Author Topic: Loved and lost my SIL  (Read 1308 times)

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Offline Ruth

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Loved and lost my SIL
« on: October 12, 2011, 10:12:35 AM »
I've never read this issue before on a post and its mostly past tense with me but I'm still at times perplexed about it.  I very much loved my SIL.  He was married to DD for 15 years, and he was better to me than a son.  Divorce was DD's choice, and I understood and supported her, this was a very long process and it has been more than a year ago, but i grieved very deeply losing my SIL.  He was (is) a wonderful father, he is a gentle and sweet man.  He was seriously injured on two separate occasions, once job related and the other hit by drunk driver.  He continued (and still does) to work very hard long hours while in a lot of pain.  I always admired his gentle spirit and his sweet smile, but most of all that he loved my g/c so much and was a good daddy.  It broke his heart to leave his children and he never misses an opportunity to be with them.  The issue is, I've had to walk on eggshells balancing my loyalty to dd with my concern for SIL.  At first, DD was furious with me if she found out DH and I had spent any time with SIL.  Disloyalty.  So I made myself push him away, when he needed just someone to talk to and a little support now and then, he had none with foo.  This hurt me, he had already been shoved under the bus, and I had to push him away also to keep family peace.  DH and I still sporadically see SIL, and I always hug him and tell him how much I love him.  This is a part of divorce that is somewhat unnoticed.  Grieving your lost SIL or DIL hurts like a death.  I still don't know what was the right thing to have done under the circumstances.

Offline Pooh

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Re: Loved and lost my SIL
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2011, 11:00:22 AM »
I'm not asking for details Ruth, but did your DD want the divorce because of something unforgiveable that SIL did or was she just not happy being married to him?  I guess I'm asking because IMO, if someone is a very good person and it just didn't work out, then I would have kept him in my life and DD would have to try and understand.  If he did something to DD that was very bad, then I wouldn't want them in my life.  I remember how hard it was on some of our friends when me and Ex divorced.  They liked both of us and didn't know which way to turn.  I told them that if they liked him before, my divorce shouldn't have any bearing on that.  What happened between us was between us.  I think they felt a huge sense of relief that I was that way about it.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline Ruth

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Re: Loved and lost my SIL
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2011, 11:08:57 AM »
I'm afraid it was the other way around Pooh.  DD made a very big mistake, enough said....  SIL did not want the divorce, but DD just was not happy in the marriage and knew she had to carry most of the responsibility for the separation.  She and SIL wanted different lifestyles and had different goals.  She married too young and outgrew the relationship. 

Offline Pooh

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Re: Loved and lost my SIL
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2011, 11:20:56 AM »
That's definately a hard situation to be in Ruth.  You already know that I'm not afraid to be upfront to someone, even if it turns out badly for me.  So I would have to say if I was in that position, I would have tried to talk to my DD about it and explain that I loved her but that what had happened was between them.  That he was always good to me and that I would continue being nice to him.  I wouldn't bring him around her or purposefully put him in her face, but I wouldn't shun him either.  I would have also pointed out to her that since he was GC's father, there were going to be occasions that the entire family would be near each other over the years so I would going to maintain my relationship with him while at the same time, treating her with respect on her decision.

I'm sorry Ruth.  That has to be very hard and I'm sure it does feel like you lost a family member.



We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Sassy

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Re: Loved and lost my SIL
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2011, 12:10:48 PM »
You did do what was right at the time and the place.  DD being furious with you, at a time when a branch of your family tree was disintergrating after 15 years before your eyes, was not a position for you.   DD considering a relationship with you as collateral damage while cutting off her ex, seemed too viable a possible outcome when things were that volatile.   Your grandchildren's relationship with you being stable was good for them.  It still is. 

While financial, custody, and possible issues are being battled, even seemingly innocuous information, like answering "Where's DD today?" can have legal consequences.   While it would have been wonderful if you could have consoled SIL during that initial period, and he you, there would have been so many truly hidden landmines at that time.   Any accusations of you passing information to him would be difficult to refute.  Whenever DD wondered, how did ex find that out about me?, it would have been (mis)credited to you.   I think SIL, like you, understands all too well what DD was willing to do when furious at that point.  I think SIL is still be open to your love and understands why you had to pull back.   If time heals and DD eventually relaxes her battle stance against him, and does not see her ex as her enemy...she may not always feel that relationship is you fraternizing with the enemy.

You made a sacrafice but for that time and that place, it was a wise one.



Sassy

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Re: Loved and lost my SIL
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2011, 12:17:58 PM »
Or more succinctly, divorce (and, marriage) is not the time to test the ties that bond parent-child.


Sassy

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Re: Loved and lost my SIL
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2011, 12:19:52 PM »
And I am sorry for the loss of your relationship with your SIL.  I truly empathize with what feels like painfully unnecessary loss.  It stinks!

Offline Ruth

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Re: Loved and lost my SIL
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2011, 12:32:38 PM »
oh yes, yes.  this is all of it, both Poo  and Sassy.  all that was continually running around in my head, and yes Sassy even one or two 'innocuous' remarks got back to dd during the conflagration between them, I was at a lose lose.  I couldn't risk losing my grandchildren.  I know my SIL knows how much I love him, and that the hurt for his losses ran so deeply through my heart.   It nearly killed me seeing that man beg and plead for a dreadful year, for another chance to come home!  Lord, I could cry now thinking about it... Its just another loss, however, that I have to live with.   Whenever I was sick or in hospital, sil was always there.   He was compassionate.  I always got b/d call and even m/d call from sil, nothing from my own son.  I would have loved him to have been my son.   SIL recently met a lovely girl, bonus she's a nurse!,  and she seems to adore him.  Best of all she seems to be doing her darn best to get to know and love g/c.  DD is fond of her, and says she's the happy homemaker type who is nonconfrontative and undemanding.  I hope SIL can get his heart's desire which was always just for a home and a family.  I will be consoled.  thanks for your wise responses.