As with most (all?) of us I have FoO issues, long story short main one being I didn’t have a father figure growing up. When x and I got together at 19 xFIL became the main father figure in my life.
I had been reflecting on the relationship I have with xILs, xFIL in particular, and realised that much of it is a legacy of wanting validation and acceptance. I no longer feel the same need for his approval, likely due to expanding my interactions (on a professional level) with other ‘father figures’ and self validation due to the changes/experiences in life brought about by the ‘D’. This led me to start to feel like I had out grown xILs.
I now have a wider range of older, experienced men in my life (in a professional sense) who I interact with frequently and who act in a mentoring capacity that I seek advice on major decisions from as appropriate. I am also comfortable and confident within myself.
I made a decision to change direction in life and give myself the opportunity to take time out to explore what I want and where I want to be. I notified xILs of my already made decision as a courtesy as their contact is via my soon to be xwork phone and email. I also provided them with another email account that I will be contactable on. It was interesting that during the most recent phone call with xFIL (a couple of days ago) I took myself out of the discussion somewhat and started to listen to the words that were said as opposed to the ‘who’ that was saying them. There was a lot of judgement and condescension.
I got to hear all about how ‘I should get over things’, ‘I was running away’, he went through something not remotely similar but yet knew what I was going through, insinuated that I was leaving my job because I was not performing, I need to have a job to put me through my studies etc.
It was a bit of a WTF moment and a light bulb moment that x really didn’t develop in a vacuum and that he is a product of his environment.
I didn’t get defensive or justify my decisions in my life, that’s none of xFIL’s business. It was just strange because he doesn’t know my life now and yet felt free to judge away. Its saddening but timely, I will be blocking the xILs for at least the next 6 months to allow myself total NC. Its healthiest for me.
Sorry no real question, so my apologies, I just needed to purge what had been going through my mind.
Ps – the stupidest thing about the whole ‘needing a job to put me through my studies’ – none of his sons worked whilst they went through university or paid uni fees. I financially supported my x, the other 2 lived off the parents, the 4th didn’t go to uni .
"I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel". –Maya Angelou
"When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be". –
I would like to salvage a relationship with my FIL, but I know I need to go about this cautiously. Again, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. FIL has been the cheater and the cheated. He's had 3 failed marriages at this point. When he gets something in his head, he can be as stubborn as a mule that he is right, facts and evidence be damned. Not saying I don't have flaws myself, rather I need to be cognizant of both our flaws and not let myself potentially be hurt by FIL too. She is still his daughter, and she her father.
While I'm sorry you were treated that way by your xFIL, I think it is very admirable that you handled the situation the way you did and remained calm. It's admirable that you can look at the situation for what it is and decide NC is best. Strength and peace to you.
ETA: When I said he's been the cheater and the cheated, I didn't mean him being cheated was a flaw of his, nor was I saying I ever cheated on his daughter because, well, I didn't. I just meant he's been on both sides for whatever that may be worth. He identifies with me for being the cheated, but he cheated and left his daughter's mother, so yeah...
[This message edited by SoulHurts at 7:09 PM, March 21st (Friday)]
The relationship got a little blurred with xFIL as there was a direct professional cross over also that was recently established.
Whilst I know its for the best (I tried to keep a form of acceptable relationship with them) it stills hurts as I am cutting out my 'father figure'.
I am, and will always be, grateful for xFIL's support and advice provided during the years but sadly have come to realise that it is best for me to cut free completely for now. Kudos to him in that he tried to present the 'caring' front (more so than xMIL) but really I suspect it was about actions that he thought made him feel better about himself rather than it being about me.
I hope you can maintain a healthy relationship with your FIL.
I am, and will always be, grateful for xFIL's support and advice provided during the years but sadly have come to realise that it is best for me to cut free completely for now.
Just more that us betrayed lose, huh? My FIL is the ONLY member of her rather large family that I've heard anything from at all, and I had what I thought were very strong relationships with many of them. Maybe a little off-topic here, but it's just more loss. We have to be prepared that those strong relationships we thought we had are potentially expendable, either because we need to walk away, or they walk away from us.
Didn't mean to t/j, just some thoughts that come to mind.
I basically helped raise his younger brothers and have not heard a peep from them since the split. 16 years in their life. Caring for them when the parents were o/s, picking them up and dropping them off to school, first GF troubles etc. I also was friends with his older brother before I met x, who also has no communication except when I might be (on rare occasions) visiting xSIL. Seems to be easy for x's whole family to cut off whatever is distasteful for them to face.
I took myself out of the discussion somewhat and started to listen to the words that were said as opposed to the ‘who’ that was saying them. There was a lot of judgement and condescension.
I imagine this is what growing up feels like - we outgrow our mentors but sometimes they don't realise we've outgrown them.
I need NC with the XILs. No matter what they do they trigger memories of the sad clown. No matter what he does they'll support him. I don't begrudge them that but I just can't be a part of it, I won't.