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Am I a selfish DIL? I think I am ...

(57 Posts)
Tighnabruaich Sat 17-Mar-18 18:26:01

So, I'm 65, in reasonable health for my age, but with a few issues. My husband is younger and very robust and hearty. His mother is 92 and in excellent health, lives alone (widow) in a lovely house. Husband's sister lives about a 20 minute walk away, doesn't drive.

We live a 6 hour drive away from MIL. We go to see her as often as we can, but I've begun to dread the drive as I am totally shattered when we arrive at her house, and when we arrive back home after the return journey.

We've not seen her since Christmas, but then neither has SIL. We are getting lots of phone calls from MIL asking when we are coming to see her. We asked if she knew why SIL wasn't coming round more often, but she 'doesn't like' to ask her, as she doesn't want to upset her.

Should I just let DH go and visit her on his own? Or should I suck it up and go too? Honestly I practically fall out of the car when we arrive, even though we have stops for loo visits and thing to eat on the way.

I know she is old, but she goes off striding along the street ahead of us leaving me feeling like it's ME who's 92 and she's 65.

Oh I don't know why I'm rambling, and I know I don't HAVE to go, but then I feel bad about poor husband having to do the journey by himself. I'm a selfish old bat.

bonnyshide Sat 17-Mar-18 18:30:18

It's pretty shocking that a 92 year old hasn't been visited by her children since Christmas.

WhatWouldLeslieKnopeDo Sat 17-Mar-18 18:32:13

What does your husband think? Has he suggested visiting and you've declined, or is he actually not that fussed? Also perhaps he should speak to SIL in case there has been some sort of falling out. It's strange that she hasn't visited her at all since Christmas, even if MIL is not a particularly nice person, most people would visit out of obligation if nothing else.

Perhaps you could compromise and join your husband on alternate visits. Or could she come to visit you occasionally if her health is reasonable? My elderly relative used to travel by taxi to make long journeys easier. It's expensive, obviously, so depends on her/your financial situation.

AnneLovesGilbert Sat 17-Mar-18 18:32:40

You’re not selfish. It’s only bloody March. What SIL does is up to her.

DelphiniumBlue Sat 17-Mar-18 18:33:38

Yes, no reason why DH shouldn't go by himself sometimes.
Might it be possible to get the train sometimes rather than driving?
And might be an idea for DH to speak to his sister.

museumum Sat 17-Mar-18 18:34:24

6hrs is a long drive. Can you not do at least some of the journey by train? Much more civilised.

BrownTurkey Sat 17-Mar-18 18:38:37

Just go every other time?

supersop60 Sat 17-Mar-18 18:39:18

OP - I hear you. My PIL are also a 5-6 hr drive away. It's knackering, and similarly to you MIL is very fit and active. She made me walk miles when I was pg with DD and feeling very uncomfortable. I have offered to cook or clean, and been turned down (not sure if it's pride or control issues). DP has now started going on his own on the train.

Allthecoolkids Sat 17-Mar-18 18:39:52

Six hours each way?? That’s hideous.

I would be inclined to make a weekend of it every two or three months. Drive 3 hours on the Friday, drive three hours Sat morning. Stay over (with her or locally) and then do the same in reverse.

Rightmovestalker Sat 17-Mar-18 18:40:27

Can't she come to you?

Rightmovestalker Sat 17-Mar-18 18:41:53

And six hours is knackering- do you stay there?

Mishappening Sat 17-Mar-18 18:42:34

It is weird that she is happy to ginger you up about a visit, but not SIL who lives on the doorstep. Is there a particular reason for this?

Take the train maybe.

SandyY2K Sat 17-Mar-18 18:43:20

6 hours is a very long drive. I'm not surprised dread it. You make me feel bad for dreading the drive to see PILs and it's 90 minutes drive.

SandyY2K Sat 17-Mar-18 18:44:27

Forgot to add...the train is a good idea. You can get a seniors rail card to make it cheaper.

MyOtherProfile Sat 17-Mar-18 18:48:20

Do you have contact with Sil? Do you know why she can't do the 20 min walk to see her?

daysofpearlyspencer Sat 17-Mar-18 18:49:59

SIL may well be visiting every week! You DH needs to speak to SIL to bottom this out, MIL could well be confused or playing one off the other.

Troels Sat 17-Mar-18 18:52:30

Why isn't Dh calling his sis to find out why she hasn't been round, you have a legitimate excuse as you can't pop round, she has none.
I'd go on the train, or let Dh go on his own.

Tighnabruaich Sat 17-Mar-18 18:53:05

Last time DH took the train - or should I say trains - he had to change four times. We are in a remote area far from motorways and railway stations, and MIL too is in a small village off the beaten track.

Yes we do stay when we get there, usually a long weekend.

She doesn't seem to recognise that a 6 hour drive is a bit hard, especially nowadays for me. After he went on his own last time, she asked DH if she had done something to upset me as I'd not come with him. He said, Tighna finds the drive a bit much these days, and she just scoffed at him.

SIL always has excuses about being busy, or tired. We get the guilt trips to visit, but she is somehow not hassled, despite living in the same village as her mother.

MIL couldn't come to us, as she wouldn't be able to manage the journey on her own, doesn't drive, wouldn't be able to navigate all the changes of trains etc. She doesn't like our house anyway as the bathroom and toilet are downstairs and we have a very steep staircase.

Tighnabruaich Sat 17-Mar-18 18:57:06

I should add, both husband and I still work full-time, if that's relevant.

TheBrilliantMistake Sat 17-Mar-18 19:01:26

It's a long drive, but in all probability not one you'll have to endure for a lot longer.
Is there any way you can make the journey better... say travel 3 hours Friday night, have a lovely night at a hotel, then do the remaining three hours on Saturday morning? That way there's some pleasure in it for both of you?

Thetruthfairy Sat 17-Mar-18 19:02:27

I think I would only do that journey 3/4 times a year, and I'm in my 30's.
Going every other time is enough. Don't feel bad x

Hassled Sat 17-Mar-18 19:03:11

A 6 hour trip is going to be tiring for anyone, I'd have thought. I certainly don't think you're selfish for wanting to avoid it - and I'm sure your DH will cope without you going.

But the situation doesn't seem sustainable - your MIL might be striding up the street now, but things might go downhill quite quickly and your SIL sounds completely useless. Is it time to think about her moving closer to you?

Blackteadrinker77 Sat 17-Mar-18 19:03:32

Would she be willing to relocate closer to you?

onalongsabbatical Sat 17-Mar-18 19:03:58

I don't think you're being selfish at all. 6 hours each way is a big journey, you can't be doing it every five minutes if it's wearing you out. And you work full-time, too! Does our DH back you up or does he side at all with his mother? And has she always been a bit of a scoffer at your feelings?
I'm 63. You have my sympathy. flowers

shaggedthruahedgebackwards Sat 17-Mar-18 19:09:06

I hate long car journeys but like you I would feel guilty if I didn't go

How about flying and hiring a car at the other end if finances allow?

I'm guessing from your user name that you're up in Argyl. I'd imagine there are plenty of domestic flights from Glasgow?

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