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<p>I've posted once or twice before about some of the issues dh and I are having.  We've been in joint counseling since June, and while there have been a couple of small bright spots, it's been a really tough slog.  I'm having a hard time tonight, and came up with a list of things that are most troubling to me.  I'm wondering if I could get some feedback or support?  M is dh, the family stuff mentioned is all his side/his mother's side of the family--the people I am expected to joyfully interact with at least a couple of times a month and am expected to entrust with the care of my child.  Both of dh's parents were active alcoholics until he was out of the home.</p>
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<ul><li style="margin:0px 0px 0px 0px;font:12px Helvetica;">Great Grandpa apparently had a penchant for child molesting/sexual assault or at least meant to try it out.</li>
<li style="margin:0px 0px 0px 0px;font:12px Helvetica;">Grandma thinks it's funny that her grandchildren had access to Grandpa's pornography.  (precocious exposure to such things known to increase risk of children being victimized or engaging in sexual behavior inappropriate to age group/considered a form of child abuse)</li>
<li style="margin:0px 0px 0px 0px;font:12px Helvetica;">An uncle apparently inherited Great Grandpa's tendency, resulting in the rape of his sister, M.'s mother.  Recidivism?</li>
<li style="margin:0px 0px 0px 0px;font:12px Helvetica;">How many active alcoholics? (will ds be around?)</li>
<li style="margin:0px 0px 0px 0px;font:12px Helvetica;">How many children raised by alcoholics?</li>
<li style="margin:0px 0px 0px 0px;font:12px Helvetica;">Hiding things is not only ok, it's expected; e.g., things M.'s mother gives to him because she doesn't want his sister to have them (according to M.).  M.'s mother pays 40% of the house payment on the house where M. and I are living, but his sister is not supposed to know about it.  It's supposed to be ok/normal to hide those things or keep secrets.</li>
<li style="margin:0px 0px 0px 0px;font:12px Helvetica;">M. seems to me to think that as long as he's pulling something over on someone/won't get caught, anything goes.</li>
<li style="margin:0px 0px 0px 0px;font:12px Helvetica;">M. seems to me to have a troubled relationship with alcohol.</li>
<li style="margin:0px 0px 0px 0px;font:12px Helvetica;">M. doesn't seem to me to have been protected/guided/supported/chaperoned/helped/supervised/parented during a good part of his adolescence.  That doesn't seem to have worked out so well.  (Where were mom and dad?)  What is to show any kind of ability to properly care for ds, assuming the opportunity, or support his growing up to be an honest, trustworthy person?  Not seeing how M.'s upbringing has resulted in a healthy person (fraud, cheating, beginning to teach ds to lie to me, lying to me himself, alcohol abuse/petty theft/embezzlement from work.)</li>
</ul><p style="margin:0px 0px 0px 0px;font:12px Helvetica;min-height:14px;"> </p>
<p style="margin:0px 0px 0px 0px;font:12px Helvetica;">Somehow this is all supposed to be ok, and I am supposed to trust that my child is safe.  A multigenerational pattern of alcoholism and child abuse/molestation.  I am welcome to participate in the family dynamic, as long as I don't question anything or try to set limits/boundaries.  </p>
<p style="margin:0px 0px 0px 0px;font:12px Helvetica;min-height:14px;"> </p>
<p style="margin:0px 0px 0px 0px;font:12px Helvetica;">If M. would allow any of the above questions/concerns as valid, or would work with me to address any of these issues, *maybe* he wouldn't hate me so much/be so angry.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>annalivia</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285202/this-is-a-disaster#post_16112712"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I've posted once or twice before about some of the issues dh and I are having.  We've been in joint counseling since June, and while there have been a couple of small bright spots, it's been a really tough slog.  I'm having a hard time tonight, and came up with a list of things that are most troubling to me.  I'm wondering if I could get some feedback or support?  M is dh, the family stuff mentioned is all his side/his mother's side of the family--the people I am expected to joyfully interact with at least a couple of times a month and am expected to entrust with the care of my child.  Both of dh's parents were active alcoholics until he was out of the home.</p>
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<ul><li style="margin:0px;font-family:Helvetica;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;font-size:12px;line-height:normal;">Great Grandpa apparently had a penchant for child molesting/sexual assault or at least meant to try it out.</li>
<li style="margin:0px;font-family:Helvetica;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;font-size:12px;line-height:normal;">Grandma thinks it's funny that her grandchildren had access to Grandpa's pornography.  (precocious exposure to such things known to increase risk of children being victimized or engaging in sexual behavior inappropriate to age group/considered a form of child abuse)</li>
<li style="margin:0px;font-family:Helvetica;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;font-size:12px;line-height:normal;">An uncle apparently inherited Great Grandpa's tendency, resulting in the rape of his sister, M.'s mother.  Recidivism?</li>
<li style="margin:0px;font-family:Helvetica;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;font-size:12px;line-height:normal;">How many active alcoholics? (will ds be around?)</li>
<li style="margin:0px;font-family:Helvetica;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;font-size:12px;line-height:normal;">How many children raised by alcoholics?</li>
<li style="margin:0px;font-family:Helvetica;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;font-size:12px;line-height:normal;">Hiding things is not only ok, it's expected; e.g., things M.'s mother gives to him because she doesn't want his sister to have them (according to M.).  M.'s mother pays 40% of the house payment on the house where M. and I are living, but his sister is not supposed to know about it.  It's supposed to be ok/normal to hide those things or keep secrets.</li>
<li style="margin:0px;font-family:Helvetica;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;font-size:12px;line-height:normal;">M. seems to me to think that as long as he's pulling something over on someone/won't get caught, anything goes.</li>
<li style="margin:0px;font-family:Helvetica;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;font-size:12px;line-height:normal;">M. seems to me to have a troubled relationship with alcohol.</li>
<li style="margin:0px;font-family:Helvetica;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;font-size:12px;line-height:normal;">M. doesn't seem to me to have been protected/guided/supported/chaperoned/helped/supervised/parented during a good part of his adolescence.  That doesn't seem to have worked out so well.  (Where were mom and dad?)  What is to show any kind of ability to properly care for ds, assuming the opportunity, or support his growing up to be an honest, trustworthy person?  Not seeing how M.'s upbringing has resulted in a healthy person (fraud, cheating, beginning to teach ds to lie to me, lying to me himself, alcohol abuse/petty theft/embezzlement from work.)</li>
</ul><p style="margin:0px;font-family:Helvetica;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;font-size:12px;line-height:normal;min-height:14px;"> </p>
<p style="margin:0px;font-family:Helvetica;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;font-size:12px;line-height:normal;">Somehow this is all supposed to be ok, and I am supposed to trust that my child is safe.  A multigenerational pattern of alcoholism and child abuse/molestation.  I am welcome to participate in the family dynamic, as long as I don't question anything or try to set limits/boundaries.  </p>
<p style="margin:0px;font-family:Helvetica;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;font-size:12px;line-height:normal;min-height:14px;"> </p>
<p style="margin:0px;font-family:Helvetica;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;font-weight:normal;font-size:12px;line-height:normal;"><strong>If M. would allow any of the above questions/concerns as valid, or would work with me to address any of these issues, *maybe* he wouldn't hate me so much/be so angry.</strong></p>
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<p><br>
To be frank, everything you posted is such a dealbreaker for me that I don't quite understand what you are looking for in terms of feedback and support. Of course your kids should not be around abusive and drunk people...are you asking if they should be or just summarizing the family history?</p>
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<p>Both my DH and I have crazy family history, but we also know who is safe to leave our kids with, who we need to supervise visits with, and who our kids are not visiting. If you need support in that, I totally support you in drawing that boundary. No, your kids should not be around alcoholics who think abuse is funny. If this is all in the past, then I would say no, your kids should not be ALONE around those people.</p>
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<p>For the issues around honesty, poor parenting, etc. with with your spouse...why are you with this person? And most importantly, why are you focusing on his hating you (hating you? Why are you with someone who hates you?) and not on your own feelings.</p>
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<p>If you have been in couples counselling I think I suggest individual counselling for you as soon as you can start.</p>
 

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<p>His family sounds so much like my family that I actually wouldn't be surprised if you were married to someone in my extended family. Here's what I will say from having been through these issues.</p>
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<p>First, it is incredibly difficult to break away from a family like your husband's because there's an almost cultish mindset that is ingrained in you from the time you are a small child. Secrets are good. Family is all you have. No one else is to be trusted. When you're told that from your toddler years, unpacking all of that damage is incredibly hard work and will take far longer than 6 months in couples therapy. </p>
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<p>On the other side, I do not allow my children to be with my family. We visit very rarely, mostly for special occasions for my cousins - who lived through the same hell I did, and when we do, my children know that they are to be with me, DH, or my sister at all times. They are not allowed anywhere without one of us. I've never considered just leaving my kids with my family, but even if I did, DH wouldn't stand for it. He would be ready to go to battle for the kids over that because it's just too dangerous. So I completely see your side, and I've been where your husband is. I just don't know how to help you to get him to see how dangerous it is. One of the eye-openers for me was realizing that all families aren't like mine. A lot of incestuous things happened in my family, and while some (like child molestation) are obviously wrong, others didn't strike me as abnormal until I was an adult. I don't know how to get your husband to see that, but sometimes you do get into a fog of not realizing exactly what's normal or not in other families because your household and your entire extended family (which, when you're raised this way, is pretty much all of the outside contact you have) live that way.</p>
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<p>Taken outside the context of sexual abuse, and it's the same. Our minister's wife was beaten horribly as a child, but it was under the guise of "the Bible." She was only allowed with other families who also treated their children that way, and she said that she didn't realize until college that every family didn't operate that way. It was a huge eye-opener for her, and in my experience it's the same with alcoholism and other forms of abuse.</p>
 
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<p>My multi-quote rarely works.  When I married dh, I knew that his parents were alcoholics, but I had no idea of how deeply that ran through both sides of his family.  I grew up in a home where alcohol was absent to the point that I'm sometimes surprised we had real vanilla in the cupboard.  He seemed "normal" to me, I heard some tales about his delinquency in high school, but I thought those were live and learn kind of stories.  I found out about the history of sexual abuse from dh's sister just about six months ago.  She told me in the context of explaining her mother's alcoholism (so what about everyone else?), I think I was supposed to say, "Oh, how awful, of course she has had trouble..."  Instead, I said, "How awful!  Can you tell me what you know about what was done to protect vulnerable family members?"  That was the wrong question, apparently.</p>
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<p>I have since been labeled as overprotective, controlling and vindictive--for not wanting my ds to spend time with dh's family without me present, whereas my presence with his family as our (my and dh's) ability to communicate about anything at all broke down more and more, became excruciating.  I found out also about six months ago that dh committed unemployment fraud in my name when I quit work to give birth/stay home with ds.  He lied directly to me about that repeatedly.  When I found out for sure what had happened, I immediately reported it to the Dept. of Unemployment.  I got no response from them, but dh is livid and thinks I was probably trying to kill him (he thinks he could have gone to jail, where he thinks he could die), and that I was trying to hurt him/our ds.  He is absolutely unbending when it comes to his sense of family obligation, and their right to access to ds.  He cannot or will not hear any of my concerns and seems to me to be so very amoral that it's shocking.  He sees my decision to report fraud committed in my name as a betrayal of the worst kind.</p>
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<p>I am here and we are doing counseling because I am two thirds of the way across the country from my family and friends.  I don't have resources here, and I feel or have felt that my best chance of protecting my child was to try to maintain and repair my marriage so that I could be around to supervise interactions with dh's family and for that matter, dh--right before we started counseling, he was trying to carry on the family legacy by doing things with ds and saying, "don't tell mama."  His mother is sober now, but I don't think her brothers are.  Dh's father died this summer.  I am not able to feel trust for any of dh's family members, although I don't think any of them would deliberately set out to harm ds.  I have been pushed and pushed and pushed and I'm up against a wall with my need/desire to protect my child and dh's insistence that his family is a valuable resource and should be more involved in our and our ds's lives.</p>
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<p>I don't know that it's true that dh hates me, that was coming from quite a well of misery, but he is hard and angry and hateful and unwilling to consider my perspective where his family is concerned.</p>
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<p>ETA, sometimes I just need to know that I'm not the crazy one.  That's the predominant perspective coming at me from outside (dh, his family), and I need to hear that I'm not the only one who finds the family history dubious, at best.  I mean, how could you not?  But trying to talk to dh/his family is like walking into a fog.  I do also have at least one solo appt. a month with our counselor, but I can't do all of this by myself.</p>
 

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<p>My husband and my backgrounds have some similarities with what you have posted, I won't go into those here, as I don't want my garbage posted to the world, and much of it is NO LONGER my story.  I've chosen to rewrite my story starting a few years ago, and I generally try not to rehash the old stuff. </p>
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<p>My husband and I had a life-altering moment.  We each sought counseling and also sought marriage counseling.  It changed our marriage, we are more in-love now than when we married.  Many times the old behavior patterns try to rear their heads, and we support each other to try to get through it.  BUT we were both willing to face our issues, try to learn something and move on. </p>
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<p>We have cut certain people from our lives, and never in a million years would we make ourselves beholden to someone that had the potential to hurt us.  You leave the door open by accepting the mortgage payment.</p>
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<p>It's very very very hard to work out of those old patterns, to face the shame and hurt and pain again, to acknowledge something (like the rape and abuse), know it hurt someone you love, and be unable to do a thing to help them.  Unless/until he has the ability to do these things, and move forward to changing the here and now, you probably will not have the relationship you want.  And from the other perspective, you must be able to be patient with him as he does these things.  It hurts like nobodies business to do this work.  It's taken me years to get here, I finally had a real break through at a sweat lodge a few months ago and I cried rivers and buckets and found pain I didn't know existed.</p>
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<p>At some point you could choose to accept the status quo, and know that someday, maybe, it might get better, but that is probably not the best thing for your children.  If you do that they will relive the same patterns you and your husband have chosen.  Or you can move on, and put in writing to him how much you love him, but that you can't accept X-Y-Z and if someday he is willing to work on these issues/keep these people out of your life/stop accepting large gifts from the people with power to hurt you, you might reconsider a relationship.  Or you can do something else entirely, but I do not know what that might be.</p>
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<p>It's your life, it's your child's life, you've only got today.  Make it count, give your child the opportunity to make better choices by modeling good choices now.</p>
 
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<p>I'm glad that you and your husband found a way through, I still have some faint hope for that for my husband and myself.  The safety and well being of my child is my topmost priority, and that involves both trying to build a healthy relationship or at least reaching a place of some understanding with my husband, honoring the love that ds and dh have for one another and doing my best to take care of myself.</p>
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<p>I was not privy to the arrangements made with regard to the mortgage payment, dh brought that up after he'd accepted that offer from his mother as a means of trying to make me feel some sense of further obligation to his family, but I wasn't part of that deal, and if I could gracefully and easily leave this house and not disrupt or damage our child/start WWIII by doing so, I'd be out in a heartbeat.  It's a house dh bought with his mother before we met, however he always spoke of it as his house, talked about buying it/fixing some things, and it wasn't until sometime after we were married that I even found out that his mother's name was on the mortgage.  I am not consulted about these matters and my opinion doesn't matter to dh.  Honestly, this whole place feels absolutely pestilent to me a lot of the time.<br>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>coyotemist</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285202/this-is-a-disaster#post_16113442"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>My husband and my backgrounds have some similarities with what you have posted, I won't go into those here, as I don't want my garbage posted to the world, and much of it is NO LONGER my story.  I've chosen to rewrite my story starting a few years ago, and I generally try not to rehash the old stuff. </p>
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<p>My husband and I had a life-altering moment.  We each sought counseling and also sought marriage counseling.  It changed our marriage, we are more in-love now than when we married.  Many times the old behavior patterns try to rear their heads, and we support each other to try to get through it.  BUT we were both willing to face our issues, try to learn something and move on. </p>
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<p>We have cut certain people from our lives, and never in a million years would we make ourselves beholden to someone that had the potential to hurt us.  You leave the door open by accepting the mortgage payment.</p>
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<p>It's very very very hard to work out of those old patterns, to face the shame and hurt and pain again, to acknowledge something (like the rape and abuse), know it hurt someone you love, and be unable to do a thing to help them.  Unless/until he has the ability to do these things, and move forward to changing the here and now, you probably will not have the relationship you want.  And from the other perspective, you must be able to be patient with him as he does these things.  It hurts like nobodies business to do this work.  It's taken me years to get here, I finally had a real break through at a sweat lodge a few months ago and I cried rivers and buckets and found pain I didn't know existed.</p>
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<p>At some point you could choose to accept the status quo, and know that someday, maybe, it might get better, but that is probably not the best thing for your children.  If you do that they will relive the same patterns you and your husband have chosen.  Or you can move on, and put in writing to him how much you love him, but that you can't accept X-Y-Z and if someday he is willing to work on these issues/keep these people out of your life/stop accepting large gifts from the people with power to hurt you, you might reconsider a relationship.  Or you can do something else entirely, but I do not know what that might be.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>It's your life, it's your child's life, you've only got today.  Make it count, give your child the opportunity to make better choices by modeling good choices now.</p>
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<p><br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>annalivia</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285202/this-is-a-disaster#post_16113492"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><p>I was not privy to the arrangements made with regard to the mortgage payment, dh brought that up after he'd accepted that offer from his mother as a means of trying to make me feel some sense of further obligation to his family, but I wasn't part of that deal, and <strong>if I could gracefully and easily leave this house and not disrupt or damage our child/start WWIII by doing so, I'd be out in a heartbeat. </strong></p>
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Don't forget the damage you do by staying.  It's a longer term, more untouchable sort of damage.  It's akin to finding it acceptable to live as a victim.  Leaving a relationship is not usually a graceful thing.  It cuts like a butterknife, ragged and torn.  Trying to unlearn a victim mentality is as hard as unlearning any other sort of behavior, maybe harder.</p>
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<p>I'm not telling you what to do, please don't take it that way.  Only you can decide the right path for you and your child.  Your DH has already decided to cut you out of his and his mother's relationship.  Nothing you decide to do in this situation is going to be easy, and staying in this situation is a decision to allow what is happening to continue. </p>
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<p>Many many times I've been at this crossroads with my husband, but he continues to work out of his pain and learn to be a better father, and so I decide to stay, but absolutely do not allow myself or my children to be a victim.  I speak up to him, and tell him where the bear poos in the woods, as it were.  And he listens, and responds (usually after thinking about it for a bit) and becomes a better husband and father.  I can't say that this crossroads won't appear again in our relationship, because it might.  And I've got my armor and battle plans if it does.  I've become quite a strong woman out of this whole mess, and nobody or nothing is going to put me in that situation again.  My battle is often fought with a smile and civility, but, as I've learned recently, I'm considered very smart, very strong, and not somebody to mess with.</p>
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<p>I urge you to contact your local domestic violence shelter and see if  they have a counseling/support group.  Monetary/mental abuse is still abuse.  2 local shelters played a huge part in my and my husbands recovery.  I told my husband that I was going to visit a friend, they provided childcare.  We met for a year, and then I left the group.  Things with my husband and I actually got worse after that before they got better.</p>
 

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<p>Don't let "being far from friends and family" be a deterrent to seeking a better life for yourself and your child.  Many mothers who have broken free from unhealthy relationships have not had the support of their families, and had to make new friends wherever they've landed.  My child still has to spend time with his father, whom I also consider to be amoral in many aspects, but in divorcing, I have greatly reduced my son's exposure to him, and have sent a clear message on what behavior is/isn't acceptable.</p>
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<p>I just don't see how you can improve a relationship in which you're lied to repeatedly and in which your values are not only unshared, but disregarded altogether.   </p>
 

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Discussion Starter #10
<p>I know that women everywhere do amazing things for their children, often seemingly out of plain air and by the skin of their teeth.  I've been trying to think about what that would look like for me.  How I could leave, what that would look like, in terms of impact on my son (moving, being apart from daddy, me going from sah to work, most likely meaning ds would have to start daycare/preschool, a substantial change in our daily lives and standard of living--not posh now, but potentially changing to poverty level income), resigning myself to being completely unable to prevent or control the potential for damage to ds from dh's family (maybe I can't do that anyway?  The idea that I can is something that keeps me here for the time being).  What I could respectfully explain to my ds about boundaries/tolerable behavior without defaming his father or father's family or creating fear or misunderstanding.  I'm still at a point where I'm holding on to or mourning the loss of a future imagined; the possibility of another child (that hurts deeply--I get that it's not ruled out, but more and more unlikely, to be sure), an intact, healthy, happy family, more time to sah or possibly home school.  I am still holding on to the idea that my dh will suddenly be able to understand the things I've been saying, through counseling and perseverance, and that he will be open to working on some things himself.  These are things I haven't yet sorted through to my satisfaction.  Maybe you or others would be willing to share a bit about how you were able to do that kind of sorting?<br>
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>MissLotus</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285202/this-is-a-disaster#post_16113680"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Don't let "being far from friends and family" be a deterrent to seeking a better life for yourself and your child.  Many mothers who have broken free from unhealthy relationships have not had the support of their families, and had to make new friends wherever they've landed.  My child still has to spend time with his father, whom I also consider to be amoral in many aspects, but in divorcing, I have greatly reduced my son's exposure to him, and have sent a clear message on what behavior is/isn't acceptable.</p>
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<p>I just don't see how you can improve a relationship in which you're lied to repeatedly and in which your values are not only unshared, but disregarded altogether.   </p>
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<p>OP, it sounds like you can benefit from one on one counseling without your husband. It doesn't sound like you are valued or respected. Be less concerned with your DH feeling hurt and more concerned with making sure your DC is not left with people who are clearly unsafe. Is your DH concerned with your feelings in regards to his family or the crime he committed using your name? I think you have to worry less about what your DH needs to work on and work on you- work on being confident and strong so that,if you choose, you can leave what is clearly an unhealthy relationship.</p>
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Discussion Starter #12
<p>What's funny is that I always have (had?) been confident and strong.  I moved out of my family home when I was 16 (graduated early) and lived solo (except for a few months a couple of times) until I moved in with dh when I was 29.  It's very confusing.  I do one on one counseling at least once a month, often twice, but it's a big stretch for the budget.<br>
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<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>gbailey</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285202/this-is-a-disaster#post_16113878"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>OP, it sounds like you can benefit from one on one counseling without your husband. It doesn't sound like you are valued or respected. Be less concerned with your DH feeling hurt and more concerned with making sure your DC is not left with people who are clearly unsafe. Is your DH concerned with your feelings in regards to his family or the crime he committed using your name? I think you have to worry less about what your DH needs to work on and work on you- work on being confident and strong so that,if you choose, you can leave what is clearly an unhealthy relationship.</p>
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<p>I understand mourning the loss of something you thought you'd have, but don't.  The thing is, it seems to me that by staying, you are actually denying yourself and your child a "healthy, happy family".  (I can tell you from experience that home life post-divorce was/is MUCH healthier and happier - home is a peaceful, positive place for my child - not a confusing, ugly mess as it would be with ex here.)  Because there is nothing healthy or happy in the picture you described in your first post.  No matter how much you <em>want</em> it to be different, it is what it is.  Your husband's value system - or lack thereof - is far too deeply ingrained for him to have the "Aha!" moment you desire.  The expression "You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear" comes to mind. </p>
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<p>Given the environment you describe, being apart from daddy sometimes may not by such a bad thing for your child.  As far as the financial logistics and how they would affect you and your child, that is where a consultation with a lawyer will come in handy.  You will get a better sense on what your standard of living will be if you leave the relationship, and it will be easier for you to create a plan for yourself that is do-able. </p>
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<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>annalivia</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285202/this-is-a-disaster#post_16113845"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I know that women everywhere do amazing things for their children, often seemingly out of plain air and by the skin of their teeth.  I've been trying to think about what that would look like for me.  How I could leave, what that would look like, in terms of impact on my son (moving, being apart from daddy, me going from sah to work, most likely meaning ds would have to start daycare/preschool, a substantial change in our daily lives and standard of living--not posh now, but potentially changing to poverty level income), resigning myself to being completely unable to prevent or control the potential for damage to ds from dh's family (maybe I can't do that anyway?  The idea that I can is something that keeps me here for the time being).  What I could respectfully explain to my ds about boundaries/tolerable behavior without defaming his father or father's family or creating fear or misunderstanding.  I'm still at a point where I'm holding on to or mourning the loss of a future imagined; the possibility of another child (that hurts deeply--I get that it's not ruled out, but more and more unlikely, to be sure), an intact, healthy, happy family, more time to sah or possibly home school.  I am still holding on to the idea that my dh will suddenly be able to understand the things I've been saying, through counseling and perseverance, and that he will be open to working on some things himself.  These are things I haven't yet sorted through to my satisfaction.  Maybe you or others would be willing to share a bit about how you were able to do that kind of sorting?<br>
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<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>MissLotus</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285202/this-is-a-disaster#post_16113680"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Don't let "being far from friends and family" be a deterrent to seeking a better life for yourself and your child.  Many mothers who have broken free from unhealthy relationships have not had the support of their families, and had to make new friends wherever they've landed.  My child still has to spend time with his father, whom I also consider to be amoral in many aspects, but in divorcing, I have greatly reduced my son's exposure to him, and have sent a clear message on what behavior is/isn't acceptable.</p>
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<p>I just don't see how you can improve a relationship in which you're lied to repeatedly and in which your values are not only unshared, but disregarded altogether.   </p>
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<p>Can I ask a question? And this is NOT a snarky question at all, because I can relate to a lot of what you said in your post.</p>
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<p>What initially drew you to your dh? You said he didn't turn out well, but there must be something? do you still love him and if so what do you love about him? Can you use that as a starting point?</p>
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<p>My dp was raised by a mom who popped pills and an alcoholic dad. His mom spoke out about sexual abuse that she witnessed of her niece and was thrown out of the relative's house (and they persuaded the niece to say it hadn't happened.) My dp's other nieces are currently living in another country away from his sister (their mom) because she allowed them to go there for a "visit" with her husband, and he never brought them back.</p>
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<p>Dp  used to steal and I know he has stolen things a couple times since we've been together. In fact jsut the other day in counseling I brought up that I feel he has a sense of entitlement, an "If I want it I'm going to take it" attitude. On each occasion that he has stolen it was something we needed and didn't have money for. I still felt it was wrong. But he made me feel like *I* was the bad guy for being upset, because he was "just doing what had to be done." So I can very much relate to the unemployment fraud situation.</p>
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<p> I know that he does love me and also that by my persistence he's started to realize that perhaps the way we grew up is not normal (I also have a toxic family background, and I bring a LOT of my own baggage to the relationship.). I don't know if there was an aha! moment so much as lots of late night talks. I had to try really hard to step out of my own reality and try to understand what it must be like to be in his shoes, to try and get inside his head. I felt in my gut that it was worth the fight. I've screamed at him, we fight, I threatened to leave him once. i've driven to 7-11 and broke down crying because I was so frustrated and hurt and helpless.</p>
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<p>I don't know if any of this is helpful to you. I can't tell from your posts whether you are jsut staying to protect your dc from an abusive family, or whether you truly love this man and you feel that under all the crap he loves you, and you still want to make it work. My ex-h was abusive. He was from a toxic family of origin as well. he didn't love me and had no desire to change. I think instinctively I knew that, because I put way less effort into the relationship. Once I recognized the abuse I just got the hell out of dodge.</p>
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<p>it can be incredibly hard to separate yourself from toxic family. This is something I struggle with a lot. dp made it clear to me that I had to set up some boundaries with my mom or our relationship would not succeed. </p>
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<p>Is he a good father? Outside of his seeming inability to realize how dangerous his family is?</p>
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<p>I really feel for you. What a tough position to be in. I am also curious to know what is the counselor's take on all this. Surely if you've been going since June, this has been brought up? How does he justify it to the counselor?</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #15
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>waiting2bemommy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285202/this-is-a-disaster#post_16115003"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Can I ask a question? And this is NOT a snarky question at all, because I can relate to a lot of what you said in your post.</p>
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<p>What initially drew you to your dh? You said he didn't turn out well, but there must be something? do you still love him and if so what do you love about him? Can you use that as a starting point?</p>
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<p>My dp was raised by a mom who popped pills and an alcoholic dad. His mom spoke out about sexual abuse that she witnessed of her niece and was thrown out of the relative's house (and they persuaded the niece to say it hadn't happened.) My dp's other nieces are currently living in another country away from his sister (their mom) because she allowed them to go there for a "visit" with her husband, and he never brought them back.</p>
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<p>Dp  used to steal and I know he has stolen things a couple times since we've been together. In fact jsut the other day in counseling I brought up that I feel he has a sense of entitlement, an "If I want it I'm going to take it" attitude. On each occasion that he has stolen it was something we needed and didn't have money for. I still felt it was wrong. But he made me feel like *I* was the bad guy for being upset, because he was "just doing what had to be done." So I can very much relate to the unemployment fraud situation.</p>
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<p> I know that he does love me and also that by my persistence he's started to realize that perhaps the way we grew up is not normal (I also have a toxic family background, and I bring a LOT of my own baggage to the relationship.). I don't know if there was an aha! moment so much as lots of late night talks. I had to try really hard to step out of my own reality and try to understand what it must be like to be in his shoes, to try and get inside his head. I felt in my gut that it was worth the fight. I've screamed at him, we fight, I threatened to leave him once. i've driven to 7-11 and broke down crying because I was so frustrated and hurt and helpless.</p>
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<p>I don't know if any of this is helpful to you. I can't tell from your posts whether you are jsut staying to protect your dc from an abusive family, or whether you truly love this man and you feel that under all the crap he loves you, and you still want to make it work. My ex-h was abusive. He was from a toxic family of origin as well. he didn't love me and had no desire to change. I think instinctively I knew that, because I put way less effort into the relationship. Once I recognized the abuse I just got the hell out of dodge.</p>
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<p>it can be incredibly hard to separate yourself from toxic family. This is something I struggle with a lot. dp made it clear to me that I had to set up some boundaries with my mom or our relationship would not succeed. </p>
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<p>Is he a good father? Outside of his seeming inability to realize how dangerous his family is?</p>
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<p>I really feel for you. What a tough position to be in. I am also curious to know what is the counselor's take on all this. Surely if you've been going since June, this has been brought up? How does he justify it to the counselor?</p>
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I honestly don't know how I feel at this point beyond frustrated and trapped.  When we met, it just felt right.  I certainly didn't have plans for marriage (possibly ever), but we just worked well together, I thought, and he was funny and silly and thoughtful and helpful.  I was terribly naive about how very very very different our backgrounds and family experiences were.</p>
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<p>Our counseling is based on NVC stuff, a lot of listening, mirroring, validating, so I'm getting more practice trying to understand his point of view or his reasons for making some of the choices he's made.  So at least I'm not torturing myself (much) with making up stories about his motivations and how they relate to me.</p>
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<p>He has an amazing capacity for play with ds.  I don't feel I can entirely trust him to keep ds safe/make safe decisions/set an ethical example, however, and I am on super high alert about that stuff just about all the time.</p>
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<p>Our counselor has acknowledged to me that my concerns/fears are valid, but dh won't discuss his family other than to demand that I get on board with lots of visits/leaving ds with his mother or sister, and being pals with everybody.  He considers that non-negotiable at this point.  To clarify, too, in my OP, the family relationships I was describing are relative to dh, not ds, so dh's Great Grandfather, his Uncle, etc.  We are a generation out from what sexual abuse I know of, but I don't really find comfort in that, given my understanding of how that kind of damage persists, especially when it's kept secret as it has seemed to be.  Dh's mom allowed dh and his sister to visit their Great Grandfather (who lived just down the lane on the farm) unaccompanied when they were children.  GGP tried to sexually assault dh's mom, but she fought him off.</p>
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<p>I appreciate your post, and didn't find anything the least bit snarky about it.  We don't fight, we just wander around in distance and silence, with the minimum communication delivered politely.  He leaves a lot to go to work at night/drink.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
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<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>gbailey</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285202/this-is-a-disaster#post_16113878"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Be less concerned with your DH feeling hurt and more concerned with making sure your DC is not left with people who are clearly unsafe.</p>
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<p>I think that is part of the OP's dilemma. If she leaves her husband, then she has less control over where her son stays. She won't be able to dictate post-divorce that he can't see Grandma, even if Grandma has problems. She has not, to OP's knowledge, harmed the child, so there's no legal standing to forbid Dad from taking the DS over there and nothing to prevent him from leaving DS with a relative for an hour or two. So in that way staying becomes the better thing in terms of keeping the OP's son safe.<br>
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<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>gbailey</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285202/this-is-a-disaster#post_16113878"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>OP, it sounds like you can benefit from one on one counseling without your husband. It doesn't sound like you are valued or respected. Be less concerned with your DH feeling hurt and more concerned with making sure your DC is not left with people who are clearly unsafe. Is your DH concerned with your feelings in regards to his family or the crime he committed using your name? I think you have to worry less about what your DH needs to work on and work on you- work on being confident and strong so that,if you choose, you can leave what is clearly an unhealthy relationship.</p>
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