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  • When your mother begins a relationship with your brother in law...

    So three weeks ago I discovered that my mother had left my father for my brother in law! Both me and my husband are angry, upset and confused. We both understand the reasons for my mother leaving my father (whole other story) but for my brother in law? Seriously? They are talking about moving in together, trying for a family (my mum is 44, my brother in law is 32) Both my husband and I have a 2 year old daughter. The problems have already started as I had quite a heavy discussion with my mother, only for her to run back to her new partner (my brother in law) who then in turn has gone and informed his mother and father (my in laws)

    My mother in law called my husband informing him that I was completely out of order for being angry, and that we should just deal with it. He was also told that that if my mother was to fall pregnant, that he should get me to back off because she doesn't want anything to worry her or affect any future pregnancy. Both me and my husband are like what the hell?

    We feel we have stepped into a parallel universe here. No one seems to understand what our problems are and actually feel both me and my husband are overrating, even being selfish. I haven't mention this to any of my friends as I find the whole situation embarrassing. My husband has spoken to his closest friend about it, who is of the same opinion as us that it's a crazy and weird situation.

    What do I do? What do we do? My father is out of his mind (understandably) and upset but like I said (whole other story, I am not getting involved in my mother and father's marriage), my mother is basically running around acting like a love struck teenager as is my husband's brother, and everyone is fine and dandy with the whole thing. Are we really wrong for feeling upset over this? My mother has been having an affair with my brother in law for 2 months before she left my Dad though she denies it all. When me and my husband sat down and talked about it, there is very strong evidence to back up our suspicion.

    My husband wants to up and leave and let everyone do their own thing, keeping our daughter away from what feels like a really creepy situation. I'm not sure, I don't like taking her away from her family but at the same time...I just don't know if how we both feel is right judging by everyone else's reaction? We would really, really like opinions. If we are both being selfish and should be happy for them, just say but right now...we feel like it's totally weird.

  • #2
    Sorry for being harsh but I think you and your husband are behaving like children yourself. If your mother has her reasons, she has her reasons. It sounds like you are jealous and insecure about your own relationship and where you stand with your husband and your own in-laws and need to be the center of attention and are annoyed that your mother is stealing your limelight. Your mother is a human being before she was your mother and it may be time as a mother yourself to own up to that fact and see her as a human being.

    My suggestion is to stay grounded and be there as support for your father but remain neutral even though he may need a lot of support emotionally right now. Adding your frustrations to his is irresponsible and unnecessary as much as you may want to. If you are truly dumbfounded and brokenhearted and need professional help look towards the guidance of a family counsellor. Your main responsibility is your daughter and your own marriage so stop looking for problems elsewhere and don't allow your husband to get over-emotional and over-involved either. Snap out of it and deal with it as a family without condemning others or throwing stones. Your daughter will automatically look to you as an example. If you don't want her to grow up over-emotional, overly judgmental, imbalanced, rude or meddlesome, cut out these unhealthy behaviours.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Rose Mosse View Post
      Sorry for being harsh but I think you and your husband are behaving like children yourself. If your mother has her reasons, she has her reasons. It sounds like you are jealous and insecure about your own relationship and where you stand with your husband and your own in-laws and need to be the center of attention and are annoyed that your mother is stealing your limelight. Your mother is a human being before she was your mother and it may be time as a mother yourself to own up to that fact and see her as a human being.

      My suggestion is to stay grounded and be there as support for your father but remain neutral even though he may need a lot of support emotionally right now. Adding your frustrations to his is irresponsible and unnecessary as much as you may want to. If you are truly dumbfounded and brokenhearted and need professional help look towards the guidance of a family counsellor. Your main responsibility is your daughter and your own marriage so stop looking for problems elsewhere and don't allow your husband to get over-emotional and over-involved either. Snap out of it and deal with it as a family without condemning others or throwing stones. Your daughter will automatically look to you as an example. If you don't want her to grow up over-emotional, overly judgmental, imbalanced, rude or meddlesome, cut out these unhealthy behaviours.
      I understand your response but what happens when they have their children? Will I be there sister or their aunt? Will my daughter be their children's niece or cousin? Will my husband treat my mother as his mother in law, or his sister in law? They are seriously considering marriage after her divorce from my father, so whilst my questions may seem over-emotional, overly judgmental, imbalanced, rude and meddlesome too, they are questions rightfully deserving of answers are they not?

      Like I have said many times to my mother, I wonder how well the majority of people would take if it were their family or maybe they would be just as 'insecure' in their marriage like both me and my husband appear to be?
      Last edited by anon1989; July 18th, 2018, 04:57 PM.

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      • #4
        If your only concern is that you won't know how to label them if they were to marry then I'd do my best to get over it and allow them to enjoy their relationship while it lasts. You understand the reasons for your mother leaving your father If it wasn't so that she could schtuup your BIL guilt free then what really is the big deal? Lots of people marry their in-laws relatives. E.g. A brother of someone marrying his sister-in-laws sister.

        Maybe if you told us why your mother has left your father we can give you more empathetic dialogue?
        "First off, welcome to the Relationship Forums, You'll come to understand that I don't pull any punches when giving my opinion/advice and I hope you're not so sensitive to what I see as the truth of the matter." Me!

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        • #5
          I would be very concerned for my mother if she had done a similar thing actually and I'd be more prone to supporting her and understanding her decision especially if she was trying to flee an unhealthy marriage. I can't imagine why you would turn on your mum. I wouldn't be able to do that. If you don't like her in general or she's never played an active role in your life or supported you perhaps I'd understand where you're coming from. I just couldn't do it.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by phasesofthemoon View Post
            If your only concern is that you won't know how to label them if they were to marry then I'd do my best to get over it and allow them to enjoy their relationship while it lasts. You understand the reasons for your mother leaving your father If it wasn't so that she could schtuup your BIL guilt free then what really is the big deal? Lots of people marry their in-laws relatives. E.g. A brother of someone marrying his sister-in-laws sister.

            Maybe if you told us why your mother has left your father we can give you more empathetic dialogue?
            The fact my mother and father have separated isn't the issue, I'm more worried about how to explain to my 2 year old when she is older that her relative is 'Mummy's sibling and Daddy's niece/nephew' it sounds very inbred. I don't want her being bullied because she proudly explained to everyone in class about her family, only for her to be taunted.

            If it was was my husband's brother marrying my sister it wouldn't be weird. Nieces and nephews all round, what we find weird is that my mother would be having my husband's brothers child. That is weird. My child's grandmother is going to be the grandmother of my sibling. Which wouldn't normally be weird, but is weird because that grandmother is also my husband's own mother. How is it not weird?

            My husband's friends exact response was 'That's f****d up' which I found mortifying. I'm struggling to see your pov? I really am, my own sister even said she is glad it's me and not her because she wouldn't be happy. How is it some people can see the problem, yet some can't?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by anon1989 View Post

              The fact my mother and father have separated isn't the issue, I'm more worried about how to explain to my 2 year old when she is older that her relative is 'Mummy's sibling and Daddy's niece/nephew' it sounds very inbred.
              Why do you even have to explain any of that to her? Why would she be bullied if it's not spread all over hells acres by you?

              I don't want her being bullied because she proudly explained to everyone in class about her family, only for her to be taunted.
              Again, why would she have to know any of that? Just tell her that your mother is her grandmother and her grandmother's husband is her husband. Your father would of course be her grandfather.

              If it was was my husband's brother marrying my sister it wouldn't be weird. Nieces and nephews all round, what we find weird is that my mother would be having my husband's brothers child.
              So?
              That is weird.
              Well, to you it is because you're far too involved in the labels.

              My child's grandmother is going to be the grandmother of my sibling.
              So? You think that doesn't happen everyday of the week? My youngest aunt turned out to actually be my cousin. No one cared.

              Which wouldn't normally be weird, but is weird because that grandmother is also my husband's own mother. How is it not weird?
              It's not weird if you look at it as only being two people you know falling in love and getting married and having children. FWIW it may be of some consolation to you that their relationship has very slim odds of lasting past the new relationship energy stage. You're mother is more likely then not, rebounding big time and using your BIL to regain some of the self-worth she lost during her marriage to your father. That is why I ask why your parents are divorcing. I think your mother's behavior may be caused by what happened in her marriage to your dad.

              My husband's friends exact response was 'That's f****d up' which I found mortifying. I'm struggling to see your pov? I really am, my own sister even said she is glad it's me and not her because she wouldn't be happy. How is it some people can see the problem, yet some can't?
              How indeed? If my mother (may she be resting in peace) were to get romantically involved with my brother in law it would only bother me because I'd be worried about my dad being replaced. But if he's been a twat during the marriage then it would be his own fault that he's being replaced.

              You don't want to hear anything other then what you already have concluded and you're here looking for back up to your own feelings it seems. I'm sorry but I don't see the issue. Don't bother telling your daughter the DNA lineage until she's old enough to understand and when she's confident enough to tell anyone that says anything to her about it to rub salt and mind their own biz.
              "First off, welcome to the Relationship Forums, You'll come to understand that I don't pull any punches when giving my opinion/advice and I hope you're not so sensitive to what I see as the truth of the matter." Me!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by anon1989 View Post

                I'm more worried about how to explain to my 2 year old when she is older that her relative is 'Mummy's sibling and Daddy's niece/nephew' it sounds very inbred. I don't want her being bullied because she proudly explained to everyone in class about her family, only for her to be taunted.
                Your mother is a grown woman and she can handle her own life. Let her make her choices and let her deal with the consequences.
                As far as your daughter's concerned, she will percieve this in the way you explain it to her.

                If you go and put a negative, judgemental stamp on the whole story, your daughter will sense it and copy it. If you just explain to her that grandma and uncle ... fell in love and got married, like adults do sometimes, she won't bat an eye. Kids don't judge, they don't have a frame of reference to base their judgements on. Things are as normal or strange as you explain them to be.

                So stop making this all about you and start being supportive of your mothers happiness.
                You can't control the waves, but you can learn to surf

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by anon1989 View Post
                  ......My husband wants to up and leave and let everyone do their own thing, keeping our daughter away from what feels like a really creepy situation. I'm not sure, I don't like taking her away from her family but at the same time...I just don't know if how we both feel is right judging by everyone else's reaction? ......
                  When things get messy and creepy it's important to focus on YOUR values and goals. From my perspective your mother and brother-in-law are behaving irresponsibly, immaturely and selfishly.

                  First, your mother is a married woman. Regardless of how unhappy she might be in that marriage, having an affair is never the adult responsible response. Both her and your B-I-L are participating in that. Assuming you and your husband believe in the importance of marriage, you are perfectly justified in "judging" their behavior. If she is unhappy in her marriage and wants to end it, the appropriate action is to seek a divorce and complete the process BEFORE beginning another relationship.

                  The selfish element is that your mother is "using" your BIL to escape her marriage. Because she lacked the strength to actually seek a divorce on her own, she latched onto someone to carry her through it. This is, by definition (a new relationship entered into before fully recovering from a previous relationship), a rebound. The immature element is choosing a much younger man, presumably at a different stage of life, to use for her escape. Your BIL's life goals are simply unlikely to align with your mothers given she's already accomplished some of them and won't want to retread those paths. Once she's done with the turmoil of the divorce and all the changes that come with it, and the fact that this is rebound, the likelihood that this relationship will work out is minimal.

                  Second, they are both being selfish in that they are simply pretending their relationship isn't problematic in the context of being close family members of you and your husband. They can't really think that it would be perfectly normal and okay to sit down with your family for Christmas dinner and expect you to be comfortable explaining to your children, regardless of age, that Uncle Jimmy is in love with Grandma Heather. And if they think that is perfectly normal and okay, you really don't want to spend much time with them.

                  I'm inclined to agree with your husband. While you don't have to "up and leave" in the sense of moving away, you can minimize the time you and, particularly, your child(ren), spend with you mother and in-laws. When adult behave like children in immature, selfish, and irresponsible ways, there's little chance anything you say is going to sway them from doing what they want. So there's little to be gained by trying to change their behavior. However, you can certainly change your own. Pulling yourself out of the chaos is the best you can do for you and your family. Eventually things will settle down and, hopefully, their adult heads will kick in. By that time, you'll be better equipped to deal with whatever the final resolution happens to be.

                  Good luck









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                  • #10
                    ^^^^ Finally, something she wanted to hear.
                    "First off, welcome to the Relationship Forums, You'll come to understand that I don't pull any punches when giving my opinion/advice and I hope you're not so sensitive to what I see as the truth of the matter." Me!

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                    • #11
                      One question: what would you do if your mother had some boyfriend and you fell in love with his brother?

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