Feeling Left Out

Question: Dear Luise: MY HUSBAND HAS ALWAYS MADE ME FEEL LIKE I WAS THE CENTER OF HIS LIFE ALWAYS SEEM TO PUT ME FIRST. RECENTLY HIS DAD WAS DIGANOSEDWITH A RARE FORM OF CANCER ABOUT 5 MONTHS AGO. HE LOSS THE BATTLE ANDDIED NOV.4, 2012 A DAY BEFORE MY HUSBAND BIRTHDAY. WELL SINCE THEDEATH, I HAVE FELT LEFT OUT MY FATHER-IN-LAW AND I HAD A GREATRELATIONSHIP.   DURING THE ARRANGEMENTS HIS MOM, 2 BROTHERS, MY HUSBAND  THEY AGREED TO DO FAMILY PICTURES MY HUSBAND IS THE ONLY ONE THAT IS MARRIED AND THEY DID NOT INCLUDE ME AS FAMILY THEY ONLY USED ONE PICTURE OF MY HUSBAND AND I IN THE VIDEO. I FELT LIKE I WAS LEFT OUT. THEN WHEN WE GOT READY TO GO TO THE CHURCH MY HUSBAND  ASKED ME TO GET OUT THE FAMILY CAR THAT THEY ALL WERE  RIDING IN BECAUSE THEY ALL WANTED TO RIDE TOGETHER HIS MOM HER SISTER HIS ADOPTED SISTER, HIS YOUNGER SISTER, AND TWO BROTHERS THIS ADOPTED SISTER WAS FROM OUT OF TOWN WHOM I HARDLY KNOW THEN AFTER THE FUNERAL MY HUSBAND HAS BEEN GOING TO HIS MOM HOUSE EVERYDAY SPENDING TIME WITH THEM. THEY HAVE BEEN GOING TO LUNCH TOGETHER GOING THROUGH THEIR DADS THINGS. HIS MOM LIVES  AN HOUR DRIVE . IT HAS BEEN ALMOST A WEEK NOW. I AM HAVING SOME HEALTH ISSUES MYSELF NOTHING SERIOUS BUT MY HUSBAND HAS ALWAYS GONE WITH ME TO THE DOCTOR. HE TOLD ME IF IT HAD NOT BEEN HIS DAD AND HIS MOM WANTING THE FAMILY TO SPEND TIME TOGETHER HE WOULD BE THERE. HE TOLD ME TO CALL MY DAUGHTER TO GO WITH WITH ME SINCE SHE WAS ONVACATION.I DONT SEEM TO BE INCLUDED IN THIS FAMILY RIGHT NOW,HE LEAVES EARLY IN THE MORNING TELLING ME HIS MOM WANT THEM THERE BY A CERTAIN TIME, HE COMES BACK LATE AT NIGHT WHEN HE GET HOME HE’S TIRED HE GOES STRAIGHT TO BED WE HAVE NO TIME TOGETHER I KNOW HE HAS LOSS HIS FATHER I HAVE LOST A FATHER-IN-LAW THAT I WAS CLOSE TO HE DONT THINK ITS AFFECTING ME ITS LIKE IM LEFT ALL AONE TO DEAL WITH HIS DEATH AND MY HEALTH ISSUES. AM I WRONG FOR FEELING LIKE THIS? R.

Answer: Dear R.: There are probably as many ways to express grief, as there are people. It’s only been a week but if it continues, long-term, it sounds to me like your husband and his family of origin may be reverting to their original, tight unit in their attempt to get through this. The danger, of course, is that they may remain that way. If I were in your shoes, it would probably look pretty selfish to me, too.

The other side of the coin, as I see it, is that before he seemingly abandoned you this way, your husband babied you and that you have been selfish as well. Children need to have someone go to the doctor with them; adults don’t, unless there’s a huge medical problem that the family has to take on. It sounds incredibly immature, to me.

Your father in law’s death may have altered the dynamics in your relationship to the point that your husband is now babying his mother instead of you. If that is the case, I’d suggest, since your health issues are nothing serious that you take responsibility for yourself. You have the opportunity to do some growing up here and to even become your husband’s partner instead of his dependent. There are dangers built into that, too, however. He may not want it and if he can only cope with one dependent woman at a time, you are going to need to address your issues whether he likes it or not. Blessings, Luise

 

3 Responses to Feeling Left Out

  1. M. November 25, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

    Louise (and the op – who has lost her father in law and your husband spending lots of time now with his mother):

    I have followed the posts on this blog for numerous months. I got to the blog somewhere on the journey of having lost two parents – one terminal, the other not terminal but had issues and I guess the death of the terminal one played into the other dieing – less than two months later!

    My point of writing here is that I want to: one thank you Louise for all your thoughts to the various writers; two, to the gal who’s lost her father in law, I empathize with you. I am no expert in this field of grief. But a couple of things that Louise said rang to my situation and I thought it might be worth mentioning. One was about the different ways of grieving (paraphrase); With what I’ve gone through I know there are many ways of grieving, many layers I call it of grief; each day – 9 months approx later after losing parent number one and about 7 mths after the remainining parent passed, I experience new levels and types of grief. It’s lots of crying, it’s lots of reflecting, it’s just needing time and trying to keep moving in life.

    I’ve learned a tremendous amount about me in this time since their passing. There’s things I’ve realized and taught myself – resourcefulness in coping in various ways (and to emphasize as a side note, I’m pleased I haven’t started drinking – I drink same or much less than I ever have, and this has been an issue with others I know – them having drinking issues in a bad way, so I’m glad I haven’t gone that route).

    The point Louise made about growing up, I think is made – albeit to the point – with the most helpful intentions. There’s so many things I’ve had to realize that I have to cope with on my own now, or find different people slowly to talk with about things. My parents were my rocks. They were there for me, emotionally I could talk about anything with them. I wasn’t always close with both, but grateful over the last decade I was in particular. A day doesn’t go by I don’t miss them, I cry deeply for them for short times at least every day. I function, I carry on, but I know they are gone. Other family members of mine are coping in their own ways and I sense they don’t get my perspective at times. I know I was there for my parents a lot. Thus there is a very close connection.

    What worked in a lot of helpful ways for me was to find a grief group in my area; plus a combination of consulting with medical people, religious leaders and others going through similar losses that I connected with mainly through the grief group.

    My thoughts are with you. I wish the best for you.

    M

    • Luise Volta November 25, 2012 at 10:25 pm #

      M. Thank you so much. That was beautifully presented. You are using a really tough lesson in a very positibe way. Blessings, Luise

      • M November 27, 2012 at 12:06 am #

        Louise, Thank you for your comments. It meant a lot to have your comments.

        Thanks, M

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