SIL doesn't want BIL to see his son - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-08-2009, 07:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am not sure where to ask this, this seemed to be the right forum. ALL NAMES have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved.

My BIL has a child from a previous relationship; Parker, who is now 5. For the first three years, the mother, Lizzie, didn't want him to be in the child's life; she left town when she found out she was pregnant, and did not contact him. Two years ago she began calling him to get him involved with his son. (A paternity test had been done.) By then, he was married (to a former friend of this woman) and they had a son together. His wife, Agnes, knew from the beginning that he had a child with Lizzie but is adamantly opposed to his having anything to do with Lizzie or Parker. Agnes has been hysterical, very upset, saying that she will leave him, that she will hurt herself, etc. if he mentions seeing this boy. She is very insecure in the relationship.

In the past few months, Lizzie has increased pressure (from nothing to something, that is) to take a role in the Parker's life. She doesn't want or need money from him, she has no interest in having a relationship with him, and she has a boyfriend who fills the "father" role in her Parker's life; but she wants her son to know his biological father and for them to have a relationship. BIL would be willing to work something out with her, but Agnes won't hear of it, and he doesn't want to lose her and their son (who is very much a part of his life, and has been since his birth.)

Dh and I are friends with Agnes and we'd like to understand the violent neurotic reaction she is having to the idea of her husband visiting with his child from a previous relationship. And any suggestions on how to help her overcome her fears or whatever it is that's going on for her, so that BIL can do what he decides is best for his child without having to worry about fallout in his marriage? It feels very overwhelming to think about talking to her soon and not knowing how to even respond.

Anyone have any insights or advice to offer?

~ Colleen ~ Joyful Unschooling Pagan mama to hearts.gifenergy.gifsuperhero.gifjog.gif and babyf.gif
"When I'm sad, I stop being sad and be AWESOME instead."
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:24 PM
 
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SIL is probably in need of some counseling--I think she is being totally over the top irrational, but that's just my opinion.
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by sporty View Post
SIL is probably in need of some counseling--I think she is being totally over the top irrational, but that's just my opinion.
Yeah... I can understand not liking it, but her reaction is beyond me.

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Old 07-08-2009, 09:46 PM
 
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Insecurities can run deep for a variety of reasons. Right now the baby i am pregnant with, her dad got back together with an ex girlfriend and she refuses to allow him to be a part of the pregnancy or the baby when she is here. I think that any child deserves a dad and whoever their partner is, they need to respect that relationship. They are just going to have to get through it together as a couple because children come first.
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:55 PM
 
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Weak men blame the women they are with for their failures as a father. Unless a woman is holding a gun to her boyfriend/husband's head, he can choose to be involved with all of his children.

Agnes needs professional help. People on the internet, or even people who know and love her should not be trying to solve a problem that involves threats of suicide. This is serious, she needs help and it goes way beyond whatever issue she is using to make her cries for help.

I wish them all the best of luck.
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Weak men blame the women they are with for their failures as a father. Unless a woman is holding a gun to her boyfriend/husband's head, he can choose to be involved with all of his children.

Agnes needs professional help. People on the internet, or even people who know and love her should not be trying to solve a problem that involves threats of suicide. This is serious, she needs help and it goes way beyond whatever issue she is using to make her cries for help.

I wish them all the best of luck.
Thank you. I suspect you are right. I think there are a lot of issues at play here (and he isn't strong-willed, he will do ANYTHING to not make waves, and he needs to find his strength in this situation) and I suspect that Agnes is clinically depressed and certainly they need counseling - either couples or for her to work through this.

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Old 07-09-2009, 10:07 AM
 
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SIL has no right to dictate whether or not her Husband can see his own CHILD. That being said, BIL needs to get his priorities straight and anyone who cannot accept his child, needs to either get some seriouis counceling or be shown the door. That being said, nobody has any right to dictate anyone else's relationship with anyone else.

My Husband's SIL doesn't allow my BIL to be in any kind of contact with my Hubby (his own brother) or my Father-in-Law (his own Father) or anyone else on this side of the family. They have a daughter, who's almost 6, who nobody on this side of the family has seen since she turned 3. (The reasoning behind this is, my Hubby's ExWife is his sister-in-law's best friend.) It's really a toxic situation. While we blame my Hubby's sister-in-law, we also can't forgo holding my brother-in-law accountable because he lets his Wife dictate who he can and cannot contact. It's really sad.

I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
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Old 07-09-2009, 10:27 AM
 
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Could someone gently point out to her OR to her husband that their marriage will not last unless they'll work through this issue? If counseling is what it takes, then counseling it is.

Can she see that she is leading her marriage into a hole? We are talking about trying to ignore the fact that this man has a child. That's, to put it mildly, unrealistic.

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Old 07-09-2009, 11:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Thisbirdwillfly View Post
Weak men blame the women they are with for their failures as a father. Unless a woman is holding a gun to her boyfriend/husband's head, he can choose to be involved with all of his children.

Agnes needs professional help. People on the internet, or even people who know and love her should not be trying to solve a problem that involves threats of suicide. This is serious, she needs help and it goes way beyond whatever issue she is using to make her cries for help.

I wish them all the best of luck.
I agree. Great post!
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Old 07-13-2009, 06:50 PM
 
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without knowing all of the story as to why your SIL is portrayed as Neurotic I can't give real advice except that this isn't really somewhere you should be sticking your nose.


You (probably) dont know all of the dynamics of the break up and relationship between SIL and BIL, but even if you did I wouldn't be trying to convince this woman of anything.


She threatened to hurt herself? Well then in HER mind she has very valid reasons for wanting the separation in place. Calling BIL weak just because you do not know all of the back story is a scape goat tactic to blame someone for something you don't have all the facts about.



If you were to do anything tell BIL that he needs to seek family counseling and figure out what is going on if he wants to visit with his son. He needs to work on his home to figure out why she is laying out such high demands. And having people on the outside critisize her for something that we wouldn't know the cause of wouldn't be healthy to your situation.

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Old 07-13-2009, 07:16 PM
 
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I agree the BIL is NOT being weak for not wanting to lose his current wife and the child he has helped raise just to get to know a child that already has another father in its life even if BIL is the biological father.

However, SIL should NOT be telling him he cannot see his own child.

And OP should NOT be airing their dirty laundry in a public forum. Her own, sure, but not someone elses. If SIL wants the question answered herself, have her come here and ask it. (and no comments on that you changed their names because if someone really wanted to know, they could likely Google your username and find out a LOT about you)

So everyone's guilty of something.

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Old 07-13-2009, 07:20 PM
 
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A big : to those who suggest telling your BIL to get family and individual counseling.

However, your SIL is not going to kill herself over this. That's just the strongest argument she can think of to stop your BIL from seeing the woman he used to be in a relationship with. The more insistent she is that she'd hurt herself the less likely it is that she really will.

The only acceptable option is for BIL to see his son. The only question is whether SIL comes to terms with it or stays upset. Giving in to her manipulation will just encourage her to try that trick whenever she feels like she doesn't have any real reason for her opinions.
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Old 07-15-2009, 10:58 AM
 
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I don't see the problem with posting situations that are confusing and cause distress in one's family. In a way all of us are violating someone's privacy--our steps, DHs, DHs' exes, ets. . .
And of course any advice a stranger gives is going to have to be taken with a grain of salt. But we are here to offer suggestions and maybe some will be useful. All posters have to use their judgement as to whether the advice is useful or not.
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Old 07-15-2009, 12:29 PM
 
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I think her reaction is pretty over the top but i can see where she would be taken aback by all of this. I mean getting into a relationship with someone who has kids is a bit different than being married to someone who only has your kid until another one shows up. I would be thrown off guard if i were her. I suggest some counseling too for the both of them, how hard this must be for your BIL to have been left out of this child's life for so long. Just because they'll meet doesnt mean the boy is going to be negative in their lives, and shouldnt her child know their brother. If the kid already has a father figure, it isnt about money, then perhaps your BIL will take on the roll of an uncle type. I guess you never know until you try it.

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