To be fuming at both my DM and DH(56 Posts)
So, I don't have much of a relationship with either of my parents. My "D"F didn't bother with us until he got a son and my "D"M definitely has narcissistic traits.
I gave up trying to make that relationship work 4 years ago and moved abroad, got married etc. I give my mother a precursor phone call every couple of weeks, my father even less. Last time anybody made an effort to see each other was at my sister's wedding 2 years ago. Nobody really complains, I just can't deal with their BS in my life.
Had a REALLY tough year after my DH was diagnosed with leukaemia. No real support from my DP, not so much as a get well card, but I expected no more, either. Now DH is getting better, he's cracking on with his to do list.
I, however, was never made aware of my parents being invited over constituted a part of that list until tonight DH showed me a text from my mother stating she bought plane tickets for a WEEK in July!!! A WEEK!!! I CAN'T DEAL WITH THEM FOR A WEEK!!!
And of course my mother didn't give two hoots whether or not we can actually take time off (most of our AL is reserved for appointments, therapies, etc anyway). I know my DH is seeing it all through the rose tinted glasses of his relationship with the DILs (who are more than amazing, I actually wish they were my parents). He has no idea of the kind of emotional abuse that's coming our way!!!
I can't deal with this!!!
No, no and no again. He needs to cancel the visit. Tough shit about the plane tickets, hopefully he didn’t pay for them, but even if he did, the loss of money is worth the removal of the hassle. I think that he’s been thoughtlessly controlling and had no right to do this. They’re your parents, not his. If he’s on the road to recovery, having them over is not helpful, the tension will be horrible.
How lovely for you to be able to share everything about yourself with someone else, but it isn't a luxury we can all afford. The counsellor knows more about that part of me because I need someone trained who knows when to stop and how to bring me back safely before I can even contemplate remembering some things.
Who's wise response is that it'll all be ok and "we'll get through it". F* it.
wasnt it obvio9us to him tho that you rarely see them speak to them or have any sort of realtionship what did he think this would achieve
Insist that he contacts them and tells them he has made a huge mistake and that the trip is no longer an option. If he doesn't tell them then I really would head off somewhere and leave him to entertain them for the week they visit. You have said no, he's not listening so this will be a way to get it through to him. If he doesn't agree to cancel their visit then don't even tell him you are going away that week and just pack up whenever they are due to arrive. Even if you go to a friend's house for the week it will save your sanity - and that is the important thing here.
I think he would like happy endings everywhere. And this is the one instance where I just can't find it in myself to oblige.
You poor thing. Hopefully you can get some support from your counsellor very quickly.
Your DH needs to understand the damage that could be done to your mental health, and realise that he will suffer as a result. I imagine extra stress wouldn't be ideal for him, even if it is s situation of his own making.
Good luck, make sure you do what's right for you in all this.
What and how much you tell your DH is up to you and your counselor. You must do what is right for your own mental health. BUT, you can't expect him to understand a situation he is being kept in the dark about. Is there any way you would feel comfortable with a joint meeting with your counselor to mediate him getting a better picture? Or at least having your counselor validate your feelings to him?
After surviving cancer I think it's normal that he wants to 'set the world to rights'. He probably feels how precious life is and wrongheadedly thinks that everyone needs to 'just get along'. And having caring parents himself, his mind probably can't conceive of the level of abuse that you have obviously survived.
I am going to assume that there is a good reason why you aren't sending your parents an email/message/carrier pigeon and saying "DH was wrong to invite you without my knowledge. The invitation is hereby rescinded". That being said, if it was me, I would tell DH that either he calls my parents and cancels the whole thing or I will be making myself absent for that week and it will be up to him to 1-entertain them and 2-explain my absence. I'd book a hotel, stay with a friend, whatever I had to do to get myself gone. I understand not wanting them in your house, but if HE won't cancel them and YOU won't or can't cancel them, then I'd rather be gone from my own house than force myself to deal with them.
He doesn't get it and if after 4 years of marriage he doesn't know or understand he probably never will, but another thing to bear in mind is he has beaten something that for many is unbeatable and so to him in his close to euphoric state nothing is insurmountable not even your relationship with your mum and dad.
He isn't thinking clearly but I don't think it is coming from a place of indifference
I would be livid too and quite possibly not as pragmatic as I am being with you
Can you message them that there's been a mistake - your DH didn't realise that you'd booked a surprise trip for the two of you and you won't be around then so you'll need to re-book it for another time?
Or, tell them straight using as few words as possible and then block?
Maybe checkout Captain Awkward's site for more ideas? (I would definitely get out of it though.)
I actually feel disgusted with myself that, after all the therapy, I'm still too weak to just pick up the stupid phone and tell them not to come.
Just thinking some more... ime it's best to be straight. My attempts at politeness with narcs have tended not to be that effective (turning up anyway having manipulated their way in etc). Personally, I wouldn't give them any 'in' at all.
I can understand that. Watch yourself - I mean that literally. Just watch. Be aware of your feelings. It's OK - perfectly normal and fine - to feel like that. And know that you're not disgusting - that's just how you're feeling at the moment. And you're not weak either. It's all just programming and you're working on changing it.
You don't have to call them. Maybe send a card / email / text?
It does sound as though your H really doesn't know how bad your relationship with your parents was. And if you have never told him, it's not his fault that he doesn't know. If he is otherwise lovely, please try not to hold it against him: his thought process here almost certainly comes from a good place ('family rows are silly, life is short, I'll help my wife make it up with her family') and if it had been a matter of falling out over a silly row, he would have been right.
TBH the best thing might be to talk to your therapist about this visit and ask for support from your therapist in either cancelling it or managing it, and support in letting your H know that there is a serious problem.
You don't have to pick up the phone. You can send an email. Your counsellor could help you with that.
Your counsellor might be willing to have DH join one of your sessions so she can help him see that he isn't fixing, he's breaking and how he can fix the mess he made.
Oh, please don't feel disgusted or beat yourself up!!! I'm sure the idea of confronting them is akin to the idea of sticking your head in a lion's mouth. Who would want to do that?
If you simply can't, then you simply can't. He must do it and he should do it since he created this situation. If you can't make him understand this, maybe your counselor can. But I do think this should be resolved as soon as possible. It must feel like the Sword of Damocles!
You need to tell him straight that this isn’t happening. How dare he do this to you?
Is there any way you could say to dh - for reasons I find really difficult and I'm not able to share, I feel very uncomfortable with them in the house?
And say please could he make an excuse and cancel?
He may have meant well, and not understand the impact, but he has created a really big problem which he needs to now fix.
i recently spent a few days with my DF who has similar traits. It was horrible and I was glad to get get away, even though somehow I still feel love and guilt towards him.
The positive outcome was that I left knowing that I would never, ever, behave like that myself and that I must focus on the good things in my life - spending time with him reminded me how lucky I was to get away.
I'm going to advise the opposite to the PP's - let this week's visit happen so your DH sees what they're really like. It'll also remind you that you've moved on from their world view and what they do/say doesn't affect you anymore. I used to be afraid to phone my DF because he could really get me down with his nasty comments, but now they don't hurt me anymore, I don't care enough.
Just another perspective. You can certainly tell your DH that this is the last time they'll be visiting...not that he'll want to see them again if they revert to form.
Oh girl I'm so very sorry you have been put in this position.I 2nd,3rd....everyone's responses.Please don't beat yourself up for not being able to confront them yourself,you already know how that will end up!We stopped seeing my husbands family over 16 years ago,for so many things like your parents plus more I can't even repeat.
It's ok to guard your heart!!But you need your husband to also help to guard your heart!All my blessings for you Hun!!
Unless someone has had the experience of narc parents or a partner then it is very hard to understand. They just can not understand that a parent wouldn't want the best for their child. It's not their experience of life and they can not get it. I see that your DH really thinks he can fix your relationship with them. Not possible with a narc. He should read some articles by Peg Streep. I think you need to cancel, find any excuse, you already know this will not end well. So sorry you have to deal with this on top of crap parents in the first place. I know exactly how you feel.
Unless someone has had the experience of narc parents or a partner then it is very hard to understand. They just can not understand that a parent wouldn't want the best for their child.
This was the case with my DH as his DF was always loving and supportive. He honestly didn't realise that mine wasn't!
20 years on, he's witnessed the behaviour and totally gets it. But, he did actually have to see/hear it to really understand.
Given that you've had the strength to move away and support your DH through a terrible illness, I think you probably could deal with this week and it could be an eye-opener for your DH - but if it's too much right now, cancel.
I would be fuming. At your DH though, not your parents - it's not their fault if they think they are invited. This is entirely your DH's doing. Direct your frustration at him.
I went through the cancer/chemo/glad I'm not dying thing 20 years ago so I get that he wants to make the world fabulous etc but you are definitely NBU to be furious at this.
Tell him straight exactly how you feel. He has no right to interfere in your relationship with your parents and he has overstepped the mark. You will be absent from the family home for the duration of their visit.
I battled through breast cancer but a week with my dysfunctional family (or my MIL) would make me wonder if life was worth living
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