Worried about future children

J

Jake C.

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Joined
Feb 12, 2019
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Location
Atlanta, ga
#1
Good morning all,
This post is concerning my future mother-in-law and my future kids and the potential relationship they have together.
Quick back story; my fiancé's mother has had a long running issue (10+ years) with suicidal thoughts and actions almost on a monthly basis. She receives ECTs (electroconvulsive therapy) once every TWO weeks along with taking, last time she said, 18 different medications for her mental illness and still continues to do self harm and continues to talk about wanting to kill herself, etc. We have suggested other routes that could help but she insists on increasing the number of medicines she takes instead of going to a therapist. My fiancé is well aware of the situation and is aware that she too has traces of her mother in her, but not near as extreme. My fiancé has told me stories about how her mother has left her and her brother at the grocery store when they were children and drove home because she "forgot to put them in the car" or she would go a full day without feeding them when they were infants, and several other instances of continuous neglect. After me and my fiancé get married we plan on trying to have children.
Here lies my issue, if her mother continues to have suicidal episodes and after all of the horror stories I have heard about what she did to her own children, am I crazy for not wanting her anywhere NEAR my future children??? I understand that a child's relationship with their grandparents is very important, but at what point do I say enough is enough? From speaking to her family and her mother directly, it has been apparent that her mother has not gotten any better over the 10+ year span and I do not want my future children to be exposed to that kind of harmful behavior and put them at any type of risk.

What should I do? I would just like some honest feedback.
 
exyz

exyz

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#2
Hi Jake, you are very welcome here.

I'm a grandmother myself, this is just my view, but I hope it helps.

As a young child I experienced very similar behaviour from my own mother as your future wife describes. I was abandoned aged 2 or 3 on at a beach resort, for example, left outside of shops in my pram when younger than that. My Grandfather looked after me mostly. It affected me a lot into adulthood. As a mother and grandmother I have always been so aware of being loving and caring. Sometimes, if anything, I overcompensate because of my own experiences.

Your wife was neglected and badly treated by her mother as a child and she has carried the emotional scars of this into adulthood. She was treated very badly and I am so sorry. She will not be like her mother so please don't think she will be but it is hard to shake off the grip a toxic adult has had.

In my own case, I did try for a relationship between my mother and my children. but she was a very unkind and toxic person. I stopped contact with her when she continued to be as awful to my children, as she was to me. My only regret is that I allowed access to the children at all. She never baby sat or had them on her own. Luckily, I had a wonderful and loving mother in law.

There is no law that says the grandmother must have contact, but it is a discussion you need to have with your future wife. What would the children gain from such a grandmother?
Your new family are the priority here and that should be your focus. I hope that is some help. but just my view. All good wishes to you.
 
exyz

exyz

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#3
I'd also say that your future MIL's self medicating and ECT and eighteen different meds sounds awful. I'm in the UK. I can't see the reason to be taking so many meds. But that is a whole different thread. Take care of you and yours :)
 
J

Jake C.

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Atlanta, ga
#4
exyz,
Thank you so much for your feedback, it truly has helped tremendously. I just want what is best for my future family.
When you talked about your only regret, do you mean that you regret letting your kids spend time with her at all? Or did you allow supervised visits only when you were there?
 
exyz

exyz

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#5
Hi again Jake. My regret was that I let her into our lives with my own children, because I thought it was what I should do. I should have gone no contact a lot earlier.

There is a book called Toxic Parents by Susan Forward, if you can get one over the internet it will help to understand. I was just talking about it to someone else who joined the forum here also with an abusive parent.

What I realised late in life ( no internet when I was very young) was that: just because you have an abusive parent you do not have to carry their abuse with you all of your life. You can walk away, you owe them nothing. They blew their chance of deserving love and respect.

Now, that might be ok for you to say and me to say, but your wife has to realise this for herself too, and not be guilt tripped into being her carer. Worse, don't let the abuser make you into the baddie and avoid the danger of the abuser trying to blame you for any split in the relationship if that makes sense? Don't be made the bad guy.

So careful how you go with your discussions.

Good to think all of this through before you have children. Steady as you go with the discussions. Sorry for any typos, minding a sick little one who is having a nap. ( Ironically)
 
J

Jake C.

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Location
Atlanta, ga
#6
exyz,
Thank you so much again. This is something I must speak with my other half about. I just want what's best for my future family and I know that the right decision and the easy decision are very rarely the same. Thank you again.
Best wishes,
Jake
 
exyz

exyz

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#7
You are very welcome Jake. It is really just one persons view this, so you decide what to take from it. Shout up if we can ever help, there is always someone along but sometimes it takes a while for a reply.
I wish you a happy future and good wishes:peace:
 

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