I am married to a man who has two thirty-something children. Unbeknownst to me, the son was very troubled and has been an active alcoholic, has not been able to hold a job, and won't get psychological help. Luckily, he doesn't live with us but has run the doorbell in the middle of the night and drunk dialed--until we moved and started taking the phone off the hook. He's a troubled young man and I have tried to let my husband deal with it. The problem is that I cannot even have an opinion or offer suggestions without my husband becoming very defensive. Meanwhile, his son calls every day--either looking for money or a shoulder to cry on. I do think that the son is, in part, angry that his father is married and not (in the son's mind) focusing on him.
Meanwhile, my husband's daughter is away at college (working on a Ph.D.) and has tried to get to her father through me. My husband doesn't make much effort to call her and she has acted out by sending me false information about what is going on with her brother. It got to a point at which I told the daughter that we cannot communicate like that and I told her that I sensed that she was angry about something. She admittedly said that she's angry at her father and perhaps needs to work on it with a therapist.
My husband has continued to tell me that his children are none of my business and will not admit that his children are very angry about the past and even doing things to try to cause trouble in our marriage. Meanwhile, I feel that I have been a bit of a target fir the adult children. My husband just keeps saying that his son is sick and can't help his addictive behavior. Some of it is probably true; I think there's a mental illness involved.
What is distressing is that my husband can't do anything on a Saturday because his son needs him for something. There's always an emotional or physical crisis (addiction to pain killers, broken nose, etc). I do resent my husband's son in many ways and don't know if my feelings are justified.
To what degree are my husband's children any or none of my business in your opinion. If they do things that affect me or use me to get to their father, I think I have a right to have an opinion and to say "this has got to stop". Meanwhile, my husband get's angry with me and tells me that I'm crazy and obsessive for worrying about the barbs that come my way.
Hi there, One question: What about if this was the other way round? I'm sure you'd be only too pleased that your husband wanted to be part of your whole family, and no doubt you would sit and talk stuff through with him without getting angry while admitting that you are, by nature, defensive of your kids. I know myself I can shout and scream about my kids, but if anyone else, father, family, start to criticise I'm like the lioness. When you marry, you marry a family, not only a man. As a step-parent, you marry the kids too. It's very common for the kids to be angry that the Mum/ Dad is sharing their love with a stranger. Anyone with a brain cell knows this. You seem to be bonding really sensitively and well with the girl and of course the poor boy needs help. But from both of you as a united front with a lot of tough love. He may be a really nice person beneath all his addictions but giving in, giving him money and allowing him to come between you is not what should be happening. You're right, obviously he needs psycho help but is he ready to accept it? Keep all your money in your own account and suggest to your husband that unless you both go to a relationship counsellor this relationship will go down hill faster thsan it's already going. Why does he want you in one compartment and his children in another? His children are your business, just like a dog or cat if you have one. Stand up to him and insist that his attitude has to change. You are reasonable and sane. Take no notice of his accusations and don't put up with them or believe them. Don't make yourself ill. Insist on Counselling. Good luck, be happy.
Thanks for your reply. The marriage is sliding downhill fast as I am not willing to settle for being an outsider anymore. It seems dysfunctional and weird to be locked out of an important part of his wife. Unfortunately, he will continue to enable his son and has made many excuses for not calling his daughter (he said said, "She could call me."). It has been five years and I don't think things will change.
So what are YOU going to do? This is tough love and I'm sorry if it sounds a bit antagonising. You are a sensible, loving, sharing, understanding person. You have allowed yourself to become a victim. So many people stay with physical or psychological abusers for reasons that make no sense to anyone who has not experienced such a relationship. You are not happy, you know this man has big problems and, as you are coming to realise this is not right, you are saying you refuse to be an outsider any longer. You say things will not change. You have to ask yourself, honestly, why you are still in the same place as this dysfunctional person. Everything you say is right. Of course you don't want to break up, but if he refuses to budge, you have to at least give him a wake-up call. Do you not have a family member or friend with whom you could stay, even just for a weekend? Just to see how it feels not to be a psychological punchbag and have a few days of peace? See his reaction when you get back. If he sulks and feels injured, tough. You feel like that every day! It's your decision and your life. Be brave. At least get some counselling for yourself. If he won't change and you're so unhappy and this was another couple, what would you think should happen? Good luck, take care of yourself. feel free to contact me whenever you want to.
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