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Thread: FIL Won't Take No for an Answer

  1. #1
    Bronze Member maritalbliss86's Avatar
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    FIL Won't Take No for an Answer

    I have a journal thread that rambles on about family things, but I wanted to try to get advice here with a specific post about an issue.

    My FIL is pushing for my husband and his brother to go to counseling because after our last baby's birth, he found out my BIL and his wife weren't acknowledging our kids for years now (we've never said anything about it for years so I guess he just didn't realize).

    He also wants the wives to go, but my SIL refuses, I also really do not think this would be a good idea. The issue really isn't about them fixing their brother-to-brother relationship, the issue is more that he and his wife don't care to acknowledge our kids, which is their choice and no one can change that.

    I think my FIL somehow believes counseling will magically make BIL and his wife suddenly love and care about our kids. I don't think so.

    Also my husband has tried for years in the past to get his brother to be involved in his life... do things together, join teams in college together, and nothing worked because his brother did not want to have a relationship with him. My husband finally accepted that and has moved on. It does hurt him that his brother and SIL aren't nice to our kids, but there's nothing he or I can do.

    Anyway... for the life of me I can't convince FIL to just accept it and wait it out for a few years. I actually think maybe there's hope they'll act nicer after they've had a couple of kids (or not). But he won't accept waiting for years. He also wants to know "exactly," why my husband doesn't want to go, but I know him enough that he's not going to accept my husband's answer of, "there is no point."

    What on earth can I do here? I've already put down boundaries I think 3 times saying I didn't think it was a good idea and that my husband just doesn't want to.

    Maybe he should go to counseling so he can accept it on his own, lol....

  2. #2
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    First of all, this is your husband's family, he handles them, not you. Second, words like "I don't think" are too wishy washy. Your husband needs to say to his father that the two of you are not going, period. He does not need to explain himself, he just needs to make it clear. Further, when your FIL starts harping on this tell him you understand his concern, but you no longer wish to discuss this. If he pushes it, you leave the room.

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    Platinum Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    Your FIL can push or suggest all he wants but at the end of the day, your husband has every right not to go through with it, not attend counseling and he really doesn't need to explain anything at all.

    Your FIL is meddling (but don't tell him that). Avoid confrontations and heated verbal altercations with your FIL. Remain peaceful, however, don't allow your FIL to tell you or your husband what to do. It is not his domain to do so.

    SIL refuses to attend and everyone needs to respect her decision.

    Don't do anything. Don't take any action. Let your FIL fall on deaf ears. Let your FIL talk all he wants until he wears himself out. Deplete your FIL's energy, not yours nor your husband's.

    As for your BIL and SIL, I agree, accept how they are and concentrate on your own family life. Many people in this world including relatives and in-laws are very indifferent and apathetic. They simply don't care about your kids and that's that. Whether they'll change once they have kids, is left to be seen. There's no telling how they'll behave once they become parents. Perhaps they'll want cousins to be close but that's to be determined when the time comes. Sometimes cousins will insist upon reuniting every now and then and it forces families to converge. You don't know what the future holds. Until then, lie low and focus on your marriage and family life because it's all that truly matters.

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    Platinum Member SherrySher's Avatar
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    Honestly, this is for your husband to deal with.

    I wouldn't get involved as it really can cause a huge fight.

    Your husband is the one who is going to have to sit down with his father and tell him he does not want him to plan events anymore and to just accept that he and his brother are not going to get on as he hoped they would.

    But you as the wife, do your best to stay out of it. You don't want people blaming you or pointing fingers at you.

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    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    You and your husband need to become more neutral and detached from the behaviors of this BIL and SIL.

    Live your own lives, attend to your own family and friends.

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    Originally Posted by SherrySher
    Honestly, this is for your husband to deal with.

    I wouldn't get involved as it really can cause a huge fight.

    Your husband is the one who is going to have to sit down with his father and tell him he does not want him to plan events anymore and to just accept that he and his brother are not going to get on as he hoped they would.

    But you as the wife, do your best to stay out of it. You don't want people blaming you or pointing fingers at you.
    Totally agree. Completely out of it. Your FIL thinks there is a "should" here -that aunt and uncle are required to "acknowledge" your kids - that's fine if that is his belief, his values. It's not husband's and even if "it would be nice" -"it would be nice" is not a reason to go through the time and expense of therapy. Yes, if they are your children's guardians, yes if they are caregivers for your children on a regular basis then of course they have to give appropriate care in every way to a child but otherwise -where does it say they have to interact with your kids - just because they are related? Honestly I can't imagine a professional therapist taking this on. Perhaps a religious figure who wanted to step in as a sort of mediator but it's a made up problem. People are free not to acknowledge children they have no responsibilities for. I mean, if they come to your home and treat your children disrespectfully that's not ok, that's not nice - but please don't think that having their own kids will transform their attitude towards your kids. I know many people who have no kids and love other kids and many who love only their own kids and don't care to interact with other peoples' kids. It's a preference and it's a free country.

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    Bronze Member maritalbliss86's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by arjumand
    First of all, this is your husband's family, he handles them, not you. Second, words like "I don't think" are too wishy washy. Your husband needs to say to his father that the two of you are not going, period. He does not need to explain himself, he just needs to make it clear. Further, when your FIL starts harping on this tell him you understand his concern, but you no longer wish to discuss this. If he pushes it, you leave the room.
    I think both my husband and I are worried about looking bad (image?)... his family have already made us out to be monsters in the eyes of the other relatives (huge family here on both sides) because we've had to put down boundaries before.

    They go back and gossip about us, and then other relatives who we previously had a great relationship with, start treating us like crap, saying humiliating things to us in public at their gatherings, and have made it to where we can't go.

    So if we don't satisfy him, he'll use us as the "reason," why the issue can't be fixed. My husband was the scapegoat growing up with his siblings, and it really hasn't changed.

  9. #8
    Bronze Member maritalbliss86's Avatar
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    They are a very dramatic family, love fights and insulting people...

    But thank you all for the advice, I'll let my husband deal with it.

  10. #9
    Bronze Member maritalbliss86's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Cherylyn
    As for your BIL and SIL, I agree, accept how they are and concentrate on your own family life. Many people in this world including relatives and in-laws are very indifferent and apathetic. They simply don't care about your kids and that's that. Whether they'll change once they have kids, is left to be seen. There's no telling how they'll behave once they become parents. Perhaps they'll want cousins to be close but that's to be determined when the time comes. Sometimes cousins will insist upon reuniting every now and then and it forces families to converge. You don't know what the future holds. Until then, lie low and focus on your marriage and family life because it's all that truly matters.
    That's really helpful, Cherylyn, thank you. It IS sad to me that our kids probably won't get to know their kids well at all, but there's nothing we can do about that, nor do we want to try to pressure them or make things awkward.

  11. #10
    Bronze Member maritalbliss86's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SherrySher
    Honestly, this is for your husband to deal with.

    I wouldn't get involved as it really can cause a huge fight.

    Your husband is the one who is going to have to sit down with his father and tell him he does not want him to plan events anymore and to just accept that he and his brother are not going to get on as he hoped they would.

    But you as the wife, do your best to stay out of it. You don't want people blaming you or pointing fingers at you.
    Thanks Sherry. My husband is going to have a talk with him. I just hope he can stand firm and hold to his boundaries!

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