Author Topic: Family tension regarding health matter  (Read 5147 times)

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quackmunch

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Family tension regarding health matter
« on: February 28, 2013, 04:37:54 PM »
Hello all :)

Since this involved the in-laws I figured this would be the best place for it, but please move it if it belongs somewhere else.  Also, this might be long so sorry in advance :(

To fully explain this I should mention the following backgrounds

BG1 : my husband and his older brother aren't very close any more.  Haven't been for years, since before he met me.  BIL's wife has never really liked my husband.  He knows he used to be terrible for saying things without thinking and she's extremely sensitive but the past couple of years he's tried to improve their relationship.  It's been thrown back in his face.  BIL lets SIL treat my husband like dirt.  Due to this I'm not a fan of either but have tried to always be civil to them.

BG2 : I've been having issues with that time of the month for a year, roughly, and have been to see my local doctor a few times and tried various tablets etc.  She then referred me to a consultant for extensive tests who I saw recently for a final diagnosis. 

So, on to the story.  My diagnosis is basically that I need a hysterectomy due to a huge growth.  I've to take some medication first to put me in a medical menopause to try to shrink it before surgery.  As I'm 31 this is a bit early :)
The news came as a bit of a shock and after processing for a few days we figured that since news travels fast in his family and it would get around eventually we'd tell people, prevent gossip [edited-Ticia] and basically control the flow of information.  So far so good.  At this point the only people in his family who knew where the MIL and FIL.

So on Saturday night my husband was out and his elder (BIL mentioned above) brother and twin brother were there.  He mentioned to his twin, wifey has a growth where it shouldn't be, needs surgery we can't have kids.  Twin says sorry to hear and asks how we're coping.
He then mentions to elder brother a few moments later, same wording.  Elder brother's response was $h!t one and moves off to talk to someone else.  Hurtful but not surprising considering they're not close.

Sunday night, and I get a text from MIL asking me if I'll ask my husband to call her.  Nothing unusual here, he often forgets where his phone is or lets the battery die out  ::) so he calls her and when he gets off the phone he then says that BIL phoned MIL claiming he didn't understand what my husband had told him and basically wanting to know what exactly was wrong with me and was it cancer.  MIL said it wasn't her place to say and he should contact us.  My husband tried to phone BIL but got no reply.

So, here's where I'm not sure if I'm overreacting since I'm already pretty stressed.  I am annoyed that BIL went to MIL to, as I see it, gossip, instead of coming to us, the people actually involved.  I'm upset that he couldn't even send a text to say hope you're OK and instead goes running to his mum for all the details.

As BIL is on night shift this week and my husband has been snowed under during the days, I text BIL just to say I heard from MIL you called her, I feel upset you didn't come to us instead.  Husband also called him today (first chance this week) to discuss it and say listen please come to us in future.  BIL apparently ranted for 20 mins that we're overreacting, he didn't do anything wrong and it's not a big deal.  He also thinks we're overreacting since it's him.  My point here is that I'd react this way no matter who it was as it's gossiping about my diagnosis which I hoped to avoid.

If you got this far you deserve a medal!!  Anyway; am I overreacting?  Also, since I'll see BIL often, how do I handle things if it's mentioned again, and how do I handle my anger and be civil with him?

All advice is gratefully received!
« Last Edit: March 01, 2013, 05:36:47 PM by Ticia »

Sharnita

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Re: Family tension regarding health matter
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2013, 04:43:35 PM »
Honestly, I think you are overreacting.

WillyNilly

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Re: Family tension regarding health matter
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2013, 04:44:56 PM »
I think you are.  Your BIL went to your MIL with his questions because he was told what was up but misunderstood.  Its a delicate topic for most and he probably wanted to get a bit of information on what was going on before he stumbled and made an insensitive comment.

It sounds like your DH told his brothers somewhat casually/conversationally, so its reasonable to think the BIL would think it was a topic suitable for conversation among the family. It doesn't sound like he was digging for dirt or trying to gossip, but rather to just get a better idea of the situation before speaking.

(((HUGS))) by the way, I'm sorry you have to deal with this medical issue!

quackmunch

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Re: Family tension regarding health matter
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2013, 04:47:15 PM »
guys, thank you for the insight.

I'm pretty stressed already and was worried that it might be clouding my judgement and that I was overreacting.  It's nice to have another opinion from an outsider.

I'm also hoping to deal with this and not explode/overreact again so insights on that would be helpful too :)

Judah

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Re: Family tension regarding health matter
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2013, 04:49:49 PM »
I think you are.  Your BIL went to your MIL with his questions because he was told what was up but misunderstood.  Its a delicate topic for most and he probably wanted to get a bit of information on what was going on before he stumbled and made an insensitive comment.

It sounds like your DH told his brothers somewhat casually/conversationally, so its reasonable to think the BIL would think it was a topic suitable for conversation among the family. It doesn't sound like he was digging for dirt or trying to gossip, but rather to just get a better idea of the situation before speaking.

(((HUGS))) by the way, I'm sorry you have to deal with this medical issue!

I agree. I don't see what BIL did as gossiping at all, but rather trying to clear up mistake.
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quackmunch

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Re: Family tension regarding health matter
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2013, 04:53:03 PM »
I think you are.  Your BIL went to your MIL with his questions because he was told what was up but misunderstood.  Its a delicate topic for most and he probably wanted to get a bit of information on what was going on before he stumbled and made an insensitive comment.

It sounds like your DH told his brothers somewhat casually/conversationally, so its reasonable to think the BIL would think it was a topic suitable for conversation among the family. It doesn't sound like he was digging for dirt or trying to gossip, but rather to just get a better idea of the situation before speaking.

(((HUGS))) by the way, I'm sorry you have to deal with this medical issue!

I agree. I don't see what BIL did as gossiping at all, but rather trying to clear up mistake.

You might be right - I  could be overreacting about it being gossip as my judgement is clouded on him already.  Plus, I guess stress can cloud your thinking more than you're maybe aware of?

Shortylicious

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Re: Family tension regarding health matter
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2013, 04:56:25 PM »
I don't think you're overreacting. If BIL wanted more information, he should have manned up and just called his brother. But as you've written, BIL doesn't want a relationship with his brother so you shouldn't really be surprised with what happend. My advise is to come to terms with the fact that you guys are not going to have a close relationship with BIL. Remain civil but don't go out of your way to phone or text him. I'm impressed with your MIL tho. She sounds like she's got excellent boundaries.

Sharnita

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Re: Family tension regarding health matter
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2013, 04:59:21 PM »
Absolutely.  As far as how to avoid issues, misunderstandings, can you and DH compose an posting or e-mail and send it to everyone you agree needs to know what is going on.  It would have all the facts of the issue. Then they don't have to dpend on who heard what from whom, memory of spoken word, etc.

quackmunch

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Re: Family tension regarding health matter
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2013, 05:01:02 PM »
Absolutely.  As far as how to avoid issues, misunderstandings, can you and DH compose an posting or e-mail and send it to everyone you agree needs to know what is going on.  It would have all the facts of the issue. Then they don't have to dpend on who heard what from whom, memory of spoken word, etc.

Sharnita, the only issue with this is most of his family aren't PC literate and don't use facebook, email etc so we're stuck with face-to-face, phone etc.  If they were all on facebook or email it would be so much easier and less time consuming!

quackmunch

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Re: Family tension regarding health matter
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2013, 05:02:18 PM »
I don't think you're overreacting. If BIL wanted more information, he should have manned up and just called his brother. But as you've written, BIL doesn't want a relationship with his brother so you shouldn't really be surprised with what happend. My advise is to come to terms with the fact that you guys are not going to have a close relationship with BIL. Remain civil but don't go out of your way to phone or text him. I'm impressed with your MIL tho. She sounds like she's got excellent boundaries.

Shortylicious, I'm not really surprised I guess, but again my own experience might be clouding my view and he could have been innocent in this.  My MIL does not usually have these excellent boundaries so I'm completely shocked but pleased!

EllenS

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Re: Family tension regarding health matter
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2013, 05:25:18 PM »
Don't know if you are overreacting or not, but I recommend giving him the benefit of the doubt.

It's quite possible that he didn't process what was said, and realized later that by not responding he had been offensive.  The call to MIL may have been an attempt to quietly sort himself out before contacting you so that he did not make it worse by saying something insensitive.

Until there is further evidence to the contrary, I would chalk this up as "realized he screwed up and is trying to fix it."

Sharnita

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Re: Family tension regarding health matter
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2013, 05:28:48 PM »
Because your DH made it clear that it had reproductive implications he might have been concerned but unsure what he could/should say or ask.  Asking clarifying questions so you know enough but not too much can be tricky.

Two Ravens

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Re: Family tension regarding health matter
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2013, 05:34:52 PM »
I tend to freeze up when I hear bad news and have no idea what to say, so I can see it from that perspective. My brain would shut down at the time, and then later I would be thinking, "A growth? Does that mean cancer?" but have no idea how to ask about it again with coming across as insensitive.

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Re: Family tension regarding health matter
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2013, 07:20:14 PM »
Hugs for what your going through.  It must be very difficult.

I would let it drop. Since your BIL does not have a good relationship with you or your DH, I completely understand why he would go to his mother to gather additonal details. He is obvioulsy concerned about you and your DH's wellfare or he wouldn't have taken the initiative to get additional info.  I'm actually a little suprised that your MIL told him to get his answers from you since I'm assuming she was aware that it wasn't cancer.

I'm not sure how many additonal people you feel need to be aware of such a personal issue, but for sharing this news with others I would do it in a more private setting where they would have a chance to digest what your saying and ask questions without being concerned others will overhear or interrupt.   

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Family tension regarding health matter
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2013, 07:30:21 PM »
I think you might be overreacting slightly but I also think BIL was in the wrong here.  He should have called your husband directly, rather than calling MIL.  And when MIL told him to call his brother, that's what he should have done, too.

Or, now that I've read the other posts ( ::) at myself) - I agree with Shortylicious.
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