The guilt/silent treatment used by MIL is something your FWH needs to address.
This was the very same tactic used by my FWh's FOO. All of whom have passed on, but the issues remained. He learned to lie, avoid and use whatever means necessary to avoid the anger (silence and withholding of affection) of his family. His mother, his grandmother and aunts. When I first witnessed this, I tried to intervene...and when it began to affect my children, when they withheld affections for small perceived slights by a 5 and 6 year old, I completely lost my cool. But no matter how much I tried I could not force my FWh to do what he was not ready to face. I could however discuss this with my children, so that they would not own the rejection used to manipulate them. It was horrible.
None of that is healthy for him, but it is him who must reconcile this. This is something you can not control. Your interference actually gives them a common "enemy" to blame. As long as you provide yourself as a scapegoat, they can continue to avoid the issue.
I suspect that as a result your FWH is a major conflict avoider. He does what is necessary to avoid the negative outcome of mother's anger.
Can your MC work with him alone on this issue? An IC situation will be far more effective, even though I know you feel equally affected by all of this.
I feel for you, having walked this path. ((hugs))
If I were you, I'd talk to him about him and then step back and realize he has to decide to man up or fall flat.
Otherwise you become the common enemy for them to blame their dysfunction on rather than grow themselves.
[This message edited by KatyaCA at 4:01 PM, January 15th (Wednesday)]
It's so hard to negotiate these things but as an outsider... no, you're not over reacting or being controlling. The SIL and MIL are being controlling.
AND... SIL is not a friend of the marriage, even more reason to NOT facilitate her whininess.
Some books that helped me recognize this better were:
The Emotional Incest Syndrome: What to do When a Parent's Love Rules Your Life (don't get freaked by the title)
by Patricia Love
When He's Married to Mom: How to Help Mother-Enmeshed Men Open Their Hearts to True Love and Commitment
by Kenneth Adams
The Emotionally Unavailable Man
by Patti Henry
one of OW's big seduction methods was to tell WH that I control him, he can't let me control him like that, etc.
Same here. This of course wasn't true, my BW wasn't controlling. If she was, I wouldn't have been able to have an A. My BW was voicing concerns she had in our relationship. That's not controlling.
After a lot of reading and work, I realized how similar my mother and the AP's personalities are. They are both very controlling and manipulative. Seeing these similarities now makes me want to puke. Also, it puts an additional strain on my already uncomfortable relationship with my mother.
I've learned that I cannot and will not change how my family behaves. I had to come to grips with the fact that they are unhealthy and how my behavior degrades when I have to deal with them. I need to keep myself in check when I talk with my family because it is easy to fall into the old family dynamics.
For me, the key is distancing myself from them and recognizing the manipulation for what it is. I had to establish healthy boundaries with them and get over my fear of conflict.
refuz2bavictim, you have some very good insights I relate with.
naivewife, I hope your WH can work on these issues. I would argue your title of this not being directly A related because IMO it goes to some of the why's of the A that should be worked on.
Just saw this and have to say, it is an excellent point to consider.
[This message edited by lostmylight55 at 4:58 PM, January 15th (Wednesday)]