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Hawklan

Family strife - In laws causing problems for my kids

4 posts in this topic

Hello all,

As some here may recall, I am a married single father of two kids. My wife lives and works in another province but in spite of this we are still married while living apart. This past weekend I took my kids (17yr old son and 12yr old daughter) to visit my in-laws for my father in-laws 75th b-day. Everything was going great, until my sister-in law started pumping my kids about how they felt about mom (her sister) being away. My son didn't take too kindly to her pumping him with questions and basically told her to mind her own business. He actually stood protectively over his sister (he caught his aunt half cornering her in the kitchen and aggressively quasi-interrogating her).

That's where things got ugly. He essentially told her that if she could not understand our family dynamic, that was her problem, and not to bother his sis or him but to talk to me about it (...he said, in a less diplomatic way). At this point, my sister in law (a 45 yr old woman who should know better) told my kids that their mother had always been a 'free spirit' and that throughout her university years had often left to go on trips to women's festivals with her girlfriend, leaving her school and responsibilities behind. My kids did not know that prior to our marriage, my wife was bi-sexual (and I suppose still is, just in a monogamous relationship).

This has unleashed all kinds of uncomfortable questions and while my kids were stable with our family situation before, since last weekend I have been having lots of conversations to undo this damage. My son in particular keeps asking me if I think mom is 'out' west and ignoring us. I have told him I am 100% sure (99.9% truth be told) that this is not happening.

Haven't told my wife about this yet, wondering how to broach it, since I know she will be seriously pissed her sister decided to air this out while she was away, to our kids no less. For my part, I tried to be a decent son-in-law bringing my kids on a 10 hr drive so my in-laws and kids could spend time together, but feel it kinda blew up in my face. Thinking of cutting off contact with sis in law, but feel that's my wife's place. Am I way off base here?

Cheers,

Hawk

 

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Nope your not off base. 

Your Sister in law had no right to speak to your kids about your Wife's past. Your Son sounds like a bright lad with a good head on his shoulders.

I think your Wife has a right to know what's been said. She should also make the decision on your children's behalf.

 

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Probably, the sister-in-law meant well.   She knows her sister well, and was wondering what effect her absence was having on the children.   

And it has to be tough.   Families belong together.   That said--I am going to Africa next month to train soldiers, but it will be only for a few months.  

I highly recommend that you and your wife work on a "Plan for Returning."   There are jobs to be had in Ontario.   Your wife needs to mount an all-out effort to find a job back home.    She needs a plan.   She needs to contact the various schools, network with teachers back here, and do everything in her power to return home.   To do nothing would indicate that she is happy with the status quo.   And that would make me unhappy as a husband.

 

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I think the children deserve the truth. They're going to figure it out eventually any way, trust me... It sounds to me like your wife and yourself are living a lie, especially your wife. Quit enabling her and come clean. You are not doing your children a favor by lying to them. If she's so ashamed of who she is that she has to lie to her own children, maybe she should change who she is...

 

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