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

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#1 of 37 Old 11-07-2013, 06:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.  

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#2 of 37 Old 11-07-2013, 06:27 PM
 
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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

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#3 of 37 Old 11-08-2013, 04:13 AM
 
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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.

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#4 of 37 Old 11-08-2013, 05:03 AM
 
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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. 

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#5 of 37 Old 11-08-2013, 07:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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?

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#6 of 37 Old 11-08-2013, 11:16 AM
 
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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.


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#7 of 37 Old 11-08-2013, 11:40 AM
 
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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.


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#8 of 37 Old 11-09-2013, 02:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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 .

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#9 of 37 Old 11-11-2013, 01:52 PM
 
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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


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#10 of 37 Old 11-11-2013, 01:54 PM
 
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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!

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#11 of 37 Old 11-12-2013, 01:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

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#12 of 37 Old 11-12-2013, 01:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

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#13 of 37 Old 11-12-2013, 02:35 PM
 
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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.


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#14 of 37 Old 11-12-2013, 05:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

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#15 of 37 Old 11-15-2013, 06:51 AM
 
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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. 

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#16 of 37 Old 11-15-2013, 08:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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.  

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#17 of 37 Old 11-15-2013, 12:15 PM
 
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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. 


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#18 of 37 Old 11-15-2013, 03:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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!

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#19 of 37 Old 11-15-2013, 10:40 PM
 
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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.


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#20 of 37 Old 11-21-2013, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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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#21 of 37 Old 11-21-2013, 05:07 PM
 
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So sorry.... I know grief is powerful, but it is horrible how your husband and SMIL is treating you.  I can't even imagine.

 

Then on top of it... the therapist????  I am pretty sure the therapist is supposed to be a neutral 3rd party.  You should find someone you both are happy with.  I hope he is able to deal with his grief and start to communicate with you.... he is being so hurtful.... 


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#22 of 37 Old 11-22-2013, 07:59 AM
 
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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

 

Yeah, this therapist does not sound right at all. 

 

Keep looking for the right therapist for you..  A good therapist will NOT take sides and will work with both of you to resolve the issues. I don't know if going to the same yoga class as a therapist as a problem. It wouldn't be for me. But would it be a problem for your DH? 


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#23 of 37 Old 11-22-2013, 09:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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A few things she said :

 

By still co sleeping w my 7 yr old I am causing irreversible damage to DS.  I said some people would disagree with that.  She said

all her colleagues would agree w her.  DS is very secure and I am sure will want to get into his own bed soon.  One of the reasons

DS is still co sleeeping is that his bedroom is right next to a hallway utility room that holds 40 smart meters.  After reading about the dangers of just one meter I was concerned b/c we have 40!!!  We live in a condo. They affect children and elderly most.   Dh does not think this is worrisome so he said he would sleep there.. I would rather be safe than sorry when it come to DS.  I have been trying to get them removed but its difficult to make people understand.  Its like having 40 cellphones by your bed! I have no proof but need to go w my gut feeling.   DH also works until 11 pm every night.  I am a very light sleeper and him coming in so late disturbs me.  Therapist also did not like the fact that I have never left DS and went away on vacation without him.  This may be weird to some but I am an older mom and cherish every moment w him.  He is already not wanting to spend as much time w me.  He prefers time with dad and loves spending time w his Grandmother.

Anyways, I know DH was so happy to hear all this and made me look bad.  I do know that my son is an awesome well adjusted 

kid.  I do want to set a good example and am not opposed to DS having his own bed.  But would want to do it slowly.

The problem w DH and I is that our parenting styles are so mismatched.  I guess all this has bothered DH and has not said anything for the past few years so now w his fathers death all this has come out.  I don't know if SMIL was involved but she

will do anything to make me look bad.  

Therapist did not agree w me that DH's hours make it impossible for us to connect.  He works late nights 6 nights per week.

He is a workaholic like his father.   He has refused to take a vacation for 3 years which I also find a problem.   She disagreed. 

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#24 of 37 Old 11-22-2013, 09:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Shakti77 View Post
 

 

Yeah, this therapist does not sound right at all. 

 

Keep looking for the right therapist for you..  A good therapist will NOT take sides and will work with both of you to resolve the issues. I don't know if going to the same yoga class as a therapist as a problem. It wouldn't be for me. But would it be a problem for your DH? 

I was thinking I would not say anything to him that I have seen her in Yoga.  I have never spoken w her before.  She comes very seldom.

If he likes her credentials he would not care. 

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#25 of 37 Old 11-22-2013, 09:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by es1967 View Post

Therapist did not agree w me that DH's hours make it impossible for us to connect.  He works late nights 6 nights per week.

He is a workaholic like his father.   He has refused to take a vacation for 3 years which I also find a problem.   She disagreed. 

What!?!?!  How could anybody claim that those types of work hours could not cause a problem?

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#26 of 37 Old 11-22-2013, 10:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, shocking to me that a therapist would say this too.  Sounds like my DH paid her to say what he wanted.  LOL!

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#27 of 37 Old 11-22-2013, 01:20 PM
 
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I'm so sorry you're dealing with this! Hugs!!

I've experienced a lot of similar fights and frustrations with my DH and his mom. My FIL died suddenly a year and a half ago. I could write books on all of my hurts and the things I've learned and realized. I'll try to summarize a few key thoughts:
-- any therapist worth seeing won't agree to see a couple after already forming a relationship with one of the spouses. DH and I have three therapists: individual and a marriage counselor.
-- if it comes up, do NOT go to group therapy with SMIL. You aren't the one with the problem. She is and your DH is the one that has to deal with her IF he wants to keep the relationship. Not you!
-- it sounds to me like your DH is a mess right now. He's grieving, probably dealing with anger/resentment toward his dad, feeling guilty for being angry/resentful, too sad to struggle against SMIL, and on and on. He absolutely needs time to grieve some and deal with the things he's feeling. I totally agree on therapy but maybe right now is too early?? He's not going to be very open to tackling personal issues or a toxic relationship with SMIL who he's been appeasing his whole life. This was my personal experience.
-- I also agree to keep you and DS away from SMIL. If it were me, I'd hold firm on it no matter what. No discussion, just no. She's crazy and will do anything to hurt you and your marriage. Protect your son from her! No more unsupervised contact with SMIL!
-- remind DH that you've given him support to spend the holiday with his secondary family. You and DS, his primary family will be at safe MIL's house when he's finished. I agree this will come every holiday every year unless you work something out, but now probably isn't the time for that. I would just get through this year and reassess next year. It's normal, I think, for DH to cling to the closest reminders of his dad, even though it's obviously hurtful to you.
-- my DH and I have temporarily cut all contact with his mom as a consequence (not punishment) of her very ugly behavior. That's now. Years ago, he spent Christmas with her and I went with my family and it caused tons of conflict. Point is, DH eventually learned to trust me more than his toxic mom. He eventually chose me and the health of our family over her. We are much happier and united now. It took 5-6 years total and the last 2 of not contacting her after her ugliness. It's possible that you're starting into this right now. PM me if you'd like more details on my own experience, but it started similarly to yours.
-- my MIL has borderline personality disorder. Look it up and see if it fits your toxic MIL. If you think it does, broach it IN COUNSELING down the road. If you hammer DH with it now, it'll fall on deaf ears and might just make you look vindictive, which is how toxic MIL is portraying you (wrongly, of course!)

Ok, that's all I can think of right now. Stay strong in your resolve and boundaries. Don't accept the cash gift. The boundaries are the best way to get control back from toxic MIL. Just be there if DH comes to you, but maybe try to give him space. MIL will try to manipulate, but let her for now. She'll win the battle but you'll win the war, which is far more important! And she'll show her true colors eventually. Then, DH will decide he's had enough and the hurtful eulogy, etc., will be distant memories. :-)
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#28 of 37 Old 11-22-2013, 01:21 PM
 
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And definitely dump that joke of a therapist! She sounds like a weirdo. You sound like a GREAT mother!
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#29 of 37 Old 11-22-2013, 01:39 PM
 
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I think perhaps I'm in the minority but it looks to me that you have a lot of reasons for things.  For not seeing FIL, not liking the therapist, continuing to co sleep when it is obviously not making your DH very happy.   If you aren't open to the idea that you MAY HAVE (not saying you did but there are always 2 sides) done something to contribute to the problems then I don't think any therapy is going to help.  I wouldn't go blaming all this on your SMIL either. She couldn't physically stop you from going. I agree that your DH should really have stood up but honestly it sounds a lot more like very hurt feelings (that you didn't visit and the like) and grief driving some really bad and obnoxious behavior on your DH and SMIL's parts.

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#30 of 37 Old 11-24-2013, 02:29 PM
 
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Trust your instincts.  I wouldn't go back to her.  SW stands for Social Worker (usually).  It sounds like she could cause more harm than good to your marriage.

 

I would see a therapist (probably a licensed family therapist who has an interest in attachment parenting) on your own who understands Cluster B personality disorders (PD's), (which includes borderline PD and Narcissistic PD) and then feel out if she may be a good fit for H.   I don't think it really matters if she goes to your yoga class or not (unless it makes you feel uncomfortable and less likely to open up).  She would be professionally bound (if licensed) by an oath of confidentiality and would need to maintain a professional polite distance outside of therapy.  Not all therapists are adequately trained to deal with navigating issues with people with PD's, and they can inappropriately try to be 'fair' and 'neutral' and overlook power imbalance that might exist in the marriage.  Those therapists can actually cause more harm than good (if the marriage is actually defined by some power imbalance).  Power imbalance is a bit of a tricky thing to define - but basically it results in one partner's needs taking priority over the other, and any inisistence on equal power is met by resistance of the other (often in the form of passive aggression that's not always noticed, but is 'felt').  It may or may not be going on in your marriage....but I throw that term out there for your reflection.  It really sounds like your H is having difficulty supporting you and understanding your needs.

 

It sounds like your H is possibly the child of a possibly narcissist father, who remarried an equally narcissistic (or borderline) woman.  Parenting by 2 narcissists could have created some narcissistic traits in him - which tend to present themselves more during times of stress.  I would strongly encourage exploring this on your own in counselling, before agreeing to any more joint sessions.  It's hard to say from reading what I've read if your H has narcissistic traits, or if he is more of a people pleaser (because narcissistic people are inherently people pleasers - admiration from others gives them narcissistic supply - and they crave it like a drug.  so if H happened to be narcissistic himself and happened to get more admiration and validation from his SM than from you - he would choose her).  If H has traits of true empathy (not the fake kind designed to make him look good) behind his people pleasing, there is hope...if you can stick to the topic of SMIL in therapy and not let him sidestep the issue.   If you come to see that H could be a narcissist himself and lacks the ability to put himself in your shoes (empathy), then the prognosis for a resolution is pretty poor unfortunately.

 

The Parents as Partners forum is a good place to explore this issue too....and offers a little more privacy- access is only given after a certain amount of time and posts on MDC (I think 60 days? It  can help protect your privacy in case H discovers you are posting on MDC and is reading your posts - as long as you are sure to log out, and know that he has not signed up for membership.  As far as I can tell, that forum is not viewable to the general public who don't have MDC membership).

 

I admire so much that you are standing your ground with SMIL.  Cutting out toxic people from one's life is key to personal growth.  Don't let H sidestep the real issue at hand, which is his putting SMIL's needs ahead of yours.

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