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What would you say to my dh?

Jackielynn2000's picture

Hi again. I am currently in therapy for so many of these thoughts and worries and I have to say releasing pain and anger is so good for me....

 But one thing I cant change is who my husband is. He is an avoider-he will avoid all confrontation and give in to almost anything to avoid stress/conflict/any thing that could upset someone else even if it means forgetting about himself or his wants or his own feelings. Maybe in a way its good that he can let things go and just go on with a nonstressful or confrontational life but it also puts me in a position where I feel like I have to lead him. If that makes sense?


I love him dearly and he is an amazing father to our toddler. I know he does most things I ask in avoidance but at times in the rare times we fight he will bring up things he disagreed with but never said it!


I truly try to encourage feelings and tell him to please not just agree with me to make me happy. I dont want to control his every move or plan every single thing!


Anyway-where im getting is when I met him 11 years ago he was a total push over to bm.she would let him know when he could see the kids-and there were many weekends that she would say he could have them, we would make plans and she would take them in the middle of the weekend-she would tell him how much money she wanted and he did it! I remember hearing their convos and he would agree with every thing she said...then he got seriously injured in a car accident and couldn't work within a year of us dating. She withheld the kids for several weeks due to not having an income and getting the money she wanted. 


I was the one who pushed him to go to court and they got visitation and child support all on a court order. Things went well after that as she actually followed it! I would constantly remind him to call the kids and constantly be the one who made all the plans, parties, vacations gifts. I honestly will always cherish those very fond memories.



I stupidly made friends with her and for a good 5-6 years things were literally perfect. Co parenting, happy kids, happy adults. About 4 years i got pregnant and everything changed. It went  wayyy downhill from there.


Anyway the oldest who is now 16 decided she didn't like me anymore when her mom started to dislike me(stupidly took a job together). She made up false allegations of abuse(immediately thrown out) & then admitted it snd then did it again!! I told my dh that there's no way I'm being involved anymore with my 3 year old pulled into this mess. I actually demanded professional counseling...everyone refused so I let it go for a bit and tried to talk and try again. 


Now the in laws got involved. The newest lie is  that dad verbally abused us as small children and made us feel bad about ourselves. My MIL was texting me saying that she totally agrees and saw the yelling. I was there too! He yelled yup. So did I. After co parenting ended their mom said "whatever happens at your house is no longer my problem". We used to have all parenting fpllow through at both they would come over make demands, argue and it was just aweful. I started to dread the visits. Then if they got their phones taken or sent to their room they would refuse visitation and mom stopped caring!

My dhs attorney said at that age, preteen years, you can't force visitation so we never went back to court.


Now my husband is so hurt because his own parents (my in laws) & his sister have all gotten involved saying how horrible we are to treat them like this(I now again require professional help) & that they are acting out(tonssss and tonsss of hate mail telling my husband he's dead to them and a horrible father). We have both now blocked all in laws and step kids.


My dh hasn't spoken to bm in years.

Its a huge mess but honestly I am enjoying the peace. I used to constantly cry when they would refuse to visit or say mean things. I truly loved these kids and i feel like my counseling is 


Helping me heal through all of this. I want to focus on being a better mom and a healthy mom! That's all I want to do now.


My dh is now again asking for my help...asking me how to handle his family. He doesnt want conflict with his parents but its very clear they would rather listen to my stepkids side than the adult side.

I have nooo idea what to even say. I hate being the one trying to guide him when he asks. 

What would you do?

diver111's picture

This sounds very similar to my situation, 10 years ago. Counseling helped and drawing boundaries (very severe ones). My number one goal was to protect my own kids and be a good mom to them. Can your DH go to counseling and get help on how to address his parents/sister? He is going to have to stand his ground. My DH is very low contact with his mother/stepdad and stepsister because of all the drama. MIL always took the side of SD and BM and chose them. That was her choice.  I am no contact with them so I can have peace. 

Jackielynn2000's picture

Thats where I'm at. I will never ever be that person in the middle to help guide or make plans. I mentally csnt handle it anymore. Because I'm damned if I help and im damned if I disengage.


My dh did go to counseling before but he says he didn't feel comfortable. I feel bad because I felt like I was forcing him so I left it alone.

Winterglow's picture

Please tell him that NOBODY feels comfortable in counseling. That's the whole point of it - to get you to leave your comfort zone and give you the tools to do so. He needs to go back and try again. 

justmakingthebest's picture

Just like in the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard case, your husband is a victim of lies being told about him. 

The fact that your in-laws saw parenting, where- yeah- sometimes we yell to get kids attention, and decided to label him as an abuser, tells me all I need to know about them. They aren't good for your life. Your husband should really seek counseling to learn to deal with the loss of his family. 

Jackielynn2000's picture

Trust me , he was so shocked and devastated. He didn't fully believe me until I showed him the text messages. His dad, always been a trouble starter but for his own mom to agree with the yelling as abuse stunned both of us. This is the woman that never chose sides and alesys was kind and good to us for 11 years that I've been around.

He never got along with his sister so he doesnt care about her , and I know he hurts for his dad but he says he was like this when bm and him were together.

Its just sad. He keeps seeking my help on how to deal or if he should even reach out to his mom again...or let it go forever.

Survivingstephell's picture

Btdt and there is no way for you to figure out for him how to make his family choose him.  That's the sad part, they did not choose blood over BM.  All because he had another child , with you.   You took away her specialness (insert eyeroll) as the only mother to his children (insert whiny voice).  Hell hath no fury like a wronged cluster B woman!    He needs to face reality that his family pretty much abandoned him.  Is he the scapegoat of the family? Every dysfunctional family has one.  My DH is one.  I was one. 

Survivingstephell's picture

And... you tell him you can't solve this Dilemma for him , you have been to hurt by it too, he needs an unbiased opinion, like from a qualified therapist. 

Rags's picture

Compiled with your DH's lack of balls/spine what you are suffereing through I cannot even immagine.

I am sorry you are suffering this crap.

As for DH' attorney.  Many people forget that attornies, like Doctors, therapists, etc... work for you and if they cannot or will not deliver to your expectations you fire them and find one who will.

DH needs to find a lawyer that will do what needs to be done rather than make excuses.  If BM fails to surrender SD per the visitation order, BM needs to  be slapped with a contempt motion, dragged to court, and have her ass bared for the record.  Lather.... rinse.... repeat.  Then SD needs to be given the facts that her BM will be in court each time SD fails to visit per the visitation schedules.


Exjuliemccoy's picture

You married a weak, damaged man from a dysfunctional family. You relied on his compromised judgement, over functioned for him, and it all blew up. I did, too.

How do you move forward? You focus on what's most important: yourself, your child, and then your marriage. You work on yourself so you can do better, ideally your H works on himself, and then you rebuild your relationship so that it's stronger, healthy, and has better communication. His and hers therapy, then marriage counseling.

His family sucks, and during this period of healing, they should be kept at a distance. Your H will have to work very, very hard if he's to overcome the damage inflicted on him. And when he back slides, asking you to reengage with or shield him from his people, you'll need to remind him that's not your job. Tell him you love him, but his family is toxic and it's his job to protect you from that poo. Tell him you value him, and he deserves to be treated better by his people. Point out that the only people you two can save are yourselves, and that you're willing to put in the sweat if he is, but if not you'll do everything in your power to protect your daughter from the dysfunction.


CLove's picture

retire from helping, pushing, guiding. Thats no longer YOUR job, to figure things out for your husband.

Jackielynn2000's picture

Well hes the love of my life, my best friend, my world. So if he genuinely has concerns or feels hurt im not going to shut him down and say its your problem deal with it. But like others have mentioned that a non biased professional would be good for him to try to figure things out. Ill definitely encourage that!

Rags's picture

Well hes the love of my life, my best friend, my world.

He has failed as a father, a man, and a husband.  What makes him worthy of the position of your world, love of your life, and best friend?

We get the performance out of the people in our lives that we tolerate, nurture, and support.  If they fail to deliver.... they are replaceable. In the case of BioKids, maybe not replacable but certainly purgeable.

In my case, I married my XW because I was in love with her, she was my best friend, and I suppose at the time I thought she was my world.  When she failed at all of those things and on being a woman of character, good riddance to her departure. Whoring, abandoning the marrital home for her old bedroom at her parents home several nights a week, not engaging in intimacy within the marriage, etc.... Nope. Not worthy of my or any status in my life.

We all need to hold ourselves to higher standards for what we will tolerate from our mates/family/friends/Skids/BKs. 

IMHO of course.

Jackielynn2000's picture

I get what your saying. I appreciate your feedback. I truly do. We have been through a lot together the last 11 years. Im not excusing his passive weak others have mentioned he definitely has put a lot on me to solve issues. Knowing him, he probably doesn't even realize the stress he's put on me to solve and encourage the last 11 years. Hes definitely not perfect but.he is a good man and doesn't deserve a lot of what he's been through. Even though I csnt stand bm or my in laws I don't think anyone is actually evil. If people would actually talk openly j think we could actually get somewhere. 


My husband has told me that his family has always put him down and never saw him in an adult-ive witnessed that too. Im not making excuses for him. I want him to do better. I want him to stand up for himself and not be such a push over. We had a long talk this evening and he agreed to self help counseling again!

I dont hate my stepkids either. I think they are broken and messed up because of being misleaded for so long. I guess I always try to see the best in everyone.

Rags's picture

I need the occassional reminder that not everyone wins the parent lottery.

I cannot imagine being raised in a family where being continually degraded is the norm.


Jackielynn2000's picture

What do u mean failed as a father? I think thats a bit harsh when he's been alienated for years.

Jackielynn2000's picture

That's true. Not all fault is on everyone else. If it were me I'd put every dollar and cent i had to fight and fight and fight. 

CLove's picture

Thats not what I mean by retiring. I mean disengage. Be a supportive partner but dont take an active role as you have. Enable him to figure things out. Help him to figure things out in this emotional landscape. Dont do it for him.

SeeYouNever's picture

Ugh we have had similar issues. My husband has a pretty intense day job so at home he likes to just relax and let me make all the big decisions too. His family is mostly women and between them and BM they throw a fit and used to get their way. When the drama started intensifying he wanted me to deal with his family for him just like yours.

I refused and reminded him that it's his family. I will handle mine you handle yours. By transferring his family drama to you it's not making the drama go away it's just making it your problem. The way to end the drama is to cut out the people that are causing it. Your in-laws were being accomplices to parental alienation they are not your friends. I would not bother trying to win them over they are always going to side with the stepchildren.

We are now low contact with his family and our lives are better for it. 

You reach a point when you don't want to spend any more money and time with court battles that you know are not going to go anywhere. Once the step kids get into their teens if they don't want anything to do with you you can't force them to have a relationship with you. The hard part is accepting their choice. 

I understand how annoying it can be to have a passive husband. I got mine to stand up to BM and his family by praising him so much when he did and helping him to talk it out and plan different ways to approach issues with them. This only works if you are working as a team and he doesn't see you as an enemy in the situation. It sounds like he just wants you to make a decision and handle everything for him. Maybe you can give him part of it and make the decisions but tell him that handling his family is back on him.

Jackielynn2000's picture

They have all been blocked for maybe a month or so now. I refuse to contact any of them ever again...but my husband came to me upset thinking about his mom. I dont have much to say back but like others suggested counseling would do him good. Im burnt out. I cant keep trying to solve all the problems. We literally have nooooo issues im serious unless its about fighting what's for dinner. Lol. Only time my husband and I ever had tension was from his family drama. My family isn't like this at all.


And yes once the girls were older they basically made it known that they will visit if we do everything they want or they will not come. So thats that.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

Part of the job of loving someone who comes from multigenerational dysfunction is having to repel attempts to draw you (back) into the dysfunction, even from your partner. Often they know not what they do, because they're still caught up in the FOG and following old familiar patterns.

We also have to watch them struggle, and suffer for their mistakes. We can't fight their battles for them or fix them. All we can do is encourage them to get healthier, accept what we can't change, and create our own separate peace behind thick and wide brick boundaries.

Jackielynn2000's picture

I agree. Im not 100% sure because he's such an avoider-but when he does actually express himself he feels like he never had parents who totally support him. Hes told me he was a very troubled kid. Hes told me he never felt stability in his home. Dad was always drunk at the bar. 

We have so much in common with broken childhoods and we want to do a redo with our own. Our daughter is sooo happy. She's so smart and just amazing. I've never been so happy in my life! My husband finally gets to be a full time dad and I always ask what he wants with her upbringing. Surprisingly he is not shy about his wishes with our daughter. I love that he gets a 2nd chance at fatherhood.

shamds's picture

That he can't live a life where sd's manipulate him etc because its not healthy.

 blended family or not, when you have inlaws that are becoming toxic people, or in our case 3rd yr of marriage was a really rough time, inlaws were not helping and hubby at one point refused to go to his nephews wedding because nephews older adult sister (an exact replica of her mum (hubbys sil) and besties with hubbies exwife) decided to trashtalk me with all kinds of nonsense and pretty much claimed how i dress would make her dads eyes wonder off her mum to me on facebook. She also claimed I shouldn't have locked myself in a room most of the time during family holiday. I had given birth 3 weeks prior to our 2nd child who was breastfed and addicted to my boobs. It was more convenient to stay in my room breastfeeding him topless for privacy.

well according to idiot niece, i should have been socialising going to peoples homes etc and was being rude. My sils had no issues because i was still recovering after giving birth via emergency csection, lack of sleep, extreme tiredness but yeah an mid 20s never been pregnant, never had a kid or been married lecturing me was something hubby wasn't tolerating.

oh boy did hubby lose it with his elder brother (niece dad) acting all religious and not to throw family away blah blah blah.

all my husband said was he wanted to spend valuable time with us and that nephews wedding was not a priority to him when it had been really stressful past few months with me and kids getting sick after giving birth and breastfeeding etc. hubby told his older brother instead of lecturing about religion and family that he better focus on his own daughter and screenshotted what his idiot daughter had posted online. 

as usual bil played dumb like he didn't know but he knew. Sad thing is the nephew is real close with hubby and on good terms and respects my husband alot. That nephew had gotten into a major fight with his sister iver what she said that she was now fuc*ing up his wedding and happy day with family drama she created and invented.

we ignore her along with most of family who don't like her.

blended family or not, its ok to block toxic people out of your lives until they make amends and you should not be guilted for it.

it is ok to have healthy boundaries and not be manipulated. My own mum on 2 occasions ended contact with siblings for 10 yrs each over drama and lies they created. 
your husband is in a new place having the difficult situation of cutting contact with his family, but not wanting the conflict or drama but thing is he needs to realise that his family and daughters from ex started this and his family are too ignorant to see this. They're guilting you all as the problem without knowing the facts

the moment sd's made abuse allegations/lies that could end up with your toddler or baby taken away is the moment you were right to end contact and have those boundaries in place

if hubbys family are too stupid to see that then thats on them. Its something he will learn with time.