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Dealing with a future Father-in-Law who has Fibromyalgia
3 Replies
MeganPM - September 28

My Fiancé's father has had Fibromyalgia for a few years now. I've known him for the last 3yrs. He is mean, short tempered, hostile, controlling of everything, manipulative, and over all not a pleastant person to be around. He treats everyone around him (wife, son, me, and other family members) like crap. He doesn't like being around anyone and is very anti-social. He was let go from his jobs yrs ago ( bc of condition), so he doesn't do anything but lay around and watch TV all the time. He can go from being nice and friendly one min, to down right hostile the next, and will act like nothing happened even though he just treated you like crap. I'd like to know how much of his behavior is the Fibromyalgia, and how much of it is just him being a horrible person...

 

Fantod - September 28

MeganPM - While I sympathize with the situation you have described, it is not your fight. His immediate family needs to step up to the plate and address the situation.

There are any number of factors that may contribute to his behaivor. The meaness may be fueled by the drugs he takes to control the Fibromyalgia. It may be that his pain is not well controlled and he is acting out. He may be acting out just because he can. The bottom line is that his family is enabling his behavior because they allow it to happen. Your future mother in law needs to see a counseler who specializes in chronic illness/pain. She needs all the support in the world and some professional advice on how to handle this situation.

I'd also recommend that the family insist that he see another doctor for a second opinion. This can be accomplished by calling the local hospital physician referral service and asking them for a recommendation to a rheumotologist and/or a pain with an interest in Fibromyaligia. The other option is to go to the National Fibromyalgia Association website and register. Then the family can see a list of fibro-friendly doctors in your area. Get complete copies of his medical records and copies of any recent bloodwork for the appointment. IN addition to his wife, at least one other family member should be at the appointment and tell the new doctor how he behaves.

Again, I would like to stress that this is not your fight. You can be supportive of your fiance but it is up to him and the other family members to resolve the situation. Take care.

 

MeganPM - October 2

Thank you Fantod for your advice, it's very much appreciated and will be taken to heart. I still find it very hard to just sit back, and watch him treat his family that way. Although as you said, it's up to them to stand up for themselves. I still don't like the way he treats ME. It is very hurtful, and un-called for. I have a problem with just letting him say whatever he pleases me. I have already told him how he makes me feel (in a very nice, non-confrontational way). He told me he was "sorry", however less than a week later it was back to him treating me like dirt. I am truly at my wits end with his crap, I should not and will not tolerate his "childish" behavior. He is a 54 yr old man child. I feel like I was cheated, when it came to having a chance to have a great relationship with my Father-in-law. I can honestly say I've done all I can to learn about him and his condition. I did that so I could understand him better, and maybe develop a relationship with him. I've gone to countless websites, read articles, and books. Just so I could make sense of everything. But it seems to me that I will never have that relationship that I've worked so hard to get. Which makes me feel as though he thinks I'm not worth the effort to get to know, which really hurts. Especially, when I have to watch how good of a relationship my Fiancé and my parents have. I just hurts.

 

Fantod - October 2

MeganPM - I totally understand how hurt you feel. I had a contentious relationship with my father in law too. He could say the most terrible things to people like he was discussing the weather. There is just no dealing with some people. I finally just decided that the best way to deal with him was not at all except on a cursory level. When he started talking down to me, I imagined him wearing inappropriate underwear of some sort just to distract myself. It worked every time and I was able to walk away with my big mouth and blood pressure under control.

I'm sure you know that Fibromyalgia is very rare in men. I think the percentage is like 20% as opposed to us girls. It sounds like he is totally caught up in his own drama. It is really too bad as he is missing so much of life.

Again, I would like to encourage you to get the other family members on the same page and look for another doctor to get a second opinion. By the way, have you read any of the books by Dr. Jacob Tetillbaum on Fibromyalgia? He has a couple of books out with some very good practical information on the subject.

My heart goes out to you and the family as this is such a difficult situation. Take care.

 

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