Author Topic: Do we tell FFIL?  (Read 6496 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

gramma dishes

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8053
Re: Do we tell FFIL?
« Reply #30 on: March 23, 2013, 11:57:45 AM »


...

I would also like to know why she's been misleading FIL about her situation.  I don't want to drag this thread into legalities, but depending on the structure of their divorce settlement, FIL may be supporting MIL financially in some way.  Perhaps MIL isn't telling him about Steve because she doesn't want their previously-amicable divorce to become un-amicable?

OP  ~~  Is this a possibility?

ChiGirl

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 299
Re: Do we tell FFIL?
« Reply #31 on: March 23, 2013, 02:48:51 PM »
Unless it directly effects them, I don't think the details of a divorce decree is any business of the children.

My point is, the details of the divorce decree may be relevant to whether MIL's current romance is any of FIL's business.  It may be very much his business, even if it is not the kids' business.

MIL's motivations would affect my willingness to cover up for her.  Apparently, she hasn't just not told FIL that she's seeing someone, she's been actively spinning untruths to him. 

Mental Magpie

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5168
  • ...for the dark side looks back.
Re: Do we tell FFIL?
« Reply #32 on: March 23, 2013, 05:14:39 PM »


...

I would also like to know why she's been misleading FIL about her situation.  I don't want to drag this thread into legalities, but depending on the structure of their divorce settlement, FIL may be supporting MIL financially in some way.  Perhaps MIL isn't telling him about Steve because she doesn't want their previously-amicable divorce to become un-amicable?

OP  ~~  Is this a possibility?

Possibly that he is supporting her, but I don't think she would lie to him just to keep getting money from him.  She's just not that type of person.  I personally think she doesn't want to hurt him and hence hasn't told him.

What you said about putting us in a tough position is right.  She tells him one thing, us another, then he tries to talk to us about what he knows even though we know it's not the truth!  It's not fun.

Also, FTR, he's not doing it in a nosy way when he brings up her move; it's just a general discussion.  For example, Eagle will mention having just spoken to his mother about niece and FFIL will say, "Oh yeah, how's her move going?  I wonder if her friend's relative is doing any better."
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

Softly Spoken

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 606
  • "I am a hawk on a cliff..."
Re: Do we tell FFIL?
« Reply #33 on: March 23, 2013, 05:21:17 PM »
Wow, this is why having people who don't seem to communicate well is no fun whatsoever.  :P

I can't tell from what has been posted if your FMIL has been stingy on the details because
1) That's just how she is and it doesn't occur to her to tell people things / she assumes they know what they need to know.
2) She specifically doesn't want her Ex to know about Steve (for whatever reason).
3) She plans on telling but hasn't got around to it/is waiting for a chosen time etc.

So here is my 2 cents about how to navigate between people who have different levels on information, when you aren't sure why they aren't on the same page: Stay as neutral as possible! You don't want to provide anything that isn't specifically asked for, nor do you want to hide anything. Maybe this sounds too complicated or like you are half-lying, but IMHO it is the only way to stand in the middle when you are put on the spot and don't know all the facts.

So if FFIL says FMIL is moving to whatever place for X reason, and you understand her to be moving because of Steve, you don't say so - you say something like "Well, I don't know all the details but maybe she has another reason to go there. If you are concerned you better talk to her about it." You don't want to encourage misinformation, but you also know it isn't your place to enlighten your Dad (and you might not know everything anyway).

If your FMIL is lying, you should not help her. However as OPs have said you don't have to go out of your way to tell her Ex about Steve. Just avoid the gossip loop whenever possible, and direct FFIL to talk to FMIL about his concerns so she can choose to tell him about Steve - or not.

Hypothetically, if your FFIL asked you point blank about your FMILs relationship status, I would again tell him "You'll have to take that up with her."

Similarly, if FFIL says anything that takes your mind into (potential) Steve territory, just say "You'll have to talk to Mom."

EDIT since reading update post: Okay since this is affecting you, you need to take your concerns to your FMIL and ask her why she is telling your FFIL one thing and yourselves another. Consider telling her that this is making it difficult to talk to FFIL and that you are not comfortable supporting her misinformation. Ask her if she can either find a way to break it to him or leave you out of it. Just keep encouraging them to talk to each other instead of you!
"... for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."
-William Shakespeare

"We find comfort among those who agree with us - growth among those who don't."  ~Frank A. Clark

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 30506
Re: Do I tell FFIL?
« Reply #34 on: March 24, 2013, 07:53:52 PM »
Your BF should ask his mother why his dad doesn't know about Steve and if it's OK to talk about him in front of his dad.  The situation sounds strange since she's a single woman, but there may be a reason.

I also think your BF should tell his mother that HER lies to her ex-husband are creating awkward situations for him, and why is she lying about Steve?

And then based on the answer, your BF should say, please tell him the truth, because I'm not going to cover.

Eeep!

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 843
Re: Do we tell FFIL?
« Reply #35 on: March 25, 2013, 05:08:16 PM »
I'd call my mom and say "Dad's been asking questions about your move and it's really putting me on the spot. I'm not comfortably lying and I don't want the tension of having him find out at my wedding that you've been living with Steve this whole time. Are you going to tell him?" If she says no then I'd say "Okay. If your move comes up again I'm going to tell him that you've asked me not to discuss it with him." And that's exactly what I'd say to my dad.  :-\

I think this is what I would do.
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

hobish

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 18186
  • Release the gelfling!
Re: Do we tell FFIL?
« Reply #36 on: March 25, 2013, 05:33:50 PM »
I'd call my mom and say "Dad's been asking questions about your move and it's really putting me on the spot. I'm not comfortably lying and I don't want the tension of having him find out at my wedding that you've been living with Steve this whole time. Are you going to tell him?" If she says no then I'd say "Okay. If your move comes up again I'm going to tell him that you've asked me not to discuss it with him." And that's exactly what I'd say to my dad.  :-\

I think this is what I would do.

That may be the best way to go. It sounds uncomfortable no matter how you cut it.  :-\
It's alright, man. I'm only bleeding, man. Stay hungry, stay free, and do the best you can.
~Gaslight Anthem

Mental Magpie

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5168
  • ...for the dark side looks back.
Re: Do we tell FFIL?
« Reply #37 on: March 25, 2013, 08:46:25 PM »
Thanks everyone.

I spoke to Eagle (DF) and we have decided that we're going to ask FMIL how she wants to proceed and tell her that we are uncomfortable being put into this position because of what will happen in the future (the wedding).
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

gramma dishes

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8053
Re: Do we tell FFIL?
« Reply #38 on: March 25, 2013, 09:01:34 PM »
Thanks everyone.

I spoke to Eagle (DF) and we have decided that we're going to ask FMIL how she wants to proceed and tell her that we are uncomfortable being put into this position because of what will happen in the future (the wedding).

And hopefully you'll come back and let us know how it goes. 

Mental Magpie

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5168
  • ...for the dark side looks back.
Re: Do we tell FFIL?
« Reply #39 on: March 28, 2013, 10:02:07 PM »
The Eagle hasn't mentioned it to his mother yet, but they've only spoken once since I posted the thread.

I'm really terrible about updating things, but I'll try hard to remember to do so!
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

Lynn2000

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5064
Re: Do we tell FFIL?
« Reply #40 on: March 29, 2013, 12:27:55 AM »
This is something to discuss with MIL - I think DF should talk with her and mention that he was confused since he thought x, y, z, but FIL mentioned something different.  Go ahead and ask - does Dad not know and if she admits that she hasn't told him, let her know that you are both uncomfortable lying to him and mention the upcoming wedding where you would like everyone to attend.  Then it is up to her to decide what she wants - just know going in what you are willing and not willing to do in helping her.  She may have a reason for keeping quiet, or it could be a silly lie early on that she never figured out how to correct.

POD to this, which it sounds like you plan to do. Up until now I don't think you should blame yourself, because you honestly thought FFIL knew about Steve. If he ends up finding out and getting mad about how long the relationship has gone on with him being ignorant of it, you can honestly say, "We thought you knew, and just weren't comfortable talking about it."

But going forward, you know that he doesn't know about Steve, and you know that FMIL has been lying to him about it. So I think you have to get clarification from FMIL about what she wants her ex to know. And then try to work within that in a way you feel comfortable with--not lying, but not blurting out, "Steve! She's moving in with Steve!"

So if FFIL is like, "I'm worried that she's moving there without a job, how will she pay for things?" maybe you can say, "Well, maybe you should just ask her directly, I don't really know." (I wouldn't consider something vague like, "I don't really know" to be a lie--to me it's more of a dismissal of the subject--but others may feel differently.) And that sort of thing really isn't his business anyway, so that answer would be perfectly polite even if there was no Steve.

If they're all going to be invited to your wedding, I think at some point you can say to FMIL, "I think it would be a good idea if you told him about Steve before you all show up at the rehearsal. I would really like to avoid having that initial meeting as part of my wedding." But if she refuses you'll be out of luck.
~Lynn2000

gramma dishes

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8053
Re: Do we tell FFIL?
« Reply #41 on: March 29, 2013, 10:19:34 AM »
This is something to discuss with MIL - I think DF should talk with her and mention that he was confused since he thought x, y, z, but FIL mentioned something different.  Go ahead and ask - does Dad not know and if she admits that she hasn't told him, let her know that you are both uncomfortable lying to him and mention the upcoming wedding where you would like everyone to attend.  Then it is up to her to decide what she wants - just know going in what you are willing and not willing to do in helping her.  She may have a reason for keeping quiet, or it could be a silly lie early on that she never figured out how to correct.

POD to this, which it sounds like you plan to do. Up until now I don't think you should blame yourself, because you honestly thought FFIL knew about Steve. If he ends up finding out and getting mad about how long the relationship has gone on with him being ignorant of it, you can honestly say, "We thought you knew, and just weren't comfortable talking about it."

But going forward, you know that he doesn't know about Steve, and you know that FMIL has been lying to him about it. So I think you have to get clarification from FMIL about what she wants her ex to know. And then try to work within that in a way you feel comfortable with--not lying, but not blurting out, "Steve! She's moving in with Steve!"

So if FFIL is like, "I'm worried that she's moving there without a job, how will she pay for things?" maybe you can say, "Well, maybe you should just ask her directly, I don't really know." (I wouldn't consider something vague like, "I don't really know" to be a lie--to me it's more of a dismissal of the subject--but others may feel differently.) And that sort of thing really isn't his business anyway, so that answer would be perfectly polite even if there was no Steve.

If they're all going to be invited to your wedding, I think at some point you can say to FMIL, "I think it would be a good idea if you told him about Steve before you all show up at the rehearsal. I would really like to avoid having that initial meeting as part of my wedding." But if she refuses you'll be out of luck.

I agree with both of these posts, except it is possible that 'how she's going to pay for things' actually may be his business if he's financially supporting her in some way.  Especially if he's doing it out of the goodness of his heart rather than a court ordered thing like alimony.