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Vent - familyoforigin monster rose up

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uxorpatricius posted 1/24/2018 17:06 PM

First I want to say that I will be fine, in a few hours.

Second, I don't want to crush the heart of anyone new in reconciliation. All of our situations vary, and we just try to sustain each other and maybe learn something here or there. Mostly our reconciliation is good 4 years out.

BUT TODAY SUCKS, and it isn't my husband, it isn't me, it isn't even the xAP. It is the original issues we always had, his family.

In my past posts I explained, that after years of counseling, my husband has been working on a FOO issue with his family. It is control issues in the extreme, and he has even severed contact with one of them at this point, who is a mistress-manipulator in his family.

He knows that much of his dishonest behavior came from years of habit of lying to avoid conflict. Long story - too long for this post.

And, through his counselor, he has been working on diligently building new skills in communicating with them, while trusting that he won't be chastised for being honest with me, like he was in growing up. (

Eg...."Honey, I don't want to go see that movie." In his FOO - the women in his family would not have spoken to him, or would have simply ignored him and he would have to go to a movie they wanted with direction from his father that this is what he is to do...with me he can have an opinion and we will find compromises and solutions. This is hard for him to learn to communicate toward solutions, as he was in a habit of avoidance. And this example is a very mild example, but his life was like that daily - so you get the picture.

He has been doing remarkably well in being assertive and telling them what he wants for himself, how he uses his adult time, that he values his marriage (me) and how we now spend time with our early adul kids outside of the nest....aaaannnnd....

They just did the usual. They make new "plans", that ignore everything he has said. It controls his time, our marriage, our kids' time and lives (even careers), and even his own job.

PLUS he is now being asked to be in regular communication with the sibling he severed contact with, for the purpose of managing the health of his frail parents. AND he will be "shunned" if he doesn't comply with her demands. I won't get into the details, but trust me when I say that they will create time, space and separation between us as a married couple. It will become what it was before, when he had his OW at work - a man who exists at work and at his FOOs beck and call.

It was all thrown at him when he was asked to visit his parents. They said they to make a plan when they could get together to see our kids and what their adult schedules and lives were like. It was never about that....and that they didn't ask at a time that I could come with should have been a clue.

They really don't want to know our kids' schedules, they want to say what their schedules should be for the new "plan". And just like my husband was not allowed to be an adult, this strategy would also not respect our kids' as adults - essentially, they want him to repeat their control behavior on our kids.

He left barely knowing what to say, but that he would get back to them. He has a rough plan and a strategy now that won't go over great, so he needs the words and guidance on what to say. He is going to see his counselor to review it and pull it together.

I would like to tell you that I am telling him what to say. Truth? I am totally irrational at this point - because it strains our marriage and creates the cycle for our kids I am going totally MamaBear crazy face here.

BUT I AM JUST SO DAMNED SICK OF THIS SHIT. FOUR Fk'ING YEARS of them ignoring boundaries he sets, pretending he doesn't have a wife, and working to corner him right back into their control net, and now our kids too!!!!!.

There. I said it. Sorry. Had to vent.

I don't expect anyone here to fix this buill-crapFOOissuesonsteroids, but I had to put it somewhere.

SO f'ing tired!

Thanks for being the place I could put this.

demolishedinside posted 1/24/2018 17:53 PM

So if he said no, they disown him? What happens if he stands firm? What is he willing to do?

uxorpatricius posted 1/24/2018 18:45 PM

Resonable question, and I will try to not ramble.

They are a very large family. An example from the past - like a decade ago. They once planned a holiday gathering without asking if he had other plans. He did, he had already made them with the kids and I to go camping. (The kids were young back then). They told him he would have to cancel because they needed him to do blablabla with his dad an brothers. A "man plan". I was to watch children during this.

They had made the plan, assigned the jobs (which always separated us and put me in the "servant" role for the family to have their fun.

He said no.

No one spoke to him for 6 months. Then the accusation, that I didn't "make" him do this (because women make men do the plans in the family) made clear that I was dividing him from them.

Now - create that scenario and thought process ongoing for his whole life

He is in his 50's for crap sake, and they still do this stuff . Like he is a teenager who they plan the life of.

He is going to say no. And it isn't going to be fun.

The past few years as he said no, and stood up for us and our family, I have been bad mouthed at my previous job, at places I volunteer and in community groups by the sister he won't have contact any longer.

Prior to him cutting communication, if he said anything about me in text or email, no one in the family would acknowledge that he had said anything.

I should add, the first flirtation he engaged in, not long before the affair, was right after his sister had become the 'new" friend of a long time friend of mine. Yes - they knew the person he had an affair with too.

So - there were three things being asked of him. All were designed to put him back in contact with that sister, and one actually puts the expectation that he also tell our kids when, where and how they will spend their adult time. I didn't add earlier, it also excluded one of our kid's significant others. And - no - it isn't small things like a movie. It is about work, schedules, time, attention to the family's wants, etc.

So. Silent treatment, pretending that anyone that doesn't "please" them doesn't exist, disparaging remarks in a small city community (and yes - they are people of influence and status) to damage work and social connections, etc.

I just want to add, in no way are we neglecting his parents. We are always available if they need real help. No one starves, is homeless or has neglected health or essential needs under our watch - not for my family, his , our kids or our friends. We would help a stranger with needs.

And, truth be told, his parents are well off. As I said earlier, his family has a lot of social clout and status as well. We also don't need their money. And that is one thing that aggravates his sister. She wants us dependent on them like her. We are not. So their health is used to try to control us.

But this is about wants. HIGH demands of wants. Weeks and months worth of wants.

And the more I right, the clearer how nutzo this all is!

I told him today, I don't want to divorce him, but I sure as heck want to divorce them. Or at least his sister. He feels that way too. If only THAT option existed.

Editing to clarify - he wants to divorce his sister. Never see her again is what he said.

I have a lot of typos because I am typing fast and emotionally. Sorry.

[This message edited by uxorpatricius at 7:01 PM, January 24th (Wednesday)]

demolishedinside posted 1/24/2018 19:15 PM

Ok. Unfortunately, I get this. My dad manipulated me for years. He just would stop talking to me or disown me(or my siblings). This made no sense to me. He refused therapy in his life, but my guess is he is at least bipolar with a ton of FOO issues in his past and abuse. He disowned me before my girls were born and for good measure, he disowned all of my siblings. How can a person stop speaking to their children and grandchildren? Itís been six years! Stubborn much? So yes. I get it. Itís manipulative, abusive and wrong. Iím so sorry. I was disowned for drawing a line, amongst other things.

I am incredibly sad that I do not have a dad. But uxor, can I just tell you that my level of peace has risen so much since then. I wish you could simply help with his parents and stay away the rest of the timeófor your own sanity. At some point, he will have to draw the line and say no more.

Is moving an option

[This message edited by demolishedinside at 7:17 PM, January 24th (Wednesday)]

uxorpatricius posted 1/24/2018 19:30 PM

I wish you could simply help with his parents and stay away the rest of the timeófor your own sanity.

That is exactly what I want to do, and that is what he is about to define to them.

And, yes, it may end up being a relief for us, but a terribly sad one.

Moving....funny, I talked about that too today. We currently can't. I would have moved long ago with his xAP issues if we could have.

But we currently have a plan in place, as he is changing his work to spend significantly less time here, and have small living quarters at places that we can work farther away. We have been transitioning toward that. It is a huge relief as we won't see much of the xAP. But today I wanted to up that time frame due to this. We would still be about a day away from his parents (and mine) if we are needed. By flight even faster.

Guess what I found out - their new "plan" for care for his parents will require my husband to undo what we are already doing to semi-move for his work.

No surprise, right?

[This message edited by uxorpatricius at 7:32 PM, January 24th (Wednesday)]

josiep posted 1/24/2018 19:40 PM

I've been listening to "talks" on YouTube by Lisa Romano and Ross Rosenberg. I think you'd relate big time if you listened to some of them. In essence, his family is abusing him and it will continue until he takes a stand and makes it stop.

I read a post earlier with a very wise response from one of our wonderful S.I. sisters. She said we can't set a boundary for other people and we can't control what they do. But what we can do is say, this is my boundary and I am not going to cross it.

IOW, something like: "I will help my Dad with errands and shaving on Thursdays from 4 - 7 PM; XX (your name), me and the kids will come see him on the 3rd Sunday of the month from 1 - 2 PM. If any of these don't work for you, feel free to let me know. I'm glad we can all cooperate to make Mom and Dad's last years comfortable."

And then he has to practice his response when they start to sputter and spurt at him. "I'm sorry you feel that way. I'll give Dad a call next week and ask him what he wants." Over and over again as many times as he has to.

The way they treat him will not stop until he makes it stop. It might not be a pretty picture but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

demolishedinside posted 1/24/2018 19:43 PM

No surprise, friend. Keep working on your plan. Firm boundaries. As little time as possible with any of them.

And yes. Hell yes. Sad. But I had to learn over and over people just canít be what weíd like. My dad just was never going to be the dad I wanted or needed. The less time I spent in the toxicity, the better and more peaceful my life got.

Prayers and strength to you both. Nothing like having to deal with pain and stress on top of pain and stress.

uxorpatricius posted 1/24/2018 19:47 PM


Nothing like having to deal with pain and stress on top of pain and stress.

Sometimes just knowing someone heard is enough. Tonight it is. I needed all of your words, and specifically that understanding. Thank you.

Hugs and prayers back.

[This message edited by uxorpatricius at 7:59 PM, January 24th (Wednesday)]

uxorpatricius posted 1/24/2018 19:59 PM


THANK YOU for the resource.

I am one of the BSs whose husband knows I come here. He just is not a forum person himself. Not much social media in general. But he knows I need support.

And he will look at support materials. To his credit, my husband took action with his affair regrets (thus - remorse, not perfect, but persistent) and he still wants more support materials on both FOO and affair issues.

SO, thank you! I had actually missed the post a moment ago with how it all scrolls in replies at times.

It could be a useful tool for him!

Writersblock122 posted 1/24/2018 20:25 PM

My FWH has similar type parents (especially his mom). We literally moved to another state in 2008 to get away from her and save our marriage. She was too involved in our lives, always borrowing money, very demanding, etc.
He still kept in contact with her after we moved, but it allowed some needed distance. He also learned boundaries at that time thanks to my constant pressure. BTW-his mom totally blamed ME for our if I forced him to do it.

A few years ago, my husband and his mom got into a heated argument about her crossing a boundary. He told her he was done. And he was. He hasn't spoken to her since then. She's been in the hospital several times since then and he refuses to call her. I guess he got to a breaking point. He's cut off contact with one of his sisters for the same reason. It has made a world of difference in our marriage and given him some peace knowing he doesn't have to deal with the drama. I'm not sure how he will take it when his mom dies, but for now, he seems much happier.

[This message edited by Writersblock122 at 8:27 PM, January 24th (Wednesday)]

ISurvivedSoFar posted 1/24/2018 22:23 PM

Lucky me I have lived this too - yeah! Sorry Uxor - sorry for the awfulness that they have brought upon you.

First M failed because of gambling addict/NPD spouse and enabling parents (no surprise there). So got rid of that problem except the family are still my kids family.

Then the current M - Mr. ISurvived disowned them. Yep, he did. They are out of his life and he only speaks with his sister who did the same. So they have each other and that's it but like the other response, he is free and unburdened. Our extended family is small now but happy.

Can you do that?

moralhighground posted 1/25/2018 00:33 AM

I really donít know how you do it, people are INSANE. My family is nothing like THIS but I kind of just stopped trying with most of them after DDay. Just... sorry everyone, but you really donít care enough about me to be of any help to me right now so I wonít be sending the usual 96 emails coordinating all of your ďbusyĒ schedules so we can have one dinner together per year. Figure out your own lives and feel free to invite me.

This is all looking pretty good in comparison to what youíre dealing with.

I donít know where people find the time and energy to cause someone else so much trouble. Itís like middle school never ended for them.

moralhighground posted 1/25/2018 00:39 AM

Also, itís in no way spirit-crushing but actually inspiring that the two of you are on the same side in this. I find the hardest messages to read (and of course some of the most important to see and acknowledge the commonality of) are the ones that say ďI just feel nothing anymoreĒ. Youíre both in the thick of it and fighting for each other. Thatís the silver lining in the dark cloud of crazy. Thereís always a ton of conflict in the middle part of the story, right? Thatís how you know itís not over yet!

Notthevictem posted 1/25/2018 08:54 AM

I don't have a good answer for you, but I wanted to let you know that this wording:

familyoforigin monster rose up

For some reason if got the eagles song stuck in my head. 'They stabbed it with their steel and knives but just can't kill the beast.'

shellofme posted 1/25/2018 10:37 AM

Thank you NTV for (again) making me smile when I thought I didn't have one.
uxorpatricius: I continue to be amazed that so many WS have similar FOO issues: controlling and manipulative parent (seems to often be the mother if the WS is male, and vice versa- but that's just my unscientific and unqualified observation), total disregard for boundaries, and creepy and inappropriate idea of priorities (ME, US, we should always be your priority, and you should do everything we want, and drop everything for US. It doesn't matter that you are an adult with your own family now, your parents should come before your spouse or your own children). Some strange s&^t isn't it!?

Hope your move happens, the sooner the better.

uxorpatricius posted 1/25/2018 13:58 PM

@Writers block & @shellofme

He just called today - and the strategy to live here less just got bumped up. All of my husband's own planning, and without even bringing up them. He just wanted to know if I was ok with what he is planning. It will take a couple of years (career structure to unravel and restart that has contracts tied to it), but each year we will be here less and less. I said "Yep, honey. I think you are making some very good plans. Well thought out and doable." We didn't even bring the FOO up. Like I said, less xAP and a clear message that what they are "designing" for us and our kids doesn't match what we are actually doing. WIN/WIN!

2shellofme - I keep hearing it over and over too. Actually we have taken it to heart. We are being careful to let our kids define their own lives and relationships. They have already found themselves being criticized by my husband's family for who they date or spend time with. Other cousins of theirs have actually broken up with people to keep the family pleased. And these 20 somethings are not dating, hanging around with, or engaged to criminal or scary people. Nice people...but the pattern I am noticing is if they are with people who have a strong opinion, they don't like them. They only want family with people who can be manipulated easily. It is a cycle we are determined to break, and I definitely call it out if husband is not seeing the forest through the trees he has been so used to.

@moralhighground. How do I do it? Apparently by coming here to have a melt-down. Thank you for the assurances that it is that we are facing it together that counts. That is how I was feeling by this morning. But yesterday really left me feeling like I was punched in the gut with each of the three demands/plans they laid out for him. Today I can eat and breathe.

@Isurvived - not sure how complete the separation is going to be. It really is not in my power, but it is certainly in my husband's. He definitely is planning for distancing us. That tells me how much he wants to let go of this disfunction. If they don't respect his distancing, they well could lose him completely. Yes. They will blame me, but the fact is that they are the ones pushing him away. The only way I ever pull is to say that he is a grown man who is married and a father who has raised our kids, and deserves to recognized and respected by them as such.

NTV - I know we have "sparred" a while back, but I have to sincerely thank you. I am a die-hard, long time Eagles Fan. If his family goes Hotel California on him, it is time for this marriage to get away and Take it Easy for a change. THANK YOU for making me smile and putting some of my retro faves in my mind for the day.

Thank you, everyone, with hugs and prayers, for getting me through a low.

[This message edited by uxorpatricius at 2:29 PM, January 25th (Thursday)]

demolishedinside posted 1/25/2018 16:22 PM

Thinking of you today. Hoping it feels better than yesterday.

uxorpatricius posted 1/26/2018 11:52 AM

Thanks Demolished. Yesterday was better. A couple of waves of anxiety at the end (amazing what our fears can exaggerate at the end of a tiring day).

Today is even better and I feel focussed on life and the regular stuff around me. Husband has made his plan and is talking to his parents this weekend. Clarifying, and has his points to repeat ready and rehearsed. If it is going to be a war, he simply doesn't want to play. Is going to say what he has to, and go on with his life in a way they can no longer easily touch, or at least less and less.

Jesusismyanchor posted 1/26/2018 23:01 PM

Wow, your posts really made sense to me with the exception that you described MY family in many ways. They have zero boundaries and try to boss the crap out of me and cause major issues if I don't go along in our relationship. They will absolutely blame my H if I don't. They are incredibly pushy although I love them and are very intrusive God bless them.

Here is the thing. This used to drive my H crazy but it was so hard for me to stop them without major drama. I am working on these boundaries in IC and MC. It is very hard but I really feel that it is up to me the enforce them. My family has no interest in changing. Being upset with them is wasted. They love the way they are. There is no problem from their view point. I just need to concede. When I draw my line in the sand they push back. My IC warned me they wouldn't like it. They don't! I still am learning to draw the line and hold it and walk away. I'm not responsible for their feelings or reactions. im sure I'm not teaching you anything you don't already know. Your post just resonates with me. The struggle is real.ot can be so frustrating. We are also learning to be a team and face things together as a unified team. This is new for us but makes a huge difference.

[This message edited by Jesusismyanchor at 11:04 PM, January 26th (Friday)]

Notthevictem posted 1/27/2018 07:54 AM

NTV - I know we have "sparred" a while back, but I have to sincerely thank you. I am a die-hard, long time Eagles Fan. If his family goes Hotel California on him, it is time for this marriage to get away and Take it Easy for a change. THANK YOU for making me smile and putting some of my retro faves in my mind for the day

Sure thing! Believe it or not, I was trying to help when we 'sparred' too. I'm just a dude and don't always say things the right way.

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