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Fil's illness taking its toll

(10 Posts)
Mollymoo78 Sat 03-Sep-16 18:41:43

My dh has a terminally ill father who is currently in hospital after a fall. His mum is quite demanding and expects dh to visit his dad for several hours every day which is fair enough but she dictates when she wants him to go and I'm often left with our dd (3) being badly behaved because she misses her dad. I'm behind on my college course because I don't get a chance to do it and I rarely get to visit my own parents but I accept that his father must come first so I look after dd most of the time.

My dh is exhausted and stressed and he's now started taking it out on me. Nothing serious but constant sniping and grumbling and he loses his temper with me if I ask to spend any time with him. I'm so lonely and fed up - we used to be so happy before his father got ill now it's like he is a million miles away and he can't bear me. Has anyone else been through anything similar?

brodchengretchen Sat 03-Sep-16 18:49:56

Your frustration is understandable, but FIL is terminally ill and this will be putting a huge strain on the whole family. My advice to you is to try to sympathise with DH, who is facing the imminent death of his father - by just getting him to talk about how this is all affecting him and the turmoil he is feeling. If he knows you are on side and being supportive he will very likely allow you to be close to him as you once were. Finally, go easy on yourself, please, this will come to an end in the natural course of events.

PigPigTrotters Sat 03-Sep-16 18:56:12

Yes, when MIL was ill 7 years ago.
We didn't have fallouts as such, but home life was difficult, DH was very stressed and opted out of family life for a while.
I asked here at the time, and was told to stop being selfish hmmgrin. Not the advice I was hoping for, but put it all into perspective.

Is MIL relying on your DH to take her to visit?
Apart from being exhausted and stressed (which is probably par for the course in this situation), is he happy to visit every day?
I think in this situation you need to be led by him. If he feels he hasn't done enough for his father, he may feel guilty.
How long is FIL expected to be in hospital for?

ImperialBlether Sat 03-Sep-16 19:04:55

Will he have to stay in hospital? Does your DH have to drive his mum there and back? Why does he have to stay for several hours a day? That's an awful burden on anyone if they have a job and a family as well.

allthecarbs Sat 03-Sep-16 19:08:54

We didn't go through the drawn out illness but there were complications after my mum's death that put a massive strain on us.

Try and be patient with your dh, it sounds like he's trying his best to please everyone.

Do you have anyone you can trust to have a little moan to? It does you good just to air it out sometimes.

Melfish Sat 03-Sep-16 19:23:22

I have been in your DHs position. I had to get firm with my mother and make it clear that I could only visit on alternate days as I have DC and work. Does your FIL have any other children or friends who could visit on the days your DH can't do? DM was able to visit daily, as she had no other commitments but your MIL should not be expecting your DH to visit at the same level as her as he has got other responsibilities.
Could your DH take DD with him for some of the visits? I had to take DD sometimes as DH was working, and would hand her over to DM who was at the hospital and they would go back to her home together while I stayed with DF. DM enjoyed the change with DD.
My DH did get pissed off towards the end of a year of hospital visiting for both my parents and I had to take a step back at that point.

Mollymoo78 Sat 03-Sep-16 19:23:23

His mum doesn't need driving she just wants him with her. Today she wanted him in the afternoon when he had said he was going in the evening so our family time was cancelled again. I felt disappointed which annoyed him and it ended up with me crying which upset dd. I never wanted her to be in a house with fighting parents and I'm trying to be helpful and understanding but sometimes when he's being unreasonable I really struggle not to argue back. Then I feel like a bitch and a crap wife.

poppledopple Sat 03-Sep-16 20:04:31

These are the tricky parts of life where we have to back each other up. My DH had to manage 4 DC under 6 when I needed to be with my terminally ill mother night and day for 6 weeks. Then he had to cope with my deep deep grief. You are on a long road here - pace yourself. Are there underlying dynamics with your MIL - are you suggesting she is being unreasonably demanding? Does your DH feel the same ? - If so you could help him with boundaries as he will need to pace himself also v v v exhausting times for you all.

allthecarbs Sat 03-Sep-16 20:46:15

Totally agree with poppledopple.

HeddaGarbled Sat 03-Sep-16 21:20:28

Can you get some other help for yourself while your husband is unable to provide it? For example, could you drop your daughter off with your parents while you get on with your college work? Nursery, childminder, babysitter? Go to your parents without your H. Plan things to do with your daughter where your H can join in if he's free but you can still do if he isn't.

If he is being verbally nasty to you by the way, you can tell him so without getting into an argument e.g. "I know you are upset about your dad but that is not an excuse for being so nasty to me". And repeat.

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