To expect my dh to come straight home from work once a week

(85 Posts)
Gunaglas13 Mon 06-Jul-15 17:48:58

Some background. My mil is widowed, nearly 11 months now.
Dh has to go see her after work every day. He also goes for lunch everyday and calls in some mornings also.
We no longer do family things without her. She is always included and we take her anywhere we go. If we don't go somewhere we call into her for a few hours if there is none of DNS other siblings around. He has a brother and a sister and hour away who rarely visit but call everyday. He also has a sister overseas.
Occasionally I would like to do something on our own but we can't as she would be sitting in the house on her own.
She is healthy and sound of mind. Just expects that when we are off we will spend all our time with her.
Dh spends at least one night a week with her also.
AIBU to expect that one evening a week he could actually leave work and come straight home without spending at least an hour with her first. Then me and the kids could actually see him for more than a few minutes before they have to go to bed. Two of them are in school so they can't stay up later to wait for him as they would be wrecked in school the next day and it's not as if it is occasionally.
We are starting to drift apart I feel as he will always put his mother first over me and our kids. Got so bad once after I asked him to come home once a week that he packed a bag and was going to move out but for some reason changed his mind.
I know I can't understand what mil I'd going through, but I feel she make no effort to contact the rest of her family or to go out and meet people or do anything for herself. If she doesn't get a slight push what reason is there to change.
Anyone go through something similar and come out he other end of the tunnel.

fearandloathinginambridge Mon 06-Jul-15 17:59:34

YANBU. I have sympathy for your MIL but your DH is a husband and father and you and the children are his priority. MIL needs some support but this is excessive and the more it goes on the more reliant she will become when really she needs to stand on her own. It's not helpful to her in the long run.

KitKat1985 Mon 06-Jul-15 18:02:42

YANBU. Yes obviously MIL needs support at this time but 2-3 times a day for someone who is healthy and able to help herself is excessive. DH needs to spend time with you and the kids as well (without MIL always there).

EducateTogetheralumnus Mon 06-Jul-15 18:05:16

Yanbu and your DH needs to start pulling back. while your MIL's situation is very sad, she needs to learn to live her life without becoming a part of your nuclear family.

Don't want to out myself but take it that the sooner he starts this, the better for all concerned.

Gunaglas13 Mon 06-Jul-15 18:05:30

Thanks. Good to hear. Was beginning to believe I was BU at this stage between dh and mil.

mewkins Mon 06-Jul-15 18:09:26

Could you gently introduce your mil to some new groups or activities so that she can establish her own interests and friends?

RB68 Mon 06-Jul-15 18:09:28

She needs tough love. You would not be unreasonable to expect straight home every night if he calls in in the am and lunch times. Its ridiculous. Look out some local clubs for her - even if it is bingo - there are lots for older people that are not too granny, book clubs, craft groups, other hobbies etc - she needs to learn to do things on her own and he needs to let go - its causing friction so maybe try baby steps first by suggesting options - maybe even finding a friend that does something. Bridge, tennis, walking, anything to get her to widen her circle or she is going to be a real drain on your family life. Its a tough time for DP too having lost his father so he is grieving too, but I would explain that his kids need him as much as his mum needs him so one day a week isn't too much for them to ask really. DOn't make it about you for sure

ASettlerOfCatan Mon 06-Jul-15 18:11:27

It won't do her any good him being there so often and it will obliterate your family unit. It's almost a year now. I would say at this point get to the first anniversary then he needs to start pulling back, lots.

Gunaglas13 Mon 06-Jul-15 18:15:43

Thanks RB68. I try to suggest he do it for the kids and even for himself.
I dont think he has had time to consider his own grief. He was very close to his father. And now he feels he has to take over from where his father is missing.
Mil is against trying anything new. Has never done anything without fil and refuses to start now. We are enough for her she says.
Don't know if we can do another year of this?

Iggi999 Mon 06-Jul-15 18:16:06

He is stopping her from moving on with her life, actually.

Bullshitbingo Mon 06-Jul-15 18:18:12

Sounds like he's trying to be a substitute for his df. She won't have the chance to grieve and feel the loneliness if your dh is always there. He's trying to be helpful but he's just prolonging the inevitable, at some point she will have to grieve and face life without her partner.
My mil went through this some years ago, my dh still feels he should invite her and include her in everything we do. I accepted it at first, but gradually helped him pull back as it was just being a crutch instead of helping. He also has two fairly useless siblings who weren't a help.
These days I preempt it by inviting her on certain things and making sure she sees the kids once a week. She's much better now, and is used to life without dfil. Bereavement is a slow process. A bit of patience and lots of communication with your dh, maybe he needs some support dealing with it too?

duckydinosaur Mon 06-Jul-15 18:26:48

YABU! If it was your mum I bet you would be there for her. He hasn't even been dead a year yet. Try and have some compassion.

Littlefish Mon 06-Jul-15 18:33:18

How old is your MIL?

paulapantsdown Mon 06-Jul-15 18:35:04

Your mil is expecting your DH to just pick up (company wise) where her husband left off, and after nearly a year, she needs to learn to cope alone.

Overnight my dad became a widower after 40 years of marraige and the main carer for my disable brother. He could not cook, do laundry, pay bills or run a home. He actually said to me once that it would be much better if I was a single parent as then I could just move in and he could help me financially, and I could do all the housework and cleaning! My dad was also a bi-polar narc.

But do you know what? After a year of huge support from me, he started to stand on his own two feet again and to get on with his life.

That year nearly killed me and nearly destroyed my marraige. I did not grieve for my mum as I was too bloody busy keeping my selfish dad going. Your husband is not doing his mum any favours. He certainly isn't doing his marraige any either.

Welshmaenad Mon 06-Jul-15 18:37:38

YANBU. My dad was widowed just over a year ago. He is also disabled and therefore spends a lot of time at home.

From the beginning my sister and I have tried to strike a balance between being there to support him and allowing hm the space to build his own life without mum. I have two children, sister has just finished a PhD, and much as we love my dad we cannot be there for him 24/7 and replace my mum. As a result dad has rekindled old friendships, started a new hobby and we had to buy him a diary to keep track of all the lunches, coffee dates and hobby evenings. He's doing great, I'm so proud of him, and the time we do spend with him every week is enjoyable and productive.

Your DH is doing his mum no favours as well as putting strain on your own family life, she needs to find a way forward as a widow that doesn't include him and your family. You need to have a talk when he us calm and receptive and explain the negative impact on your family, as well as on his mum's ability to move on.

Gunaglas13 Mon 06-Jul-15 18:48:23

Welshmaenad your post gives me hope.
I would be happier if some of the time spent with her was to encourage her to find a friend to go for coffee once a week or to find a club she would be interested in which would give her some independence and a life of her own.
I am happy to spend some time with her and make sure she sees the children and is included.
But my dh is just happy for us to go an sit and watch telly with her. She refuses to change as she says she has us now.
My children are missing him as he is barely home to say goodnight every night. They never get to tell him their news from school any more. I think he needs to strike a balance and take some time out to grieve for his own loss too.

Gunaglas13 Mon 06-Jul-15 18:49:37

Thanks paulapantsdown.
Another ray of hope.
Mil is 62!

redshoeblueshoe Mon 06-Jul-15 18:58:25

62 is not that old. I think your DH is being very unfair on you and your DC. Maybe she should get a job, or join a group or volunteer. Pick up details of lots of things that she can try. I would also ask your DH does he really want to loose you and your DC
Ducky - twice a day is ridiculous.

whois Mon 06-Jul-15 19:03:11

Sounds like quite a co-dependent relationship. DH trying to replace his dad.

It's strange and totally over the top to be there so often, and isn't helping his mum move on and is showing a serious disregard for his wife and children.

Not sure what you can do tho if he refuses to be a big boy about it all though.

junebirthdaygirl Mon 06-Jul-15 19:32:19

When my dad died my mum wouldn't even let us stay overnight after first week as she knew she just had to face things sometime. Your mil is a young woman . She doesn't need that level of care. Your dh is good to be such a kind son but he has his own responsibilities now and your mil should recognise that. Going there at lunch is a good option as it doesn't affect your family but popping in one or two evenings is enough. Does she go to stay with other siblings.? Do they come and stay weekends with her at times? Maybe they could do that to break the pattern. But really it's up to your dh. Is he escaping to the peace and quiet of her place to dodge bedtime chaos. He needs to pull back. She is not a helpless old lady

brownie31 Mon 06-Jul-15 19:36:46

YANBU, this really strikes a chord with me and I feel for you. My MIL was widowed 3.5 years ago. She moved halfway across the country to live near us but hasn't made any new friends or joined any clubs etc to try and do so. She is fairly quiet but is a nice person, and I feel bad for her as we are at work in the week so can only really see her at weekends. I wish she would start trying to get out there and meet new people but my DH won't discuss this with her or suggest any clubs or hobbies. So I can't give advice but I empathise, it sounds like your DH is being supportive to her but at the expense of you and your children.

Tryingtokeepalidonit Mon 06-Jul-15 19:58:28

I was widowed at 49 and had to force my DC to return/leave for uni. It is horrible but your DH is not helping. Whatever he does he at best is masking the loss of your FIL and when it finally hits her it will be a million times worse. You cannot prevent people from grief, it is natural and the only way to heal. All your DH is doing, from the best possible motives, is delaying the agony and alienating his primary family. Contact CRUISE and see if they can help, they will be able to talk to your DH. Good luck.

TokenGinger Mon 06-Jul-15 19:58:57

I'm torn on this one. All I can picture is my nana alone in her house every night after my granddad died up until her death last year. She was a lost soul. My dad went every day and every night to see her and I respect him wholly for it.

Couldn't you go and meet him there with the DCs as a starter? That way they get to see him and nana too. Then whilst doing this, can you find some sort of social group for her in an evening one week? Bingo or something? There's plenty around. She'll eventually busy herself without the need for your DH every night but be gentle about it! After having somebody to spend her evenings with for probably 40-ish years, I imagine she's struggling immensely being alone all day.

Musicaltheatremum Mon 06-Jul-15 19:59:21

I think that's far too much. I was widowed 3 years ago. My children have now left home and I am by myself now. You have to get on with life and rebuild one of your own. 11 months is early on in the grieving process and it does sound like it's his grief he is dealing with not hers.
Ducky, I don't think OP is lacking in compassion. She just doesn't want him there every day. My parents live 120 miles away, I could not be there for them and my MIL lives 60 miles away and even when she was widowed we didn't go every week even.

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 06-Jul-15 20:08:35

62? She could be working, volunteering, anything. That isn't even old!

She has lost her DH, which is terribly sad. However, it has been 11 months. She might 'have you' now but it is very worrying that she is relying so much on her DS and you.

It sounds like your DH has made his decision and that she is much more of a priority than you and the children. How do you think she would feel if you divorced? Because that is the way it's heading.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now