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Would you let DH confront family member? [title edited by MNHQ]

(32 Posts)
LowKey63 Tue 19-Jan-16 07:41:11

Desperately trying not to out myself despite name change here. But need advice.

If a close family member of your DH was having an affair and there was proof but the wronged spouse was too scared about the future to confront, would you let your DH step in?

We have an opportunity this week and know this family member will be with this person. Other close family can't help and DH isn't keen but the wronged party is desperate. I am a bit worried DH will lose his rag and blow the moral high ground and I desperately want to stay neutral but wronged party is a shadow of their former self and isn't resolving this. Family member having affair is planning to leave at some point on their terms but doesn't realise anyone knows about the affair.

What do we do?

Optimist1 Tue 19-Jan-16 08:35:43

From the title of your post I'm inferring that your FIL has discovered that MIL is conducting an affair and plans to leave him. I'm not sure whether FIL has asked your DH to step in, but this is definitely not on. Your DH can be supportive to his father without taking an active role in proceeings.

OhShutUpThomas Tue 19-Jan-16 08:40:00

It's not for you to 'let' him - it's his family and his decision.

Arfarfanarf Tue 19-Jan-16 08:44:07

What does the wronged party want him to do?

If he is considering confronting but they are begging him not to then no he shouldnt.
If they are asking for his support then he should give it. But i dont think him confronting is the best thing. He would be better off giving support so the person can deal with it themselves.

WickedWax Tue 19-Jan-16 08:47:52

It's not your place to 'let' your DH confront or not.

Your DH isn't keen.

The wronged party, for their own reasons, died by want to confront.

Sounds like it's just you pushing this. Why?

Keep your beak out.

WickedWax Tue 19-Jan-16 08:48:29

Wringer party *doesnt want to

LowKey63 Tue 19-Jan-16 08:55:56

I've reported my post. I'm an idiot. Brain fried.
"Let him" sounds controlling - sorry I'm feeling protective and DH has asked my opinion. Wronged party is desperate for DH to do this. I am not keen. DH not keen but feels he should help.

Arfarfanarf Tue 19-Jan-16 09:01:34

What outcome does the wronged party want?
They cannot make their spouse stay with them if they dont want to.
All they can do is take control and say go if you're going.
Do they expect your husband to forbid the person from leaving?
Emotionally blackmail them?

They need to face it themselves.

LowKey63 Tue 19-Jan-16 09:05:05

I agree Arf but the wronged party is suffering health wise because of this and has no friends or other family to turn to.

LowKey63 Tue 19-Jan-16 09:06:15

Wronged party wants joint counselling and to get past it but other family member has refused.

Joysmum Tue 19-Jan-16 09:06:49

If this is his parents, they need to be his parents first and foremost. By getting involved he stands to lose one or both parents over this.

I'd be telling DH to be advising the wrong party that they don't need solid proof to be unhappy in the marriage and separate.

Arfarfanarf Tue 19-Jan-16 09:22:59

But what do they expect? Their spouse to be forced to stay with them?

It is awful. Having an affair is shitty. It really is. I am not defending her.

But realistically she cannot be chained to a radiator.

He cannot make her stay. He cannot use your husband to achieve this.

He needs help to accept the marriage is over and to take control of how that happens.

None of you are obliged to pretend to the person having the affair that you dont know.
But none of you have the power to compell them to stay.
They clearly dont want to.
He has to accept they dont have to stay.

But if she's going - she needs to go. What shes doing is too hurtful.

LowKey63 Tue 19-Jan-16 11:13:42

I agree totally Arf. I come from a "right let's sort this" camp and DH is from a long line of thinkers, logic lovers and nothing happens spontaneously ever. The wronged party was round our house sobbing on Sunday and I just feel it's getting harder to keep out of it because it affects DH and DC sad

TooSassy Tue 19-Jan-16 11:21:23


Another one here who thinks that's totally out of line for your DH to get involved and confront your MIL. Here's why.

1) only 2 people know what has happened in a marriage, those are the 2 people who need to talk about it
2) your MIL is your DH's mother. He may want answers that simply prepared she isn't wanting to give him. Because she is his mother and will want to protect him from the truth
3) your FIL is being a coward and taking the cowards way out. It's exceptionally weak to put the pressure of saving his marriage at someone else's door. It's actually also incredible emotionally manipulative. A part of me also wonders what is scared to hear?
4) has your FIL considered that if he confronts his wife and has a no holds barred talk that he may even be able to save his marriage?

I don't know what magic he expects your DH to achieve but it's not on.

My DC's could ask me difficult questions as they get older about why I divorced their dad. I hope I never have to tell them the truth, for their sakes.

Arfarfanarf Tue 19-Jan-16 11:45:28

I can't begin to imagine how hard that must have been.

Hard as it is though, I think your husband needs to as gently as possible, lay it out for him. What is your husband supposed to do? What is it he wants your husband to do? Say mummy you are breaking my heart please don't leave daddy, you owe it to him to stay and be a family forever for me pwease...

He can't do that. He shouldn't even try.

He cannot be part of trying to make someone stay in a relationship they don't want to be in and his dad needs to stop putting that on him.

He should help his dad accept the end of the marriage and support him in that.

I know you already know all that, but I think although it will be a very painful conversation, your husband needs to have a really straight conversation with him. He can't make her stay with him just because that's what he wants. He cannot involve others in trying to force that either.

i feel sorry for him. He's clearly heartbroken but he has no choice but to fact the reality of it.

LowKey63 Tue 19-Jan-16 11:49:51

I totally agree. There's a lot of obsession with "gathering evidence" and think he just wants her to be caught in the act sad

Arfarfanarf Tue 19-Jan-16 11:54:34

Why? He already knows she intends to leave. He knows she is having an affair. What benefit is proof when it won't change anything? who does he want to show this proof to? To what end?

Emotions aren't logical, I know. But there is little benefit to him of waving proof around beyond perhaps feeling like it isn't his 'fault' iyswim.

MorrisZapp Tue 19-Jan-16 11:56:29

No I wouldn't. Stay the hell out of it, both of you. My parents are currently divorcing, it's hell for all of us but we are learning that we simply must step back and allow the two parties involved to do what they will.

These things almost always backfire, and it's the person who 'helped' who ends up frozen out.

HumptyDumptyHadaHardTime Tue 19-Jan-16 11:56:34

your FIL is being a coward and taking the cowards way out. It's exceptionally weak to put the pressure of saving his marriage at someone else's door. It's actually also incredible emotionally manipulative. A part of me also wonders what is scared to hear?

So according to you the FIL is a coward because he is scared even though it appears the MIL is having an affair. hmm

Funinthesun15 Tue 19-Jan-16 11:58:24

You shouldn't confront the person having the affair.

Just be there for and support your FIL when she leaves.

MorrisZapp Tue 19-Jan-16 11:58:56

Also be careful if one parent needs to be 'right'. That'll be where the need for proof is coming from. My mum is obsessed with being right, and wants us all to say she's right. But it's irrelevant. They're two people we love equally, going through a shit time.

Joysmum Tue 19-Jan-16 12:08:00

What benefit is proof when it won't change anything?

If it were me thinking my DH were unfaithful, I'd not want it to be true and would be too budy second guessing myself and trying to minimise because I would hold on to the hope it wasn't true.

I find it understandable that people want proof if they can get it. I just wouldn't involve my DD in it because her relationship with her dad is more important than mine with my DH.

motherinferior Tue 19-Jan-16 12:08:18

And you have no idea what has been going on for them, between the two of them, over the years. Neither of you do.

TooSassy Tue 19-Jan-16 12:17:00

humpty you even reposted my post so you should know I did not call the FIL a coward for being scared.

I called him a coward for putting so much emotional responsibility for his marriage at someone else's door. And that someone is their son.

It's one thing to say I'm sad, I'm scared, I need your support. It's an entirely different thing to ask someone else to step in and have the difficult conversation that you should be having.

Nothing excuses an affair. Ever. Reprehensible behaviour. But equally (as I said in my PP) only the 2 people in the marriage know the truth. And it's those people that need to have this difficult conversation. Involving his child in this will cause a lot more pain.....

LowKey63 Tue 19-Jan-16 12:25:12

Thanks everyone. I agree with a lot of these comments.

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