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keeping family 'together'

(6 Posts)
TwoCuteLittleOwls Sat 02-Jul-11 10:54:54

This will probably read a bit like AIBU - but I do need guidance - and the trees are obscuring the wood.

BIL, who I've never got on with, thinks he can come over when he wants, to see DH.

More specifically, DH is very ill, terminally ill, with many brain tumours, and is very weak. We have DD who is a very sociable 7 year old, and DS 6months. I am trying to keep things as normal for DD as poss, though she is completely in the picture about her beloved dad, and is a kind sensitive soul at the best of times.

Kepping things normal involves having friends round to play and tea, once a week, fitting in around swimming lessons, Brownies etc.

I have asked that BIL doesn't visit on the days when friends are coming round as we have a tiny house. Just one small reception, and 3 tiny bedrooms. The girls play in the living/dining room (where I can see them), the bedroom or the garden, but I don't restrict them to a particular room.

But despite saying you can come round any other day except Thursday next week (or Friday this week), guess which days he insists he will come round. He insists on his right to visit his sick brother. that I agree with. But, he took early retirement with a hefty pension, and works 2 days a week doing gardening for 2 clients. He lives 90 miles away, and since the illness doesn't stay here but in a B&B. He has 6 days a week he can select from but won't alter his gardening commitments; and also decides he will come when his partner is either working (if he's decided to come on his own) or to co-incide with her days off (if he wants them to come together) as she works part-time also. They have no family commitments - her children were grown up when they met.

Then he said that he will come and take DH out when the little schoolfriends are around. He doesn't believe me that DH is too ill to go out.

I feel like I'm trying to balance all our different needs, as a family, to try to emerge from this ordeal as intact as possible. Should I let BIL decide when he wants to come regardless of our prior plans, or should I be more forceful? What should I say?

NanaNina Sun 03-Jul-11 00:11:18

So very very sorry for what you are going through Twocutelittleowls, but think you might get more response in Relationships.

Ungratefulchild Sun 03-Jul-11 00:16:05

I'm so sorry that you are having to deal with this. I think you get to set the visiting rules atm, just tell him when he can visit and that is that. xxxx

zippy539 Sun 03-Jul-11 00:29:57

So sorry for your situation OP - it sounds like you are doing a great job.

However it also sounds like both you and BIL are trying to remain sane by 'controlling' the situation - you by keeping family life in order, BIL by visiting his brother whenever he deems fit. In this instance you win - hats down. You've got to do what is best for your family. In the first instance I would politely request that BIL visit at certain times - email/text/call him (latter being last resort) very clearly setting out when is suitable (stand beside the truth - say DH is 'free' x,y,z - if need be say he's getting treatment/on a programme of therapy/resting during the inconvenient times. If that doesn't work then come clean to him - tell him you need to keep the household running on a certain schedule for the sake of your children, admit that you need to have some control in a situation that is essentially uncontrollable , and hope that he understands. If he doesn't get it then he is a twunt.

TwoCuteLittleOwls Sun 03-Jul-11 16:03:51

Hi, thanks for the advice, and support. I worry that I'm being too controlling. DH hasn't emerged from bed all day, 2 days after 1st chemo ( relatively mild chemo drug compared to the one we hope he'll be put on), and he's likely to feel worse in the next few days.

However 'd'BIL has now said that DH should come over to him! How ill does someone have to be? DH has agreed, saying that maybe he'll feel better by Thursday!

I think I posted here because I can't get the thing out of my mind. It's a last straw breaking the camel's back I suppose. Just when we should all be pulling together.

On Friday BIL wanted to ask the Consultant some questions when DH was having chemo, which he eventually came out with after an argument. Except that the Consultant doesn't administer the chemo. I've told BIL everything there is to know. There are huge unknowns because the only chemo offering any hope of a palliative response is unlicenced, so the Consultant doesn't know if DH'll get it. I feel so unlistened to, and trivialised. Hopefully I have my second counselling session a week or so.

Ungratefulchild Sun 03-Jul-11 22:13:33

What an awful situation for you and your family. Thinking of you xxx

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