AIBU Husband's family issues(51 Posts)
I'm a mumsnet user but I'm hiding my identity for fear of backlash! Please try to understand where I'm coming from. My husband and I have been together for nearly 15 years and we just had our first baby 4 months ago. I know I should be so happy but things between us have never been so bad. We are absolutely in love with our baby - he has made me ecstatically happy and is just perfect - I have to admit that I had an awful pregnancy, even though it was very much planned I was miserable right through due to a fear of child birth and awful anxiety that developed out of nowhere (I have no history of any mental health issues) and dreaded the birth. I withdrew from family and friends, became reclusive and could not feel any excitement. I endured months of family asking what was wrong with me and telling me I wasn't normal. My midwife referred me to psychology and I was diagnosed with tokophobia and had a planned c-section as a result, all went brilliantly and my fears and anxiety immediately lifted.
Fast forward a few months and my husband and I are just miserable. I resent him so much and am so easily irritated by him, we argue all the time and I dont even know why - I went back to work after 6 weeks as I could not stand being at home anymore, even though it upset me to leave my baby. I can't help but feel this hatred towards his family - the back story is that they have never accepted me and things have always been very awkward, his father is an abusive alcoholic and one night many years ago my husband admitted he abused him and his siblings (he didn't elaborate how, but suggested sexually). My husband's mother died when he was a teen, she overdosed (I have never been told why) but my husband's half brother does not speak to his father because of it. His three other half siblings do not have a great relationship with him either. In the past 3 years his father has become very ill, he has cancer and a lung condition. Although I have visited him in hospital I do not have a close relationship with this man, he is just very rude and short with people and I find him very aggressive and hard to talk to despite my best efforts. He is ignoring all of the doctor's advice and lying to family about his progress and telling them he is getting better (my mum is a nurse and knows how unwell he is as she is organising his care) His health issues have become very bad in the past few months and my husband has become the only child who bothers with him - my issue is that since our baby was born my husband has had to take extended lave from work to care for his dad, his siblings do absolutely nothing to help and now we are doing my father in laws weekly shopping, cleaning, tablets, general chores etc. and my husband has to visit and check on him several times a day to ensure he is ok. I'm finding this very hard as our entire daily routine revolves around what his dad needs, that would he managable if I was off on paid maternity leave but I'm not and am trying to work and juggle all of this and I really feel like I am cracking up.
We met my husand's sister down town one day (by the way she is an unemployed woman with all grown up kids who is kept by her husband and lives about 500m from their dad but still takes nothing to do him, she has 6 grown up kids too who all live at home and dont bother visiting) and she bragged about being out at parties and dinners with her family and I could have screamed - little did she know my husband and I are killing each other due to the stress of trying to juggle it all. My husband's brothers do not even contact him never mind even visit his dad.
I just feel like this special time in our lives is being overrun by my husband constantly running to help his dad - don't get me wrong, I don't disagree with that, I just resent the situation. My Health Visitor was out the other day and asked me how things were and I just started crying and she suggested I get treatment for my anxiety- I feel like we have no control over our lives and cant do what we want to do, rant over - do I sound crazy? Or can anyone else understand this! AIBU? I am so miserable and feel like there is a fog over me all day every day, my only joy comes from my baby and my work, I can't bear my husband and we have absolutely no romantic relationship now. Is my marriage over? I feel so so sad all of the time.
You are under tremendous stress and something has to give. Your husband must make you and your newborn the priority. You don"t have mental problems you are suffering from no stress relief.
i dont want to read an run but wanted to give you a hug ill think on your post and come back
you need to understand that your sil has no obligation to help her abusive father and you have no right to hate her for not doing so. Your husband is choosing to care for his father. It's him causing the issue.
Who is looking after your baby while you work and he works and acts as a carer as well?
I had a miserable first pregnancy too, it was utterly exhausting. Then you have to recover physically while dealing with a newborn and sleep deprivation and hormones (and in your case, a return to work). And it can feel like you're doing all the caring, but nobody is caring for you.
If my DH's time and energy had been spent on somebody else at that time - particularly somebody abusive - I would've massively resented that too. So YANBU. Your immediate family unit needs time, love and care too. You should be the priority.
What would happen if your husband stopped helping his father (or at least put a limit on it)? Could your FIL afford to get a cleaner, meals delivered, home care of any sort? Would your husband look at other options like this or is he adamant about continuing as he is? Does he know how bad you're feeling?
thanks for your replies, i have no one to talk to about this so every comment helps. moveablefeast i feel horribly stressed to the point i am crying and could pull my hair out several times a day. peppa yes i completely understand that she is under no obligation but i just cant help feeling resentment that we're struggling and she's partying! when she met us that day she was giggling and saying "oh well dad can be difficult, sure he'll get over this bad chest!" - she just seemed oblivious. i work at home during the day and teach in the evenings, my husband cares for his dad when im at home, i work and look after our son then in the evenings he minds him whilst i take classes and goes back out to his dad once i get in from work. as well as wanting time away from husband i also had no maternity pay so have to go to work. when i suggest to my husband that he asks his siblings for help it just erupts into a massive row as they ignore him and this frustrates me, my mum had tried to organise carers for my father in law twice now and he has refused them and has said he'll slam door in their faces - i am at a loss. i seriously feel like we are heading for divorce - i'm so upset that we have this perfect little baby but cant enjoy our time
presspaws thank you - this is the thing, if my husband didnt do it i'm certain the other siblings wouldn't look near him and he'd be found dead - his health is really that bad. he has turned away carers and the really sad thing is he has so much money he doesn't know what to do with it, he recently told my husband he has £13k hid in the house that he is leaving to his other grandchildren (my SILs kids), i dont know why he wouldnt even spend £15 a week on a cleaner never mind private carers if he's refusing the care my mum has tried to organise. my husband's argument is that he is his dad and if he doesn't do it no one else will. when my baby was newborn-2 weeks old my husband was away for 5-6 hours at a time every single day caring for him and i was so sore after c section and felt so alone, he has always put his family first and i just feel resentment and i know that makes me sound like a selfish cow, sorry
They don't call us 'the sandwich generation' for nothing. Caught between caring for small children and old parents. Add in a few family estrangements, and it's more like a club sandwich!
Partly I think you'll have to be philosophical about the bad timing in your life, of a terminal illness and a newborn. There's also not much point in railing about the unfairness side of things- it is unfair, but your in-laws abandonment of their dad is too deeply rooted in complex past issues to realistically change in time.
At best, it might be worth a neutral-toned email to everyone that outlines what the weekly tasks are that FIL requires and asks for everyone to nominate what they'll do to help you guys (if not him). They may help if it doesn't require direct contact with him. Personally I'd also ask for a financial contribution to some paid care arrangement in order to lift your burden. You never know.
In the meantime, look into local subsidized care options. Call around, it's unlikely it's all down to you and your DH. If FIL had been childless, what safety nets would he have had? I'm sure you'll find quite a bit if you ask his GP, the council, local hospital, churches, etc.
In terms of your marriage, I'd look at it this way. Even though your DH is irritating the hell out of you, he's exhibiting selfless family duty by stepping up with his dad. That's not a bad trait in a DH! Soon you & the baby will have his full attention again and you'll have a lifetime to enjoy your new unit. Hold on to the good moments and remember that you're likely still recovering physically and mentally from the pregnancy and birth, as well as adjusting to the tricky task of work and baby.
This won't be forever...even if it might feel like it.
when i try to tell husband how i feel it turns into a screaming match, he accusses me of being horrible and uncaring and putting him in impossible situation, and says things like "well he'll be dead soon" - what do i say to that?! my health visitor insisted i book appointment with gp but for what - i dont feel like i have PND but i feel very alone and that my baby and i are second in line to my FIL, as selfish as that sounds
thanks skittlesandbeer, i've been trying to look at the bigger long term picture but it just seems impossible- as for trying to arrange shared care with his family, they would either ignore or shrug it off. for example, when my husband rang one of his brothers when their dad was admitted to hospital with pneumonia the last time his reply was"shit one", the other brother texted him back saying "okily dokily" - seriously! my mum is going to try and arrange care again through the community nursing service tomorrow, i just hope he accepts it
I'm so sorry for the situation you find yourself on OP! I would start by limiting your contact with your SIL as she makes you feel resentment. You absolutely have a 'right' to your own feelings and as that is how she makes you feel, less contact may remove one of the stresses from you.
Teawithtoast i already have - due to how they've treated me in the past (generally they all were v standoffish and made it clear they thought i wasnt right for my husband) i have zero contact with them, i just happened to bump into her in town one day and wish i would have pretended i hadn't seen her! in the past she criticised me for working and not having children, then when i got pregnant i wanted it kept quiet because i was feeling so miserable- husband told his dad who told the whole family and she blabbed it to everyone and many comments came back to me about the size i was, how many weeks i was, would i be able to cope, how i'd have to quit work etc.
How long might your FIL live?
Someone must have a rough date. It sounds like your DHs siblings are punishing DFIL for what he did. Guilt is making your DH do this, I don’t see how you can stop it. But your FIL is turning away caters yet accepting carre from your DH. This is very unfair.
As this situation is not forever can you pay for support for yourself - cleaner, weekly babysitter so you get some breaks.
Is your DH angry at his selfish family and blows up if you criticised him as he feels trapped?
He really is trashing his marriage but is blinded right now. I see his father refusing care other than your husband as his last power play. Your dh has been well trained and cannot see the truth. Can your mum give you some kind of respite?
I don’t even see leaving him as a solution as you will have to pay for childcare. If he cannot talk to you, perhaps you can write an email or text to him giving your feelings. I think you need someone on your side just for you, a good friend to offload onto or some counselling, perhaps? Your baby is really little so you can bring him with you.
If it's causing so much personal stress to you, take a step back, stop getting involved and carry on just you and baby for the meantime. If dh wants to care for his abusive father so be it. I can understand his siblings not wanting to. This must be causing your dh massive amounts of stress, and as he said, it's not going to last forever. I'd also make sure siblings have the full story, maybe sil IS oblivious because no-one has told her how bad df is.
If your FIL refuses care, your DH doesn't have to pick up the slack. It is going to be hard for him though as this is his dad and he'll wish things had been diffeeent and this is his last chance to forge a normal relationship with him. You need to have a more neutral discussion with him about practicalities and perhaps a third party (counselling) could help take some emotional heat out if that.
Your DHs siblings are doing the right thing. Your FIL continues to abuse them when given the chance, they know it and won't stand for it. FIL is hurting your DH now. There are lots of ways he could change behaviour to lighten the load on your DH but is doing the opposite, doing everything he can to steal your DHs time.
Maybe it will be easier if you look at it and talk about it as DH still being abused. FILs last gasp at destroying his son.
Maybe the siblings could talk to DH and help him see what's happening, help him to see that it absolutely fine to leave their abusive father to rot.
You need to take control of your situation, the first issue you posted about was going back to work 6 weeks after baby, why? You keep blaming his family yet you were with him for 15 yrs pre baby???
Their choice to not help their abuser-I wouldn’t!
Going back to work after 6 weeks seems a dramatic thing to do unless absolutely necessary especially after a c section.
He is ignoring all of the doctor's advice and lying to family about his progress and telling them he is getting better (my mum is a nurse and knows how unwell he is as she is organising his care)
Your mother is discussing her patient with you ?
my mum is going to try and arrange care again through the community nursing service tomorrow
I'm sorry but this is completely unacceptable for your mother to be discussing this with you. She could be disciplined. Please don't put her in an impossible position by soliciting information .
Your husband continuesto be abused by a vile man and you resent him for it?
His siblings have the right idea, I wouldn't try to encourage them to care for him.
Would you want to have to provide care for a man who had (sexually?) abused you? I certainly wouldn't, I no-one in my life would expect me to.
I understand how you feel though, life with a newborn can be very hard, and very lonely.
I think your DH is in an impossible position, he's been conditioned to care for his father and now that he's dying he feels he can't stop. It's not so easy to just 'stand up to him'. If he's refusing other care there's no way your DH can just stop helping him (I mean from the POV of your DH's emotional wellbeing) unless he's very strong.
And you must have known while you were pregnant if you'd have to return to work after 6 weeks, was getting a different job with maternity pay before you had the baby not an option?
I agree with Fencesitter, your mum should not be discussing him with you unless she has his express consent.
I do feel for you, it sounds very stressful, and dealing with sleep deprivation from a new baby (no matter how wonderful they are) is hard enough on its own.
Agree your mum shouldn't be telling you about her patient. Breaks every rule about patient confidentiality.
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