Heartsick and left with questions

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Alexmom

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Re: Heartsick and left with questions
« Reply #20 on: May 22, 2019, 06:34:50 PM »
I am in a similar situation as you, only I am NC with the IL side and my DH has a lot of contact with his side as his dad is elderly and disabled due to vision issues (the ground zero victim in all of this - my undxpdMIL passed away last year).   A layer of complication is added when as a couple you are not on the same page concerning contact with parents, sibs, etc.   In that case, getting to the point of being supportive of each other's decision to go NC, LC, be very involved, etc. - without resentment, without trying to manipulate the other person to change his/her mind - takes a lot of open conversations and ongoing conversations as you navigate this path.  And along the way there will be setbacks - such as what you experienced with comments your DH made to you - which are worth exploring - to keep the relationship honest and strong and to prevent any resentment from creeping in - which is a relationship killer.

I also think that what you see as dysfunction in a family - in my case, I saw a DH - who was the son of immigrants - who was groomed at a young age to be responsible for his mom and dad, especially his mom and her emotional needs, and whose primary role as a child and as an adult was to serve his parents, like a good servant - my DH just saw as normal in his family.  I also fell in line after I married DH and went along with the program and became a servant DIL, until - like you - I reached my limit with this losing, one sided proposition and stopped.   

You've come a long way it seems with removing yourself from the dysfunction and coming to a place that appears to be working for you as a couple.  Honor and acknowledge just how far you've come as it took A LOT of work, and if you need a bit more fine tuning, address it and make more changes such as even less contact with your IL side, etc. if needed. 

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Bloomie

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Re: Heartsick and left with questions
« Reply #21 on: May 22, 2019, 10:03:44 PM »
Bloomie, I can see my DH responding exactly the same way, the fleas run strong with men with PD mothers! He would say he would see them more and that itís easier without me around for sure.  And yet, he refused to go to a family wedding on his side without me, and he even scapegoated me saying ďwell breakthrough has to workĒ, when he and the kids were both free to go, he just didnít want to travel with them on his own.  It is definitely hurtful behaviour, and I chalk it up to survival instincts that are deeply ingrained in them from having been raised by a PD.  My husband will do whatever it takes to avoid conflict with his mother, including stomp on my boundaries and scapegoat me.  The only way I have been able to deal is to limit time and turn a blind eye.  I just have to not care what they think and what they might be saying to others.  I also mostly avoid my MIL, and have non conversations with her.  I politely exit the convo and walk away.  She always manages to say something offensive or hurtful, and Iíd just rather not.  If he finds it easier without you, it might be better for the both of you if you just cut contact.  As long as your relationship with your DH wonít suffer, It will be better for your peace of mind.  You can do enjoyable things instead of having to bare that atmosphere of both walking on eggshells and bracing yourself for the difficult behaviours and comments.

Thanks for your support Breakthrough. I am sorry you are dealing with similar things. :-[ I agree that there is a kind of survival instinct that kicks in at times and then I think... but, we are independent adults and can keep ourselves and our loved ones fairly safe.

I have been thinking that even though I have pulled back a lot there is still more room to disconnect and if it is easier for him on his own then that is a win/win for me. I am doing that this very week and not attending an event in large part because of the insights and support I have received here.  :grouphug:
"If you focus on the hurt, you will continue to suffer. If you focus on the lesson, you will continue to grow." Dr. Caroline Leaf

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Bloomie

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Re: Heartsick and left with questions
« Reply #22 on: May 22, 2019, 10:46:08 PM »
My DH has said similar. At first it was more sadness, now more with dawning comprehension. He doesnít really do anger... But he did blame me going NC as ruining his relationships with his parents not all that long ago. He was fine with them, even if I wasnít, but me going NC and forcing him into a corner with regard to the kids has made things awkward. And thereís some truth to that. He would never have enforced the boundaries around the kids if I had not absolutely insisted, and he told me so at the time because he, like your husband, just never saw even the most blatant toxic behaviors. Where we were at the time it would have been a scapegoating fest using the kids every possible way and DH would never have stopped it. I would have to go to have a prayer of protecting them and I could not do that.

Thank you Cordelia for your response and insights. It is maybe a bit of a strange kind of comfort to me to know that my own H was married before - both very young and not for many years, but... during that time he had a growing distance with his FOO and his exW's relationship with his mother/sister started much as mine did, being love bombed and surrounded and attempted grooming, but soon was also very LC because she couldn't handle especially uPDsil's sniper like comments, gossiping, smearing, and rivalrous behaviors.

So, he has never blamed me for ruining their relationships like you have experienced (and I am so sorry that you have), but definitely did not have the awareness to truly name the toxic behaviors that have pushed him away more than once in his life and his distancing was tacit and of course, blamed on his exW.

And... when he experienced divorce they came running to the rescue and he reengaged and soon they had infiltrated every aspect of his life and he allowed it at the time.  :doh: So, he has realized that things are "off" with his the uPD combo plate that is his mom/sister, but a lot of things were dismissed as "common annoyances" with their intrusive behaviors. Like an annoying and pesky insect kind of thing that you just put up with. Returning to the hearth of the PD system at one point seems to have validated the notion that he is being controlled and all would be well without me in the picture. Believe me I have been confronted with this often.  That they had just "gotten him back" and I came along and they "lost him again." :blink:

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But DH is doing some of his own work now, and every so often heíll share with me some insight. Like how he made certain career choices with an eye towards winning his parentsí approval for example. Or how yes things are awkward with how they want to see the kids but DH acknowledges we gave them a very clear path to how to have relationships with all of us, even me. Iím lucky in that DH is a super logical guy, and he has values and principles that run deeper than the FOG. That is due entirely to the grace of God.

That is good productive processing and working forward from a place in the FOG by your H. I am so grateful that he is having these light bulb moments and that you are drawing closer together through it all. I believe it is key that your H has values and principles that run deeper than the FOG because that is THE way out ime. Beautiful!

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One of the things the ILs have always strongly disapproved of with DH is how religious he is, even though itís the same religion he was raised in. :roll: Youíre supposed to go to church but not actually believe what it means and change your life as a result.  Just punch your Sunday attendance card like normal people. Nobody actually does stuff like not use birth control and tithe 10%. Thatís strange and we embarrass them. We could have afforded to go on that vacation with them but we had to tithe... :blahblahblah: Of course I get blamed because I am religious too and he met me at the same time his faith was becoming his own... No way could DH be a man of strong conviction without a controlling woman making him. :roll: I know you are a Christian family too, and it may help to know that faith was the one area that Iíve never seen severely hampered by FOG with either of us. If the ILs suggested skipping Mass to do something, oh well we missed that thing. No regrets at all. Despite the pouting and guilting that would normally cause him to give in. It was never a conflict for DH. I think it was just the simple idea that there IS a much higher authority than mom and dad, and we will have the grace to do what He asks of us no matter what, did us both a world of good in getting OOTF. Of course we arenít there yet, but clearly on the way. You can both trust in Godís Grace for every step. You know that, but sometimes it helps to hear it from somebody else living it too.
Oh I think you are spot on here and can't help but think that maybe your in laws are more what I think of as religious - kind of a cultural or social norm, rather than people of faith? When faith takes deep root in our lives it often does seem to hamper our uPD parent's style because I do believe it is a loss of control and preeminence over our lives. And of course the tenets of our faith and core vales that arise from that provide great insights for us in dealing with abusive and controlling people.

Yes, thank you so much for the sweet reminder that all I need to do is take one step at a time and trust for the grace to sustain me and that the light for my path will be there.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2019, 10:48:51 PM by Bloomie »
"If you focus on the hurt, you will continue to suffer. If you focus on the lesson, you will continue to grow." Dr. Caroline Leaf

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Re: Heartsick and left with questions
« Reply #23 on: May 22, 2019, 11:31:11 PM »
Bloomie, this is so painful. Both the sense that your DH doesn't really understand the depth of dysfunction, that somehow it is only because of you that any boundaries exist, and that your ILs are chronically and massively unappreciative.

For me, it is really challenging when 2 very strong parts of me are at war--the part of me that wants to be appreciated for what I'm doing for another, and the part of me that feels the need to keep doing for another. Very early in therapy, I was told that if things are very out of balance, there's really only one way for me to bring it back into balance--to back off. At some point I decided I would no longer do a single thing for a single other person UNLESS I knew I could do it without any acknowledgement at all, and still feel fine about that. That means my efforts towards my ILs are at a very low level indeed at this point, and I no longer feeling burning resentment and hurt towards them.

Bloomie, very often your IL family situation has eerily resonated with mine. I have noticed that the females in these PD systems seem to have a knack for finding the most tender places and pouring salt right into those wounds. I think your MIL knows very, very well how hurtful her comments would be to you, how unfair, and that you'd be too well behaved and kind to call her out on that. uNBPDmil did the same with me, only with the children. Mine were to be ignored while her daughter's kids were revered. When I would try to share stories of our kids' lives with uNBPDmil, she would interrupt me to tell me about the other amazing grandchildren. I really don't know another way to deal with this except to metaphorically (or literally) walk away or ignore it. Your MIL is never, ever going to give you what you want, or what you fairly deserve. Even though it is very painful, my advice would be to carefully re-examine your motives in helping her at all and getting them into alignment with your core values. For me, I had to face the very painful fact that I was giving to receive, and I was never, ever, ever going to receive.

Oh all4peace I do think that somewhere, somehow, someway our in laws are related!  :ninja:

I revisited what I wrote about the ingratitude and it does sound like that chapped my hide a bit more than it did. I included that story because is part of what unnerves me - that my DH doesn't notice things like that often times and I would love to see him value all that he does and brings enough to at least notice that.  Even if he chose not to address it with her.

It was a sly, nasty little list and a passy aggressy poke imv and I would tie my tongue in a knot before I would give it one single solitary bit of a response and break from my composed MC demeanor.  :yes:

I appreciate the reminder to check my own motives when I engage and to be mindful of keeping balance and authenticity in my actions. Thank you for that. I am not in a defensive posture at all when I say that I truly want absolutely nothing from her and have not for a very long time. All that I ever truly did want from my in laws was a reasonable level of acceptance and respect. I hoped for friendship and possibly familial love. I have long since abandoned any of that along the journey. When I do something for her... like including her in family gatherings, or going with DH to take her to the ER, for example, I do it for my FOC.

It is astute that you say that the women in my H's family are quite savvy at ferreting out what matters to us and rubbing salt in those wounds. A strongly held value that I have is to treat all humans with kindness and respect that enter my sphere, even when they are unkind or rude, for the amount of time It takes me to get clear of them and out of harms way. I fail at this more than I would like for sure and have responded in frustration, but I have learned something very important - the destructive message that my in law's have been sending and resending for oh, so very long is that I have to be ALL good (good by their definition) in order to have the right to live free of abuse. To be equally considered.

It will most likely continue to be pointed out to me in little and big ways that I miss the mark of "good" in their eyes and so does my family. This seems to justify the animus and toxic behaviors and gossip and smears and abuse in the face of thoughtfulness and kindness.

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As for your DH, that really hurts, too. For a very long time my DH would tell me that I "made him see", and he wasn't happy to see what his family was like. It was a big heaping pile of blame on my shoulders. It was only when I stepped wayyyyy back and DH had to deal with them alone that he stopped that attitude. Has your DH had to navigate family events without you?

I'm so afraid of sounding harsh. Everything I say is in the spirit of knowing you to be a loving, generous and healthy woman. Even still, these arrows to your heart are meant to hurt, and they do. But you are such a better woman than your broken MIL. Don't let her tarnish your spirit.

Do you know what I really wish? That someone would have your gifts to respond to you exactly as you respond to others on this forum. But since I cant, this will have to do. Hugs to you, dear Bloomie :hug:
Oh no you are not harsh! Your words are such an encouragement! :hug: right back at ya! It is one of the toughest things to navigate this roaring river of disordered behaviors from in laws with my H and kind of be thrust into the role of the "guide" or to "make our H's see" because the boat is leaking and we are all going to go under if we don't do something.

There is so much at stake as we come Out of the FOG with our in laws and it is a unique and very complex position to be in because the risk to our FOC is extremely high ime. I know we all come here for answers as to how do we handle all of this fairly and with consideration for the gravity to those we love of going LC or NC with our partner's family members. I am so thankful we have each other.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2019, 02:07:28 AM by Bloomie »
"If you focus on the hurt, you will continue to suffer. If you focus on the lesson, you will continue to grow." Dr. Caroline Leaf

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Re: Heartsick and left with questions
« Reply #24 on: May 24, 2019, 11:17:07 AM »
Hey Bloomie!

I can't say I'm all that surprised. I just feel so bad that there is a sibling too in the mix and its the MIL and the SIL treating you this way. I agree with the person who said, he would be in the fog if you didnt help him out. And that's not a bad thing! It's our nature to love our parents despite it all. I love my parents despite their flaws, but they havent been destroying my marriage the way my MIL has been, but STILL. We aren't conditioned to think of our parents that way. I think your husband is awesome for going down this path with you. Most of us can't even get our partners to realize the toxicity. You should never feel guilty for taking him out of a toxic situation or at least helping him realize that thats what it is.
Love this encouraging and positive spin. Thank you for this.

 

"If you focus on the hurt, you will continue to suffer. If you focus on the lesson, you will continue to grow." Dr. Caroline Leaf

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Re: Heartsick and left with questions
« Reply #25 on: May 24, 2019, 11:25:21 AM »
I am in a similar situation as you, only I am NC with the IL side and my DH has a lot of contact with his side as his dad is elderly and disabled due to vision issues (the ground zero victim in all of this - my undxpdMIL passed away last year).   A layer of complication is added when as a couple you are not on the same page concerning contact with parents, sibs, etc.   In that case, getting to the point of being supportive of each other's decision to go NC, LC, be very involved, etc. - without resentment, without trying to manipulate the other person to change his/her mind - takes a lot of open conversations and ongoing conversations as you navigate this path.  And along the way there will be setbacks - such as what you experienced with comments your DH made to you - which are worth exploring - to keep the relationship honest and strong and to prevent any resentment from creeping in - which is a relationship killer.

I also think that what you see as dysfunction in a family - in my case, I saw a DH - who was the son of immigrants - who was groomed at a young age to be responsible for his mom and dad, especially his mom and her emotional needs, and whose primary role as a child and as an adult was to serve his parents, like a good servant - my DH just saw as normal in his family.  I also fell in line after I married DH and went along with the program and became a servant DIL, until - like you - I reached my limit with this losing, one sided proposition and stopped.   

You've come a long way it seems with removing yourself from the dysfunction and coming to a place that appears to be working for you as a couple.  Honor and acknowledge just how far you've come as it took A LOT of work, and if you need a bit more fine tuning, address it and make more changes such as even less contact with your IL side, etc. if needed. 

Alexmom - yes, I so relate to what you have shared here. This is how my H's family "does" relationship.  Fighting against the potential for errosion that their "normal" way of life could have on our marriage, children, lives has been a decades long work in progress and until real breakthrough happens and clarity comes it can "feel" so wrong, unkind, confusing... well... FOGGY! :yes:

Thanks for the reminder we have come a long way. I appreciate the support.

"If you focus on the hurt, you will continue to suffer. If you focus on the lesson, you will continue to grow." Dr. Caroline Leaf

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: Heartsick and left with questions
« Reply #26 on: May 26, 2019, 09:23:23 AM »
Hugs to you and this seems more about your husband's response and disappointment he would still be in full no boundary contact were it not for you. That stings. On the surface.

Not long ago DH said to me he wouldn't know anything about boundaries and fog were it not for me. That's true, I kicked off our journey, shared with him what I read along my own journey with my FOO and he recognized his own family dysfunction as a result.

Then I asked him that if something happened to me would things return to the way they were with his family? He said no he doesn't think so. But I think otherwise, I believe he would get sucked right back in maybe even right away they'd swoop in because they blame me for taking DH away from them. They've said outright DH loves them as much as he loves me and I'm wrong to view it any other way. Ick.

Recently some situations came about and DH said not to worry he won't get sucked back in but I told him based on what he was willing to do to appease MIL to at least please recognize he's already in and deep. He looked quite shocked and I could see the lightbulbs popping. I just let him digest it.

Yes were it not for me he wouldn't be anywhere near the edge of the fog forest and he's likely to get sucked back in deep if I'm not here. I'm ok with that as long as while I am here we have our own life and remain united. I'm ok to provide gentle reminders and keep my emotional distance from his fogginess. He has a war within himself and I feel sad for him as I fight that same war within myself with my own FOO but I have much more support here and he doesn't. That may be the major difference, the support.
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Mary

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Re: Heartsick and left with questions
« Reply #27 on: June 09, 2019, 01:36:43 AM »
As for your DH, that really hurts, too. For a very long time my DH would tell me that I "made him see", and he wasn't happy to see what his family was like. It was a big heaping pile of blame on my shoulders. It was only when I stepped wayyyyy back and DH had to deal with them alone that he stopped that attitude. Has your DH had to navigate family events without you?

Hi Bloomie,
Your comment about letting your husband go alone while you relax at a campfire seems to relate the the quote above. And although you seemed to be saying it tongue-in-cheek, it seemed really right to me. You're taking on blame/guilt that's not yours to own. I think if you firmed up your boundary in this area, it would clarify some things and hopefully strengthen you and your husband's unity on it all.
Mary
For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. (Isaiah 54:5)

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Bloomie

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Re: Heartsick and left with questions
« Reply #28 on: June 12, 2019, 12:41:31 PM »
Quote from: Spring Butterfly
Yes were it not for me he wouldn't be anywhere near the edge of the fog forest and he's likely to get sucked back in deep if I'm not here. I'm ok with that as long as while I am here we have our own life and remain united. I'm ok to provide gentle reminders and keep my emotional distance from his fogginess. He has a war within himself and I feel sad for him as I fight that same war within myself with my own FOO but I have much more support here and he doesn't. That may be the major difference, the support.

Such a good reminder SB! The support we have here does make all of the difference. I started recovery work from my own disordered FOO much sooner than DH and he does not have this resource - which has made a tremendous difference. I believe that like you say here, we are united in ways we never would have been if I had not started that journey OOTF. Such a grace filled place to rest in. Thank you for pointing this out. :hug:

Quote from: Mary
Your comment about letting your husband go alone while you relax at a campfire seems to relate the the quote above. And although you seemed to be saying it tongue-in-cheek, it seemed really right to me. You're taking on blame/guilt that's not yours to own. I think if you firmed up your boundary in this area, it would clarify some things and hopefully strengthen you and your husband's unity on it all.
Mary
Thank you Mary. I appreciate this perspective so much. Through all of this questioning and the feedback I have had here in this thread I have stepped back even further and have "sat by the fire" while my H attended some things without me I have always been a part of. It has been a healthy choice as every contact bring damage as Spring Butterfly's tag line so rightly says. :hug:



"If you focus on the hurt, you will continue to suffer. If you focus on the lesson, you will continue to grow." Dr. Caroline Leaf

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Cat of the Canals

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Re: Heartsick and left with questions
« Reply #29 on: June 12, 2019, 03:01:50 PM »
Well of course what he is saying is that without your support and guidance he would still be totally enveloped in the deepest FOG ever. How can that be a bad thing? Kudos to you and your 20/20 vision to see through the FOG and help H steer his way out.

My husband and I are in the opposite position. I'm the one that would have way more contact with my PD family if it weren't for him. And while I can't speak for your husband, coyote's statement above hit the nail on the head for me. Without my husband, I don't think I ever would have made it Out of the FOG. It's something I am profoundly grateful for.

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Bloomie

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Re: Heartsick and left with questions
« Reply #30 on: June 12, 2019, 05:26:46 PM »
Well of course what he is saying is that without your support and guidance he would still be totally enveloped in the deepest FOG ever. How can that be a bad thing? Kudos to you and your 20/20 vision to see through the FOG and help H steer his way out.

My husband and I are in the opposite position. I'm the one that would have way more contact with my PD family if it weren't for him. And while I can't speak for your husband, coyote's statement above hit the nail on the head for me. Without my husband, I don't think I ever would have made it Out of the FOG. It's something I am profoundly grateful for.
Oh thank you so much for this! Really an encouragement to read.
"If you focus on the hurt, you will continue to suffer. If you focus on the lesson, you will continue to grow." Dr. Caroline Leaf

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