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Like many here, I have been under a huge amount of stress due to family issues.
I grew up in a loving family - only child - with parents who almost never fought. My husband - another only child - grew up in an abusive (both verbally and physically) ever-fighting family. Together, we live somewhere in the middle of those 2 extremes. Although we rarely argue, my husband tends to become verbally abusive when we do argue, thowing out insults like "you're an idiot, "I want a divorce", etc. While at first, I was deeply hurt by such insults, I have gotten used to it since our fighting is rare (maybe once a month or so).
To complicate matters, my husband pushed me to the ground about 2 years ago during a fight and then slapped me in the face. I made the mistake of telling this to my parents while I was upset. My husband has never repeated the incident and I was firm in telling him that if it happens again, I will be gone in 2 seconds flat.
I know my husband must sound like a complete jerk by now, but the large majority of the time he is loving, devoted, and is a good father to our 2 young children. He has a very good job and gives us everything we need materially. Yes, at times he is difficult to live with.
So, my big problem is that my parents hate my husband, and when everyone is together tensions run sky high. For me, it is so stressful and anxiety-producing that I feel I am going to loose my mind. Any negative remark that may come out of my husband's mouth may be rebutted with threats from my parents. I have told my parents to stay out of my relationship between me and my husband, but they tell me, "well, what would you do if your daughter were married to an abuser?" Sigh.
My mom likes to complain about everything my husband does (and doesn't do), and my dad always has an overly concerned look on his face each time I see him and asks me, "how is he treating you?" I am so sick of listening to this crap and it is really depressing.
When I ask my husband to "behave" better around my parents, he doesn't really understand what I am referring to. This is probably because he is already so much better behaved than his own parents. He is not really bad, but he is just not very socially appropriate. He chews and talks with his mouth open, attempts to make jokes nobody really thinks are funny, etc.
My parents' simple answer is to try to bring down my marriage; they seem to believe divorce is the simple answer. And they make it known how sorry they feel for my children who have to grow up with a jerk for a father. But, as I'm sure some of you here can agree, divorce is not a simple answer. Even if a divorce might make my life a little bit more peaceful, it would also bring a lot of destruction and hurt to my husband, me, and our 2 children. My children have a very good life - a big house, many expensive activities, private school, etc. My children love my husband very much and he is very kind to them. I both love my husband and dislike him at the same time (probably a normal state for many wives).
In any case, this post is long enough. I would just like to see if anyone else has experienced this type of situation or if anyone has any advice for me.
Do your parents know about his up bringing? that he came from a bad household and abused as a child?
Unfortunately your husband has to struggle to control his bahavior, this stems from his abusive past, he does not want to create the same issues, and I am sure he hates himself for the push and the slap in the past.
I really think you need to have a sit down with your parents and your husband, no one else around and "lay it all down on the table" where anything and any feelings can be expressed.
let it all out and air it out, all four of you together with no one else around. Have the rules is no one can throw anything, no getting up, just talking, yelling screaming, ec.
Once all the feelings that are aired out, then you can begin the healing. If your parents do not know about his abusive past, they should know, and they should also understand that it is a constant struggle for him not to be the same way or act that way to his wife or children.
maybe all four of you can got to couneling together.
Thanks so much for the reply. I know it is difficult for my husband to leave the abuse in the past. Had I known how hard it would be for him, I would not have married him. But, in any case, we are already married and have 2 children.
My parents are not the sit-down-and-talk type of family. They don't fight with each other and they certainly don't discuss problems. They sort of remind me of the the WASP parents in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. I have tried to have discussions with them regarding my husband, but they won't listen. I only imagine that sitting my husband down with them would only make the tension worse. They know about his abusive past, but they think it is no excuse for his behavior. Discussing it with them and him together would be a nightmare. My husband will not openly take responsibility for any of his offensive behavior; like many typical abusers, he projects it onto the subject ("it was a reaction to...," "she made me do it"). Thus, such a discussion will only back-up my parents' claims about him. Their claims are not invalid...they just simply create this tension around me that I can't take.
As for counseling, I am the only one in my family who is willing to go. And I have gone in the past, but I did not find it very helpful since I don't feel that I am the one with the problem. Of course, I am certainly not perfect, but I have a decent self-esteem considering the situation, am very aware of myself (good and bad points), and am generally a nice person.
In any case, sometimes I feel the tension is so bad that I would simply like to move my immediate family out of state to avoid the tension. But I know my kids love their grandparents too, and I don't want to alienate my parents because my husband is a jerk.
Unfortunately, I don't think there is much of a solution for me. I have considered anti-depressants to help with my emotions, but I know that my depression and anxiety is situational....so it seems really stupid to take drugs to conquer this.
I watched one of my aunts go through the same type of relationship, and she ended up leaving her husband right after her son graduated from high school. I think she even loved her husband, but he was, like mine, verbally abusive, and everyone in the family hated him. I feel like I am just repeating this sad history. I feel like I have to choose either my parents or my husband, and that is simply not very fair.
oh my goodness.. your parents think you should divorce the father of your two young children because he chews with his mouth open?
are you personally satisfied that the incident where he struck you was a one off never to be repeated thing? Sadly, those abused often carry forward the behaviour into their own relationships, but it sounds like your husband has tried to overcome this with some success. He needs more help to get free of it though.
Your parents should really be the ones to step back and let you live your lives. It seems to me that pressure from them is making the situation stressful for you. Perhaps you should cut back on visiting them as a family for a bit? MAke it more casual, you popping in with the kids on the way home from shopping or school or wherever.. let things cool down.
Your parents could also make a bit more effort not to be so openly hostile to your husband, which will make him resentful, and then he'll take it out on you..
Try and talk him into coming with you to a counsellor at least the once... he might find after going that there is nothing to be afraid of after all.
Do your parents understand that you and your children will be moving in when the divorce comes down and that they will be supporting you again? Try pointing that out to them.
Also let them know that if they don't 'behave' that it may end up putting stress on your relationship with them. Thus... pushing you away from them.
Your husband made a mistake. If it ever happens again, yes, be gone in two seconds flat. Insure you have the kids.
It also depends on the situation as well. I hit my wife when she was defending 'Tom' after I called him a 'Homewrecker' and that he is the reason we were in our mess. Now, please, don't judge me, as I am a pacifist and I believe that violence solves nothing. It was very out of character for me to do such a thing. She understands my explanation of being at wits end from the emotional strain... I still don't feel that snapping like that is acceptable. now if you ever met my wife... you wouldn't understand why we were in this situation. Things are much different now than they were 4 months ago. And I'm here to tell you... if he loves you... he will do anything.... including moving mountains. Thats what I am giving my best shot at doing....
I quite drinking, I am trying my best to give up nicotene, and I have learned to control my temper very fast.
If you want your parents to stay out of your relationship dont involve them in it. Talk to a girlfriend about it. You really cant blame your parents for being concerned but if mostly everything is great in your marriage hang in there. No one is perfect. As in every marriage you have your good with your bad. Things were not that great when my husband and I first got together. But things get better if they are willing to change. You cant change the way you are over night. I am now so glad that I married my husband. things just get better and better when you learn how to deal with the stress. However if he ever does hit you again leave. There is nothing good about your children watch their mother get abused. Good luck and one day your parents will forgive. I'm sure they have had something happen in their marriage that they regret. good luck
I really feel for you. Im in a very similar position and the hurt and turmoil that you feel is immense and in my personal case, I feel it really pushes me over the edge. Its such a difficcult situation because in your heart you know that all marriages have their flip side, but when your family really hate your husband you start to loose sight of even the good stuff that is there and thats not fair on the relationship because it puts a massive strain on the marriage.
I feel like I have to choose either my parents or my husband, and that is simply not very fair.
That's what it sounds like your parents are doing to you, asking you to choose them or him, right? I had a similiar situation with my husband and my family when I first got married... He relapsed on dope and became an evil man, cheated, lied, stole, etc... I filed for divorce, told my whole family what he'd done, and I was done. However, he got picked up and thrown in jail... Remaining there for 4 months... time for us to reconnect and discuss. He entered rehab, etc... and we vowed to give the marriage another shot. Well, my family was livid. No civil communication for months, and I had to make a decision... To stand by my husband and hope that my family comes around someday, or to apease my family and tell my hubby to hit the road. I stayed with him and told my family that my husband is a part of my life now, and I love him regardless of what they say or feel about him. We got pregnant with twins, and my family was devastated!! They wouldn't talk to us at all. Then I started showing and I think they finally realized I was serious about my husband and our lives. The main thing is that I was ready to give up my family because of the love I had for my husband. And I'm glad I made the choice to stay... I have two beautiful babies and had I listened to my family, who knows where I'd be. Just sharing I'm not saying you should give up your family... But for me, I think I showed them that they're not going to intimidate me to leave my hubby because they do not approve.
I agree with the others. Let me tell first of all tell you that I am spanish, with family values being very high as any spanish family and family ties very though. I remember when I started dating me husband, I am the only girl out of 4 kids, my parents were OK with it until the saw that it was serious, then they reject it him. They object to everything, from his skin color to him being out of work due to a laid off and working at 7-11 until something better came about. Then one day we decided to get married, just walk to the court got married, went home pack my bags and told them that I will be part of the family until the day they accept my husband. And it took about 2 years for them to warm up to him, they had a very bad concept of him, and I do not tell my parents anything for them to believe like your do. They just did not like him, expected him to have me living out of welfare with a dozen kids.
Well we havve a lovely home, good juobs and 2 beautiful girls. He is no angel and I have had problems of verbal abuse as well, and major issues, but my parents have learn that if they want to be close to me and my girls they will have to accept the whole package and not just pick and choose.
I suggest you sit with you parents and tell them, that you understand their misgivings but that you and H have been working out your issues and even though you love them dearly and know they want the best for you, you are sticking to your vows and if they want to be welcome in your family and house they need to accept H faults and all. That they will see their grandkids anytime they want, but you will be distancing youself and H from their circuit. And I know it hurts, but follow thru. Us as parents sometimes do not know when to stop, and it is not healthy for you, your family and your relationship to be in such a hostile environment.
Its terrrible how woman make excuses for me. He's not "that" bad, he is nice "most of the time", he only pushed me around once etc etc. Its NOT good enough. Yes your kids love him, his their dad, but giving them material things doesnt count for anything. Have you ever heard of the saying "the best gift a child can have are two parents that love one another". Your parents are right to feel concerned, they probably feel you deserve better, and quite frankly, so do I.
I looked at your post and my eyes jumped from its place!
You have the same story as mine! I am from Bahrain and facing the same probem exactly... I am looking for a solution! I cannot live! my father hate my husband and asked him to go out of his house! and now I am facing the hate from my husband to my father and from my father to my husband... I am the one who's suffering... especially that I cannot live without my mother because i am her only daughter...
I have not read the other replies. But my thoughts are these.
- Your husband needs to learn new communication and conflict resolution skills. Your children witnessing name calling and divorce threats on a monthly basis is simply not ok. I would say something like would you like to go to therapy by yourself or with me? When he says no I don't want to go to therapy, you say something like would you like to go to therapy by yourself, with me or would you like a separation to think about it?
- Sit down with your parents and tell them that you are working through your marriage. If they wish to have visits, they will behave. When the visits are polite and cordial, they will resume. Until then you will not visit.
"To complicate matters, my husband pushed me to the ground about 2 years ago during a fight and then slapped me in the face."
I can't help you.
That would cause me to rightfully kill the bastard and the body would never be found.
There is NO excuse for that to ever happen.
If you didn't leave then, you won't leave the next time. If there hasn't been a "next" time, there will.
You are so focused on what your husband wants, what your parents want, what your kids want. What about you?
Your husband's violent temper and verbal abuse has to stop. This will affect your kids very, very negatively if it hasn't already. They will learn that it's okay for a husband to say cruel things to his wife. It normalizes a very destructive behavior that is not normal.
I would tell your husband that you want him to get counseling for anger management and that this is a condition of staying married. Iif he refuses counseling, tell him you would like a separation. Do this for the sake of saving the marriage and saving your kids.
At the same time, I would tell your parents that you are working on your marriage and if they can't be supportive of that, then you can't have a relationship with them. I can't tell if they are controlling and narcissistic or if they are just really concerned with your safety. In either case, you are a big girl, right? You get to choose your husband or not. This is not their decision.
My sense is that you are a "pleaser" so it is NOT going to be easy for you to set some boundaries and assert yourself with both your husband and your parents, but you must do it! I would go back to therapy (find a psychologist) because people who are confident with strong self-esteem don't usually gravitate to someone who is abusive. A therapist can work with you to develop your sense of self, independence, and self-esteem so that you don't continue to be pushed around by your parents and your husband.