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Wife hates my parents
July 30, 2001
11:16 am
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inlawblues
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I've been married for 13 years. EArly in our marraige my mother said some things to my wife that hurt her feelings. My mother would generally say these things when I wasn't around. I made some major mistakes in the way I handled it back then. Blaming My wife because I couldn't believe that my mother would intentionally try to hurt her. Over the years it has gotten worse and now is to the point that my wife wants nothing to do with my family and is now trying to block my children from seeing them as well. My wife seems to have so much hatred towards my parents that I no longer know how to approach the issue. My father called a couple of weeks ago and asked if they could come for a visit. I said "Not a good idea". I feel like my wife needs to see a counselor but she refuses. Any ideas?

July 30, 2001
11:47 am
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Ladeska
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...well....I'll let you in on a little secret....what goes on between two women is a language all it's own. They are very covert about some things. And it goes right over men's heads. Oftentimes, a mother isn't ready to allow another woman in her son's life and she goes about - doing and saying things that only another woman would pick up. Can be really nasty stuff and very, very hurtful to the wife. And here she is trying to tell her husband what's going on and yet - he sees not understands any of it because Mommie - is oh so nice when he's around... And that's usually how it goes. Mom doesn't like the wife - so she plays her game very well - being deceitful and jaded with everything she does. She doesn't get caught by her son, comes out smelling like a rose and the wife - is the bad guy.

If that is the situation - all I can say to you is - you'd be surprised what you don't see.... Women are very good at throwing knives that only another woman would recognize and pick up. And the person throwing the knife knows how to act the innocent part - so very well... Hey, she gets the wife to reacting and looking like the fool and then stands off and goes...."will you just look at her! I told you she was this and that!"

So, just listen attentively to what your wife is saying to you and look closer at what's really going on. Maybe it is all your wife, who knows? I just remember being in this situation before and having the man go - Oh, my God, my Mom would never do anything like that!!! And yet - was the wicked witch when he couldn't see and it was my word against hers. Mothers carry alot of power and it's up to the man of the house - to make sure Mom's not being very manipulative and yet covering her tracks....just a thought.

July 30, 2001
12:33 pm
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inlawblues
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Ladeska,
These are things I have learned over the years. But I screwed it all up before I knew this. My mother who apologizes to no one actually gave me wife an apology last year. Maybe too little too late. My mom seems to want to make up although she still claims she does not know what she did in the first place.

July 30, 2001
12:46 pm
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Molly
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What about you take the kids for a short visit to the folks, some how show support for what your wife is going through, and the short visit, as a token offering to the offender to keep them away??????
tough to be in the middle, but Ladeska is right, games women play, and there is no winning in this game for you. Seek comprimise, even with out a solution if possible, but try to remember wife wins, she is the chief cook, and bottle washer, not to mention, bed maker. Get it?

July 30, 2001
1:22 pm
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inlawblues
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We have discussed me taking the kids to see them. They live in the Midwest and I live in the West. At first she was all for it. Now I'm getting this: "Your mom hates me and will poison my children against me." or "You can't take all my children at once, what if something happens." I tell you she has exhausted me over 13 years on this issue. I appreciate your thoughts though.

July 30, 2001
2:38 pm
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Ladeska
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Well.....I don't know what to say here. Sounds like your wife has taken quite a bit off of your Mom all these years. And while it's true that you don't need to fight her battles for her - it is also true that she needs to feel you - strongly behind her and see "you" say some things to Mom and Dad and mean them. Either you lay off my wife - or you won't be seeing much of us around...

Bullies don't listen though, so good luck on that one if you ever do that. Usually you just have to draw in your boundaries and cut the poison out of your life. If they don't like it - oh well. But, your wife has obviously been waiting for you to say something or just be the strong guy here and draw the line - standing behind her all the way as your wife.

You'd be surprised how much she'd appreciate that. Women get tired of being the only ones that see this b.s. and the men sort of halfway getting it and yet still leaving them on the frontline - getting all the abuse, blame and stress. While the parents get away with it and the husband goes - well, I tried....

With bullies, especially covert ones - you don't just "try". You tell them how it is and then you enforce it. Your wife may feel pretty hard now about it all. I understand that very well. Been there. It doesn't feel good and neither does it feel good to be in your spot either. But, at some point you have to draw the line and your wife sounds like she's been through the mill. And you can bet the farm the stuff goes on with the kids, too. She's probably right about that and I don't blame her one bit about feeling strange not wanting them to be poisoned. Your mom is trying to be the woman in your life and you need to put a stop to it and if she doesn't like it - oh darn.

July 30, 2001
2:47 pm
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Ladeska
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And all that crap about the apology - is just that - crap. I had to laugh because I've been around those kind of people a little too much in my life. That's no apology. It's a trap and a facade. Words don't mean anything if they aren't sincere and have actions that follow. Period. End of story. She's just saving face and I'd call her on it. If she doesn't know what she did - then why the heck is she apologizing. Oh...isn't she just the little dear...(wringing her hands and batting her eyes) well, I've done everything I can....(maybe a few tears at this point)....it's all her fault, I, I just don't know, I mean, I apologized....what more do you want from me, Son?

Yeah, yeah....(gag) Anyways...you can buy that line if you want to, but it's not sincere. Noise...just alot of noise that she hopes you'll buy into...and play along with. You getting tired of this game, or what? I bet your wife is plenty tired of it. I would be. In fact, I'd probably be gone by now.

July 30, 2001
3:48 pm
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inlawblues
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That's hard to hear. The scary thing is that I can tell you've been there and I don't think their relaitonship can ever be mended. The only reason my mother apologized was because I put her up to it. I really beleived I had gotten through to her and that she understood what she had done. You are right though.

That is why I made sure to tell my wife that my parents had called and asked to come and that I told them,no.

I wanted her to see that I was taking a different approach. When I told her, she was pretty cold to me for the rest of the night. I was waiting for another argument but when I just saw her at lunch she seemed fine. So...I don't know what to think now.

July 30, 2001
4:08 pm
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Ladeska
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It's a drop in the bucket though - in her eyes. Will take time for her to trust you in that scenario as if to say....are you really in my court now or are you going to go back to riding the fence? And the harm may be done, who knows? It's tricky business when this goes on. Yeah, your Mom sounds like a few I have ran into. Just playing the game and hoping it runs off the wife. Then you come running back into her open arms. Now, now, momma will make it all better....

Ugh...

No. 1 - neither of you need this stuff in your life. So, if it's largely coming from that other direction - axe it. Or, at the very last put up strong boundaries. You've obviously been trying to ride the razor blade and it ain't working, is it? Never does.

Regardless of whether or not you and your wife make it - you need these boundaries for "you" and them. And....funny thing - you don't need to give them a computer printout as to "why" you come up with whatever decision. Isn't any of their business regardless of what they say. No means no, yes means yes. It's your life, your family and your decision about whatever.

Time to cut the umbilical chord or lose everything, ya know? It's not too late for "you" and it may not be too late for you guys as a couple. But, you better draw some lines in the sand and mean it.

The drain and the stress from this kind of thing is not always able to be mended especially if it's gone on for years and years. Women need to see the man in their life stand up to bullies - even if they are their own blood in defense of the one they've chosen to be their wife.

The thing is - you don't have to argue with them, or explain squat. You just lay down what's what and see what they do. You don't dance with them, you make the conversations short and to the point, you believe your wife and you take control of things instead of letting the web get woven.

You don't listen to endless blah, blah on the phone from your mother or father. You state your case and then talk about the weather, if they go there about whatever - Hey, you gotta go, b'bye.

No need to get nasty. But, if they do - the barriers just get higher and thicker. They will either get it and play nice OR they won't and you will have to distance yourself from them. Control freaks usually pitch a fit and storm your gates. Oh well, that's when you dig in your heels and go - oh no, you don't. You've had enough control - it's time for that to stop.

So, if you want to do this - your wife will listen, but mostly - she'll watch you and see if you mean it. A cold heart can be warmed but you gotta put punch behind your words. Just "do it". And then court her a little, flirt with her. Don't over do it, just tease her at it, like when you were first dating. Why you men stop flirting with your wives is beyond me. That thing you guys do in the beginning is what turns our heads. I'm not talking all the flowers and cards and candy and all that....but the little stuff. The looks, the touches, the "I remember you like so and so" kind of things.

July 30, 2001
4:39 pm
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Ladeska
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Narcissistic Control Freaks....

Never admit they are wrong, unless it is to their advantage to do so.

You are always wrong and they are validated in everything they do because - they are King or Queen of the Universe and that's that.

You don't have any rights unless....it benefits them to grant that to you.

In their world - it's always everyone else's fault and they will give you 20 reasons why. They believe this instantly, so when you see that blank look of innocence on their face - they believe their own bullshit, so don't even bother with trying to "make them see anything". Pride blinds - absolutely.

You don't get anywhere except 50 more miles down under when you spin around in circles trying to negotiate, understand, keep peace, be a martyr, be a referee. So...like, if you see a cobra in your path - do you need to sit down and have tea with it or run for safety? Same principle, I don't care what blood type they have. A spider is a spider and a snake is a snake. Upon recognition of that - do what's appropriate for your own well-being. That's called - common sense.

All people who bear the name mother or father, sister or brother, best friend or business partner of 20 years - doesn't give them cart blanche to mow you over. Titles are earned and they are up for renewal every few months. If you wouldn't go buy a car from a cheap con artist - why would you keep putting yourself in the line of fire with the same kind of mentality when it comes to things closer to your heart?

These people don't respect boundaries or rights when it comes to anyone else. They exist in a world that doesn't allow for that. So, a sit down, heart to heart talk won't work. They will just lie, smile and nod, manipulate, reposition and come at you from another angle. So, don't bother with the two-way street. It doesn't exist in their world.

They very much depend on you staying within the boundaries of the fairy tale - where you squint and hope and play pretend - wanting to see something you never do out of them. It's okay to do away with the dream. It probably isn't going to happen at this point, right? Forgive yourself for hoping and move on. It's okay, we all do it.

You won't ever win in their courtroom, so don't waste your breath. Expect them to spin around, blaming, confusing the issues, blurring the lines, pitching self-righteous fits, and so on. All strong-willed brats do that. But, just like you deal with children - so you deal with them. I said what I said - and I meant it, don't try me - there will be a swift consequence and a higher boundary.

Then again, if you're afraid you might lose your inheritance of something else they hold over your head covertly or otherwise - I don't know what to say to you because most people don't have the balls to say - Um, eat it, okay? I've seen this game played for the duration of people's lives. All I can ask is - was it worth it? Really....? The empty house, the toys that no one really enjoys or the deal where the divorce takes all? I don't see the benefit, but maybe I'm missing something. I told my parents to kiss off a few years ago and the sounds of silence are so very nice. They couldn't change from being narcissistic, so basically - they aren't welcome in my life. And, I would never choose them as friends either. I don't get all wrapped up in the blood thing. If they treat you like crap - you deal with them accordingly. Period. We get enough head games from people at large, so like "whyyyy would you need that going on in your intimate circle where you're supposed to have - sanctuary? Good question, isn't it?

Sometimes, you just have to turn around and clear the floor and whatever lands back on solid ground with you is a keeper. Whoever doesn't respect your right to do just that and kicks up dust - well, you have your answer. They will adjust their little lives and go bug the heck out of someone else and you will eventually have - peace. Now if you're addicted to pain.....forget you read any of this. (Smile)

July 30, 2001
4:39 pm
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inlawblues
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You've been alot of help. Thank you for giving it to me straight.

July 30, 2001
4:47 pm
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Ladeska
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No problem... It's sooo yuchy where you are and I full-on "remember". Wish I had someone kick me to the moon where I wouldn't have wasted so many years going around in circles, dancing with people who only wanted to wind me up. Your life - is your life and now is the time to clean house and go try your best to woo your wife back....'kay?

Your yard is your yard and games aren't welcome. Protect her/defend her and she will probably love your socks off for it. And dear old mom and dad will just have to go play bingo or something... If they can be big boys and girls - then all the better, if not - slam the door right in their face.

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