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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have been a prolific poster today, I'm afraid! A huge part of our current issues stem from lack of boundaries with his family, and that my husband doesn't see a need for them and let's his hatred of confrontation keep him from setting down serious ones with them.

Don't get me wrong, he has defended me to the best of his ability in the past during some of their worst times, like when his crazy, jealous teenage sister attacked me a month before our wedding, the dramas his parents or younger brother create, etc. BUT, there comes a time when telling them off, or stopping talking to them for a while isn't enough, especially when their behaviors continue and worsen.

His brothers and parents seem to think that when they're up here (they live down South for military and school) that they have free run of our home. When his eldest brother visited last year with his own family, for lack of a better word, he was supposed to stay with someone else. That fell through so he invited himself and his family to stay with us for a week in our 1 bedroom apartment, which turned into 2 weeks. With his constant fighting with his baby mama/on-off girlfriend, their lack of parenting for her kid and theirs, etc it was not a fun time 99% of it.

His younger brother has no respect for me. Last year after he screwed us in a deal, he started sending nasty messages mostly directed at me, starting with how useless I am. My husband defended me, told him off, and stopped talking to him and his parents for months following that. Then his parents, who our biggest problems with them come from his mom's constant need of drama, her meddling, and the fact both of them expect us to parent their grown children have mostly been behaving themselves for the last year until this summer...

His dad and brother scoffed in front of the whole family about my photography business (full time I work with children who have Autism, on the side/occasionally I do my photography) I suppose because I'm not making it a full-on career and making lot and lots of money from it. If that's what I wanted, that's what I'd do. When they were all up for settling his grandmother's estate (wonderful woman, but she was a hoarder, and died in June) everything was fine at first. Had to bite my tongue a lot being around his sexist, rude, know-it-all younger brother, but the sister has learned that she doesn't have a place in our lives as consequence of her actions and we're generally civil now. His parents act like they love me, and brag about me to whomever will listen, but that I suspect, is more about them than me.

His mom and brother invited themselves for weeks on end to our place after asking for ONE night, his mom threw stuff of ours away that she didn't like (old baking sheets, his socks, etc), washed SWEATERS of mine that had no need to be out and were handwash/dry clean only, etc. Then she called my husband after she left to tell him all I had done wrong, how she didn't like how I treated him (how dare I ask him to take out the trash), all my flaws, and how she didn't want him to get beaten down like a family friend who is currently going through a divorce. I spend most of my energy showing him my love and trying to make him happy, and the rest goes to work and taking care of pretty much everything errand, house, and bill wise.

His brother treated me poorly the entire time, even hacked their mom's Facebook so that he could publicly attack me, and especially during my family's emergency during a storm that left them without power, food, running water, and gas for a week (his opinion was that they didn't have anything to worry about unlike him, and it's not like they had to work), and my frustration mounted with my husband and the fact he neglected me largely during all of this because he feared his 21 year old brother would get lonely. So we ended up fighting the most we ever have, I didn't always handle my stress and resentment in the most non-confrontational way either, and while things have improved this past month with them all being back home, we are still fighting more often than normal, mostly because I can't say ANYTHING serious or about how I feel about ANYTHING without it becoming a fight.

He defended me in both instances, but nothing is going to change, and he still talks to both who have not apologized like nothing ever happened. He swears he loves me, wants our marriage to work, made some improvements with some things (like helping me around the house for a week), said & did the right things, but then we would fight and suddenly I am to blame for everything, he hates me, etc. He wonders why I don't believe the lovey dovey stuff, but when someone tells you they hate you with such heat, and has such an apparent resentment of you, it's hard to buy that it just goes away at the flip of a switch. He had sworn he would set boundaries with his family, but that has yet to happen, and the few times I have brought it up, he tells me to let it go, it's in the past, or that he will when the time's right. I think he sees my problems with his family now as MY problem, and that I should fix it on my own. Not how that would blow up in both of our faces, or set me up to be the you-know-what.

SO, how do you help your spouse see the importance of boundaries so that your marriage isn't completely ruined, and how do you set boundaries with people who seem to think the boundaries you set up in the past were for everyone (like MY family that has a history of abuse) but them? I even bought the book Boundaries, but he listened to one chapter before getting irritated with me. It's almost as though he thinks that if I could just let things go, and be laidback like him, and generally be their doormat, we could all be one big happy family.
 

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I don't think things will change. That is the family you married into. You certainly can't change people like that, and if you have to make your husband set boundaries for that kind of behavior, will it even mean anything to you?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That's what I'm afraid of...His family, besides his sister and the baby mama, were awesome at first, but then all the crazy started coming out. I am not a follower or a doormat, so I think that is why I get targeted more than anyone else. It used to be the baby mama, but she has no personality or ambition of her own, she she is like Play Doh in their hands, and now that she's mostly out of the picture, my MIL has been trolling for a new project and drama...After the stuff between all of us died this summer, she even tried to get into a drama with a distant cousin and his girlfriend and called my husband to vent about it! When I pointed out that she is always looking for drama, he told me that's not it at all, she just wanted to the help the cousin. He has parents, he doesn't need the wife of his mom's cousin calling him up because of things she saw on Facebook.

Good point. I don't think so. I am tired of feeling like the only one trying.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
UPDATE: I'm about at my wit's end...We had that argument last night and he left for an hour and I slept on the couch. He's been frustrated with work and the last-minute project that was due today (his boss forgot about it until last week, and there was no way to get it done, but handed it off to my husband anyway) and it's not done, so he has to go in for a half day tomorrow, and it still won't be done since some materials won't be in until Wednesday and we have the auction for his grandmother's estate Sunday. I am considering not going. Anywho, this morning he left without saying a word, and he got home a little while ago. I was folding laundry (the machines are by our bedroom) and he walks right by, goes in the bedroom, and shuts the door!

I have to admit, I was pissed. No hello, no sorry (he said some truly horrible things last night). I let my temper go a bit, and opened the door and asked what that was all about. He was getting in bed, and buried himself in blankets. Still nothing. His mom calls, so I get to hear about his day and that he didn't finish the project, and has to go in tomorrow until noon via their talk. Still nothing to me.

I tried to get him to talk, and he alternated between silence, and sniggering. I pretty much told him he was a as-hole, he said he'd been told that before, and I told him I resented how he treated me last night and that he doesn't feel the need to talk. He told me he was sleeping, and after that chat with his mom, I said how it was great that I didn't get a hello, told about the project or anything and he told me he doesn't have to talk to me, he's tired, and he's going to sleep now.

I left the room, and have to admit I slammed the bedroom door. I am sick of being tired, and feeling like the only one who cares and tries, sick of hurting. I even bought a "talking totem" just a little something like his dad used to tell the couples' he counsels who have trouble with the back-and-forth of arguing to use, and a couple mini-notebooks so that while the other one has the totem and is talking, the other can keep track of what they wanted to say. Since he gets so mad if he thinks I am interrupting (and in my family if you pause, you're done so it is something I struggle with).

I didn't call him on lunch, because I knew his day was stressful enough as is, and nothing would have been solved in those few minutes anyway. I try to be considerate, but I don't feel the same favor in return.
 

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Sometimes you have to stand your ground. They already have their minds made up about you so the next time they piss you off just tell them. F*ck off would work for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Things are going much better on a personal level with my husband since yesterday, but I am still concerned over the boundary issue with his family. For the most part, we don't see them very often due to the distance, which is part of the reason why he doesn't see a pressing need for the boundaries, but they are still very important.

Haha! I am too the point where I would be very tempted to say just that! Don't think it would go over too well with his parens since they already preach to the choir (we're all Christians, but when it suits them they are moreso since the dad's a chaplain, and the mom seems to think being his wife elevates her to some similar title).

We have very little to do with his sister as consequence of her previous actions, but I have told his younger brother off on more than one occasion in recent history. The eldest brother for the most part is pretty tame, and too focused on his soap opera of a relationship to cause us trouble and he's pretty close to my husband so that factors in as well.
 

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Good luck with this sweetie. I fought this battle for 16 years. Finally, at 43, my H stood up to his mother! Finally. But you cant MAKE him do anything. However if he puts you second to his family of origin, then you are no longer his CHOSEN family now are you? I finally just said I was done with them and he could do what he wanted with them. It took another year but he did tell his mother she wasnt welcome since she treats his family like sh*t.

good luck to you. I know how you feel.
 

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Oh, I feel your pain :( My in-laws are much the same with boundaries. My H and I adopted his niece (his sister's daughter)when she was 3 years old. She is 13 now and my MIL just now started to refer to me as Mom instead of her daughter. My H, my adopted daughter and I all told her that is disrespectful of me because I am MOM, I am doing all the work and my little girl never did call her biological mother Mom, only by her first name.

MIL smokes like a chimney and came into our home with a lit cigarette one day. My H grabbed it from her and through it outside saying YOU KNOW WE DON'T ALLOW SMOKING IN HERE... She called him an a$$hole and left. She talks bad about me all the time to everyone that will listen... I could care less.

The kicker is when she would be around our children... She would only acknowledge the presence of our adopted daughter and not our other 2 kids (which are her grandkids too) she would swoon over our youngest and not even say hi to the other 2. My H told her that if she was going to continue to act that way, she was no longer welcome around his family, at his home, etc. It took a year and a half for him to talk to her again but she got the point. :)

I felt bad that it had to be that way but she just wasn't getting it any other way. Your H has to be the one to set the boundaries with his family and you set them with your family... IMO
 

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My MIL insinuated that our daughter was NOT my H's b/c of her eye color!!!!!! What?????
Oh, I got that one too... My H has black hair and hazel eyes, I have brown hair, brown eyes. Our oldest daughter was blonde hair, blue eyes when she was little.... I was blonde when I was young though and both sides of the families have majority blue eyes... ugh...
 

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Oh, I got that one too... My H has black hair and hazel eyes, I have brown hair, brown eyes. Our oldest daughter was blonde hair, blue eyes when she was little.... I was blonde when I was young though and both sides of the families have majority blue eyes... ugh...

Our daughter has green eyes. I have blue, my H has brown BUT my grandmother had green eyes sooo.....The things people will say,ya know.

LOVE your avatar(?)thingy. Kind of goes with "you teach people how to treat you"
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Thank you both :) Things have gone much, much better this evening. After reading a post by another member about her 16 year struggle, I just kind of sat there with my head in my hands, and my husband asked what was wrong. Instead of saying, "Nothing." I flat out told him, that I had seen my future if things didn't change, if he didn't set boundaries, and I didn't want 16 years or 60 of it.

It was an actual conversation until he told me I should be more Christian (wth does that even mean?), and then it started to become an argument. I then focused on what I had been working on since our fight the other night: changing how we handle our emotions and conflicts. In my family, whoever is the loudest gets a say, if you stop for a breath it isn't considered interrupting, and it's almost like a competition. In his, they don't talk about it and sweep it under the rug.

We used to "fight fair," but after the stress with his family this summer, that went out the window, and we devolved into our respective families, and he became so hateful during our disagreements. He admits he says those things just to get me to shut up so the fight will stop, but they still hurt. So I made a system for us to really talk, and take turns without interruption.

And you know what? It worked. He talked (I felt like I couldn't get him to talk and resolve things, and it turns out that he DOES want to resolve things), and it was amazing! We felt good after instead of terrible. I learned a lot about him, our problems, my part in it, etc. He listened to me for quite a while as well, and then asked politely for me to let him absorb before I continue. I feel like we'll be better able to fix the matter with his family (and I agree that he should deal with his family and I should deal with mine, but it's a matter of him seeing that, and a matter of him seeing that relationships DO take work. I am his first truly serious relationship--his others were 7 months tops--and now we're coming out of the honeymoon phase and he thinks it should be "no work" like before) if we first repair our relationship from our poor communication, and fix our communication skills.

I feel like we really made a breakthrough, and the first bit of REAL hope that something will change, that we aren't heading down the road of divorce or something.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It really does! We were breaking down each other and our marriage instead of the problem, and hopefully that changes now that we're actively trying and have realized the issue. That way we can better address the family issues *fingers crossed.*
 
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