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To not take DC to visit widowed FIL

(32 Posts)
Graveyard Fri 25-Jan-13 13:04:27

Name-changed for this as fear am being really horrible! But can't seem to be able to do the right thing.

Twenty years ago DH's father (of four teenagers) left his mother for OW, who he later married. Type of stuff often seen on the relationships board. His DC were upset but wanted to maintain a relationship with their father and in due course met OW.

All superficially cordial over the years, but none of them liked OW, because of her role in it all and because tbh she's not very likeable.

I have known DH since school (when it all happened) and his parents and OW almost as long. IMO FiL and OW behaved very badly and selfishly from then right through til now. Both became alcoholics, which made matters worse.

FiL lives an hour and a half away. Saw less and less of his DC (and now grandchildren). In the last few years has been maybe twice a year, unless there have been events like christenings, weddings etc.

IMO OW resented him spending time with the family and he chose her over them (we were never invited to theirs; she was always invited but rarely wanted to come, and it caused rows between them if he came alone). DH has said to Fil several times that he would like to see more of him, but no change. (they have always been friendly to me and other partners, and nice but distant with the GC).

Last weekend OW sadly died after a illness lasting a couple of months (she has been in hospital throughout). DH and siblings visited her a few times and FIL more often, and two of them are with FIL now supporting him and helping with the stuff that needs doing.

We have two Dc (2 and 5) and both have demanding jobs, so have been struggling in the last year or so, me more so. Usual small children, relationship difficulties, work/life balance stuff.

Since OW got sick DH and I have had a few rows over his spending time with them (with me looking after the DC) and because I wouldn't take DC to visit more than every four or five weeks (DC1 in first year of school, both in childcare all week, I am exhausted and have mild depression I think).

DH is V worried about his dad and wants to help etc, has provided lots of phone support and tried to comfort etc.

This week has been tricky with snow, DC2 been ill, work, DC, DH away. He phoned just now to say that he would be back tomorrow (my request) and had told his dad we would all be down to visit him next weekend ( in addition to DH and me attending the funeral).

I am pissed off!

we have loads of stuff organised (by DH) for February, guests, work deadlines, visiting friends 5 hours away during half-term etc. Next weekend is the only free one. I feel v sorry for FIL but am also angry with him for his general crapness, and worried he will go off the rails even more due to this. And want to limit his time with our DC - is not their job to cheer him up!

Would be happy for DH to go, but if we all go want to cancel some other stuff. I said this (not the being angry with fil bit!) and dh went silent, obviously pissed off. Think his view is that I should be able to manage better and that I am weak and selfish.

I feel like am really horrible. Know that I should go along with stuff and be nice about it. But can't seem to do this. So turning to MN for help! (scary aibu may not be right place......)

Sorry so long.

Graveyard Fri 25-Jan-13 13:59:10

Yes, think (even though he has been a big pain over the years!) it's not FIL that's the main problem now. More that as you say eldritch it's a tipping over edge kind of thing.

Think I need to talk stuff through with someone, other than DH maybe, to try to see how can feel better.

DH pulls his weight domestically, although I do more because he works long hours.

mrslaughan Fri 25-Jan-13 13:59:26

Just read your last post - sorry if he thinks you are pathetic...TELL HIM TO FUCK OFF....sorry, I am so sick of men who thinks womens lib means women does everything domestically with kids, and hold down demanding job......

Graveyard Fri 25-Jan-13 14:02:55

That mightn't help the general situation grin

But I do feel expected to be superwoman, or at least better/stronger than I am, and that am not measuring up. But now probably not the best time to confront DH on that!

Viviennemary Fri 25-Jan-13 14:06:35

I think I would cancel some of the things you have. And if your DH wants to support his Dad in spite of all what has gone on I think that is very admirarble of him. He isn't being selfish at all. I think if it means a lot to your DH you should go. One day is long enough for you to stay. And a bereavement is exceptional circumstances in a family.

GladbagsGold Fri 25-Jan-13 14:24:42

I think I would cancel them nearer the time. So they aren't linked to a bargaining 'ok will go to your [let down of a] father but only if we cancel xyz'.

Just go to FILs, because its a bereavement, and you have to. Then, as a separate issue, when the next social engagement rolls around, if you are too tired, it is FINE to say so.

twinklesparkles Fri 25-Jan-13 14:38:03


Maybe your dh wants to see his dad because the other womans gone. Maybe it will be good closure for him for all of the tensions over the years. Maybe he just wants to comfort his dad

I don't speak to my dad.. Only because of the OW.. If she passes away ill be straight on the phone to my dad straight away and help him with whatever he needs .. Maybe that's how your dh feels

Graveyard Fri 25-Jan-13 14:45:02

Thanks gladbags, will try that approach.

Sorry about your estrangement from your DF twinklesparkles. DH has tried hard to maintain his relationship with his dad from the start and does want to comfort him etc. i understand that. I doubt he'll be able to get "closure" though, especially since problems remain (eg his dad's alcoholism).

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