(Closed) Asking my FIL for an apology

posted 1 year ago in Relationships
Post # 46
1049 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

No one is offended.  People with actual experience living as the children of alcoholics are trying to stop you from worsening a situation that they can understand in a way you cannot.  

Do you thnk no one has misguidedly tried to save us before?  Do you think no one has demanded apologies on our behalf?  Do you think everyone is just wildly guessing that it will make things so much worse, rather than speaking from experience.

You are very likely about to harm your husband.  Do that, if you feel you have to; it’s your marriage and you’re the only one here who actually loves the person you’ll be hurting.  But you’ve been warned that’s what you’re doing.  When the fallout comes (and that may take months, so don’t let your guard down) please remember you were warned.

Post # 48
3446 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017 - City, State

If you can’t discuss this plan with your husband, that’s a problem. He should be a part of this plan of yours. If you feel the need to exclude him, and to approach his father without him by your side, then maybe this is a poor idea. You have a husband problem, not a Father-In-Law problem. If you and your husband don’t set boundaries, all the fake, forced apologies won’t make a difference. The behavior will continue because nothing else will actually change in their relationship. You’ll get, at most, 1 minute hollow apology that will mean nothing to your FIL, and will not prevent the future mistreatment of your husband.

Post # 49
8835 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

avanfox :  Nobody is offended. We’re all saying it’s pointless. It’s not going to make anything better and has the potential to make things worse. Many of the responses are from people who have been there, myself included, and many of us spent years with the same misguided thought process that you have. We’re trying to save you the years that we wasted trying to change the alcoholic’s behavior instead of our own. It doesn’t work that way. Like ever. It just doesn’t. I guess everyone has to learn the hard way, but you can’t blame people for trying to pass along their wisdom. I hope it turns out how you hope it turns out.

Post # 51
9098 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

This is an awful idea, but you’re not going to listen to anyone else telling you otherwise.

Post # 52
125 posts
Blushing bee

How do you think your husband will feel when he finds out? Because he will find out. And he’ll either discover that the “apology” he received from his father was insincere and forced by you, or that you tried to force an apology out of his dad, and that his dad didn’t even think he deserved an apology or give enough of a fuck to bother making things right with his son.

Post # 54
4827 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

avanfox :  look, do what you’re going to do anyway as you’re pretty set on getting yourself and your hubby some justice. But don’t confront him at the family BBQ. Ask him to talk with you privately another day.

Post # 55
2487 posts
Buzzing bee

Alcoholics aren’t looking for honesty, they’re looking for the route to their next drink. 

Post # 56
733 posts
Busy bee

avanfox :  You keep saying you have an open mind but also keep repeating your mind is made up, you’re going through with your plan and you’ll report back to let us know how it goes. So which is it?

The bees here are trying to give you advice based on their living and breathing experiences. In my case, I have 13 years of an intolerably emotionally abusive and co-dependent father-in-law that I’m speaking from. My husband and I have figured out a way to deal with him that actually gives us some peace in our life. Not because we told him “apologize for XYZ” or “we’re not tolerating this anymore” but because we created boundaries and showed him what was and wasn’t acceptable.

Trust me, actions speak louder than words with these types of people. If you tell him “my husband isn’t going to be treated like this anymore,” I’d bet you $100 that he still calls your husband that next time he needs someone to bail him out. And if your husband goes, your fil learns that YOU say your husband won’t be treated like this but your husband will drop everything and go help. And the cycle repeats.

My husband’s father sends out SOS calls several times a week. He always needs everyone to drop what they’re doing and come help him. He doesn’t care what time of the day or night, if you’re working or sleeping, or how it affects your life in anyway. A while back my husband stopped answering. And if he did answer and there was a request made, he didn’t come. Meanwhile my mil and sil always answer and always come. Guess who doesn’t get the phone calls anymore? Guess who still gets them multiple times a week?

My question to you is what is your goal in all of this – a forced apology as some type of catharsis or a long-term change in the dynamics that are bringing you and your husband such pain?

Post # 58
8835 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

avanfox :  “I can’t possibly allow his Father-In-Law to use and abuse him” — You can’t stop him. Literally. That’s what we’re trying to tell you. You can not control what your fil does. You can not stop your fil from doing anything. You can control what you do, and your husband can control what your husband does. You know that your husband is not yet willing to control his own behavior, and it is emotionally less risky for you to confront his dad than to confront your husband. It’s not going to work and you probably know it, but it’s easier than trying to convince your husband to stop enabling. You get to feel like a good wife protecting her husband, but you’re actually enabling his enabling. What a mess.

Post # 60
47187 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Your energy would be much better spent supporting your husband as he learns to set boundaries with his father, rather than trying to “mother” your husband and deal with the “bully” yourself. The way you can support your husband is to encourage him to go to Al Anon and go with him. There he will finally learn to recognize his role in the relationship and why his Dad acts the way he does.

But, I do recognize that was a waste of my breath and time.

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