to think my MIL is being incredibly unfair?(31 Posts)
I know...another MIL one. I'm just in an awful situation that I don't really know how to handle.
Without going into too much detail, I'm struggling to know how to support my DH at the minute. Basically his mum has started seeing his dad again recently (behind the back of his dying wife might I add) and it's killing him. His dad had numerous affairs (which he blamed on DH as he found out and told his mum), left his mum in thousands of pounds of debt (which DH worked his arse off to pay back for her so she wouldn't lose the house) and he also beat the shit out of my DH for his whole childhood, to the point where he was hospitalised on more than one occasion. He only did this to DH, not to his brothers or sisters for some reason. This obviously left my DH with a hell of a lot of issues which I've tried to help him deal with. Now he's seeing his mum again he just doesn't know what to do. He wants her to be happy but he hates his dad (in my opinion with good reason) and can't help thinking she's just going to end up getting hurt again. DH basically put his life on hold to help his mum piece her life back together after he left (on her birthday). I just don't know how to handle this at all.
I know I can't really get involved, but she seems to be desperately seeking the approval of her son, and I don't think it's fair to expect it. Surely if she wants respect as an adult in her decision, she should respect DH's right to not be very happy about it.
Sorry I went into a little more detail than I planned to. I don't mean to ramble on, it's just I have nowhere to vent.
Lifechanger put it perfectly I think, sorry for your DH this must be an awful situation to be in and it's great that he's got you for support, he needs to let his siblings pick up the pieces for a change or let his mother try and learn from her mistakes and sort out the mess herself next time.
How is she seeking this approval? I assume she is talking openly about the situation then, to your DH if not both of you?
A first thought was - it's her business, you can only stay out of it (and if I were your DH I would also feel furious and given the circumstances pretty betrayed, and would stay as far away as possible) - she's an adult, etc. etc.
But if she's doing this and then coming back to your DH to seek validation - that's another kettle of fish entirely, and given the situation - totally manipulative and out of order on her part.
So I'd be telling her in no uncertain terms that a. if she's looking for validation for playing OW to a scumbag of a man that pretty much destroyed not only her life but radically damaged that of one of her children, she can forget it; and b. by coming to that child and putting him in a situation like this, she is acting hideously badly. And then I'd stay right away.
So as supporter to your DH, I'd be saying - that's what my position would be, if you want to take that position, which is difficult, I'll be here right behind you. Give him permission not to feel HE has to keep any sort of peace. Your MIL is the one (along with her shit of an ex - I won't say he's a dad to your DH, he clearly isn't) creating this.
It's up to her what she does... but you are not there to provide her with a way to feel good about it. Your poor DH.
Hmm yes I thik he should take a step back and just let them get on with it and not let either of them put him in the middle.
Supposrt him to not contact his mother so much because he will get hurt either way so distance is going to be his only saftey net at the moment
His mother will allow herself to use and take from your son as long as he allows it.
He cannot change her. All he can do is change himself. Is he open to speaking to a councillor to work out what he wants and how he can say no without feeling guilty?
Your poor dh. If she was my mum I'd tell her she is on her own this time and when it all goes tits up she is not to say a word to me about it. I cannot get my head around why a woman would let someone hospitalise their child and still think they are an acceptable partner.
Time your mil showed some loyalty to her son imo. I wouldn't stay out of it. I'd be thoroughly disgusted by her behaviour and she would be dead to me. your dh deserves so much better than he is getting form either of his parents.
TBH, if it were me, I'd tell your DH to go marching down and talk to HIS DAD!
Warning HIM that if he shits all over her again that he will have to pay back all the debt he dumped on them the last time.
I'd also get your DH to remind her exactly how it ended the last time and that this guy is cheating on his dying wife, so clearly is only lining up his next meal/shag ticket.
Thanks for the frankness. I agree with all of you. She does seem to want my DH to be all sweetness and light about it which I think is just selfish and unfair. I have no clue how she can even entertain him, but then I'm not her.
I don't think DH would be able to reasonably talk to his Dad without it degenerating into a massive row to be honest. It's hard enough for them to be in the same room together.
I guess she just needs to know that it's her choice...but if she chooses this path it has certain repercussions. She can't just have it all her own way. I think the main reason she wants validation is because she knows full well she's being an idiot but is hoping for some reason we've all transported into some magical fantasy land where everything will be fine and forgotten.
She wants us to go round with our DD as apparently he'd love to meet her. Excuse my irritation but I'm not having a fucking child abuser anywhere near my baby girl.
Sorry, I don't mean to go on. It's nice to hear from people that I'm not being unreasonable as we're kind of being made to feel we are being by having a problem with it.
My mum wanted to get back with my step-father (who abused me) when she found out he was dying.
I never said anything to her but there was no fucking way in hell that my son would be stepping foot in that house ever again if that had happened.
It was my mothers choice if she wanted to be with him.
It way my decision to stay as far away as possible.
ShoutyHamster sorry I didn't really answer your question. My DH has made a couple of negative comments and she's jumped on him saying "but he is your Dad". Plus he's been unable to hide how upset he is and he's getting things like "Don't you want me to be happy, I haven't had anyone for years, don't start getting funny with me blah blah blah."
That to me is her trying to seek validation, do you agree? Maybe I've got it wrong.
Xales - I'm so sorry to hear that. It's hard enough for me being on the outside seeing what it's doing to my DH. I can't even imagine what it's like to actually go through it first hand.
The fact that your DH might have a massive row with your dad is precisely the reason why he SHOULD go and have it out with him.
His dad is chancing it, and his DM knows it, hence her need to validate it all the time and remind her son that he's his son etc.
He is completely chancing it, you're right of course. I don't think it's a coincidence that he started sniffing around just after we got married and had a baby last year...thus getting DH out of his way and getting on with his own life. DH would love nothing more than to go in with both barrels but he knows his Mum would take his Dad's side (as she always did) and he'd then be outcast from the family. We're moving out of London soon, and I don't think it could come at a better time. I might talk to him about counselling possibly. He has a hell of a lot of anger and pain bottled up. He's such a great Dad himself I don't know how he does it when he had that as an example.
As an adult, she is fully entitled to pursue this relationship, albeit with a lying, abusing, cheat of a man. Of course, since your DH is also an adult, he is fully entitled to stay well out of it.
She must have such little self-esteem, to think that this is the only man that she can have in her life. Sad really, but very very foolish, too.
HerHissyness has a point - part of his healing is to perhaps let his Dad have it - full barrels blazing so to speak. And should his Mum take his side, well for shame on her. She should have been able to protect her son all those years ago, and if she cannot bear to hear the truth now, she has more problems than your DH will ever have.
What a horrible position she has put your poor DH in (and by extension, you).
She is clearly trying to delude herself into thinking that your DH will eventually come to terms with it, which (as you say) is very unfair of her.
Your DH is an adult now though, and has control over his own life in a way that he didn't when his poor excuse for a father was in his life. His mother will just keep trying to build the idealised family picture that she has in her head if he doesn't make his position clear though.
It will be hard for him, as clearly he cares a great deal for his mother and doesn't want to hurt her, but he doesn't need to be confrontational about it.
If he could just be brave enough to tell her that while he doesn't agree with the choices she is making, he loves her and respects the fact that they are her choices to make, but that she must also respect his decision to not have anything to do with his estranged father - that way she knows where he stands. If she continues to push the matter he should repeat until it sinks in.
It's a tough one that's for sure. I've kept a lot of my feelings to myself over the years. He hasn't been treated all that well since he was young. He was a difficult child, but I think that's kind of understandable. I'm trying to decide whether it might actually be easier coming from me...I get on with his Mum, and I'm far more diplomatic. But I don't feel like it's my place. If I was to talk to her, it would be purely to save my DH the pain and stress of dealing with it. I'm not one to stick my nose in at all, I'm just trying to think of any way I can take some of the strain and make things easier for him. I suppose I should talk to him really. He's said it's made him feel like a spoilt child saying "Give me my Mummy back!".
Sorry I'm rambling again...just thinking aloud.
I've been in a vaguely similar situation as your DH. (My DM had a horrible partner).
I gave her an ultimatium - me or him.
Thankfully she chose me.
It's a highly risky strategy and I'd think hard about doing this, but it may be necessary for your husbands mental health.
MadamDeathstare I guess that's another option. The fact we're moving away will make that easier. I know that DH would quite happily not ever mention his name again.
Thanks everyone for your comments. I'm off to bed as I'm KNACKERED but I'll be interested to read any other points of view tomorrow. It all helps my brain try and make some sort of sense of it all. Thanks especially to those who have shared similar experiences, it can't be easy.
ScarletLady01 - I don't think it's unreasonable for you to have a word with his DM to be honest. You're obviously very sincere and caring and you're motivation, after all, is to do the right thing. Sometimes, we have to speak up for those that can't.
""Don't you want me to be happy, I haven't had anyone for years, don't start getting funny with me blah blah blah.""
For your MIL to come out with this crap after what your dh has suffered at the hands of his father shows that she is one insensitive and uncaring piece of work who deserves all that's coming to her.
Your forthcoming move is nothing less than heavensent synchronicity; there's no reason why your dh should make any effort whatsoever in respect of his toxic parents and, in the fullness of time, it will be advantageous for him to explore his feelings towards them from a distance.
If your dh should feel the need to say anything to his mother, I would suggest that it should be along the lines of 'After all the hurt and pain he's caused, I am disgusted with you and I do not want to hear from you again until you have come to your senses'.
IMO your MIL's behaviour warrants condemnation.
I don't know who is worse his mother or father. Do you think it may be a cry for help from his mum, trying to get across how lonely she is. I think I would speak to his mum, but check with your DH first. You can't speak for your DH but you could let her know you would never be in the company of this man for the safety of your child and your self and let her know she is being very cruel putting your DH in this situation. Yes you can rant, I'm doing it and I don't even know you. Good luck and give your DH a big hug.
I definitely wouldn't talk to her without checking with DH first. I think I'll talk to him about it later. I'm quite good at being diplomatic so hopefully I can get all the points across. DH is just worried it'll descend into craziness and he won't end up getting across what he needs to.
Thanks everyone for your posts.
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