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BW going to event with AP

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somethingremorse posted 4/14/2014 09:35 AM

AP was my SIL. We haven't had a family event yet where BW and AP (or me and BIL) were in the same place.

Saturday is a bridal shower for a cousin in the family. A month ago, BIL contacted BW to say that AP wanted to go. BW said that she'd be OK with being in the same room as AP.

We haven't talked about the A much lately. I bring it up every couple of days, ask if she needs to talk or needs anything from me. BW keeps saying that she's good. She might be good. She might be building up. Either way, it will be traumatic for BW on Saturday.

Any advice? Any thoughts on what I can do to ease a little bit of the burden off of BW? We have a MC session on Thursday, so I know that we'll talk about it there at the very least.

In a way, we are both looking forward to this. It will be really hard, but it is a step forward. WRT her family, BW has been in the "eating the whole elephant in one bite" sort of thinking. She is worried that it will always be awful. We have been discussing the need to take it a little at a time. Just because one time is awful, if we continue to work, the next one might not be so bad.

Sorry for rambling. I just feel like this is a big milestone in our R.

Jrazz posted 4/14/2014 10:51 AM

On the grand scale, it sounds like you are doing everything you can to help her. I like that you are gently pinging her to see if she's ok, but also giving her space when she indicates that she needs it. Faithfully going to MC is awesome as well, I'm glad you will have that to talk about on Thursday.

She may be handling this well, or she may be an emotions-stuffer. If she's the latter, this event is going to clobber her. I tried to put myself in her shoes, and I thought of some things that would make someone like ME feel better.

Maybe you can make her breakfast, or coffee at least when she goes? An unsolicited act of service sometimes goes a long way. Also, sneaking a love note into her purse might save her if she's reaching for a tissue in the bathroom at the party. Put her name, and things about her in the note so there's no way she could imagine that you had written it to anyone else. Remind her that you are hers only, that you are thinking about HER only, and that you are a team.

Being available after the event would also be a good idea.

Sending you both strength and hugs.

Aubrie posted 4/14/2014 15:42 PM

Razzie nailed it. Especially this:

Being available after the event would also be a good idea.
She may crash hard afterwards. Be gentle, be available, be loving.

QS and I have had very triggering situations and while he put on a brave face during, he was a mess later.

somethingremorse posted 4/21/2014 12:17 PM

An update -- the day went very well.

Our MC and BW worked out a plan. BW was going to take control of the situation and say Hi to AP. She didn't make any plans other than that, but BW really wanted to show herself and AP that she was OK.

Turns out, she didn't have to. AP pretty much "hid" the entire time. BW said good-bye to AP on the way out.

BW feels really good about herself. She is also much more hopeful that our R will navigate through all of the family problems that are out there.

I know that BW and I are at a different point in our R than BIL and AP. Right now, all we can do is work on our R, and not worry about BIL and AP.

motod posted 4/21/2014 19:44 PM


Nice to hear the family function proceeded smoothly. Were any of the attendees aware of the situation and are they trying to remain neutral and on speaking terms with both your wife and AP?

Have your in-laws been more forgiving and inviting towards you than they have towards your AP?

Have they been more supportive of their daughter (your BW) and her marriage reconciliation than they have of their son (the BH) and his marriage reconciliation?

Good Luck!

somethingremorse posted 4/22/2014 12:21 PM

BW's other SIL was there. She knows everything. My MIL was out of town. No one else knows.

I have talked with the other BIL and SIL. Took a lot of time to apologize and talk about how we are working on our M. They are super supportive right now.

MIL and FIL have pretty much acted like nothing happened -- they talk to me, come to the kids' stuff, etc. There still is a difference, and I bet there will always be. But they want to get everything back to the way it was.

My understanding is that AP and BIL have mostly turned away from BW's family. I have always been close to BW's family, while AP wasn't. It makes it even more of a betrayal on my part.

bionicgal posted 4/22/2014 16:15 PM

Was hoping for good things for you and your BS. Glad to hear it was workable.

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