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My family are blaming Dh for my illness.

(65 Posts)
GrabtharsHammer Fri 18-Nov-16 08:12:23

I have bipolar and some other MH issues. I was in hospital this week.

When I got home I received a long text from my sister saying that she doesn't think Dh does enough to support me and that they want to take over my care. She said they (her and my mother) think he needs to push for more help for me and also take better care of me sonindint end up in hospital again (I've had six admissions in the last two years).

She also complained that he doesn't update them regularly enough and they feel pushed out.

Dh works full time in a stressful and senior role. He comes home and does the bulk of the childcare and housework. I can no longer drive so he does all the ferrying around if our three DC. He often leaves work at the drop of a hat when I'm ill, and has time off to take over with the kids when I'm in hospital. He treats me like an absolute princess, checks in with me constantly to gauge my mood, deals with the fallout from my illness (we have serious debt for eg and he works from home every evening and weekend for overtime).

In ten years, and despite my often appalling behaviour, he has never even raised his voice to me. He is honestly an absolute superhero.

His parents are a huge help, they take the kids to school when needed and his mum cleans for me when I can't.

My family have never visited me in hospital. They rarely come round and only phone occasionally. Whine I'm ill, Dh juggles looking after the kids, working when he can and letting people know what's going on. They feel that he doesn't keep them updated enough. They never phone him to find out what's going on or offer any practical help, but feel that he isn't pro active enough in keeping them in the loop.

My sister said that if he was more in the ball I could have avoided hospital this week. In fact, if he was any less on the ball I'd be in hospital far more often.

I don't know why they have such a low opinion of him and it hurts. He is absolutely gutted that they feel this way and is talking about going nc with them.

I don't know how to proceed. I'm deeply offended by the text, I have replied basically saying what I've said here and she replied to that saying she just wanted to be sure he is good enough for me. Tbh that has just compounded the offence I've taken. I don't feel that they need or deserve to be updated with the minutiae of my illness, I am an adult and taking control of my illness with the support of my Dh.

How would you deal with this? I don't want to go nc necessarily but I am furious on DH's behalf.

TheNaze73 Fri 18-Nov-16 08:23:29

I think they're looking out for you (well trying to)!but, going about it arse about face

Whathaveilost Fri 18-Nov-16 08:27:05

Maybe ralk to them face to face. DH will see you supporting and standing up for him. It may also give you a chance to ask them how they are going to raise their game if they are so concerned.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 18-Nov-16 08:31:23

If your family think they could do better then why have they never stepped up to help you both?. Your mother and your sister continue to behave very badly indeed.

Your DH has every right to take a no contact stance with them if he wants to; after all they have been of no use or ornament to him either.

What sort of relationship do you have and have you had with your family to date?. It may well be that there is a lot of dysfunction in your own family of origin; are your mother and sister really trying here to keep you in the roles they have assigned to you (i.e. dependent on them, continuing to make you the scapegoat for their inherent ills).

Could you not call a meeting with your family and discuss these issues with them? I understand that your family are upset but they are trying to look out for you (but in a bad way). Many victims of DV will sing their DHs praises to their family to avoid embarrassment (I'm not saying that this is what you're doing) but it could be the way they feel about it.
I think maybe the best thing to do is to explain to your family that your DH helps you amazingly and they could be more involved if they took the time to visit you in hospital etc. Tell them that if they want an update then they need to speak to you.

I'm sorry that your going through this but ultimately you need to do what is in the best interest for you and your family

GrabtharsHammer Fri 18-Nov-16 08:45:52

There is a long history of dysfunction tbh. Too long to list. They would describe us as a close family whereas from my PoV it's more a controlling and suffocating relationship.

I don't tend to tell my mother much these days as she is very judgemental. I don't do enough housework, I spend too much, I'm lazy, I don't parent the way she does etc. My sister has always been lovely to me but doesn't know me very well. Neither of them have much understanding of my illnesses and think l should be better by now or just snap out of it.

I'm sure they mean well and think they are helping but it's just gutting to realise they think so little of my lovely husband.

GrabtharsHammer Fri 18-Nov-16 08:50:26

Looking back there have been many comments over the years about DH's lack of drive, and that he works part time. He works 7-3 so he is home when the kids get in, he's in a senior role in a 'big' job and earns ££. It's bizarre. But I think they have to lump him in with me in the 'failure' stakes. Fwiw we own a large house in a desirable area and have done that with no help. All my siblings have had significant loans/handouts to buy their much more modest houses. I don't know if that's relevant but it all adds to the rewriting of reality they do.

AnyFucker Fri 18-Nov-16 08:55:47

You said you din't want to go nc but I would certainly consider it. Is your dysfunctional relationship with them benefitting you in any way at all ?

If not nc, then go low contact. Simply ignore these digs at your husband and ultimately yourself. Breeze past it and insist you will not discuss it. Keep contact to a minimum and only about superficial matters. This is how I deal with my own stupid family.

Penfold007 Fri 18-Nov-16 09:05:15

Sorry if I'm misreading your post but do your family want to swoop in and take over your care whilst expecting DH to care for the children.

Surely if they want to help there is lots of practical things they could do just as your PILS do. Six admissions in two years is a lot I think your family do deserve more support.

GrabtharsHammer Fri 18-Nov-16 09:07:39

Tbh we are fairly low contact now. We used to see each other every day, and I would end up reeling frequently from the digs and judgement. When it's good, it's good, but I don't cope well with criticism and negativity anyway and when I'm faced with constant disapproval of my choices it is no good for my MH.

I know that my mum thinks she is being helpful by pointing out my shortcomings but it hurts. A good example is that she'll come round when my house is a mess and berate me for it, and if she comes round when it's tidy she'll say, see what you can achieve when you put your mind to it! If you stay on top of it you can live like this all the time!

In contrast my mil comes round and helps me clean with no judgement or comments. We don't live in squalor btw, far from it, but my mum is very minimalist and lives in a show home.

That sounds petty, but it's the constant drip drip that gets to me.

GrabtharsHammer Fri 18-Nov-16 09:08:47

I'm not sure what they want.

My sister mentioned putting me in a private clinic. I can't think of anything worse, or more disruptive.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 18-Nov-16 09:15:49

I thought that there was a lot of dysfunction in your family of origin; that is why I asked that question. Your family of origin are still very much controlling and suffocating. Its all symptomatic of a toxic family and they do not actually mean well at all. They have no understanding or empathy of your situation and do not want to know or care either.

Going no contact is something I would certainly now give due consideration to. All you get from these people is abuse and perhaps you have only maintained contact in the forlorn hopes that they will say sorry or change. These people I am sorry to say never apologise for their actions and never take any responsibility for same.

You do not mention your dad at all; is he still around?.

Fortunately for you your H has been a true force for good here and his wider family have been of assistance to you as well.

I would consider further reducing all contact with these people and I would also suggest blocking your sister's number to your mobile phone.

Reading "Toxic Parents" by Susan Forward could also help you.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 18-Nov-16 09:17:35

"My sister mentioned putting me in a private clinic"

Can you see how daft and heartless that is.

And who would pay for that?. Your own family of origin?.

I guess your DH would have had no say in that decision; how is this caring for you?. I think they just want to shut you away somewhere and forget about you; that is their version of caring.

girlinacoma Fri 18-Nov-16 09:17:55

OP could you set out everything you have here for them?

Your original post makes it quite clear that your husband is bloody amazing so tell them everything that you have told us (put it in a email so they can see it in black and white).

Perhaps they feel guilty for not being able to help more?

DistanceCall Fri 18-Nov-16 09:21:32

I think going NC (or at the very least very LC) with your birth family would improve your mental health significantly, to be honest. They sound extremely manipulative and controlling.

228agreenend Fri 18-Nov-16 09:22:16

When inread the first part of your post, I thought it was from a caring sister who genuinely believed you are not being looked after properly, and wanted to help.

The I read about your husband and realised that's not the truth. Your husband sounds amazing and has been brilliant.

Maybe take up,the offer from your sister, and invite around to do,some housework, hoovering, cooking, childcare... or ask her to take the kids for a day, so you and husband can have some child free time,

GrabtharsHammer Fri 18-Nov-16 09:23:16

My dad is great. He helps me out with lifts, often pops in for a cuppa and a chat about nothing. The same with my younger brother. My middle sister is my closest ally, and has in fact spoken to our other sister regarding the text and put her straight on a few things.

RebootYourEngine Fri 18-Nov-16 09:25:10

I would seriously consider going no contact. It sounds like they are making your MH worse not your dh.

If you dont want to go nc i would ask them exactly how they are going to help you day to day. Give them a list of what your dh does in bullet points. See if they can stick to that for a month.

SeaEagleFeather Fri 18-Nov-16 09:25:54

When I saw your first post I wondered rather cynically if your family of origin were a contributory factor in your illness. Your second post and description of your mother's criticising makes me think that maybe she was!

But I think they have to lump him in with me in the 'failure' stakes.

Failure in her eyes, right? (does your sister see you the same way too?)

From what you say your DH is nothing but a Good Thing. You sound like you're doing a lot better under his care than you would under theirs. The only thing I wonder about is that you said he wants to go NC? Is that his first reaction and he'll calm down? Because his hurt is understandable but it's also a very strong reaction.

So no, family of origin -is- important but when they place you firmly in the Failure camp and criticise everything you do, it's time to put down the boundaries. They don't help with practical matters, they don't visit you. I think you should say that you are very happy with things as they are, that they are welcome to visit when you're in hospital and phone more often. Every time they remotely criticise your DH, turn it back on them; well, you're always free to visit when I'm in hospital etc.

They probably won't come, but frankly it sounds more like they're dragging you down than building you up. Staying low contact is probably a good idea!

And yes, don't tell them anything important.

GrabtharsHammer Fri 18-Nov-16 09:33:15

Dh wanting to go nc has been a long time coming really. He has mopped me up countless times after altercations with my mother in particular. He has become increasingly aware that they don't think very highly of him, which as I said is bizarre. He's very intelligent, kind, generous, has never been anything other than respectful and polite to my family. He's adopted my older two DC and financially supported us all since very early on in the relationship. I have no idea why they would disapprove of him. The only thing I can think of is that since being with him I have needed them less. I don't know. The whole situation is bonkers really.

crazyhead Fri 18-Nov-16 09:39:07

My dad's parents were like this. I basically agree that you just need to rein right back on contact and don't engage. It's the last thing you need. Thank heavens your bloke is such a corker!

By your sister wanting to 'put you in a private clinic' is not handling your care. You need more practical support which you are getting from H, DF and brother as well as your H family.
It sounds more like you would emotionally struggle with going NC which is why you're on the fence.
I went NC with my abusive father. It was and still is hard sometimes, but honestly, my day to day living is so much better for it.

marriednotdead Fri 18-Nov-16 09:44:20

I think you've hit the nail on the head there.

They LIKED being martyr to your MH and associated needs, he's doing a better job than they ever did of making sure you are ok.

Your DH sounds as if he is exactly the right kind of man for you and your DCs, and as such, I'd choose keeping him happy over them any day.

Low contact/no contact sounds entirely reasonable.

SeaEagleFeather Fri 18-Nov-16 10:03:21

He has become increasingly aware that they don't think very highly of him, which as I said is bizarre.

hmmmm. If you are 'the failure' .... could it be that they (your mother especially) doesn't like you having such a strong and a loving partner?

Could it be that because he loves you, he's chosen you for his life-partner, they think less of him?

This may be way off the wall and totally wrong, but is your mother somehow invested in you being ill? If she can isolate you from your DH, then you would rely more on her. As I say this might be totally wrong. But some the things you're saying are just making me wonder.

ElsieMc Fri 18-Nov-16 10:04:38

It is your family who are not putting your health first, sorry. By criticising your DH, who is absolutely doing his very best, it is causing you more anxiety and upset. Your loyalty must be to your dh, as I am sure it is, not your sister contacting you about you all being in contact more.

The problem is that if your dh does not know the full contents of the text, he is going to be gutted about what they are saying about him. He sounds a really good bloke as do his non-judgemental parents but, and a big but, this could really throw a spanner in the works. You say he is already aware they do not have a good opinion of him. Why on earth should he have to put up with this?

You don't want to get into a position where he asks you to choose between them. There is only one choice here as well isn't there?I went no contact with my pil around 30 years ago and I have never regretted it and you are close to this.

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