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Old 01-27-2012, 08:43 PM
 
47,576 posts, read 58,810,130 times
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What I think is that the parents view their son as stronger and more capable and independent, maybe because he is or because he was a boy child or both. The mother especially and she's not as sure how to relate with with the child that isn't dependent or maybe she doesn't know how to deal with her male offspring so much. There may be attitudes about males being stronger, females being weaker.

Also since he's married the mother and probably the rest see him as "outside" the family to a degree - unlike the daughters.

The sisters are not fully adults because they never had to be so the can't really be counted on to call you, even if they're over 30, they're still living more or less as teenagers who need help from the parents.

The FIL may be one who is tough when it comes to illness, doesn't want to let on that he has health problems and may be downplaying his chest pains to his daughters, and doesn't want to call his son for the same reasons.

I think you should just deal with them when you have to - they don't sound like they're intentionally trying to be bad, but just are what they are.
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Old 01-27-2012, 08:43 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,522 posts, read 16,009,154 times
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I am so sorry to hear about the situation. In part it may have started because mothers tend to be closer to their daughters and mothers tend to plan the family social calendar and do most of the phone calls, etc. But, that is not an excuse for his family's outrageous behavior. Serving you leftovers from the "family christmas dinner", not calling when Dad has a heart attack, Mom not talking to him during an entire visit, OH MY that is terrible!

I agree with the other posters that it needs to be your husband's decision what to do. If they "treat him like garbage" when they visit perhaps you/he should tell them not to come. Or request that the sisters not come this visit. Or as other posters wrote book them a hotel room and set up their time with you on your terms.

Another possibility, you wrote that he and his father are close. A lot of men don't like to make phone calls and let their wives do it. Perhaps your FIL is like that. Maybe your husband should continue to reach out to his dad and maybe try to set up a trip for just the two of them. Perhaps a weekend trip to a place or event or something that interests both of them. Being away from his wife and daughters may be something that Dad is secretly dreaming about. It is something to consider.
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Old 01-27-2012, 09:33 PM
 
2,319 posts, read 3,973,030 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibbiekat View Post
I swear we have the same in-laws! I wish I had some advice to give. I know haw hard it is. You don't necessarily want to cut them out totally, but dealing with them is so difficult! My husband has just stopped talking to his parents. They text every once in a while, and we're planning to see them this summer. Other than that, we just don't talk. The hurt doesn't go away but it is minimized. I don't know... I think about this a lot and am torn between just cutting them out so we don't have to deal with it, or just seeing it as normal family drama that everyone has. What does your husband want to do?
Well, I think he's really torn. I think there is a part of him that would like to cut them out, and there is a part of him that wants to work it out. There are a lot of other issues hiding around corners, like religion and his sisters supposed health problems. They complicate things even further. He's torn, and I don't know how to handle get-togethers. I don't like being around them since they are negative and say this neighbor guy is "so close" to his dad, "like his son". It goes on and on, and I don't like listening to it. I've been hanging on all these years to support my husband, but I think my goodwill was cashed out over the holidays. Just awful.
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Old 01-27-2012, 09:39 PM
 
2,319 posts, read 3,973,030 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malamute View Post
What I think is that the parents view their son as stronger and more capable and independent, maybe because he is or because he was a boy child or both. The mother especially and she's not as sure how to relate with with the child that isn't dependent or maybe she doesn't know how to deal with her male offspring so much. There may be attitudes about males being stronger, females being weaker.

Also since he's married the mother and probably the rest see him as "outside" the family to a degree - unlike the daughters.

The sisters are not fully adults because they never had to be so the can't really be counted on to call you, even if they're over 30, they're still living more or less as teenagers who need help from the parents.

The FIL may be one who is tough when it comes to illness, doesn't want to let on that he has health problems and may be downplaying his chest pains to his daughters, and doesn't want to call his son for the same reasons.

I think you should just deal with them when you have to - they don't sound like they're intentionally trying to be bad, but just are what they are.
Thank you for your opinions. They are very similar to my husband's aunts' and uncles', who have been very supportive and loving to him. Two aunts always send him birthday and one sends holiday cards (Thanksgiving, Easter, Christmas, etc.).

My FIL allows my MIL to handle things when he's ill. She calls my SIL and people from their church, but she has never called my husband. The SIL who called after this last scare said, "Mom's cell phone died after she called my sisters and __ (the neighbor guy)." She said that the neighbor called her and "everyone else", which didn't include us. My in-laws apparently would rather notify their church friends than their son. Awful.

I think you made some good points, and I will try to take them to heart.
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Old 01-27-2012, 09:44 PM
 
2,319 posts, read 3,973,030 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
I am so sorry to hear about the situation. In part it may have started because mothers tend to be closer to their daughters and mothers tend to plan the family social calendar and do most of the phone calls, etc. But, that is not an excuse for his family's outrageous behavior. Serving you leftovers from the "family christmas dinner", not calling when Dad has a heart attack, Mom not talking to him during an entire visit, OH MY that is terrible!

I agree with the other posters that it needs to be your husband's decision what to do. If they "treat him like garbage" when they visit perhaps you/he should tell them not to come. Or request that the sisters not come this visit. Or as other posters wrote book them a hotel room and set up their time with you on your terms.

Another possibility, you wrote that he and his father are close. A lot of men don't like to make phone calls and let their wives do it. Perhaps your FIL is like that. Maybe your husband should continue to reach out to his dad and maybe try to set up a trip for just the two of them. Perhaps a weekend trip to a place or event or something that interests both of them. Being away from his wife and daughters may be something that Dad is secretly dreaming about. It is something to consider.
Thank you for your comment. I think you are right about a lot of things. I would never give my husband an ultimatum or anything like that, but I do think my visits are over. I'm just miserable when I'm there. My husband and I both got terribly ill this year, and I think there is a stress component.

My husband used to ask my FIL to do things with him, but it never happened. He always wants to bring "the girls" (my MIL and SILs). He does this with his siblings too. Everyone was going to get together and go to a show (opera) together, and he invited one of his daughters. The siblings were NOT happy. It's very awkward.

I do plan to tell my in-laws that the sisters are not to come. My husband and the oldest girl conflict badly. She is a difficult personality anyway, but she's always felt bitter about my husband being the oldest and most independent. He doesn't need that in his own home, and I don't enjoy being around her either.
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Old 01-27-2012, 11:52 PM
 
Location: Rockwall
678 posts, read 1,253,426 times
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I believe you should take the high road and welcome your husbands family into your home. Treat them well and with respect because if you don't you're more like them than you realize.

Sometimes our families let us down. It is what it is. Your husband is an adult and if he wants to maintain a relationship with his father, he should call him. Regularly. Not wait on his Dad, or his Mom, or his aunt to call him.
Leave all the past crap behind. He should call him and ask how he is. Does he have a follow-up appointment with his doctor? What other things have they said? And your husband can share with his Dad what's going on in his life.
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Old 01-28-2012, 12:00 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,522 posts, read 16,009,154 times
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I agree with Dragonfly8: Your husband is an adult and if he wants to maintain a relationship with his father, he should call him. Regularly. Not wait on his Dad, or his Mom, or his aunt to call him.
Leave all the past crap behind. He should call him and ask how he is. Does he have a follow-up appointment with his doctor? What other things have they said? And your husband can share with his Dad what's going on in his life.

Is there something that your FIL & your husband both may enjoy but your MIL & SILs would absolutely hate? ice-fishing? A rodeo? A hockey game? A boxing match? Visiting a science museum? A rock collecting, stamp collecting, or a something collecting meeting/conference? A rooster fight?(just kidding on the last one)

Perhaps your husband should try again to arrange 1 to 1 time with his Dad. Book one hotel room with two beds (bet Dad won't try to sneak a daughter along to that like he did the opera). If it doesn't work at least your husband tried.

Good Luck to the both of you.
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Old 01-28-2012, 10:08 AM
 
2,319 posts, read 3,973,030 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly8 View Post
I believe you should take the high road and welcome your husbands family into your home. Treat them well and with respect because if you don't you're more like them than you realize.

Sometimes our families let us down. It is what it is. Your husband is an adult and if he wants to maintain a relationship with his father, he should call him. Regularly.Not wait on his Dad, or his Mom, or his aunt to call him.
Leave all the past crap behind. He should call him and ask how he is. Does he have a follow-up appointment with his doctor? What other things have they said? And your husband can share with his Dad what's going on in his life.
I think that's part of the problem. My husband has, for many years, reached out to his family. As the years go by, the treatment gets increasingly worse. I think it would be easy to "leave all the past crap behind" if it was in the past. There is ongoing mistreatment. I think we're at a crossroads or shortly will be where my husband has to decide whether to reinvent the relationship or to eliminate it. I'm hoping for the former, but like so many have said, it's not my decision.

I was very, very surprised that my husband didn't want to call his dad. It was uncharacteristic, and it indicated to me how badly my husband is hurting.



Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
I agree with Dragonfly8: Your husband is an adult and if he wants to maintain a relationship with his father, he should call him. Regularly. Not wait on his Dad, or his Mom, or his aunt to call him.
Leave all the past crap behind. He should call him and ask how he is. Does he have a follow-up appointment with his doctor? What other things have they said? And your husband can share with his Dad what's going on in his life.

Is there something that your FIL & your husband both may enjoy but your MIL & SILs would absolutely hate? ice-fishing? A rodeo? A hockey game? A boxing match? Visiting a science museum? A rock collecting, stamp collecting, or a something collecting meeting/conference? A rooster fight?(just kidding on the last one)

Perhaps your husband should try again to arrange 1 to 1 time with his Dad. Book one hotel room with two beds (bet Dad won't try to sneak a daughter along to that like he did the opera). If it doesn't work at least your husband tried.

Good Luck to the both of you.
My husband and FIL do have interests in common, but my FIL hasn't made time to visit us alone. When we lived two hours away, my husband repeatedly invited my FIL to spend time with him. My FIL, though retired, is busy, and he could never come see my husband. On weekends my in-laws are always doing things with my SILs. My SILs run a business spring through fall, and my in-laws assist them with it so weekends are out. There is also a tremendous guilt component when "the girls" are left out. Or course, as you've all said, my husband is an adult and so is my FIL. It's just so sad.

I do appreciate all the advice. I think the situation is more complicated and more difficult than I'm able to adequately explain. We've been trying for more than ten years to figure this out, and it just keeps getting worse.

EDIT: I'd like to add that my in-laws do all live in the same town, and they are very involved in each others' lives. As another poster pointed out, quite accurately, my SILs still act like teenagers and are cared for like teens even though they are in their 30s. My husband hasn't been a part of the family unit in that way for over ten years. I think that the neighbors act as the surrogate son, as they see him and his family everyday. We live ten hours away and could never be part of the family unit like my SILs (and we wouldn't want to be), and it feels like they have "replaced" us, especially when my MIL talks about it. Me? I don't care, but I do get very upset when my husband's treated like that. I do understand (to a point) what is going on here, but it doesn't make it easier.
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Old 01-28-2012, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Rockwall
678 posts, read 1,253,426 times
Reputation: 1100
Are his parents aware of how he feels? Or is there an entirely different story from them?

Something that stands out is your husbands choice to put his hurt feelings above concern for his father after his heart attack. Even family members with the most strained relationships come together, even if by phone, when someone has a medical crisis. And yes, it sucks that the close family members didn't immediately contact your husband. Inconsiderate and unacceptable. But then your husband chose not to call his Dad that he has been close. It comes across as uncaring.

My husband calls his Dad weekly or a couple of times a week. He didn't when we first married. And he would complain about his Dad not calling him. Lots of skeletons, crud and unsavory family stories here too. But, there comes a point when you are capable of enjoying the positive connection and shrug off all the other garbage.

Oh, I do have a couple of glasses of wine before his side of the family comes for family gatherings.
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Old 01-28-2012, 11:21 AM
 
Location: southern california
55,237 posts, read 72,528,935 times
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ditto same as other posters. its not our stuff.
its hard but try to keep your safe distance.
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