MIL won't "allow" us to see FIL- WWYD? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 11-04-2011, 07:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So, DH's dad left his mum nearly 3 years ago for a much, much younger woman (younger than DH). His mum took it really, really hard and is still very bitter about it, she's very close with her ex's family and helps out with their family business, so still sees him on a day to day basis so really has to face the fact that he's with someone else everyday. While she's on talking terms with DH's dad, she has really, really serious issues with his girlfriend- the one he left her for.

 

The issue is that she doesn't want DH, me, or DD to have anything to do with the girlfriend, which is getting to be a bit problematic as the girlfriend and FIL are in a pretty serious relationship- they've been together for nearly 3 years now and have been living together for quite some time. It looks like she's here to stay, and it's getting in the way of our relationship with FIL. We can't have him over, can't go over to his house, and just today when we invited him out to dinner with us and DH's sister, he said that the girlfriend would have to go along with us as she's feeling left out and her and DH's sister are pretty close so she would find out and be upset. So DH declined.

 

He's afraid of hurting his mum and I totally understand that. And to be fair, his mum would be HYSTERICAL if she found out. Not upset, hysterical. But at the same time, he's missing out on his relationship with his dad, who is a really nice person despite what he did to his mum. Neither of us approve of what he did at all, but I really think it's time to forgive and move on- particularly when there's an important relationship at stake. The last time we saw his dad in a social setting was at our wedding nearly 8 months ago, and even then he only spent a short time there because his girlfriend wasn't invited. I really don't want DD growing up not knowing her grandfather. 

 

I don't know if I should just leave it as something between DH and his dad (and mum) or if I should step in and push DH to have more interaction with his dad- and inevitably his girlfriend?

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#2 of 14 Old 11-04-2011, 07:49 AM
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It should be up to your dh.  But if he wants to have a relationship with his dad and his dad's girlfriend, then he should do so. 


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#3 of 14 Old 11-04-2011, 08:29 AM
 
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Yeah, don't push him into anything. Then it won't be your fault as stuff inevitably hits the fan.

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#4 of 14 Old 11-04-2011, 08:59 AM
 
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Dont push him, of course, but also perhaps try to help your dh understand whether he is making the decision to withhold this relationship because of his own desires or because of his mothers desires. If it's because of his mothers desires, that is going to create more and more guilt and conflicted feelings for your husband. I say it's better for him to act on his own true feelings (not trying to please his mom - who knows what kind of mommy issues he may have lurking in his subconscious!) and let shit hit the fan if it must. At least then the family can truely begin to move on and heal. Pretending Girlfriend doesnt exist or is just a temporary glitch is an issue that your mil is projecting onto the whole family. She's really flexing her muscle on this one, isnt she? If she cant control her ex husband then she can at least control her son, eh?

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#5 of 14 Old 11-04-2011, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah MIL is quite fiery on this subject. Chasing the GF down the street cursing obscenities type fiery.yikes2.gif 

 

That's the problem really is that DH is so easy-going and wants everyone to be happy that I think he's throwing his relationship away with his dad to keep everything calm. It's funny, him and his dad are SO alike- calm, quiet, and easygoing- that I think they've sort of on a subconscious level come to an understanding on how their relationship is going to be to please mum. It's really sad, and I'm hoping DH will come to understand that his relationship with his dad is worth his mum being mad at him for a week or two. Just not sure if I should give him a little push. smile.gif

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#6 of 14 Old 11-04-2011, 10:33 AM
 
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Originally Posted by RabbitMomma View Post
 just today when we invited him out to dinner with us and DH's sister, he said that the girlfriend would have to go along with us as she's feeling left out and her and DH's sister are pretty close so she would find out and be upset. So DH declined.


 

I'd leave it up to your husband. I think his dad sounds like a jerk, but I don't have a lot of patience with men who leave their wives for women half their age. I don't know that I would respond very well to "I'm not coming unless girl friend can come because I won't be able to keep this a  secret from her and I don't want to deal with her emotions."

 

(FIL's first choice seems to be lie to girlfriend, which is fairly pathetic in my book)

 

Your FIL and his girlfriend where grown ups when they got together. He was screwing around. They both had to know this would effect family dinners and his relationship with his kids.

 

On the other hand,

If you guys have never done anything with the girlfriend, you could give it a try just to see what it is like. If you dislike her and don't want her around your kids, at least then you can make a choice based on what you and your DH want, rather than on attempting to keep his parents happy, which isn't going to happen any way.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#7 of 14 Old 11-04-2011, 01:27 PM
 
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If you told MIL that whether she likes it or not, FIL is going to be apart of your/dh/dc life what would she do? Is it that she would just be upset but still have a relationship with you/dh/dc or is she asking you to choose between her and FIL? 

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#8 of 14 Old 11-06-2011, 04:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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If you told MIL that whether she likes it or not, FIL is going to be apart of your/dh/dc life what would she do? Is it that she would just be upset but still have a relationship with you/dh/dc or is she asking you to choose between her and FIL? 


No I think she would just be awfully upset. Her husband leaving her left her in a really bad state, she's become pretty emotionally unstable and has been dealing with lots of insecurity issues as well as anxiety. DH and I were living with her for a few months last spring but had to move out before DD arrived, and she had a really hard time coping with living alone. I think that us conversing with the girlfriend would really be a huge blow to her.

 

Linda, I totally get what you're saying. DH and I are still pretty upset at how his dad handled the situation, and we don't like that he cheated at all. But it's been 3 years and the girlfriend seems to be a part of his family and life now, regardless of how wrong the circumstances of the start of their relationship was. I don't know, I think DH isn't ready to open that can of worms yet anyway so for now it seems we're going to carry on with things as they are now. Sigh...

 

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#9 of 14 Old 11-06-2011, 07:21 AM
 
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Well then, I think  you are being a wonderful thoughtful DIL, but MIL is an adult and needs to understand that this is not how life works. She has not right to allow you to not have a relationship with someone. Just as she is not allowed to demand that you have a relationship with someone. You could be kind and have a pre planned sit down with her, tell her she will always be an important part of your life etc..... but FIL will also be. I know MIL could not have forseen what FIL would do in the future, but she CHOOSE to marry this man and have children with him. And with that comes the consecuence that she took part in creating a life long connection between all of this family. 
 

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No I think she would just be awfully upset. Her husband leaving her left her in a really bad state, she's become pretty emotionally unstable and has been dealing with lots of insecurity issues as well as anxiety. DH and I were living with her for a few months last spring but had to move out before DD arrived, and she had a really hard time coping with living alone. I think that us conversing with the girlfriend would really be a huge blow to her.

 

Linda, I totally get what you're saying. DH and I are still pretty upset at how his dad handled the situation, and we don't like that he cheated at all. But it's been 3 years and the girlfriend seems to be a part of his family and life now, regardless of how wrong the circumstances of the start of their relationship was. I don't know, I think DH isn't ready to open that can of worms yet anyway so for now it seems we're going to carry on with things as they are now. Sigh...

 



 

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#10 of 14 Old 11-06-2011, 12:25 PM
 
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I think you should definitely stay out of it completely.  Your DH has enough people making demands of him and I wouldn't want to be one more.  He really has a few options...he can tell MIL he'll continue a relationship with FIL as well as the girlfriend, leave things how they are, or tell FIL that he'd like to continue a relationship with him but have that be separate from the relationship with the girlfriend and let FIL decide what he is going to do.  Personally, I would refuse to have a relationship with the girlfriend if my dad cheated on my mom, especially with someone half his age.  I'd be way more inclined to tell my dad I want a relationship with him but without gf than to tell my mom to suck it up, but that is me.  Regardless, I don't think it is your place to coerce your DH one way or another.

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#11 of 14 Old 11-09-2011, 11:10 AM
 
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I think both your DH’s parents need to come to better terms with the reality of the situation, as it effects their son. I can understand how deeply upset his mother is. She may have bitterness and resentment toward her ex and his new GF for a long time to come. But it’s just not cool to guilt trip your own child into avoiding their father. It’s not cool when the kid is 3 or 13 or 30. She needs to understand that if he chooses a relationship with his father, it’s his to have.

 

I think the father needs to understand that his actions hurt the entire family, not just his ex wife. And that it may take a very long for his new GF to be accepted. Rebuilding the relationship with his son needs to occur outside of introducing his GF to family scene. He needs to not insist on bringing her to events with his family. It isn’t going to get him anywhere until people have healed their relationship with him.

 

If you and your DH agree with any of this… could he talk to his parents separately about it?

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#12 of 14 Old 11-09-2011, 11:30 AM
 
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Originally Posted by rhianna813 View Post

I think both your DH’s parents need to come to better terms with the reality of the situation, as it effects their son. I can understand how deeply upset his mother is. She may have bitterness and resentment toward her ex and his new GF for a long time to come. But it’s just not cool to guilt trip your own child into avoiding their father. It’s not cool when the kid is 3 or 13 or 30. She needs to understand that if he chooses a relationship with his father, it’s his to have.

 

I think the father needs to understand that his actions hurt the entire family, not just his ex wife. And that it may take a very long for his new GF to be accepted. Rebuilding the relationship with his son needs to occur outside of introducing his GF to family scene. He needs to not insist on bringing her to events with his family. It isn’t going to get him anywhere until people have healed their relationship with him.

 


 this, especially the second paragraph.  We had a similar situation in my family but it was my mom that left my dad.   She knew she went about their split in a very wrong way. The "other man" respectfully stayed out of the picture until we were ready to meet him.

 

Is your DH able to communicate to his father just how much this actions changed the family dynamic and how it will take time until all the pieces fall into place?  I think it is pretty crappy on FILs part to expect the girlfriend to be treated like a spouse and be included in all family events.  Your MIL is also behaving badly too.  While I feel for her, she shouldn't be making your DH's relationship with his father difficult. 


 

 


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#13 of 14 Old 12-20-2011, 09:43 PM
 
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Wanted to pipe up with a thought I didn't see mentioned.  Many posters have suggested you stay out of it because this is your dh's relationship with his parents.  I do agree, to a point.  It's really up to your dh how he wants to interact with his parents, but you have a daughter, and your FIL is your daughter's grandfather.  My opinion, and I do realize it's MY opinion, is that it's my responsibility to ensure my children have a chance at a relationship with relatives, regardless of which side of the family they're on, assuming, of course, that the relationship is not harmful.  So perhaps your dh doesn't want to interact with his dad's girlfriend, but your dd may not care when she's old enough to understand, and might resent you not letting her interact with her grandfather just because it meant interacting with his girlfriend.  If she is resentful, it would be no less your responsibility, IMO, just because it's your dh's dad.

 

That's how I view my role in situations like this.  It's not about interfering with my dh's choice, just stepping in on behalf of my children.  I did have a somewhat similar situation to deal with when my daughter was a baby.  There wasn't an issue with infidelity, but MIL's boyfriend was someone that neither I nor my dh liked at all.  It was a really bad click from day one.  My mil insisted we spend some time with him.  So I made sure we did.  I didn't like it and we didn't spend as much time with MIL as we would have otherwise, since it does go both ways.  MIL may be within her rights to ask us to include him from time to time, but I also think we're within our rights to ask for alone time with her too.  She didn't want that, so we didn't spend as much time, but still we did make some time because I didn't feel it was right for us/me to decide for my children whether or not their grandmother would be in their life.  Make sense? 

 

Of course as I said, it goes both ways.  Your FIL, IMO, does have a responsibility to make time for you without gf too, if he wants you and dh, or at least your dd in his life.  I think there needs to be a middle ground, and it's up to the adults to find it so the kids don't suffer as a result of the adults' differences.  


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#14 of 14 Old 12-21-2011, 11:32 PM
 
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so your husband's SISTER gets to have not only a relationship with her father, but is also "close" with the father's girlfriend... but her BROTHER cannot see the father at all?

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