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Sunday, 2 May 2010

Misunderstandings, Apologies, Forgiveness

My father-in-law was here this weekend...he's gone now.  He just stayed one night..

As I've said before I've dreaded his visits, and the last time he came on his own I was relieved that Mr Ayak was here, because he makes me feel uncomfortable. I was pretty sure he disliked me as much as I disliked him and there's always an awful atmosphere.  But Mr Ayak couldn't get back this time, so I just decided to be as polite as possible, to offer him tea and coffee, and food if he wanted it.  He accepted coffee, but said he didn't want food.  Fair enough...at least I offered.  I only saw him briefly last night when he returned from the land and I went off to bed and then didn't see him again until this morning, and he set off to the land again.

He finished working  at lunchtime and returned to the house, and it appeared that he had a few hours to spare before setting off back to Ankara. He came by bus this time, and was waiting for a friend to collect him and take him to the bus station.

He went and sat under the gazebo and I made some coffee and took it out.   It occurred to me that I now had the perfect opportunity to clear the air.  Maybe it was a good thing that Mr Ayak wasn't here, because he clearly feels stuck in the middle at times, so it would have been very difficult to try and have any sort of conversation with my FIL.

I started off by chatting generally about things, with not much response.  So I then said that I would like to be open and honest with him, and to say that I felt we had got off to a bad start.  That maybe there had been misunderstandings on both sides, things said that were regretted, but that I very much wanted to put it right...and that I hoped he felt the same way.

At this point, even though I think I was outwardly calm, my mind was in turmoil.  It could have gone either way and I was trying to be prepared for his response....whatever it might be...and to try to remain calm enough to deal with it without getting upset or losing my temper.

To my astonishment he agreed with me.  I sighed with relief.  We then talked for about two hours about how things can be misconstrued or misunderstood.  I apologised for anything that I may have said that offended him....I didn't quite get a direct apology in return...but I did get words that indicated that he felt sorry.   He's a proud man, a little bigoted, and he's a typical Turkish male of his generation, who probably isn't used to having to apologise.  But he did seem to express a genuine desire to make things right between us.  And that was enough for me.

We talked about Mr Ayak, and our hopes for his success.  He worries about him in the same way as I do...because we both love him.  And we talked about families in general and how we always worry about our children, no matter how old they are.  

During our chat, MIL phoned him, they chatted amicably and he passed the phone to me so that I could say hello.  I kind of gathered from this that they are back together again.  But I didn't ask because it's not my place to do so and if he had wanted to mention it I'm sure he would have.  (I later asked Mr A if this was the case and he confirmed that it was but he had been so wrapped up in the business that he had forgotten to tell me). 

Maybe the fact that FIL and MIL have reconciled their differences, has made FIL a little nicer?  Perhaps I picked just the right time to iron things out.

Whatever has caused this change of heart...I'm delighted that it has happened...and that before he left he said that we should put the past behind us and make a fresh start. 

None of us are perfect.  We all make mistakes.  I know I could have tried a bit harder to understand him.  

Forgiving him for everything may take a little time but life's just too short to bear grudges.  I'm glad that when he comes again, I can genuinely welcome him because the animosity will no longer exist.

And I feel so much happier now.

9 comments:

  1. That's fabulous! Well done for broaching the subject and, now that you've managed to clear the air, it will make things easier all round :-)

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  2. As hard as it can be, sometimes you have to make the first move. Knowing how you felt about FIL I think it shows a great deal of class on your part.
    You can never know how these things will turn out- maybe your relationship will not improve and maybe you will come to a new kind of understanding. One thing you DO know is that you have made the effort and you needn't ever ask yourself whether you might have done more to make this difficult situation better. That in itself is a triumph.
    Bravo, Ayak, and a warm hug!

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  3. You know what? You are a very kind, forgiving person!
    I do admire you for that.... and now you have a clear conscience.
    So pleased for you.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

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  4. Nomad...Thankyou and a warm hug back at you x

    Maggie: Thankyou xxx

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  5. I am inspired to try the same with my MIL - I am new to your blog and I really like it, thank you xxx

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  6. So pleased that it's better now xx

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  7. I do believe you are most tactful and you were probably a wonderful social worker!
    I just want you to know I've been reading your posts about living in other places and I want to ride a Dolmus.(hope I spelled that correctly) That mini bus sounds like a most interesting experience unless you are in a hurry!

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  8. Kelloggsville: A warm welcome to my blog and thankyou for visiting. Do try it with your MIL, but be prepared for failure. Nomad (comment above) is right. But it's worth trying because it makes you feel so much better about yourself.

    auntiegwen: Thankyou xx

    Charlotte Ann: Thankyou. The dolmuş is a delightful experience. No two journeys are ever the same!

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