A woman has received harsh criticism after saying she feels like her in-laws are ‘abandoning’ her family by moving to the countryside, being branded ‘selfish’ and ‘self-absorbed’.
The anonymous woman, thought to be UK-based, asked for advice in a post on parenting forum Mumsnet titled ‘Inlaws abandoning us to move away’.
She wrote: ‘My in-laws (in their late 50s) currently live a few miles up the road from us but will be relocating 3 hours away to a countryside location.
‘They’ve bought this second property as a holiday home but have now decided to live and retire there and my MIL will be taking her 85 year old mum too. The reason they’re leaving is just because they like the area better, no other family live there.
‘My dh found out today and is feeling really upset. Also, because his sister, grandma and uncle knew before us, it just feels extra rubbish.
An anonymous woman (not pictured) has been criticised online after revealing how upset she is that her husband’s parents are moving three hours away
The post on Mumsnet garnered many responses, with numerous commentators criticising the woman’s outlook. But others were more sympathetic
We suspected something was going on as they’ve been spending more and more time at this holiday home. Plus, they’ve started getting the grandma’s flat redecorated for no reason – well we now know the reason.
‘We’re sad because we have a 3 year old and 7 month old and thought my dh’s parents enjoyed being grandparents and seeing us but that’s not even been factored in.
‘They’ve been really unemotional about leaving. My ds especially is really going to miss them as they’ve had loads to do with him. I feel like they’re trying to get away from us maybe and they don’t want to help out as grandparents. But we haven’t asked that much of them over the years.
‘I understand that they have their own lives but AIBU to think that they should have more importance on family? It’s normally the younger generations who move away, not the older ones.’
Numerous commentators thought the poster was being unreasonable in not wanting her in-laws to move away from her own family
The post garnered numerous responses – with the majority of respondents criticising the poster, saying the in-laws have the right to make decisions they think will make them happy.
One wrote: ‘B***** hell, how self-absorbed can you be? They’ve raised their kids, they’ve worked hard, and they want to retire to a place they both love. They have lives, too.’
Another added: ‘”Abandoning” you?! I get you’re upset they are moving away but it’s unfair of you to equate that to them wanting to get away from you, or not enjoying being grandparents.’
And a third wrote: ‘You sound selfish. They should do what makes them happy, not what you think they should do.’
A further commentator called the woman ‘self-centred’, writing: ‘You seem to only be thinking about yourself and all the reasons they should want to be around you. Why not try see it from their side – they want to enjoy their ‘golden’ years in a location that they love and have been enjoying holidaying in for a while.
‘They’ve lived their lives, they should be allowed to enjoy their retirement without being made to feel guilty for abandoning grown up children – I’d imagine that’s why you were the last to know because your reactions sound very self centred.’
The distance did not particularly significant to a lot of the people who commented on the post, some of whom revealed their own family members live much further away
Many felt the distance, which the poster described as ‘three hours away’ is not particularly significant .
One of the respondents said: ‘3 hours away isn’t a lot op and doesn’t stop them being grandparents, you’re being completely unreasonable ( and maybe that’s why they left it to the last minute to tell you?).’
And one agreed, writing: ‘It’s 3 hours away, that’s it. I suppose it’s a change for you and change is always tricky but seriously, 3 hours? We have lovely weekends with parents visiting them and they have dc for a week every summer and another week during one of the half terms.
‘Such a lovely relationship without being on each other’s doorstep. I appreciate my response is affected by having a brother who moved to Canada 12 years ago and I’ve not seen him for 2.5 years due to the pandemic.’
Another simply said: ‘Three hours? My mum lives 5000 miles from me.’
While many forum users criticised the poster, others were more sympathetic, saying they understood why she feels so upset
However, some forum users were more sympathetic, admitting they too would be upset by the news.
One wrote: ‘I can see why OP’s husband would be upset, since his parents seem to have kept this a secret from him. Of course they can do what they want, but I do think moving 3 hours away from such young grandchildren is unusual for grandparents who have previously been active in their GCs’ lives.
‘I’d try not to burn any bridges, but I’d certainly find that hurtful, and it would change how I felt about them and what I’d be willing to do for them in the future.’
Another wrote: ‘I can understand how you feel op. It doesn’t matter that they are of course allowed to do it, that they may have been working towards this dream for a long time, it is still upsetting for you and of course you are allowed to be upset and disappointed.’
A third added: ‘You’re not unreasonable to be upset, can’t believe people are calling you selfish. Your kids will miss out on having grandparents close by, that’s a thing to cherish, and I can’t understand why you have regrets about it.
‘But on the other hand, your inlaws have spent their life caring for their children and now your mils mother, I think they are within their rights to move somewhere they like and want to spend their retirement in. They should have told your DH before though.
‘I would focus on seeing them in holidays and Xmas, maintaining your relationship despite the distance.’
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