My wife's parents are separating.
November 8, 2010 11:41 AM Subscribe
How can I be most helpful & supportive to my wife as her parents go through a trial separation?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
We have been married for not-quite-a-month. After their younger daughter moved out to college in August, and we got married in October, my wife's parents revealed to their daughters that Dad had been having some "issues", felt disconnected, and was moving out. Dad has always been very reserved and underemotional with his daughters, and in this situation he is being a lot more so (reassuring that it's no big deal, discussing it very matter-of-factly as though it's vcr repair). Mom has always been very unfiltered and hyperemotional with her daughters, and she is becoming a lot more so (cataloging their sex life to younger daughter, etc.)
They are seeing a couples counselor, but other than that, they are only talking to their daughters -- my wife & her sister -- about all of this. They are hiding it from their own brothers/sisters, who they are usually very close with. I understand the desire to keep marital problems personal, but the problem is that my wife and her sister are shouldering the burden of an apparently unconcerned father and a worryingly hysterical mother. What can I do to be most helpful?