I’m sorry to hear about the difficult situation you’re facing with your FIL. It’s understandable that you have complex emotions towards him, given his behavior and the negative impact it has had on your family. Dealing with the impending loss of someone you don’t particularly like or have a strained relationship with can be challenging.
In finding empathy, it can be helpful to separate the person from their actions. Recognize that your FIL’s behavior stems from his own issues, beliefs, and personal struggles, which may have contributed to his difficult personality. Try to understand that his actions might be a reflection of his own pain and frustration, even if they are unacceptable and hurtful.
When supporting your husband and in-laws, focus on their emotions and needs during this difficult time. Be there to listen and offer comfort without judgment, as they may have their own complex feelings towards your FIL. Providing a safe space for them to express their emotions can be valuable. My husband has a very challenging relationship with his mother and has almost no contact other than to make sure she’s okay, but I know that when she passes he’s going to be pretty wrecked. You need to make sure that you’re giving room for that in your heart.
Remember, finding empathy does not mean you have to excuse or condone your FIL’s behavior. It’s okay to acknowledge the negative impact he has had on your family while still recognizing his humanity. Therapy can be a valuable tool to explore and process these complex emotions further, and it’s great that you plan to address this in therapy when the time is right.
Take care of yourself as well, as supporting others during such challenging circumstances can be emotionally draining. Seek support from friends, engage in self-care activities, and allow yourself to feel and process your own emotions.