To not give a shit that MIL is sick(37 Posts)
MIL has just been diagnosed with dementia and I couldn't give a stuff. She completely trashed my husbands life when she and FIL thought that sexually abusing him was ok. She tried to manipulate me and attacked me when I warned her to stay far far away from me and my children (husband makes up his own mind on contact).
She has always been an alcoholic but now she has dementia and I don't care...but I feel like I should at least for my husbands sake. My own mum died recently so I know what he might be feeling but I am finding it very difficult to have any sympathy. I feel like a dreadful person but as far as I am concerned she should just go die and let my DH move on with his life properly. Thing is she now wants more contact with DH and photos if not contact with our children. I am so angry about her trying to manipulate again and using her illness as an excuse. WIBU to just let her stew in her own juices and keep zero contact with my children, DH will make up his own mind for himself but we do discuss it. I have always made sure DH knows that I do not want him to stop contact with his parents but our children will never be included which DH is fine with. AIBU or are my feelings reasonable in this case?
That is a huge mess, but it is your DH's mess, not yours. Be guided by how he wants to do things, let him take the lead. He will have lots of conflicting feelings, I am sure. You had a 'normal' mum and you miss her I am sure, but he didn't and he must miss that as well. Protect your own children and support your DH in his decisions x
I care about how my DH views me and my reaction I suppose. After the support he has given me with my own mums sickness and death, not being ale to provide that for him makes me feel like crap.
I completely understand why you don't feel any sadness or sympathy for your mil. She sounds dreadful. I also think you're right to protect your children from her. But by the same regard your husband's feelings are his feelings and I'd be careful about imposing yours on your husband. He may be in mourning for his mother's illness, however weird that may seem to you, given her past treatment of him. Just giving him space to feel what he feels, listening to him without reflecting back how you feel (meanwhile holding your boundaries re meeting her and her seeing the children) would be kind and supportive of you.
Getting a terminal diagnosis, or becoming ill, doesn't change a sinner into a saint.
Just because MIL now has dementia doesn't undo the damage she did earlier. There is absolutely no excuse for a so-called parent standing by and thinking sexual abuse is okay as MIL apparently did.
I'd just continue on as you are.
Just be prepared for your DH to suddenly want to try and force a different/new relationship with her, as he realises that his chance of having a "normal" parent/child/grandschild relationship now has a definite end by date. If he wants to do that, then that's on him, but please stand firm as you have been until now about not letting her see your DC.
He is going to have some very conflicted feelings. Being there to support him is enough. He may grieve for her and it will also be grief for the mother he wanted and never had. And I agree you must stand firm about youd children. She made her decision on future relationships with you and your dhs children the day she allowed her own child to be abused.
"Thing is she now wants more contact with DH and photos if not contact with our children."
So, not too sick to still be a manipulative bastard then? No, her diagnosis does not change the harm she has caused. I would feel no sympathy either. Perhaps your husband could consider counselling? He must have a head full of emotions, maybe some professional help could make it easier for him.
Thank you all for your guidance. I completely agree that I will have to stand in support of my DH and not be judgmental over his conflicted feelings. It is quite a relief to be able to put this out there and not feel ashamed or in the wrong about how I feel.
While my husband is a good husband and father, he is afraid of being like his parents and feels his life until now has been a failure. Having our little family has helped him to realise his own worth and feel real love. Grateful for that x
He is the most wonderful success. Because he came from failure. He needs to know this. X
It sounds like your DH is trying to, or has actually broken, the cycle of abuse that was heaped upon him by his mother (and father?). If so, that in itself is a huge achievement, so he definitely hasn't failed in that regard.
So many people with abusive childhoods just continue on in that cycle of abuse with their own children. If your DH is aware enough to have stopped stop that then he should be very proud of himself.
What a horrible situation. Agree with others to be mindful, respectful and supportive of your husband's complicated feelings at this time. But no way in HELL would I send her pics of your children. Fuck that.
I would make sure that arrangement around children stays exactly the same, e.g. no contact with her. They need to be protected from this woman (and FIL if he's still around).
i'm sorry to hear DH feels conflicted. In an ideal world, he would be able cut out both parents, go NC, and tell the police what they did. Why does he still feel he owes them contact?
It's galling that FIL are still getting to see DH, despite what they did. Were they both complicit?
Has DH had any counselling?
Support your DH, but don't be guilted into giving her contact with your kids. As she was complicit in your husband's abuse, you really have no option but to keep your children away from her to protect them.
How did your DH find out she has Alzheimer's? From her? I'm not sure I would trust that diagnosis unless I heard it directly from a doctor tbh.
Oh yes, this didn't cross my mind - what if your mil is lying about the diagnosis? Totally possible.
People with dementia don't die that quickly. Stuff her.
This is what adult social services are there for.
Certainly wouldn't be sending ANY pictures if she and FIL sexually abused your DH, Dementia or not. Wether or it your DH sees them into to him but I wouldn't risk it.
I agree - is this diagnosis real? Could be a manipulation tool.
Even so, you can show support and sympathy to your DH for what he is going through - the final realisation that he will never have a good DM/DF, and there is no possibility of a chance of them having a blinding flash of inspiration - 'oh my goodness, haven't we been awful, please forgive us'.
Frankly, I'd be supporting him in keeping away - they are probably only looking to guilt him into free care or running to the off-licence for them if they can no longer get out.
I wouldn't give a shit either.
I remember my stepfathers parents used to be quite nice to me until my half sister was born and then they literally turned on me overnight and were fucking awful to me. They'd discuss me with all the neighbours about how bad I was, would walk in and completely blank me whilst fussing their grand kid, took the pocket money they'd been saving for me and put it in sisters pot, his dad threatened me and said I was ruining his sons life and called me a bitch ... I was 15.
When my mum said they'd died I said "oh? Good".
I would not give a shit either. But your DH might go through a whole range of emotions, particularly after she dies. My DMum had an abusive upbringing and she was fairly openly looking frward to her parents deing so she could finally be 'free' but after it happened she was overcome with a sense of guilt, sorrow for her background, grief for the life she did not have etc.
So sorry you are all going through this. xx
I'm sorry you're going through this, it's very stressful.
You can support your DH without compromising your children's safety or well being.
People with dementia can live for many, many years.
NO photos. Make it VERY clear that the 'rules' re you & the children have not changed. NO photos, no contact.
He will be confused & conflicted. IF he can find someone not emotionally involved to talk to that would be good. It's VERY hard to support them when what you really want to do is go and put their parents 6ft under yourself!
YANBU. You sound very supportive of your DH...that's all you need to do ! Stufff her.....she doesn't deserve your compassion..... don't allow photos of your kids to go to her....she's vile and manipulative! ...and definitely don't allow contact.
Illness doesn't change who she is!
I have no contact with my father....he was abusive ( not sexually) and if he was ill in the morning , I'm not sure how I'd react tbh, but I'd hope DH would support me through it..... I've also broken the cycle of abuse and my kids have a lovely carefree life....as all kids should have, I don't think I'd jeopardise that if my dad was sick, cos I know how precious childhood is and how easily it can be tainted/ ruined !!!
I would have thought that the capacity and ability to manipulate would be diminished by dementia, not given a new lease of life.
In other words, I'm sceptical about the claimed diagnosis.
I'd also try to check re. the diagnosis, having had a relative that faked a brain tumour when they felt they were losing control. And definitely no to the pictures!
I'm a firm believer that you reap what you sow in life. Stuff her. Your husband sounds a bit more conflicted though, poor man.
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