My mother-in-law and I have never had a warm and fuzzy relationship, in fact she has done quite a few things to hurt me that I've just put in my past to try and build a relationship with her. She is very much focused on her sons and doesn't much care for me or my sister-in-law as she feels we took her sons away from her by marrying them. Long story short, I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer late last year - my mother-in-law felt the need to tell me to get over it (having cancer that is). I underwent fertility sparing surgery to remove the tumors and used an egg donor to get pregnant. My husband and I have been very open with our families about the entire situation but have not been ready to share publicly with extended family and friends as we still processing all of the emotions that have come along with this journey.
My husband and I are walking for ovarian cancer in September and we invited our close family and friends who helped up through the last 9 months to walk with us. My mother in law took it upon herself to email about 30 people (all of whom had no idea about the cancer and over half of them I've never even met) and share that we are walking to increase donations. In the email she wrote how upset we would be if we knew she was sending it and all but said I had cancer (mentioned how we need to support one another who have cancer and how cancer has stricken the family however there has been no cancer diagnosis except mine in the last 10 years).
She forwarded us the email later in the day and we responded saying how hurt we were that she would think about how we felt and then completely disregard our feelings and send the email anyway, how she knew we weren't ready to say anything public, and we weren't sure how to answer any questions that these individuals may have. Her response was apologetic and then the focus changed to how upset she is and how she's been in a dark place, how her Mom's health isn't good (which we found out later is untrue, she's doing just fine) and basically turned the whole thing around to a pity party. We shared a few emails back and forth with her and she continued on with how she doesn't see us enough and we don't include her in our lives although they live two hours away and we see them monthly and call weekly - this has been this way for years.
She is now ignoring us - a tactic my husband says he has dealt with since childhood. He shares how he feels and she shoots him down and turns it around to make it about her. Eventually she comes around and everything will be normal until someone shares how they feel. With a baby on the way, I know that I need to maintain a relationship with her for the sake of the baby and my husband, but my husband and I have agreed that it is no long appropriate for me to try and have a close relationship with her.
I'm looking for advice from anyone who may have a similar situation with their mother-in-law and how they have handled the relationship going forward. I'd love to know what level of communication you may have with your MIL and if you feel that it's been beneficial to remove all emotion and in depth conversation and just keep everything high level. I feel as if I've done everything I can possibly do to repair the relationship but I am literally at a loss on how to move forward. Thanks in advance and sorry for the long post!
Married September 3, 2011 | TTC since May 2013 Me: Diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2013, underwent fertility sparing surgery which left low ovarian reserve, no tubes, partial ovary | DH: perfectly normal BFP: 5/30/2014 via donor eggs | EDD: 2/6/2015