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My grieving wife is home. Bravo MIL!

Rags's picture

It always seems that my DW's interface with my IL clan is a bit of a double edged sword.  Sigh.

My DW is grieving the loss of her cousin.  As I have shared periodically, this cousin is the closest relationship my DW has had with her never met deceased before she was born BioDad's family.  As such, my DW has been a bit avoidant on some of the facts around this cousin

So, longish story as short as I can make it.... During some of her time with my MIL DW made a comment that "(Deceased Cousin) was the best of us three girls".  My MIL with zero delay corrected DW.  Fairly sternly apparently. Making it clear that my DW is by far the best of them. Them being my DW and her two cousins via her BIoDad's younger brother.  The eldest of the two cousins is the one who just passed.  The youngest is a crack head who apparenting is a week from her 6mo sober pin at the rehab halfway house that the deceased cousin/crack head's elder sister got her into.  

My DW is fixated on how there will be 200 people at the funeral and how amazing her cousin was and how many people love her, etc....

My MIL is not drinking that Kool-Aid and I for damned sure am not gargling that crap either.

This is the cousin who lied to my DW, "borrowed"  $thousands from us, never paid back a penny, and the last time begged my DW to directly pay the deposit (that the cousin promised to pay back) on an apartment so she could get her two young boys away from her drunk assed DH, whaaaaaaaa!

Cray 2

Which ended up being complete bullshit. DW paid the nearly $1K deposit, cousin backed out, got the deposit from the apartment complex and went on a beach vacation with her BFF's.  

So, bravo MIL!  THank you for setting my incredible bride straight.

DW told me about her mother correcting her on the "best of us" comment. I made sure to make the point that my DW had never stolen from anyone or lied and manipulated to get money so there is not even a discussion to be had about either of her cousins being the "best" of the three progeny of her paternal family.

DW then went on to "but, she will have 200 people at her funeral".  I asked how many of them does my wife think know the facts rather than the facade?

I had a pretty quiet wife for a while at dinner tonight. 

Then... my thieving rip off artist of a SIL and her DH have some exciting news. This is the SIL who has ripped an aunt off for $Tens of thousnds, defaulted on $80K of school loans on an unfinished degree, and also ripped off my MIL and FIL for $thousands.  SIL's DH's company (an employee owned company) was acquired by a competitor.  The family that founded and owned the firm for decades has their money out now so the rest of the employee/owners are now getting their buy outs.  My DW's BIL will get $400K for his 17 years with the company.  Him, I like. My SIL, not so much.  It is good that they will get this windfall.  They have nearly lost their home 4 different times, have never ending series of financial crisis (due to never ending stupid decions around instant gratification).  This will put them on stable ground, at least it has the potential to if they do not do their usual.  As DW was telling me this good news, and it is truly good news, she made sure to lead with "she said the first thing they will do is pay back mom, BIL1, and Aunt." 

Good to hear. But... I will believe it when I see it. A mental comment. I was able to bite my tongue on that note.

I know, I should be forgiving.  But, people who do these kinds of things to people that they claim to love while polishing their halos to bolster their self delusion and build a facade of lies and bullshit trying to present that they are good people... I have no use for. I also have no use for the deluded dipshits who buy their bullshit.  Meh.


That they break my incredible bride's heart... I have no foregiveness for them. They chose their actions, they need to own those facts and no one needs to try to hide them.

Bad Rags, bad.

That said, I am very glad she is home, and away from the drama.


TheAccidentalSM's picture

Is your wife looking at this through the wrong lens?  I assume the cousin lived in the same place all her life.  This means that she had her whole life to make connections in the community.  You and DW have lived a life of adventure and travel.  You will have made all the same number of connections but it isn't practical to ask people to fly in from all over the world to a funeral.

Then there's the cultural thing.  In the my country of origin, everybody goes to the funeral.  And I mean everybody.  My sister's good friend's mom died recently.  The funeral was so well attended it spilled out on to the street from the church.  My sister attended with her DH, 2 kids and our mother.  This is normal.  Where I live now, people don't go to funerals unless they are really close.  Doesn't mean anything.

lieutenant_dad's picture

Be careful when you talk about not having use for people who buy others BS. Your DW is one of those people, and if she knows those are your views, it would be hard not to internalize it. Doesn't matter if she never says anything about it. Doesn't matter if she can be set straight by the truth. The fact that you have such a hard line - and she likely knows it - probably hurts her in a way that she has not expressed.

I'm not saying you need to buy into the BS. I'm just saying to look at it beyond logic. People do stupid things because of how they feel. Because they DO care. Because they think they're doing the right thing. Because they think they're helping. It's not logical, but it's also not something to blanketly say you have "no use" for those people, either. Because "those people" include your wife, who is never going to see her cousin with the same vitriol and uselessness that you do, even if her cousin doesn't deserve her kindness and love.

Rags's picture

I will chew on this guidance for a long while.  

Thank you for that Lt.  I needed that awakening.  Simple, direct.  It will make me a better DH.  

Now to figure out how to not only bite my tongue but to also change my perspective on things/thoughts  that I have long invested in maintaining.

lieutenant_dad's picture

The way that helps me is to remove myself from the center and how I feel about a person and their behaviors.

Using ET (BM) as an example. I personally have no use for her. She doesn't enhance my life, and I frankly find her a drain on society much of the time. BUT, even though I have no use for her, my SKs do. She is their mother, and in spite of all her crap, she has provided them with love, guidance, and comfort over the years. I have no right to take that away from them. So, while I'd like to set them straight 100% of the time about their mom, I come here and vent. I don't ask a lot of questions, and if I do, I try to make a positive spin out of what I'm told. I encourage them to both call and visit. 

I do try to steer them away from being used or taken advantage of, but not in an accusatory way. "Hey, that's an adult issue you don't need to worry about" or "your mom is an adult and I'm sure she has a plan for handling that" or, if she is persistent, "have her talk to your dad and he can help her with this adult problem".

I wouldn't piss on ET if she were on fire unless her kids were watching. I care about protecting them and their feelings, so I center on them. I know there will be times when I can't be nice, but that's because the outcome will hurt them significantly. But if they want to keep the good memories of their mom in their brain, so be it. I don't want to make them feel bad for it or ruin all of that. Their experience with her is different than mine, so I can't expect them to react like I will.

Same goes with your DW. It's fine to build her up if she tries tearing herself down, but you can do that without tearing down her cousin. You can say things like "I know you really loved your cousin and it's going to hurt missing her". You can send flowers on behalf of your family so it brings a small comfort to your wife. Just try to shift from "those people are useless for enabling" to "those people are in such a hard spot because they know the person they love isn't stellar, but they love them anyway".