DH is a stay-at home father to DS (13 months old). My MIL comes over every weekday to help him and to spend time with DS, and FIL comes along 1-2 times per week (both are retired). This is very helpful to DH, because DS is very active and still not sleeping through the night. With his parents coming over, DH is able to take a nap, and he also uses their car to run errands. MIL often brings food, and does the dishes etc. DS also benefits greatly from having loving grandparents to play with and learn from.
My only concern in this seemingly ideal situation is, how do I get them them leave once I am home? I get home at 4:30 but they always stick around till 5:30 or 6.
My MIL, especially, seems very reluctant to leave. Sometimes, FIL will say "let's go" ... but she says no, we'll stay and feed DS his dinner. If DH or I protest that we can feed him his dinner, she says "it's ok, I can do it". If I take DS out for a walk or to the playground, she comes along. I think it's a combination of wanting to help us, and also enjoying DS's company and perhaps not having enough hobbies to fill her time at home.
I don't want to seem ungrateful; however I want more 1:1 time with my child. I'd like to feed him his dinner or take him for a walk on my own. Also, I'm a private person and would just like to come home to DH and DS. The other thing is, I often feel that DS is not as attached to me as to his father and grandparents, and maybe more 1:1 time would help that.
I want to tread very carefully here so as not to hurt their feelings. Also, obviously, the whole situation is very beneficial to DH so I don't want to ruin that for us!
Note that we don't pay them for any of this (though we sometimes help out financially when there is a need), so I feel really bad complaining about this. Should I just suck it up?
I hope you all don't mind this long question, because I can't think of where else to turn with this.
Background: I have been married for 4.5 years. DH is the eldest of four, and we socialize with his siblings a lot - hanging out at each others' houses, going to dinner / shopping / activities etc.
My sister-in-law's husband (who I'll call A) has been a police officer for about 1.5 years. On Xmas day, I was conversing with A and my 2 SIL's (one of whom is A's wife), when he started to brag about regularly engaging in police brutality ... basically, "roughing up" people upon arrest, and related an incident when they had someone on the ground and were beating him up, when A looked up and realized that there were "eyes on us" from the adjacent apartment buiding, so he and his colleagues "had to get out of there fast". Both SILs seemed to think this was fine, even laudable, because "they're criminals so they deserve it". I was shocked, but did not react, because I tend to be very careful about voicing opinions in front of my in-laws,
Having a friend who is a Legal-Aid lawyer, I was well aware that corruption is pervasive in my city's police force, and am not naive enough to have believed that A was untainted by it. But now that I know for a fact that he does this on a regular basis (and he implied that most of his colleagues do as well), I don't feel that it would be right to look away and pretend I don't know. To me, the fact that they have been entrusted with upholding the law, and instead use this power to hurt people, is simply unconscionable. In fact, if I thought there was any point, I would report him, but I know it would be useless because this problem is systemic and also I don't have any proof of what was said.
I discussed this with DH. DH and I are very different in this regard - although he is a kind person, he, and all his family, are not very introspective people, and in fact don't seem to spend much time thinking about absract concepts like morality or human rights. I on the other hand have very strong beliefs and don't feel that one can just ignore human rights abuses without becoming culpable oneself. When I married DH, I did worry that this would cause problems in the future, but I naively thought I could avoid problems just by avoiding serious discussions with his family.
I now feel I can no longer socialize with A. I am worried that this will cause problems between me and DH. DH appears to want to write the whole thing off as "the system is corrupt". He seems to actually agree on how wrong this, but would prefer to look away because it is just easier. I tried asking him where he felt the line was - for example, if A were a Nazi would he look away? And how different is this, really? But he still feels that he should continue to be friendly towards A as he is his sister's husband.
I don't know how I can respect DH if I see him laughing and joking with this man. If A were a family member of mine, I would tell him in no uncertain terms that I believe he should be in jail, and I would no longer have anything to do with him. But since he is in DH's family, I feel that I somewhat have to defer to DH's opinion. So we have agreed that I will keep silent as to my reasons, DH will be supportive of my no longer visiting A and SIL's home, and on social occasions I will be polite but not friendly. However DH will likely continue to be friendly with A, and that is a problem for me. I know that not everyone will understand, but I feel strongly about my principles, and I believe that anyone who looks away from an injustice is ultimately also responsible.
To summarize, my questions are: 1) How do I deal with the fact that DH and I have this huge difference in our moral compasses? 2) How do I act towards A on social occasions without making it obvious to everyone that there is an issue? And if it is noticed and I am asked, what do I say?View Thread
I want to thank you all for your responses. I was really pleasantly surprised to see such thoughtful and thought-provoking replies.
I think I am now leaning more towards the compassionate angle ... since my BIL is quite young, and new to the force, perhaps he is not a lost cause quite yet. So maybe if I voice my opinion when this comes up again, and get him to think about his actions, it could do some good. Perhaps it won't, but it's worth trying, I think, before cutting him off completely. So I will proceed with my polite-but-not friendly behaviour, and wait for this to come up again, at which point I will protest. If he disagrees with me, then I will probably cut him off at that point, but at least then he will know the reason.
Thank you everyone. You all seem like really wonderful people, to take time out of your day to help strangers with their problems.View Thread