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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi Everyone. I’m in desperate need of impartial advice and thoughts. (sorry the post is so long, but in order for you to get the full picture I had no choice)

I’m 35 and have been married to my husband for almost 9 years now. We have had a very rocky relationship up until about 4 years ago (long story, but basically he was abusive: mostly verbally and sometimes physically. He has allowed his family to be rude to me (his brother, mother and sister mostly) He never once stood up for me when I was verbally attacked by any of them. I left him for a bit and then we reconciled. Anyway, things have been going pretty well between us for the most part over the last few years which I think is mostly due to my just going with the flow and not standing up for myself because when I do say no to a demand his family has made, he gets angry at me, or agrees but doesn't do anything about it. So it’s best for me not to say anything just in case.
The trouble I’m having right now is with his family (this has been an ongoing issue since we first got together). They are needy (constantly asking us to do things for them. We even moved across country for his dad who was claiming to be ill). They are extremely demanding of our time and have no respect for our time because, according to them, we don’t have kids, although we do have 3 dogs who do need a LOT of attention especially since we work all week. My husband and I work very hard, 10-11 hours a day, and are trying to fix up our house that is falling apart. It has been put on the back burner in favour of either helping or visiting his family. His sister and her son even lived with us when we were first married when she broke up with the nephew’s father, and she was constantly rude, didn’t clean up after herself or her child, and even she even slapped one of my dogs once. Husband did not stick up for me ONCE the whole time they were there. His parents didn’t offer to take them in or money for the extra cost of having them there even once. (She doesn’t work and lives off the system)

I have tried to be understanding and be a good, supportive wife. I have none of my family or friends closer than a plane trip away, which is ok I made that choice. Since the spring (about 6 months ago) his sister had CAS get involved because of her bad parenting. Her 9yr old son has behaviour issues and is special needs. We had to all band together as a family, and be supportive etc. The nephew stayed with us for a while, and my husband shared a week on / week off with his dad at his sister’s house as she wasn’t allowed to be alone with her son. Constant meetings with CAS, stress, etc….It was difficult, but I again, had to be supportive and understanding etc. September rolls around and she’s allowed to have him back. Great, now we can get on with our life.
My brother passed away suddenly 2 months ago. I was very close to him – we were best friends growing up and still were as adults. Needless to say, my life has been turned upside down. I completely fell apart and so did my parents. He left behind a young daughter and a wife, so they are completely devastated as well. I can barely bring myself to get out of bed to get to work. I’m in a very HORRIBLE place right now. I have even had thoughts about suicide a couple of times (which I would NEVER do in a million years, but the pain is just THAT bad and at the time of those thoughts, felt so desperately in pain. Again, I am not suicidal AT ALL)

AND now we are also back to husband’s sister having CAS say she can’t take care of her son alone. I went out of town for 3 days over Christmas for a friend’s wedding and came back to husband and his family having decided that the nephew is going to be living with us indefinitely. I completely lost it and told my husband this was not happening. He has 2 sets of grandparents and a father he can go to. His grandfather (husband’s father) then said ok, I’ll go there and stay with her for as long as it takes to support my daughter blah blah blah. Well now a week later and he’s backtracking and saying “there’s no f*&^%ng way I’m uprooting my life”. So it very well will come back to everyone telling me and my husband that we need to take him.
I am very fond of his nephew, he is a sweet little boy, but there are several reasons as to why I am refusing to take him in right now:
1. I don’t want children, never have and never will. I simply don’t want the responsibility. I was very open with my husband about this before we were married and he agreed he could deal with that.
2. This is another thing his family is dumping on us.
3. I am going through my own turmoil with myself and my family right now.
4. We have 3 large Dobermans who are great around kids, however they can never be left alone in a room together (because they are dogs and I refuse to be one of those people who say my dogs would NEVER because nobody can say that). He has lied about one of my dogs biting him already (he couldn’t see us around the corner I the dining room, but we could see him and one of the dogs barked at the window, so we were able to call him out on that) I really don’t want to lose my dogs. Even a scratch could be blown up in CAS’s minds.
5. My husband refuses to properly discipline this boy when he is with us for a visit. He is quite a brat at times.
6. I don’t want CAS in my life and in my business any more than they already are.
7. He has a father, and 2 sets of grandparents. This should be their responsibility.

NOTE: his mom does love him, she is just really dirty, lazy and CAS in my opinion, is in the wrong here. As much as I hate this woman, she does love her son and he loves her too.

NOTE 2: He doesn’t really make an effort to become friends with my family unless they are visiting us, but I am expected to call his sister to cheer her up and encourage her etc.

NOTE 3: We do many fun things with the nephew (outings, camping, go-carts, theme parks etc) This I have no issue with. It's fun for all and he is our nephew. I would like this to continue.

So, please can anyone give me any advice, or thoughts? Do I talk to my husband and say no way this is happening (not as long as there are other options anyway) or do I stay supportive and put myself last. I would really just like him to put US first and to stand up to his family once and for all.
Many, many thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
While this may seem counter intuitive, sometimes the best way to help people (such as your in-laws) is to let them have to learn to help themselves.

I have had family members that at times have had their life be a hot mess that would look like it would need an indefinite family intervention and support just to survive. Well eventually things blew up so much that everyone just went their own way, and now everyone is actually much better off for it.

If you are not helping someone out of the goodness of your heart, it very well could be hurting everyone more than it helps. Would have not thought it would have worked out that way, but you might want to consider giving that approach a try of putting some space.
Thank-you so much for this advice. I agree that sometimes you have to let people take responsibility for their own actions. Space is definitely what I need right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
why doesn't the child's father have him full time through all of this?
His father is in and out of the picture because my husbands family hates him and make him feel very uncomfortable and try to keep him away from his child. The more I look at this from an 'outsiders' perspective, the more I realise just how awful my in-laws are. Thank you for your response.
 

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I know it will be hard for you but you really need to be strong. From what you say bringing boy sweet or other wise into your home will put a great strain on you and none of us have a never ending cheque book. You want to build a steady relationship and life as a couple and I applaud you for that. No offence to child in any way but if that is last straw that breaks your relationship what good is it doing?

You and husband will end up in a bad place; child will be disrupted again no good for anyone. If you feel your “fighting for own space” as it is make that link just leave the front door open to them all. Sorry if that sounds harsh but that is how I would see it you would be roped in even deeper, no not crowding you just over to see boy and how he is doing and could you say a word?

Stand off and many ways to support rather than taking in. Don’t need to be $ and cent a trip over and a fun day in the park or some help with home work (you don’t say age) or a card or a phone call or a summer treat arranged is all adding and being supportive. His long term stability is more essential than a quick fix, I am sure you have a good heart but it will be broken and then he wont be any better of and he just has less Kin to support him.

Tough spot OP and end of day don’t need to be cruel just calm say would not be best for anyone. Heart strings will be tugging and emotions will be running but a calm head will do all good.
 

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Your husband and his family have no right to decide you and he need to take your nephew in. I don't think being with you and your husband is the best for him, you don't want him and I do think that one of your dogs could bite him. They are not use to being around kids. You are still going through grief with your brothers death. Your husband is a weak man that won't stand up for you. When he took his vows he chose you to be number one in his life and it sounds like his family is number one and always will be.

If he insists that his nephew live with you then I would leave. To me that would mean he is again choosing his family over you. You don't have any children with him so that doesn't tie you together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I know it will be hard for you but you really need to be strong. From what you say bringing boy sweet or other wise into your home will put a great strain on you and none of us have a never ending cheque book. You want to build a steady relationship and life as a couple and I applaud you for that. No offence to child in any way but if that is last straw that breaks your relationship what good is it doing?

You and husband will end up in a bad place; child will be disrupted again no good for anyone. If you feel your “fighting for own space” as it is make that link just leave the front door open to them all. Sorry if that sounds harsh but that is how I would see it you would be roped in even deeper, no not crowding you just over to see boy and how he is doing and could you say a word?

Stand off and many ways to support rather than taking in. Don’t need to be $ and cent a trip over and a fun day in the park or some help with home work (you don’t say age) or a card or a phone call or a summer treat arranged is all adding and being supportive. His long term stability is more essential than a quick fix, I am sure you have a good heart but it will be broken and then he wont be any better of and he just has less Kin to support him.

Tough spot OP and end of day don’t need to be cruel just calm say would not be best for anyone. Heart strings will be tugging and emotions will be running but a calm head will do all good.
Thank you so much for the insight. We do spend quite a bit of quality time with the nephew (he is 9 now). We take him to amusement parks, camping, playgrounds etc. just things a boy his age would enjoy. I have no issue with this at all of course, it's what aunts and uncles do right? I do enjoy the quality time with him. But being 100% responsible for him is a whole other world and one I am not prepared for, emotionally, financially, physically, time-wise etc.

I feel I am doing all of the right things as per my "duties" (although like I said, I do enjoy the outings we have with him, so it's not a "duty" per se). I just feel there needs to be a line drawn, especially now.

I will definitely remain calm (thanks for the reminder though) and we will see how things go. I really appreciate your insight and advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Your husband and his family have no right to decide you and he need to take your nephew in. I don't think being with you and your husband is the best for him, you don't want him and I do think that one of your dogs could bite him. They are not use to being around kids. You are still going through grief with your brothers death. Your husband is a weak man that won't stand up for you. When he took his vows he chose you to be number one in his life and it sounds like his family is number one and always will be.

If he insists that his nephew live with you then I would leave. To me that would mean he is again choosing his family over you. You don't have any children with him so that doesn't tie you together.
Thank-you! I agree with everything you say here. I thought I was just being selfish.

I have decided that I am going to basically draw the line with my husband and if he can't deal with it, well then I'll just take my dogs and leave. I'm financially secure and have no worries being alone. I love my husband very much, but I refuse to be second in his life any more.

Thank-you so much for taking the time to help me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
*UPDATE*
Well, I had a really good and calm discussion with my husband and it went very well. It turns out he is also extremely stressed out about this whole situation and is at the point where he doesn't want anything to do with his dad. (Not that I want that mind you) He was so understanding and thanked me for being so supportive up until now.
The CAS worker called me yesterday and I told her where we are at this point in time. We are not in a position to take the nephew on full time, but will of course continue to be fun aunt and uncle taking him on outings etc. a few times a month (which we have always done).
It's been a few days now and the energy in our home is so much lighter, happier, less tense and in general, I feel so much healthier. We have vowed to be 'selfish' for a while and start taking care of ourselves, get back in shape, get healthy, and get our home sorted out.
Thank-you so much for the advice and for taking the time to respond to me.
 
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