I don't want to back down

cookie8June 24, 2010

We are going back home to visit family and friends next week. I gave my husband the heads up (first time ever) that this time I don't want to see his dad. We are only going for 8 days after 3 days driving. I told him when he goes he can go by himself or with the kids but I want to stay with my family and friends instead. He asked why and I told him because I don't like his dad and so he said fine. There is a history there and it's not about me but how he was to his family in the past and it totally disgusts me (total selfishness nothing criminal or anything like that). My husband is the only one in contact with him still. Well, his wife just died last weekend so he called my husband (first time in 5 years which he also had to be reminded the names of two of our kids and that two more are in the picture now). Well, now he is making all these plans for us to stay with him/visit because he is alone. I am furious and started a fight with my husband saying no way. My parents/sisters/friends and his mom/sister all want to see us and we have spent weeks planning stuff. I told my husband he gets the kids with him for one day and that's it. He was mad about that but no way do I want to insult everyone else who have been involved to jump for him because he is having a hard time right now? We don't even know the man. I don't care how much time my husband spends with him but I want to keep the kids with closer family members as I know his dad will be going on and on about financial stuff and conflicts with her family (she was young when she died) and things aren't going over well with her family. Sorry for the lengthy post but it's to give a better idea. Of course, my friends are all telling me to stand up for this but that's because they want to see the kids so they are biased.

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Cookie, is the stuff in the past you find offensive something you witnessed or something you were told by your DH or others?

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 11:31AM
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I think you can do as you wish as far as spending time with your DH's father, but I'm a bit put off by you telling your husband how much time he (your DH) gets the kids with him. The kids are 50% your husband's, right? Why do you get to call the shots?

You said: "I told my husband he gets the kids with him for one day and that's it. He was mad about that ...". I don't blame him. I think that you and he should be deciding together where the kids are and where they'll go.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 11:48AM
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My distaste definitely happened when I first met him. The way he treated his 2nd wife (no longer in picture), my husband, my husband's sister. It wasn't abusive or anything but it was like they were so inferior and had to have "rules" etc. I knew I didn't like him when stories came up about him from the past, I'll admit.
It was so easy for me to go off and try and refuse visits with him because my family and friends met him and add a little fuel to the fire about having to spend time with him etc, so yeah, I probably worked myself up in a "not a good way" when I wanted to talk to my husband about how much time to spend with him. It has been 7 years since we had heard from him and now that his current wife died (who we met once) we have to hear all the details as my husband is the only one who stayed connected with him and he really doesn't have anyone else to call. Does cutting the time in half - say, 4 days my family and 4 days his family and he can pick and choose how he likes seem fair? Even this will stress me out as we are staying at his mom's house and she does a lot for our kids and I know she will get shortchanged as my family can all meet together but not so with my husband's side. I hate "vacations".
I just want to resolve this because I don't want to be arguing there about it when we get there.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 3:47PM
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Well, is it five years or seven? Except you say your husband has "stayed connected"...so I don't know what to make of that.

Regardless, I suggest you grit your teeth and compromise. Obviously whatever the compromise is will still be distasteful to you but one time in five/seven years isn't the end of the world. Don't muck up an otherwise good marriage by making it impossible for your husband to deal with you. He knows what you think and why because you told him. Allow him to deal with his dad...with the kids. Allow him flexibility enough to handle it and not have him think that he'll have to deal with your annoyance forever after. His dad's wife can only die once. This will not be repeated. Buck up and let it flow. Afterward, it's your husband you'll be living with, not his dad. You can pretend for a day or two.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 5:36PM
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Cookie, I would probably compromise and have the kids visit for 3 of the 8 days as long as things go well with the first visit. You have more friends and family to see on your side of the family. Your FIL is just one person...3 days is enough. I can understand your concern. I didn't want my children spending to much time with my mother and father in law. They were the most negative/toxic people I had ever known. I didn't want to expose my kids to the constant bad mouthing they did about their family. My husband had to listen to it growing up and could admit their shortcomings, so he was on board with limiting visits. Even though they both have passed on we don't regret our decision. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   June 25, 2010 at 9:41AM
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Well, the kids can go and if it's boring and no interest is paid to them then I guess I can say the FIL blew it and the kids can have the option to do as they please for the remainder of my husband's visits with him (if it actually happens). If they have a good time then they are free to do as they please and I can take advantage of my free time because I spend A LOT of time with the kids as a SAHM. I think I got very worked up talking to my friends and siblings about as they don't think much of him either. "In contact" isn't regular by any means but given the fact he heard from his father only 1 time in the past 5/7 years it is still more than the rest of the family - ie. FIL's brothers and sisters and his daughter. Time to start worrying about the long drive instead of how we are spending every waking minute. That would help me out too.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 12:15PM
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Cookie, rather than talking to your friends and siblings and complaining about your husbands family, perhaps you should discuss the issues with your husband and work through them. You're making the mess bigger.

Try to have some compassion for your husband who is the sole breadwinner for his family, doesn't appear to have a close relationship with his father, just lost his step-mom and has a wife who controls the amount of time he can let his kids see his family and then belittles him to friends, family and strangers on the computer. Walk a mile in his shoes.

Perhaps his father wants to make amends or realizes what he's been missing. Some people can change for the better and others can misjudge.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 3:58PM
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