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My Father-In-Law is an alcoholic. I married my wife 18 years ago and since that time, especially when we started having kids, he has accumulated quite a list of alcohol-induced bad behavior. It has caused arguments between my wife and I over the years but we were always able to get through each one.

I love my wife with all of my heart. I can't imagine a future not shared with her. She has become a part of me. I think it's so stupid the Jerry McGuire thing - "You Complete Me". But I'm comfortable enough in my manhood to admit that I really, truly know what that means. I understand and that is exactly how I feel about my wife.

The last incident occurred about a year and a half ago. My kids were sleeping over at their house and long story short: He physically hurt my 8 year old. He verbally assaulted my boy using words you'd likely not hear in a bar...Very vile. He threatened to lock him in the crawl space for the night...He hurt him. My MIL was home and heard the whole thing yet she never thought to call us and tell us to come get them. We live no more than five minutes away. There's a lot more details and history and although relevant, not important right now.

After the incident my kids went to counseling for about 6 months, we all did actually. My 8 year old kept having nightmares about Grandpa chasing him with a knife and stuff like that. My wife and I agreed neither grandparent would have the right to see our boys ever again. This was the final straw, etc.

Throughout counseling my wife and I eventually landed on the idea of letting them have a chance at getting back into the kids life if they met certain conditions. We decided that if my FIL attended AA and accumulated 1 year of sobriety which could be verified by a sponsor or something, and my MIL attended 1 year of meetings, they'd be able to slowly be a part of our lives - watch the boys grow up.

It's been 18 months and neither have taken any steps. The best my FIL will offer is that he won't drink when the boys are around. They have begun calling our house, which was one of the things they are not allowed to do-in case the boys answer the phone. I should mention here that I haven't had contact with either of them since this happened. There was a very angry phone call on my behalf when I learned what happened and I haven't had contact with anyone in her family since. My wife has maintained a relatively distant relationship with them though. She visits them probably once a month and has occasional phone calls and texts with her mother.

At the present time she is feeling guilty about the whole thing. Her siblings and mother are now focusing on me and not the FIL who caused all this. They are telling my wife she cant be happy because I am the one causing stress in their family ( Not attending parties when they are there, etc.) I think my wife is carrying some guilt about keeping the kids from her father too. It's subtle but i can tell. I can't help but to feel betrayed when she's with them. I feel as if she is sending a signal to them, especially her Father, that she accepts what he did and forgives him despite his lack of apology, or action towards sobriety. I feel as if she may be transferring her guilt and sort of showing everyone that I am the lone hold-out. Sort of like it is I who is keeping the kids from them, keeping the past alive, etc.

He hurt my kids. I can't find any place in my heart or soul to forgive that. I just can't.

Where I'm at now:

I don't want them involved in my, or my kids life, ever again. I don't want to hear about them and I don't want to know what is going on in their life. I have put up with this for 18 years and have nothing left for them. The thing is that now, when I make love to my wife, I'll see her Mothers likeness for a split second. When she laughs, I'll see the resemblance she has to her father. When she displays habits (like always being late) that they are famous for, it is a huge turnoff. When she does anything really, I somehow tend to connect her to them. I even feel anger towards her even though I know none of this is her fault. I am slowly starting to feel like I can't be in the same room with her because all I can think about is her family and what happened.

My heart is broken because I feel the only way I'll be able to rid myself of her family is to rid myself of her. That means living an 'incomplete' life. That means causing my kids, who have already been hurt, more hurt. I just don't know what to do. I feel like I have to leave her. My soul feels crushed. I love her...I love my family. I love that she is the mom to my boys.

I really feel like its too late. Like it is too broken to be fixed.
...I'm just crushed.
 

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You need to talk to your wife TODAY. Tell her you understand that she grew up in this dysfunctional mess and had NO CHOICE about living in the middle of it. But NOW she is an adult and has a choice about whether to be involved.

Point out that YOU and your children have NOT grown up in the middle of this dysfunctional mess and you choose for yourself and your children NOT TO BE INVOLVED in this situation. She, however, is STILL free to visit her family ALONE if she feels she must/should/ought to/whatever.

Have your home phone number changed IMMEDIATELY to an unlisted number. Wife's parents/siblings/etc. can still contact her on her own cellphone (which YOUR CHILDREN will NEVER answer).

Tell your wife that you feel she is choosing the happiness of her alcoholic father and her enabling family-of-origin OVER the happiness of yourself and your children (who, again, have NO CHOICE in having this drunken mess in their lives). Your children are AT THE MERCY OF THE CHOICES you and your wife make; doesn't she want something BETTER FOR THEM (f*ck her parents) than what SHE endured? POINT THIS OUT TO HER.

Tell her that you two MUST get into marital counseling IMMEDIATELY as the effects of this incident and the last 18 years in general are seriously eroding the stablity of your own marriage. Your wife may need IC as the adult child of an alcoholic, but that should wait until AFTER she has agreed to engage FULLY in MC with you.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
You need to talk to your wife TODAY. Tell her you understand that she grew up in this dysfunctional mess and had NO CHOICE about living in the middle of it. But NOW she is an adult and has a choice about whether to be involved.

Point out that YOU and your children have NOT grown up in the middle of this dysfunctional mess and you choose for yourself and your children NOT TO BE INVOLVED in this situation. She, however, is STILL free to visit her family ALONE if she feels she must/should/ought to/whatever.

Have your home phone number changed IMMEDIATELY to an unlisted number. Wife's parents/siblings/etc. can still contact her on her own cellphone (which YOUR CHILDREN will NEVER answer).

Tell your wife that you feel she is choosing the happiness of her alcoholic father and her enabling family-of-origin OVER the happiness of yourself and your children (who, again, have NO CHOICE in having this drunken mess in their lives). Your children are AT THE MERCY OF THE CHOICES you and your wife make; doesn't she want something BETTER FOR THEM (f*ck her parents) than what SHE endured? POINT THIS OUT TO HER.

Tell her that you two MUST get into marital counseling IMMEDIATELY as the effects of this incident and the last 18 years in general are seriously eroding the stablity of your own marriage. Your wife may need IC as the adult child of an alcoholic, but that should wait until AFTER she has agreed to engage FULLY in MC with you.

Good luck!
Wow! You outlined the exact way I am feeling in a very organized way. Thank You very much for your advice.
 

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Good luck to you, Crushed!

You MUST be firm; it might (God forbid!) cost you a marriage, but YOUR CHILDREN DESERVE BETTER THAN THIS SH1T...and only YOU and their mother can stop it!!!!
 
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