Trouble in Paradise
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Need advice- kind of long.

Not for me, though- I need advice for a friend. And before anyone thinks riiight "a friend," when it's really for Snail, I can't assure you, it's definitely not me.

Alright, so here we go. I have a friend (we will call her J). J and her H have been married for 6 years. J and her H, met in college and got married about 6 months later when he was being sent to Iraq. They have two kids: a DD who is 3 and a DS who just turned 2. DD was born when the couple had been married for about 3 years and DS was born quickly thereafter (J found out she want KU with DS, when DD was like 4 months old. So many abbreviations I'm sorry!)

J, her H and the kids live out of state with H's family. They had to move with H's family, due to serious debt issues (the debt was accrued prior to having kids and just got worse after the kids were born). So they moved in with the inlaws a few months after she found out she was pregnant with DS. That was almost 3 years ago. J was laid off from her job last April, due to "lack of work" and her H has an okay job as a government contractor, but it's not enough to get out of debt and move out. J is back in school working towards her associates in medical assisting.

So since moving out there, her H has essentially checked out of their relationship. J does everything- she is a stay at home mom during the day and goes to school full time at night.Her H never wants to do anything with her or the kids. He's rather watch TV or play video games. Since they've been living with his inlaws, his mom waits on him hand and foot, and he is starting to expect the same from J. He's just so fuucking lazy!! I could go on for days about the fights they get into, but I don't want to make this any longer than it already is.

Oh the other part: J's FIL is super condescending about how she is raising the kids. Things like "If my kids ever threw a temper tantrum like that, I would beat the shiit out of them"  and "if you were a good mother, they wouldn't act out like that." J's H doesn't say or do anything in response. He "feels like he should stay out of it." And basically makes J look like the bad guy for punishing the kids. Her H also feels like "since his parents are putting a roof over the heads and food on the table, his parents can say whatever and do whatever they want."

(Which I agree to a point- J and her H need to respect the parents for helping them out, but there is a line that is often crossed)

Tonight they got into a HUGE blow out and she basically said- her and the kids are moving home (to Cincy) and they will just have to work things out or be done with the relationship.  The problem is, she's said this before. Many, many times since they have moved out there. So now it's become an empty promise to her H. I don't think he believes she will actually ever do it.

Holy shiit, if you are still reading this, thank you. I know it's long, but I feel like the back story is super important. And I can always fill in more spaces if you need it before you make a decision.

I know she needs to DTMFA, but how do I make her realize that?  And I know that most people need to realize it on their own, but she is one of my best friends and I'm so tired of seeing her so unhappy.

Thanks for reading all this.. I'll probably be up for a little bit more tonight and then I will try to check in as the day goes on tomorrow.  Love you biicthes!

 

Re: Need advice- kind of long.

  • Step one:  Print out my sig on posterboard and hang on J's wall.

    Here's the thing:  it's clear to all of us that what J should do is make good on her threat to move to Cincy.  Will she?  Probably not, since she sounds like a pushover.

    - namaste mothafockaaaas - image
  • I don't think there is anyway you can make her see that she needs to DTMFA.  People in situations like that just won't leave until they're ready.
  • Wow, that really sucks. I don't even know where to start, but you should definitely encourage her to move back to Cincy. 

    Maybe then her H will finally realize THIS wasn't an empty promise. Or, she'll start off on the right foot being away from him, and getting a handle on what she will do without him.

     

    This is a tough situation. 

    " love doesn't conquer aids, child molestation or complete douchebaggery" - Interrobang
    "Glitter is the herpes of arts and crafts. It stays on you forever."

  • image BeebeeEater:

    Step one:  Print out my sig on posterboard and hang on J's wall.

    Here's the thing:  it's clear to all of us that what J should do is make good on her threat to move to Cincy.  Will she?  Probably not, since she sounds like a pushover.

    This. 

    It's easier to see it from the outside, but when you're in its a little harder. And while your heart might be in the right place, she could turn defensive and it might hurt YOUR relationship with her. 

    Hopefully, she really will move back home. Only time will tell. 

  • Wow, that's a really tough situation.  She really does need to realize it on her own, though.  If you say anything and she stays/goes back, you'll be the bad guy because you didn't believe in their relationship.

    It would be nice if you could talk some sense into her, but she's got to be the one willing to make that first step and get out.

    If she does move back, be supportive, listen, etc.  But until then, unfortunately, there's not much you can do.

     

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  • You've just got to be patient while she works it out herself.  As much as you want to rush her to the decision point, she's gotta do it on her own, otherwise it won't stick.  Obviously she's not in complete denial that her marriage is in the sh!tter, so at least there's that.  She'll reach her breaking point eventually. 

    Did they rush into the marriage b/c he went to Iraq or were they going to get married anyways?  From what you said, it sounds like the former.  That plus financial stress, popping out two kids in rapid succession that they couldn't afford, and living under parental supervision would do a number on even the best of relationships. 

    This is my siggy.
  • image BowiesInSpace:

    Did they rush into the marriage b/c he went to Iraq or were they going to get married anyways?  From what you said, it sounds like the former.  That plus financial stress, popping out two kids in rapid succession that they couldn't afford, and living under parental supervision would do a number on even the best of relationships. 

    Right- they rushed into marriage because he was going to Iraq.

    I know that she needs to figure it out on her own, I just hate standing by and watching her go through all this. It just kills me.

  • I'm curious if she is just venting to you and really expects you to have no opinion or advice? If she is just complaining about the same old problems then all you can do is lend your ear. If she is asking your thoughts then you are free to tell her that when she decides she is fed up with this then you will support her decision. Ask her why she is so afraid to leave him? What keeps her there? Does she really have any place to go? Is she trying to get finished with school so she can get a better job and support herself? How much longer does she have to finish? Does she want her children to see her being treated this way and think it is normal? Tell her she is strong and can take control of her life. Reinforce all the positive things you know about her.

  • image SnailButt:

    I know she needs to DTMFA, but how do I make her realize that?

    I think everybody has at least one friend like this.

    So if you figure out the answer, please let me know!!

  • image SnailButt:

    I know she needs to DTMFA, but how do I make her realize that?  And I know that most people need to realize it on their own, but she is one of my best friends and I'm so tired of seeing her so unhappy. 

    The best you can do is tell her the truth.

    '"I hate to see you so unhappy. I hope you don't drop me as a friend when I tell you I think you should just up and move to Cincy. As many times as you have threatened to and not done it, your H does not believe you have the guts to make a stand for your kids. Do you really want your kids to grow up thinking this is how a marriage should be?? You need to leave. If he follows then maybe you have a chance with him. If he doesn't, then why are you abusing yourself and your kids like this???" 

  • image Myna:
    image SnailButt:

    I know she needs to DTMFA, but how do I make her realize that?  And I know that most people need to realize it on their own, but she is one of my best friends and I'm so tired of seeing her so unhappy. 

    The best you can do is tell her the truth.

    '"I hate to see you so unhappy. I hope you don't drop me as a friend when I tell you I think you should just up and move to Cincy. As many times as you have threatened to and not done it, your H does not believe you have the guts to make a stand for your kids. Do you really want your kids to grow up thinking this is how a marriage should be?? You need to leave. If he follows then maybe you have a chance with him. If he doesn't, then why are you abusing yourself and your kids like this???" 

    This.

    I also think everyone has a friend like this. I know I do. If you have this talk with her- be prepared for her to lash out at you. Sometimes the truth hurts and she might know it, but it may hurt her coming from her friend more than just knowing it herself. (I had a similar talk w/ a friend and she originally lashed out at me for "not supporting her decisions". They ended up parting ways later and she apologized, but her initial reaction was anger at me.)

    I would also suggest (no matter if she stays or leaves) for her to get into counseling to help her figure out why she feels like she can't stand up for herself or her kids. She HAS to put them first, and it sounds like she isn't by letting IL's dictate her parenting and her H have no active role in anything.

  • I was in a situation very similar to hers. We didn't live with the IL's but we all worked together in our basement. There were no boundaries and DH never helped me, much less defended me to his BSC mother. And he also treated me like crap.

    I knew I wanted/needed to leave but was too scared. I remember wanting him to just hit me already so I would have a legit excuse to leave. My family and friends waited to say anything until I came to them. They didn't even know half the story and still thought I should leave.

    I think it would have been a HUGE relief to have someone else justify my feelings and concerns. Maybe print out this post and give it to her. For me, it took seeing my vents on this board to realize it was real.

  • Thank you to everyone that has weighed in this issue, I really appreciate your advice and input. I'm going to C&P everything on her to J in an email and we will see where things go.

     ETA- I can't believe this post had like 413+ posts and only 13 reviews- holy comments!!

     

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