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Man 'ditches' in-laws after wife passes away, 'this is a one-way, energy-draining relationship.' AITA?

Man 'ditches' in-laws after wife passes away, 'this is a one-way, energy-draining relationship.' AITA?


"AITA for ditching my in laws after my wife passed away?"

I (M, 41) lost my wife, who was 7 months pregnant with my son, when I was 35. I have kept in touch with her parents through the years, despite them being difficult, as I always thought that the pain they have gone through cannot be easy.

They didn’t like when I started dating, which I understood, they claimed parts of the inheritance that were legally mine, and I just let them have it, as I wasn’t with my wife for the money (I gave up something in the vicinity of USD 80k), and during the first years I had to fight their desire to control my every move.

They were constantly checking on my whereabouts, would expect me to console them every time they were sad, and wanted me to keep them informed about any plans I would have… which I don’t even do with my own parents.

I got married 3 years ago and now we are expecting twins, 2 boys! My former mother in law sends me WhatsApp messages and greetings around 3 times per week, so, in one of these occasions, I told her we were expecting. Her reaction to this was to give a very short “congrats," instantly followed by a claim that I should not forget their daughter and my unborn son. She then changed the subject.

Months have gone by, and she has not checked on the pregnancy once, let alone checking on how I’m doing now with all that. It is an abnormally scary experience for me, since I lost my wife the last time, but also because I am a little bit older now (41), so the energy is not the same, and also because it’s TWINS.

I feel this is a one way, energy draining relationship, where they ask and ask from me, but never even care for a second about me as a person or my well being. As if I was some sort of placeholder for the love they had for their daughter, but couldn’t care less for my life or what is going on with me, so I am thinking in just talking to them, and end the relationship. AITA????


As some ppl seem confused by this: My former MIL still contacts me frequently. Just not interested in new wife, kids, or my feelings with that. That’s why it feels like a biased relationship, because every time something good happens in my life she tells me “but you can’t forget about your first wife and kid."

I understand where this comes from, but if you want a relationship with me is with me and my life as a whole, and not some parts you choose at your convenience.

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

HELlion0418 said:

My family lost my oldest sister (29 at the time), and we still keep in touch with her husband. My parents still go to dinner with him at least once a month. When he was ready to start dating again he talked to my parents and was terrified that the family would be mad at him for moving on, but we all encouraged him to date and find happiness again. It seems that her parents are still struggling so they want to watch you struggle too and that's not at all fair to you.

ConvivialKat said:

NTA. I am a widow, and I had to end my relationship with my in-laws because they were also incredibly negative and invasive. I promise you that your life will be easier and your new wife and children will be happier if you end this relationship and move on with your life. Trust me, there is no purpose in continuing to communicate with people who can't find happiness in your happiness.

angrey3737 said:

NTA. as tough as it is, sometimes we need to allow ourselves to grow apart from people we care a lot about. you don’t owe them your whole life just because their daughter’s was taken too soon. you probably haven’t been able to really allow yourself to fully grieve the trauma you experienced because they took your grief process away from you in exchange of their own.

They need to allow you to find hope in this life once again, to find love again, to really experience the good that this life can offer you. if they can’t allow it, they don’t deserve to be involved in it. you’re experiencing happiness and love again, so bask in it. you deserve good things, too.

RevolutionaryDiet686 said:

NTA Sounds like the relationship is over now. They probably needed to keep in touch while you were all grieving. Sometimes things just end quietly and there are no bad guys. Good luck with your new family.

Miss_Milk_Tea said:

NTA but you said months have gone by without them asking you about how you’re doing or about the twins, have they contacted you at all? They might have already bowed out before you did.

_gadget_girl said:

NTA it’s normal to maintain a relationship for a while because of the grief, but if that is the only glue then I think it’s healthiest to move on when the relationship is no longer providing you with anything positive, and especially in this case where it is starting to generate negativity.

It may also benefit you former in-laws who are still struggling. They cannot move forward in the same way you can and reminders of that are probably not what they need. Limiting contact protects both of you in this situation.

Everyone was on OP's side for this one. What's your advice for his situation?

Sources: Reddit
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