Avatar
Please consider registering
guest
sp_LogInOut Log In
Lost password?
Advanced Search
Forum Scope


Match



Forum Options



Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
The forums are currently locked and only available for read only access
sp_TopicIcon
How would you handle this "dilemma"?
November 6, 2006
11:25 am
Avatar
lovingmom
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 29, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

A little background first. My sister and her family live several states away, but we have remained very close and talk several times a week. In May my nephew (the oldest grandchild in our family) graduated from high school. I had planned (along with my husband) for us to attend his graduation and stay a week or so since I had not seen my sister in over 3 years. My mom and dad and my younger sister and her family had also planned to attend. About a year before this trip was to take place my husband and my dad had a drunken argument that led to them not speaking any longer. From this time on my husband refused to do anything that involved my dad including holidays, birthdays, or any get-togethers. This was/is very stressful for me and makes it hard for me to spend time with my dad at all. I looked so forward to this trip and continued planning it because I was determined to either convince my husband to go with me and put the argument behind him or take the kids and go without him. There was no convincing him, so I bought our plane tickets and took the time off from work and all this time my husband was saying "I'm glad you're going." "I'm really ok with you going." and things of this nature. I know that he really wasn't ok with it, just didn't want to look bad to my sister and her family by not allowing us to go. This decision to go without him was also really big on my part because I've always done (or not done) things completely around him. There was no way I was going to miss this. My sister didn't even think it would happen up until the day we got there. She just knows how things go around here and she thought I would change my mind at the last minute and not go to please him. Well, we (the kids and I) did go and we had an AMAZING time. Those of you who have read my threads know that my husband is a pouter and a child when he doesn't get his way and this trip was no different. He kept up his childish behavior up until the moment went got on the plane. His phone calls while we where there were hurtful, saying that he couldn't believe we were gone, that he needed his family with him, that I should have only stayed the 5 days I had planned (this was never the plan, but he says it was). We left on a Tuesday and returned the following Wednesday, so we were away from him a total of 7 days. He just acted AWFUL!! He accused me of cheating on him while we were gone. He also said he thinks my sisters, my mom, my dad and I sat around as a family and talked badly about him. He pulled out every abusive tactic he had on me when we got back. It was as if I had actually done something wrong, when really it was just fine that I went, just fine that we stayed gone 7 days, just fine that we enjoyed ourselves. Anyway, this was one of the times when he got his way again because I ended up apologizing for staying gone so long, apologized for hurting him and for putting myself first and I also said that I wish I would have never gone. This was back before I knew all that I know now. I hadn't started counseling yet, I hadn't found this site, I hadn't read any of the great books I've discovered and I hadn't yet come to realize how unhealthy this relationship is.

Now, my sister and her family are planning a trip to come and visit us this coming weekend. They have an event to attend for the family of my brother-in-law and it just so happens that it's in our city. This is GREAT because I thought it would be another year at least before I got to see them again. When I told my husband about it he said "Oh, how nice." and from then on the comments about this coming weekend haven't stopped. On Friday (after many beers) my husband said "Well, it looks like you'll have a DILEMMA next weekend, doesn't it?" When I asked him to explain himself he just said that I'm going to feel obligated to spend time with my sister and her family but then also feel obligated to spend time with him and said how hard it was going to be on me. Since he won't go anywhere near my dad he won't include himself in anything having to do with my family. Him saying this to me makes me want to scream. I tried not to get into it with him over this and just said how sad I thought it was that I can't just spend time with people without feeling bad. I didn't know what else to say. I'm wondering how someone else looking at this situation would have reacted. I should have just said, "I'll be spending the weekend with my sister. I'd love for you to be with us too.", but I couldn't get the words out. What the heck? Am I ever going to be able to stand up for myself like I should?

November 6, 2006
11:38 am
Avatar
malibugirl
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 29, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Why does your husband not get along with your dad?? Does he see himself in your dad, or is he jealous of your relationship with your dad as your husband also accuses you of cheating every time you're out of his eyesight?? It's hard to stand up to people and say "I don't deserve the way you treat me." I had to gain the strength to kick my ex-husband out when he was pushing all of his insecurities onto me. Where I gained the strength is from two places--My daughter(who was not my ex-husband's child) and the fact that my therapist explained that my ex-husband required too much chaos to function--no one person was going to be able to accomplish this for him and make him happy. That's when I decided the marriage needed to end, the "relationship" needed to end. It remains the best thing I have done so far for both myself and my daughter. May you find the strength. 🙂

November 6, 2006
11:43 am
Avatar
lolli
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

hang in there loving mom,

you'll get better each time you do it. it just takes practice.

right now i'm looking at my own boundary-setting like learning to ski. i've been falling down a lot, but each time i learn something new... and at least i know how to stand up on skis now. that's a big improvement over before (when I didn't even know what skis were- "boundaries? what boundaries?" lol)!

besides, it took so much strength for you to take that trip. you ALREADY have it in you. I'm so proud of you for doing that!

anyway, you can still choose to spend time with your sis. you don't even have to say to him in the way you want. actions speak louder than words... so the important thing is that you DO what you want. he'll get the idea.

🙂

November 6, 2006
11:50 am
Avatar
2shy
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 30, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

lovingmom,

Based on what I have just read I think your husband is only using the argument with your dad as a way to separate you from them. I am glad that you didn't listen to him and went to your nephews graduation. I don't think that he would ever leave you. He seems to need you since he was feeling lost without you while you were gone. You should keep standing up for yourself and just keep inviting him to join along, telling him that he is missing out on a lot of good times. He will eventually give in since you are not following what he wants you to do. You should tell him that it is his dilemma. That you aren't doing anything wrong. It is his dilemma as to whether he wants to be alone and hold his grudge, or he can have a good time with you and your family with no grudge.

good luck

November 6, 2006
12:04 pm
Avatar
lovingmom
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 29, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

malibugirl - My dad and my husband used to get along great (drinking buddies) but my dad witnessed my husband hugging a female friend at a party we had a long time ago and it looked to my dad like he was getting really close with this girl and he approached him about it another time when we were at my dad's house. My husband said he couldn't remember it, my dad insisted that it happened and it just turned ugly from there. They yelled at each other and I had to stand between them so they wouldn't physically fight. They both said some really hurtful things to each other. My dad wrote him a letter and tried to mend their friendship, but my husband says he's been treated badly by my dad forever and he doesn't want any part of it any more. Yes, they are JUST alike!! And yes, he is very jealous of my relationship with my dad. Every time we have an argument (often) my husband will say "You should go live with your dad since you love him so much." Thanks for reading my LONG post and for your response. I know it's going to take some drastic changes on my part for any of this to change.

lolli - Thanks for your words of encouragement. Yes, those boundaries are tricky, aren't they?? I was proud that I took the trip. It was a huge step for me. I have to keep taking those steps and setting those boundaries. Thanks again!

2shy - Thanks for your reply. I agree, I think it's really easy for my husband to keep his distance from my dad and use that as the wedge between my family and me. He's done it forever, even when they were close. He's always had some reason to keep me distanced from my family. I've always let him do it, but I'm learning. He just needs to grow up and I don't think that's going to happen any time soon. The more changes I make that are positive for me, the more he reacts in his childish ways.

November 6, 2006
1:39 pm
Avatar
lovingmom
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 29, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Another issue relating to this is that I told my sister and her family they could stay at our house since we have more room than anyone else. This didn't go over well with my husband and now he's saying he'll have to be uncomfortable in his own home. He even said he would stay gone as much as possible if they were here. I don't know how else to handle this. It's only right to offer them a place to stay. I would do the same for my husband's family. I know he's just insecure, but at this point I don't really care. I know that sounds horrible, but if he chooses not to be here while they're here, that's his problem. I am tired of carrying him around on a pillow and getting CRAP in return.

November 6, 2006
2:01 pm
Avatar
lolli
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

good for you, lovingmom! you could even go so far as to suggest that if your hubbie feels uncomfortable, he is WELCOME to take his own personal vacation for the weekend. go on a camping trip with his friends, whatever. you are having your family over, and you are 100% ENTITLED to do that! If he doesn't like it, then he can make his own CHOICE to either tolerate it politely or LEAVE for the weekend. he is an adult. feel free to remind him of that one too! 😉

BTW, my co-habitating bf and I have done things like this before with much success (if one person wants to have company and the other doesn't, the other is free to go do stuff elsewhere, or is free not to have to participate in the socializing, etc)... so I don't think it is an unusual or unreasonable request. and it IS possible to do this without getting mad or having hard feelings. we are all individual people with our own individual sometimes different needs. my bf is more social than me. that's all. so i let him have his time being social and i get to have quiet time on my own. then when we re-unite later, we're happy to see each other cause our individual needs have been met and we are in a more solid place to give/receive love:)

anyway, not to (annoyingly) paint me and my bf as perfect... obviously I (we) are working on lots of things in other areas. but this is one area where i think we are doing okay... so i thought i'd share:)

good luck to you. i'll be thinking about you and hoping you have a great visit with the family!!!

November 6, 2006
2:01 pm
Avatar
atalose
Member
Members
Forum Posts: 18
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

If your tired of carrying him around, then it's time to drop him. If it were me, I'd be glad he's going to stay gone as much as possible while they were there.
I'm sure your sister would like to enjoy her visit with you and the less of him they/you have to deal with the better a visit it will be.
I'm sure your sister and her family are well aware of your husbands ill behavior.
I think like most of us, once you have accumulated enough pain from him, you'll change, other wise that pillow will only get heavier and heavier to carry.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

November 6, 2006
2:23 pm
Avatar
lovingmom
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 29, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

lolli - Thanks again. That arrnagement you have with your bf sounds ideal, and quite healthy. On the other hand, I have been so much of a mother to my husband for so long that anything I do "out of the ordinary" causes him great pain and suffering, or so he says. In a healthy, non-abusive relationship, I would be able to enjoy the time with my family and not worry about my husband's feelings being hurt, but that's not what we have here. I'm actually really anxious to see how this weekend turns out. I hope I have the strength to do what I want to do.

atalose - Thanks to you too for posting your thoughts. I keep thinking that I'm getting stronger and more assertive about what I want, but I keep letting him pull me back into the "dance" with him. He sees me trying to make positive changes and then acts even more hurt with me so that I'll forget about me and concentrate on him...wow, he's good, isn't he?!

November 6, 2006
2:37 pm
Avatar
lovingmom
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 29, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

OK, I just realized something. I keep wondering why I can't gain the strength that I need to make things better for me, why I am determined to do more for me and then fail to follow through with anything I decide to do for me. I'm putting too much focus on him and why he does/says the things he does. I know in my head that I can't change him, that I can't make him treat me the way I should be treated, but something is keeping me from staying on track and following through. It must be the fact that I haven't ever allowed myself to be number one. My feelings are always an after thought or something I push aside to keep the peace. Even in counseling I've been focusing on him and how his actions/words make me feel. This must be why I have just been stuck in this "what do I do now?" mode. As long as I keep focusing on him and his bad behavior I'll never find the strength it's going to take to get to a healthier place for me. I'm sure many of you have been trying to tell me this....I guess the light bulb just came on.

November 6, 2006
3:42 pm
Avatar
lovingmom
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 29, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I just keep questioning myself. I know what I need to do to make my life more enjoyable, to be a better person, but the me who has been my husband's caretaker for so many years keeps saying "poor thing, he's really hurting" and "how can you just stop being his everything?". I'm just putting too much of my energy into him and his sadness and his problems. AHHHHHH!!!! I wish I could just leave. That's the only way I'll ever be able to let go and stop feeling this way.

November 6, 2006
3:44 pm
Avatar
Anonymous
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Good for you loving mom. I believe you will find the strength you need.

I believe you are right on about focusing on doing more for you. I'm very much in a place in my life where I've done so much to please others that I feel lost and without direction of my own. Today, I believe that by doing things for me, finding balance in my life, and somehow finding my own self worth I too will be stronger. We can do this.

Maybe he too needs to find his self confidence and self worth. If he was happy with himself, would he really have pain and suffering because you spend time with your family? Or because you have seperate interests? I know we can't fix other people, we can only work on ourselves, but I will pray too that your husband gains some more security.

November 6, 2006
3:57 pm
Avatar
2shy
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 30, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Lovingmom, I just related your situation to my parents. My mom cannot stand my dad's sister and her family(they live in a different province). Anyway, whenever they come to visit us my mom puts up a big fight with my dad because she doesn't want them over. She even threatened to leave home during the period they came to stay.Well, needless to say, they came over and my mom played the role of the good hostess. She put up a huge fuss just to annoy my dad. Perhaps your husband will do exactly what my mom did at the end.

November 6, 2006
4:24 pm
Avatar
lovingmom
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 29, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I'mlost - Thanks. Anyone who knows my husband casually would never guess that he has such insecurities. It just doesn't show. He's good at putting up a front, but that all crumbles when it comes to dealing with me. He's just a totally different person. It's the attention that he's NOT getting when I'm not focused on him that causes his pain and suffering. Thanks for your thoughts and well wishes.

2shy - Oh, without a doubt he will be Mr. Charming while they are here. He just wants to cause me as much stress and anxiety as possible so that I will keep in the back of my mind "don't forget about your husband, he's number one, he'll be upset if you take attention away from him". You're right, in the end he'll be very pleasant to everyone, all the while giving me that "look" to make sure I don't forget he's in charge.

November 6, 2006
5:24 pm
Avatar
lovingmom
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 29, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I had to cancel my appointment with my counselor today. I make my appointments at times when my husband can be available. He had something to do today that couldn't be rescheduled and something he couldn't take our daughter to, so I had to cancel. I'm just venting here. I was looking forward to my appointment because I was going to share my "lightbulb moment" with her - that I need to stop using all of my energy on him and his problems. Oh well, I'll have to wait until next time. I'm so bummed.

November 7, 2006
9:58 pm
Avatar
malibugirl
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 29, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Loving Mom-- you need to go to therapy whether he goes or not. It's time to take care of you. Therapists can be the people to give you the insight you need to make your toughest decisions. Once mine made it clear that no matter what I did he wasn't going to change, once it was pointed out that I actually enable him to do what he does, that's when I decided enough was enough. The emotional scarring that man has left behind is pretty incredible--things I thought were okay, or that I thought I had taken care of, manage to surface 2-3 years later, but it does get better. Not going to therapy because HE doesn't want to isn't good--you're still giving him the ability to have "power" over you. Don't give him that "power"--pull the foundation out from under him--you don't need him and what he has to offer.

November 8, 2006
4:37 pm
Avatar
lolli
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 24, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

hi lovingmom,

first of all, a BIG congrats on the lightbulb moment. i cherish those lightbulb moments whenever i have them, because those are the moments when i realize all my hard work is leading to real growth and progress.

so... YAY!!!! to you. big YAY!!!
be proud of yourself for this realization, and all your hard work and progress!

now about this boundary-setting... it is tough, i know! especially because you are such a caring and compassionate person. you want to save everyone else from their pain.

i've been deep, deep, deep into struggling with these boundary issues lately too.

one thing that's been helping me get through it is this... i picture the boundary-offender as if they were a child. a child might cry because they can't get ice cream, or because they have to do something they don't want to do, etc. that is a form of pain. but there is one type of pain that motivates people to grow (resulting from setting boundaries, for example), and another type of pain that can and should be prevented (resulting from abuse, for example). don't let those get confused.

so remember when you are setting boundaries with your husband, the pain he has is just like the child screaming and crying, "i want ice cream!!!" or "I don't want to share my toys with the other kids." somehow for me that helps put it in perspective (the idea that setting boundaries is as good for HIM as it is for YOU)!!!

To put it another way- he can't GROW as long as you are doing everything for him.

by the way, I have been on the other end of the boundary-setting side of a relationship too. and i can tell you that I kicked and screamed just like your husband! but guess what? i am still with that person, and i have grown up a lot BECAUSE of it, and i'm SO GLAD he set boundaries with me. because now i can use it as an example of how to set healthy boundaries with others. before i was like a permeable glob of jello - no boundaries in ANY direction! lol but i'm learning and working on it everyday...

and i agree with malibugirl. you should go to that appointment if YOU want to- with or without him. you deserve it!!!

stay strong. you can do it. rah, rah, rah lovingmom!!!

Forum Timezone: UTC -8
Most Users Ever Online: 349
Currently Online:
28
Guest(s)
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Top Posters:
onedaythiswillpass: 1134
zarathustra: 562
StronginHim77: 453
free: 433
2013ways: 431
curious64: 408
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 49
Members: 111155
Moderators: 5
Admins: 3
Forum Stats:
Groups: 8
Forums: 74
Topics: 38716
Posts: 714574
Newest Members:
Ntaryanka, kokyman, qvcreditsg, freyrobert332, maamazama7, bojo2112jon
Moderators: arochaIB: 1, devadmin: 9, Tincho: 0, Donn Gruta: 0, Germain Palacios: 0
Administrators: admin: 21, ShiningLight: 572, emily430: 29

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Policy | Health Disclaimer | Do Not Sell My Personal Information