Father In Law's new girlfriend...

emmhipJanuary 18, 2006

My mother in law passed away a year ago from cancer and we were all very devasted as she was only 58 (and it was a long painful process). My FIL has pretty much been in a funk since, worrying his two sons, my DH (28 yrs. old) and my BIL (25 yrs. old). Recently he lost 45 pounds, started taking better care of himself, and he now has a girlfriend. He seems really happy to be back in a relationship and his girlfriend is a very nice lady. We have been working really hard on trying to be happy for him, but a few things are bothering us...

1. He is extremely candid about the relationship, wants to talk about his sex life, etc.

2. When he and his girlfriend are around us they ARE ALL OVER EACH OTHER! Like two dogs in heat. It's like a bunch of teenagers, they make out in front of us and are very touchy-feely.

3. Has been a bit distanced from my DH and I, our DD, and my brother in law. We were all very close prior to this, but now he is more concerned with hanging out with his new love interest.

We are trying to be adult about this, supportive and happy for him. But, it is hard when it's so in your face and I feel so bad for my DH who was very close to his mother. It's extremely hard for him to see his father groping this other woman in front of us.

Any suggestions on how to get over this/past this?

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Would it be possible for your DH to have a private conversation with him?

Perhaps he could explain that he realizes that MIL's illness and passing was very stressful and devastating to everyone. And although he is happy that FIL has found someone he cares about, and she seems like a nice person, it's just a little too soon for him to witness and hear about their love life.
Also that he misses his dad and would really like to spend more one-on-one time with him.

You all sound like a very understanding and caring family.

Good Luck to you,


    Bookmark   January 18, 2006 at 6:38PM
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This must be so painful for your husband. Someone must talk to FIL and set firm bounderies, because he (and his girl friend) are lacking common sense, decency, and needlessly causing his son great pain and anguish, on top of the grief of losing his mother. Talking to his son about sex with his new girlfriend, after his son just lost his mother...shows that FIL is either a fool, or simply clueless, and someone needs to give him a clue that his behavior is cruel and hurtful, unnecessary, and the rantings of a very foolish man.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2006 at 4:00PM
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I couldn't agree with you more, and this has been very hard on my poor DH. We have a very close-knit group of friends that are the sons and daughters of FIL's close group of friends. His behavior has become quite the topic of conversation in both groups. I am hoping that some of his friends (who were also my late MIL's friends) will set him straight at some point, but I feel that everyone is 'happy that he is happy' and hoping this is just some sort of phase. He is acting out of character, he used to be one of the most sensitive older men I knew, always there for anyone no matter what. Now he seems much more concerned with what is going on with his girlfriend. Everything has taken a backseat. It doesn't help that she lives 2 hours away, and he has been spending tons of time at her house (he is semi-retired). My BIL and DH feel abandoned, but yet they don't feel that it's their place to say, "hey, you're acting like a jerk." We did have him over to dinner recently, and everything went well. He wasn't overly friendly, but not standoffish either. We also had a lot of other people over at the same time, and he was on "our turf" so to speak, so I think he was on his best behavior. He's just different, and we aren't sure who this new person is. I hope he can get over himself sooner rather than later, because I have never seen two sons more dedicated and respectful of their parents than my DH and BIL. I don't know if that will last if they are always pushed aside and made to feel uncomfortable....

    Bookmark   January 27, 2006 at 11:20AM
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Lots of things at play in the situation.As a husband and part of a longterm relationship,he is likely reinventing himself.Part of marriage is compromise,and sometimes people who have been married for a long time lose a little part of themselves in the interest of harmony.He is no longer the young man he was when he first married,and now he is older and no longer has to compromise because he is widowed.He is no longer part of the old pair,and has to figure out who he is all over again.I suspect that for the people around him it will be every bit as uncomfortable as watching a teenager figure out their place in the universe.As painful as it has been for your husband and siblings to go through their mother's death,they may need to tread lightly and with understanding.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2006 at 6:36PM
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I disagree. I think that the father is old enough to understand that HIS behavior is hurting his sons, and causing more pain in addition to the loss of their beloved mom. He should be mature enough to understand that he can find love and companionship and to be excited about it, without throwing it in their faces by behaving that way in front of his sons who are hurting. He needs to behave as a gentleman in front of his sons...and he can behave anyway he chooses while they are not around. And someone needs to tell him so. I think that he is so excited with his new love, that he has forgotten how to be considerate of those around him.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2006 at 8:22AM
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