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To stand up to my parents and defend my husband and our life together...

(36 Posts)
Kingswood123 Wed 30-Jul-14 14:49:16

I'm in my 30s and only recent realised that my childhood wasn't normal. It was very controlled and governed by fear. I realise that in many ways this continues despite my efforts to stop it.

After our son was born I tried to raise the subject with my mother and explain that I had grown up afraid to do anything wrong because of the consequences. I explained that this still affected my working life now. I was provided with a number of excuses. And then it was all forgotten. Both parents and siblings were against my choice of husband as I was marrying outside of my culture and to someone I had chosen. He is a kind funny man who has always made me happy. He comes from a similar home himself so we have spent the past 16 years setting up our life together and trying to be more independent from our parents. Our life is a happy one. We have an amazing son who brings us do much joy and we just pray he will grow up feeling happy and loved.

But none of this is good enough for my parents. I received an email when we first started thinking about having kids telling me not to have children asy husband would be a useless dad and I wouldn't be able to cope.

When I became pregnant my mother kept referring to my bump as her baby and how she was going to be his mummy too.

When he was born I felt totally criticised and inadequate in my parents eyes. Every choice we made was questioned. From giving him the mmr vaccine to breastfeeding past six months. I asked that they respect our choices but was told that's just how they are and how they show their love.

Last year they tried to split up my husband and I. For no reason other than not liking him or who he is. I tried to stand up for him but was too weak. I finally did but the damage was done. Once again my husband was insulted in his own home and people had gotten away with it.

Most recently we received another visit with more insults. And this time I calmly wasn't having any of it. I asked them to leave. And I have not heard anything since. I suspect they are waiting for an apology. I feel very very guilty but I know this has to stop. For my sake, my husbands and our sons. We just want to be happy.

LemonBreeland Wed 30-Jul-14 14:52:40

Please don't feel guilty for standing up for yourself and your DH in your own home. Remember that they do not deserve an apology. You are the one who deserves an apology.

Would you consider not having them in your lives at all? If they only want a relationship with you that they can control. is it worth it.

backbystealth Wed 30-Jul-14 14:53:24

You did the right thing.

How brave of you - well done.

You are refusing to let them damage your son like they damaged you.

Of course you are laden with guilt - this is what these special kinds of toxic parents do to you.

The guilt is totally misplaced though.

Once you have truly accepted that you cannot change them (you really really REALLY can't) and you and your dh and ds deserve a life free from their terrorism, you'll live the life you want.

Carry on going NC. And get a good counsellor too.


Toizzy Wed 30-Jul-14 14:53:41

They seem horrid!You seem to already know what to do . It's not worth it is it?

Euphemia Wed 30-Jul-14 14:54:04

You don't need to defend or justify your choices to these people.

I'd keep no contact with them - let them stew in their own juice.

CoffeeTea103 Wed 30-Jul-14 14:54:24

Yanbu, do your parents even realize that you're with him for 16 years which is more than most relationships last. He can't be that bad a person if he's been good to you and your dc.
Unfortunately they will not think in this way because their pride probably prevents them from acknowledging they're wrong.
You don't have to apologize because you are not the one in the wrong here.

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Wed 30-Jul-14 14:55:22

It sounds like you and your husband have a very good relationship and family life with your son. Focus on this. If your family cannot be happy for you then stop seeing them. Your husband should not have to put up with being insulted at all, let alone in his own home!

Your parents sound toxic, you would be better off without them I think. Also if you show them you're not willing to back down and will support your husband, they might suck it up and accept him.

Kingswood123 Wed 30-Jul-14 14:57:56

I know in my gut that this needs to stop. I don't want my son growing up seeing me unhappy - and it won't be long until he is receiving the criticism too.

But still I think they are my parents. And there was still times when they showed love and kindness.

During the most recent visit my mum acted like she had completely forgotten I had told her the fear I had growing up. She acted like nothing had happened. That hurt the most. And did make me realise they won't change.

We aren't perfect. But I can't help but think we aren't as bad as they see us.

Davsmum Wed 30-Jul-14 15:05:51

If you don't want them to be cut from your life - then you must firmly but kindly tell them every time they overstep the mark.
You have nothing to apologise for, so don't.

If you contact them, do not mention the incident - You dealt with it and it is over. if they mention it and ask for an apology just explain that you cannot allow anyone to insult your husband in your home - then it is up to them how they want to go forward.

Kingswood123 Wed 30-Jul-14 15:13:06

I can't decide what to do. The guilt is telling me to contact them. But at the same time I and starting to feel free. And happy. Like I Could just get on and have a happy life with my dh and DS.

If you give them an inch they take a mile so keeping the peace just means spiralling towards more problems.

If I were to challenge what they did each time ... Well I wouldn't get passed the first challenge as they would explode. No matter how diplomatically or calmly I put it.

NewtRipley Wed 30-Jul-14 15:17:25


I know there are so many on here who have been where you are and can help and advise.

I wish you a happy life

NewtRipley Wed 30-Jul-14 15:18:33

And bloody well done for standing up to them. That must have been very hard

AMumInScotland Wed 30-Jul-14 15:29:38

Well, you did challenge them - you asked them to leave.
You don't say in your OP whether they exploded or not, but the world didn't actually come to an end either way, did it?
You feel better for not putting up with them.

So - if you challenge them again next time, and they explode.... well, then what? Will the world end then? Or will you say "No. Not acceptable. Leave"?

Keeping the peace doesn't work.
Putting up with it doesn't work.

In what way would your life be worse for not putting up with this nonsense from them?

Davsmum Wed 30-Jul-14 15:29:46

OP - If they explode - just tell them to leave again.
If you always stay calm when you tell them their behaviour is unacceptable and remain calm at their reaction but then ask them to leave, then they will have to start thinking about their behaviour.
You have absolutely nothing to lose. They will either learn to change their attitude in your company or they will leave you alone.

Kingswood123 Wed 30-Jul-14 15:36:03

That's a very good point. Truth is that unless I make contact with them now I don't think they will bother. My dad and siblings are probably happier with us out of the picture.

And really although I feel bad I don't want to take the first step cos I always do and in their eyes it means I've accepted the blame.

NewtRipley Wed 30-Jul-14 15:36:48


NewtRipley Wed 30-Jul-14 15:37:22

You can't change them. You can only change your reactions to them. No wonder it feels good

Kingswood123 Wed 30-Jul-14 15:39:13

You are right. It was terrifying but the world didn't end. I have always wanted their approval. And I know I will never get it. And I'm realising that's okay.

I think it is just hard to accept what I've know for a while. They may be parents but that doesn't make them good people or mean that they have my best interests at heart.

NewtRipley Wed 30-Jul-14 15:40:02


Kingswood123 Wed 30-Jul-14 15:42:30

They didn't explode - they guilt tripped. Big time guilt trip. But I have seen and heard it all a million times. It may get under my skin but that doesn't mean I will let it work. Expert manipulation. But my dh and ds deserve better. They need me to protect them. And that also means protecting myself I think.

NewtRipley Wed 30-Jul-14 15:43:30

So no wonder you felt guilty. It's automatic.

Kingswood123 Wed 30-Jul-14 15:43:45

Thank you lovely mumsnetters. Just gets to a point when you start to think you are going mad and need a sanity check!

NewtRipley Wed 30-Jul-14 15:43:52

You sound great, by the way. Strong

DoJo Wed 30-Jul-14 15:51:00

If it helps you to feel stronger, imagine ever treating your child the way they have treated you - I do this when I have a wobble about going NC with my dad and it makes me realise how odd his mindset has to be to choose to show contempt and always be negative rather than building me up and doing whatever he could to make me happy.

Kingswood123 Wed 30-Jul-14 15:51:36

Aw. Thank you NewtRipley. Last year I crumbled. Like a small child when they attacked us. And have spent a year regretting what I did. I acted out of fear.

But I'm not a child anymore. I am a mum. And it has to stop.

All both dh and I hope for is the clarity not to make the same mistakes our parents did. All we can think to do is our our kids feelings above our own. It sounds do simple and straightforward. But I think it may be the things that makes all the difference.

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