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to tell DH not to bother coming to my Grandad's funeral if he can't be supportive to me without feeling like he is being put on fgs?

(28 Posts)
QueenEagle Thu 06-Aug-09 10:18:08

<disclaimer> I am a bit emotional after my Grandad died yesterday.

His death was expected but nevertheless it was deeply upsetting and I have been supporting my teenage kids who knew him well as he was very involved in their lives when we lived close by when they were little, as well as my Mum throughout yesterday, and trying to keep myself together. I took my teenagers to say goodbye to him on Monday as we knew his passing was imminent and we had a very emotional day sitting with him and talking to him, holding his hand etc.

DH and I have been together 8 years and have 2 lo's aged 4 and 6. It's important and relevant to understand that DH finds it difficult to cope with the little ones and ds3 aged 6 has Aspergers so can be very unpredictable. They did not know him hardly at all due to the fact we lived so far away since they were born and he has been bedridden for the last 4 years since my Grandma died.

So the funeral is arranged for next week. Space is limited in the limos for close family so me and my teen kids will travel in one with my mum and other close family. DH is ok to travel with our youngest 2 in our own car.

I am loathe to take the little ones anyway but DH is stubbornly insisting he should come too. I would actually like him to come to pay his respects and to support me and my teen kids. However I am finding his attitude merely stubborn and sulky that he might be left out, rather than supportive in a way I need him to be iyswim.

Funeral is 70 miles away so difficult to arrange childcare for little ones so they either need to come or DH stay at home with them. We were talking about this last night and we agreed that we will all go but would need to think about how best to entertain the little ones during the church service and at the crematorium. I suggested taking a backpack with colouring stuff and quiet toys that can be brought out when they start getting restless (as they undoubtedky will!) as well as mentioning that they could go out into the churchyard for a few minutes if they are getting very distracting and I asked DH if he would be alright coping with them in such circumstances, bearing in mind how he struggles with them at the best of times. I was stunned however when DH then said, "Do you expect me to look after them all day then?" So I get all upset and am pissed off that he has said this and also that he can't just be supportive for once and say to me that he will be fine and sort out the kids so I can concentrate on the service and support my MUm. Instead he is sulking at the prospect of having the kids "dumped" on him!!

I told him that I would rather he did not come because I will just have this niggle that he will get stressed with them trying to keep them quiet and I really do just want to concentrate on the funeral and say goodbye to my grandad properly. I know I will end up having to deal with them and it will cause bad feeling.

I know I am probably BU so how can I best resolve this?

LoveBeingAMummy Thu 06-Aug-09 10:21:31

I'm so sorry about your granddad

YANBU, your DH is being a dick. He needs to understadn that as a husband he needs to support you during this verty difficult time.

Is he normally good with support?

Sorry I don't understand why does your DH have a problem with looking after HIS kids all day?

pooka Thu 06-Aug-09 10:27:11


When my grandmother died, the original plan was that dh would bring the children along for the do afterwards, but would be in complete control of them. They absolutely weren't coming to the service at the church next door (5 and 3).

In the end, dd got impetigo, so DH stayed at home with dd and ds. Meant that I was able to be however I wanted to be at the funeral without worrying about upsetting the children or having to see to them IYSWIM.

My grandmother (other side) died recently and again, DH stayed at home with the children while I went to the funeral. I didn't see the need for the children to be there. They are now 6 and 4 and seem to young for it. Also, I wanted to support my mother.

The same would apply if it were DH's family. My role would be to deal with children to let him be.

muddleduck Thu 06-Aug-09 10:27:51

You shouldn't have to ask for things like this.
Is there anyone else who could look after the younger DC so that your DH can go with you and you won't be distracted by them?

FWIW When we were in a similar situation (roles reversed) the dc and I came along but stayed outside during the service so as not to be a distraction.

QueenEagle Thu 06-Aug-09 10:29:42

Thank you.

He is supportive in the sense that he is a dedicated family man, works hard at work, would never mess around. However, he struggles to cope with the kids and is so disorganised that when I am at work things are truly chaotic and the kids end up being as stressed as he does. He really is like my 6th child and I am constantly thinking of how I can make life easier for him but he never seems to learn. He cannot make decisions and constantly asks me for approval and things just don't get done unless I do it or organise it.

I just wanted him this time to say, "Don't worry I will sort out the kids, you be with your mum." Instead I am now trying to keep him from getting upset and not to feel like I am putting on him.

muddleduck Thu 06-Aug-09 10:38:07

It sounds to me like your DH really won't be able to cope with them for the whole day in a way that will allow you to get on with grieving. How about you agree to "manage" them together for most of the day but ask that he takes complete care of them during the service itself. You can't change the way your DH is between now and the funeral so you need to work with what you have and make the best compromise.

btw do you think your ds3 will cope ok with seeing everybody so upset? Especially if you are not able to focus on seeing that he is ok?

LoveBeingAMummy Thu 06-Aug-09 10:39:13

Then tell him that, he is adding to your stress when he should be easing it.

pjmama Thu 06-Aug-09 11:00:20

I wouldn't want to take two small children to a funeral at all tbh. It won't be a very nice experience for them and you'll have one eye on them the whole time.

Are you sure he's not insisting on coming, just so he's not left at home with the dc on his own all day?

Sounds to me like he's expecting you to share the care of them on the day, when he SHOULD be doing everything he can to let you grieve and say goodbye without distractions.

I would be asking him to stay at home if I were in your position.

jicky Thu 06-Aug-09 11:00:50

Are you sure you can't arrange child care for the little ones? When FIL died I had friends offering to take ds3 (3 at the time) over night so he didn't have to come - the funeral was too far away for a day trip. In the end we took him, but a friend of SIL looked after him during the service, and all boys missed the cremation - they stayed with more distant family. They all came to the wake afterwards but then they are generally pretty well behaved.

Does DH actually want to come to the funeral or does he just not want to be left with the kids?

Personally I think 4 and 6 are too young for the funeral if they didn't have a very close relationship, so I would work on plans for them not being at the service, either by staying at home or by having someone look after them at the funeral location, and leave DH to then decide if he wants to come. Bet if you mention to friends that you are concerned about the children being at the funeral someone will offer to help out.

QueenEagle Thu 06-Aug-09 11:06:55

I am quite happy for them to come up to the location but not to the church or crematorium and then meet us at the wake afterwards when it will be very much more relaxed and the little ones can be with us and extended family together. However, knowing DH as I do he will feel he is being sidelined and get the hump. I feel embarrassed he is like this.

curiositykilled Thu 06-Aug-09 11:14:09

Don't worry about what he thinks AT ALL. Leave the argument till after the funeral and tell him he is staying at home with the younger two. It is not up for discussion, that you will talk about it after the funeral and you are going to concentrate on supporting your mum and grieving for your grandad until then.


If the younger two don't specifically want to come then there's really no reason to bring them and it sounds like you were planning to let them come solely to please your DH. It sounds like he was wanting them to come so that he wouldn't have to look after them and he could palm them off on you when they got difficult so he has no intention of being remotely supportive and will probably make trouble if he comes.

After the funeral sit down and calmly discuss argue about the situation. Explain to him that your mum needed your support and you needed his and that you are sorry that he didn't understand this but you didn't really have the emotional energy to put into explaining it to him as it was all going into helping your family grieve. Explain that if he feels unconfident with the DCs the ONLY way to get around this is practice!

curiositykilled Thu 06-Aug-09 11:22:24

Just realised my suggestion sounds very much like when supernanny puts a kid on the naughty step!

VinegarTits Thu 06-Aug-09 11:36:52

I'm really sorry about your Grandad

Firstly, if you keep treating him like your 6th kid and doing things for him, he will act like one, so stop tip toeing around him, he is an adult, he will cope

Secondly, tell him straight, tell him you dont want the dc at the church or crem. so he will have to miss it to stay with them, the day is about YOU and your time to say goodbye to your Grandad, and support your mum, its not about HIM, tell him he needs to deal with this, then you can all meet up at the wake afterwards

HecatesTwopenceworth Thu 06-Aug-09 17:57:18

It's not about him, can't he understand that? He doesn't want to be sidelined, he doesn't want to be left out, he doesn't want to miss anything...

This is the funeral of someone you love! this is about you, about your mum. Not him.

I really think you need to tell him that.

CornflowerB Thu 06-Aug-09 18:08:59

QueenEagle, is it possible that your DH may have Asperger's too? His behaviour sounds very typical. You are not being at all unreasonable, but if he has AS he won't be able to see that.

FimbleHobbs Thu 06-Aug-09 18:09:41

I'm really sorry to hear about your grandad.

DH's Gran died recently and we were asked by MIL to take our 2 and 4 year olds to the funeral.

They were fine, but youngest was wriggly and I didn't get to concentrate on service as was so busy trying to pre-empt any noise she might have made. I didn't mind at all as it wasn't my Gran, it was DH's.

Is there anyone else - friend or someone - who could travel down with your DH and look after the children during the service then bring them to the wake?

I know this is 'pandering' to what your husband is like, and he is being unreasonable, but I wouldn't want the row before the funeral. Afterwards it is obviously something you need to address.

YANB at all U whatsoever. I am sure you love your DH but he is being unfair and selfish over this.

Jux Thu 06-Aug-09 18:27:50

Leave him at home, or tell him that he and los will be sitting at the back so he can take them easily without disturbing people. You will be at the front with your mum.

screamingabdab Thu 06-Aug-09 18:29:41

So sorry about your grandad.

I have to say, it also occurred to me that he wants to come with you because he can't face looking after them alone at home, as pjmama says.

Maybe right now is not the time to have this particular argument (or maybe it's exactly the time, because times like this are when DHs need to step up). Only you can decide that ....

What Cornflower says is interesting

I also think that 4 and 6 is too young to attend the funeral of someone who they did not know very well.

QueenEagle Thu 06-Aug-09 20:17:26

Everyone thank you for your replies. ALL of you have mirrored my feelings and thoughts on this, one way or another.

Cornflower - since ds3 was dx'd DH has acknowledged he may have traits of Aapergers himself. However, he never sees his unreasonable behaviour for what it is until well after the event which as you can imagine makes life very difficult for me. I'm not saying it isn't for him but ykwim.

I am constantly having to pre-empt how things will make him feel so I am constantly the one who supports everyone always and just this once I needed him to support me. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that he was not able to give it to me, it has always been like this. It is true to say that whnever I am around/off work, everything falls to me unless I specifically direct him.

As vinegartits says I am tiptoeing around him but I feel unfair demanding (though I often do without success) that he steps up to the mark on one thing or another, when the fact that he can't may not be his fault.

I am going to tell him that I don't want him to come but I know he will get the hump and I will get asked, "is it your time of the month or what?" Time to be tough. Again.

CornflowerB Thu 06-Aug-09 22:22:30

Sorry QueenEagle. I didn't mean to just throw that in the mix and run. The reason I mentioned it is that this is exactly how my DH would behave in situations where I really need him to support me. I have realised recently that he has AS so it struck a chord.I think you are right - on this one you will have to stand firm and tell him what is going to happen. I'm sure you know this already, but remaining factual and not getting emotional might make it easier. Very difficult at an emotional time, I know. I can relate to the 'time of the month' comment. Any show of emotion, or thwarting of his plans/ and I am 'so up my own arse', 'weird', 'crazy' or a 'freak' apparently. Oh the irony.

mamas12 Thu 06-Aug-09 22:27:13

So glad to hear you made the decision to go without dh and younger dcs.
As you've said he will realise in a while but atm you need to save your emotional energy for the coming days.
Sorry for your granddad and sounds like it will be okay.

CyradisTheSeer Thu 06-Aug-09 23:25:49

Message withdrawn

QueenEagle Fri 07-Aug-09 09:07:08

DH avoided me most of last night. I pointedly didn't get into any conversation he wanted to have about anything else. I knew that he knew that I knew he should be the one to start the conversation about his comments the night before so I waited patiently.

Anyway late on he eventually said in his best little-boy-been-naughty-voice, "I think you are right about the little ones." SUCH a predictable outcome yet again - he ALWAYS does this - fails to see the reasoning and acts like a complete arse and then sulks but hours or days later acknowledges he has been a cock about it. But then even more infuriatingly he acts like a chastised little boy wanting a hug to make HIM feel better.

I know that he probably has Aspergers to some degree but I HATE living with this, I really do. It just is not an adult/adult relationship as it should be.

Anyway I will focus now on the next week and the funeral, which btw he is NOT coming to - he is staying at home with the little ones and I suggested he take them out for the day.

screamingabdab Fri 07-Aug-09 09:10:44

I am glad you got the outcome you wanted, but feel your pain about the process of getting there.

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