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Serious H problem...yes?

This is my first post here...I've been lurking for a while, trying to find someone with a similar situation and just decided to bite the bullet and ask for advice. Or something. I've been looking around at support forums and this is the best one I've found so far.

 So. H and I have been married just under a year, together almost five and we've lived together almost as long. I thought I knew him.

We married in May and at the beginning of August this past summer, I received an email from MIL at work with the subject title: A few minutes of your time, please. At first I thought it was just a response to the one I had just sent her that day asking about her vacation and inviting her and FIL over for a cookout.

But when I opened it, I discovered that it was two pages of her tearing me apart. She expressed how she thought I was rude and disrespectful to her and her family, that I was terribly rude at my OWN WEDDING for not sitting at her table with her family to talk(which I did). She said that I needed to realize that 'like it or not', my FIL 'buttered my bread' since H works for him. She told me that my mother was bossy and that if my mom bossed her around the next time she saw her, 'things would get ugly'. She said I made her whole family uncomfortable when I came around and they were worried that when we had kids, they would never see them because I wouldn't bring them around. This is the basic gist of things.

 I printed it out, brought it home, and presented it to H. I was livid. He read the email, set it down on the table...and shrugged. I asked what he thought and he said, 'You can be like this sometimes'. I couldn't believe it. If I had, in fact, been that person she described me to be, I never would have expected my H to marry me. Ever! No one had ever said such terrible things to me. To make matters worse, H confessed that HE had told his mother to email me because she called him to complain about me and he said he refused to get in the middle of things. But he never once called, texted, emailed, ANYTHING, to warn me of this.

 I felt completely betrayed. It was like our first test as a married couple and he failed miserably.

Even after I told him that I felt betrayed by him, that this never should have happened, he still maintained that he wouldn't put himself in the middle, that it was my problem to sort through with his mother. I tried the whole 'put yourself in my shoes' tactic and that didn't work. I couldn't get through to him. I went so far as to ask him if he felt that way about me, then why would he marry me? He didn't have an answer.

The next morning, I received a text(yes, a TEXT)from him saying that he would have my back through this and that he married me because he loves me.

 I wrote his mom back(she told H to tell me she expected an email response) and addressed every single thing she attacked me with. I was very calm, never rude(because I'm NOT rude), but I made sure to be firm and to stand up for myself. Before this gets ridiculously long, I'll just say that since then, my trust in my H has dwindled. I am afraid I can't count on him for anything. This situation has completely opened my eyes to who I believe he truly is.

I am now in counseling to try and sort through my feelings on this, but after my first session, H had no support for it. He thinks I should be able to talk to him about things. He questioned how long it would take me to 'get over this' so I can stop going. He asked how much it would cost 'him' because he needed to know how much overtime he needed to work to pay for it. Just very unsupportive.

I am at my wits end and I have no idea where to go from here. I should tell you that before I got the email, I considered my MIL to be a very close friend. We hung out, talked on the phone, emailed, everything. This letter came completely out of the blue and when H threw me under the bus, I felt like I had lost two people so dear to me.

 I'm sorry about the length....I would keep going if I could, but I won't. I'm not sure what I'm looking for...advice, support, anything. I want to know if I am right in feeling the way that I feel, if anyone else has dealt with anything like this before and if you ever found your trust in your H again. If you feel I'm leaving anything important out, please ask and I'll try to be quick to answer. Thank you so much.

«1

Re: Serious H problem...yes?

  • Short and simple: I wouldn't want to be married to someone who thinks it's okay for his family to treat me badly.

    I think your DH sounds like a jerk.

  • image wakingup:

     I printed it out, brought it home, and presented it to H. I was livid. He read the email, set it down on the table...and shrugged. I asked what he thought and he said, 'You can be like this sometimes'.

     

    Before I address the husband issue, I need to ask the hard question.  Can you be "like this" sometimes?  Does your MIL, by any stretch of the imagine, have grounds to be offended? Are you honestly, completely faultless in this?

  • Wow. I am sorry you are going through this. Was she like this before the wedding?

    I don't think I would've responded via e-mail, I would've made a phone call. Did you at least cc your husband (or someone else) when you sent MIl your response? As much as I hate to bring it up, it is possible to modify an person's reply so that it can be used for your purposes.

    I think you're doing the right thing by going to therapy to figure out how to deal with this.  It is clear your H doesn't support you (he sent you a text telling you he had your back? WTF? He can't tell you in person?), only you can decide when you're "over it" so don't let him badger you. Even if I got past something like this, I would never look at my H the same way again--I certainly wouldn't believe he had my back.

  • I have a hunch that while your husband may be a dork for not seeing the need to a) defend you and b)for you to seek some professional opinions here, I have feeling you are far from blameless.  You are so histrionic in this post as it is, I have a hunch you are not DIL of the year material.  Start working on yoru role in this mess, and move along.
    Seriously, people. If your faith in humanity is destroyed because your parents told you there was a Santa Claus and as it turns out there is no Santa Claus, you are an ignorant, hypersensitive cry baby with absolutely zero perspective. - UnderwaterRhymes
  • I'm confused by your timeline -- can you provide some more info. You received this email and responded about 8 months ago, correct(?).  How long have you been in counseling? How has your relationship with your inlaws been in the past 8 months? How did they treat you over the holidays, for example? 

    Your husband sound like a douche by not giving you a heads up about how his mother felt and not supporting your counseling. I think that's your real issue here. 

  • image Karen2905:
    image wakingup:

     I printed it out, brought it home, and presented it to H. I was livid. He read the email, set it down on the table...and shrugged. I asked what he thought and he said, 'You can be like this sometimes'.

     

    Before I address the husband issue, I need to ask the hard question.  Can you be "like this" sometimes?  Does your MIL, by any stretch of the imagine, have grounds to be offended? Are you honestly, completely faultless in this?

    This is the thing- somewhere in this, you need to really sit back and look at how you may be contributing.  your DH says you can be like this?  Well, talk to him about it then.  What does he mean?  How do you come across?  Say "I thought I was being ___, but you say I'm being ___ - what do you feel I'm doing wrong?". 

    Dont' get mad and upset w/ him.  Prod him to explain this, to explain why it's "so" bad that his mother needed to write this letter to you.

    I still think he sounds like an a$$, though.  He isn't staying out of the middle. He full on threw you under the bus.

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
    DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10

  • I would never say that I am perfect.  Ever. 

    But I have never disrespected anyone in my life, at least not intentionally.  I am sure it's happened without me realizing it, I'm only human.

    I agree that my response should have been in person.  I tried contacting MIL to sit down and discuss this and she hung up on me, then told H that we weren't welcome in her house until she was ready to have us.

    I did send him a copy of the letter I sent to her because I wanted him to know everything I planned to say in response.

    She was NOT like this in any way before we got married.  Like I said, I considered her to be one of my best friends and always counted my lucky stars that I had a 'normal' MIL unlike my friends who were always dealing with issues.  She was like a second mother to me and I confided in her, and her in me.  The whole thing blew me away.

  • I find it hard to believe this letter came out of nowhere for no reason!

     



  • image EastCoastBride:

    I still think he sounds like an a$$, though.  He isn't staying out of the middle. He full on threw you under the bus.

     

    I agree. I'm trying to look at this comparatively though.  If in fact, OP, you really did something to piss MIL off (even if you didn't realize it), and DH agrees that it was really uncool, then to me that would explain a little of his behavior.

    For example, if my DH and I go to my parents for dinner, and my husband does something blatantly rude, like look at the dinner and say, "My mom makes pork chops so much better," not only would I not defend him, but I would probably smack him upside the head. 

    I'm not suggesting that your husband should have smacked you upside the head. :)  But I do think that if he heard your mom's complaint, and agreed with them, then he should have privately pulled you aside and talked to you.  You probably would still be sensitive, or defensive, or whatever, but if something needed to have been said, it probably should have been done by him. 

  • What has your relationship been with your MIL since August?  Do you speak at all, did you see her over the holidays?  Has your H seen her without you?

     

  • BunMom-you are correct.

    I have only been in counseling a little over a month.  I tried working through things with my H, but when I realized I was getting nowhere as he refused to understand why I couldn't just move on, I looked into counseling.

    I just got to this point where I was losing more and more trust in him, started really looking at my relationship, started realizing how much I had overlooked over the years. 

    This was my fault completely-had I been receptive to the issues we already had rather than blindly walked through them, I probably never would have married him.

    My relationship with the IL's...it's like nothing ever happened.  Which might drive me even more crazy.  I'm uncomfortable around them, but I act like things are fine.  The holidays were terrible.  We always spend Thanksgiving with them, but this year, MIL made plans without us and then said she assumed we would be at my mom's.  So we planned Christmas with them and she cancelled on us Christmas morning.

     

  • How did the return email go over?

    Why isn't DH going to therapy with you?  He seems oblivious to how much this troubles you and his role in this. And sees no role in resolving it.

    And I have to wonder how solid your relationship was that a b!tchy letter from your MIL shook the foundations of your relationship so much.  What does "open your eyes" mean?  Does he do this on other topics and you never noticed it?

    What are your plans for a relationship with your MIL now? Since this is between "you two" how does it impact DH and does he agree?

     

    My darling daughter just turned 4 years old.
  • magsugar-I am completely with you on this.  Had our relationship been rocky for a while, I would almost understand. 

    But it was great.  Always had a good time together, made plans for future things....this letter COMPLETELY hit me out of the blue.  And I'm not exaggerating at all.

  • When your MIL called to berate you to your H ? he should have told her ? ?that?s my wife and you will respect her if you want to continue to be a part of my life?. He threw you to the wolves. No matter what ? he is supposed to have your back and he didn?t. Now he wants to claim that he does have your back? my a$$! He?s a coward. Leave him now. It won?t change ? ever. If you want to test the theory? take him to his Mom?s house to talk about it and see how quickly he 1. Clams up or 2. Takes her side entirely.  Leave him now. You have kids with him and it will only get worse.

  • In thinking about this more - your DH is a wuss.  This is his mom, his family.  His role here should be to HELP YOU navigate his family.  You thought everything was fine, his mother had issues w/ you, and he really doesn't think it's his role, as your DH, to talk to you about it?  To give you a heads up? 

    I really can't get past this "I don't want to be in the middle".  this is his WIFE and his MOTHER, and he really wants to leave the two of you to (basically) duke it out? 

    I'm floored by it. I really am.  I'd have a HARD time forgiving my DH if he did something like this to me.

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
    DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10

  • Did you ask your MIL say why she let this build up? Tell her you thought you two were great friends. Say that you wish she had brought this up during these particular events when she felt you had been rude.

    Really...why wouldn't she have just said "oh, I wish you had sat at our table a while longer. I felt a little shafted by that." Waiting years and finally blowing up in your face is not the right way to handle this and she should needs to be told that. Wether your at fault or not.

    Let her know you are sorry for offending her and that you never meant to. Tell her you want to mend your relationship with her and from here on out to let you know when she feels this way.

    The DH thing not backing you up...he needs to go to counseling with you ASAP and learn how to be a good husband. He was a total jerk to you during this. It IS his business to be in the middle because thats where he is! He just wanted the easy way out of not having mother upset with him. YUCK!

    BabyFetus Ticker
  • image wakingup:

    My relationship with the IL's...it's like nothing ever happened.  Which might drive me even more crazy.  I'm uncomfortable around them, but I act like things are fine.  The holidays were terrible.  We always spend Thanksgiving with them, but this year, MIL made plans without us and then said she assumed we would be at my mom's.  So we planned Christmas with them and she cancelled on us Christmas morning.

     

    Eventually, he's going to have to get involved if he wants to maintain a relationship with his family.  In these cases, they're not being rude to just you, they're being rude to him, too.  There is a point where enough is enough, and if he's going to sit by and let them hold this over your head forever after you have tried to make amends, then that's not a happy place to be in. 

    He needs to be in counseling with you. 

  • I think your H is a total @ss and a wimp.  I could not stand to be with a man that would not have my back and stand by while his family treats me that way.

    With that said, why in the fluck have you continued to see these people and act like nothing has happened?  How is that standing up for yourself? 

  • livinitup-The return email prompted two months of silence between H and I and MIL.  She refused to discuss things with me.  I felt like she expected me to apologize without defending myself and she could go on like normal.

    H doesn't think therapy is necessary, that we should be able to resolve this on our own. 

    When I said 'open my eyes'....I was questioning how my H could have been so cold with me when he'd 'never' been that way before.  And it was like suddenly I could pick out these huge problems in our relationship that I'd forced myself to get past simply because I thought I could.  I never stood up for myself before this.  Counseling has also helped me see things more clearly, and although it's helping me understand myself better and why I've never stood up for myself before, I feel like it's hurting my relationship more because suddenly there's all this stuff I never noticed or just shoved aside.

    I began to see what my counselor is telling me is manipulation and emotional abuse and I'm scared out of my mind!

  • have you seen or spoken to her since the letter?

    was your H always a wimp?

    what has your therapist said so far?

     



  • MrsMammay-I do not know.  I do not have an answer for this.  I am the kind of person who likes to keep the peace and since I keep hearing from H that I need to 'get over this', I suppose I've just been trying to do exactly that.

    I know it's not fair to anyone, but my issue is no longer with MIL anyway.  She can hate me for all I care....it's the reaction I got out of H that has me in such a bad place.

  • H doesn't think therapy is necessary, that we should be able to resolve this on our own. 

    And his resolution is that you just need to "get over it". 

    how serious is this to you?  Are you willing to leave him over this?  If so (and you really have to mean it!  It can't just be lip service.) then tell him this and tell him if he doesn't go to counseling w/ you, then the marriage is over.

    But again- you have to MEAN IT. If you say this, he says "no" and you just stay.... that only tells him you don't mean it and he'll call your bluff every time.

     

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
    DS dx with celiac disease 5/28/10

  • image wakingup:

    I just got to this point where I was losing more and more trust in him, started really looking at my relationship, started realizing how much I had overlooked over the years. 

    This was my fault completely-had I been receptive to the issues we already had rather than blindly walked through them, I probably never would have married him.

    This is really vague, but I am sensing your DH has other behaviors and instances of treating you poorly. That is what you should focus on. It is hard to give advice without more specfics, though.

  • magsugar-yes, I have seen and spoken to her since the letter, but it's not the same.  We don't go out of our way to talk the way we used to, and our visits are minimal and usually very short.  H goes over there more often and his relationship with her has not changed.

    This is the first time H has ever needed to back me on something like this. 

    We've had some pretty big problems in the past that I 'got over' and looking back, can see that they were some pretty big red flags.

    My therapist has read both MIL and my letter and has agreed that the things in MIL's letter were uncalled for and handled wrong.  I posted above that the further I go in counseling, the more she sees manipulative behavior from H.

  • image BunMom90:
    image wakingup:

    I just got to this point where I was losing more and more trust in him, started really looking at my relationship, started realizing how much I had overlooked over the years. 

    This was my fault completely-had I been receptive to the issues we already had rather than blindly walked through them, I probably never would have married him.

    This is really vague, but I am sensing your DH has other behaviors and instances of treating you poorly. That is what you should focus on. It is hard to give advice without more specfics, though.

     This is exactly what I have been realizing.  I've been overlooking so much over the years that, had I been thinking clearly, I could have confronted before I got to this point.

    He is what you call a 'bad fighter'.  He screams at the top of his voice, swears, and makes me feel stupid about everything.  He tells me he wants me to bark back even though I know that is not healthy.

    Now when we have arguments, I have to interrupt his rants to remind him that I won't respond to screaming and swearing. 

  • Have you asked him to go to counseling with you?

    ITA with ECBride, if I were you I'd tell him that you go to counseling together or it's over.  With that said, don't say it if you don't mean it. 

    Do you have a job?  You mentioned earlier that he's complaining about paying for your therapist.  If you don't work, I'd start looking for a job and secure your financial independence- don't let that be the reason you stay.

  • image wakingup:
    image BunMom90:
    image wakingup:

    I just got to this point where I was losing more and more trust in him, started really looking at my relationship, started realizing how much I had overlooked over the years. 

    This was my fault completely-had I been receptive to the issues we already had rather than blindly walked through them, I probably never would have married him.

    This is really vague, but I am sensing your DH has other behaviors and instances of treating you poorly. That is what you should focus on. It is hard to give advice without more specfics, though.

     This is exactly what I have been realizing.  I've been overlooking so much over the years that, had I been thinking clearly, I could have confronted before I got to this point.

    He is what you call a 'bad fighter'.  He screams at the top of his voice, swears, and makes me feel stupid about everything.  He tells me he wants me to bark back even though I know that is not healthy.

    Now when we have arguments, I have to interrupt his rants to remind him that I won't respond to screaming and swearing. 

     

    I guess you know now where he got his bad fighting from. He CAN fix this. After being in an abusive relationship in my late teens, I was a bad fighter too (I would just yell if I was upset and then retreat to cry by myself..:shudders at the thought of my behavior::). After some encouragement from new bf (now DH) I worked through my issues at counseling and learned how to argue.

    BabyFetus Ticker
  • image wakingup:

    livinitup-The return email prompted two months of silence between H and I and MIL.  She refused to discuss things with me.  I felt like she expected me to apologize without defending myself and she could go on like normal.

    Well, that explains why she's assume you wouldn't be her home for T-day and cancelled on Christmas.  She treated you horribly, hadn't spoken and refused to resolve anything.  Typically people who have been treated like don't accept invitations for holidays. Why did you?  And why are you acting like nothing is wrong? I know, you keep the peace, but this is outrageous. 

    H doesn't think therapy is necessary, that we should be able to resolve this on our own. 

    Which translated means - close your eyes like you normally do and stuff your feelings down.  Becuase that is your typical way to resolve stuff, right?

    When I said 'open my eyes'....I was questioning how my H could have been so cold with me when he'd 'never' been that way before.  And it was like suddenly I could pick out these huge problems in our relationship that I'd forced myself to get past simply because I thought I could.  I never stood up for myself before this.  Counseling has also helped me see things more clearly, and although it's helping me understand myself better and why I've never stood up for myself before, I feel like it's hurting my relationship more because suddenly there's all this stuff I never noticed or just shoved aside.

    Of course it is.  DH got to be a jerk and you'd wish it away or overlook it.  Probably smooth things over, too.  Now that you don't want to do that, don't want to be a doormat to him, your realtionship is going to be rocky.

    I began to see what my counselor is telling me is manipulation and emotional abuse and I'm scared out of my mind!

    So it wasn't such a great relationship.  Something great that's getting hurt by noticing reality.  It sucked really badly.  I guess you can go back to being the peace keeper, blind, shove it down doormat or you can give yourself permission to grow and not take this sh!t anymore. 

    My darling daughter just turned 4 years old.
  • 1) Write off your MIL.   If's she's going to be a childish drama queen, you don't need her.   She's getting exactly what she said she was "afraid of."    If/when you have children, you'll limit your contact with her because you don't want to be around someone who is going to badmouth you.     I'd pretty much refuse contact with her.    

    2) Your H is an idiot.   By acting the way that he did, he contributed to the situation.   If you cut off contact, doesn't he realize that he's going to be in the middle more than if he has just said, "mom, I stand behind my wife.  End of story"?    Now he'll be perpetually in the middle of things because he didn't head off the problem before it became this dramatic.

    3) I think it's time to insist on joint counseling.  Individual counseling is great...if this is just your issue.   But it's not.   I'd tell your H that the only way you're going to get over it is if he goes to counseling with you.    He needs to address the issue too, and it has to be better than some generic statement about having your back.

     

  • Um, MIL has put her nose in our business exactly once.  DH lectured the schit out of her and let her know that it was never to happen again if she wanted a good, functioning relationship with either of us.  But then again, I generally get along with my MIL, she's decidedly not nuts 99.9999% of the time, and my H has my back. 

    The fact that your H wouldn't tell his mother to shove it when she tried to gripe about you (not sitting beside her at your wedding?!  Really?!) is a red flag.  The fact that he still wouldn't call his mother to inform her not to treat his wife that way is also a huge flipping red flag.  The cherry on top is him encouraging and condoning that steaming pile of batschit crazy.

    Yes, your MIL sounds nuts, but your H needs to pull on his big boy boxers and 'get in the middle of it' when it involves his mother and his wife.  I hate to say it, but your counselor is right in that this behavior is 100% unacceptable.  You are your DH's main family unit right now.  If ILs from either side treat either of you unacceptably, the other needs to stand up.

    It sounds like either counseling or a come-to-Jesus meeting (or both, preferably).   I'm sorry, sweetheart.

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