My MIL Convinced My Kids That Me and My Husband Had Died
A woman was so shocked by her mother-in-law’s actions that she turned to social media to ask for help. After having to leave her children with her MIL for a while due to a friend’s passing, she returned home to find out her kids thought she and her husband were dead. Her MIL was the culprit, but the story is full of twists and turns.
“I am seething. I am still seeing red. I can not believe she would do something like this. My husband is so mad at my mother-in-law.
A little background: my husband is 30, I’m 28. We have a 9-year-old son and 4-year-old triplet girls. We both always wanted a big family, but the traumatic birth of the triplets took a toll on me. Recently, we brought up the thought of more children with my MIL, and she basically announced a pregnancy to the kids, only to then claim that I must be having fertility issues.
Not long after that, a close friend of my husband passed away in a car accident. Obviously it was very unexpected. The friend and his wife lived two states away, so it required a bit of traveling. We went to help the friend’s wife pretty soon after we heard, and stayed for the funeral, and a few days after.
Due to the fact it was quite unexpected, my MIL took the kids for us. Initially, it didn’t seem like a bad idea. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law would be there for one week visiting my MIL with their two kids (6 and 3), and then my aunt-in-law would be there.”
“Before we went, I had to clear things with my MIL. I didn’t want her taking anything out on our kids while we were gone, and she was the only option to take care of them for that long. I explained that I was hurt because she knew how traumatic the birth of the triplets was, and how it was scary for all of us (she was terrified too, came in white as a ghost to see me after the girls were born, and cried hugging me saying she was so glad I was okay, that we were all okay. She did, however, lose her mother to childbirth).
She apologized for everything, said she had no idea she was acting selfishly. She said the idea of a baby just got to her head, and then she didn’t want to be wrong, so she just made something up. She said she knows how wrong it was.
Anyway, we drop our son and the girls off, give them hugs and kisses, tell them we love them, and leave. The first few days are great, my MIL sends us updates, the kids are playing with their cousins, all is well.
Then, my BIL and SIL leave five days early. Turns out, BIL’s sister lives kind of close by, and they hadn’t seen her in years. She was also swamped with her toddler and newborn, so they went to help her out. That leaves my MIL with our kids for five days without anyone else. That’s when things take a turn for the worse.”
“I don’t hear anything from my MIL for a week, besides the usual, the kids are doing great stuff. The mood at the friend’s wife’s place was pretty somber, so even hearing that was enough to brighten my day a bit, and I didn’t think much of it.
Three days before we are about to come home, my aunt-in-law calls me, absolutely furious. She can’t even describe what had happened, and just said I had to skype her right then and there.
When I skyped her, she was sitting in her car pulled over on the highway with the kids in the seats. My kids were red-faced and teary-eyed. One of my daughters has a small rash under her eyes from crying so much and rubbing her eyes.
After my BIL and SIL left, my MIL decided to tell the kids that we had passed away. She didn’t go into details, just told them that they would be staying with her forever because my husband and I had passed away and wouldn’t be coming home.
When my AIL came, the kids were still mostly upset. My MIL blamed it on them missing us, which they agreed to because they thought we were dead. A few days later, my AIL figures out what actually happened, tells the kids we are fine, and takes them from the house, and skypes me where I find all of this out. We agreed that she’d take the kids for the last few days.”
“I told my husband, and let him know that we would be cutting his mother out, or we would be getting a divorce. He’s in full agreement on cutting her out.
The kids are doing alright. My son hasn’t let go of my husband or I since we picked them up. My heart is breaking underneath this seething rage I have.
Any advice on how to cut her out would be amazing. We are already looking at places to move (closer to the friend’s wife, actually, who is my friend anyway) and plan on not telling my MIL at all. She’ll find out eventually, but not where we are living.
I also have no idea how to explain to the kids that grandma won’t be around anymore. I don’t want them to assume she’s passed away too.
This is a mess. I am so angry. I am so heartbroken. My poor, sensitive son and my sweet little girls must have been so devastated. I just want to cuddle with them forever.”
In the comments, people gave advice on how she should proceed, as well as support for what the family went through:
- Your poor children. I’d suggest talking to your AIL about getting MIL in to the doctor because people don’t just change that radically and since she is acting like this, and it’s out-of-character, she may have something medically wrong with her brain.
If your husband wants to keep contact with his family, he needs to tell them all what MIL did. A mass email should be fine. And tell your kids what happened. Something along the lines of, “Grandma did a terrible thing when she lied to you and told you we were dead. We don’t know why she did it, but she cannot be around us anymore. We don’t have people in our lives who hurt us on purpose.”
You might also consider some family counseling. You all need to work through your grief and rage and a few sessions might help you, your husband and your kids come to terms with the new normal. © mellow-drama / Reddit
- This may very well be grounds for a restraining order. She deliberately caused your kids emotional harm. Hire a lawyer.
As for how to tell your kids, I’d suggest something like this, “Grandma did a bad thing. She lied and she hurt mom and dad, so we’re not going to be around her anymore, okay?”
I’m so sorry. You are an amazing mother, and I am so proud of you for standing up for your kids. So many hugs to you. © Unknown user / Reddit
- Tell your the absolute truth — “Grandma lied to hurt you. We can’t let her hurt you again. We can’t trust her not to lie to you and about you. The only way to stop that happening is to not talk to her anymore.” Sometimes you have to spell out hard truths in child-friendly terms to help your kids protect themselves. © kaldi_kahve / Reddit
- The kids need to hear from you and your husband how wrong what grandma did to them was, otherwise you are, in effect, gaslighting them and minimizing a situation that must have been a complete nightmare to them. No lies, no rugsweeping and no trying to pretty it up.
They need to know that you are furious about what happened to them, and to hear and see you doing everything you can to protect them from the person responsible. They need to feel that it is safe to not love grandma, or to express feelings of anger or hurt against her. © Dr_Fumblefingers_PhD / Reddit
Family dynamics are very complex, and even a relationship with someone who is supposed to be close to you can quickly turn sour. A woman tricked her stepmom into buying decorations she didn’t want, and now the stepmom refuses to talk to her. The woman said her actions were justified, but she feels she may have gone too far. Read the story yourself and let us know what you think.