Wife won't understand No Contact to my abusive mom - Talk About Marriage
Physical & Mental Health Issues Marriage and relationships are difficult by themselves, but coping with physical or mental health problems can make things even more difficult.

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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-24-2015, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
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Wife won't understand No Contact to my abusive mom

I grew up under some nasty conditions caused by my rageaholic, narcissist mother. I've been No Contact for about 15 years. I can understand why this puzzles my wife, but every time I hit some depression of any kind she always thinks I need to forgive and reconnect.

It's not that rare a problem but less understandable than CSA. Any advice to help me help her understand?

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-24-2015, 11:01 AM
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Re: Wife won't understand No Contact to my abusive mom

Share your story with her. Tell her things that your mother did. Then, tell her to imagine it happening to her as a child. How hopeless,tiny and scared you were. Explain to her that you cannot let your mother back into your life, or she will destroy it.

People who never experienced abuse, don't understand it. They just think your mum was mean, so now that you are grown, you should forgive. As if forgiving alone will make everything better. They don't understand the fear that if this person is back in your life then, everything you have will become broken. All that you have accomplished will be reduce to nothing. Because this person, still has the power to hurt and belittle us.

I love when people say, that is in the past. You are older now. For me, I never wanted my mother in my life. I knew she would bring drama and trouble. I was not willing to let her have access. I used to worry that she will cause problems in my marriage or take her bitterness out on my kids. I stop speaking to my father because of this. I don't want the drama in my life. I love my life now and I am so afraid that they will take it away from me. Fortunately, my mum passed away but my father is now replacing her. It never ends.

Good luck.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-24-2015, 11:14 AM
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Re: Wife won't understand No Contact to my abusive mom

Your wife is misguided, but clearly wants what is best for you.

Perhaps you could try to explain that forgiveness and reconnection are very very separate concepts. Most people are capable of forgiving someone who was ill, as I believe alcoholism is. She did not mean to get sick and for that we can all forgive her. But the actions she committed have consequences. Has Mom gotten any treatment? Has she joined AA?Has she reached out to those she harmed? Has she expressed any remorse for destroying your childhood and inflicting permanent scares?

You are a grown man and can decide when toxic people no longer have a place in your life (you were denied that option as a child). Would I be correct in saying that your wife never experienced any similar toxic family members?

In youth it was a way I had, to do my best to please, And change, with every passing lad to suit his theories.
But now I know the things I know, and do the things I do; And if you do not like me so, To hell, my love, with you! --Dorothy Parker
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-24-2015, 11:17 AM
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Re: Wife won't understand No Contact to my abusive mom

I don't have a very good relationship with my mother either. And ironically, the less contact that I have with her, the better she behaves whether on the phone or in person.

Your problem may also be compounded because people seem to understand that it's fairly usual that women don't get alone with their mothers. But you're a man........

I am blessed at the moment that I have a husband who understands this and stays out of the way for me. This could also be the problem for you: As women and wives, we are encouraged to forge a relationship with our MIL.

Let's see, the usual pieces of advice get counselling, read some books - I can't think of any specifically on this topic. Although in going forward in general, you may the book "the Verbally abusive relationship" by Patricia Evans useful.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-24-2015, 11:24 AM
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Re: Wife won't understand No Contact to my abusive mom

My hb once made a snide remark about why I don't speak to my narcissistic, sociopathic sister who among other things stabbed me in the back during my divorce and engaged in years of harassment until I dealt with it. I played him a phone message she left where she spent 5 full minutes cursing at me.

He never brought it up again.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-24-2015, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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Wife won't understand No Contact to my abusive mom

Thanks for the helpful replies.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-25-2015, 08:21 PM
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Re: Wife won't understand No Contact to my abusive mom

You could also take her to a therapist and describe your childhood in front of the therapist, and then tell you wife why you don't want contact with the person who hurt you so much. Let the therapist back you up. She might listen to the therapist more than you.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-25-2015, 08:34 PM
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Re: Wife won't understand No Contact to my abusive mom

Your wife does not have a point of reference in her experience to match your own, thus she lacks the understanding . The more she is educated and learn about the impact it has on one's own psyche, perhaps she will not push.

Also, make it a clear boundary and it is not her job to fix your relationship with your mother. That is between the two of you and the only people who should fix it is the two of you. The maintenance of any relationship falls between the people that have that bond or lack there of.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-25-2015, 08:36 PM
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Re: Wife won't understand No Contact to my abusive mom

Quote:
Originally Posted by imperfectworld View Post
I grew up under some nasty conditions caused by my rageaholic, narcissist mother. I've been No Contact for about 15 years. I can understand why this puzzles my wife, but every time I hit some depression of any kind she always thinks I need to forgive and reconnect.

It's not that rare a problem but less understandable than CSA. Any advice to help me help her understand?
Your wife is trying to help (IMO) and almost certainly projecting. Try to find the common ground with her by acknowledging that you wish you had a good relationship with your mom. But then remind her that she hasn't lived with your mom so she can't understand why that's not possible. She has to trust you that it's not possible for now but hope that some day it becomes possible?
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-18-2016, 09:36 PM
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Re: Wife won't understand No Contact to my abusive mom

imperfectworld, is your mom still around?

Is your wife respecting your NC with her?

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-18-2016, 11:29 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Wife won't understand No Contact to my abusive mom

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Originally Posted by IMFarAboveRubies View Post
imperfectworld, is your mom still around?



Is your wife respecting your NC with her?

Yes, she is. She's in her 80's but like a lot of nasty people they seem to outlast the nice ones.

My wife respects the NC. I just wish she could understand it a little better. But I get why this can be hard for people to relate.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-19-2016, 01:25 AM
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Re: Wife won't understand No Contact to my abusive mom

Maybe you can find some group therapy and then she can see that the issue that you are dealing with is not that uncommon, even among men.

Ironically, if stopped NC with your mother, you may become a completely different person -- someone that your wife may not like. My relationship with my mother certainly didn't help my first marriage.

Your wife needs or needed to understand be careful what you ask for.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-19-2016, 11:38 AM
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Re: Wife won't understand No Contact to my abusive mom

I'm glad your wife is respecting the NC. Does she still pressure you to forgive and break NC? Is your father alive?

I can relate to your situation, as my dad was an angry functional alcoholic while I was growing up, and I had several years of NC too.

During the years of NC I was able to heal the frightened child inside of myself, and learn healthy adult ways to take care of my emotional well being. Eventually, I was able to have limited contact with my dad, according to my rules, not his. I accepted that he was a sick (in the head) person and pitiful, however I didn't put up with any nonsense, but kept my end healthy, removing myself or my children from a situation immediately when it was not healthy.

When he died, I mourned what never was and what I would never have: a kind, supportive, healthy father. I didn't try to fool myself by saying, "If only...." because I knew he was a broken person, and the relationship would never have been different, without him being a different person all together. He loved me in his heart, but it did not come out as love, and that is on him. I did not mourn or miss the man he was. With him gone all the stress and pressure having to do with him also ended.

Surprisingly, however, over the years, in the absence of new painful memories created by him (because he is dead and can do no more harm), I have been able to recognize that he did some things right. While he was lousy at the personal level, he did some good things that made a difference for his family and for the country.

I hope you are finding healing by staying NC with your mother. Your wife needs to know specifics. Saying, "She yelled at me" doesn't let your wife know enough. Tell her the actual words your mother said, even if it is painful for you to recall the situation in such detail.
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