I have extreme anxiety about this, since they will have a very different view of me. I am worried about the affect this will have either on our reconciliation or my BW's relationship with her parents.
Does anyone have any experiences with telling the in laws and the affect it had on the relationship that they are willing to share? Ones with a happy ending would be particularly comforting.
So, it came down to what my BW wanted. And she wanted to fight for the M by working on R. She was very upfront about this, and while the in-laws may have a not-so-nice view of me, they respect her decision to fight for the M and to R.
I would suggest you guys discuss what you hope to get out of telling the family. Support? Makes sense. But what if they don't support her? If your BW wants to work on the M, are the in-laws going to support her in that or are they going to try to convince her to kick you to the curb and move on with her life?
Just spend some time thinking this through and have some realistic expectation when you tell them.
My in-laws were understandably very upset. His sister was supportive and actually texted me after DDay to see how I was doing. His parents were not as kind. For the nine months we were seperated I had no relationship with them at all and his mother tried to get him to D me. He eventually stopped talking to her about it because she was not supportive of his choices, and spoke to just his father about it. Eventually he, his father, and sister all told her she had to be supportive to him no matter what her personal feelings were.
Once we decided to R and I moved back home I went to his parents house alone to speak with them and personally apologize for the hurt I caused their son and family. I also met and spoke with his sister. They were still angry and upset but I think appreciated that I did that.
Now things are slowly getting better between my in-laws and I....his mother is more friendly to me and we are trying to fix things....I know it will never be the same but am grateful for be given another chance. ...last weekend I actually went out for the afternoon with just my mother in law and DD, which is something we had never done before.
My parents (and siblings) were wonderful. We wanted my sisters to be happy---whatever they chose to do.
One BIL apologized to all of us. He worked VERY hard to stay married to my oldest sister. IC, MC, changing jobs, being open with all of us, LOVING my sister, making amends.
He is one of the finest men I know.
The other BIL was very, very uncomfortable with the family knowing. As quickly as he could, he isolated my sister from us. The estrangement lasted well over a decade. I am only now "getting" my sister "back." My experience with infidelity--which I am (ultimately--I took a lot of abuse for a very long time) handling differently than she did, has been ... oddly equalizing for us.
But she is NOT happily reconciled. Her husband wanted us out of the picture because we would notice that and hold him accountable.
He was right. I do think my sister would be happier without him.
But my sister chooses to remain with him. I am sure she has her reasons, though I don't understand them. It's not my decision to make.
So I am friendly when I see him, on the rare occasions I do. (They are now 2000 miles away.)
Your discomfort is natural. But please know that whatever impression it initially makes, your BW's family first and foremost wants for her to be happy. If they see you doing the work that will help make that possible (and no, you are NOT responsible for her happiness! you are merely responsible for not throwing obstacles to happiness in her path), they will be okay. I'd bet the farm on this.
Does anyone have any experiences with telling the in laws and the affect it had on the relationship
We told my family. My mother has been supportive and loved him like she always did. My sister not so much. My brother has been incommunicado, but as he did the same thing to his wife, I think he feels conflicted.
We also told his family. They have been supportive of both of us, but have made excuses for him.
We are both glad we told, even though some of the consequences have been difficult. We are doing the radical honesty thing and feel that telling was a part of that. NO. MORE. SECRETS.
Do not worry about others' opinions of you. Worry only about your wife's opinion of you. And if it helps at all, it has been our experience that all the others will respect you for that.
We weren't going to tell my Bs's parents. He told his sister, who told his Dad, who told his birth parents.
At first it was kind of awkward, his birth father wouldn't even look at me, his birth mother was ok.
Chicho spoke with them and explained that it was our decision to R and too please respect that. Since then they have treated me the same as before. Same with his Dad.
All of the people we have told have been supportive of us. Most of them have seen the changes to our family as we've healed ourselves and our relationship.
"Your secrets keep you sick"
I know my family well enough to know that what he did would not make them ignore or be rude to him. As a matter of fact (at least as of right now) I will encourage them to remain friendly with WH. I think they would flow my wishes no matter the outcome.
I personally did not want to tell them bc I didn't want to see them hurt. My H lied to them many times over the course of two years. Anyway, we sat them down and H was responsible for telling them. Dad did not look at him for the entire time. Then H said, "LA has given me a second chance and I will do everything possible so she never regrets that". I then added that H was "owning" this and that his behavior was matching his words and if they wearnt I would be gone by now. This helped them a lot.
Dad spoke to him the next morn. He had some trouble w it of course over the next few months. I am sure my Mom did too but she is a bit of a rug sweeper. Anyway, they are true to me. If I am good, they are good.
They followed my lead in this sitch.
[This message edited by LA44 at 8:26 PM, March 30th (Sunday)]
Met when we were 17 and 15. Together since 1983, married since 1985. Two kids, B21, G15.
Life has a way of making us get our panties in a wad.....I refuse to wear panties ever again.
In my case, I was blessed with the most incredible in-laws possible. They certainly didn't understand why I would have caused so much pain and hurt. But they also accepted that my BW chose to stay with me and to pursue R. As long as that process was what she wanted to be happy, they were fully supportive of whatever we were doing. In fact, they added that they just wanted to see me happy too. Imagine having caused so much pain to their daughter, and yet they were just as concerned about my happiness as hers. As I said, incredibly blessed.
I've had similar conversations with my sister-in-law that went equally well. They each seemed to understand that our goals were all the same. For everyone to find the place where they would be happiest, and to be open and honest about how to get there.
I know not everyone will have the same experience. But I do honestly think that the longer you keep this in the shadows and away from loved ones, the more stress builds and makes it harder to achieve true R.
We have two small children, so I thought it would be important for the grandparents to know what was happening, additionally I needed a lot of support.
Two years later we are reconciling. We are 'R' because of his changed actions (which have been dramatic) as well as my desire not to disrupt the kids. The relationship with his family is now better than ever, they have been supportive of us individually, as a couple and as a family. They watch the kids for the week-end to give us time away, they make sure we are all invited to every event.
My brother and sister-in law have also been great. They have had us all over to their house repeatedly for the week-end. We feel "normal" there.
The result with my parents has not been so positive. Both my parents met WH in their hotel room about 18 months ago. He apologized to them, listened to them say they would never trust him again, and he promised them to become a better person. My father I think forgave him, my father will give him a hug when he sees him and will ask after his job, will exchange books with him.
My mother has not nor will I think ever forgive him. This has strained my relationship with my parents. We do not feel comfortable visiting my parents or staying at their house. My parents no longer visit us much and if they do they stay at a hotel for a day and leave quickly.
My parents live a few states away and I think it is detrimental to repairing the relationship because they are not here to witness all the positive things that WH is now doing.
I don't think you should try to talk your spouse out of telling though. My WH didn't want anyone else to know and something about that "code of silence" idea made me feel complicit in something I didn't want to be complicit in. I was very close to my family and needed to hear their opinions and advice. My mother and my relationship is severely strained because I did not follow her advice BUT my WS's actions were horrible and her reaction is 100% understandable. If I were on the outside looking in at the trainwreck of my marriage I would advise someone the same way.
If I could do it all over, knowing that I wasn't going to end up divorced would I still tell everyone? Absolutely. I needed the support and WS needed to be held to a different standard.
It seems like, for the most part, the betrayed in-laws follow the lead of the betrayed spouse. My BS has made it clear to me that she will tell them to continue to treat me as their son-in-law, so that gives me some comfort.
We see them regularly and they live two blocks away, so we see them very frequently. I just don't want to see any relationships strained over it, but that's what I am afraid of. This is giving me anxiety attacks.
I don't intend to try to talk her out of sharing this information with them though. I just need to somehow find the strength to get through this. I'm working on that part.