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Fil having an affair? - how can I face Mil?

(19 Posts)
cornishcreamtea Fri 06-Sep-13 00:42:45

Mil has health problems and I believe mental health issues. ( Poss agrophobia but as she will not go to doctors nothing can be diagnosed). She is only in her mid 60's but never sets foot out of the house , which suits fil as he has a hobby which involves him being out of the house most of the time and going away a couple of times a year with "the lads" also in connection with his hobby.

Anyway , about a year ago mil received a letter in the post telling her that her husband was having an affair ( I suspected it may have been the ow trying to get my fil to leave). Fil convinced her it was somebody trying to cause trouble and it was never mentioned again although I have to admit my dh and I both believed it was true.

Then a couple of months ago fil was having problems with his phone and he asked my dp to look at it. Up popped numerous photos of a naked woman, possibly taken on one of these so called lads holidays. Fil looked embarrassed and tried to explain it away by saying a friend had sent them to him in error!

Then tonight my dh went out running, decided to do a completely different route and spotted his Dad's car in a country car park. His Dad lives nowhere near us, they don't have a dog, why on earth would it be there? Dh hung around the car park and fil appeared out of the woods, obviously surprised to see his son and said he had been out jogging! What?! He is in his 60's and has never been jogging as far as we are aware. Dh reckons if he had hung around long enough he may well have seen a female following my fil out of the woods.

I am in a dilemma. I get on with mil and know she could not cope if she knew my fil was up to anything. I know all the above facts are not concrete evidence but have to admit all put together they do not look good. I would never ever say anything to her, if anything it would be up to my dh, and I know it is none of my business but how can I look her in the eye and in fact my fil too.

Advice please.

FondantNancy Fri 06-Sep-13 00:46:28

Unless it's you he's having an affair with I think you need to keep quiet. Just continue to treat her like a human being, like you did before (presumably).

EldritchCleavage Fri 06-Sep-13 00:55:12

She may well 'know' and have decided to accept the status quo. She may not know, but what if she would prefer not to be told?

The problem is telling her will be like chucking a hand grenade into their marriage and once done, cannot be undone. So I would err on the side of saying nothing, at least for now.

MariaLuna Fri 06-Sep-13 01:00:19

I would second Fondant Nancy....

Don't get involved.

Chottie Fri 06-Sep-13 03:14:26

Do not get involved. Relationships are complex things and there could be a lot going on that you don't know about. Don't go meddling, you might not like what you find......

CharityFunDay Fri 06-Sep-13 04:02:14

They're in-laws. Leave any disclosure to your DH, who will know them both best and be best equipped to deal with the situation (if it needs dealing with at all).

It could be of concern if your FIL isn't taking precautions with the OW, but I'm guessing by the sound of it that intimacy between MIL and FIL broke down long ago. Just a hunch.

TBH though, my first thought on the woodland scene wasn't EMA, but 'dogger!'

Wishfulmakeupping Fri 06-Sep-13 04:06:39

My feeling is already knows. I wouldn't say anything

TheFallenNinja Fri 06-Sep-13 06:23:15

You really don't want a piece of this.

It seems likely that she already knows. I was thinking dogging too.

ApocalypseThen Fri 06-Sep-13 07:48:59

It's kind of you to think of saying something, but it's a situation where you really would want to have proof first.

MissMarplesBloomers Fri 06-Sep-13 07:56:55

Dogging or in fact a male partner.?

CosmicForce Fri 06-Sep-13 08:06:31

There's every chance all her MH problems are a result of low self esteem because she is (and always has been) aware of his behaviours, or at least has always been sure he's up to something.

I know a couple a bit like this in RL and over the years the wife has become a recluse because she can't face the world anymore - she said because her DH has messed her about so much she never knows if she's talking to a 'conquest' of his, or at least to someone who knows and is judging him for his behaviour, and her for staying with him. The poor woman is worn down to nothing.

OrmirianResurgam Fri 06-Sep-13 08:15:00

Agree with cosmicforce.

I think that your DH needs to be the one to do something if anyone does anything. You should behave to her as you normally even if it will be hard.

cornishcreamtea Fri 06-Sep-13 09:16:50

Cosmicforce - your last sentence sums up mil. my dh says she is not the mother he knew as he was growing up.

Thanks everyone for your advice. You are all confirming what my original gut feeling was, not to interfere at all. Dh is going round there this morning, it will be interesting to see if fil has mentioned their meet to mil!

cloudskitchen Fri 06-Sep-13 09:28:23

It could also be that fil is looking for some fun elsewhere because his wife is agrophobic for reasons not related to him. That must be extremely challenging to live with. No new experiences for her so where's the daily conversation. If this is the case I feel sorry for him and she really needs help. If its the reverse then how awful for her. The point is unless you are armed with the full facts you can't really make a judgement on whether to intervene or not. Would your dh have a chat with his dad?

EldritchCleavage Fri 06-Sep-13 10:48:29

The better approach might be to try and help MIL with support, visits, encouragement to go out etc.

Wellwobbly Fri 06-Sep-13 12:39:06

I agree with Eldritch.

The more you give into fears, the bigger they become.

FondantNancy Fri 06-Sep-13 13:28:42

This is all so sad. Poor woman. She must be so lonely.

cornishcreamtea Fri 06-Sep-13 14:56:38

cloudskitchen I definitely think you have a point there. Although I really do like her we find it very difficult to visit as she has absolutely nothing to talk about and ends up talking trivialities just to get us to stay a bit longer. I am afraid my DH has lost patience with trying to get her to seek help or even for a dr to come to the house. She just refuses point blank and starts getting agitated.I know this is a mental health issue but what else can we do?

When dh visited them both this morning Fil never mentioned a thing about them bumping into each other last night. Anybody innocent would have mentioned what a coincidence it was for them both to meet up. Says it all really to me.

As you say cloudskitchen I can see both sides. To live with somebody with mental health issues must be very difficult but at the same time I don't like to think what may be going on.

wishfulmakeupping you may well also be right, that she knows and just accepts it. I know for sure I would have made a lot more fuss than she seemed to when she received the anonymous letter.

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