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Please help!! I have ended marriage, and I don't know I should have...

(36 Posts)
Teawench Fri 21-Jun-13 15:05:52

My head is a hornets nest atm, and I really need some guidance and support. This is going to be an epic post.
I'm very sorry, really need to purge all this, and ask for help. I've no one to talk to about this to tell me if I've finally just gone mad and seeing the world completely distorted.

I've just ended things with my DH, I don't know that I should have, things became too much, and I just snapped. Partly me ending this was due to MIL and part was because of DH.

Me and my DH used to get on brilliantly and also like the best of mates.
We would talk and laugh for hours, but oddly after about a year of seeing each other, he'd never told him mum about us. He finally did, but then......

Before I married DH, his DM said many things about not wanting him to settle down perhaps with just me???
the ones I know about from DH showing me emails at the beginning wish he'd never shown me But I was his first real relationship and even when it made me upset, and I told him he shouldn't have shown me these messages, he felt I should know.

MIL sent him messages saying. "I thought you were happy single." "Why couldn't it be a woman from around here." "Why do you want to marry someone who is older than you??" "Can't you find someone without dc." "You promised you were never getting married."

When he would come to visit me she'd cry her eyes out and tell him she'd never see him again and I was going to murder him. and his mum would txt him many times to ask if he was still alive! Even though he'd come around to visit several times she'd still do this. (I lived quite a distance, and didn't meet MIL until much later).

When she first met me though it was all happy families she seemed to appear to genuinely like me, so I thought maybe I had got the wrong end of the stick. So for her birthday I gave her a pretty ring that had belonged granny that had passed(she knew this) and really just hoped for the best.

She came over every single weekend for several years without fail and sometime stayed overnight, with us having to go out to hers for emergency pipe burst, loo overflows, a man stalking her, Car not starting...etc during the week.

Every single weekend was and still is drama, MIL has some crisis, she is has been chronically ill since I've known her, as least she says so, she seems fine to me. Her car has an issue every single week, She has left several jobs because all of the people treat her so bad, and in debt because of this, DH has given her money when she needs over the years. All her family is horrible to her because of this or that. It's all so exhausting.
MIL started doing stranger things though, well perhaps strange to me???
MIL would call a few hours before coming over asking how everyone was and that's she'd be on her way soon. She would be just having a chat with DH, but she'd always find out from him what I'd cooked and/or baked, and she'd cook/bake the exact same thing and bring it over. And would hassle DH to try what she made and ask how it was?

If my DH would buy me a gift, she say to him, I could really do with that too. (sometimes she get items). Just things like that. After being married a couple months she wanted to take me for a "girls day out".

We went shopping, and sat down for lunch and were chatting about DH and she mentioned to me that her exH accused her of sleeping with my DH.
We'd just married, first thought was...what the hell have I just got myself into.
I didn't believe this but because she said it flippantly and almost as a wind up it did put the tiniest bit of worry in my mind. I didn't know what the hell to say I was so shocked.

That night I tried for several hours to bring it up with my DH but he said he didn't want to talk about anything that had to do with his DF and DM. I didn't just outright ask him, looking back this was a huge mistake. Even though I thought such a thing never happened. Why would she tell me such a thing.

Once we had our DC things even seem to get stranger. She said horrible things to my older DC, and became very verbally abusive to them when we weren't about, the younger ones weren't even safe, she has slapped one of our younger DC, then bounce ball off his head when he was only just learning to stand over 15 times, shoved same LO off the couch. (Older DC ran in and told us).
DH had a go at her but she somehow ended up the victim in this.

MIL continued to come around every weekend until near Christmas a couple years ago, I finally snapped. She had done something to one of my little dc and said more rude things to my older and I said I didn't want her around anymore, I couldn't cope.
She always come and stayed Christmas with us, but I said that year I needed a Christmas to ourselves. MIL was so upset, she called and called DH asking why and what was wrong, and if DH wouldn't explain to her satisfaction she was going to ring me and get it out of me.

DH told her if she called me that there would be repercussions. Things were great for us for a while, no drama. She was so angry so she wasn't calling or coming around.
But eventually she started txting DH and she was really poorly. She'd had a minor car collision. This then that. And she was missing DH and DC so we had her come around and visa versus again.

This isn't but a tip of the iceberg. DH told me on a recent visit she sold the ring I'd given her on ebay. She also asked for some of my stuff in the garage, and DH gave to her cause they decided I hadn't used them in a while, and she could make use of. Sigh..... There is so much more.

All this plus his own issues has hugely affected my relationship with my DH. I do love him. He is of the mind now that we are and have been bad to his DM.
That she's would never intentionally hurt anyone and isn't clever enough to do the things she done and couldn't manipulate anyone on purpose, she just isn't clever enough...... DH says. We can't keep her away and DH now feels that I am making him choose her or us. (I have never ever asked him to choose). DH says That MIL has a right to see our dc.

DH had put his foot down this weekend and said MIL must come around as its been a month since he and dc have seen her, or he must go to hers.
I've ended a relationship with someone I love very much, and can't get my thoughts right and dunno what to do?? I've been a doormat for so long, I've never said a cross word to MIL ever. I just am a wuss and I feel even though DH have problems as most couples do, They are much more compounded by all this.
Thank you for reading...

I'm sorry I know I've written so much, I haven't finished my thoughts even, but I'm blubbing like a baby and I need to sort myself before DC get home from school. Really sorry for all mistakes and misspellings.

badinage Fri 21-Jun-13 20:59:17

Teawench as gently as I can, I'd like to suggest you keep an open mind about the abuse angle, because sadly your husband could have a lot invested in not telling you about it. No more contact between his mother and your children, for example. And when he was with, you'd have possibly insisted in no contact with her at all.

This happens more than you'd imagine and is a particularly big taboo in our culture. Tread carefully, but for your children's future safety, keep an open mind.

ParsleyTheLioness Fri 21-Jun-13 21:11:45

Badinage talks good sense. DH should grow a pair for the DC, if not for you sad

Teawench Sat 22-Jun-13 00:41:31

I've been ill most the night, I gave myself a crackin headache stressing feeling abit better now.

DH txt and we argue tonight badly. I tried to explain, but I'm realising what you said Attila is ringing abit true.
He said great, so you are leaving me because of my mum?!? Who the hell does that...NOONE!
I tried to explain and remind him all that's she done/said to dc to me.
His response was, I can't cut out the woman who gave birth to me, she isn't as bad as that.
I said, I'm not asking you to that is why I've said I'm leaving.
Lots of cussing and anger.
He also has said, that if I leave him, and its because of his DM, he will hate me for leaving him but also hate her and never speak to her again because of this.....???

I don't get that logic?? Why doesn't he just draw the line now or years ago?? I honestly don't want 20 years of this like someone earlier said.

He also said, I can't keep our DC from her, that he would take them around to hers and keep constant eye on her behaviour.

I can't remember what order all this was said now, I'm so completely exhausted I don't think I'll sleep a wink tonight.

Badinage I hope to god you're not right. If you are, how would I ever know? I have to trust what he told me, I must. I remember believing him, and he was so upset that I had even the slightest doubt something like that occurred. He was so furious she had told me that.

You're right IF and I have to believe my DH, but IF I would have cut her out of our lives completely from myself and DC and if DH had wanted anything to do with her still I would have ran for the hills.

Parsley I wish he would too. I really really feel like the bad person tonight.

Thank you so much again,

We are talking tomorrow, any advice, suggestions?

badinage Sat 22-Jun-13 01:02:54

It might be worth giving the NSPCC a ring to have a confidential chat about this. Believe me, they will have dealt with similar concerns before. I don't think you can ever know if someone's an abuse survivor or not if that person is insistent that nothing happened. It's very common for people to be in a fog of denial long into adulthood, but what raised the alarm for me was that your husband took years to talk about the allegation his mother made to you and in fact refused to discuss it with you at the time.

But regardless of that, I would be astonished if your husband hadn't suffered emotional and physical abuse in the past, given what you've said about his mother's behaviour and her abuse of your own children on occasions. How old are they now and what are their feelings towards their grandmother? Would they feel able to share their concerns with you now if they had any?

Do you see your FIL at all?

You are not responsible for your husband's choices if he decides to cut out his mother now that you've split. Should he make that (very wise) decision then celebrate it, because that means when he has contact with the children from now on, she won't.

Isatdownandwept Sat 22-Jun-13 01:49:36

She won't change so if you want the marriage to continue then the relationship he has with her must change, and he needs to accept that. If not the cycle continues.

Clearly you must draw a line in the sand to not have anything to do with her for maybe 6 months or more. Same with your kids.

So, I think that the grounds for discussion tomorrow - if you want to give things a chance - is that he must stop all contact with his mother for a specified period of time whilst he seeks counselling for his relationship with her and for his continued acceptance if her bullying and EA.

How he explains this to her is none of your concern, even If he tells her in some way that appears to be detrimental to you, because what is more important is how he deals with her once he has had the scales lifted from his eyes and has had time to process it all. He needs to work out (1) if you and DC are more important to him than his relationship with his mum, then (2) how you define the relationship you should all collectively have with his mum once he's worked out the answer to qn 1.

I wouldn't even begin to try ultimatums of him cutting out all contact with her forever (even if that is your plan) because he is so deep in the abuse i imagine that he isn't going to be able to deal with stuff like that yet. And she will also turn it round to make you look like the grasping control freak, rather than her. Let him have a chance to remove the blindfolds first.

He may choose her over you in the end, but you will at least have tried your best.

I think the best way of dealing with her continual battering at him is to have him forward all her emails/texts etc to you, and have his mobile changed so that you intercept all calls/appeals from her and you then deal with it all whilst he is having counselling.

That's a huge ask for you though and a big emotional commitment. Make sure he's worth it before offering this route through it

deliasmithy Sat 22-Jun-13 08:57:11

This mil woman is completely toxic.

The first part of your story sounded much like mine except that by our wedding DH had to choose and picked me. My toxic mil crawls around in the background but the power has been shifted to me and dh has had his eyes opened to her behaviour. To be fair, counselling really helped with this.

Sometimes people do have to choose in extreme situations and you married DH not his mother.

There's this triangular relationship that happens when you have 3 people. Basically one person takes the role of a victim, one person is then made out to be the attacker and the third person is the mediator. Your mil only functions through being a victim. In order to emotionally manipulate your dh she makes out you have been the one that has hurt her. This forces dh to mediate and resolve it.

I can very much see why you feel you can no longer put up with this and it's very sad that dh is not accepting the level of manipulation and negative impact she is having on you both. If he doesn't get it then this dynamic won't change in the future.

Teawench Sat 22-Jun-13 11:33:46

Morning everyone,
Did get some rest, but woke up a lot. DH is going to be here soon so I don't know how long I will have to type out responses. I just really want to thank you all so much.
You have given me so much better insight, and I don't feel like I'm crazy and its just my perception of how she behaves is bad. (Did that make sense)?

Something popped into my head last night the my DH told me about his childhood I'd forgotten. He mentioned that him and his DS were only allowed to eat whilst at the table and breakfast and dinner were a scarce meal. By Tea they were ravenous. He says one of his major memories of childhood was the feeling of hunger. I remember crying when he first told me this. They were allowed no snacks, and threatened not to touch any of the food. (This wasn't a case of not having money)
DH told me a fair while ago, His DS was so hungry she took a whole packet of biscuits to the loo and ate the whole thing. She blame DH as she scared and DH was told off and was sent to his room for day and evening with no dinner or tea.

My older DC don't care for MIL, the younger DC 3 & 4 don't mind her. She doesn't come around as much and when she has been, DH, older DC or myself keep an constant eye. There are always minor issue, but no smacks or anything like that since that Christmas. I think my 4y.o dc would tell us if something went wrong.
No, not contact with his DD,
Thank you for your thoughts again x
Thank you good advice, I'd love to give things a chance. I don't believe in ultimatums at all so that would not be a course for me, I don't even like the thought of having to cut someone out of our life, I just truly cannot cope. thank you x

I've never looks at it like you've described, but it makes sense. I can't understand how she could ever make me out to be the one causing pain. I've never said on mean thing or done anything to give MIL any reason to put herself into victim mode, but that seems to be were she thinks she is?

Is it possible I am at all being unreasonable?? Truly? To be fair, things are not as bad as they used to be, but for me the damage is seriously done. She is still having crisis all the time, and depending on DH for a lot, She rings/txt him a lot saying she has no money, the most recent the brakes on car issue..
We don't go around and she doesn't come as often now as it used to be. But I don't want to go through it anymore.
Does that make me bad on any level???
I also don't/didn't want to give her and time the opportunity to return to how bad it was.
DH seems to think in the past I've just been to unforgiving, but how can you forgive someone unless they ask for it??? (I know you can but it doesn't hurt if they realise this). I suppose I'm not much better as I'm to upset over it all still. sad
Thank you all again, I need to get sorted and will be back later with update.

AndTheBandPlayedOn Sat 22-Jun-13 12:58:34

Imho, YANBU, you are not wrong, or bad on any level. Tbh, the red flags were there before you married him.

Mil has driven you away. It has been her obsession since the moment she found out about you. Your dh is so completely engulfed by her, by whatever mechanism -FOG, culture, habit, mil's psychosis, fnancial abuse, does not really matter why. She has dismissed and diminished you, degraded you, made you invisible. Ok, so the "game" is over and she has won. You get it. Backing away from this is really the only way for you to survive, recover, and maintain your own self esteem and mental health. Your dc need their mom to be healthy: you are doing the right thing.

There is more on deliasmithy 's triangulation. Google "drama triangle" (sorry, techno thing is beyond me doing a link).

Your dh has utterly failed you. He is incapable of creating and maintaining healthy boundaries for his mother to protect his marriage relationship. He has known this would be a problem from the very very beginning, Tea. That is why he did not tell her about you for so long, as well as showing you the emails: he was saying "this is what you are getting yourself into here". He pretty much was saying then that he is his momma's boy and nothing is going to change that, ever. Tough lesson to learn.

Enough is enough. You have NO need to second guess yourself and this decision.

CinnamonAddict Sat 22-Jun-13 13:40:48

Tea, keep an open mind about the sexual abuse thing. If there is any truth in it, your dh will have buried it very very deeply and of course will be convincing about denying it.

Have you asked your sil about their childhood?

Mil sounds toxic. I'm sure you have only told us a fraction of what's been going on with her over years.

Nothing is ever her fault, she never apologizes for anything... well, I think that may be because if she admitted what she had done over the years she would not be able to look into a mirror again. Self preservation.

Don't be a part of this. If your dh cannot see this, he needs an eye opener. Maybe the break up will provide this.

SugarPasteGreyhound Sat 22-Jun-13 14:37:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

deliasmithy Sat 22-Jun-13 16:36:04

Teawench - you don't need to have actually done a single thing for someone to play a victim and put someone in the role of aggressor. These kinds of people either don't know how normal relationships work or it is so deeply ingrained and utillised because it is effective at manipulating. It's clever if you think about it - what better way to destroy your son's relationship than getting him to pander to your needs and start thinking his partner is awful? Totally messed up.
Whilst this woman is clearly selfish and manipulative, your oh is choosing to respond to it.

As an aside, my mil was completely fine when dh and I were dating and ok when living together. When we got engaged it all changed and I was viewed as a threat. This caused strain between us. A short holiday with my family and counselling made him realise his dm was making him choose between us. I thank my stars he chose me. You and your family should be first and not runner up.

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