Author Topic: Family Problems - Please Help  (Read 2290 times)

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Offline SanMateo

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Family Problems - Please Help
« on: September 13, 2016, 07:26:00 AM »
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  • First of all, I would like to say that I am not a weak man, and would, under normal circumstances, "put someone in their place" if this was happening.  This issue seems to be a very sensitive one, so please bear with me . . .

    I will try to make this quick.  Since the time I met my wife, the only person that has ever disturbed her peace has been her own mother.  Her mother is a lapsed Catholic, that feels bad about being a lapsed Catholic, but gets ENRAGED, when we even jokingly invite her to Mass.

    My wife is very meek, and very quiet.  Although this is not a bad thing at all, the cause of it is.  Her mother is very emotionally manipulative, and constantly postures and attacks my wife and I.  If we say anything at all to her, to even hint at the fact that she is hurting us, she explodes, often saying, "I've given my whole life up to raise my kids!  I did the best job that I could."  She is mad for a few weeks, and then life goes back to normal, until she does it again.

    My wife has said that we need to learn how to ignore her, and just focus on ourselves.  I think that is the best idea, but at the same time, even if we try to ignore her, my wife still has to suffer from her emotional abuse.  Again, if we try to talk to her, she just explodes.  She is the most miserable person I have met in my life, and it is all due to constantly comparing the (lack of) worldly goods she has to those of others.

    I apologize if this post is coming off as gossipy.  I don't intend it to be, as I am only hoping to provide some background information so I can ask for advice.  

    What can I do here?  We can't completely "cut her off," and we have a baby on the way.  Do I just accept this as our "cross to bear" in life?  Am I required, as the husband, to make a stand to her (I am positive that NO benefit can come from it)?  I do believe that the devil is causing these problems in an attempt to attack my marriage.  

    Please help!

    Offline jen51

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    « Reply #1 on: September 13, 2016, 07:49:52 AM »
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  • My sincere sympathy goes out to you, OP. Your wife sounds much like me. And your MIL sounds much like my own mother. We have been through what you are going through just this past year. It was the biggest test on our marriage yet.
    I don't know how your wife is emotionally. She herself may not be capable of standing up to her mother, as I was for quite some time until recently. In laws do not take well to correction from their daughters spouse, I'll just say that. Also, I hate to be a debbie downer here, but when the baby arrives it will likely get much worse. Our first was born 8 months ago, and that is what really set things in motion. I'd prepare yourselves for that.

    My husband had to be the one to finally lay down the law with my mother. I would not rule completely cutting her off out. My husband made it clear to her that if her behavior doesn't change, we will not be coming around anymore, plain and simple. It wasn't because he was mad or didn't like my mother, but because she was disrupting our family life, and would continue to do so if he did not step in. As adults, we could handle her emotional outbursts, but with children, he would not allow it. It caused a lot of tension between my husband and I, but I finally came around to believing that he was absolutely right. It was a bold move he made, knowing that if I didn't comply, it was the beginning of a difficult, unhappy marriage.

    Religion clean and undefiled before God and the Father, is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their tribulation: and to keep one's self unspotted from this world.
    ~James 1:27


    Offline OHCA

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    Family Problems - Please Help
    « Reply #2 on: September 13, 2016, 09:07:06 AM »
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  • Quote from: SanAmbrosi
    We can't completely "cut her off," and we have a baby on the way.  Do I just accept this as our "cross to bear" in life?


    Cut her off financially?  Why can't you?

    Cut her off in terms of not going around as much?  Why not?

    Would moving 50 miles away help?  200 miles?  Is that possible?

    Offline SanMateo

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    « Reply #3 on: September 13, 2016, 09:20:07 AM »
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  • Quote from: OHCA
    Quote from: SanAmbrosi
    We can't completely "cut her off," and we have a baby on the way.  Do I just accept this as our "cross to bear" in life?


    Cut her off financially?  Why can't you?

    Cut her off in terms of not going around as much?  Why not?

    Would moving 50 miles away help?  200 miles?  Is that possible?


    She financially supports herself for the most part.  I will not support her worldly spending habits.  No issue there.

    We live on the other side of the state right now for my work, but may be moving back close to her because, I am a consultant, so I have to kind of go where my work tells me.

    We are about 150 miles away now, and it has been great for my wife and her mom.  The problems always happen over the phone, or via text message.  Her mom is obsessed with Facebook, so she often goes nuts about what family/friends are doing on there, and calls to work up my wife.  

    Funny thing is I just got off the phone with my HR department, and the HR manager said there are some potential jobs in Charlotte, NC . . . which is about 10 hours from where we are now.  She said that it would be a real relocation, not a temporary job with per diem.  It might be perfect . . .  :jumping2:  She also said that there is potential for staying where I am at, possibly.  That would keep us far enough away, and we'd just have to ignore/not respond to the negativity over the phone.  I was getting very worried about moving back near her in December, and having a baby in April.

    Online Viva Cristo Rey

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    « Reply #4 on: September 13, 2016, 09:35:14 AM »
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  • There is no point in arguing with your mother in law.  It could makes things worse.  
    The bible says leave parents ( in law) and take wife.  Your wife and future baby are your family.  
    Your wife is pregnant ; she doesn't need the stress.

    You can limit the contact with your mother in law.  If she calls, let it go to message recorder.

    Mail her Catholic literature to help her.  You are going to have to invite her to the baptism of your baby which will be at your Church.






    To live with the Saints in Heaven is all bliss and glory....To live with the saints on Earth is just another story!  (unknown)


    Online Viva Cristo Rey

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    « Reply #5 on: September 13, 2016, 09:39:55 AM »
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  • That is easy  TEMPORARY..block her texts and facebook.
    Your wife doesn't need stress. She should stay off facebook.  Start planning for the baby.

    To live with the Saints in Heaven is all bliss and glory....To live with the saints on Earth is just another story!  (unknown)

    Offline SanMateo

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    « Reply #6 on: September 13, 2016, 09:54:29 AM »
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  • Quote from: Viva Cristo Rey
    There is no point in arguing with your mother in law.  It could makes things worse.  
    The bible says leave parents ( in law) and take wife.  Your wife and future baby are your family.  
    Your wife is pregnant ; she doesn't need the stress.

    You can limit the contact with your mother in law.  If she calls, let it go to message recorder.

    Mail her Catholic literature to help her.  You are going to have to invite her to the baptism of your baby which will be at your Church.





    Thank you for the excellent advice.  I was feeling very distressed, but have been getting good feedback, so I'm doing better.  My wife, fortunately, feels that we need to just focus on OUR family, and not let her disturb us.

    Offline TKGS

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    « Reply #7 on: September 13, 2016, 10:40:49 AM »
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  • Quote
    Quote from: SanAmbrosi
    My wife, fortunately, feels that we need to just focus on OUR family, and not let her disturb us.


    You married a wise woman.  The exact situation happened with one of my wife's family members.  It was always about her; she sucked the oxygen out of every room that she was in. She needed money to fund her horribly irresponsible financial habits, and when she needed something she would run over any family member she needed to in order to get it. She was a user of people.

    Not coincidentally, she was also chained to social media as a megaphone to tell the world whatever she was 'feeling' at the moment.

    My wife and I sat down and decided that, immediately, we would contact the family member with a simple message: 'We love you but we choose to no longer participate in the drama.'   A few f-bombs later, she hung up and it was over.

    Best. Thing. We. Ever. Did.

    It's not easy, but ultimately trying to help someone that doesn't wish to be helped makes everyone miserable and isn't healthy.


    I'd like to make four suggestions:

    1.  Get off Facebook.  Close, terminate, or turn off (however its done) any Facebook, Twitter, or other similar social media account on which you are specifically identified.  (That allows, of course, continued interaction on CathInfo.)  Don't answer email or phone calls from her if problems arise from those communication systems.

    2.  Use only the U.S. Postal Service to communicate with her.  And make sure you and your wife send her a weekly (or so) letter.  Just keep her informed of how life is going.  Invite her to the child's baptism when it is scheduled.  Always invite her to come to your family events when it is appropriate, but simply do not travel to her home.

    3.  If she become enraged in your presence, you will, unfortunately, have to ask her to leave.  If she is of good will, her heart will soften.  If her heart hardens, it will be sad.

    4.  Pray your daily family rosary for her.  This is actually the most important of the four suggestions.


    Online Viva Cristo Rey

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    « Reply #8 on: September 13, 2016, 10:49:01 AM »
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  • Quote from: SanAmbrosi
    Quote from: Viva Cristo Rey
    There is no point in arguing with your mother in law.  It could makes things worse.  
    The bible says leave parents ( in law) and take wife.  Your wife and future baby are your family.  
    Your wife is pregnant ; she doesn't need the stress.

    You can limit the contact with your mother in law.  If she calls, let it go to message recorder.

    Mail her Catholic literature to help her.  You are going to have to invite her to the baptism of your baby which will be at your Church.





    Thank you for the excellent advice.  I was feeling very distressed, but have been getting good feedback, so I'm doing better.  My wife, fortunately, feels that we need to just focus on OUR family, and not let her disturb us.


    Your welcome.  Congratulation on your baby!
    To live with the Saints in Heaven is all bliss and glory....To live with the saints on Earth is just another story!  (unknown)

    Offline Mark 79

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    « Reply #9 on: September 13, 2016, 10:55:50 AM »
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  • Quote from: SanAmbrosi
    First of all, I would like to say that I am not a weak man, and would, under normal circumstances, "put someone in their place" if this was happening.  This issue seems to be a very sensitive one, so please bear with me . . .

    I will try to make this quick.  Since the time I met my wife, the only person that has ever disturbed her peace has been her own mother.  Her mother is a lapsed Catholic, that feels bad about being a lapsed Catholic, but gets ENRAGED, when we even jokingly invite her to Mass.

    My wife is very meek, and very quiet.  Although this is not a bad thing at all, the cause of it is.  Her mother is very emotionally manipulative, and constantly postures and attacks my wife and I.  If we say anything at all to her, to even hint at the fact that she is hurting us, she explodes, often saying, "I've given my whole life up to raise my kids!  I did the best job that I could."  She is mad for a few weeks, and then life goes back to normal, until she does it again.

    My wife has said that we need to learn how to ignore her, and just focus on ourselves.  I think that is the best idea, but at the same time, even if we try to ignore her, my wife still has to suffer from her emotional abuse.  Again, if we try to talk to her, she just explodes.  She is the most miserable person I have met in my life, and it is all due to constantly comparing the (lack of) worldly goods she has to those of others.

    I apologize if this post is coming off as gossipy.  I don't intend it to be, as I am only hoping to provide some background information so I can ask for advice.  

    What can I do here?  We can't completely "cut her off," and we have a baby on the way.  Do I just accept this as our "cross to bear" in life?  Am I required, as the husband, to make a stand to her (I am positive that NO benefit can come from it)?  I do believe that the devil is causing these problems in an attempt to attack my marriage.  

    Please help!


    You should learn about borderline personality disorder and then learn about strategies to deal with such disruptive people in your family.

    Offline AMDGJMJ

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    « Reply #10 on: September 13, 2016, 11:03:02 AM »
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  • Hi San Ambrosi,

    This is a tough situation...

    I think that perhaps God is allowing this to happen in order to help you all, and especially your wife, to grow in holiness.  I believe that Saint Monica was treated similarly by her mother-in-law, but in the end converted her to the Faith through her patience and mildness through everything.  

    Please know that you are all in my prayers!

    Sincerely,

    Rita

    "Jesus, Meek and Humble of Heart, make my heart like unto Thine!"

    http://whoshallfindavaliantwoman.blogspot.com/


    Offline SanMateo

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    « Reply #11 on: September 13, 2016, 11:33:46 AM »
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  • Quote from: JPM
    Quote from: SanAmbrosi
    My wife, fortunately, feels that we need to just focus on OUR family, and not let her disturb us.


    You married a wise woman.  The exact situation happened with one of my wife's family members.  It was always about her; she sucked the oxygen out of every room that she was in. She needed money to fund her horribly irresponsible financial habits, and when she needed something she would run over any family member she needed to in order to get it. She was a user of people.

    Not coincidentally, she was also chained to social media as a megaphone to tell the world whatever she was 'feeling' at the moment.

    My wife and I sat down and decided that, immediately, we would contact the family member with a simple message: 'We love you but we choose to no longer participate in the drama.'   A few f-bombs later, she hung up and it was over.

    Best. Thing. We. Ever. Did.

    It's not easy, but ultimately trying to help someone that doesn't wish to be helped makes everyone miserable and isn't healthy.


    Sounds so similar to our situation.  It seems like my wife is leaning towards learning to be able to stand up to her in a calm way and say EXACTLY that.  "We love you, but WE CHOOSE to no longer participate in the drama."  I know it will be hard to do for her, but it is already becoming necessary.

    Offline SanMateo

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    « Reply #12 on: September 13, 2016, 11:35:21 AM »
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  • Quote from: Mark 79

    You should learn about borderline personality disorder and then learn about strategies to deal with such disruptive people in your family.


    Mark, I remember reading about it some time ago, but this is a great suggestion.  Learn concrete strategies to help someone with this.  Her mother claims to suffer from depression, but as we can all here see, it is much much more than that.

    Offline SanMateo

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    « Reply #13 on: September 13, 2016, 11:42:38 AM »
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  • Quote from: TKGS
    I'd like to make four suggestions:

    1.  Get off Facebook.  Close, terminate, or turn off (however its done) any Facebook, Twitter, or other similar social media account on which you are specifically identified.  (That allows, of course, continued interaction on CathInfo.)  Don't answer email or phone calls from her if problems arise from those communication systems.

    2.  Use only the U.S. Postal Service to communicate with her.  And make sure you and your wife send her a weekly (or so) letter.  Just keep her informed of how life is going.  Invite her to the child's baptism when it is scheduled.  Always invite her to come to your family events when it is appropriate, but simply do not travel to her home.

    3.  If she become enraged in your presence, you will, unfortunately, have to ask her to leave.  If she is of good will, her heart will soften.  If her heart hardens, it will be sad.

    4.  Pray your daily family rosary for her.  This is actually the most important of the four suggestions.



    Great advice.  We have been evaluating the pros/cons of social media as of lately, and the cons are starting to definitely outweigh the pros.  Luckily for my wife, social media isn't an issue for her. She rarely goes on it.  

    Using USPS only for communication would be a great response to the "desperate times call for desperate measures" situation we are finding ourselves dealing with.  

    She has yet to do or say anything inappropriate or behave inappropriately in our presence, she seems to be able to separate the person from her words/actions when using phone/text/social media, but never in person (yet).

    As far as praying the Rosary for her, we did that last night for the first time, and we have yet to hear from her today.  As a result both of our days have been going better.  We really need to put in the effort to continue this practice.  

    Offline Marlelar

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    « Reply #14 on: September 13, 2016, 11:51:49 AM »
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  • All of the above with an emphasis on:

    Move as far away as you can as soon as you can.

    No texts. No social media.

    Use an answering machine.  Return calls once a week.



    You must be the one to tell MIL gently, but firmly that you will NOT allow her to disturb the peace and tranquility of your family, and that if she does so then all communication will be via snail mail only.

    Ask your wife to make  that once a week phone call to check up on her mom with a prearranged time limit on the call.   Put her on speaker phone and she can tell mom that you're there also so if mom get's ugly you can step in.  She is YOUR wife, please protect her.

    Stick to your guns.  The last thing you need is a woman like that influencing your children.




     

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