To not do anything(8 Posts)
Bil (DH older brother) and silk are splitting up. Two DC's aged one and three. Definitely a 50/50 thing although Bil is the one who has pulled the plug. It's a mess and I can't figure out what if anything I can do to help.
As context they live two hours away but we all work in the same city. We also have two DC and I am newly returned from mat leave into a busy job. Bil is stubborn, slightly selfish (though not deliberately so) and not a self starter. Sil, well where do I start.
So it's probably fair to say I don't really like her, I don't dislike her but we don't have a lot in common and thing I really struggle with is she is "right"about everything, there is just no grey areas so on the most basic level I struggle to have a conversation with her as she's completly black and white, so there is nothing to discuss.
She is also a complete snob, and her sole focus in life appears to be setting up her life so she ticks certain external measure of success. this ranges from being adamant her children will go to Oxford, not letting kids do certain sports (football), spending 000's on cashmere clothes for her and children, and the big one buying a house that they can't commute from so they are now away from the kids 4 nights a week. All of this would be fine and slightly laughable if it made her or her family happy. It doesn't they are massively stressed and financially it is unsustainable. She also never seems happy (I have literally never seen her laugh), BIl is not happy and nonthing in the way they manage their lives seem to make them or the kids happy. The kids seem to be crying out to just relax and have some fun(at least the older one).
I should add re Sil that there is nothing malicious or spiteful about her. She seems to fundamentally believe these things are best for her and the kids, and cannot step out of this. I suspect this comes from a deeply unhappy childhood and her bullying impoverished father. Her family aren't in this country and her much younger sil who we have met a couple of times is lovely.
So what can or should I do? Bil is in a relatively good space as he's made the decision and feels in control again. They are still living together though on separate bedrooms and not soaking. She is now depressed. He is in cuckoo land about the impact (financial and practical) of a split and how hard being a single parent will be.
I obviously can't change any of this and they have to be responsible for there own decisigns. But what can I do should I or we do to help? Or should we steer clear? We are stretched with young DCs and busy jobs, and don't have the room for anyone to stay at present.
What are you asking?
There is nothing for you to do. This is their family not yours.
Has anyone asked you for help? I understand that you are concerned about the impact on them but your BIL and SIL are adults, it's their responsibility to manage the financial and practical implications of separation and single parenting and try to minimise the affect on their DC. You could offer a supportive listening ear or shoulder to cry on if your BIL wants to talk about it or if they ask for any practical help you can consider if that's possible for you but you don't have to do anything as such, wait and see what they want and try not to get too emotionally invested. I don't mean to be dismissive but people separate all the time. I'm sure they will work it out and might even be happier since it sounds like they have such different goals in life.
Agree with the PP it's for them to sort out. If you want to you could let your brother know that you care about him if he does need to talk then you're there but they have to sort the practicalities out for themselves.
I don't really think it's something for you to get involved in. It's a very personal thing and they are both adults, they don't need to be 'managed'.
All that's required of you is to say "please let us know if we can help at all". Then let them come to you if they need anything. You can then decide at the time if it's something you can assist with or not.
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