Author Topic: Family tension regarding health matter  (Read 5131 times)

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Mammavan3

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Re: Family tension regarding health matter
« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2013, 07:34:18 PM »
He may not have handled it in the best possible way, and I can well imagine that you'd prefer that people get the correct information directly from you, but he may just have been taken aback by the news and not known what to say. I can just see DH coming home from a family event and imparting this meager but of information and my responding with a barrage of questions that would never even occur to him. It's vey likely that he'd feel stupid for not thinking of them himself and call a third party to get the information he didn't think to get.

In any event, I wish you well with your surgery and hope that you don't let things like this upset you when you already have a good deal of stress in your life.

JenJay

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Re: Family tension regarding health matter
« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2013, 07:48:54 PM »
I understand why you're upset because it does sound like he was pretty insensitive and treated your diagnosis like "Huh, that sucks. Anyway...".

I can understand, though, why he asked your MIL to clarify the situation for him. You said yourself that the brothers aren't close and there is some tension among the four of you. He probably didn't feel comfortable calling you or your DH up to ask about your medical situation. I can see how that would be awkward and, were I in his shoes, I'd probably have asked Mom as well.

Your MIL was right to tell him to call you but she should have left it at that. Texting you to ask you to have DH call her so that she could tell DH to call his brother? She basically said "It's not my place to get involved." and then got involved. If BIL had questions or wanted to offer some sympathy he can pick up the phone and call you or DH.

How I would handle it is, before you're due to see them in person, I'd contact him and sort it out. I'd probably say something like "I feel I did overreact a bit and I apologize. The news was very new and I was still processing everything. I was not in a good place. I appreciate that nobody wants to upset me with questions but it's okay, really. I'd rather everyone come to me or DH personally so we can keep the information straight."

Sharnita

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Re: Family tension regarding health matter
« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2013, 07:57:43 PM »
You know, if my brother used the phrasing DH did to tell me SIL was undergoing something I would wonder "Is it cancer? If so what is the prognosis? How long will her recovery be? How are they doing with the no kids thing? Did bro tell me like that because it is too diffocult to discuss? How can I be supportive without being intrusive?"

Asking a parent actually does make sense to me.

kudeebee

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Re: Family tension regarding health matter
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2013, 09:54:31 PM »
i think you are overreacting and the relationship that dh and you have with bil/sil is clouding the issue.

Sounds like your dh very casually told them the news at an event they were at. Who knows how noisy it was, what distractions there were, etc plus your dh probably caught him off guard and he wasn't sure what to say.  I am not surprised that bil would ask his and dh's mother what was going on.  I think it is normal to ask if a growth could be cancer.  It is not gossip.  It would happen this way in many families.  Since bil and dh don't get along that well, bil may have felt awkward asking dh or you for more information.

It probably would have been better for dh to have told them in private without others around or to have called and told them in person.

As to how to handle it when you see them, be civil and polite and do not bring it up.  What will you gain by doing so?  Sounds like the possibility of a close relationship between those two and the four of you is not going to happen, so why focus a lot of energy on it.  Greet them, talk to them as you must and spend time with the relatives that you feel comfortable around and that care about you.

delabela

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Re: Family tension regarding health matter
« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2013, 12:23:18 AM »
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.

I have to agree with this.  It sounds like they were out somewhere, and he probably wasn't expecting a conversation like this, and was knocked off guard.  Maybe he was nervous to call you directly, thinking you were maybe sick, and not having a great relationship with you two. 

YummyMummy66

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Re: Family tension regarding health matter
« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2013, 06:13:09 AM »
I think you are over reacting also, (which I can totally understand because you are emotional and cannot have any children).

It sounds to me that your dh told everyone in the context of people talking.  From what I am reading from your post, BIL was talking at the time and only partially heard what was said.  When things calmed down, he thought about it and asked his mom, what the deal was.  I also probably would have asked my parent what was up first before going to my brother about something, especially if I saw them, (which I do) on a more regular basis than my sibling.   Since your dh announced the news at this visit, it is not like your condition was a  secret.

I don't understand since the above was the case, why your MIL didn't just tell her other son the deal, but that is neither here nor there.

It sounds like your BIL cared enough to inquire about your health. 

I think he deserves an apology, "Bill, you are right.  I am sorry that we or I over reacted. I hope you will forgive me as I was not thinking due to this being not only a health factor but emotional for me as well".


Gyburc

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Re: Family tension regarding health matter
« Reply #21 on: March 01, 2013, 06:42:47 AM »
First of all, (((hugs))) to you and your DH, and I'm sorry about your health problems - I hope you can get through all the necessary procedures quickly and without any complications.

Are you over-reacting? Well, maybe... but then again I'm not sure. 

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.

[snip]

BIL apparently ranted for 20 mins that we're overreacting, he didn't do anything wrong and it's not a big deal. 

I'm not reading very much concern in your BIL's manner, really. Maybe he is just bad at expressing it, but if I had been on the receiving end of this, I wouldn't be too happy either. How hard would it have been for him just to say 'I'm sorry to hear that', like his other brother did?  And a 20-minute rant about your polite texts is a bit much.

In your place, I might offer a very brief apology, but otherwise, I think I would echo kudebee - just be civil and don't expect anything from him or his wife.
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quackmunch

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Re: Family tension regarding health matter
« Reply #22 on: March 01, 2013, 11:01:24 AM »
wow - lots more replies, thanks everyone!

I'm not sure how to do multi-quotes but I'll try to clear things up if I remember it all  :-[

Someone mentioned it makes sense to have BIL ask his mum while visiting her.  Maybe it did, but he phoned her specifically to ask her what the deal was, not during a visit.  Maybe this changes things, I don't know.

Regarding the making sense he'd think of cancer - my husband's thinking is that he used the same phrase with others he's told and they got it - plus if it was cancer he'd have specified that rather than only mentioning the surgery/not having kids. 

We're telling his entire family as they are a family full of gossips and no-one can keep a secret :)  They will all know about it whether we tell them or not and we figured we'd rather tell people ourselves as we see fit.

Someone, I can't remember who I'm afraid :(, also mentioned not reading much concern in BIL's manner.  I think this is part of what's getting me.  Sure he may think we're overreacting but if it had been me I'd probably have thought, ok they're under stress right now so I'll give them a bit of a pass and say something like "OK sorry my actions upset you".

Thanks again for the advice/input guys and sorry if I've missed anyone's questions.

Sharnita

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Re: Family tension regarding health matter
« Reply #23 on: March 01, 2013, 11:07:37 AM »
I don't get the "not much concern thing".  I would see it as the opposite.  He was concnerned enough to call MIL to get details because DH didn't give many - for whatever reason,  And no, people don't always say "cancer".  SOme people can't say it without completely losing it.  SOme people are so scared of it they don't want to acknowledge it. When it involves certain organs or parts of the body some people feel it is too intimate/private/embarrassing/personal to disclose, especially to members of the opposite gender.  I would not assume that everybody else "got it", at least not completely.  SOme of them might be wondering a bit, might be concerned or confused but are worried about being intrusive.

quackmunch

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Re: Family tension regarding health matter
« Reply #24 on: March 01, 2013, 11:18:13 AM »
Sharnita, no else has thought it was cancer, we know that for a fact.  Other people asked questions and they were answered, BIL was the only one who didn't.  Whether he was too shocked, or whatever I don't know.

The lack of concern is, in my opinion, coming from that fact that he ranted at my husband for 20 minutes about how he did nothing wrong and didn't once say ok sorry you were upset by my actions or I didn't mean to upset you, or anything similar.  In fact, now I think about it he still hasn't asked how either of us are.

rigs32

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Re: Family tension regarding health matter
« Reply #25 on: March 01, 2013, 11:31:32 AM »
People react strangely when they get surprising news sometimes.  It really sounds like you would read ill will or lack of concerns into BIL's reaction unless it was one of a few scripted possibilities.  Just because no one else thought cancer doesn't mean it's an inappropriate assumption.  If he truly did not care, why ask your MIL what was going on? 

Sharnita

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Re: Family tension regarding health matter
« Reply #26 on: March 01, 2013, 11:34:09 AM »
People react strangely when they get surprising news sometimes.  It really sounds like you would read ill will or lack of concerns into BIL's reaction unless it was one of a few scripted possibilities.  Just because no one else thought cancer doesn't mean it's an inappropriate assumption.  If he truly did not care, why ask your MIL what was going on?

Yeah, I don't understand that conclusion either.  And I have to admit that if I was contacted twice and called out for asking about my SIL I would probably get defensive as well.

quackmunch

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Re: Family tension regarding health matter
« Reply #27 on: March 01, 2013, 11:41:07 AM »
People react strangely when they get surprising news sometimes.  It really sounds like you would read ill will or lack of concerns into BIL's reaction unless it was one of a few scripted possibilities.  Just because no one else thought cancer doesn't mean it's an inappropriate assumption.  If he truly did not care, why ask your MIL what was going on?

Yeah, I don't understand that conclusion either.  And I have to admit that if I was contacted twice and called out for asking about my SIL I would probably get defensive as well.

But I didn't call him out, I sent a text mentioning I'd rather he came to us if he had any questions on it, after all we have all the information.  My husband was asked by BIL to call him, which he did, he didn't contact him to call him out either.

Sharnita

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Re: Family tension regarding health matter
« Reply #28 on: March 01, 2013, 11:44:35 AM »
People react strangely when they get surprising news sometimes.  It really sounds like you would read ill will or lack of concerns into BIL's reaction unless it was one of a few scripted possibilities.  Just because no one else thought cancer doesn't mean it's an inappropriate assumption.  If he truly did not care, why ask your MIL what was going on?

Yeah, I don't understand that conclusion either.  And I have to admit that if I was contacted twice and called out for asking about my SIL I would probably get defensive as well.

But I didn't call him out, I sent a text mentioning I'd rather he came to us if he had any questions on it, after all we have all the information.  My husband was asked by BIL to call him, which he did, he didn't contact him to call him out either.

I think that comes off as calling him off, especially if the relationship was not great to begin with. 

quackmunch

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Re: Family tension regarding health matter
« Reply #29 on: March 01, 2013, 11:49:08 AM »
People react strangely when they get surprising news sometimes.  It really sounds like you would read ill will or lack of concerns into BIL's reaction unless it was one of a few scripted possibilities.  Just because no one else thought cancer doesn't mean it's an inappropriate assumption.  If he truly did not care, why ask your MIL what was going on?

Yeah, I don't understand that conclusion either.  And I have to admit that if I was contacted twice and called out for asking about my SIL I would probably get defensive as well.

But I didn't call him out, I sent a text mentioning I'd rather he came to us if he had any questions on it, after all we have all the information.  My husband was asked by BIL to call him, which he did, he didn't contact him to call him out either.

I think that comes off as calling him off, especially if the relationship was not great to begin with.

Which bit, phoning him like he asked or texting him?  If it's the texting, I really don't see what else I could have done here.  He upset me and I told him this; I don't want to bottle up my upset or pretend I'm not upset.

Anyway, I think I'm done with this thread, I appreciate everyone's help and advice but there's a bit more nit-picking and constant "you were wrong" than I feel emotionally able to deal with at the moment.