My family and my husband
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The Family & Parenting Forums Family dynamics can be exactly that - dynamic! Post here about family related issues such as parenting, blended families, step-families, new relationships with children involved, family of origin issues, in-laws or sibling issues.

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Old 07-04-2011, 09:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My family and my husband

I'm looking for some help. There is conflict between my husband and my family and I don't know how to proceed.

My husband and I have been together for 8 years and married for 7 months. We are very happy and having so much fun in this new marriage and in creating a life together! He is a very kind man who treats me well - no problems or abuses of any kind. He is human, of course, not perfect. For the most part, all is really beautiful in our lives... EXCEPT there is a problem with my family.

My family is traditionally very difficult. They are opinionated, judgemental, and narrow minded. They love to gossip and drink. I don't want to make them sound all bad - they're not. There is a lot of love between us all, although it is sometimes expressed in strange ways.

I should also mention that my husband is an introvert. In a social setting, mostly he doesn't speak unless he has something to say. He is mild manored. He is an artist. He doesn't follow sports or play golf or watch TV -- all of the things that they are interested in. There has been little or no common ground between them.

I come from a family of large personalities who are all very passionate and vocal. There is always a controversy or conflict and often a debate of some sort. My husband doesn't usually say much if anything at all, partially because he can't get a word in. Which has made it very hard for them to know him. They have been weary of him from the start and have often misread him or misinturpreted his words or actions. It has been really terrible and confusing for me. It had gotten much better after our wedding, but took a turn for the worse two nights ago.

The short version (and of course this is my version of events): We were at dinner, my brother and sister brought up an especially painful story from my past. I said, "Oh not at the dinner table." They kept on. My husband said, "No, not now." They kept on. A few more times with a little more firmness, we both asked them to stop. And then my husband yelled mostly at my sister, "ENOUGH!" They say he waived his fist. I don't remember that. The whole table was silenced. The rest of dinner was very awkward. When my husband got up to go to the bathroom, my brother got in my face and said, "If he ever talks to you like that, I'll kill him!" And stormed out the door. My mom approached my husband on the way out and said, "Don't ever yell at my family like that again." And all of the progress that had been made in their relationship with each other was out the window.

I don't think he was wrong. I mean. yes, I agree that - yelling isn't good or prefered. I've only seen him yell on very, very rare occassions. But he did stand up for me which was huge. His stance is that the story they were telling was not polite or appropriate dinner converstation and he was standing up for his wife. He is tired of seeing me bullied by them. I agree with him.

This event feels like a line in the sand. I finally talked to my mom this evening and they are all still very upset and unhappy with him. She thinks that they should sit down with my husband without me and talk it out. I think that sounds like a distastorous trap. I am considering limited or no contact for a while. My husband is willing to do whatever -- grovel and beg forgiveness or whatever we decide is best.

Sorry this is so long winded... We've been talking about this for days and I really am at a loss. Anybody have any insights here?
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Old 07-05-2011, 07:19 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: My family and my husband

Who's home were you in?
If your family was in your home, then your husband had every right to stop the conversation.
If the two of you were at one of your family member's home, he had no right to derail the conversation in the manner that he did. There may have been a better way to stop it, I don't know.
I think that you talking with your family about your husband without him present is a bad idea. They are just going to gang up on you over him. Maybe all of you should get together and discuss it.
The meat of the matter is that your husband doesn't seem to fit in with your family's out going and animated personalities.
You married your husband with intent of spending the rest of your life with him.
So who do you think that you need to side with?
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Old 07-05-2011, 08:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: My family and my husband

We were in a restaurant.

I feel better after writing this out yesterday and am having more insights today. I think you are right - the meat of the matter is that he doesn't fit with them.

My dad phoned me today to see if I was ok. (he wasn't there but has received calls from both my brother and my sister about the event). He was really supportive saying that I am different from them and always have been and I am on my own path with my husband.. and that may mean that we go our own way for a while. He doesn't "get" my husband either, but at least he is willing to admitt that if I claim he is good to me and he is who I choose, then that is good enough for him.

I am scared to step away from my family, but I also feel liberated at the idea. I don't want a war and I don't want to cut ties.. but maybe by having some distance we have a chance to create something different.

I'm still going to have to talk to my brother and sister.

My husband and I were talking last night and decided that if we were to sit down and talk it out with them, then we would consider inviting a mediator. Maybe a third party could help with some of the communication breakdown.
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Old 06-03-2012, 07:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: My family and my husband

Its a good thing that your Husband stuck up for you , and i think it will make your family think twice now before trying to make you feel uncomfortable again by bringing up stories from the past . I think that you both should go together to meet with your family , and its good that your Husband wants to as well , it shows he is not bearing any grudges . hopefully you will all be able to sort it out and move on .
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Old 06-03-2012, 09:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: My family and my husband

Joyful, what a wonderful H you have. He owes nobody any apologizes for standing up for you with "Enough!" And your dad, what an amazing dad you have! You are so fortunate to have two men like that in your life.
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:18 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: My family and my husband

I think your husband did the right thing by standing up for you!

I am not sure why he is being turned into the bad guy from your family. They were being very disrespectful to you. I think you should all sit down together and talk. You included.. I think it would be a really bad idea to send him alone.

I don't think she should say sorry either, that would be like giving them permission to disrespect you both in the future.
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