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Dealing with in-law guilt

Recently my husband cut off all communication with his parents. Very long story but I do think that it is for the best. I am so relieved that we will no longer have to deal with them but at the same time I have tremendous guilt that perhaps we have done the wrong thing, especially as we have two children who will now not know one set of grandparents.

My in-laws have always been extremely loving to our now 12 year old daughter but have been extremely critical of our 6 year old autistic son. They blame our parenting on his "issues", and blame me specifically. Sometimes they are downright abusive towards him, telling him to "get over" his sensory issues and calling him a wimp. My daughter actually was the one asking to not visit with the grandparents any more.

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Asked by msb64 at 9:39 AM on Jul. 21, 2010 in Relationships

Level 2 (6 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • Good for your daughter! She sounds like a great sister. Maybe they'll come around eventually when they see that you're not going to allow your son to be spoken to that way. If they can't be supportive they don't need to be around.

    Answer by yezay at 9:42 AM on Jul. 21, 2010

  • sounds like my father in law, and of course he not only attacked our autistic son, he made me out to be the devil incarnate and our son's issues are because of MY parenting skills. Anyway, we cut him out too and it really is for the best, we have to protect our children. Don't sweat it

    Answer by gonefishin at 9:43 AM on Jul. 21, 2010

  • You've made the right choice! Don't feel guilty. Your children don't need that kind of influence! Maybe they will come around now that you've put your foot down.

    Answer by at 9:45 AM on Jul. 21, 2010

  • If down the line you'll regret it, you may want to reconsider. When they are gone, will you say maybe it wasn't the best choice. Your children, your choice, I just wanted to toss out a caution.

    Answer by Bmat at 9:45 AM on Jul. 21, 2010

  • If your twelve-year-old was the one who asked not to see them anymore, and they were unpleasant with your 6-year-old, then I don't think you need to feel guilty. I'd take a wait-and-see attitude and let my kids lead in this decision. I could survive unwarranted criticism, but I wouldn't want my kids to be made unhappy by them.

    Answer by SWasson at 9:46 AM on Jul. 21, 2010

  • Don't feel guilty! You are doing what is best for your family and it sounds to me like your 12 y/o is okay with your decision. Yes, it is nice to have a relationship with your grandparents, but would you want a relationship with someone who treats you as if you were a lower form of life? What kind of relationship would that be for your son & what would it be teaching your DD? And you don't have to cut them off forever if you don't want to. You can try to resume relations eventually, but on your terms. My MIL was very much like your ILs & b/c of her abusive behavior toward our son, we also cut off relations. My son has significant disabilities, but she just made fun of him for what he couldn't do. After 2 years of not seeing him, she learned her place & kept her notions to herself, so we started to visit again, but on my terms. Things were better b/t us, although not perfect, & my son did get a chance to know her b/f she died.

    Answer by mom2aspclboy at 9:53 AM on Jul. 21, 2010

  • Don't feel guilty it is not your fault it is THEIRS! They brought it on themselves when they chose to be abusive to and belittle your Autistic child. I have a child who is on the spectrum, and if my inlaws treated him like crap I would cut them out of our lives in a heartbeat!

    Answer by MizLee at 10:18 AM on Jul. 21, 2010

  • I havent cut off my IL's - but the rest of the fam on DH's side for several reasons. See our DS1 is my son from prev marriage, and every time DH takes him up to their house, DS1 gets treated like (literally) the stepchild. They favor DS2 over any of my other kids - they refer to DS3 as "it" and "oh, whatshisname". We dont go there anymore...

    Answer by MunchiesMom324 at 11:38 AM on Jul. 21, 2010

  • My dh and I are estranged from his mother. She broke contact with my ds (autistic) and thought she was going to focus on the baby (2). And I, like you, think the break is necessary. But I do feel guilty because my children have the right to know all of their family. And my eldest doesn't understand why she quit coming around and wanting him to stay with her. It's her loss, I have two wonderful boys.

    Answer by Austinsmom35 at 8:37 PM on Jul. 27, 2010

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