DH has no one else to bounce her problems off of but me ugh

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Pepin

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DH has no one else to bounce her problems off of but me ugh
« on: January 23, 2020, 01:22:10 PM »
The other day DH was on a mini rant about his mother again.  He said that he feels bad for his younger sibling that has to "deal with" PDMil's health and MD visits while he has to deal with literally everything else.  PDMil's health has been taking up more space forcing everyone to pay attention to her.

He said that he understood why his other siblings couldn't be involved since they lived far away...and that since PDMil has no one else, that this is how it would have to be.   :unsure:  It seems to me that he was looking for some validation from me  -- and I gave him the bare minimum: uh huh.  I absolutely do not approve of his role in her life.  I am disappointed that I even have the expectation that she could reasonably do any things on her own...but DH doesn't let her.  He feels bad that she has never really had any friends...and that she is a widow.  Her world is incredibly small - the thing is, she chose that for herself.  She has an incredibly difficult time adapting to the changing ways of society; she struggles to incorporate the necessary basic standards of today's technology.  She has become so completely dependent...and this has been going on for many, many years - now there is no turning back really.  She has had many opportunities over the last two decades to "participate" in all sorts of things but made choices not to.   

To me, I sense that DH has given up thinking that he could "lead a horse".  This is something he has said many times over the years...he sincerely believed that he could change his mother -- and by that, change her to be the woman he looked up to when he was younger.  He has an odd habit of sometimes behaving like a child in her presence and then also acting like a parent when he is frustrated with her -- rather than them both behaving like adults, which I find strange.  DH no doubt was incredibly parentified in his youth and also spousified to a degree after the passing of his father.

Seems like this crazy train just isn't going to end any time soon.  And to me, this is sad to watch my husband go through these motions.  I have greatly distanced myself from the insanity but it does kind of get me thinking every once in a while.  My biggest take away from this is learning about how to NOT be.  To date I feel that having come from a dysfunctional family and then having married into one, that life has been a series of lessons in what not to do.   :wacko:

I wish there was a way I could get DH to understand the dysfunction.  He doesn't have to do everything alone.  His siblings *should* be more involved in their mother's care.  But, DH says no because it would be complicated. 

And he talks about her more....because there is no one else to listen.  I really don't want to hear about her anymore.  Other than subject changing, how can I convey to him that I don't want to hear about her anymore?   

 
Why work so hard to have a relationship with someone that does not care the same way as you?

No PD is going to tell me what to do.

Born into a dysfunctional family and married into a dysfunctional family.

People who don't bring joy, let them go.

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Call Me Cordelia

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Re: DH has no one else to bounce her problems off of but me ugh
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2020, 02:41:07 PM »
ďDH, I donít want to hear about your mother anymore. Iím going to have to leave the room if you insist on talking about her.Ē And then follow through.

I understand some of this. My DH always wants to discuss things with me, naturally enough. And I get it with regard to his family dynamics and dysfunction better than anyone else. But it was hurting and retraumatizing me. I had gone NC with the ILís, but DH was still putting the emotional burden of their behavior onto me by treating me like his therapist, by telling me about their reactions and lack of understanding, about the latest drama with MIL, whatever. I needed a serious boundary there. I had to opt out for my own mental health, and that means totally out. See no in-laws, hear no in-laws, speak no in-laws.

If there is actually a decision to be made that would affect me or the children, we can make it together. But otherwise, theyíre your problem now, DH. If you canít bear it alone, well thereís probably a reason for that. You have the same resources available to you that I do. May the odds be ever in your favor.

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Pepin

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Re: DH has no one else to bounce her problems off of but me ugh
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2020, 03:08:23 PM »
ďDH, I donít want to hear about your mother anymore. Iím going to have to leave the room if you insist on talking about her.Ē And then follow through.

I am embarrassed to say this but if I came right out and said that to DH, he would take great offense.  He would feel that I am not being supportive or respectful toward him.  He really hasn't accepted the truth that I don't care for his mother - despite my taking a huge step waaaaaaay back from her.  He relays to me that PDMil has told him I am the favorite of the in-laws that married into the family...but she bases this on the fact that I used to be doormat and hopes I will return to that.   :rofl:  Good one PDMil....that ain't going to happen no matter how hard you play that waif card.

On the other hand, DH could turn the tables on me and ask me to stop talking about my family...though I don't bring things up the way he does.  He brings things up like "whoas me" I have to deal with this and I bring things up as in "yeah, this happened and welp."  I am not attached whereas he is.

     

Why work so hard to have a relationship with someone that does not care the same way as you?

No PD is going to tell me what to do.

Born into a dysfunctional family and married into a dysfunctional family.

People who don't bring joy, let them go.

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Call Me Cordelia

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Re: DH has no one else to bounce her problems off of but me ugh
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2020, 05:14:50 PM »
Hmm. Well what about him being supportive and respectful of you? Your need for peace and healing? And what about YOU being respectful of you? We canít base our boundaries on other peopleís feelings and especially not on what we think other people will think.

In a sense, heíd be right if he were to say you were unsupportive. Youíre no longer supporting his enmeshment with his mother to your own harm. Not respecting him? I donít think so. Youíd be being truthful. I think thatís more respectful than you play along with his denial and hide the way you really see things out of fear of his reaction. Itís okay to let your husband be responsible for his own feelings. Itís treating him like an adult.  :yes: Whether he responds as an adult is up to him.

Please take all disclaimers as read here. Iím talking tough, but I donít perfectly do this by any means! But when I have held to that boundary, Iíve been glad of it. If Iím not letting the ILís disrupt *our* time, well then itís really ours! Our marriage and family life has only improved by keeping the FOO and IL dysfunction firmly out.

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Bloomie

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Re: DH has no one else to bounce her problems off of but me ugh
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2020, 01:38:26 PM »
Pepin - oh do I get the compassion fatigue that sets in when the issue of the minute, hour, day, week, month, year is ever and always the troublesome behaviors of PD in laws. :upsidedown:

What has helped a lot for me are a few things...

If it is a serious issue that involves our FOC - I kindly set a time limit on the convo and rehashing - "I only have 10 minutes to give this DH." And then I have learned to stick with it. Most things can be handled in 10 minutes and everything else is a rehashing in an attempt to off load discomfort and if not careful, for me anyway, those conversations can become unhealthy and enabling and I am not going to do that any more.

If it is more rehashing and talking about things that could be solved with DH setting healthy boundaries I do something I call sit down, shut up, and put on beige... non committal responses...neutral posture...

hmmm that's too bad
Huh
that's odd
I'm not sure what to tell you about that
Don't have anything to add

and then redirect...so, should we grill some salmon for dinner? or ... did I tell you there is a meteor shower tomorrow night...

or
Okay, you've told me. It's a beautiful day let's take advantage of that and focus on positive things...

No emotional buy in. None. zero. Every single time. Beige. Kindly set boundaries.

Leaving my DH with his own emotional stuff and refusing to act as a sounding board or therapist or number one cheerleader around his family's encroaching and enmeshment and unrealistic expectations of help and the like was the absolute best thing I have ever done for my own sanity and our relationship.

I couldn't continue to emotionally invest in what was the dysfunctional dance between my DH and his family and this is primarily how I broke free. One conversation at a time.

Good luck with this!
« Last Edit: January 24, 2020, 01:40:03 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

Bloomie 🌸

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Pepin

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Re: DH has no one else to bounce her problems off of but me ugh
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2020, 09:03:54 PM »
If it is more rehashing and talking about things that could be solved with DH setting healthy boundaries I do something I call sit down, shut up, and put on beige... non committal responses...neutral posture...

hmmm that's too bad
Huh
that's odd
I'm not sure what to tell you about that
Don't have anything to add

and then redirect...so, should we grill some salmon for dinner? or ... did I tell you there is a meteor shower tomorrow night...

or
Okay, you've told me. It's a beautiful day let's take advantage of that and focus on positive things...

No emotional buy in. None. zero. Every single time. Beige. Kindly set boundaries.

Leaving my DH with his own emotional stuff and refusing to act as a sounding board or therapist or number one cheerleader around his family's encroaching and enmeshment and unrealistic expectations of help and the like was the absolute best thing I have ever done for my own sanity and our relationship.


Thanks, Bloomie!  This is essentially what I have been doing.  But, sometimes I just get tired of it.  I wish I didn't have to hear it....but I guess I have to (while playing elevator music in my head).  I do believe that my going "beige" has really calmed things down in the last few years.  I am not a MD....not even anything in the medical field....so I would not be even able to offer any real advice.  I mean, it should between her and her MD.  If the MD isn't up to snuff, change.  She can afford it and they do have translators at the hospital to help with English being her second language.  So many resources and choices....sad that she chooses not to use any of them.  DH also isn't a MD.  He has spent so much time Googling and trying to figure things out and I'm like....but why?   
Why work so hard to have a relationship with someone that does not care the same way as you?

No PD is going to tell me what to do.

Born into a dysfunctional family and married into a dysfunctional family.

People who don't bring joy, let them go.