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Should Sil be more supportive of Dh?

(11 Posts)
rosybell Wed 14-Dec-16 20:09:05

I guess this is more a Aibu - not sure if I am. Dh has been struggling with his relationship with his DF for sometime now. Mainly due to his stepmum who is jealous of her husbands relationship with his kids.
Anyway this year Dhs relationship with his dad has got lots worse. There was a big fallout over our wedding and now stepmum is making it impossible for dh and fil to see each other.

Dh is really struggling. He loves his dad and doesn't want to go NC, but it's hard to see a way forward at the mo. His dsis also has a difficult relationship with the stepmum. She's choosing to stay out of the whole fallout between us and them, which of course is fine, but she also won't discuss it with Dh at all, or ask us how things are. If we bring up the topic she won't really engage. In all other ways she's a kind person, and her and Dh are very close. But I feel she's not being there for him when he needs her. She grew up with toxic stepmum too so in that sense understands the situation.

She suffers from anxiety and I guess is protecting herself so just not sure if I'm BU to expect some moral support for Dh, whose feeling v let down by his family ATM.

Krampus Wed 14-Dec-16 22:21:06

If it's a sort of aibu, sorry you are a little fsmile

It's nice to have someone else with the same experience to offload on but you can't expect it. I say offload because the reality is that's mainly what it would be, actual practical support or advice would be best from another source.

It may not be the anxiety making her not want to engage as you would want.

She may not deal with things in the same way.
She may be having her ear bent by another family member and feeling caught in the middle. She may agree with your husband but doesn't want to risk ending up being a flying monkey. Is she having therapy? She may have been told to take a back seat in such situations.
She may still be processing and not know what she really feels yet.
She will be at a different stage. Your husband is angry and upset and needs to rant and discuss but there has been no significant change for her. The recent issues have happened primarily to him and not her. Again nothing to do with her empathy. He's wanting to explain and look for validation, she maybe oh no not this again!

I have problems with a parent that took an unexpected plunge downwards, my brothers and sisters do understand because they have had similar issues in the past. I did have a few sessions with a couple of them that witnessed events and were partially involved. They completely understand why I did what I did. In the end I checked myself because their relationship with my parents is theirs and mine is mine. I make sure that I don't go to them for support, partially because I want to make sure that I am fairly blameless, no accusations of you said xx to xx and xx said xx to you then you told xxx xxxxxx fgrin I also have no right to influence how they deal with our difficult parent, not that I would intentionally, but I don't want to drip drip in their ears.

rosybell Thu 15-Dec-16 19:52:39

Thanks so much for your reply. I have really taken on board what you said, especially as yes she is having therapy and may be taking a back seat.
Sorry to hear about your issues with your parent. I guess for me, I'm so close to my sisters I assumed I'd be telling them everything if it was me, but their relationship is different, and I think you are right in that sil needs to not damage her relationship with fil .

Bluntness100 Thu 15-Dec-16 19:58:16

I'm sorry, but yes it's unreasonable to expect she take sides and for you to express your negativity towards her to your husband and make his whole family situation seem worse than it to him, you'll just drive a wedge between him and his sister too.

Let it go, if she doesn't want to take sides or get involved, and wishes to try to maintain an honest relationship with all, then that's her right and it should not be critisiced in this manner, in fact in many ways it's admirable.

Summerlovinf Thu 15-Dec-16 20:15:51

I think your DH needs to sort it out with his dad; and your FIL with his wife...^if^they want to. Nothing you or SIL can really do to make things ok

rosybell Fri 16-Dec-16 11:45:54

Thanks for your replies, I guess it has made me realise I shouldn't really expect sil to have to talk to Dh about it all. I completely respect her right not to take sides though. I just felt she could have offered some moral support to Dh. He is feeling pretty down about all his family relationships ATM, and he is generally so close to his dsis I think he felt a bit at a loss when she wasn't there for him.

rosybell Fri 16-Dec-16 11:47:54

Also, I'd never try to drive any kind of wedge between him and sil. I love her and she is a good friend to me as well as a sil, and I know I'm lucky in that regard!

happychristmaspoobum Fri 16-Dec-16 12:00:17

I am sure you mean well and are just trying to support DH, but this jumped out at me now stepmum is making it impossible for dh and fil to see each other.

Unless she has him physically chained to a radiator this isn't really true is it? It sounds as though Stepmum is taking all the blame here but it is FILS responsibility to maintain a relationship with his son.

SM could be the biggest bitch in the world, but FIL is choosing to enable this/side with her/limit contact with DH isn't he?

gingina Fri 16-Dec-16 12:12:55

I have a similar family situation. I fell out with my DB and SIL years ago and have now gone NC with them for many reasons.
My Mum rightlly stayed out of it, she did say she agreed with me at the time but wouldn't officially take sides. She still sees them regularly.
So I couldn't discuss it with her, I talk to her about everything but this and I can't bear it when she talks about them like nothing ever happened.
Your SIL is in an awful situation. She loves her dad and loves her brother and feels disloyal discussing this with either of them.
Cut her some slack. Especially as she clearly has her own anxiety issues.

rosybell Sat 17-Dec-16 07:20:37

You are totally right happychristmas - of course it is completely down to fil to maintain contact with his son. I don't really have any feelings towards the stepmum, but I'm angry with Fil for being so weak and passive.
Your family situation sounds hard gingina , it must be difficult when your dm talks about them. Like you say, she is on a difficult situation, caught in the middle.

gingina Sat 17-Dec-16 11:23:33

I know and I get that it's hard for her but part of me (the very bad part) wishes she was on my side and had my back but he's her son as much as I'm her daughter and she is stuck in the middle.

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