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AIBU – some things can never be forgiven or fixed even 30 years later?

(36 Posts)
SunshineGirl2016 Fri 23-Dec-16 12:23:35

This question relates to a situation over 30 years ago when DHs dad left his mum…for mum’s best friend….who was also DHs godmother. DH was 12 at the time and this tore his family apart. He and his mum had to move to a tiny house and were severely strapped for cash. Since then, DHs dad has married mum’s best friend and they are still together 30 years later.

DH and I got married last year, had a baby this year and will be celebrating Christmas at our house with FIL and his wife (mum’s former best friend) and MIL. MIL is able to be civil to her ex husband and ex best friend on the surface at least. FIL and the wife seem to think all is forgiven and all is well not realising that MIL and DH really still hate the dad and his wife. DH has major issues with his dad but suffering from FOG – fear, obligation, guilt and does everything to please him – FIL is a bully, domineering but let’s not even go there. FIL and the wife have never had any children and see my DS as their possession. It’s such a messed up situation which is waiting to ignite. Anyway, my question is – can their affair from 30 years ago ever be forgiven? If anything happened to FIL who is 77, DH would have nothing to do with the wife who is 75. On the surface all appears calm with FIL and wife not realizing how hated they are….what does everyone think?

WhooooAmI24601 Fri 23-Dec-16 12:29:10

I think life has to go on regardless and it's always better to do so with dignity. Hatred and resentment only cause more pain and unhappiness, so I'd let go.

However, if my DH and my best friend had an affair, got married and spent their lives together I'd hate them for an eternity, and possibly a little longer. So whilst it's ok saying "life goes on", the reality is that some hurts stay with you forever. Your best option is to keep your head down, smile and focus solely on supporting your DH til he's through needing to please FIL. You aren't obliged to please FIL, though, so don't dance to his tune.

Indrid Fri 23-Dec-16 12:33:04

Direct your dh to out of the fog website

Gymnopedies Fri 23-Dec-16 12:33:09

Why did you invite FIL and his wife?
Please protect your DS from them, FOG is not something pleasant.

Notonthestairs Fri 23-Dec-16 12:33:50

Given the circumstances you described no. After that amount of time I could probably fashion a brave face for a few hours for the sake of my DS and GS but that's it.
I don't hold grudges but I'd probably make an exception here.

Missy17 Fri 23-Dec-16 12:36:40

I think it's your job to protect your DS and DH from the emotional 'abuse' (for want of a better word)
Direct your child to MIL and don't allow FIL SMIL to take him from her. This is what I have to do with my family unfortunately confused

Timeforteaplease Fri 23-Dec-16 12:41:23

Why do you invite somebody your DH hates to your home? At Xmas?!
Some things don't heal. And that is OK.
But it's time of a bit of honesty and stop this charade.

ChasedByBees Fri 23-Dec-16 12:44:12

Why on earth are they invited if they're hated?

mumofthemonsters808 Fri 23-Dec-16 12:48:31

Why have you invited FIL and his wife ?, he sounds vile.

Wayfarersonbaby Fri 23-Dec-16 12:51:59

Don't invite them! And spend less time with them, maybe even none for a while. It sounds like you all need some distance from them in order for the simmering feelings not to be constantly on the verge of ignition. It can't be good for you all to be feeling like this. You need a break from it first of all to gain some perspective and clarity; then you can think clearly about what you want to do.

Topseyt Fri 23-Dec-16 12:53:37

I don't get why they have been invited.

It sounds like the situation will be hard work all around, and hardly an ideal way to spend Christmas Day.

VoldysGoneMouldy Fri 23-Dec-16 12:55:02

Why are you having Christmas with them if this is what they're like?

But to address your question, yes there are some wounds that never heal. And that's okay. All this 'you have to move on' style thinking just puts more pressure on the person who is hurting, telling them they're not hurting correctly.

fuzzywuzzy Fri 23-Dec-16 13:01:12

I think your husband should see if he can get counselling to free himself from his father mentally.

I don't blame them for hating the FIL & SMIL.

I'd not invite them into my life, they sound like they're only bringing unhappiness and not contributing anything positive to your lives.

Tenshidarkangel Fri 23-Dec-16 13:03:07

I think its a case of forgiven but not forgotten sort of thing.
Ex did something recently that brought up a painful memory. I've moved on but the wound is still there and remembering it makes me angry and upset. It's probably similar for your MIL.

itsmine Fri 23-Dec-16 13:08:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WonderWombat Fri 23-Dec-16 13:10:17

I think children are entitled to have some sort of relationship with their grandparents - unless those grandparents present a danger to them.

Billben Fri 23-Dec-16 13:17:57

I wouldn't have invited them to be honest. It will be like rubbing salt into wounds for your poor MIL and your DH. As for your FIL being a bully and them treating your child as their possession, well that needs to stop too. I just don't understand why people think they have to keep up pretence and tolerate other people just because they are family.

ExConstance Fri 23-Dec-16 13:20:17

Sounds a bit childish to me to hold a grudge for 30 years. Last weekend in The Guardian there was an article about a woman who did not want to cook for her family this Christmas. The usual guests included her ex husband and his children from his first marriage ( their being his second) Her current husband's ex wife and her new husband and children, I thought it was such a credit to her that they all got on - but far too many to cook for. Life is just so much better if you move on and forgive if not forget. FiL and his current wife have been together for so long they presumably have a very loving relationship.

bluebeck Fri 23-Dec-16 13:21:27

I don't understand. Why have you invited FIL when everyone hates him and he is a bully?

Wildwillow Fri 23-Dec-16 13:24:16

Really, I choose now not to spend time with people I dislike, family, friends, work colleagues etc. Not in your own home and not at Christmas.

I have learnt that one doesnt need to make a big song and dance about it, just start doing what suits you. It is wrong for anyone to subject anyone else to emotional blackmail. Having experienced quite a lot of this one way or another - I obviously have trouble seeing it coming.... (doh..) I just ask myself if I would behave this way... if the answer is no, then I feel justified in not inviting or accepting invites that make me feel uncomfortable. And guess what..?? the world does not come to an end or the earth fall off its axis.... And if your DH feels he needs counselling to finally address unresolved hurt then maybe consider that as well. Peace and blessings.

PocoAndWine Fri 23-Dec-16 13:26:39

It took me a long time to realise that forgiveness is something you do for yourself, not the person who is seeking it/hurt you. Carrying that hatred around for a lifetime is tiring and it's much easier to forgive. This does not mean you are letting the other person away with it or letting them back in. It just means your butting your boundaries in place and not letting it impact you negatively. In my case I forgave the person AND cut them out of my life. They were toxic and no good for me but I choose not to let them bring me down.

Either way the FIL and wife will pay for what they've done. They won't get away with it. People who hurt other people pay for it even when they don't think they've done anything wrong. So consciously or subconsciously, they will have that burden on them!

emilybrontescorset Fri 23-Dec-16 13:28:10

I'm puzzled as well as to why you have invited fil and his wife.

What matters most is how your dh feels.

MrsRhubarb Fri 23-Dec-16 13:33:01

I think if after all this time then it isn't resolved then it's time to just cut the cord. We had an almost identical situation in our family, however me and my DDad managed to rebuild our relationship and I now have the most wonderful relationship with my DStepM, she will be my family even if anything ever happens to DDad.

That said I can't imagine a more awkward situtation than having them all in the same room as DM on Christmas Day, even though they all get on reasonably well these days. It sounds like a horrid situtation for you, and not one to be repeated! It's a bit late to get out of it this year unless you all come down with convenient case of S&D.

Cherrysoup Fri 23-Dec-16 13:38:36

Who on earth invited them to come? Your poor mil, did no-one think how bloody horrible it would be for her, let alone your poorDH? Is this some misguided way of trying to keep a gf relationship going with a nasty bully? I'm bemused.

Costacoffeeplease Fri 23-Dec-16 14:02:43

Another one wondering why they were even invited?

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