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I am going through a serious problem in my life. My wife developed a severe depression when she was pregnant. Eventually she delivered a two months' premature boy. Then my wife developed the nasty post natal depression and went wild on our child. I almost single handedly tackled the entire problem and helped her to come to a normal life. Now she is almost normal and my son is 18 months old now. He is quite ok and absolutely fit... both physically and mentally and absolutely at par with a non-premature child.
The problem I'm facing right now is related to my close relatives. Actually my mother-in-law is not aware of such an acute problem of her daughter. She isn't even interested at all in knowing the particulars of the trauma her daughter went through just a year ago. Now her demand is she will keep her daughter and grandchild in her house for some days and go on doing it occasionally. Right now my mother does 75 per cent of the jobs related to raising my boy... the rest is done by my wife. My intention is to increase my wife's part towards 75 per cent or more gradually (actually upto the level a normal mother does) . My sister-in-laws were not co-operative at all at that difficult phase of our life. But now they want to spoil everything. I don't think they love their sister. They insist their mother i.e, my mother-in-law to keep my wife and child away from me. According to my thinking they are doing it from some kinds of jealousy.
I've taken a decision to disconnect from all kinds of communications with them somewhat forcefully (obviously temporarily) except for a few phone calls a week. My wife isn't liking this but I've tried to convince her. She is not fully convinced though! Now I'm developing a guilty feeling for this act of mine. Is the guilty feeling justified? What would you say? Please help me out!
Andy, they are her family and if you love your wife and want to be there for her, I recommend that you try to mantain yourself close to them. Some relationships are difficult to mantain. You just have to understand that no matter what you do, you won't be able to change her mother or her sisters. They are the way they are. The only thing you can change is the way you deal with them. They might not be perfect but they are her blood relatives and she does not feel the need to pull away from them. There is nothing wrong with having an overinvolved grandma helping out. You wife will know when it's time for her to take control of her motherly role.
I wish you much luck and patience! God bless!
I understand that they are her blood relatives and that's why I feel guilty, I love my wife. But no idea how to turn my mother-in-law to a serious and aware enough person to tackle such an acute problem. Thanks for your valuable advice Klara! I'll try to change the way I deal with them.
Having "in-law" issues are not always easy to handle, but I do agree with the suggestions that were made here. Setting up a meeting, compromising and getting them to cooperate will do wonders (if successful)for your relationship, both with your wife and in-laws. You're probably right-your in-laws are somewhat jealous of your new baby and want to be a part of raising your child. In your meeting, try to include them as much as possible (asking for advice anything that you are unsure of regarding raising a child) will make them feel that you are including them and that you value their input. I think this is all they need to feel needed. Of course, as new parents, you and your wife will be the ones who are in-charge of raising your newborn baby:-). I think when your in-laws feel that you are reaching out to them, they will, somewhat, become more at ease with you and your wife taking charge and will cooperate with you guys better. Congratulations on your new baby and hope everything works out for you. God bless!:-)
Thanks Caroline for offering your help to solve my problem. I'm seriously thinking to organise a meeting. Don't know what the outcome would be! I'm worried mainly because of the fact that there is always a strong chance of relapse in such psychiatric disorders. If that happens my child will be affected the most. I never want such things to happen again.
I hope this is not too late a reply here to answer your question. What I offer here is a suggestion here only. Ask for and organise a meeting of all the family members, or the ones who are directly connected to your wife and child, who have a bearing on their future. Sit down with them and explain your situation. Explain your wife's situation and that of your lovely kid too. Don't close yourself off from them, do the opposite. Open yourself up to them, be willing to be a part of the group and extended family. Get them on your side, and ask for their help. Ask for their understanding. You all need your family around you. Don't worry about thinking that families are not always perfect. But families are amazing if they pull together for someone. And if they really care about your wonderful new family, then they will rally in your favour. It will mean having to do some unusual things and making some compromises. But if they re willing to also compromise, is it not worth doing? I wish you the best of luck, andycool. Happy New Year. And let us know how things work out.
Thanks a lot Cassy for offering your extremely useful suggestion. I think I can sort it out if I follow your points. I must give a serious thought to the points you made. It seems this will help to melt the ice between the families. The idea to organise a meeting is extraordinary. Will they understand and then compromise... now that's a million dollar question to me! Thank you again and wish you a Very Happy and Prosperous New Year!
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