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To be angry at in laws

109 replies

linniemoss · 18/10/2018 09:49

My brother passed away unexpectedly in June, then 6 weeks later, my mum passed away with terminal cancer. I took time off work on sick leave after my brother died, returned to work 3 weeks later only to be off again from the week before my mam died. I spent the whole of the week, day and night with my mam in the nursing home and was there when she passed away.
My husband took time off to be with us the same week but spent it mostly with our two boys, doing school pick ups and evening stuff with the boys, during the day he worked from home.
During the day, I would reluctantly come home for a shower and change of clothes. Didn’t want to leave Mam In case something happened.
My problem is the following. Husbands parents normally look after the kids while we are at work, but as we were both off, they took a step back and hubby looked after them. I needed my husbands support at this time, but he couldn’t be with me as he was with the kids. 3 days before mam passed, I came home for a shower only to find hubby, his mam, dad and grandma in the kitchen taking a family photo, all smiles. I couldn’t face their smiles so I went upstairs.
I must also mention that my mam was the last of my family. My dad and both my brothers have all passed, so it was a very stressful time for me.
The night before mam died was traumatic. I phoned hubby crying saying why aren’t you here. He called his parents straight away and they came and stayed the night while hubby stayed with me and Mam.
Don’t get me wrong, hubby looked after me by doing everything else possible, but he just wasn’t with me. And I blame his mam and dad for not taking the kids so we could have time together.
I can’t talk to his parents properly any more as I feel anger, don’t want to be in the same room as them. I missed their golden wedding party and I don’t want to host his mams birthday party at our home any more. Hubby and I have spoken about this, but he sees it differently to me and he thinks he was with me as much as he could be and can’t see why it’s an issue, like it’s me with the problem. AIBU?

OP posts:
BarbarianMum · 18/10/2018 09:52

With grief comes a lot of anger. It may be that you are projecting your huge grief over your losses on your PiL. That's not your fault but it might be worth speaking to slmeone about it before it damages your relationship with your dh.

7yo7yo · 18/10/2018 09:56

So sorry for your losses op. Flowers
I think they sound awful.
The most important time to step up and they took a step back! I understand your anger and sadness but I think if your hoping that they’ll understand/apologise/realise they were in the wrong isn’t going to happen.
If they were that emotionally intelligent they would have been there for you.
I certainly wouldn’t be hosting anything for them and if asked, I would tell them why.

Hoppinggreen · 18/10/2018 09:56

I’m sorry for your loss
Without knowing what your relationship is usually like with your in laws it’s hard to say if your anger is unreasonable or not.
However, from what you have said it doesn’t sound like they have done anything awful, they stepped in so your DH could be with you when your mum died and not all parents would/could do that
Also, it sounds like they have provided a lot of childcare for your previously while you are at work which must save you a lot of trouble and money
I’m no psychiatrist but do you think perhaps that you are actually angry that you have lost your family while they are still there? I appreciate that losing your Mum and brother like that must have been really awful but you cant expect your in laws to be as sad about it as you are and I think that missing their golden wedding party was pretty unreasonable.
It’s very good of your in laws to do so much childcare and maybe they wanted a break or maybe they’re just assumed wth your DH at home they weren’t needed? Sorry but I agree with your DH

VimFuego101 · 18/10/2018 09:59

I agree with others that your anger sounds a bit misplaced. If my parent in law was very ill I would assume my role was to take care of everything else so that DH could be there. When you asked your DH to be there, he came.

Lazypuppy · 18/10/2018 10:03

I'm so sorry for your loss.

If i was ever in that situation, I wouldn't wa t my partner with me all the time, i's want to spend that time with my mum. I'd be able to focus on my mum because i knew my partner was with the kids.

When you asked him to be with you he came.

Did either you or your husband ask you PIL to look after the kids?

mrsmuddlepies · 18/10/2018 10:05

I agree with Hoppinggreen. When my mother died, I was furious with my dear sweet kindly Mum in law for still being alive. It lasted about 6 months. I didn't tell my husband because I knew I was being unreasonable and time eventually sorted out my feelings.
Bereavement is a terrible thing. It will take time to adjust to the loss of family members. Go easy on yourself and try not to alienate the people you might need a few months down the line.
The only thing that helps in the end with bereavement is time. In a year's time you will feel a bit better. Raw grief is so hard, particularly when you have no siblings to share your grief with.

Ellisandra · 18/10/2018 10:06

I’m sorry, that is so much for your to bear at once.
Your children were also losing a grandmother - do you think that your PIL actually thought it was a time for your husband to be with them?
They may have been respectfully giving space, not leaving you in the lurch.
When your husband called them, they came.
I agree with others that the anger may be coming from grief, they may not have been so bad.
Flowers for you.

linniemoss · 18/10/2018 10:09

hoppinggreen and vimfuergo my point is that they didn’t step up and help at this time. When his parents would normally have had the kids, they stepped back and hubby had them, meaning he could be there to support me

OP posts:
GreatDuckCookery6211 · 18/10/2018 10:09

You poor thing OP, I'm so sorry you've been through so much.

If they're normally hands on with the dc do you think they might have stepped back to give you some privacy although that's the time you could have done with more support I guess.

Some people behave odd around grief I've found and don't react how we'd like them to and it can be upsetting and frustrating I know. How was your relationship with them before you lost your brother and mum?

GertrudeTheGuineapig · 18/10/2018 10:13

I think it depends on your relationship with your in laws. It sounds as if they’re generally supportive and involved with your dcs etc?

My mum died very suddenly a few years ago and my in laws were very insensitive about it. Tbh I still haven’t completely forgiven them. It was my sils who were the problem and I can’t see them as decent people any more. Looking back, they have always treated me as less than human and their lack of sensitivity when my mum died just confirmed it. I see as little of them as possible and I even see less of my PILs as they have allowed the sils to carry on as they have the whole time they’ve known me.

It’s a tough time though and it sounds like they were there when you asked. So that’s something.

But I do think that sometimes, when someone close to you dies, you can see other people more clearly for what they are. Mostly it’s good IME, but sometimes it isn’t.

Hoppinggreen · 18/10/2018 10:15

Yes but did they know you wanted them to do this?
And they DID have them
My family is a bit of a mess and I haven’t lost anyone close to me so when DH uncle died I was baffled by his families reaction and I had no idea what I was supposed to do. Sometimes you need to be specific about what you wmat from people

mrsmuddlepies · 18/10/2018 10:21

Honestly, for the first few months of a bereavement, I would avoid conflict and challenging your husband and in laws. It will make you feel worse. Just give yourself time to grieve in private. You are understandably angry with the universe for the loss of your mother and it is too easy to turn on those close to you. Keep your own counsel and draw comfort from your memories and from your children. Let your husband comfort you and try not to alienate him. You will eventually feel better.

cheesefield · 18/10/2018 10:29

Did your DP ask them to continue to have the DC so he could be with you? If he didn't ask how could they know?

PatriciaHolm · 18/10/2018 10:30

Were they asked explicitly to have the children so your partner could be with you?

Honestly, it sounds as if your partner was fine with the situation, you didn't say anything at the time, and your ILs were under the impression they weren't needed; and the moment they were asked, they were there.

I think you are taking your grief out on them, which isn't fair.

Dollymixture22 · 18/10/2018 10:31

I am sorry for your losses. This must have been devastating and I am sure it is all still very numb.

I can see why you are angry. At your most difficult time it seems like your in laws disappeared and left you all to it. Then we’re playing happy families without apparent thought for the hell you were in.

I think you need to talk to your husband to find out why the day care was withdrawn at this time. Did your husband explain he was off work to be with you at the hospital? Did they know hey we’re still needed. Di they fad into the backgorund thinking they were intruding?

I think hubby is the key to all this. He may have thought you wanted to be alone with your mum?

Have a chat - don’t let it fester

Andro · 18/10/2018 10:32

3 days before mam passed, I came home for a shower only to find hubby, his mam, dad and grandma in the kitchen taking a family photo, all smiles.

Ouch! Talk about pouring salt into an open wound!

To me, it seems as though communication broke down. You (understandably) weren't able to clearly communicate your needs, your DH maybe didn't know what questions to ask and your inlaws handled things in a not-great way.

You walking in to see 'happy family hour' was harsh though.

RavenLG · 18/10/2018 10:34

they stepped back and hubby had them, meaning he could be there to support me

Did your DH ever say to his parents "I need you to keep having the kids so I can do x,y,z for linniemoss"?

Did they think that taking a step back was the right thing to do at that time to give you space as a family, maybe they thought DP wanted to be with the kids in a traumatic time?

I'm very sorry for your loss OP, but if you've never had any issues with them before I would think it's an unfortunate miscommunication and don't let this destroy a once good relationship. Flowers

mydietstartsmonday · 18/10/2018 10:36

I think you are being a little unfair on your IL's. They are normally there for you, they may have taken a step back so you can be together & grieve as a family and took the lead from what they thought you wanted.
As soon as you asked for help they were there like a shot.
As for the photo there were two little ones who probably didn't know what was going on and they were bringing a bit of normality and keeping the children upbeat.

Deal with your grief, it is awful what you are going through, to lost two loved ones in close succession is so sad.

tillytrotter1 · 18/10/2018 10:40

So sorry for your losses you've obviously been through hell.
As in-laws, especially 'his' parents, it's not easy to get it right. Maybe they thought they were doing what was best, stepping back and letting you and your immediate family deal with the situation privately.
You sound to have a very supportive and lovely husband, please don't allow your sadness drive a wedge between you. If you said harsh words to him or your in-laws when you were at your lowest speak to them, try and heal any rifts, for your sake and your family's. As you've sadly lost your own family, your husband's family is what you and your children have left, don't thrown it away.
Best wishes to you and your family

Valasca · 18/10/2018 10:42

Maybe your children needed their father? I don’t understand why you’re not angry at your husband. It’s him that should have realised you needed his support and arrange childcare with his parents. It’s him that shouldn’t have been taking photos when you walked into your home. Why aren’t you blaming him?

Eliza9917 · 18/10/2018 10:43

I think you are completely justified to feel angry with them and I wouldn't be doing anything else for them in the future. Ever. I don't even have words for their behaviour tbh.

linniemoss · 18/10/2018 10:47

Thanks for all your comments. My initial message has a typo where I said could instead of couldn’t- As in they stepped back so hubby had kids and couldn’t be with me

OP posts:
linniemoss · 18/10/2018 10:49

Tillytrotter1 I have no imediate family, they have all passed. All I have left is my husband, kids and in laws. I needed my husband to be there for me but he couldn’t as he had the kids and the in-laws were probably off shopping or something

OP posts:
snowbear66 · 18/10/2018 10:52

I agree with other posters that perhaps you are being a bit unreasonable here as perhaps they didn't realise that you wanted your husband to be with you which maybe needed spelling out to them a bit more by your husband.
Maybe hosting his mam's party so soon after the death of your own mother is what you can't face, that sounds stressful as you are naturally grieving and if you can move the party somewhere else it might allow you some quiet time.

PurpleCrazyHorse · 18/10/2018 10:53

I agree with others that it doesn't sound deliberate but just an awful miscommunication. Inlaws probably assumed DP was taking time off to be with the children to help them process the loss of their grandparent, answer their questions, take them to visit as appropriate etc. DP might not have said anything different to them, did he know he was taking time off to support you? I only say that as I would presume I was taking time off to be with the children during this upsetting time and to help them through the situation. I wouldn't think I was taking time off to support DH and be with him away from the children unless he specifically asked me to do that.

Your DP was able to come when you asked, so I think that means everyone was on standby to help in the way you wanted/needed but they didn't know what it was until you asked. Everyone is so different in these times.

The photo was insensitive but did they know you were about to come home, or were they just doing 'normal' things with the children? As sad as it is, life would be going on as usual for everyone else. Expecting you to be in the photo would have been nasty, but it doesn't seem like this was the case, you just came back at the exact time they were taking the photo.

So sorry for your loss OP.

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