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Set up by dh again(54 Posts)
dh has come back from a weekend away with some of his family, they called in for a cup of tea as they dropped dh back home and he ostensibly 'asks' me in front of them if its ok if they all come to visit the weekend before christmas. Its clear that its been discussed and arranged already and this is not really asking me, just telling me and doing it in front of them so I can't say what I really think.
I wouldn't mind so much but my mum has already invited us to her house along with some other relatives (who will be bringing a new baby for us to meet) and, after asking dh, I accepted her invite.
Now dh says those (admittedly slightly more distant relatives) are less important and I should back out of the previous commitment.
To add more to the situation I don't actually want any social commitments at all that weekend. I work in retail management and it will be hellish that week and I don't particularly want to be making polite chit chat when I'm totally stressed and exhausted, let alone be bloody entertaining a bus-load of dh's relations.
To further piss me off he has also 'volunteered' me to help out at a charity event this week, its completely out of my comfort zone doing all the sorts of things that i the and am really not good at. I agreed to it as felt obliged to as it was for charity but now the time has come i realise i have just been landed in a totally unnecessary and stressful situation by him, again. I'd be very happy to do some of the things I am good at to support the charity, but I have neither the skills of the experience of doing anything close to the role I have been saddled with. I'm pretty sure its going to be an embarrassing f-up but can't see a way to back out at this late stage.
Have you ever asked him how he would feel if you did that to him?
I would make it clear that any invitations from you as a couple need to be discussed with the two of you in private before being issued or the automatic answer is no. because to do otherwise is showing massive disrespect.
Tell him you will go to your mums as planned but he is welcome to stay at home and have his relations visit as long as everything is tidied away by the time you get home and he will be responsible for cleaning, organising food etc beforehand.
is does sound like you are stuck with the charity thing but Id also be making it clear that he is not to volunteer you for anything again
Ask his help for as much of the charity thing as you can. Tell him to apologise to his relatives for having forgotten there was already something on, and tell him if he chooses to cancel on your mum you will take that as precedent for how the two of you treat each other's family. And add you are sick of this , and everything he pushes onto like this in future will be a flat no.
The thing is, to say anything about this, no matter how reasonably, will inevitably spark a blazing row which i haven't got the energy for right now.
If you don't hold your ground, though, he'll carry on doing it - and you'll be seething and resentful spending that weekend with his relations.
It's perfectly reasonable - you had made plans that you'd agreed with him; if he wants his family to come instead, that's 'fine' but not a reason for you to change your plan. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Grey rock if necessary. It shouldn't take too much energy, and think what a nice weekend you'll have at your mum's!
The fact is, I never hold my ground with anyone and people walk all over me time and time again.
The worst thing is that i was set up for the charity thing weeks ago and only today have i realised i was set up. With the relatives, it happened this morning but its taken 12 hours to work out that i've been manipulated. i never get a chance to say much at the time as I haven't noticed.
I am so sick of my way of relating to other people, I have no boundaries at all, even the dc walk all over me. I can't seem to get a grip on it no matter how hard i try.
The thing is, to say anything about this, no matter how reasonably, will inevitably spark a blazing row
That's not right. You should be able to talk about it, even say you're pissed off about it, without a 'blazing row' being inevitable.
Cancel the charity thing. Give an excuse like illness. As for the weekend before Christmas, go to your mother's anyway. Let him host his family while you go to yours.
Find a way not to you what you have been set up to do, every time. He will stop doing it, hopefully.
But it sounds as though volunteering you is just a symptom of more fundamental problems. I do feel for you.
I know i should be able to say I'm pissed off by something but what always happens is that the other person gets massively emotional (angry or acts hurt).
I have been set up for this pattern of relating since childhood but have only really cottoned onto it very recently.
It sounds like he's doing things like this on purpose because he knows you won't stand your ground..
He can't push you into things if you don't let him. I know that is easier said than done. It's taken me a lot of years to get to that point.
In your situation I'd have said in front of them all sorry it sounds nice but dh and I are already booked for then. Then looked at him and said not sure if you forgot dh but it would be very rude to not go, then to the rest of the room I'll have a look at the diary with dh and we can get another date sorted.
Then For the charity thing I'd just simply but politely say I'm not doing that dh, you shouldn't have put my name forward without discussing it with me. I'd tell the charity sorry dh signed me up without talking to me about it, I'm sorry I won't be helping out.
As for the argument that you say follows. If you stay calm and polite it can't be an argument. He can rant and rave at you but that's not the same thing and if that's the case then my advice is to start another thread to get some support about his behaviour towards you.
He doesn't sound like he treats you very well best. I hope I'm wrong but if I'm not I hope you find support.
I'm afraid its a bit of a pattern in my life. About 6 months ago I told my mum (very reasonably and calmly) that I had been upset by a passive aggressive comment she'd made. She got hugely over-emotional told me our relationship was over if I was going to 'be like this' I stood my ground and stayed calm but she didn't. She continued to create massive emotional scenes every time we saw one another for months but has never taken what I said on board. It has basically destroyed our relationship, certainly from my point of view. I know this is where my fear of saying what I feel comes from but the programming is so difficult to overcome.
The problem is your inability to speak up for yourself. Ypu should have said in front of them .. that you already have plans thst weekend ... sweetly say "DH must have forgotten my mum invited us over and we've accepted
Then with the charity thing... tell him you aren't doing it. I remember being on the PTA and a school mum volunteering her DH to do something... I thought isn't that nice... then I realised I'd go mad if my DH volunteered me for anything without asking first.
Not to be harsh...but people will take advantage of you all the time if you let them.
I'd suggest you seek therapy to find your inner voice to deal with these users around you.
Your DH isn't being respectful at all.
I hope you're not planning on spending the rest of your life like this. You deserve better.
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Are you familiar with the Karpman Drama Triangle? Its an easy pattern of behaviour to fall into, but it is fixable.
You can read I'm OK, You're OK by Thomas A Harris, and Games People Play by Eric Berne for more insight and practical solutions. You would also benefit from assertiveness training. Its ok to read about that for the theory but to really benefit its better to join a class.
It sounds like you haven't long realised this pattern to your behaviour. It will take you a while to adjust and to be immediately alert. But the good news is that the charity thing took you some weeks but the mil thing took you less than a day. Very soon these things will be obvious the minute they happen.
So the charity thing, can you contact them direct and just say your dh double booked you? They can't get cross with you and then on the day if your dh remembers you can just say you cancelled it because you didn't think you could do it.
With the mil, I'd agree with pp, you go to your mum and dh can go to mil. He can choose where dc go if there are any.
As for your mother, try to ignore her bullying. Read about grey rock technique perhaps? Could be useful for you with dh too.
I have organised to change my role at this charity thing to something that's a much better fit for me, I do feel more guilt and embarrassment (because I feel that I've 'let people down') than relief though. This is pretty normal for me, it's always a lose-lose scenario. If I assert myself I feel terrible for it and if I don't, I feel terrible for it. Yay.
I have used grey rock with my mum but she pushed me and pushed me with enormous amounts of emotional blackmail. Like I said it has totally destroyed the relationship we had. I can never trust her again as it's clear that she will do anything, including causing us both massive emotional pain, in order to keep me in the co-dependent role she created for me from birth.
Djbaggysmalls I have looked at the drama triangle before and can totally see how it works, it's depressingly clear.
I would love to find an assertiveness course but the ones I've looked at don't really seem to cover the territory that I'm in. They seem to be for timid types. I'm confident and not in the slightest bit shy just co-dependent.
Unfortunately, you had an abusive mother and you have picked an abusive husband, probably because your H's selfish, manipulative bullying behaviour felt comfortable and familiar. It is not reasonable for someone to decided that another person is going to do something that person is reluctant to do, and to meet any refusal with screaming, shouting and abuse. You do not have to obey your husband without question.
You might want to look into things like the Freedom Programme, or Women's Aid advice generally, just to boost your own confidence and help you set your boundaries.
I would leave your Dh to host his family by himself weekend before Xmas and tbh your mother sounds draining too!
Pencil in that day as yours do whatever you want, take yourself out for the day movie/lunch etc. Honestly start putting you first!
Don't forget that you are an adult and you don't actually have to do something you know you're being for forced/manipulated into. A short statement answer works well "no that doesn't work for me" and walk away.
My own Dh last weekend arranged (without informing me) to drop DCs friend home after an event both kids would be at. Only dh wasn't going to be home until 5 hrs after event ended. I stated 'NO I don't agree to having an extra child without being asked' And I left that statement with him to fix/rearrange. Which he did.
"They seem to be for timid types. I'm confident and not in the slightest bit shy just co-dependent."
Assertiveness courses are for people who cannot assert themselves, youre saying you can so thats why they dont seem like a good fit. It sounds to me like what you actually need is some councilling to deal with the issues and habits around "not wanting to upset people or let them down".
If you can I'd go NC with your mother. And if 'D'H carries on I'd go NC with him, too. You have been programmed to be a mug, something that isn't easily undone. If you let them they will destroy you.
Get yourself into a therapist who specialises in treating survivors of narc abuse - you are worth more than this.
Your husband is unreasonable to expect you to change plans for him and to volunteer you for things.
Please have a look into getting a therapist to unpack your behaviour too and learn to set boundaries of your own.
Go to your mums that weekend as planned and leave him to entertain his own relatives.
You should have said when they were all there that you already had plans and had DH forgotten.
You gotta start saying no.
You really do - no to the charity event, no when he puts you on the spot.
It's the only way you'll get through to him.
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