PLEASE I NEED HELP confronting my close to being my mother-in-law

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2011
PLEASE I NEED HELP confronting my close to being my mother-in-law
17
Sat, 08-13-2011 - 11:00pm

This is going to be kind fo long so please bare with me because i am going to need your advise.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-23-2011

Hi listy,

My condolences to your husband on the loss of his dad.

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998

What is your hesitation in approaching his mother? I would think that she has also seen the change in him since his father's death and would be concerned about him. You can broach the subject by just saying that you are very concerned about him, that he can't seem to get over the loss of his father. By her response you will likely know if she is also concerned and if she wants to help you to help him.

For your SO to still have not found closure after 4.5 years seems like there was some unfinished business between father and son, or at least something that son hoped to get from father (approval etc). If your SO hasn't or cannot state something like that, then maybe his mom knows about something that was going on.

If your SO has not gotten grief counseling then he should get some now. And maybe his mom could help to convince him of that. And/or maybe she has some other ideas on how to help him.

Many people are able to move on after the death of a loved one without seeking professional help but your SO does not seem to be one of them. He may be suffering from depression which could explain why he can't get himself together any more. Depression etc has a genetic predisposition so you should ask her if any psychological illnesses run in the family. So definitely ask her for help. Surely you both have his best interests at heart.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2011

First , I would like to thank you for your advise, that's why I came here.

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998

"It's hard for me to bring up the subject to her because I don't want her to have to go through the pain of discussing her husband."

Do you have reason to think that she (like her son) has somehow not moved forward in her life since the passing of her husband? After this much time has passed she probably can discuss the fact that he is gone, especially since who you will really be talking about is her son. I know a few widows and within less than a year all of them could talk about their late husband without breaking down. If she is still broken up over her husband's death then maybe it would help her to focus on helping her son. While it would be nicer to have these conversations in person it should be fine over the phone or through internet video chat.

You might want to Google "grief support groups" in your area to see if you can find some for your SO, in the event that you and his mother convince him to take action about how he's responding to the loss. It sounds like he needs help with the control issue too but that would probably require a one-on-one therapist. One thing at a time.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-23-2011

Widows love to discuss their husbands.

Community Leader
Registered: 05-19-2008
I'm a little confused - is your DH still in Bangkok? Or, are you saying that since he came back after being there in November - nothing has changed. I also don't understand when you say you've only met his mom several times - but you've been together with your man for 12 years and it sounds like you live in Chicago as well because you said your man was spending lots of time helping his mom (i'm assuming you/he live close to her). I'm asking because there just seem to be some weird dynamics. Why have you only see her a few times? What happened to his job at Nokia? could there be more to his depression - maybe middle age or loss of a job?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2011

I live in California.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2004

Your guy has been in Bangkok for nearly 10 months because that's where his father died?

Community Leader
Registered: 01-03-2004

Listy,

Hi. I don't think "confront" is the right word here. Yes, I think you should ASK your boyfriend's mother for her opinion on her son's behavior. After all, she raised him and may know something helpful to him and to you. And, yes, no matter what you say, you are touching her loss as well. And that's OK. The worst thing people can do to a widow is NOT acknowledge her loss. So approach her with concern for both your boyfriend and empathy for her grief. You may learn something important.

By way of observation, I know many people of genius mentality have difficulty relating to people. Is your boyfriend so obsessed with controlling his environment that he believes he somehow could have prevented his father from dying? Does he believe that if he had been with his father he would not have died? I suspect he somehow feels responsible for his father's death or could have prevented it. I doubt that but someone how is so obsessed with control would probably feel this way. I also suspect his father was his "rudder" and now it's gone.

Your boyfriend needs to seek the advice and counsel of a good grief counselor. He will either accept this loss or not. If he doesn't, you may need to look at your relationship with him and decide if he's going to be good marriage material. Perhaps he needs to realize how little he really can control.

good luck

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2011

My boyfriend's father was a musician.

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