Post # 1
I could really use your advice!
I am currently 38 weeks pregnant and last week my FIL told my MIL that he would like to separate…out of the clear blue. Obviously, my DH is devestated. He spoke to his dad on Thursday to see why and if there was a chance things could be worked out and essentially FIL told him they were just leading two different lives and he wasn’t happy but he isn’t willing to try counseling or anything to make the marriage work. He also brought up a previous separation instigated by MIL,which leads us to believe there is some lingering resentment there although he did not name it as a cause. DH pointed out to him that right before I give birth probably wasn’t the best time to do this and told him that he was a coward for not trying to make things work but that he wouldn’t take sides and he still loves him. FIL and DH have not spoken since. DH says he will not contact his father and he is waiting for FIL to call him. MIL and DH have talked almost everyday, usually about practical aspects. DH did tell her that he would not choose sides and cuts their conversations short.
Here is where I need some guidance:
Originally, the plan was for MIL and FIL to be in the waiting room with DH while I give birth. DH has a phobia of hospitals and when he attempted to attend doctors appointments with me it just stressed me out. I know MIL was very excited about it- both being there for the birth of her first grandchild and having DH “need” her (although the conversation was him literally asking when she wants to be notified of labor and where she wants to be for it, the story has grown with telling to her needing to leave for the hospital immediately when he calls her..haha). I do not have a close relationship with my FIL but I am assuming he was just as excited. However, now DH does not want them at the hospital at all when I am giving birth. I don’t know at what point he plans to notify them or have them see their grandchild since I have been doing my best not to bring things up and stress him out more. I know it will be an awkward situation to have them both there and he doesn’t want to choose sides. I think he is also very angry with both of them; his dad for deciding to do this now, and his mom because she was suppose to be our childcare provider and because of the previous separation (I am assuming- he hasn’t said anything concrete). I do plan to bring this up again before I go into labor and push the issue a bit more, it is just hard to find the right time because when he is in a good mood I don’t want to spoil it and when he is in the midst of dealing with things I don’t want to add more to his plate.
I see my role in this as supporting DH. That being said, would you:
a) Try to convince DH to notify his parents so they can be there for birth. I am afraid he will regret it later if he doesn’t and I know MIL will be heartbroken.
b) Notify MIL myself when I go in to labor. I don’t have FIL’s phone number so I wouldn’t really be choosing sides, and she could choose whether or not to tell FIL and whether or not to come. This is probably the least likely option for me, but figured I should include it. I don’t really feel comfortable going behind DH back, although in this situation it may be for his own good.
c) Try to convince DH to inform his parents ahead of time that plans have changed and he will not be calling them to attend the birth. Instead he will notify them at XYZ time of his choosing.
d) Stay out of it completely.
Post # 2
MissTatas: e) focus on giving birth to a healthy baby, and let DH deal with his parents in whatever way he’s see fit, and in turn, having the in-laws respond to this news in whatever way they see fit. Your baby needs you!!
Post # 3
mrs-to-be-2014: Thanks. I have been taking excellent care of myself, the baby, and DH the best ways I know how (packing his lunch everyday, cooking, cleaning, etc.) since I am already on leave from work. No worries about how the baby is developing- she is doing great!
Post # 4
Do This. mrs-to-be-2014:
Divorce is difficult on children no matter how old they are when parents divorce. Your husband clearly doesn’t want to be around his parents right now. So take his lead. If he changes his mind then great. If not, just know you will likely have two less people hanging out at the hospital.
Post # 5
I’m sorry all this is happening. Honestly, though? Your DH needs to grow up. Children deal with divorce every day and handle it more gracefully than he is. Throwing fits and kicking them out of their grandchild’s birth (which may be the only binding thing they still have) is immature. I get that he’s upset, but wouldn’t he rather his parents be happy? Maybe they’ve already tried everything and he just didn’t know it. It’s likely he doesn’t know even half the backstory.
I would try to lightly encourage him not to burn any bridges with this. Also, he did pick a side. He’s not talking to his father, but is still talking to his mother.
Post # 6
MissTatas: Good I’m glad to hear!! You sound like a fantastic mom already!! Good luck on the birth of your daughter!
Post # 7
- Wedding: September 2012 - Southern California
I say option D. Of course it all has to do with how you & your DH deal with each other’s respective families, but in our case, we each deal with our own sides & I would be really upset at my husband for pushing something like this behind my back (so definitely not B). A & C should be totally up to your husband considering he has to spend the most time with them in this instance.
Focus on having a fantastic birth & a healthy baby & hopefully everything else will fall into place 🙂
Post # 8
MissTatas: Combo A, C, D and mrs-to-be-2014’s E. Talk to him about how he will feel later about his parents not being there, when the divorce is over. Don’t let him be shortsited about this because his emotions are running high. If he states he still doesn’t want him to be there, C should be done, he should notify at least his mom. It won’t help the situation for him not to do so.
But D and E are the most important. After talking, stay out of it completely. His decision is his, and he needs to make his choice on how to deal with his family. And you need to take care of yourself and the baby, not your ILs.
Post # 9
MissTatas: Tough love answer here : I think your DH needs to not concern himself with his parents marital issues right now. Their decision to seperate isn’t his concern. I can understand it’s upsetting, no one want to see their parents split up. However, they’re all adults and it seems pretty clear that this obviously isn’t a random decision on the part of your FIL. You DH calling his dad a coward for not trying to make it work, that’s uncalled for. Your DH does not live in his parents house and I’m sure is not privy to everything that goes on their marriage. If MIL once instigated a seperation, why is FIL now getting the brunt from your DH for not making it work?
Could the timing have been better? Sure, but we always tell brides that the world doesn’t stop for their wedding, and likewise, the world doesn’t stop for your baby. Should your FIL continue to live in a marriage where is isn’t happy because his grown son thinks he should? Of course not. I would assume that your ILs should be able to maintain a sense of decorum and maturity at the birth of your child. Prior to this your DH wanted them both there, so I honestly don’t see why it should be any different. My parents don’t like each other, and are both remarried. I know they prefer not to be around each other, but when the situation calls for it they act like the adults they are.
I think the most important thing is that your DH concern himself with you and your baby, because the only thing you need to focus on is having a healthy baby.
Post # 10
I think DH needs to mind his own business. No couple should be expected to time their separation around the needs, wants or desires of grown children.
It’s hard for me to believe that the separation was totally unexpected by MIL. You really have to have your head in the sand to not have any indication that your husband is unsatisfied or not happy in the relationship.
I suggest you treat them both like adults and stick with your original plan. If they are not able to be civil with one another, DH can ask them both to leave.
I don’t see how this has any effect on MIL being a childcare provider.
Post # 11
kellyk1214: I am actually quite proud of how DH is handling it. He hasn’t thrown any sort of fit- he isn’t a two year old throwing a tantrum. I am guessing he is afraid of how they will behave in the one and only waiting room considering how fresh this pain is, and the stress level will be through the roof. He needs their support considering his extreme hospital phobia and right now they may not be able to give it. He would rather focus on what he needs to focus on- me and our new baby.
stephanie091512: Thanks! I just don’t know how hard I should push him to consider the options since I know he really doesn’t want to talk (or think) about this right now. I have a lot more time to think about things than he does and obviously more emotional distance so I can see the long term ramifications if he chooses not to have them there. Then again, having them there could ruin this entire experience for him. I just need to trust him enough to know what is best for him, and let them deal with their feelings about it.
Post # 12
CurlyCue: I was going to say A, but I like the first comment too. Early congratulations on your new baby!
ETA: Oftentimes people who don’t get along will completely set aside their differences at a time like this. I’ve seen it several times. Relatives who actively hate each other making good natured conversation at weddings or at the hospital. It’s the coolest phenomenon. A girl can hope, right?
Post # 13
Misswhowedding: This is by far the most helpful answer. Thank you SO MUCH!
I thought my OP was too long but I guess I left out some important information- DH is going out of his way to avoid being involved in this situation. FIL called him at work to tell him about this and expected him to drop everything to help sort things out. MIL has tried to rely on DH for emotional support and asked him to look into where she can store her belongings, how she should go about selling their house, if they could refinance so she can afford it on her own, etc. In every instance, he has made it clear that it is up to them to sort out since he has other things he needs to be focusing on right now. Both of his parents have always relied much too heavily on him in my opinion, but I am so proud of him for setting up his boundaries in this situation. I just wanted to make sure he isn’t overreacting emotionally in this life changing instance, and that he will not regret his decision in the future.
The only thing I have discussed with MIL since this has occured is baby outfits and thank you cards for shower gifts. I was clearly just overthinking things, since I have never had to deal with divorced parents, or giving birth. I will continue to support DH the way I have been since it seems to be working well for us, and let the chips fall how they may.
Post # 14
julies1949: One of the many things MIL has called to ask DH about was how she can store her things so she can move to another state. He told her to rent a storage unit and we could store some of her things here if need be. After that phone call I started looking into other childcare options and think I have something figured out, at least through the end of the summer.
Realistically, DH is handling things marvelously. Obviously Thursday and Friday were really rough days for him while he was trying to navigate his new reality but he has dealt with everything admirably. If he doesn’t want his parents there I will not force him. I guess I was just wondering if anyone else had any experience or thought he might regret not having them there. Maybe he plans to call them as soon as I deliver and just doesn’t want to deal with them while he is anxiously waiting, maybe they will be happy with that, and maybe this entire post is a nonissue.
Post # 15
- Wedding: August 2013 - The Liberty House
The only thing I would suggest is having your DH pick someone else to wait with him. Does he have a really close friend or a sibling? He’ll probably need someone there who can deal with him!