Husband's grandfather has cancer and he will be visiting his family without me.

posted 6 days ago in Family
Post # 2
Member
1316 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

I am so sorry bee, this whole situation is tough.

I will say H and I were together and in my hometown, before my grandfather passed and I didn’t take him to meet him. Mainly because it wasn’t him. Even if he had gone he wouldn’t have met the grandfather I have memories of. It was painful for me to see him that way and I didn’t want that to be my H’s memory of him.

All people grieve differently and there are some people that need space to do part of that on their own.

Hugs to you both!

Post # 4
Member
14 posts
Newbee

Oh, Bee. These kinds of things are so hard to navigate, and I understand you feeling left out. My angle won’t be exactly your husband’s, for sure, but it might be similar. I have a difficult parent with hoarder tendencies and stinky cat boxes, in a shit town with shit to do, etc., and though my husband has met them several times and totally gets it, it’s just a lot easier for me to go visit by myself. When he comes along, it splits my bandwidth–even though I *know* I don’t have to worry about him, or what he thinks, or my mood, I still do. It’s draining. When I’m visiting by myself, I can just be there, and not automatically feel like I’m responsible for his visit too, you know? For me, it’s just much easier to manage myself, and look forward to going home, taking a long hot shower, washing all my clothes, and then decompressing with my person. It’s not about shielding him, it’s about…biting off what I can emotionally chew, and having my good thing to come home to. 

I think it’s lovely that you want to go with him, for this last chance to meet his grandparents. But let’s say you go, and you end up staying in the house in Pennsylvania by yourself for most of the time. The whole time he’s with his grandparents and brother, part of his brain is also fretting about how you’re by yourself in a strange house. If he comes back to the house upset, he’s going to have to think about how that affects you. If he wants to stay out with his brother, or they all get to talking late at his grandparents’, or he decides to stay over and do a deep clean, then he has to think about you expecting him back. 

Again, this is just how it goes for *me*. But the truth is, it’s easier on my poor brain if he’s at home.

 

 

Post # 5
Member
4367 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I understand where you’re coming from, but personally I’d probably make the same decision as your husband.

First off, if his grandmother still believes he’s married to someone else, who knows how you showing up might set her off. It could cause confusion and then upset and the focus would become on t ]his as opposed to other things going on. It wouldn’t in any way be your fault, but I can see how he’d want to avoid that.

Secondly, for myself personally when I lose someone I want to grieve with the people that knew them too. And again, this is not a slight against you, but you don’t know his grandfather. And it sounds like you haven’t had an opportunity to get as close with his other family, so without meaning to it may seem like you’re (for lack of a better term) intruding on their grief. That sounds harsh but I can’t think of another way to word it….

Try to remember to, you did offer this to him, so he’s just taking you up on what he believes to be something you’re ok with.

I totally understand wanting to support him, but I think it would help to remember that while you believe you know how he wants to be supported, only he can make the ultimate decision of what kind of support he needs right now, and try not to take it personally that he wants to be around the people in his family who know his grandfather best.

Post # 8
Member
683 posts
Busy bee

For SO many reasons, i would take this trip alone if I were in your husband’s shoes.  This is not a pleasure trip for him — please don’t add to everything that’s already weighing on his shoulders by being one more thing he needs to worry about.  Just like you don’t want him to speak for what makes you uncomfortable, you can’t speak for what he needs right now.  This is not about you.  

The biggest gift you can give him right now is to give him the freedom to do what he needs to do.  Stay back and hold the fort down while he’s gone and be his sounding board and favorite cheerleader when he inevitably needs to check in by phone.  He will appreciate you for it.  There are so many things that this trip is about for him — what it is NOT about though, is a statement about you or your relationship.  Please try to find a way to believe that.   I have a family dynamic that’s different than most and I will tell you unequivocally that despite how much I absolutely adore my husband, I would need to navigate that trip alone. 

Post # 9
Member
4367 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

View original reply
@schmeebee85:  And I don’t think you’re wrong at all. I know I’d want to be there for my husband too. When we were living together his grandfather died, and he really leaned on his sister. The truth is, I hadn’t really had a chance to know his grandfather, and he gravitated to the people who did. I think that’s just a natural reaction, and not in any way personal.

I think this also comes down to this idea your partner should be your everything: and that’s just not realistic. One person can never be your entire support system, so like 

View original reply
@cart:  said, I think the best thing to do is focus on the ways you can support him from afar, and focus on the kind of support you can offer that is unique to your relationship and the fact that you won’t be physically together. That seems like the greatest gift you can give him.

Post # 12
Member
376 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

Sorry you’re feeling down about this OP
The best thing you can do to support him, is to respect his wishes. 

( and you could have described his ex without the “pudgy” part, just saying) 

Post # 13
Member
264 posts
Helper bee

View original reply
@redbagel:  yeah, I didn’t read past that unnecessary bitchery.

Post # 14
Member
3092 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

I can see why he would want to do that. It sounds like an exhausting trip–no pleasure trip. He might feel like facing it alone is easier. I might feel the same way if I was in a similar situation. Please don’t take it personally. He’ll probably just feel like collapsing into bed at the end of the day. 

Post # 15
Member
568 posts
Busy bee

So the ex could go and know these people, but not you. I don’t agree that you should be left behind for the reasons stated. If he said he just wanted to go alone I still wouldn’t agree with it, but all those reasonings don’t make sense. I think it’s the family that would be uncomfortable and don’t want you there. They want it to just be them. But you two are a package deal because you’re married.

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