It's the end, but then again, is it?

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roughdiamonds1

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It's the end, but then again, is it?
« on: February 11, 2020, 10:11:42 PM »
WOw, I wish I'd have known about this forum a few years ago, perhaps I wouldn't be in this position now.

My MIL I'm pretty sure has a PD and over the years, she has gone from absolutely idolising me to hating, to wanting me, not wanting me, cutting me and my children (but not my DH) out of her life for months and sometimes years at a time, and then wanting me back again. She's cut me out about four times personally, although she cuts other people out all the time as well, usually females, but sometimes the males who stand up for those females.

Unforuatnely, my DH's brother then married a version of their mother. I don't know what's going on there, but she is showing huge signs of a PD as well. I became her scapegoat very early on, and she has demonstrated a wide range of behaviours from simple shunning, talking over me or about me while i'm right there, refusing to look at me, to then screaming at my child, insulting my parenting, calling me names, screaming and lunging at me like she's going to hit me, dropping poison pen letters at my home, angry calls, excluding us from Christmases and other larger family gatherings, spreading lies within the family about me...the list really does go on. All this has been going on about four years. So much has happened... 

I've somehow managed to keep myself in check, have never responded emotionally or angrily to either of them. Have always offered to meet and discuss and sort things out hoping that reason and compassion and forgiveness would one day win through. I have distanced myself as much as I can emotionally and just tried to keep things on the level, so that we could have relationships with everyone else. I've done SO much counselling and work on myself to try and keep my coping mechanisms strong and keep pedalling for my husband's sake and my children, but also because I had this messed up idea that it would all be okay one day.

I have suffered PTSD, anxiety, and have wasted sooo much energy on this stuff that I could cry thinking about it. I finally (after eight years of emotional and verbal abuse) reached the end of what I could take about four months ago. 'The end' felt like a huge a physical reaction to me, where I just knew I couldn't take another second of it. I thought I was just going to get my kids and drive off into the night and never come back. I didn't of course. I checked in with a psych the next day, and she basically made me stop and realise this stuff is more than likely never going to change and that it was time to reclaim my health and happiness. I am the scapegoat, I'm too emotionally healthy for them, I am a threat because I always stood up and said, I don't like this, let's talk about how we can do things differently.

So I started to look options and talk them over with my DH. The options I suggested were to distance ourselves completely or to move away and let geography do it's thing. My DH said no to both those options. So the final option we talked about was to separate. And that's what we are doing.

It's horrendous, but reading some of these posts here has made me realise firstly what 'enmeshment' is, and made me realised how much of that is at play here. And also my DH a very strong avoidant personality... avoids all emotions, connection, difficult conversations, difficult situations etc, It's caused HUGE problems in our relationship, and although I knew it must've come from childhood, I couldn't understand how or why.

Even though I'm accepting of the fact that this separation is going to happen, and in some ways I feel some relief already, I want to still keep some semblance of family together, i.e. spend time together as a family and have some family occasions still together. But I fear how his family will try and get in the way of that. Anyone had any experience of this and keeping things positive with your partners after separating for these reasons?

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Bloomie

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Re: It's the end, but then again, is it?
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2020, 11:37:09 AM »
roughdiamonds1 - welcome to OOTF. My heart just sinks thinking of all you and your family have been through and the level of disfunction your H may be functioning from that he would choose to separate over setting healthy boundaries in place with the toxic behaviors of his family.

What a journey you are on being the truth teller and the only one rightly resisting what seems to be generational patterns of high conflict and corrosive family interactions. I am just very sorry this is happening.

As you go forward, redirecting your energies in healing and righting yourself, reclaiming your health and a peaceful existence is of utmost importance.

Some suggestions for support and insights are the toolbox at the dropdown menu above and looking at a few concepts that have helped shed some light in all of this for me:

Trauma bonding: https://www.abuseandrelationships.org/Content/Survivors/trauma_bonding.html

Our sister site Out of the Storm has a wealth of support and help for dealing with any symptoms of Complex PTSD and is a place where we can participate alongside of OOTF to work through the aftermath of living in an abusive situation from which we have no escape or very limited options: https://www.outofthestorm.website

The separating and divorcing and co-parenting boards here have a supportive and very savvy community that could also be a great place to ask questions around specific challenges going forward.

Separating and Divorcing: https://www.outofthefog.net/forum/index.php?board=8.0
Co-Parenting: https://www.outofthefog.net/forum/index.php?board=9.0

It is admirable to want to keep a semblance of "family" together for your children's sakes. In what ways do you anticipate your in laws trying to circumvent continued contact with your stbexH?
"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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treesgrowslowly

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Re: It's the end, but then again, is it?
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2020, 12:45:08 PM »
I would echo what Bloomie shared.

As someone who has had to figure out PDs in my FOO and then again with the ILs, I can share some of what I went through.

In your last question you ask about keeping things positive. At this stage where you are at, the start of setting up plans for your family I wonder if you mean, keeping things positive in front of the kids. This is something a lot of us do after acrimony (drama) in the family between adults has happened.

There's good stuff written online if you google around by different people regarding how much to tell kids and how to tell kids a version of the truth that fits with their age and capacity to understand, since the full reality of enmeshment and trauma bonding is impossible for children to comprehend.

My thought is that what you describe is that your soon to be ex and your MIL will try to get in the way, as you fear. It is better to plan for your strategy when they do their thing, than it is for me to try to say "well maybe they will just leave you alone now". Perhaps they will at times.

Here's what I see in your post. Throughout those years in your marriage, your MIL gave you a ringside seat to who she is and how she operates. In your writing you recognize the things she did as he choices (though she is very unlikely to frame them as choices she made, and probably says she had to do x because of something that someone else did / didn't do).

You have a lot of "data" she "gave" you by being so unreliable and hurtful over the years. It sounds like she has a pattern of self absorbed behaviours. I agree with your psychologist- she is truly unlikely to change. Ever. This is how she deals with life. And she is unlikely to seek the help she would need to change these patterns. She is unlikely to ever be able to take responsibility for her own actions. You know this and we understand how much it sucks. I had to grieve every dream I had for my MIL to be a good MIL to me. It will never happen. I know that now and I'm 5 years into NC after years of trying everything I could think of to make it work with her.

I find that counsellors can be helpful as we make our own plan for how we will address each attempt they make to deny our boundaries.

The amount of time you choose to spend or not spend explaining what you and the kids are doing on the weekend for example, is a type of boundary. PDs in general do not want to honor people's boundaries and are unable to understand the amount of respect that underpins all healthy relationships.

You will need to keep doing what you are doing already. Spend time thinking about your goals and what you want, and identify your strategies for specific events.

People on these message boards have oodles of experiences with boundary setting and strategies for LC. It is perfectly acceptable for you to say that during a holiday weekend, you will have dinner with just the kids and then meet up with the ex for dessert. Or whatever- im just giving examples of how you can assert that "we will do x from this time to this time" and then let your ex and his mother participate or not, but when they try to change the plans you set, I wouldn't let them.

You already tried, for years it sounds like, to have that kind of relationship with them and it didn't work for you. It made you miserable.

The situations are each unique but the theme I see with LC is that the non PD parent has to become focused, communicate clearly, be assertive and firm with the PD they are in LC with.

The PD is not going to care how you feel, and their enablers are focused on self protection (not relationship building). This is why the JADE tool in the toolbox here is so important in my opinion.

I am truly sorry your H chose his mother and it happens more than we know. Some people stay enmeshed with their parents and it sounds like you are aware of what you want and that him and his FOO are not going to be your family in terms of the people you have positive healthy relationships with. You'll find those somewhere else.

I just listened to an episode of a podcast called smart couples and it is an interciew with Ross Rosenberg. I found it very helpful for what he has developped to help counsel people out of unhealthy relationship. You can find it online for free and it may be of interest.

Finally I want to say that it is courageous to separate .  Children tend to fare better with 2 houses and parents who have ended their marriage after years of stress, compared to living with unhappy parents their entire childhood. If your ex is an avoidant personality, life as a single parent may be all he can manage as marriage with avoidants cause a lot of stress if the avoidant doesn't get help for themselves. In our society I think a lot of avoidants coast along in life and do not seek help because no one besides their family is affected by their avoidance and they can go years and years without seeing avoidance as a problem they should seek help for. I've seen people in their 70s who don't think being avoidant is a problem.

Sometimes avoidant fathers defer to their mother when they have the kids and have grandma pay attention to the kids so they can go do other things. If this happens we will be here to help you strategize with whatever tanspires over the next while for you and your kids. This forum has lots of people with experience to share with you.

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Pepin

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Re: It's the end, but then again, is it?
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2020, 01:23:19 PM »
I am sorry to hear that you are also dealing with enmeshment.  It is one of the most difficult and heartbreaking forms of abuse to deal with.  One would think that they are #1 in the eyes of their spouse as according to marriage vows -- but then suddenly realize over time, that they are indeed not.  It is a soul crushing blow like no other, an ultimate betrayal.

*sigh* I have mostly been living this, too.  I come from a dysfunctional family and I apparently married into one.  I didn't see all the red flags because I honestly thought I was safe.  But looking back, I see the red flags.  I didn't understand how to set boundaries like I do now.

As a result, since I entered the marriage as a doormat, now I am viewed by PDmil as a threat because I have set boundaries.  I've dropped the obligatory visits that left me bored and drained.  I treat her cordially, just like I would in passing a stranger on the street.  She gets no information of any kind from me.  I use the word NO as much as I can.  I respond with neutrality and give no reaction.  To her, I have become a boring person that brings nothing to the table...DH used to tell me that I was the favorite -- and now I understand that it was because I allowed her to have access to DH generally whenever she wanted.

I have managed to keep moving forward, holding the marriage together, by pointing out facts.  While DH still likes to implement excuses for his mother's behavior, he is smart enough to understand that she may not be entirely who he thought she was - and no doubt that is highly embarrassing for him.  He had a very hard time stepping away from seeing his mother through the eyes of a child....idolizing her and believing that she was supreme.  And for a bit of time, he did separate from her when he moved far away for school and work.

The mistake that was made, was to move closer to her.  Cracks started forming, her waifness started coming out again.....DH bought it all.  And the icing on the cake was when FIL passed away and PDmil lured DH back in with her FOG.  DH couldn't help himself.....his mother was alone and there was no one to help her other than him.  He has tried so hard to fix her and he cannot.  Well, that's his problem, not mine.

I have moved forward doing what I want to do.  Our kids are teens and they see right through PDmil as well and want nothing to do with her.  Of course they resent DH....but whether or not I leave DH, the resentment that our teens have, will not change unless DH changes.  I choose to stay because I am a buffer.  Our teens would be more exposed to PDmil and that is absolutely NOT something I will let happen. 

When DH and I are empty nesters, depending on how he is with PDmil, I may or many not stay in the marriage.  This will also depend on her health and how DH responds to it.  There is a reason that no one else steps in to be with PDmil....because she is who she is.  Other family members are tired of her behavior and she literally has no friends.  She is an exhausting human being to be around despite looking like your typical little old lady that seems sweet.  Look into her eyes and you will see malice like no other.

There are varying degrees of enmeshment....depends on what the childhood was like and what position the child held -- and how early they were groomed that dictates the adult child's behavior.   
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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roughdiamonds1

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Re: It's the end, but then again, is it?
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2020, 07:45:08 PM »
Thank you so much to you all for your thoughtful replies, the offers of support and for those resources. I'll definitely take the time to check them all out properly. I didn't realise there was a divorce/co-parenting board, I think that will be very useful.

I don't know if I made it clear in my original post, but my MIL certainly has set the bar in terms of the dysfunctional dynamics that exist within the family. She is old now, but because I'm not the only one she treats this way, many people in the extended family see exactly what she's up to. I have been NC with her for about 3 months now (and I did 6 months a few years ago), and she has asked my DH repeatedly through this time why I'm not speaking to her. It was actually her that called me and said she wanted to cut me out, but she claims she doesn't remember that (she also says she can't remember any of the four times she's cut me out). She does also accuse my DH repeatedly of not seeing or speaking to her, although he sees her every week and speaks to her most days. I'd say she's a clear BPD with huge abandonment issues.

But it's actually my SIL (who is my DH's brother's wife) who has really targeted me specifically and is much more covert about the way she attacks. Covert in that nobody else usually sees but she does display the full spectrum of aggression, from the passive aggressive, to the extremely aggressive and almost violent. She also does a lot of gaslighting and projecting... it's taken me a lot of effort to hold onto reality and keep the crazy out of my head. She seems more NPD to me. Unfortunately, it is my SIL and my BIL who control many of the family events, and have been very entwined in our lives in other ways, so for me to go NC with her (which I have done for the last two years) has been very difficult and has affected our relationships with almost everyone we know, friends and family alike. My DH has also been NC with our SIL, and so we as a family have been on the outer for the last few years. The stress that this this has put onto our marriage has been just absolutely huge, and I guess the stress, depression and anxiety we have BOTH felt has acted to disconnect my DH and I.

I also probably didn't explain very well about my DH's involvement. I don't think he has a PD? He is incredibly avoidant but he is a good man I believe. Not malicious in any way at all. He has stood by me grudgingly in the past, maybe a little more so in the more recent years, although I have had to persuade him to stand with me the entire time. I think his instinct has always been to ignore it, deny it, and pretend it wasn't happening. He has also indulged in a bit of unconscious gaslighting from time to time I think more because he doesn't like sitting with the uncomfortable truth and pain of way his family has acted, and so he prefers to just deny it's happened and try and get me to deny it too.

He has lately been seeing a psych (because he was diagnosed with depression) and has admitted that the pain he feels about his mother not being a very nice person to be around is awful for him. But I don't think that he recognises the full extent of her behaviours or the hold she has on him. His psych has encouraged him to continue having a close relationship with her, and he feels very justified in his decision to separate because he feels that I should never have put him in the position where he had to choose between us. I get it, I really do, what an awful place to be. And whilst I feel betrayed, I don't actually blame him. I just literally got to a place where I couldn't cope with it any longer. And I feel I can't exist in a relationship where there is no ability to connect at a deep and meaningful level. He has said that in terms of his family, we have discussed it, and the subject is now closed. I can see the merit in not dwelling in the craziness, but I need to know I can discuss something if I need to. I just feel like I can't. We are not a team.

Still, I have a desire to stay a 'family', mostly for the kids, as you quite rightly said. But I hope I can have a friendship with my DH for me too. My hope is to do a couple of things together as a family each week, i.e. kids sports and maybe one family dinner. And then spend all kids birthdays and perhaps even Christmas, easter etc together too. Maybe my desire for this is because I moved the other side of the world for my DH. My own family are far away. I don't know... perhaps something for me to explore as to why I want that idea of family to continue so much.

Bloomie, you asked what I anticipate them to do... good question. I fear that my MIL and SIL will try and come between my DH and my kids and I. I fear that they will manipulate family gatherings so that I cannot be there (I have not mentioned there is a huge amount of extended family, and they all support and love me), I fear that my SIL in particular will try and get to my children and manipulate them against me, I fear that now that I'm out of the picture, they will welcome my DH back into the fold and he will choose to forget what they have done to us all, and choose to let his memory become what they say it was instead. I most of all fear them letting my children too close to their dysfunction, as I've been able to limit their exposure myself over the years. Now I won't be able to do that as well....Pepin, your post sent a few shivers down my spine for that reason. I totally understand your position, and that's what makes me terrified about this separation.

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roughdiamonds1

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Re: It's the end, but then again, is it?
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2020, 08:31:05 PM »
If your ex is an avoidant personality, life as a single parent may be all he can manage as marriage with avoidants cause a lot of stress if the avoidant doesn't get help for themselves. In our society I think a lot of avoidants coast along in life and do not seek help because no one besides their family is affected by their avoidance and they can go years and years without seeing avoidance as a problem they should seek help for. I've seen people in their 70s who don't think being avoidant is a problem.

Sometimes avoidant fathers defer to their mother when they have the kids and have grandma pay attention to the kids so they can go do other things. If this happens we will be here to help you strategize with whatever tanspires over the next while for you and your kids. This forum has lots of people with experience to share with you.

I forgot to address this specifically, this is so interesting to me about avoidants having troubles in relationships generally, and has given me a lot to think about. I suspect he will find another avoidant if anything... Hmmm...
Re deferring to mothers for help... something similar happened in the past, where we had agreed that MIL would not ever look after our children on her own... I went away for a week, and found out by accident that he had done just that, taken one of our children to her to look after and hadn't told me. So, I guess it would be in my best interests to consider the possibilities of these things happening again, although I'd like to think we have progressed from that point.

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Poison Ivy

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Re: It's the end, but then again, is it?
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2020, 08:51:12 PM »
Please note that avoidance can rise to the level of a personality disorder:  https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/9761-avoidant-personality-disorder

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roughdiamonds1

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Re: It's the end, but then again, is it?
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2020, 09:25:52 PM »
Thank you Poison Ivy Ė I have had a look at that before, but i don't feel it's rings true for my DH at this point in time. Something for me to bear in mind though, thank you.

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Poison Ivy

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Re: It's the end, but then again, is it?
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2020, 09:46:55 PM »
I actually don't think it's necessarily relevant whether someone has a personality disorder.  But I know that some people coping with bad behavior do prefer to have a label or reasons for the bad behavior. My ex-husband might have dependent personality disorder and also shows some traits of avoidant personality disorder.  His dad had an NPD, I think.  My ex chose to make his parents, particularly his dad, a much higher priority than he made me and our children.  I'm sorry for my ex that he didn't have great parents and that his dad treated him badly, but my ex was the one who chose to dump me; he didn't have to go along with what his dad wanted.

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roughdiamonds1

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Re: It's the end, but then again, is it?
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2020, 11:32:44 PM »
I'm so sorry that your husband made the choice too. It's not the way it should be.

Understanding personality disorders has helped me a lot (because I really had no clue and thought reason and compassion would always win the day) but in terms of my husband, I don't think it's so important. I can see that his coping mechanism is to block, block, block... but that means blocking the good stuff as well as the bad. I think he has a really good heart, but the route of dealing with his past and risking losing his attachment to his family is too terrifying.

Somehow, after many many years of trying to change myself to communicate more succinctly or be better so that he would finally understand me and see my worth and love me just the way I am, I am beginning to feel the truth... I deserve more and I deserve better... From him and his family. I'm pretty scared heading out there on my own to see if I can find more for myself, but I'm also kind of excited at the thought of finding my true tribe.

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Poison Ivy

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Re: It's the end, but then again, is it?
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2020, 12:07:28 AM »
You do deserve better!

I read something in a book last weekend that really resonated.  "Having standards, or trying to have standards and sticking to them, has proven to be more difficult than I imagined.  It is hard to say, 'I deserve something good. I deserve some[thing] I actually like,' and believe it because I am so used to believing, 'I deserve whatever mediocrity comes my way.'"

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doglady

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Re: It's the end, but then again, is it?
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2020, 01:42:15 AM »

His psych has encouraged him to continue having a close relationship with her, and he feels very justified in his decision to separate because he feels that I should never have put him in the position where he had to choose between us.

Just wow. The psych actually said that? Or is that what he told you the psych said, so as to support his position?
I can honestly assure you that no *professional* psychologist should be saying that. Who says stay close to your ageing mother, as opposed to choosing your wife? Very bad advice, which most psychologists would agree another psych should not be giving. Psychs are supposed to remain objective, not give out advice like this, unless it’s a matter of personal safety, obviously, which this clearly isn’t.

Ultimately though you’re right in saying that if he thinks like this, you’re not a team. I’m so sorry to hear you’re going through this, roughdiamonds1, and you do deserve so much better. You’ve really tried. I hope he’s happy with his choice. (Head shake) :no:

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roughdiamonds1

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Re: It's the end, but then again, is it?
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2020, 02:47:48 AM »
Dog lady, I honestly donít know the answer to that! He just said that she had told him a few times, what are you going to do, itís your mum, you canít change her but you canít not see her. Who knows what the real context of that conversation was though. If it was my mum doing this stuff, I absolutely wouldnít be seeing her every week and calling her most days.

As you said, even if he has told me a skewed version of what she said, then itís to support how he feels and get the result that he is looking for. And he is absolutely 100% set that he isnít moving or changing anything for me... for him the options are that I need to get mentally stronger so I can withstand the situation and live with it, or I need to cut myself off from them all and stay at home for all functions while he has relationships with everyone. Iíve spent two and a half years trying these options, and I feel isolated and unhappy and stressed because they still find ways to get to me. and having been through ptsd etc, I get triggered pretty easy still.

I have read in this forum many examples of people who have found their sweet spot and manage to have limited contact and make it work... I wish I could have managed to make that work, but I just couldnít. Iím way too sensitive!

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doglady

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Re: It's the end, but then again, is it?
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2020, 06:29:48 AM »
I completely get what you’re saying, RD1.
I agree that no matter what the psych allegedly said, your H appears to have made up his mind, and is now taking the avoidant ‘easier’ option. His loss. It’s a shame but it happens a lot and maybe it’s telling us who can come along on our life’s journey with us. Unfortunately some people have to be left behind. Maybe they figure it out later. Maybe they don’t.

I wanted to say that the comment the psych allegedly made: ‘you can’t change her’ is of course correct, but to then say ‘you can’t not see her’ - ah, hello yes, you can decide to not see her. Your H appears to think these things are connected. Like, because one bit is true, the other bit is the logical corollary. However, you know it’s a logical fallacy, an all too common one. Anyway, as you say, your husband is hearing what he wants to hear and he seems to have made his decision, having espoused some ‘evidence’ to back it up.

My own unpdMIL is someone I’ve distanced myself from over the years, although I initially tried to please her (impossible task) and while my H appears less inclined to disconnect from her at least he’s not overly involved - and if he was I would separate from him. Who needs that toxin hovering over one’s married life?

Your H’s comment that you need to get ‘mentally stronger’ - what, so you can put up with more crap from your MIL? - is in itself very unhealthy and shows he is very much in the FOG yet is justifying it, along with seemingly very little concern for your wellbeing. Whereas your choice to put your own mental and physical health first so that you can be a healthy mother and live a reasonable life unhindered by pwPDs is much more mentally strong in my opinion.

You have tried hard, and for a very long time. You are not ‘too sensitive’ (not that there’s anything wrong with being sensitive). What you’re now doing is paying attention to your gut and you’ve just finally reached your breaking point. It’s a shame your H can’t be ‘mentally strong’ enough to come along with you. But possibly you are better off in the long run without someone who can’t prioritise your needs over his own mother’s. I know it’s hard and painful. But you are doing what you need to do. You’re not doing this lightly. You’ve done the Math.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2020, 06:32:32 AM by doglady »

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Alexmom

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Re: It's the end, but then again, is it?
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2020, 06:03:15 PM »
Just UGH to all of this RoughDiamonds.  You have been through the ringer and back.   I am NC with my IL's but DH still has a relationship with his dad (my MIL passed away in 18' about 4 years after I went NC with her).  I just have a couple thoughts. 

First, who is this therapist that recommended to your DH to continue having a close relationship with his mom despite the pain she has caused him (and you.)?    Either the therapist is incompetent or your DH is not telling the truth.   This is such horrible advice.   

Second, you don't mention how old your kid(s) are but right now my kids would be my primary concern - I would want to protect them from the craziness of your IL family and would not want them anywhere near your MIL or BIL/SIL without you there which means since you are NC, your kids are NC as well- unless of course your kids are old enough and have seen enough to not want anything to do with the IL's.  This happened with my kids - they heard and saw enough and are now young adults and have nothing to do with my FIL, BIL and extended family.    Will your kids have contact with your IL's or can they be NC as well?

Third, your SIL is completely unhinged and unsafe.  Have you ever thought about getting a restraining order against her so she doesn't come around you, your kids or your home?   

Finally, I am so sorry you are in this place.  Like another poster said, it took courage and strength for you to make the decision to cut off contact with your abusive IL family.  I am sorry your DH has not stood by your side and protected you and was not true to his vows of putting you first above all others.  It's such a betrayal.  However, it's time for you to take charge and protect yourself and your kids without his support.  This decision you have made will not come without drama and idiot behavior from your IL's and your DH trying to get you back in the fold, but commit yourself to riding it out and keeping these people out of your life, and I promise you, over time things will get easier, and you will find peace.  During this time, practice self care, meditate, do yoga, walk and breath the air of freedom from nasty people and spend time with your kids and people who love and support you.  Also, your plan of nuclear family time during this separation sounds like a good one.  Take Care.


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treesgrowslowly

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Re: It's the end, but then again, is it?
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2020, 06:55:14 PM »
You're getting lots of good replies here So I won't go overboard with a too long post here again but a couple things I notice and want to validate:

The time he let his mom be with your child and didn't tell you...this sort of thing is what makes our work OOTF so hard when our kids are young.

He really broke your trust by doing this. Actions speak louder than words a lot of times.

He has been honest with you, in the sense that he has said he cannot "not see his mother". So he is attached (trauma bonded) to her. You won't be able to change that...in my opinion.

So sorry to hear about the SIL piece. I personally also never pulled off LC with those types either. They are too addicted to drama and they pull everyone into their drama constantly. I found all of that to be a complete impediment to my own healing.

You have really really good insights about your situation. Trust yourself.

I get it about your fear that his FOO will affect your kids view of you. One suggestion I have is to see if you can find counselling for yourself and then decide if the counsellor "gets it", to have your kids see this counsellor as well. Is that an option for you?

There is hope and light at the end of the tunnel here. Stay on your course.

Just my 2 cents on those parts of your recent post.

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roughdiamonds1

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Re: It's the end, but then again, is it?
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2020, 12:11:49 AM »
Thank you again to all of you for your replies. What an amazing resource of support this forum is. A lot of validation from people who understand is worth gold... I literally (as I'm sure has been the case for many of you) have not been able to talk to anyone and for them to understand the situation at all (except for my counsellors).

In answer to some of those questions:

Yes, I did think about a restraining order at one point. I talked to the police as well, and they said nothing can legally be done at the moment, and advised me to cut all methods of communication.

My children have been NC with my SIL for two years. They see MIL about once a month at the moment with my DH, but he wants it to be more like once a week. I just don't know how to handle this situation once we separate. I need to real strategy to handle it... I feel that if I say NC for any of them, it will become a war between DH and I. I don't want that. I feel I can handle them seeing MIL in small doses, but I can't handle them seeing SIL at the moment at all.

My children are very young. Preschool and early school ages. I'm not sure about them going to counselling. Maybe?? They've witnessed a horrific attack on me from my SIL that honestly was just so disgusting. It's the main event that contributed the ptsd, as I felt so frightened and helpless being attacked in that way with my children there, and not knowing how to protect them or me. But while one of my children was just a small baby then, the other had some comprehension, but was clearly very confused about it all. I told him at the time it wasn't his fault, and that everyone loves him, including SIL. I think he's actually forgotten about it now, as he was very young, but he has picked up on many hushed conversations and tears and stress from my husband and I over the years and knows that my SIL is not kind to me.

My DS said something very strange the other night that I haven't been able to shake or make sense of... we were talking about our connection as mother/son and about how he can feel my love even when I'm not in the same room or same place as him...we talk about this a lot actually. But then he said he felt connected to my SIL (they didn't really have a connection with her before this all kicked off, but would often go to their house and play)... he said he thought she had a pretty face, and he felt connected to her and could feel her anger, but that he felt angry with her too, but that he loved the toys at her house. I haven't told anyone, even DH about this... I don't know what to do with it.

Anyways, I guess the thing I really need to figure out at this point is how much contact do I allow them all to have with my children post separation, because I feel very much the children will be used as a commodity between all parties... and still keep the peace with DH.

I have done a ton of work on myself over recent years, and I guess I have my messed up IL's to thank for that. So in a way, I'm more prepared than I'll ever be to handle this and keep moving on to peace.

Thank you again everyone for the wise and encouraging words!