(Closed) Family Issues, Need Support. (Sorry, Long)

posted 6 years ago in Emotional
Post # 2
713 posts
Busy bee

Man, Bee, I totally feel for you!  And I can relate, too.  Reading through certain parts of this all I could think was, “Been there.  Done that.  Been through that shit storm.  Totally know how that feels”.  And it sucks!

I say kudos to you and your future husband for seeking the professional guidance of a therapist.  I agree that the best course of action is to ignore aggressive/rude behavior/comments.  Sure, it may piss them off, but that’s their problem not yours.  My husband and I recently came to that conclusion as well (with his side of the family, just like in your case), and it works wonders (plus, we’ve been limiting contact/communication with them also).  Like I said, I’m sure it probably pisses them off, but it makes us feel better and there’s really no need to acknowledge their negativity and let it intrude in on our happiness.  It’s a great tactic, so good for you two for using it!

My only advice is to keep in mind that marriage doesn’t magically make these sort of things better (not that I think you are expecting it to).  In fact, it usually makes them worse.  Sad face.  So just be prepared for that.

Also, I like your idea of explaining to the in-laws why you don’t respond to aggressive/rude behavior/comments anymore.  You probably shouldn’t say because your therapist says not to.  However, you can tell them that by responding, it only intensifies certain emotions and behaviors and that you don’t want to be a part of that negativity.  Then, perhaps offer to discuss the topics that were brought up in a negative light with them when they are in a calmer head space.  Of course, this is just my suggestion and you should only do what is comfortable/safe/right for you two.  And you should probably also run those things by your therapist before attempting them.  Having an outsider’s POV is really helpful.  ๐Ÿ™‚

Hope this helps and please keep us posted!  STAY STRONG! ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 3
2543 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

Oh boy. You’re awesome. I swear, the fact that you opened your eyes to their little games is absolutely amazing.

However, Ns don’t like it when their blood supply dwindles. Think of them like vampires and they like keeping their “cattle” around so now you have effectively helped cut them off from a raised for food blood supply. They WILL lash out. And the sister and brother in law? Well, they used to share the feeding responsibilities (oh joy) with your SO. Now that he isn’t letting them feed off of him though the N will lean more on them. They, of course, won’t like it so they’ll try to rope your SO back into the feeding rotation. 

One of the most difficult parts of breaking free from a toxic family dynamic is reaaly seeing how no one is grateful to you for doing it. Of course you preserve your sanity and ensure your own personal relationships will be much better blah blah blah, but the family? No, that one will not have a positive reaction. However, as long as your SO stays in counseling and is happier as an individual he will be modeling more positive behaviors for his sister and Brother-In-Law that they could adopt if they ever chose to.

See where I’m going with this? His sister and Brother-In-Law have the choice to quit feeding the vampire and her Igor. If they don’t do it – it’s not on you guys to show them the error of their ways. It’s not on you guys for leaving them in the vampire’s lair. They too can get out. They might choose not to though, and that’s ok too. 

So vent away. Keep growing. Resist the temptations to fall back into the system which will not let you go willingly or easily.  I strongly suggest you both check out the RBN subreddit as you’ll feel like Martians on Earth that found a colony of other Martians. That’s Raised by Narcissists btw. 

And yes you will become the scapegoat too. Being a hero sucks huh? But you and your SO will be so much happier…

Post # 5
1629 posts
Bumble bee

Oh, bee. I’m sorry. This sounds like my mother. I got the we-won’t-pay-for-school-unless-you-do-what-we-want threats, too (I think that is a pretty standard control maneuver from narcissistic parents who are controlling college funding in any way). As I went through life things never got better — the judgement and attempts at control only got worse. And I eventually had to cut off contact for my own sanity because my mother and stepfather were totally toxic (they didn’t treat each other very well, either). My sister enabled my mother and stepfather to some degree as well and still does. 

It sounds like your fiance is making VERY healthy and responsible decisions (Saying “no” to a coffee date because he’s saving for your ring is a great example of that–he’s learned to control his own finances like a grown up, which it doesn’t seem his parents ever did). You’ve done the right thing going to counseling for this. Keep the counseling up, and keep supporting your fiance — it’s awful to be born into a family like this. 

Post # 6
296 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

You both are doing great. Keep it up. ๐Ÿ˜€ And if anytime in the future, you should think about moving away so Sister and others don’t “drive by” to see what you guys are doing, that is stalking. ๐Ÿ™

Post # 7
1217 posts
Bumble bee

I’m very glad your SO is going through therapy for this.  I have a few friends who have parents like this, where they chose the college and major for their kids because they were paying for it, but it sounds like your SO’s parents are much more abusive than my friends parents are.

Remember that the only thing you can control is your reaction and response and I think you’re doing the best you can given the circumstances.  More than likely, his parents are never going to change and you’re going to have to be able to accept that.  And yes, they probably are going to start blaming you. (I’ve seen it happen)  

I think all you can do is take one day at a time, one moment and one situation at a time.  The holidays are over so take some time to step back and take a deep breath.

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