Need help with difficult in laws and general despondency(14 Posts)
I've been wondering where to turn with my problem lately as it's taking over my world and I feel like I've no one to talk to. I arrived here.
I've been with my husband for 7 years and we have 4 children - two of our own and two from a previous relationship. We have always been so much in love , so much so that I've always felt very blessed to have found my husband. He has few faults aside from smoking and drinking abit too much. I must stress that he works very hard and finds it hard to unwind some days.
My problems lie with my husbands family ... They seemed at first very keen to be friends and keen to see us often - my husband is always reluctant - and for the kids to do activities together. My DH has 2 sisters with 2 children a piece.
My DH works for his father and because of this their relationship isn't good. Nothing my husband ever does is good enough for his father yet his sisters generally do nothing but take from him and he worships them. My father in law is manipulative and uses his wealth to control people. This doesn't work with us as we don't like to accept anything from him but with everyone else in the family he has complete control ... His girlfriend is an alcoholic who is totally controlled by him , she drinks and he publicly shames her to the entire family and then can't even let her be independent enough to have a job or even attend AA alone. He controls her every move. My husband argues often with his father and his father has said some horrendous things to him about his dead grandfather which reduced my husband to floods of tears. I hate him. He treats his daughters boyfriend like his true son and even calls him 'son' in front of my husband. He has employed this individual in his business and even though he isn't qualified to do the job and creates my husband continual problems at work the whole family continue to treat him like he is amazing. He is actually a sponge who has been fired from every job he's ever had prior to being in the family business. My other brother in law has left the family because he also struggles with this controlling narcissistic father. My husbands sisters are totally controlled by the father and have been bought houses and cars and pretty much whatever their hearts desire.
We have recently bought a property belonging to my FIL and have a substantial mortgage - the way it should be , we pay for ourselves in this world - but I now feel like we are part of this awful control game and I hate myself. I have an amazing husband who always puts me first but I feel like whenever I look at him I see them and it pains me. I hate everything they stand for. They lie and manipulate people and always seem to come up smelling of roses ... My upbringing was so different to this and I can't look at myself in the mirror anymore because I feel like I'm selling my soul to them and all I want is for me and my husband to be independent from them.
I don't want to make my husband quit the family business but it angers me everything they make unrealistic orders of him and he goes running (he takes his job very seriously and cares greatly about how it all runs). I know our lives could be great if we broke free of these people , not by cutting them off totally but by just not answering to any of them. My husband pretty much holds the day to day running of the business together and I know they would struggle without him but he feels a loyalty to them and his large paycheck helps us to afford our large property. I hate all of it. I'd live in a flat if it meant being unattached from them.
What is my next move ? I love my DH with all my heart but I know being with him means accepting all of them and it feels me with anxiety and general depression. I feel like this whole situation is a spiral into a bad place where I could end up with no option other than to break free on my own which I couldn't bare.
Any advice would be gladly received. I feel generally without hope right now.
I think you DH should look to set up his own business.
If he is doing the bulk of the work anyway he should be rewarded.
I'd just leave his family in their own toxic stew.
Blood doesn't mean you get to treat people like shit.
Thank you YellowTulips for your reply , I wholeheartedly agree and have suggested this but my husband feels he is the only one who can move his fathers company forward. His heart is good so he doesn't want to leave them in the lurch and he worries about taking care of us.
I feel like that is the only solution now though.
Why should he move his fathers company forward when then the money is going to family who don't contribute?
He has his own family now are they are the priority.
OP do you know what your FIL plans to do with the business when he retires, will your DH get to take it over or will it be sold/given to someone else.
How many years is he going to be used to build a business that ultimately he may not profit from?
I ask this as someone who worked in the family business and gave it my heart and soul, because I knew that at the end of the day I would get my reward.
Toxic thought it is , its all your husband knows so he will be reluctant to leave. Toxic dynamics are hard to leave exactly because of that and because they eat away at your self esteem leaving you feeling if there was an escape you wouldnt be up to it or would mess up anyway. As another poster said, he is probably flogging himself to death to help the family but wont get left the business anyway- sounds to me like it will go to the son in law the father likes. Your DH should be feathering your nest not his fathers to be frank.
However and its a big however, thats the only way you will get any real independence. Until he is in that place can you at least limit socialising with them as well? Can you get your children doing other things at weekends like a dance or karate hobby that means you get quality time with them without the family? I do appreciate its hard, similar stuff went on with my mum and her mother. It was only solved by our family moving a 2hour drive away to a new job and area.
Agree again. My husband pours his soul into each site he works on and then everyone benefits from it. This would be a happy ending if I felt anyone appreciated him but they all just expect his loyalty with nothing in return. The other son in law is more highly respected amongst the family. It is soul destroying for my DH but he just can't seem to make that break.
His father had an affair and left my MIL many years ago and I think there's some part of my DH that craves his fathers adoration after not having him around in childhood. It's a sorry state of affairs.
Want to thank you all for your responses , it refreshing to hear other POV and it helps me to try and understand why my husband does what he does. Thank you everyone.
There's something called FOG (fear obligation guilt) that is oft referenced wrt toxic family relationships and I think your husband is in its grasp.
Have you seen the StatelyHomes thread in relationships?
There are a lot of posters on there who could give you good advice I think.
Ah YellowTulips , you have been so kind xx thank you , I'll have a look there.
My pleasure. It sounds a very difficult situation to be in - i wish you well
I can't add anything that hasn't already been suggested in the excellent posts above, but I just wanted to say that you sound so lovely and supportive of your DH - it is so clear from your posts that he is your primary concern. As someone who may very well be in the clutches of FOG it is wonderful that he has a stable, loving constant in his life.
The stately homes thread is wonderful. You might also find a book called "toxic in laws" helpful as well. Now may not be the right time, but I think there is also a book called "toxic parents" (same author, ?susan forward) which he may want to consider reading if/when he is ready.
Has your DH ever had counselling? It might be helpful for him to begin to come to terms with how badly he is being treated by his "family".
I agree with everything in fox post, book and also counselling I think he needs help to see things from a different perspective he is trapped at the moment and someone fresh looking at the situation would be better at encapsulating whats going on. would he agree to relate counselling?
laura its a sad story but not a unique one, its very very common.
your not alone.
would your really be happy living in a flat though and why did you buy house if knew all this?
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