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Can you give me another perspective?

Holly-Isis posted 2/6/2019 07:00 AM

I don't really know how to start this, so I'll give background. You can skip to the bottom for a TL;DR if you wish.

My FIL has always been an ass to me. I've been verbally abused and threatened by him. He partnered with his mom in "throwing me out of the family" because I refused to "beat my [2yo] son" when he did nothing wrong (he was scared and retreated under a table near an electric socket). Because MrH stood by me in this, we were all cut out of the family for 8yrs until FIL's mom died.

I've been telling MrH he's a drunk driver for years and he's been in denial. His dad wouldn't do that, you see. Not when half his aunt's family was killed by a drunk driver.

Turns out I was right. He'd been drinking & driving that whole time and paying people off under the table when he got into accidents. Until about 3yrs ago. He had an accident and became a paraplegic. He refused to do his therapy, to work on breathing on his own, to use the tech that would help him communicate and be independent. So he's spent three years being in a drug induced stupor, staring at the ceiling of various hospitals. We've taken a hit financially because of all the time MrH has had to take off. He's an only child and we live 6hrs away. There is a large extended family but they like to cause drama more than they help.

MrH has only recently begun recognizing the issues he has. He's always denied that there are even such a thing as FOO issues. You either let things go and move on with your life, or you don't. So I was hopeful because up until now, he's done the bare minimum work and I am living with one foot out of the door.

On Thursday night he gets the call that FIL has 48hrs left. He was going to go down Friday, but a "dusting of snow" turned into many unexpected inches and driving was hazardous. He went Saturday and has been there since.

He hardly contacts me unless he wants me to do something. Look for pictures of his dad and the kids (there were four...an uninvolved grandfather who cut his only grandchildren out of his life doesn't exactly fill family photo albums). To deal with side business issues for his company.

I feel like this is a test to whether he sees me as a partner. Someone to deal with life's troubles with.

And he doesn't. I've gone 10 hrs during the day without hearing from him. But I checked his email account and he's reading and answering emails for work.

Is my perspective skewed in feeling used and as though I am not a partner for life but rather just for work? I really need perspective because I am also struggling with feeling awful as a Christian because I am just ready for FIL to die. He's brought so much pain and stress into my life, I really don't care about him either way, I'm just ready for the situation to end.

TL;DR Verbally abusive FIL on deathbed; husband not contacting wife except for asking for favors.

EvenKeel posted 2/6/2019 07:33 AM

Ugh - what an awful situation Holly!

It sounds like MrH really does know deep down that his father has those issues. But it is still his father and he is dying. I understand that. My own father has done awful things but I will still go when he passes despite it.

Is my perspective skewed in feeling used and as though I am not a partner for life but rather just for work?
I don't think this is a fair time to assess this nor with this situation. Look beyond this current situation and see how you feel about MrH's actions, etc. and how he makes you feel on a day-to-day basis.

If you feel like this is how he treats you outside of this situation with his father, then you should definitely address that with him. BUT not right now while he is going through this. More like a "Hey, I feel we need more connection versus feeling like we are just in a business situation where I am the office manager!", etc.

For now, I would provide him with whatever he is asking for and reach out to him just to say "Hey" or "thinking of you" or whatever. While his dad is an azz...it is still hard. I would give him a hall pass on not being a good partner this week.

Again - I am so sorry you are going through this. It is nice to see you posting!


Lionne posted 2/6/2019 08:31 AM

I agree. Don't judge his current actions but assess after this crisis is over.

He might be answering work emails because they don't make him FEEL anything. You, however, require (in his head) a response that makes him feel what's happening. And with his FOO issues, that's very uncomfortable. He's probably ambivalent too about his father's impending death
Tackle the larger issue later.

Holly-Isis posted 2/6/2019 08:33 AM

I would never address it now.

Just dealing with it with lots of tears and prayer. I'm so ashamed of myself for being so selfish.

He's on a deployment rotation and missed all of the holidays. He put off dealing with any personal issues until he was home.

He came home midnight 1/23. Was gone all day into the evening for a debrief meeting on the 24th. Left to visit his dad in the morning on 1/25. Didn't come home until 1/27 in the evening. This is after missing all the holidays with me and the kids.

The 28th was our 25th anniversary. Took me to dinner...with the kids. Even my 14yo DD commented that dad should've made it a date.

Another day long series of meetings on the 29th...then keeping himself busy with his side business. DD's basketball game on Thursday was his first time actually being with the family besides the anniversary dinner.

So yeah- a pattern of living like buds and it's all business. I tried to share some of my feelings with him and the most emotional he could respond is, "I'm sorry you feel like that." (ETA- this was in one of our few moments alone before the call about his dad).

Again, I would never say anything to him now, but I feel like this is the final straw and it's shown me that he really doesn't look at me as a partner. I was just wondering if other people outside of this would see how he's dealing with it in a different light. Like, "Maybe he just doesn't want to burden you" or "he knows how you feel about his dad" or whatever but I guess it's just excuses at this point. I am not who he turns to as a life partner. Because I have reached out to him only to get nothing back.

[This message edited by Holly-Isis at 8:35 AM, February 6th (Wednesday)]

EvenKeel posted 2/6/2019 09:04 AM

It definitely sounds like there is a pattern here that has little to do with his current situation with his father.

"I'm sorry you feel like that."
That was it? No discussion on how you guys could address it, etc.?

twisted posted 2/6/2019 09:38 AM

Agreeing with the above. Get through this, do whatever needs to be done, and then you can deal with the marital issues after the FIL is gone.
There will be funeral arrangements and probate stuff, and all the rest. If there is a will, he may be the administrator/ executor, and that's a lot of work.
That way, if you can't reconcile, YOU will know you did the right thing and can walk away with a clear conscience.

Lionne posted 2/6/2019 12:59 PM

I didn't mean to diminish your right to your feelings. They are valid and honest. I had something similar happen and, to my regret, after the death of the family member, didn't tackle the problem.
You absolutely need to address the issues at the appropriate time.

sisoon posted 2/6/2019 15:05 PM

I'm so ashamed of myself for being so selfish.
Nothing wrong with recognizing the selfishness that's in all of us.

What exactly are you doing to step on someone else because of your selfishness? That's the test, and you're passing with flying colors.

I'm sorry you're dealing with this, and I'm sorry your H is dealing with the loss of his father.

My own opinion is that dealing with his loss is more than a full-time job for now. It overwhelms all aspects of partnership. This is for him, not against you.

Holly-Isis posted 2/6/2019 16:00 PM

Thank you all.
He checked in with me today while I was at work at his office, getting orders sent out.

Then later today he makes sure to text me he loves me (first time pretty much since he left) and thanking me for searching for and scanning pictures.

Turns out DS texted him that mom was crying on the drive to school.

I can't entirely wrap my mind around this being a loss. I've had family members treat me in the way his dad has treated him and I set boundaries. When those boundaries are broken, I cut ties. I of course don't tell MrH this, but I see a man who put all his focus on the rest of his family and alternated between neglect and abuse of his only child.

MrH asked me once after the accident what I would do if my dad was like that. I told him my father and I discussed it and he wants DNR. I'm not heartless. I am close to my dad- the closest of his four biological kids. My dad was also an alcoholic and abusive. The difference is, sometime around my 11th/12th grade year he sought out sobriety and has been working the program ever since. I think he's on his 30th yr this fall. Like FIL, his mother died. He didn't use it as an excuse to drink more. He also suffered the loss of his wife in a car accident. He nearly went back to drinking, but didn't. He has acknowledged the pain he caused in my life and we've built a close relationship.

MrH's dad though, cut us off when we got married in '94 with a drunken tirade about how I was marrying MrH for FILs money. He's not rich...just rich to him. believe me, if that was the case this is the worst and most heart-breaking long con I could've pulled. Look at what I've dealt with in this M...

I'm sorry, I just need to get things out. I no longer have anyone to talk to. I think I need to find another therapist. Mine thought I was doing well enough to stop seeing her but I guess I'm not.

FIL created savings accounts for each of his 10+ siblings. We don't know how much is in there, but they will get it eventually when probate (or whatever happens when there's not a will) is over. He did nothing for his only child. The son that has been shouldering the primary burden of his extended health issues due to his drunken choices.

He hated when MrH joined the military. When he married me (I'm a different race). When we moved away from their little hometown. Actually, when it comes to the ILs, all the choices they don't like are on my shoulders...whether I had a part in them or not. I've been attacked for my faith, for not raising the kids with more of their culture...one that I've been told I can't participate in because of being white. I've been threatened, ostracized, and belittled. Even after 25yrs of M, some refuse to call me by name. Instead I am "Mrs. (His first name)".

When we S in '97 due to MrH's refusal to get MC, FIL was the one that encouraged him to leave me and never look back. Because "how dare that b!tch tell you what to do."

pureheartkit posted 2/8/2019 11:38 AM

Take the upper road. Send flowers to your H and let him handle his obligations. I'm sorry for your H father, he had a chance to make things right in life but missed out. He gets to carry that to eternity

Holly-Isis posted 2/8/2019 12:28 PM

Thank you.

It really became obvious that he did not build any true relationships when I saw the response to his accident. It became glaringly obvious in the past week.

Few people visited, despite his having 11 siblings. Despite his helping some of the children of those siblings through college. MrH says he put family first, but not really. He gave to them but the giving always came with strings. And those strings held only as long as there was an obligation to reciprocate.

So, besides one brother, the only person that spent time at his bedside during these last days was his son, MrH. The son he didn't help through college. The son he wrote off for years over nothing. The son that has desperately been trying to gain his father's approval since I met him 27 years ago.

I know the funeral will be huge. He was the chief of his tribe and spearheaded the growth of the tribe as a recognized entity. He had a highly visible job in the state. He has a large extended family. So people will go to pay their respects. But to me, the death vigil was so much more indicative of how he lived his life than the funeral will be.

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