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RoseRed135

S/O of "What would you do?": Does putting the marriage first have to work both ways?

27 posts in this topic

Ok, it seems like a no-brainer  Of course, both DH and DW are supposed to put each other first ahead of parents/PILs/etc. But in Andrea's "What would you do?" thread, it seemed to some members as if DH was putting MIL first. When DH (or DW) is putting their mom (or whoever) first, does DW (or DH) still need to put DH (or DW) first? Or does this change the entire scenario?

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If either half of a couple is putting their parent first above their spouse, there is a DH/DW problem and it needs to be worked out.  If they can't do it between the two of them, maybe they need to consult a counselor.

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1 hour ago, SueSTx said:

If either half of a couple is putting their parent first above their spouse, there is a DH/DW problem and it needs to be worked out.  If they can't do it between the two of them, maybe they need to consult a counselor.

I tend to agree with this.  I believe this is how it should be generally speaking...are there exceptions to this though?  Particularly with our parents aging, needs change...where do you daw the line?  For example...DH's FIL was hospitalized a year ago because of a fall (he's fine now).  the timing coincided with one our son's specialist appt. as we were in the process of having him evaluated for autism...i had pretty much been dealing with most of that stuff but i wanted DH to be at this appt. with me.  however his parents needed him too and because it was an extenuating circumstance i was ok with him going to help his parents for a few days....does a situation like thatching things?  

I mean take an example like one i mentioned.  i was ok with him going so it was really a non issue but what if i wasn't ok with it?  who's needs come first or should come first?

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2 hours ago, RoseRed135 said:

Ok, it seems like a no-brainer  Of course, both DH and DW are supposed to put each other first ahead of parents/PILs/etc. But in Andrea's "What would you do?" thread, it seemed to some members as if DH was putting MIL first. When DH (or DW) is putting their mom (or whoever) first, does DW (or DH) still need to put DH (or DW) first? Or does this change the entire scenario?

No-brainer indeed- Anyone who wouldn't make things right because their husband said not to doesn't have a speck of gray matter in their head-

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Nobody is putting anyone first in this situation- All they are doing, together, is being deceiving-

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4 minutes ago, Komorebi said:

Nobody is putting anyone first in this situation- All they are doing, together, is being deceiving-

yes i actually agree with this to a point  - i totally agree by keeping this from SIL, it's just wrong and i certainly have a role in it.  however as also mentioned it's not as simple as this is dH's family - do i have a right to go against that?

FYI  - i understand that I give mixed messages to DH..as in example above..sometimes i'm like go ahead your parents need you but other times i'm like no, put the children and I first.  It's one reason why i want to go to marriage counseling

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41 minutes ago, AndreaMSW said:

yes i actually agree with this to a point  - i totally agree by keeping this from SIL, it's just wrong and i certainly have a role in it.  however as also mentioned it's not as simple as this is dH's family - do i have a right to go against that?

FYI  - i understand that I give mixed messages to DH..as in example above..sometimes i'm like go ahead your parents need you but other times i'm like no, put the children and I first.  It's one reason why i want to go to marriage counseling

The way I'm reading what you wrote (thus far, all of it, in a nutshell) is that you aren't going to fix the situation with your sister in-law because your husband doesn't want you to and your husband doesn't want you to because his mother doesn't want him to-

Yes, you have the right to alter that ^^^ dynamic- If you are afraid to alter that dynamic you might want to privately come to terms with what's frightening you about it- Something is amiss if an individual has to muster courage to navigate an area of their marriage- It could be unfounded fear -- or something very real-

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15 minutes ago, Komorebi said:

The way I'm reading what you wrote (thus far, all of it, in a nutshell) is that you aren't going to fix the situation with your sister in-law because your husband doesn't want you to and your husband doesn't want you to because his mother doesn't want him to-

Yes, you have the right to alter that ^^^ dynamic- If you are afraid to alter that dynamic you might want to privately come to terms with what's frightening you about it- Something is amiss if an individual has to muster courage to navigate an area of their marriage- It could be unfounded fear -- or something very real-

no that's not entirely it - i don't know what to do but I agree we or i need to do something...still figuring out what that is though.  we changed our will 6 months ago it's been long enough...it's already bad enough that we waited 6 months - it will be worse if we continue to wait

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2 minutes ago, AndreaMSW said:

no that's not entirely it - i don't know what to do but I agree we or i need to do something...still figuring out what that is though.  we changed our will 6 months ago it's been long enough...it's already bad enough that we waited 6 months - it will be worse if we continue to wait

It's not entirely it, but it's a facet-

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3 minutes ago, Komorebi said:

It's not entirely it, but it's a facet-

sure is

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8 minutes ago, AndreaMSW said:

no that's not entirely it - i don't know what to do but I agree we or i need to do something...still figuring out what that is though.  we changed our will 6 months ago it's been long enough...it's already bad enough that we waited 6 months - it will be worse if we continue to wait

Is there a way to phrase this to DH that he will actually understand without him thinking "you don't like my mother"....I think the answer is simply "this has nothing to do with your mother, that's the whole problem. We need to address this with your sister and move on". If he digs his heels in, then suggest marriage counseling as a way to mediate the issue. 

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1 hour ago, Komorebi said:

Nobody is putting anyone first in this situation- All they are doing, together, is being deceiving-

An allegation of deception is a bit harsh.   Andrea is focused on what matters which is protecting her children and being a trustworthy spouse to her DH, although I agree that he has some work to do Re: putting his wife first instead of his mom   When SIL was originally picked as a guardian, she had a different spouse.  Both of these people mattered to the equation when they were picked as guardians, and when one dropped out due to divorce, the guardianship was now up for re-evaluation.  Further, when SIL married a child hating alcoholic who warned Andrea that he would physically abuse a child if he/she acted up, only a delusional person would think the original guardianship deal was still in effect.  Telling SIL should be along the lines of a confirmation - "Hey, (I know as a rational person you know) this, but when you and your ex divorced, the guardianship ended and we picked another couple", and this conversation would not even be a close priority of mine.  The only priority would be removing this SIL from the will as guardian to protect my children in the event this very remote and tragic event occurred of both DH/DW passing while their children are minors.   My second priority would be getting on the same page with DH concerning this issue, which seems to require deeper discussions Re: putting each other above all others. 

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Posted (edited)

Well, I was raising this question in a more general way, but Andrea's situation definitely fits it....

On 1/9/2018 at 10:15 AM, Komorebi said:

Nobody is putting anyone first in this situation- All they are doing, together, is being deceiving-

.... But yes, I think someone may be putting somebody first here. If DH's main reason for not informing SIL of the will change is that he wants to please his mom, then he is clearly, putting his mom's wishes first - ahead of any concerns about SIL and, perhaps more importantly, ahead of how his DW/Andrea feels about the situation.

Still, some members were advising her to follow DH's lead/support DH's choice regarding his sister/FOO, even if it means w/holding info from SIL. I'm wondering if he has forfeited the right to have Andrea put his concerns ahead of SIL's when he's putting MIL's concerns ahead of anyone else'. I'm also wondering if DH's position could even be considered his choice if he's really just catering to MIL?

Edited by RoseRed135

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Another thought, people... Is it a matter of putting SIL ahead of DH - or of putting her (Andrea's) own conscience ahead of DH? As important as supporting your (general) marriage may be, is it worth going against your own conscience, if that's the case?

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I think there are times where you have to put your conscience first ahead of your DH.  In all cases you should make a heroic effort to get your husband on board with what you see as morally reprehensible before going against your spouse and also IMO it would have to be something so egregious to my conscience that it would be worth risking my marriage over. I don't think either of these criteria where met in this (andreas) scenario.

It doesn't sound to me like Andrea has pushed the issue with her husband and told him how morally wrong she thinks not telling SIL is. (correct me if I'm wrong).  She needs to do this first.  And then truly contemplate if she can live with herself if she/ he doesn't tell SIL.

I think SIL should be told, especially since MIL has been told.   But I don't think it's the end of the world if she isn't. It isn't something I would risk my marriage over.  It is his family and his decision, because while I don't think it's right, it is not something that I personally find worth risking my marriage over.   It will cause hard feelings, true.  But it isn't abusive,  First of all- this couple sounds like they don't want kids. I have to wonder how hurt they really would be. They might find it a relief. The chances of someone like this actually happening is small.  I must be odd because I never named anyone to take charge of my children in case we both died.  I trusted that the people alive would figure out the best option.  Circumstances change so often, That I didn't think it was necessary to do something like this.

21 minutes ago, RoseRed135 said:

Another thought, people... Is it a matter of putting SIL ahead of DH - or of putting her (Andrea's) own conscience ahead of DH? As important as supporting your (general) marriage may be, is it worth going against your own conscience, if that's the case?

So in a nutshell it depends on the circumstances.

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Few marriages end due to a single action- The marriage was already at risk prior to the action-

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18 minutes ago, skipped said:

It doesn't sound to me like Andrea has pushed the issue with her husband and told him how morally wrong she thinks not telling SIL is. (correct me if I'm wrong).  She needs to do this first.  And then truly contemplate if she can live with herself if she/ he doesn't tell SIL.

 

yes i have told DH how much ii'm bothered by this....but still working on him to get him on board.  it wouldn't end my marriage if i went ahead and told her anyway but it would likely create some tension...(though there is already tension with this situation).  my other concern is that she will eventually find out...maybe not soon, but she will..MIL will let it slip or something.  so she's going to be hurt anyway but that hurt will be so much worse if she hears it from someone else first.

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10 minutes ago, AndreaMSW said:

.maybe not soon, but she will..MIL will let it slip or something.  so she's going to be hurt anyway but that hurt will be so much worse if she hears it from someone else first.

Show this to DH....

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Posted (edited)

3 hours ago, Komorebi said:

Few marriages end due to a single action- The marriage was already at risk prior to the action-

Agree.  That's why I wouldn't want to make a habit of going against my husband on "moral" grounds.  It would be a pick my battles sort of thing.  It would have to be worth it.

If you were frequently going things against  your husband on moral grounds either the problem is you making everything a moral black and white issue, or moral incompatability

It seems to me that Andrea has discussed this with her husband and thinks it's worth it, so I say go for it.   But you do need to pick your battles.

 

Edited by skipped

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3 hours ago, skipped said:

Agree.  That's why I wouldn't want to make a habit of going against my husband on "moral" grounds.  It would be a pick my battles sort of thing.  It would have to be worth it.

If you were frequently going things against  your husband on moral grounds either the problem is you making everything a moral black and white issue, or moral incompatability

It seems to me that Andrea has discussed this with her husband and thinks it's worth it, so I say go for it.   But you do need to pick your battles.

 

Yes, it's a matter of perception- I'm sure you've encountered women (or maybe even men) who came across as if their marriage has been a cake walk- Some spouses navigate their marriages by turning a blind eye -- for life- Not to mention the substantial perks for doing so! (memberships, wardrobes, cars ..etc ..) For all intents and purposes, to them, they've a happy marriage- But in this case, the OP isn't looking away- She's looking straight at as well as inward- And what she herself did isn't sitting right with her- She doesn't need her husband's permission to fix it, it doesn't have to be a battle, I believe she would offer him the courtesy of telling him what she's about to do or tell him after the fact -- a courtesy that he himself more than likely expects yet isn't willing to offer his own sister- It's a power trip disguised as concern and the OP is allowing it-

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16 hours ago, SueSTx said:

If either half of a couple is putting their parent first above their spouse, there is a DH/DW problem and it needs to be worked out.  If they can't do it between the two of them, maybe they need to consult a counselor.

For me, this sums it up.  

Apart from that I think it's not always as easy as people think.  Dh was raised to think and feel a certain way toward his parents and it took him many years before he was comfortable saying no.  The first time he said no he told me he felt physically sick.  There can be a lot of guilt and manipulation on behalf of the parents to keep the status quo as is.  In the first few years I remember with my MIL it felt like one competition after another, if I said black she said white.  I really had to limit the information getting to MIL as much as I could anyway - if we were going to paint, not to say a thing until after it was done, otherwise my MIL would be trying to choose colors. Although it took us a while to get to this stage.  MIL had already pretty much picked out our kitchen ugh. 

I think the trouble with Andrea's situation is that even if it feels like the DH is siding with the mother, what happens if Andrea then goes against her DH, it only makes the situation worse.  It's easier for the MIL to divide and conquer and cause problems.  In this case I think Andrea said they are looking into counselling which would help the two of them communicate without making it about MIL.

If you are discussing the issue with your DH, make the conversation about your feelings and respecting SIL, don't mention the MIL or bring her into the conversation. 

Edited by Layla
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9 hours ago, Komorebi said:

 It's a power trip disguised as concern and the OP is allowing it-

It's interesting that I never looked at it that way.  i never saw it as a power trip - i see it as my husband being avoidant because he doesn't like conflict (yet he's being super dumb to not understand that this will cause conflict down the road)  but i agree that i don't think he's as concerned as he's pretending be...it's more because he just doesn't want any confrontation - he may be concerned for himself..not his sister though

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10 hours ago, AndreaMSW said:

It's interesting that I never looked at it that way.  i never saw it as a power trip - i see it as my husband being avoidant because he doesn't like conflict (yet he's being super dumb to not understand that this will cause conflict down the road)  but i agree that i don't think he's as concerned as he's pretending be...it's more because he just doesn't want any confrontation - he may be concerned for himself..not his sister though

Yes, that's basically what I was saying, that he's manipulating to avoid confrontation -- which to me is a power trip- Look .. It seems to me that you took the bull by the horns before, asserted yourself where needed- It just takes practice / consistency- Your sister in-law needs to know, and that's that- Some people do carry that responsibility (guardianship) in the back of their minds at all times and may even make decisions based on the fact that they've been named guardian-

I know a couple who were asked by the town inspector to re-paint a peeling garage -- or be fined- The husband kept saying he'd get around to it time and again even after the town inspector kept coming around during the day when he was away at work and his wife at home to deal with said inspector- She said that she would paint the fence but he was like no, he would do it and told her not to- She didn't but was a nervous wreck about it- They were fined- What was the point?

So, so, so silly .. totally unnecessary ..

Edited by Komorebi
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On 1/9/2018 at 9:01 AM, BSW said:

...only priority would be removing this SIL from the will as guardian to protect my children in the event this very remote and tragic event occurred of both DH/DW passing while their children are minors.   My second priority would be getting on the same page with DH concerning this issue, which seems to require deeper discussions Re: putting each other above all others.  YES in my wedding vows.

THIS^  My husband and his wishes always come first. I negotiate with him, but regarding his family he would be primary to make it work.  

With our kids, I talk as long as it takes to get my point across that I'm not going to Siberia (CO Land) with him - get a grip you silly man, give in to our kids reasonable wishes. We usually have to go through a long talk (privately) about each of our AC annually, it seems to me. 

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40 minutes ago, Komorebi said:

Yes, that's basically what I was saying, that he's manipulating to avoid confrontation -- which to me is a power trip- Look .. It seems to me that you took the bull by the horns before, asserted yourself where needed- It just takes practice / consistency- Your sister in-law needs to know, and that's that- Some people do carry that responsibility (guardianship) in the back of their minds at all times and may even make decisions based on the fact that they've been named guardian-

 

yes - this is the point that i'm going to make to DH and i'm going to tell him that it would be better coming from both of us together...however if he doesn't want to tell her, i will.  It doesn't have to be this secret thing we are keeping from her and after an apology to her for not telling her sooner, we can be very matter of fact  about it.  it's like taking off a band aid..we just have to get it over with.  i think she will be hurt but in the end glad that we finally told her (at least i hope so)....again better she find out now than later...

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