My husband is a scapegoat in his family. How to let go of toxic family members?

posted 10 months ago in Family
Post # 2
4907 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

afternoontea :  

That’s just it, you stick with the no contact. If they blow up his phone again, their number gets blocked, or, sent straight to voicemail.

Confronting them is useless. This dynamic has been there for decades (I’m assuming) and telling them to stop being toxic isn’t going to work.

Toxic people don’t give a damn that they hurt you. They tried to get HIM to apologize for THEIR behavior.

It’s painful, but with family like that, cutting them out is actually less painful than having them in your lives. It doesn’t seem that way at first, but it will be freeing to cut them out.

Has he been to counseling at all? That can help him work through all of the emotions he’s going to experience by cutting them out. You could go together as well so you can support each other in establishing no contact or strong boundaries.

For me, I had to go no contact for a while but eventually I was ready for limited contact after a few years

Post # 3
2704 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - St Peter\'s Church, East Maitland, and Bella Vista, Newcastle

They sound utterly horrendous, you poor things.  My advice would be to not think of it as no contact, but rather as a indefinite time out.  You need time to heal and recover from their awful treatment of you, so for now, block them on everything.  You’ll find, over time, that you are both much, much happier without them in your lives and when you’re not so sensitive about it all (and I don’t mean that being sensitive is a bad thing, just that at the moment you’re constantly on edge about what’s going to happen next, which is not a good state to be in) you will realise that the indefinite time out will turn into permanent no contact.  Something else that may help is thinking about any kids you might have in the future – do you want to see them treated they way you two are being treated? Because if not, stopping it now is really the only thing to do.

Also, I think your husband would definitely benefit from some counseling to help him realise that the way his so-called family has treated him is not his fault and he has zero obligation to have them in his life and should not feel guilty about cutting them out.

Post # 4
47148 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

If the two of you can’t distance yourselves without help, get help. This is not normal behavior on their part, nor on your husband’s for allowing it.

Post # 5
754 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2018 - City, State

You can’t win with people like that, and I would not be wasting time wondering how you could have done your wedding differently. 

They sound awful. I think minimum to no contact is key here for both of you

Post # 6
10415 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

afternoontea :  

Ok.  We get it. Your husband’s family is dreadful.  I believe you.

And there is not a snowball’s chance of that changing.  At least, not in this lifetime.  The family dynamics, dysfunctional though they may be, have endured for much longer than you have been in the picture.

You can save yourself a lot of upset if you stop looking for reasons for their behavior.  Did I say this wrong?  Should I have done that instead?  Know this, Bee:

It’s not about you.

It’s not really even about your husband.  It’s about maintaining the status quo of their own pathology.  There has been an upheaval (your marriage) and they’re scrambling for a way to manage the new dynamic.  As long as you were not technically part of the family, you were no threat.

Quit looking for their behavior to make sense.  It only makes sense to them.  Think of them as their own country. They have their own flag, their own currency, and their own national anthem.

Their country hates outsiders because it fears them. You will never be a citizen of their country, no matter how hard you try.

Reasoning is pointless.

As the other Bees have said, No Contact is the only way to go. It’s always sad when you have to break ties with your own family, but it happens. It’s a relationship in which you and your husband are being treated horribly. Bad relationships need to end.  Life is short, Bee.

I’d also suggest Toxic Parents, by Dr Susan Forward.

Post # 7
1644 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2019


Cut off. 


Watch Lisa A. Romano on youtube videos they are SO SO helpful in understanding narcissim, alcoholic narcissism, being the adult child of an abusive parent, codependency, the list goes on. So so helpful in learning the tools of detachment and cutting off TOXIC family members. 

And believe me, these people are nothing but toxic. 

Good luck to you. Save yourself Bee!

Post # 13
347 posts
Helper bee

If they don’t already know your address, don’t give it to them.  The less they know, the less damage they can do when you go no contact with them.  If they do know where you live, you might want to seriously consider moving.  Once you cut them off, they’re going to show up uninvited and unannounced if they have your home address or your work address.


Post # 14
2936 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2006

My husbands parents are toxic. Long story short, his dad was an abusive narcissist and his mom repeatedly chose Dad over her kids, and is still with him to this day even though she hates him. Says she’s scared to leave and be on her own even though both my husband and his sister have offered her room and board as long as she needed it. Truth of the matter is, she’s just as bad as him now. Shit rolls downhill I guess. 

So after decades of getting hurt, and going back and trying to repair it and getting hurt again and trying to repair it….the vicious cycle ended. They haven’t spoken in over a year and a half. And it’s been the best thing for my husband. Difficult, but the best choice for his health. 

Sometimes you can keep things light and keep people in your life as long as all you talk about is the weather. Not get too close. With his dad it’s 0% or 110%, so he chose zero.

You have to do what’s best for you, and God forbid you have kids that witness this disgusting behavior. Cut them out. Your sanity isn’t worth it. 

Post # 15
1916 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

The best thing you can do is play the ignore game right now. Give them no ammunition or excuse for your actions or lack of actions. 

I feel you in a way but in a completely different situation.. Dealing with difficult coworkers who like to gaslight every little problem and detail, I have officially taken the high road and just stand there with a blank face and let them freak out, in the end they look like an idiot. Certian people will never learn they think they are always right no matter how crazy or out of line they get. The ignore game does wonders not only for your sanity but in the long run how the heck they gonna blame you for crap later….. They’ll have no one to blame but themselves. 

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