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Estranged from DH family and sick too death of this

Started by Ruth, July 01, 2011, 08:36:07 am

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I've decided it's time to stretch myself past my comfort zone and expose another load of dirty laundry to the wise women, as I'm sick of the drain of dysfunction and the drain of perplexity in my personal life.  I'm ashamed to admit it but I am completely estranged from my DH's parents.  Much of this is my own fault and I have long since accepted and owned the responsibility for the rift and made numerous attempts to re-establish peace, to no avail, and three years ago decided that I would live my life as if they did not exist.  As I had so much on my plate with trying to handle the estrangement with my DS,  this was the only way I knew to survive at all.  M DH has been no help as he assumed his 'taking no sides' stance, in favor of  pretending also and continuing with his Ps as if nothing had happened and as if I (his wife) did not exist. 

Briefly, I married DH after my children were grown, he was never married and no children and deeply attached to his FOO.  This blindsighted me, as I was never overly attached to my FOO and I had never known anyone closely who was, I was later to learn that this can be a BIG problem in married life.  We've had a rocky marriage of 11 yrs now, and from the beginning MIL expected her intimate relationship to her DS to remain unchanged.  They were inseparable before our marriage and she worried herself into distraction of every nuance of his life.   I understand now that she was ignorantly jealous of my presence in DS life and felt threatened.  MIL is a person I admired in many ways, and I wanted so much to be close to this family as I was from a lonely family.  It went OK for a couple years, but inevitably there was a showdown during one of my more pronounced periods of depression and neurosis, and I confronted her about these issues.  Husband's sister then got involved and she and I had a very vicious verbal conflict.  The fat hit the fan then and here we are about four years later and no contact.  My went to my MIL and SIL and poured out my heart to them, asking that we could move past this and have a relationship again.  The problem is that DH told MIL many personal things about us during that bad period, and as far as she is concerned I am a bad wife and treat (and treated) her son terrible.   She did everything in her power to convince him to leave the marriage.  My DH says that mama's attitude is 'touch me and die'.   I hate this situation.  Here is another holiday and it sickens me with this fake front I have to keep up.  We live in small town and often other family members are seen socially  - AWKWARD! Please can anyone help me with this??  My MIL is not old, she is actually only about 20 yrs my senior.  FAL only goes along with her, but SIL would kill you in a heartbeat and sleep like a baby.  Your advice would be much appreciated.


No advice comes up for me but a lot of compassion does. You are not getting the respect and loyalty you deserve, IMO.

The mother/son thing can be set in concrete. I think what might have been under my eldest son's decision that I was the world's worst mom, was his realization, in his early teens that he wasn't going to stay the center of my life...and I wasn't going to be able to fix everything as he moved into adulthood...like I did when I had colored bandaids for minor scrapes.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Wow.  Reading this really made me feel awful for you.  I have to be honest, I think your main problem is with your DH.  You deserve to be treated with respect.  That didn't happen.  You may have confronted her inappropriately, but, it takes a lot for someone to get to that point and why the heck did it get so far?  It sounds like you were desperate and hurt.  Your DH should have been there for you and helped the relationship along.  He never should have shared so many personal things about you.  It's like he sabotaged you and any chance of a better relationship between you and his FOO. 
At this point, if I were in your situation, I would consistently remind myself that you are only responsible for your own actions and you can't change anyone else.  I would head towards counseling for myself and with my DH.  Sometimes a neutral 3rd party can help people see the others feelings more clearly. 


I second what Jill said Ruth.  You made have made mistakes, but you apologized and tried to fix them.  DH nor MIL have tried to mend the relationships.  You can't make them, but you can move on and realize that you have tried.  Give yourself a break Ruth, as until DH holds up his part of your marriage, you can't do anything.  I would be hurt by my MIL's reactions, but more so by my DH's.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


thanks, all of you.  this made tears come to my eyes.  I guess I cope with this well enough but talking about it opened the wound a bit.  I had to come to terms with it being the way it is when I realized four years ago that this was too strong to change much, and I would not go through another divorce if I could do anything in the world to help it.  We went to counseling, but it was not effective.  My husband had not detached from his FOO.  I could not survive another divorce.   So I've tried to build a life in spite of the pain.  I hope you can understand why the estrangement with my son has been so very hard for me.  ----Today --my little Grandson came to work with me.  joy!  but there is a shadow in his little life also - his father has met a girlfriend (serious) and going to meet her family this weekend.  My little guy feels rejected.  GS and I have a special relationship and have always been able to comfort each other.  This is one of the peculiar special gifts in my life.   I've had many hurts, but I've also had many many gifts.  Luise, I sympathized with your earlier post.   I also lost a child many years ago.  When dynamite blasts a deep chasm of pain into your life, well often  in years to come beautiful plants and flowers grow in that rich soil.   I like to think that is how our hurts are.


It is sometimes so difficult having things be the way they are...and often our only peace lies in getting that's the answer. Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Thinking of you, Ruth. Your honesty is admirable; it's not easy to admit to making mistakes. You've apologized and done the best you could to improve the situation, but sometimes the other parties need to hold on to their hurt and anger longer. They have the right to never accept you, just as you have the right to move on. I agree that DH needs to figure out a way to be supportive of you while maintaining a relationship with his FOO and not disrespecting your privacy by giving them TMI.

So sorry about your DS and GS, as well as the loss of your child. You've had a lot to deal with.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


I agree, apologizing and admitting your mistakes is very admirable.  I also really liked Jillinthesky's post. 
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift