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Feeling humiliated and frustrated re my relationship w Dh after FIL's death

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 

Hope I am posting in the correct area.  I need to voice my feelings and get some perspective re a situation I am very upset about.

My FIL passed away this past saturday.  He had been in the hospital for the past week and a half,  He had fallen and started bleeding internally.

My DH went to see him everyday.  Then a few days later he had stroke.  When we got the news I asked DH if I could go w him to the hospital.  He said stay home w our 7 yr sold son.  A few days later they released him and was only home one day before going back in due to more bleeding.  Then we were told he was going to be put into hospice.  I work and have a son to take care of so I could not go to the hospital w my DH.  He did not ever ask me or say to me " I need you there".  A few days later FIL got worse and I asked if I could come to see him.  Dh said sure but a few minutes later called me saying his step mother said I could not come.  She did not want me there.  That evening I tried to talk to my DH and asked if I could go see him when she was not there.  The next morning he passed away.  I asked if I could go w DH he said no.  That day my DH wrote the eulogy (sp?) for his father and the article for the city paper.  The next morning I asked to read the article in the paper and was shocked to realize that all the family members were listed except me.  I asked my husband who would do such a thing and he said his step mother said he was not to put my name in.  My son was listed and every other wife except me. My husband said she was mad because I never called her. Anyways, I was shocked mostly b/c my husband was the one who wrote the article.  I feel my DH should have said 'this is my wife and regardless if u don't like her she is my wife."  Soon to find out I am not to attend the funeral or the wake.  My DH 's response was that he was trying to avoid a scene w his SMIL.  She is a horrible, cruel, vindictive person.  I have never said one bad word to her. Just a little background.  When I had my DS she came to my house and insulted me saying that I was lazy b/c i was holding my DS all night and my DH was cooking.  Then as he got older she disregarded all my wishes re my son.  I asked to not let him run around the pool when I was not there etc etc but she just laughed and disregarded my wishes.  She then said my son was never going to walk or talk etc etc etc etc.  She abandoned her 3 children at birth and has since reunited but talked horribly about all of them. My real MIL (DH's real mother) told me all the stories of how horrible she was throughout the years.  Anyways, so my DH is obviously very distraught  over the death of his father.  My FIL never gave my Dh any support or reassurance.  My DH just wanted to please him.   The day of the wake I asked him if he could call me & let me know when SMIL was gone so I could see FIL.  He did not call.  I called and got angry so he reluctantly set up a time for me to go in the morning.  I went w a friend.  I know my DH is distraught but does that mean u can ignore your wife and allow her to be treated this way?  I feel so humiliated. Our friends are shocked that this woman did this and most of all that my DH allowed it.  I don't know what to do.  I know he is mourning but I am very upset.  Who (meaning SMIL) in there right mind would act like this at the time of someones death??  Now I am doubting my relationship w DH.  I want to talk about it but I know he is mourning and don't want to get in the way.  Luckily, my MIL ( his real mother) has been there and has comforted me during this.  She understands as she has been  the victim in this situation for years b/c she was the ex-wife.  How would you feel?  What would you do.  I have made it clear I do not want a relationship w his SMIL after this.  I see my DH has grown up leading this 2 sided life w his real mother and then the other side w his evil SMIL and father.  Trying to appease both.  

post #2 of 37

Grief does weird things to people.   Give it some time and then go to a counseling together. You DH should have not treat you the way he did but he is not thinking straight. Seek support in friends. Go to a therapist on your own for now. Hugs

post #3 of 37
I would be furious and humiliated as well. But, I agree that bringing it up now isn't going to be productive or beneficial. I also think counselling for you both is the way to go, once DH's initial period of grieving is over.
post #4 of 37

Your DH definitely dropped the ball but I would cut him some slack. Grief does do funny things to people. He is going through a rough time right now and probably getting through it was a higher priority to him than calling that UAV out on her crap. I would try to talk through it later on once he is somewhat recovered. In the meantime, perhaps focus on how a bright side of FIL's death may be that you won't have to deal with her as much anymore. 

post #5 of 37
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your replies.  DH works till 11 pm every night so we don't get much chance to talk.  He sent me a  long apology via email last night explaining how much his death affected him and how badly he acted this past week.    DH always wanted FIL's approval but never got it so he is dealing w a lot.  Counseling would be good especially b/c this SMIL I'm sure is going to still try and control him.  I just want to make sure our son does not have any contact w her. I do not trust her.  She is mean and vindictive and w this death who knows what she is capable of.  I want to protect my DS.  My DH has lead a double like dealing with FIL and SMIL and then his real mother. I just want this craziness and trying to please SMIL to stop.  BTW what is a UAV?

post #6 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by es1967 View Post
 

Thanks for your replies.  DH works till 11 pm every night so we don't get much chance to talk.  He sent me a  long apology via email last night explaining how much his death affected him and how badly he acted this past week.    DH always wanted FIL's approval but never got it so he is dealing w a lot.  Counseling would be good especially b/c this SMIL I'm sure is going to still try and control him.  I just want to make sure our son does not have any contact w her. I do not trust her.  She is mean and vindictive and w this death who knows what she is capable of.  I want to protect my DS.  My DH has lead a double like dealing with FIL and SMIL and then his real mother. I just want this craziness and trying to please SMIL to stop.  BTW what is a UAV?

 

UAV is "User Agreement Violation."  It's sometimes used as a censored.gif euphemism about people or situations that warrant language that might be thought of as otherwise unacceptable.

 

Your DH has some hard work to do defining the life he lives so he isn't being pulled around trying to make other (cough-cough) toxic people happy.  If he has access to counseling, it might help him a lot.  Definitely see if you're able to get some support for yourself, too.  I'm very sorry for your family's grief.

post #7 of 37

I am so sorry that you and DH are going through this right now. I agree with the counseling idea, to wait a while, and then maybe arrange a time to talk about it.

At least you have Dh's mother that see's what is happening, and helps to validate the feelings that you have.

post #8 of 37
Thread Starter 

Last night DH started talking about Thanksgiving.  He was telling my son that we are going to thanksgiving at his relatives.  When we already talked about visiting my family.  I mentioned the fact that if SMIL is there that we (DS and  I) are not going.  I also told him when he told me I was not allowed to come to the funeral that I do not want any further relationship w SMIL. BTW- He made a point to tell me she felt the same way. Like ha ha.   Plus, I stated this in the email as well that we will have no contact w her.  He responded shocked and said " So you mean I can't have Thanksgiving w them anymore". I said you can but neither I or your son will be there if SMIL attends.  Sometimes I really feel like I am part of a bad soap opera.  Then DH started saying all these things that he has never mentioned before.  All the things that SMIL has been complaining about. That as his father was dying I never came to the hospital or called anyone.   He said I have not been supportive which he never said before.  SMIL has brainwashed him and is  basically trying to ruin our marriage.  So later in the evening things escalated and he was again going on and on about how cold and inconsiderate I am etc etc. . As we argued I kept saying " do you not see that we are arguing b/c of what she started' .  He cannot see this.   It turned out to be a very bad night.    I can hardly believe he expects me to have thanksgiving w SMIL!!  WTH.   How would u feel about having Thanksgiving w SMIL after she humiliated you?  I am just sick .

post #9 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by es1967 View Post
 

How would u feel about having Thanksgiving w SMIL after she humiliated you?  I am just sick .

No way. I know someone who had a similar situation (bad, but not this bad) and she has left the dealings with the in-laws up to her DH - he calls, he makes the plans, etc. I think you are right to set the boundary about you and your son not going if SMIL is there, especially because you have more than one reason to do that (disregarding your wishes re: your son, funeral antics). Would your DH consent to going to counseling with you? You need to be on the same page.

 

Just so you know, I was recently in a conflict where mean things were said, and it has had a couple of unexpected positive effects. In the process of trying to work it out, I feel I became more confident about defending myself (while remaining respectful, even though the other person wasn't) and refocused my attention on positive relationships with family and friends. I hope that you will be able to set a good boundary here and be able to turn your attention to positive things very soon! :Hug

post #10 of 37

Yeah - i think its perfectly OK not to go to anymore holidays with this person.  How young was your DH when this woman became his step mom?  Did DH's real mom go to the funeral?  Are there half brothers and sisters who DH will miss?  It sounds like he is trying to hold on to his relationship with his step mother.  So the question would be WHY?  

Sorry your going through this now - this time of year is hard enough!

post #11 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragana View Post
 

No way. I know someone who had a similar situation (bad, but not this bad) and she has left the dealings with the in-laws up to her DH - he calls, he makes the plans, etc. I think you are right to set the boundary about you and your son not going if SMIL is there, especially because you have more than one reason to do that (disregarding your wishes re: your son, funeral antics). Would your DH consent to going to counseling with you? You need to be on the same page.

 

Just so you know, I was recently in a conflict where mean things were said, and it has had a couple of unexpected positive effects. In the process of trying to work it out, I feel I became more confident about defending myself (while remaining respectful, even though the other person wasn't) and refocused my attention on positive relationships with family and friends. I hope that you will be able to set a good boundary here and be able to turn your attention to positive things very soon! :Hug


Thanks for the reply.  I too hope that some positive effects will result out of all this.

post #12 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by motherhendoula View Post
 

Yeah - i think its perfectly OK not to go to anymore holidays with this person.  How young was your DH when this woman became his step mom?  Did DH's real mom go to the funeral?  Are there half brothers and sisters who DH will miss?  It sounds like he is trying to hold on to his relationship with his step mother.  So the question would be WHY?  

Sorry your going through this now - this time of year is hard enough!

Dh has been around his step mom since he was little.  Yes, Dh's real mom did go to the funeral.  SMIL also dislikes Dh's real mom and has never been able to be civil with her.  I guess SMIL's upset w me softened MIL showing up.    Yes, DH has step brothers. Only one nearby.  SMIL has said evil things about her very own sons.  That she much prefers her dogs to her good for nothing sons. I think the problem w DH is that since he was a child he has been put in the middle of his real mother and then his SMIL and father.  Trying to please both.  I believe that he is doing the same thing w myself and our son.  I told him the other night that this has to end.  I am not subjecting my son to this.  Plus,in front of my son he insulted me saying how awful I have been not contacting SMIL over the past 14 months. That I am cold and inconsiderate.  Her husband/his father was dying but I did nothing.  Whenever we had a family occasion I would go but I did not call her personally ever.  I told him that she has been rude to me since we met why would I call her?  Whats funny is my DH has not expressed any upset to me or asked me to accompany him to see his father.  Like I said I have a 7 yr old and work.  DH also works 15 hrs a day so there is not much free time that I have to get away w/o DS in tow.  So I know SMIL and him have probably bonded and is defending her b/c he sees her point.  SMIL has hated me since DS was born.  I think b/c she looked at my son as an opportunity to get rid of the guilt she had for abandoning her own sons.

post #13 of 37

I'm sorry that you are going through this. Like others have said, grief does strange things to people. Also, I have found, children of abuse tend to do just about anything to "make it up" to the abuser, if they haven't dealt with the fact that they were abused.

 

My guess is your DH has always tried to get on his Step mother's good side, and tried to appease his father. Death brings out a lot of feelings. Of COURSE he should have stood up for you and insisted that you be allowed to visit and go to the wake and funeral. Personally, I would have just showed up, but that's how I do things.  Not everybody is a.... outspoken as I am. I don't blame you for not going.

 

The thing is, you and DH are going to need to work out this holiday thing. It will come up every year. Could you have holidays at your house and if his SM doesn't want to come, too bad for her.  Therapy is always good for this kind of thing. Your DH may get better as his grief subsides, but it may not. I feel for you, as my husband also came from an abusive family and still is trying to gain approval.

post #14 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggieLC View Post
 

I'm sorry that you are going through this. Like others have said, grief does strange things to people. Also, I have found, children of abuse tend to do just about anything to "make it up" to the abuser, if they haven't dealt with the fact that they were abused.

 

My guess is your DH has always tried to get on his Step mother's good side, and tried to appease his father. Death brings out a lot of feelings. Of COURSE he should have stood up for you and insisted that you be allowed to visit and go to the wake and funeral. Personally, I would have just showed up, but that's how I do things.  Not everybody is a.... outspoken as I am. I don't blame you for not going.

 

The thing is, you and DH are going to need to work out this holiday thing. It will come up every year. Could you have holidays at your house and if his SM doesn't want to come, too bad for her.  Therapy is always good for this kind of thing. Your DH may get better as his grief subsides, but it may not. I feel for you, as my husband also came from an abusive family and still is trying to gain approval.

Thanks.  I was torn about showing up but SMIL is so ignorant she would have made a major scene and it would have ended up in the local paper.  I just did not want that for my DH.  He loved his

father and was so upset already.       But yes many of my friends also said they would have gone. Regarding holidays I don't want to ever see SMIL again so  I will not invite her.  Anyways,my family is in Canada and we have my MIL which will probably appreciate that she won;t be left alone for anymore holidays now.  So DS and I will just stay w MIL and DH can go to SMIL if he so desires.  Just makes me sick that he cannot see she did anything wrong and that I am the mean one in all this.

post #15 of 37

Write an email to your husband - explaining how "you" asked him to visit FIL at the hospital - basically all points you mentioned about the visit in your first post. You've asked about the funeral and wake and was rudely DENIED the opportunity to visit him at the hospital or at the wake or funeral. And your support and love and affection is to your husband not to his step mother in law. Esp. to a person who has never had anything good to say about anybody, let alone her own children. And after the grief SHE caused YOU, you refuse to do any damn shit she puts you through. If he wants to be the SMIL's pleaser, so be it. But you and your kid wants no part of it. 

 

Stand your ground on not wanting to see the SMIL. Don't plead your ground in the email. Just state it and move on. He'll come around. 

 

Enjoy the thanksgiving meal at your own house with your MIL and people who support you. 

post #16 of 37
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice.  Email is not needed b/c the conversation we had this morning was exactly what you said.   Last week we both agreed not to bring up SMIL b/c we end up fighting.  This morning he mentioned how SMIL now wants to pay for our son's schooling.   I reminded him that he can have whatever relationship w SMIL he desires but DS and I are not part of it.  Of course then he goes into a rage and brings up every negative thing about "our" relationship. Is this normal for people grieving to put blame on other innocent people????  He is looking for someone to blame and SMIL has him wrapped around her finger.  Wanting to blame me that he can no longer be w the other family at holidays.  He said he would go and bring DS for an hour to their Thanksgiving.  There again I am the one left out at Thanksgiving because of her!!!!  This is how it will go.  I am standing strong on this b/c I am done w her.  

post #17 of 37

Glad you had that conversation and established that you are the victim here not your SMIL or your husband!!

 

Are you okay with him taking your son for 'an hour'?  Esp. after how she treated your son? and there's a pool in that house?

 

Read a book "Wolf in sheep's clothing! - It's about passive aggressive behaviors where somebody else looks guilty or is made to feel guilty because of a manipulative person and how to deal with it. 

post #18 of 37
Thread Starter 

In the past I have allowed more than I should have for FIL.  Now that he is no longer around I am done w SMIL's verbally abusive behavior and no I will not allow him to take DS.  Would you?  Thnks for the info on the book.  I will try to get it at the library tomorrow!

post #19 of 37

it sounds like maybe SMIL knows that she can manipulate your DH right now and so she is doing it and driving a wedge between you two and making him feel like he can't win and alienating you from him is a good way to do that.

post #20 of 37
Thread Starter 

Well, last night we went to our first session w a therapist.  I've never been to a therapist before and came out of there feeling very uneasy and stressed.

I felt like I spilled out my issues and she on several occasion's told me I was wrong.  DH has seen her once in the past so I felt like

she sided w him rather than looking at both sides of the situation.  For me I wanted to talk about the SMIL situation and DH wanted to talk about

disagreements 5-6 yrs ago.  Our disagreements stemmed mostly from different parenting styles.  Co sleeping , vaccines the whole bit.

So, to anyone who has been to counseling is that what therapists do?  Side w the one they think is right.  I've never been so I have no idea.  The therapist is also very mainstream so she had no understanding of issues like co lseeping, vaccines etc etc.  I'd like to find someone else.   Also what credentials do I seek out?  I've heard of another therapist and just realized thru her online pic that she attends my yoga classes- she is a "psyhchotherapist"  M.A.      Would that be a bad thing to use someone that attends the same yoga class once in a while? 

Thanks for any advice. 

Last night therapist is a LCSW,ACSW,PA

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