To find my dh's and FIL's calmness about MIL's illness really odd and awful?

(43 Posts)
Blowin Sun 17-Mar-13 23:52:52

My MIL who I am really fond of was admitted to hospital this am with pneumonia. My dh and FIL and BIL followed the ambulance over to the hospital and stayed there for most of the day. It took them a couple of hours to diagnose, and for a while, her blood pressure was so low there was a seroious chance she was going to have either a massive stroke or go in to organ failure.

When they returned this afternoon, neither DH nor FIL seemed that worried or concerned. I tried to talk to DH about his mum, as I am worried about her and wanted to hear what docs were saying, how long they will keep her in for etc, but he was quite short on detail, and didnt seem that concerned, just shrugging his shoulders type thing and saying "sure what can you do" type of thing, and PIL was totally sanguine and matter of fact about it all, like she was just going in for a tooth extraction.

AIBU to feel slightly frustrated by their seeming equilibrium when i am so concerned, and if it was my own mum I would be extremely worried and upset and confiding in and leaning on my dh? He doesnt seem to need to talk at all and was more concerned about catching up on the days Match of the Day Highlights. i know they are quite buttoned up as a family and the men never share or talk about feelings etc but it would be nice to bloody see a shred of concern for this poor lovely lady who looks after them all and is the heart of their family. sad

YouTheCat Sun 17-Mar-13 23:55:56

It will be their way of coping with things. They know she is in the best place in order to get better.

Of course they will be concerned as well. Just let them get on with coping how they like so that they can give your mil the best support and chance of a speedy recovery.

Hope it all goes well.

WestieMamma Sun 17-Mar-13 23:57:23

If they weren't concerned they wouldn't have followed the ambulance to the hospital and stayed there for most of the day. I understand you are worried, but think you are being unreasonable to make out that they don't care because they don't react the same way you do.

TheChaoGoesMu Sun 17-Mar-13 23:57:46

Thats probably just how they deal with things. It doesn't mean they don't care. Hope she feels better soon.

thezebrawearspurple Sun 17-Mar-13 23:59:12

Everybody deals with things in their own way, people who don't do expressing upset and talking about their feelings aren't going to start once something goes wrong. Quite the contrary, they will keep a lid on it as that is how they deal with their emotions. It is different from how you express yourself because they are not you.

Or maybe they are sociopaths who really don't give a flying fuck. Only you're close enough to tell.

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sun 17-Mar-13 23:59:29

It's their way of coping.

It really doesn't mean that they're not concerned.

Blowin Mon 18-Mar-13 00:03:06

Thanks all, i suppose you are right, that is just their way. It is so weird to me though, but i suppose unfair to assume they are not as worried as I am just because they dont show it like i do. I know that they love her, just find it strange/slightly exasperrating that they to all intents and purposes carry on as normal when they get home and dont really want to talk or discuss it .

Maryz Mon 18-Mar-13 00:05:10

They just don't want to talk about it.

They may well have gone over and over it in their minds and with each other today, and just want a break.

Of course they care - they spent the day there.

Just support them to deal with it the way they want to.

Growlithe Mon 18-Mar-13 00:05:37

My FIL was like this when my MIL was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She'd had cancer 10 years before and got over it.

The specialist was proper slagged off this time by both of them when he tried to get them to face up to the truth.

When the nurses gave us the nod that she had 72 hours left, FIL was in bits. He hadn't faced up to it.

I felt so so sorry for him then. It was just too enormous for him. sad

SomeBear Mon 18-Mar-13 00:05:45

My DH was the same when his lovely dad had a massive heart attack - I went to pieces but he was as stoic as they come, very matter of fact and took it all in his stride. It was only after the immediate danger had passed and it was clear that FiL was going to survive that DH let his guard down, he had to take time off work and needed a lot more reassurance, physical contact and could then talk about what had happened. It is just that human beings have a range of coping mechanisms for emergencies, there's no prescribed way of dealing with this sort of thing.
Best wishes for your MiL.

MaryMotherOfCheeses Mon 18-Mar-13 00:07:11

Also that there's a lot of unspoken stuff in the family so looks and nods will mean stuff to them which you might miss. They just have a way of communicating already.

Blowin Mon 18-Mar-13 00:07:14

Ta Maryz, am comin round to that way of thinking.

Happy St Paddy's Day btw (slightly belated) smile

Blowin Mon 18-Mar-13 00:11:30

Grow How sad. I know my FIL would be like that too, but would be a broken man if god forbid MIL does predecease him.

Somebear My dh would be exactly the same in that situation, thanks for your good wishes.

Marymother You are right, I guess they do have their own way of communication. i just dont do stoic, find it hard to cope with.

turnipsoup Mon 18-Mar-13 00:12:37

My DP was very like this when he got the call about his Dad who was rushed in to hospital, critically ill. My normally sensitive, caring DP actually stopped to choose a cd to listen to in the car on the way. Sadly FIL didn't make it.

Even though I know it was just him not being able to cope, I am still shock
about it.

Maryz Mon 18-Mar-13 00:13:03

Thanks smile. I hope she is ok.

I understand your frustration - when my mum was ill I couldn't get my dad to even tell me what was wrong. It was as though he just didn't want to discuss it at all.

Whereas I wanted every single nitty-gritty piece of information, including a written report (in triplicate) of every possibility and the exact percentage probability of what was going to happen next.

I had to bite my tongue a lot. And get dh to probe gently, which actually elicited more information than my questions.

Punkatheart Mon 18-Mar-13 00:13:48

Please don't judge them. Sometimes, as has already been said, it is the way folks cope with things.

I react to things that are really bad in the same way. When my father was dying and my family was in pieces - I was psychotically calm, dealing with doctors, making jokes and keeping things calm.

Inside I was dying a little myself.

Hope she gets better...

Morloth Mon 18-Mar-13 00:16:06

Not everyone is a talker/worrier.

Will being upset/talking about it at home actually make any difference to your MIL?

As long as what they are doing is good (i.e. looking after her at the hospital) then just because they are not gushing about it doesnt mean they dont care.

I am not a particularly emotional person, I feel things just fine, just don't go in for expressing them a great deal. There is nothing wrong with this. It is my method of processing.

Not everyone is into displaying or discussing emotions. This is not a fault, it's just a different way of being. While it's reasonable that you are concerned and want information about your MIL's health, because you (presumably) care about her too, don't pester your H or your FIL to talk about their feelings. It's intrusive.

KatieMiddleton Mon 18-Mar-13 00:21:05

There's no prescribed way for how people react in stressful or traumatic situations. My dh knows it's bad when I go quiet (pretending it's not happening) or get really, really busy (distraction technique). He just waits until I'm read to talk/face up to things.

Just be there and be supportive and don't expect anything.

Startail Mon 18-Mar-13 00:24:45

She's safe in hospital there is nothing practical they can do. If there is nothing practical to do, no problem they can solve, men generally don't feel the need to keep talking about something.

That doesn't mean they aren't worrying about it, it just means they don't see any value in sharing that worry because talking about it can't make it better.

Sending healing thoughts

Growlithe Mon 18-Mar-13 00:27:13

On the subject, but a bit off topic (sorry OP but it's relevant) don't you think the way children act to major bad news freaks you out? Stoic to the max. It freaks me out that they can so much absorb bad news and just get on with it.

BegoniaBampot Mon 18-Mar-13 00:27:43

How do you want or think they should behave then? The day my mum died of cancer (and I was with her when she took her last breaths) , our close family went out that night to a nice Italian restaurant for a family meal, there was even banter and laughter. I try not to judge these things or have expectations.

HollyBerryBush Mon 18-Mar-13 07:39:35

Some people don't have the need for the Diana-esque out pouring of grief and wailing, they just get on with it.

KenDoddsDadsDog Mon 18-Mar-13 07:42:50

Hope she's alright OP
My DH family were like this when DB was dying/ died - stoic. Then the trauma all released about a year afterwards. It's coping.

TomDudgeon Mon 18-Mar-13 07:46:07

I'm one of those types, calm at the time
But I fall apart afterwards

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