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It's eating away at me. What can I do?

(19 Posts)
AyeAyeFishyPie Wed 19-Apr-17 22:15:29

I'm going to keep this as brief as I can. Neither DH nor I had particularly desirable childhoods. My parents - alcoholism, and abuse his - messy divorce, alcoholism. To be clear, they weren't all horrendous and many people have far worse.

But I have serious issues with DH's mum. She had 3 more children when he was 14 - he had to share his room with 3 kids under a year old. He began a very inappropriate relationship and basically moved out from the age of 16. When we first got together he cried in my arms and told me he felt he 'didn't have a home'.

Lots since then of examples where she just doesn't seem to treat him the same. 21st birthday - mother did nothing for him(we were staying with her). One of the younger kids gets everything he wants - he got to choose the restaurant for DH's 21st (kid was 6!!!). He is spoilt and his behaviour is very poor (he is 16 now).I think she believes that DH is OK cos he has turned out ok and never asks for anything but it breaks my heart that she is so oblivious. DH is a wonderful man - kind, polite and has made an enormous success of his life thus far. There is definite tension from his stepdad - lots of comments about DH being the 'favoured child'.

How do I get over it? I just know how I'm going to feel as the younger siblings grow up, given everything that DH never had. The resentment and tension eat away at me.

Sorry. I don't think I'm making much sense. Just needed someone to talk to.

Pollypickypocket Wed 19-Apr-17 22:37:03

Your husband needs counselling if it affects how he feals about himself. You need counselling as this is affecting you so much.

DrowningSeas Wed 19-Apr-17 22:39:18

You need to disconnect all the issues.

If he needs to seek some counselling then absolutely support that, but you cannot force him to confront his demons if he isn't ready.

You've got to also confront your own issues and having an outlet to manage them would be incredibly helpful.

AyeAyeFishyPie Wed 19-Apr-17 22:42:40

He says he is fine. Apart from that one night he is always just very level headed about it - their behaviour doesn't directly affect us, we are happy, his home is with me etc. I'm the problem. I jut can't get over the list of things in my head.

DrowningSeas Wed 19-Apr-17 22:45:50

Is it possible that you're deflecting?

springydaffs Wed 19-Apr-17 22:55:31

Ok you love him and you feel for him, which is appropriate. But you are over-invested.

He is an adult. It is his job to sort out his shit, not your job to be crushed with sorrow.

You aren't his counsellor. To weep in your arms, at the start of a relationship, that he doesn't have a home is inappropriate for a budding relationship. You sound like you have taken on/been given the role of a mother figure. That isn't healthy. He can address all these issues with a professional which would be more appropriate.

AyeAyeFishyPie Wed 19-Apr-17 23:12:06

Drowning - what do you mean?

Daffs - it isn't quite like that. He is fine. It's me that has the issue. As far as he is concerned his mum did a reasonable job, he moved out because he wanted to and he doesn't really like birthdays etc so he doesn't really care. This really isn't about him.

springydaffs Wed 19-Apr-17 23:16:43

It's me that has the issue.

you are over-invested

Kittencatkins123 Wed 19-Apr-17 23:23:14

I think you need to let it go. If it isn't affecting/upsetting him - don't let it affect/upset you. What good does it do - is it be productive/helpful? It doesn't sound like it, therefore let it go. Detach from the family as much as possible and focus on having a lovely time together as a couple.

AyeAyeFishyPie Wed 19-Apr-17 23:23:19

I agree. I was referencing you suggesting that he was using me as a mother figure etc which isn't the case. I agree that I am over invested hence I am asking for help.

AyeAyeFishyPie Wed 19-Apr-17 23:24:42

Thanks kitten - you are right, it isn't at all. Part of me thinks I should say something.

PickAChew Wed 19-Apr-17 23:28:07

he has a lot of his own issues to sort out, here. You can't wave a magic wand for him. He needs professional involvement if his upbringing bothers him.

But if it really affects you more than him, then back off!

DrowningSeas Wed 19-Apr-17 23:29:29

By that i mean, are you avoiding dealing with your own poor childhood and issues surrounding that so are focusing on this instead.

It sounds harsh, i honestly don't mean it too

But often we deflect our own insecurity and sadness by trying to deal with those we love and care for, when in actual fact we should focus on ourselves.

AyeAyeFishyPie Wed 19-Apr-17 23:31:00

Perhaps for clarity I should give some timescales. The tears incident was nearly 10 years ago. That's the only time he has made it clear that he has felt neglected. I think birthdays etc he's a bit nonplussed. Perhaps a bit disappointed but I think that's to be expected

springydaffs Wed 19-Apr-17 23:33:10

Which is the essence of codependency.

By weeping in your arms he was very clearly passing his pain onto you. You took it, you're carrying it. Now he's fine bcs he gave it to you.

That, my dear, is a very unhealthy dynamic.

AyeAyeFishyPie Wed 19-Apr-17 23:34:06

Drowning - you didn't sound harsh at all smile

Yes I think I probably channel a lot of disappointment in both our families through his mother. I think too I feel a bit of guilt. Eg his birthday - when it's his 21st and she has done nothing, I should have just taken over. So thats what I do now - I arrange his birthday every year and if they want to come, great.

I just need to learn to not let it affect me somehow. That or get very drunk and have a rant at her...

DrowningSeas Wed 19-Apr-17 23:44:31


You love him. His hurt is your hurt.

However, it sounds to me that he has built a life he is happy with. He doesn't need closure or counselling.

Just because it is upsetting to you doesn't give you the right (again possible wrong word, sorry) to take on that sadness and make it your own. It really doesn't.

If his perception now is that he was okay and he doesn't carry any anger. For you to approach his mum or do anything "off" would possibly cause him to be angry with you, and at the very least cause an irreplaceable rift between the family.

I had a shit childhood mixed with some memories that were happy.

I resented my parents for a long time however it was my resentment that i had to deal with but i still love them. If my DH was to rant at my dad for giving me a slap i would be mighty annoyed at him as it isn't his story to relive.

New memories, our unit is what matters and in actual fact the past is just the past. We can't change it. But we can manage our anxieties and perceptions of our own events and feelings.

Your feelings and emotions are valid ones to have due to your love for him. But they are not yours to act on.

HappyJanuary Thu 20-Apr-17 18:23:36

I get it op. There is a family member, mid 20s now, who had a similar upbringing to your dh. His upbringing was awful, primarily due to alcoholism and neglect. He appears happy and content, with a steady job and on the brink of starting his own family. He is a great person, non judgmental, kind and generous and incredibly likeable.

Despite that, I struggle to chat with his mother at family events. I feel angry and sad on his behalf, although I have never confronted her.

I once made an unguarded comment that must have sounded critical of her and he said 'I know she was a shit mum but she's still my mum and she did the best she could'.

Maybe your dh feels like that? She did the best she could. And actually maybe some of the things that upset you were genuinely beyond her control or competencies.

For example, I'm sure she didn't support the inappropriate relationship, that your dh was adamant about the relationship and moving out. Did she have a spare room for the babies or was putting them in with your dh the least worst option at the time?

Unless she's abusive, let it go as your dh has and just keep building your own happy family. Show him, and her, what supportive family love looks like.

AyeAyeFishyPie Thu 20-Apr-17 18:38:05

Thanks HappyJanuary. You are right that some things were least bad option (like the room sharing - no choice). His sister got pregnant aged 16 and has made a bit of a disaster of life thus far. It's interesting how they have both taken very different paths. Like u say I just have to not let it affect me. Life isn't perfect, I know.

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