AIBU to think it's not OK for BIL to introduce girlfriend to family on his father's deathbed.(44 Posts)
BIL has always been very secretive about his life. Who knows why!! Eg. His own brother ( my husband) hasn't been told where he lives or works. By digging on internet I know and told hubby where he works but no idea where he lives. His mother doesn't know where he lives. Several years ago ( about 10 years ago) he was a bit drunk at a wedding and he told me he had a girlfriend who had dark hair like mine. This was a major break of silence for him. Thought nothing of it as never met anyone after. Anyway in the past month the FIL has become seriously ill ( now sadly deceased) and to the shock of all BIL brought his girlfriend to the deathbed. MIL is incensed on top of being severely distressed. She has never liked strangers in her house and is quite shy and to have this foisted on her now is very distressing. Hubby and I find it weird that he would introduce girlfriend of 10 years ( and it is the same one he referred to) at such a time and indeed why she would agree to it. It now turns out FIL had met her once or twice before when he went to fix plumbing in their house but said nothing to MIL as BIL demanded. BIL is very controlling of parents. BIL has also positioned himself as his parents "carers", shutting out hubby and I , even though we live next door and actually are the day to day help. He's tied to mummy's apron strings and quite frankly would like to be the only son. I find the whole thing bizarre. What dark secret has kept him from revealing girlfriend all these years and why has she gone along with it. He is known to her family so no problem in that direction. I used to think he was gay or girlfriend was non white and that was reason for silence to protect parents ( don't judge... Irish Catholic.. different generation) but that's not the case. This is causing MIL all kinds of upset as it's just been sprung on her at this terrible time and she feels bereft. I think she is now wondering what will happen as she probably thought, given BIL's behaviour, that if anything happened, he'd move back home. Clearly by introducing girlfriend that isn't happening and he's just sent a message to that effect. AIBU to think he's been a total sh*t?
So fil knew where he lived cos he had been over a few times but mil didn't? I would think mil is upset her late husband had lied by omission.
As to BIL, he sounds like a self absorbent dickhead. Mil should call the shots, tell her son how hurt she was by his behaviour and decide who she wants helping her move forwards. Sounds like he has some work to do!
So he is very secretive, yet you went digging for his work address?
I think that maybe, before everyone starts having a go at him they should understand that no one is THAT secretive for no reason.
I do wonder why he's been so secretive to his family
But it doesn't seem fair to do this now to your MIL either
has anyone gone over to him and sat him down maybe with more worrying emotive gestures than aggressive and frustration.
"listen bil.we're a bit worried.we love you man so why don't we know more about you and why haven't you felt able to introduce us to your gf life before?is something wrong?
So he chose to be secretive and you decided it was appropriate to go digging for his work address??
And you think he is the one with boundary issues?
MIL thought BIL would move back home? Why on earth would she think that? What a selfish belief, maybe that is why BIL has been secretive, it is very overbearing.
I'd be interested to know why BIL is so secretive. I can imagine his side of the story is very different.
Why would MIL think he'd move back in?
I think you are being a bit unreasonable. People are allowed to have privacy. I would imagine that there is a reason for BILs decision to keep his life private for so long - just because you aren't aware of the reason doesn't mean there isn't onw. And maybe he brought his girlfriend along now as a) he wanted her there as he needed support at a difficult time? or b) he knew she would never get another chance to meet his father and regretted not having introduced them sooner? or c) he wanted his father to see that he did have somebody special in his life as that might be a comfort to FIL on his deathbed to know that his son wasn't lonely/alone?
I find it very stange that MIL would be angry about it, I'd have thought she'd either not care or be happy to finally meet her? This whole thing is bizarre to be honest - unusual behaviour from BIL in the first place, strange reactions from yourself and your MIL.
Also why on earth would your MIL assume that BIL would move back in with her? That's very unreasonable too. This is very odd.
Hmmm I don't think he was wrong.
He is quite private. Why on earth would you do any research to find out where he was working? The fact that you think that's normal suggests there is a good reason he is private.
Fil clearly knew where he lived. So perhaps the problem is with his mother. Again the assumption that he would move in with her because his dad was dead, is unfair on bil. Why should he?
As for bringing her to his dad deathbed, not ideal. But maybe, he felt he needed his long term partner was there. The partner who has met his dad.
In short, there are lots of hints in you post that tells exactly why he is private.
I don't think your BIL is the weird one in this scenario.
To me, his wish for privacy is a separate matter from the visit to FIL as he was dying. Do you mean that someone who was all but a stranger to him was present at his deathbed? or simply that she came to the house with BIL and waited in it while he paid his visit? If she did go in to see FIL when he had a very short time to live I think it was a utterly thoughtless thing to do and I too would have been very angry about it, whether she did it off her own bat or at BIL's insistence. I suppose it's possible that FIL & partner were much better acquainted than he admitted; I suppose it's barely possible your FIL had privately expressed a wish to see her, to reassure himself that BIL had a family of his own, but I wonder if a dying person has ever thought 'I've not got long left and before I die I long to see someone I've met twice'.
I meant she went straight into the bedroom where the family were sitting with FIL and it was at that point that we first met her. BIL came in with her, she sat down beside me and he offhandedly said ,"this is my other half" and that was it. I was left to introduce myself. Hubby had met her downstairs...he said BIL just said ," this is my brother" to her and again left him to introduce himself. Weird or what. FIL expressed no wish to see anyone, he didn't have the breath to do so and didn't recognise her when she was there. BIL had to tell him who she was.
She had met fil and was their with her partner. Fils son.
He keeps himself private because you are the type of people who research him on the internet to find out who he works for and thinks it normal.
I am Irish Catholic. I live in England as do most if my family. My family have never met my best friend. She came with me to my uncle's wake and funeral a few weeks ago. No one batted an eyelid. She was there because she cared for me. Everyone else was very welcoming. That's how it always is.
Not really sure why you family is so annoyed he brought some support for himself.
I think you need to calm down a bit. There’s obviously some weirdness going on but a lot of families are weird and these are your ILs not your own family. Let your DH deal with them and try to remain neutral.
You sound weirdly self-absorbed about this. GF clearly knew your FIL and maybe she wanted to say goodbye before he died?
You and your MIL sound a lot weirder than your BIL to me.
Hang on - just seem that FIL knew had met her! In which case it's even less weird! In fact, I wouldn't consider this at all weird. Sounds perfectly normal to me. They obviously knew each other and she wanted to say goodbye, like a PP said. And BIL probably wanted her there for support. I'm surprised you are finding this so strange to be honest
When your FIL was on his deathbed, it does seem insensitive to introduce someone who is a virtual stranger. However, it's possible that FIL knew her better than you realise. I expect MIL is hurt and angry that FIL met the girlfriend and knew where BIL lived, but MIL was kept in the dark
As for you finding BIL online, I don't think that such a big deal, and I'm surprised you're being criticised for that. Depending on his role, it might just take a couple of minutes on Google to trace where someone works
Perhaps BIL wanted to bring some support for himself?
Perhaps he wanted two important people in his life to meet before the chance was gone?
Perhaps GF was fed up with waiting to meet family and just jumped at the first chance she got?
Perhaps he sees being present at the death bed as a family thing, and he sees his GF of 10 years as family?
I don't think it's weird. But then I have been present at a great many death beds (at work) and each family dynamic is unique. Most lovely in their own way.
My DB is a lot like BIL actually. He was also the golden child. Wonder if that's a thing...
How can he be tied to MILs apron strings and would like to be her only child if she doesn't even know where he lives?
She expected him to dump a girlfriend of 10 years to move back in?
How has he positioned himself as a carer?
This seems bizzarre and doesn't add up.
I think this is two separate issues. The first is that, for whatever reason, the BIL seems to find his family quite difficult. He knows his girlfriend's family but doesn't seem to want his to have much of a part in his life. We don't know why this is - I've heard of people going "low contact" and it sounds as though this is what he has done.
The second issue is bringing the girlfriend to the deathbed. Yes, it was a bad time to introduce the girlfriend to the family.
I think it was beautiful and meaningful that BIL brought his girlfriend to meet his dad before he died. Butt out.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Get started »
Please login first.