I had a blowup with my mother a year ago. I realized then that the family dynamic I'd lived with all my life was bad for me and I wanted to change it after the blowup, but how do you change an entire miserable family?
My mother refused to clear the air with me -- she flat out told me she would not discuss it.
My husband and I are in the middle of a run-of-the-mill blowup (from different coasts) about SD31. This is the first since I disengaged two years ago. It happened because, again, my husband so clearly handled everything wrong (lied through his teeth to me and got caught) that I laid down the law: change it or else. Same old, same old.
He did his usual "I'm an awful, people-pleasing failure of a human being..." routine. I did my usual, "I won't go on like this..." routine.
I am joining my husband on the other coast next week to visit his family.
For years, every time we went out there, adult SD had to go too. Inevitably, she'd have a meltdown, end up screaming names at me and my husband would do nothing. So awkward. So many awful memories of those visits. So I stopped going.
I disengaged over a year ago and it has been a relief. However, now I'm seeing the downside. I'm looking for advice on how to handle an upcoming event.
I wake up in a good mood, go downstairs to start my day and walk into husband's almost-whispered phone call with SD. Usually I just turn and go the other way, but I wanted to get my day going. I make my dog's breakfast, do a few dishes, making noise so I don't accidentally overhear something that pisses me off.
Damn that pizza cheese I had to quietly wrench off with a knife. I heard him responding to her apparent inquiry about when he will retire.
So about five years into our marriage, after we moved very far from all family, I joked about our new neighborhood during a Skype call between SD30, my husband and me. Days later, she posted on FB that I was spoiled and ungrateful for where I was living and should be dropped in a war zone to learn what real suffering is. Several of my husband's family members gave this comment a thumbs up. I haven't felt comfortable around them since. I hardly knew these people - we always lived very far from them and had only been married a few years.
I'm a decade into this marriage and nearly two into the relationship. His family lives far away, so I rarely saw them in the beginning, and SD always managed to be there causing havoc. If we flew there for a visit, SD managed to get off work and be there as well, watching, sometimes flipping out on me when it was just the three of us, interrupting conversations, demanding alone time with daddy while I sat in a hotel which inevitably caused a fight between husband and me.