is it a good idea to get family involved ?
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Old 12-27-2011, 11:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default is it a good idea to get family involved ?

my wife has just seperated from me about 3-4 weeks ago and i just wanted peoples opinion. when she came to collect her things my parents and her parents sat down and she kinda told them about all the problems we have been having (mainly about me which i hold my hands up too)

i am a private person and dont like my laundry to be aired in public. i feel that if we work things out things will never be the same with my wifes parents and siblings as they will know about the bad things i have done.

i just wanted everyones opinion on whether getting family in on the action is a good or bad thing, what has others experience been.
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Old 12-27-2011, 01:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: is it a good idea to get family involved ?

Bad thing!!! This post is exactly to what I am dealing with at the moment.

When my wife asked for Divorce last February, I was able to keep it to a few family members, and she claimed she had done the same. When she walked away and seperated in November, the world knew about our situation.

My family has been very supportive of me which I was very grateful for, but as of late I can see this is making things much harder if we can save the marriage. I knew it would, but it is in my face right now.

Yesterday my WAW and I had counsiling, went to a movie and then she came back to our house and spent some time. A sibling called to hear her there and wanted to get off the phone, even though she was no where near the conversation.

When I talked to another family member today, the fact that she was over had already travelled to others and the supportive family is not making it sound like they are supportive of my attempts to save the marriage.

The other thing is I can't imagine dealing with some of her family members if we can save the marriage.

If at all possible, only have a few confidants that promise not to gossip (easier said than done). Many opinions and view points come into play can make things more difficult.

IMHO.
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Old 12-27-2011, 01:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: is it a good idea to get family involved ?

I learned quite a bit when I got my H's immediate family involved.
I learned where his issues arose, from the way they handled the problem. So even though it might not SOLVE anything, your spouse can learn a lot about where your issues come from, by having to try to rely on your family during a crisis, and to learn how your family unit has historically approached individual issues. My H's family behaved as they might have when he was younger...sticking head under sand, minimizing by comparing to others who are much worse behaved, appealing to concepts like 'true love forgives all', denying individual feelings and putting instead expectations attached to a canned roles, equating finance with power and expected gratitude (revealing attitudes about women and income-earning), and just a callous, base attitude of what could reasonably be expected of the male sex, plus oddly misplaced histrionics of military deployment when it was only a cushy posting with office duties and driving around protected areas in a country that has seen no bombings or attacks or even road grenades, etc.

So, if your W wants to involve your parents and siblings, by all means let her go ahead. Given full rein, she might develop some insight and empathy into where you came from and why you are the person you are. It's said that we work out with our spouses, our unattended to issues with our parents, so her getting her own parents involved too might be helpful. She can hash out whatever it was she didn't finish up with them before she got married. Some people just take longer to cut the apron strings...and should learn that moms and dads can't always put things right.

I make a habit of telling my kids that I don't have some magic knowledge base...that I have to figure things out the same as them, the only difference is I have more experience under my belt at doing that...but that they might have skills and experiences that are foreign to me. If your W thinks the old folks have all the answers or can put things right, let them handle their own boundaries. The relationship belongs to her and them.
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Old 12-27-2011, 03:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: is it a good idea to get family involved ?

My H involving his immediate family has not helped our situation. My H gets a lot of negative advice from his mother when it comes to us trying to reconcile. His mother has taken our issues wayyy out of context and completely turned me into the devil. I just wonder how many people know our issues and have a totally twisted story. She is a big gossiper. BIG. Also, his siblings have pretty much wiped me from their board. They don't associate with me anymore - his mother told them that blood is thicker than water. So now, I don't have any interaction with them whatsoever. Needless to say, Christmas was a BLAST!! (Not)
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Old 12-27-2011, 05:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: is it a good idea to get family involved ?

I would say a bad thing. But it might depend on how the family is. You can tell them bits of info, enough to satisfy them, but I wouldn't tell them a lot of detail. My In-laws know a lot of our situation, not that it matters, but they don't care. It is their son, and no matter what he does, it will never be wrong. You never know though, there are some great people out there, like my parents, that will support you, and not judge.

But for the most part I would say not to involve them. It just makes it easier for whatever your decision is in the end.
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: is it a good idea to get family involved ?

to be fair i new to this, 2 weeksa go my h walked out on us back to his mummy who is treatinghim like the spoilt brat he was when i first met him 14 yrs ago, i have been shunned by the family, which is hard considering i have 2 wonderful little boys who love their daddy as much as i do, but how can i trust the family to keep things civil when they wont even talk to me. My family are more then happy to be a sounding board but arent getting "involved" as such. which i am content with I know where they are should i need them, despite the fact they live in another country.

Famillies need to just be sounding boards regardless of what their opinions are, at the end of the day only you and your spouse are the involved parties, ur not divorcing the whole family just one person and thats how i see it. Sadley my H's family seem to think they have a staring role.
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: is it a good idea to get family involved ?

Tullytara that is really great advice thank you
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: is it a good idea to get family involved ?

any time like i said im new to this but that is just how im trying to cope with it
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Old 12-28-2011, 04:13 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: is it a good idea to get family involved ?

I think it depends on the kinds of problems you're having, the reasons why people are involved and what it means to have the kind of family connection that could be supportive down the line. If family is meddling because they have an agenda that has to do with something gossipy or nasty, then it is a problem. If they're genuinely trying to be supportive, then they can be a source of recognizing where problems and faults lie in the relationship. They know your wife in a different way and hearing their POV might help you, too, just as she might learn from hearing their POV about you.

Well, my family and my WH's family both became involved in our problems even though I hadn't intended that to be the case. I'd rarely talked about any of our problems because I wanted to protect our marriage. Unfortunately, when WH became verbally and emotionally abusive while we were living with my family temporarily, they felt they had to intervene. Things got far worse when his behavior actually involved offending people in my family directly and violating my family's trust and privacy. I tried to take the blame in order to keep it between us, but, when WH was really making it seem like I was crazy and had imagined his cheating (I had proof), overreacted to his language and behavior when he was angry (4 therapists and family members on both sides called it abusive), and then tried to make my entire family seem like they were crazy for objecting to what he had done and trying to talk to him about it, then....there wasn't really a way to keep it from emerging. I tried to take the blame and things got out of hand. He blames me for the breakdown of our relationship because I failed to conceal his transgressions and behaviors, even as he tried to throw me under the bus when I hadn't been the disloyal one. When family became involved....it became way worse. It seems like there is no way we can repair the damage anymore. Even if I'd be willing to forgive what he had done (which I would be, if he would express remorse and agree to change, rather than tell me I'm imagining things), it seems like both his family and my family now have some say in how things play out. Our actions and behaviors have become limited because of their involvement.

I'm not trying to hijack your thread, just saying that people have different ways of involving their families and drawing support from each other. if you really love each other, then you will find a way to make things work so that all the naysayers and doubters and dislikers of you and your own behavior will come to change their minds. It's not about your wife's family, but about whether or not you love your wife enough to show her that she matters, that you can respect the things that do matter to her. So you did some bad things....big deal. We're all human. We all make mistakes. It's how we deal with them that makes us who we are.

I guess what I'm saying is that even if you're a private person and this feels like a big deal to you, maybe you can be open to learning something from the experience. Sometimes, it's the people in our lives that keep us in check when we tune out the voice of our conscience. It doesn't matter if they know what you've done or that you've screwed up. It only means that they will understand you better. If you work things out with your wife and you both are happy again, I'm sure her family will also eventually come around. Don't let pride be the thing that stands in the way of making your marriage work if you want it to. Hang in there and set your embarrassment to the side. Their opinion doesn't actually matter anyway and if you can look at yourself in the mirror, that is what counts.
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Old 12-28-2011, 04:41 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: is it a good idea to get family involved ?

Nope, not a good idea to get families involved at all.
It is called forcing others to take sides.

An ideal separation would be both partners attend mediation, come to an agreement, and go their merry ways. If there are children involved the mediation session(s) would include a parenting plan.

Is the above ever likely to happen, very rarely, mores the pity.
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:15 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: is it a good idea to get family involved ?

So how do you handle it if you live in a small community? My H parents live within 5 miles of us and if we are separating we really don't feel like it is fair to them to hear it thru the gossip grapevine. I really don't know how you can separate without telling the families. I totally understand the relationship is between my H and I but I feel like out of respect they need to be the first to know.
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:37 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: is it a good idea to get family involved ?

My therapist said there was nothing to be gained from a truth telling campaign...since my therapist feels uncomfortable talking about my past and is unwilling to try to help me figure out why I continually pick out abusers...I ignored his advice.

I got sick and tired of sitting silent...no one from his side(friends and family) bothered to check in on me...until just recently when his mom tried to FB friend me...since she was congratulating the ex and the GF for moving in together on FB before the kids even knew daddy was moving out..I felt she needed to know the truth..and she got a big ol' dose of it...she hasn't tried to FB friend request me since.

He won't stop abusing women but I feel better now that the truth is out..and maybe when he is painting his picture of me ..others will take it with a grain of salt.

My family was there when he forced the kids and I out of the house, my family was there when he took my car away, my family sees that he isn't supporting his kids, my family knows that he doesn't call to talk to the kids, they know despite his claims of wanting 50/50 physical custody...he rarely takes them for more than 2 nights.
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