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I do not wish to attend my mother in law's funeral if husband's "Friend" will be there

Tagged as: Family, Marriage problems<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (21 January 2011) 20 Answers - (Newest, 12 February 2011)
A female United Kingdom age 51-59, anonymous writes:

Very long and involved post so thank you very much in advance for reading.

I have been married for a year but for various reasons my husband and I do not live together. This is mainly because I have a house from my previous marriage that my ex husband pays for and my new husband's home is too far away from my son's school and is too small. My husband will not move into my home as he feels it is wrong to live in a home paid for by another man. I can understand this but will not sell it as it is a valuable home and I have my pension locked up in it. Anyway we have not been getting on at all well - my husband thinks I am mean to his children from previous relationships and I am very unhappy about my husband's contact with previous girlfriends by text and phone call. We have not spoken since Christmas. One of these women rings him while drunk and makes unsuitable comments talking about when they used to have sex etc etc and I don't like it. My husband says he has told her to stop it but I note from looking at his phone that they are still in touch.

Sadly my husband's mother is very ill and likely to die. This woman is a friend of his family and has been for many years. I am sorry to say that I don't want to go to the funeral if she is there and I am unable to put aside my feelings of dislike at her behaviour for even one day. Am I within my right to ask my husband if he wants me there to ask her not to attend. It is very difficult as she is best friends with my husband's sister and has known the family for nearly 30 years whereas I have only known them for a very short period of time. I know if it came to it they would prefer her there than me and I know it is wrong to make a fuss in these situations but I really can't stand the thought of seeing her there. I also know I am likely to say something not very nice which would hardly be classed as funeral etiquette. I don't want this to turn into an episode of Eastenders, Any suggestions please?

View related questions: best friend, christmas, drunk, my ex, period, text

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A female reader, angelDlite United Kingdom +, writes (12 February 2011):

angelDlite agony aunti'm glad the day went well for you then but it doesn't solve the problem long term does it. i think there is still some work to be done by you and your husband to resolve this issue

x

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A reader, anonymous, writes (12 February 2011):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Just an update to you all who helped me. Funeral took place and I went - I am sorry to say under duress but I still went. I made myself look really good and did my bit and after all that she didn't even turn up! I think the sister probably had a word but I didn't ask I was just grateful she wasn't there. Thank you all again so much for your support and help.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (30 January 2011):

What goes around comes around. Your ex-husband is still paying for your house??? What is it that links him to you if you are not his wife anymore? Is that fair? a hint: May there be a valid reason that your new husband does not feel at ease there?

If I'm a pimp, I want my girls to get as much money as possible from their fishes. If I'm a family man, I don't want from the money they took from their exes.

So if he winded up with someone in your situation, don't expect him to be a real familly-man.

Enjoy his pimp side (although he's still not at ease whit this side of his character) and feel at ease next to his other girls. That is your place. You are not at right to anything. Anyone has the right to come to the burial of a person he or she liked, respected or felt bound to. And whatever you will ask or he will ask, they will do as they please.

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A female reader, Abella United States + , writes (29 January 2011):

Abella agony auntGet to the funeral early. Sit right down the front. Keep your eyes forward.

Sit there with grace, dignity and in silence, unless you need to shed a tear over the death of your mother in law.

You are there to support your husband in his grief.

You are not there to turn the funeral into a circus nor a cat fight.

Wear a nice black outfit and a hat with a classy black net veil and dark glasses so your eyes do not betray your true feelings.

Show some class and dignity.

How you present yourself reflects on you and your husband - good or bad

If you stay away then the other woman wins, hands down.

When the funeral is over stand close to your husband when he stands to receive condolences from mourners.

Keep your shades on and look down at your feet, like a grieving daughter in law. Keep your mouth closed throughout.

You will never get into trouble for what you do not say.

Silence is golden.

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A female reader, angelDlite United Kingdom +, writes (29 January 2011):

angelDlite agony aunti'm sorry but i think you should shelve your own feelings about the friend just for the day. its not about you and if you persist with this protest you are gonna alienate yourself from everyone coz they will see this as you being disrespectful to the deceased mother. if you want your marriage to fail even further, carry on though!

i do understand that you will feel uncomfortable and this is a situation that i would HATE to be in, i won't lie to you! BUT like i say, please just bear it for the day IF you want your marriage to have any sort of a chance, that is. i also think your husband is being totally unfair keeping in contact with this trouble maker of a woman, but that is another issue

xx

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A reader, anonymous, writes (29 January 2011):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Funeral is now fast approaching and husband has made it clear he wants me by his side. I did ask him to ask his family to tell the ladyfriend not to attend but they wouldn't. Their view is everyone is welcome to attend and pay their respects. Fair enough comment but it doesn't make me feel very comfortable. I do fully understand that this day is about his mother and nothing else but although I know it that comment doesn't help! Ladyfriend is going and I have pointed out to husband that this is so she can see me not to pay her respects but he won't accept that comment either although I know it to be true! Have gone down the route of either its me or her that attends but husband won't be bullied by that one either and says it is up to me but to think carefully before I make that choice. Feel completely stuck and really don't want to go at all now. I would not be attending for the right reasons because I would not be doing it in good grace at all and don't want to spoil what is an important day to him. I am not sure if I am even bothered now if people talk about me and ask why isn't she there - I feel so alienated by the whole business. This woman is married with kids of her own but the thought of even being in the same space is driving me nuts. I know if I don't attend and behave myself the marriage will be over as he won't forgive me but this sad experience has highlighted to me how very different we are and how differently we view things. Although I am aware of the consequences I am not sure I can force myself. His mother was a nice lady but because the whole family almost condones the ladyfriend's behaviour it kind of negates any nice feelings I have. It is the thought of walking into the room knowing all eyes will be on me. It makes me want to jump up, swear at everyone and run off!

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A male reader, Kilcardy United States +, writes (23 January 2011):

I'm sorry...I don't get it. Why are you married to this guy? You live apart. You don't get along. He has other female friends with whom he reminisces about their prior sexual exploits. He thinks you're mean to his kids from "other relationships." And, you haven't spoken since Christmas? This sounds like living hell to me. But, I digress. As for the funeral, it's not about you. It's about showing respect for the deceased. If you can't be in the presence of one of your hubby's "previous" girlfriends, then don't attend. Go light a candle somewhere in his mother's memory and leave it at that. It sounds to me that you and your hubby have more serious issues than whether you should attend his mother's funeral. Good luck.

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A female reader, angelDlite United Kingdom +, writes (22 January 2011):

angelDlite agony auntif her husband and kids go too is even better, she wouldn't 'throw herself' at your husband if hers is there surely?

i think you you at least offer to go to the funeral, for your husbands sake, don't just wait for him to ask you. if you make no effort to attend, this will become another problem added to your marriage, especially as you are already not getting on very well

xx

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A reader, anonymous, writes (22 January 2011):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Really fabulous selection of answers and I thank you all for your time and input. His mother is still hanging on and he texts me regularly to give me updates. I do know that it is likely whether I raise an objection or not that the ex will be present at the funeral as she is so close to the sister so it is in reality probably not worth even raising the issue. It will be interesting seeing her there with her husband and their children who are blissfully unaware of her behaviour. I don't think I can really be bothered with the hassle of it any more but because I am well bought up I will attend the funeral if asked by my husband and behave well keeping my distance. If not asked I will not attend. I am not even sure if I can be bothered to even make a fuss about the lady's behaviour further down the line because my thought process has gone into 'if he wants to take calls like that then she is more than welcome to him'.

To the anonymous male poster in the similar situation I would ask the g/f not to attend and let your ex wife go.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (22 January 2011):

what is more important? Being a supportive loyal wife to your husband? Or making other's squirm because you want to score a few points?

I think the funeral is the least of your worries. If you can't bring yourself to attend the funeral, and graciously and in a dignified manner support your husband then the whole world will know about the tensions in your marriage and your intractible response any time you are not the one calling all the shots.

And you 'have not spoken since Christmas' and you are not getting on too well? And you think it is OK to demand a long term family friend be excluded from the funeral? You and your husband have 'issues' and why am I surprised?

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A female reader, angelDlite United Kingdom +, writes (21 January 2011):

angelDlite agony aunthi

firstly, he is either still interested in her or he is too WEAK to tell her to sling her hook. he should NOT accepting drunken calls off her while she talks about the sex life they used to have!

now, regarding the funeral. you won't be able to ban her, obviously and i think you will make yourself look bad if you try to. let her come, stick to your husband like glue. it is your duty (plus it will get up her nose!) if she decides to get drunk and make a show of herself at the gathering afterwards, do NOT play along. be dignified and then ask for her removal. and you will be perfectly reasonable in doing so. hopefully, she will have enough respect for her deceased friend that she will behave herself all day

xx

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (21 January 2011):

I actually have an almost identical dilemma, although much more serious.

I am recently divorced.

Our marriage was dead and we knew it but I had an affair that of course angered my wife and still does.

I am still with my mistress, although we intend to marry and she has met my family and grown a bit close. My father is gravely ill and may die. I told my wife and explained that my father may die.

Of course she would come to the funeral, but when I told her my girlfriend would probably be there she was in shock and said she would never want to be in the same room as her and would walk right out.

She was utterly insulted and hurt. I dont get it.

I cant say much, as I created this rift. But it seems to me a funeral has zero to do about the people in the room other than the deceased and honoring them. Sure it would be uncomfortable, even painful.

But I could not tell my girlfriend not to go. However, I would like my ex to have the opportunity to pay her respects. difficult situation, and I'm not sure how I'm going to handle it. At the end of the day I feel it is my ex's problem, not mine.

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A female reader, sweetiebabes Philippines +, writes (21 January 2011):

sweetiebabes agony auntWhy not go and emotionally support your husband? He needs you and I am sure he needs your support. He is your husband and he married you and he chooses to be with you and not that ex-gf or a close friend of his family.

Forget what was from the past, you can speak to him at the right time and tell him about how you feel. Tell him about your insecurities and perhaps you can both sort it out. In marriage, you need to understand each other, meet half-way.

If you love each other and you truly love each other with respect and trust, you wouldn't mind about his ex-gf because you are confident and you trust his feelings. Your husband has you and his ex-gf loses him...you win she loses. Don't let his ex-gf feel she wins over you.

Go there, be with your husband and support him. Set aside your personal feelings about her ex.

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A male reader, C. Grant Canada + , writes (21 January 2011):

C. Grant agony auntThis is your opportunity to shine. To show class and demonstrate to your husband and his family why marrying you was a brilliant move. Say nothing about the other woman -- she's been a friend of the family forever and really ought to be there. Imagine yourself as an actress on a stage, playing the role of the supportive wife. The other people at the funeral are simply other players on the stage, so there's no reason for animosity.

If you can't do that, and if you haven't spoken to your husband in nearly a month, then perhaps it's time you asked yourself why you're in this marriage?

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A female reader, jayronae United States +, writes (21 January 2011):

jayronae agony auntEven though you don't like the woman, I think you should still go to support your husband--it's his mother. Perhaps even being there for him may help the two of you connect and begin to resolve relational problems.

Now about having your husband to ask the friend not come...Well, honestly, I do not think that is within your right. Like you said, she has been a friend of the family for nearly 30 years and she has the right to say goodbye and pay her last respects to a friend. Everyone should have the right to say goodbye to person they care about.

Asking your husband to do this will probably not only add stress to your already fragile relationship. You said you haven't really talked since Christmas and I doubt this would a great way to kick things off. Plus, this could add tension within his own family if he was to ask this of their friend, and losing a mother (sister, aunt...) is difficult enough for a family.

You seem well aware of funeral etiquette since you state that you are worried about saying something to that woman... well don't. The funeral is not about the dislike you have for another woman, but about the remembrance of the life and love for your mother-in-law. Perhaps try to just focus on your husband & your children.

I am not trying to sound rude or condemning, but you are a grown woman and should be able to control yourself--you have control of what words come out of your mouth. And if you do say something at the funeral it wouldn't be her fault, and would be seen as very immature. A funeral is not the time to confront someone.

I can't help but wonder if you are using her as an excuse for not going? You know that asking her not come may cause problem & about funeral etiquette. Are you afraid or embarrassed of being around your husband's family since the two of you are having problems?

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A female reader, viccra78 United States +, writes (21 January 2011):

I personally don't think that it is your right to try and have someone excluded from a funeral, good reasons or not. A funeral is a time for people to mourn and remember the person who passed away. Everyone should have this right whether you like them or not.

Just because you are both there doesn't mean that you have to talk to her. Keep your distance and you will more than likely be fine.

Good luck!

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A female reader, cry United States +, writes (21 January 2011):

cry agony auntbe the more mature woman, and go ..and have enuff class to not say anything . if she wants to be snottie let her, hold your toung (we teach this to kids all the time )if u cant say nothing nice dont say anything at all. ugh he needs to change his # i thing thats verrrry disrespectful. of her to call and say things like that.im still in toutch with my ex ...but thats just wrong. its a funeral you are married into this family they should have your back .even if they have known her ,her whole life. she sounds , rude nasty just wrong ..forgive her .. your better than that.good luck ..AK.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (21 January 2011):

You need to ask yourself why you attend someone's funeral. I thought it was to pay respect to the person who passed away. Whomever else is present at the funeral is really irrelevant. It would be really cold hearted to start an arguement about this woman while your husband is planning his mother's funeral and getting ready to burry her. I think if you are not able to go because of personal issues with this woman you should just leave it at that, don't go but don't create drama in this time of mourning.You will risk alienating yourself furhter from your husband and his family if you show your "ugly" side by not attending the funeral. I understand your feelings but I think you are really too old to be acting so immature. Keep it up and you will push your husband straight into that other woman's arms especially cuz he is so vulnerable now. If you want to show her, then go to the funeral as a supporting and loving wife should. Be there for him so he can remember why he fell in love with in the first place. Just ignore her for that day if you really want your marriage to have any meaning. After this period of the funeral is over you can address the issue and decide further, but for now I believe you should be supportive. How would you feel if your husband didnt come to your parent's funerall because he dislikes one of your friends?

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A female reader, Blonde68 United Kingdom +, writes (21 January 2011):

Blonde68 agony aunt

I think on this occasion you should put your own feelings to one side.. and think of your husband, his mother and the family who loved this lady!!!!!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (21 January 2011):

I think that if there is a funeral, all of you must put your personal feelings and issues to one side for just those few hours. Is it about the deceased person and honouring them and so it should be. However, from what you say your marriage does sound a bit shaky. Bringing any issues you have to your mother-in-law's funeral would be insensitive and hardly likely to endear you to your husband and his family. However, I do see that it will take all your strength to get through those few hours.

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