives w/out the fuckwits as much as possible. You’re all gonna be great.

  • I think that I may have an In-law unicorn here…
    I didn’t get. On with my in-laws. Whenever we would visit, there would be conflict. In hindsight – he was always starting it. I used to recoil and take the children out of the room.

    Since he left, my in-laws who are very traditional have hands down refused to have AP in their home. They’ve met her twice and don’t pull their punches with their views towards her. It’s now been 4 years.

    6 months after he left, I emailed them with a very dignified truthful version of events. My MIL only questioned one thing and then quickly apologised and wouldn’t doubt me again. My MIL approached me once to ask me to mediate for the sake of the children. I politely explained my reasons and some of the other things he had done since separation. She respected my opinion and asked what she could do to help. I asked her to tell him to leave me alone and mediation would not be happening. She did exactly that.

    I don’t bash me ex to them. But they are aware of my boundaries and respect them. I’ve just sat back and let him show his parents and everyone else what a a-hole he is. Leopards don’t change their spots.

    I now have a very positive relationship with my in-laws. Ex is such a bad son that they’ve realised that any relationship with the children will come via me and I understand the importance of them being in the childrens lives. We aren’t in each other’s pockets and they respect my privacy.

    I know that blood is thicker than water and I’m under no illusion that my relationship with them may change. But my MIL (I still call her that), says that I will always be her daughter in law and the mother of her grandchildren. I judge people by their actions nowadays as it appears so does she.

    As an additional perk – Ex hates it. But I couldn’t care less.

  • MIL doesn’t give a fig about her grandchildren she’s just trying to distract from her loser son’s cheating and being a shitty person. It also has a “I’m superior and the only one concerned about the children” ring. You’ll never win with these people, so no emails, texts or letters. Go no contact, get a lawyer and pray that these people have the attention span of knats so they’ll forget about the kids. Your kids do not need to be around these immoral degenerates.

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