- 10 months ago
- Wedding: June 2017
My husband is the scapegoat in his immediate family. There has been some trauma within his family that has been passed down from generations, and because this has been difficult, they have created roles for each individual. His oldest brother is the golden child within his immediate family and the entire extended family. Everyone listens to everything he says no matter how much validity there is to what he says, and his siblings including my husband and I are expected to blindly go along with everything he says and wants, and he does not have to acknowledge anyone else in return, unless if there is something in it for himself. His other older brother has been a “lost child” throughout the years resorting to drugs and anger, and his younger sister who was adopted at the age of 5 and now in her early 20’s the parents are “showing her off” and she is treated as the other golden child.
My husband has been the scapegoat within this structure where he is expected to worship the “golden child” and his parents and not question any of their beliefs, behaviours, and demands. He has been called names infront of large family events, gossiped about, ridiculed, and blamed for family issues even if he wasn’t there. He is the family’s trash can. Since we have become married, we have been focusing on our marriage and have been away from the city where his family lives as he has completed his doctorate degree in another country, and we are now in a different city where we have found jobs and settling.
After our wedding, while we were in the foreign country my husband called his family for the first time, and quickly received rude comments from his brother and sister in law infront of a large group of family members in the call which were embarassing, and so he politely left the phone call. Because he didnt want to upset everyone during the facetime call, he sent an email to the brother and sister in law making the comments and asked to please stop, and asked if they could please respect him. After this, the brother got the whole family involved, and by the next day my husband received lengthy emails listing off several insults toward him and accusing him of not having them in our wedding, and using guilt by saying that he has f*** up our family and their mother. Our sister in law phoned him repetitively over 15 times and texted him over and over in the middle of his lecture saying “why are you ignoring me????” “I can’t believe you are ignoring me!” Their reaction was oddly out of proportion to the email he sent.
Since then there has been no apology from his siblings for their behaviour. We spoke with his parents after the hateful emails were sent and they gaslighted us and told us we are too sensitive and there is nothing wrong with the way we are being treated. It was disappointing to not have his parents support. We haven’t spoken with his parents again on the phone until a few months ago, and then last month decided to drive over to their city to see them after so long and tried to have a nice visit. Once his brothers showed up after a few hours, they pulled my husband aside and picked a fight infront of his parents and grandmother. They told him that they will not ever respect his boundaries and will not apologize for the behaviour unless if my husband apologizes to them, even though he had nothing to apologize for.
We have both been blamed for all of the issues within his family. His grandmother came up to me in the middle of the blow up at their house and told me that I am the sole reason for all of the problems in their family. We had to defend ourselves against his 5 other family members there while they continued to scream and yell and point their finger at us. It escalated so quickly and a fight insued for over half an hour while his dad pushed his body up against the door and demanded that we weren’t allowed to leave the house because they had people coming for the rest of the evening for a barbeque.
This has been a shocking experience because when we were dating they acted so nice. There were a few red flags, but we have been a bit blindsided and it has been a scary introduction into his family. After we left his parents house that day, they sent us a text saying that God will hopefully save us and help us to forgive, and that now they will be only focusing on the other siblings”. My husband and I drove away in emotional terror after being blamed and bullied while they carried on with their evening and continued to enjoy a big barbeque party. We had nowhere to stay in the city as we have very little money and couldn’t afford a hotel so we were about to drive the four hours back to my parents city but thankfully one of my husband’s cousins reached out to us and asked if we were okay, and let us stay at their house. This cousin has had similar issues with his family and him and his wife have avoided them for the past 2 years. We have had other cousins, aunts and uncles of his reach out to us a few days after the incident to tell us that they have all had similar issues with them and that they will back us up now that they are more aware that they are treating us this way.
Just a note: We had both of his brothers, his sister inlaw, and his sister in our bridal party as bridesmaids and groomsmen, bought them gifts, sent them cards, bought them spa treatments, invited them to every gathering we had before the wedding, and also had both of his parents included in our entire wedding day. Their argument though was that we didn’t include them in our wedding. It didn’t make any sense. They were more invovled in the wedding than my family was, but because we were physically staying at my parents house because they live in the same city we were having our wedding, they felt jealous about that. We planned a separate day with his family in their condo and spent the whole day with them. On the same note, his parents didn’t offer to help with any of the wedding planning and didn’t offer to put on any kind of gathering or event before the wedding. It just seems odd that they are now saying how horrible it was for them that they didn’t plan anything when they never offered or said anything at all about wanting to do anything for our wedding during our 2 year engagement. Its just odd.
It just isn’t adding up. I don’t know how we could have included them any more in our wedding. We tried to make it a positive experience for everyone and spent the entire day with them as well as several other events. I have never said anything but kind words to them and tried to include them in everything we have done.
We also didn’t have a lot of time before the wedding which was unfortunate, but because we were so busy we didn’t have the time to go to both cities before the wedding. We were only in the country for less than 2 weeks before our wedding, and then had to leave the day after to get back to work and university overseas.
This has been the strangest experience because we aren’t even able to have a civil conversation with his family. We can’t enjoy our time their because we can feel their jealousy just by simply being around them. We haven’t been able to have contact, and this has been very difficult especially for my husband who feels like he has lost his family.
This really doesn’t paint the whole picture of what is happening becuase there have been so many other little strange things that have happened, but this is a glimpse into our experience. We just want to start off our marriage in peace and functionality. It has been so hard to cut contact because there is so much guilt that we are supposed to allow this behaviour, and until recently we have been constantly questioning ourselves if we are the “sensitive ones”. We have been gaslighted and scapegoated and it just feels like abuse. How can we stick to no contact and feel normal and try to continue our lives trauma free and let go of toxic family members?
Thanks so much for reading, your support is appreciated.