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Leave dh because of in laws?

(62 Posts)
LadyApricot Wed 20-Mar-13 21:35:24

My husband and I have been married for three years, together for 6. We have two dc's and we get on alright unless I bring up my grievances with his family.
Mil is controlling and bossy. I am independent and hate the way she tries to tell me what to do all the time. She treats us like children. He's used to it and likes having everything done for him.
I'm fed up being his second mum and we're quite distant although we get on ok as I've said.
My SIL ( and the others in his family) are so so different to us. They have lots of holidays, cleaners, personal trainers, amazing jobs.. We're on a very low income and I only have £150 a week to get the food and pay some of the bills. I'm borrowing money from dh's savings regularly just to get through the week. He doesn't know yet.
My il's are becoming worse and worse around me. They question my parenting, look down their nose at me, think I'm awkward and bitch about me behind my back. Dh refuses to accept this. I dread visiting them. I feel sick whenever he says they want us to visit or they're coming to visit us
I'm finding myself going over all the stuff they do to upset me in my head and I know I need to talk to dh about it but he just defends them and says I'm being paranoid. I guess he just wants an easy life.
I dont know what to do. In the past in arguments he's sayid if we split up he would not move out of our house. I have no money or job so would be stuck.
He drinks too much and doesn't really do much with us. He just wants to sleep when he's not at work.
I'm so bored at home. I love our d's but feeling very unhappy.
What do I do?

Cherriesarelovely Wed 20-Mar-13 21:42:12

Sounds an obvious question but what does your DH think of the way they treat you? Does he know how you feel, that it affects you this much? Sorry to say but he doesn't sound particularly caring or considerate,is he a good dad?

clam Wed 20-Mar-13 21:43:28

Hmm, sounds as if the ILs aren't the whole problem. He, however, is.
What do you mean by "his" savings? Surely they should be joint? And it's not as if you're using the money for manicures and chocolates. He benefits from the food you buy, so why is that an issue?
OK, so I can see it IS an issue, so that's probably not very helpful. But if you're a bit wary of him, then this isn't just about the MIL.

giveitago Wed 20-Mar-13 21:50:57

Lady - my dh doesn sounnd like yours in that he's checked out of family life and sleeps all the time when not working and only really gets up when something interests him (and it's not his wife or child). But dh's family also very controlling but but of a very poor economic background. But they also look down their nose at me.

I worry about my dh sleeping through his child's childhood. You should worry also.

LadyApricot Wed 20-Mar-13 22:03:58

Dh thinks they are fine towards me and thinks I make a massive deal out of nothing. Everyone in my family have picked up on it though, when there have been family gatherings. I think he just doesn't want the conflict and I now feel I can't bring it up any more.
The savings are supposed to be completely untouched- incase we need to move house or some kind of emergency. He puts all the money in, not me.
I like to think if we had the money we would do more as a family but I can't remember a time he's said " let's go and do this " it's always my idea.
We've managed to get a free break over easter as a family for a few days but he wants us to stay with his mum first then go on to the hotel. I am gutted. I'll end up dreading the whole thing now and have more stuff to get wound up about while we're away instead of enjoying it.
I just feel like giving up on all this aggro but then I think how upset the children will be and what would happen if we split and he refused to leave our house... Then I feel bad because I do love him..
So mixed up!

Cherriesarelovely Wed 20-Mar-13 22:07:22

What do you love about him? Genuine question. He sounds quite controlling. Ok, so he is working and "bringing in the money" and you are looking after the children, that is also work. If you were independent financially would you leave?

LadyApricot Wed 20-Mar-13 22:19:26

I don't know.. I'd probably still be scared to make a decision. He has said 'I need to work' and Said the other day 'she doesnt even go to work' when I said jokingly how I would love a cleaner (the il's were talking about theirs)
He hates having to work - he feels he's too good for the job he has and the career he really wants is probably not going to be a reality. He'd rather be at home and I go out to work but that's not going to happen. I have terrible ibs and can't imagine working with this at the moment!

LadyApricot Wed 20-Mar-13 22:20:55

I think the mil is the controlling one an hes too scared to stand up to her..

Loulybelle Wed 20-Mar-13 22:27:23

You ever thought your IBS, is due to the situation your in, stress is a key factor in IBS attacks, your obviously stressed and miserable, you H doesnt really seem that interested in family life, clueless about his families treatment of you.

I think you really to work out, can you accept just "ok" for life, or strive to achieve something better, your DC's will learn and pick up on this and think that living in stress and misery is the norm.

Is this good enough for you? because you have the right to say no, if it isnt.

Cherriesarelovely Wed 20-Mar-13 22:42:04

Ugh, poor you, IBS is horrible. I have had that too but it is under control at the moment. Think louly could well be right though that your IBS is linked to your unhappiness. I would also find it incredibly hard to live with controlling ILs in my life. I had a bit of that with my ex. They actually did like me but once I had Dd they made all kinds of bizarre demands and judgements and the way they behaved you would have thought they were her other parent! So I feel for you.

ClippedPhoenix Wed 20-Mar-13 22:51:10

Your husband sounds horrible let alone his family.

I'd leave due to that alone.

BadLad Thu 21-Mar-13 04:30:41

We're on a very low income and I only have £150 a week to get the food and pay some of the bills. I'm borrowing money from dh's savings regularly just to get through the week. He doesn't know yet.

This absolutely cannot go on. Whether your financial arrangements in your marriage are fair or not, and I am of the opinion that it sounds as if your husband regards the money as "his" rather more than he should, you have to tell him that you are unable to make ends meet without dipping into the savings.

The solution may be one of many things - you getting a job, or him working more, or making some economies, but the savings diminishing is his business as well as yours. If you are worried about telling him, then you should really be thinking if you want to stay with him or not, but the more savings you use, the harder it will be.

Don't think for a minute I'm blaming you for having to use them - I have no idea whether it's your fault or his that you are struggling to make ends meet from your income. But you must tell him.

I had hideous IBS for years. Moved away from my stressful living situation, it got a lot better. Now, happily married, I almost never have an attack. Only if I eat crap, don't sleep and treat my body badly.

I also agree that this is not about the ILs. If your DH was supporting you, they would not be able to affect you.

LadyApricot Thu 21-Mar-13 06:22:49

Very true. I think he needs to grow up.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 21-Mar-13 06:29:44

"He drinks too much and doesn't really do much with us. He just wants to sleep when he's not at work. "

I think this is your problem really. You're struggling for cash, you're married to a slob and the attitude of the in-laws is just the icing on the cake. If he was supportive, didn't drink and your family had more cash coming into it, you'd have more confidence and wouldn't feel intimidated. Do you work btw?

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 21-Mar-13 06:31:30

Sorry, just seen that you don't work. See a GP about the IBS and get yourself an income. I think it'd do you good to be more independent.

LadyApricot Thu 21-Mar-13 06:36:16

I have seen a specialist and waiting further tests from the hospital. I would love to be able to have my own job - at the moment though I'm just trapped.. Can't go anywhere for long or out In The evening sad
I'm taking the right steps in that respect though. I could never be a slob!

Lueji Thu 21-Mar-13 06:41:34

I agree it's not about the ILs, really.

It's about his attitude at home

He's used to it and likes having everything done for him. I'm fed up being his second mum

Can you stop doing things for him?

And I'd actually start looking for jobs. For one, not to be dependent on his income and to be more independent should I have to leave.

You may be surprised how good working out of the home may make you feel. The IBS may become less of a problem.

And forget the ILs. Concentrate on you and your family. They are mostly a red herring here. I think you are using them to avoid facing the issues in your own marriage.

Lueji Thu 21-Mar-13 06:43:26

Is there anything you could do from home?

2fedup Thu 21-Mar-13 06:47:43

Have you considered counselling? If he won't go, you might find it helpful on your own to help you to way up options and find a way forward.
Does he understand that there is a serious problem, rather than ' just moaning' not saying that to be mean? Could you write a letter if talking is hard. focusing a what you would like to see happen differently so there a way forward. More trips to the park, beach walks etc, more dad nights at bedtime. Include solutions not just issues.
Sorry in a rush, so I hope this isn't too preachy.

What do you get out of this relationship now?.

You write that you love him. He does not know the meaning of the word love (and did you really expect different with his poor parental role models), he just wanted someone to look after him as his mother has done. What is there to love about such a man exactly?.

He also drinks too much and has become adept at opting out of family life altogether. Those alone apart from having to raid your DHs savings which you have also not told him of (for good reason i.e to avoid his wrath) are good reasons to consider whether this marriage has any future at all.

The ILs are a red herring, he is the main problem here. He will also not stand up to them; such men do not because he is more afraid of his mother in particular than he ever would be of you. He still wants their approval and keeps putting their wishes first.

You need to make a decision with regards to him; you have a choice re him your children do not. Is this really what you want from life for the next x number of years till you decide that you've finally had enough?. Such men do not change. He gets what he wants from this relationship i.e you to run around after him and do all his worrying for him.

As for him not wanting to leave the marital home should you split up, this is a usual tactic used by such damaged people to keep their victims i.e you and your children in your place; i.e to serve him. He knows you're unhappy and does not give a monkeys. He's more afraid of his mother than he would ever be of you.

LadyApricot Thu 21-Mar-13 07:32:34

I think you're absolutely right. It's hard to accept really as I've told myself I'm happy with him for so long and it's just his family that are the problem.
I have some facing up to do and need to talk to him. It's scary though. I don't think he could look after himself on his own but I need to think of myself.

LadyApricot Thu 21-Mar-13 07:34:03

And he is more scared of his family especially his mother more than me. She still has a lot of control over him and his family.

Lueji Thu 21-Mar-13 07:57:42

I don't think it's even an issue of how his mother treats you, or whether he's more afraid of her than you or whatever.

What matters is that you are not happy at home.
He's not pulling his weight and he's just shutting down and drinking too much.

If you were happy together, you'd be annoyed at PILs but would let it wash over you and just consider them twats.

Loulybelle Thu 21-Mar-13 08:19:06

Deal with the person your married to first, otherwise you just gonna keep focusing on your IL's as the issue. The big issue is you husband, who right now, doesnt have a happy wife.

SanityClause Thu 21-Mar-13 08:55:25

He needs to be given the chance to decide what he is more scared of; whether it's standing up to his mother, or losing you and the children.

My DH had to make a similar decision, about 10 years ago. He chose me and the children. Your DH might do the same.

But you really do need to allow him to understand that. He needs to know that you cannot go on as you are, and that he needs to change, if he wants to stay married to you.

LadyApricot Thu 21-Mar-13 09:22:38

We went through this before about 2 years ago.. I was upset at his family and we had a huge row. he said I was imagining it all and how they all love me. He begged me not to talk to them about it.. He seems to be so scared of the confrontation. I know for a fact they don't love me though. I've overheard them bitching about me and when he asked me to check for an email from his mum once I found a whole thread on them both agreeing I'm difficult!
I'm honestly not difficult, It's just if the IL's don't get their way then it's my fault.
I am now wondering if he just likes being Married to me because I look after him well. He said in the row, we are so great together if its not for the thing you have against my family.
Really I would prefer it if we could stay together. He is loving and kind.
Maybe counselling could help. First I need to bring up all these points with him though. Never an easy task! Would a letter be weird?

LadyApricot, a few things you have posted here have struck me.

1. "Mil is controlling and bossy. ... She treats us like children. He's used to it and likes having everything done for him."
He's been subjected to her behaviour since forever. Your husband has been infantilised by this and has become passive. Avoiding conflict is really the only way he's been able to cope with his childhood.

2. "He drinks too much and doesn't really do much with us. He just wants to sleep when he's not at work."
3. "He hates having to work ... He'd rather be at home and I go out to work"
Both of these posts incline me to wondering if he is clinically depressed.

4. "he feels he's too good for the job he has and the career he really wants is probably not going to be a reality."
5. "We're on a very low income"
I'd imagine work is the one part of his life that his MIL can't truly stomp all over, his one 'escape'. And it's shit, he hates the job and it doesn't even pay well. He has a career in mind that he wants and it's not going to happen (why not, BTW? Lack of qualifications? Few openings? What?). So no real escape.

Sorry, but it sounds to me as if your husband is in a very dark place right now.

LadyApricot Thu 21-Mar-13 14:07:35

I have thought for a long time he is depressed. He denies it and when I mentioned it to the mil she laughed and said no way!
He totally is!
Mil 's behaviour was even worse when he was young. He said he used to be terrified of her and would often be sick out of fear.
She still has such a hold on all her children ( now adults but act like kids) - it makes me feel disgusted.
Also makes me wonder if he will ever sort this out. I have written a letter asking him to talk to them about what their problem is with me and to stand up for me more.

LadyApricot Thu 21-Mar-13 14:09:57

Oh and she has stomped over his work too! He's doing a job she wants him to do and he won't get another one because he doesn't want to let her down! I can't see him getting his dream job - it's way too hard to get in to ..

Miggsie Thu 21-Mar-13 14:12:51

He is a placator - he is terrified of conflict, he would rather everyone was unhappy than upset his mother. He is basically 3 years old and scared his mum will tell him off.

I suspect he rarely, if ever, thinks about you at any time. The long term prognosis for a man controlled by a dominant mother is not good unless you both cut all contact with his mother and the rest of the family but I think he is so brainwashed by having to please her that he wouldn't do that.

LadyApricot Thu 21-Mar-13 14:16:08

He's said before his family come first which says it all really.
This is his last chance. If he reacts badly to the letter or nothing's resolved I guess I will need to make it on my own.

Your inlaws is not your only problem. Your spineless non-supportive husband is your biggest problem.

Lueji Thu 21-Mar-13 14:23:37

Sorry, but I think you are barking the wrong tree with your letter.
He doesn't necessarily have to stand up for you more in relation to his family.
You can stand up for yourself, surely.

He should stand up for himself.
He should also grow up and fill his role at home.

If he is depressed of has an alcohol problem then he should seek help.
You don't have to put up with it if he doesn't recognise he has a problem and tries to get better.

LadyApricot Thu 21-Mar-13 14:28:16

I get that I should stand up for myself but as its his family I think it's up to him to take matters in to his own hands.
He should definitely stand up for himself too.
No one has ever asked what 'he' wants.. It's all what everyone else wants
Luckily the letter can still be edited! I should add that he needs to see a doctor about his drinking and depression.

bamboobutton Thu 21-Mar-13 14:34:35

yy to what everyone has said.

Also get yourself down to your bank and see about opening up a piggy bank type savings account, this can be an 'escape fund', that way you never need worry about not being able to leave for financial reasons.

I've set one up as Dh's very grown up response to arguments is to threaten divorcehmm

You can set one up with just a pound, can add money as and when and can withdraw money straight away if needed.

Lueji Thu 21-Mar-13 15:20:03

I don't think it helps that you are sort of making him chose between you and his family.

I don't think it helps him grow up, really. He's just being pulled in another direction.

And you are making his family's behaviour his responsibility too.
Sure, he shouldn't deny it or minimise it, but I don't think it accomplishes nothing to to make him confront them about you.

Lueji Thu 21-Mar-13 15:21:03

I mean
I don't think it accomplishes anything.
I think it accomplishes nothing.


LadyApricot Thu 21-Mar-13 16:49:50

Had a good walk and cleared head a bit and have to say you too are right. It's not his fault they're so nasty is it? I do need it sorting out though as they're getting worse and worse towards me. He doesn't want me to talk to them so it's up to him just to have a word and find out what the problem is.
I think he needs a doctor still though and I might edit the letter/just talk to him!

Lueji Thu 21-Mar-13 17:07:12

He definitely needs a doctor.
How thin is the ice he's walking on, and does he know?

The trick is to sort out twatiness from depression.
Not easy, TBH. sad

theonewiththenoisychild Thu 21-Mar-13 17:26:57

me and my dp had the same problem only both our family's couldn't accept we were together and tried to cause trouble dp couldnt see any fault on his family's side until one day they turned on him and in the process told him how they felt about me. since then he has been disillusioned and now we don't see as much of them or the family members of mine who insist of causing trouble

" He doesn't want me to talk to them so it's up to him just to have a word and find out what the problem is."
He's really not capable of 'having a word' though. They have completely incapacitated him. Imagine if, instead of emotionally crippling him, they had cut off his arms. Would you seriously expect him to throw a punch? Of course not. So he's not going to be able to stand up for you/have a word/etc. It's a bit unfair to expect that of him right now. All it does is make you even more frustrated when he doesn't/can't.

I think you have to decide whether to talk to them yourself or put them on the back burner and just deal with him right now.

LadyApricot Thu 21-Mar-13 19:27:58

I think I'll just stand up for myself more and when they say something again I'll point out that its a bit or upsetting..
As for him, I think the first step is the doctors!

2rebecca Thu 21-Mar-13 22:45:37

Can you refuse to visit his family with him or go out for the day if they visit? Why do you have to do what he says all the time?
I think this is the problem with being financially dependant on a controlling man. He is your problem, and the fact that you won't just do your own thing and tell him you don't like his parents and don't want to spend time with them.
If he drinks alot he needs to want to tackle this before tackling depression as antidepressents won't work if he's drinking, and alcohol is a depressant.

If he complains that you are rocking the boat by saying something and standing up to them, then you simply tell him this:

"Honey, I am standing up to them because you are refusing to. I will continue to do it my way, until you do it your way, then we will see."

LadyApricot Fri 22-Mar-13 09:02:26

I said this today. He spoke to them without any problem. I was shocked! However they deny everything and say they're fine with me. I think I've hit a brick wall! If they're not prepared to talk about things like adults I can't get anywhere.
I'll hand it to him though, he surprised me there!

Your H has and will continue to back his parents over you; they are his priority and he will do and say anything not to upset them because he has been conditioned by them to do so. He still wants their approval even as an adult and such stuff can take a lifetime if ever to actually undo.

He is the product of dysfunctional parenting and now you and by turn your children are being profoundly affected by this; this toxic stuff does seep down the generations. You are deeply unhappy and your children pick up on all this between their parents as well. Don't kid yourself that they do not.

What did you learn about relationships when growing up and what do you get out of this relationship now?. Some need of yours on an emotional level is still being met because you are still there, do you have rescuer and or saviour tendencies?.

What do you want for your children in terms of a childhood?. What they are seeing currently is damaging to them, they're being shown a dysfunctional role model of a relationship.

Your H is the main problem here and your inlaws are a by product of that.

Their response to your H is typical of toxic parents; these people also deny and minimise everything and blame everyone else but themselves for their actions. They certainly will not ever take any responsibility. Neither of you will ever receive any sort of apology from them and such people as well can never, ever be reasoned with.

Reading "Toxic Inlaws" by Susan Forward will explain such dynamics more.

LadyApricot Fri 22-Mar-13 20:17:55

Thanks, I'll look it up. Would love to see his face when he sees what I'm reading!

Lueji Fri 22-Mar-13 20:21:39

Or leave it on the coffee table next time they visit?

LadyApricot Fri 22-Mar-13 21:12:31

Perfect! Haha

Domjolly Fri 22-Mar-13 21:26:19

Um why are you borrowing money from your dh
Thats a bit strage you do know all matrial assets are considred owned by both parties so technically you cant opborrow money

This alone sets alarm bells

digerd Fri 22-Mar-13 21:32:21

I couldn't stand that with your MIL and DH. You have young children, you get to stay in the house and he has to move out.

LadyApricot Sat 23-Mar-13 06:28:48

Domjolly I think it was the only way of saving some money as we had no savings before and if I hAd access to spend it as I needed it wouldn't have been there long! You're right though that if you're married things should be shared. Since I've met him, money's been separate, he's not into the idea of putting it in to one big pot at all.

LadyApricot Sat 23-Mar-13 06:35:01

Digerd I think it might be a tactic to stop me leaving or to scare me a bit as he knows I have no money to go anywhere and he's just trying whatever it takes to stop me from speaking up about my problems with his family. I think I've started the ball rolling now as brought it up with him yesterday and he had no problem talking to them. Sadly they denied everything and this is where we go back to square one- telling me I'm imagining it just to keep up appearances and a pod any falling out
I shall have to confront them myself and take no crap!

LadyApricot Sat 23-Mar-13 06:36:16

Avoid not a pod!!

digerd Sat 23-Mar-13 07:58:17

Wish you luck. So many men can't assert themselves with their parents , especially DM and take the easy way out of blaming the wife for over-reacting.

At least my BIL stood up to his 80 year-old DM who was in hospital after having a Masectomy due to breast cancer, when she moaned about my sis not visiting her. He defended sis and told his mum that she was out of order and he wasn't going to see her again.
That is unconditional loyalty to wife over mum, but I was still a bit shocked due to circumstances of the mum.

LadyApricot Sat 23-Mar-13 09:31:23

I'll never have that kind of loyalty sadly but I do love him. Hopefully we will work this out sad

LadyApricot Sun 24-Mar-13 12:17:42

Since his talk with mil, I am getting very out of he blue 'nice' messages asking how we are etc
Avoiding talking about what I tried to bring up.
I am going crazy here. No one will talk and tell me what their problem is and I'm left with all this anger and frustration while they all put on a fake smile and their nice act
Even if I ask outright they're going to deny everything aren't they
Do I just live in frustration instead?

Seems to me the only way for you to get your hands on family money and shared assets is to divorce him!

Sure you dont want to go down that road?

To me this looks more and more like emotional abuse and financial abuse.

hedwig2001 Sun 24-Mar-13 12:40:03

Do you still have access to that nasty email thread from in laws? You could forward it to them, asking for a response.

LadyApricot Sun 24-Mar-13 13:20:05

I could but its a bit sneaky. I need to just be upfront I think.
The savings aren't really family money-it's just money to help is if we ever need to move or something goes wrong with the car etc
He has no spare money, his wages are go e on bills and petrol before the next pay check. So it's not like he's keeping it all for himself. We just need more money coming in. I have since applied for weekend work to help make some more
As for emotional abuse, maybe it is? I don't know..

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