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I
Just Said Yes April 2021

i messed up and i don’t know where to go from here

Invisible, on September 6, 2021 at 9:34 AM Posted in Family and Relationships 0 9

I messed up and I don’t know how to fix it.

I did something really stupid. I had joined a FB group for toxic MILs. I made a post that was not anonymous when I was in a bad headspace regarding all of my observations about my toxic MIL and the family enmeshment/over involvement that they call ‘closeless’ and my MIL’s refusal to take responsibility for her own toxic traits and unresolved trauma. I also talked about her insidious mistreatment towards me for the past 6.5 years (calling me a wh0re when my hubby and I first met, constantly attacking who I am as a person and because I am so different from them, passive aggressive posts on social media directed at me, inserting herself into our relationship and talking to my husband about very personal things that concern me in an attempt to plant seeds in his head, etc. MIL just constantly fights to be the #1 woman in hubby’s life and it shouldn’t be that way. Well, long story short—someone from said group who joined solely because they get off on wreaking chaos in people’s lives, sent screenshots of my post to my husband, my SIL, and my MIL.
The post in question was written back in late June. I deleted it shortly after I had posted it because I was paranoid about this exact situation. I had a gut feeling and I should have listened. MIL and SIL are not particularly tech savvy and didn’t see it until they happened to discover Message Requests in Messenger, which happened to be this past Saturday. That being said, I don’t remember every single word I wrote. But I know I didn’t lie about anything. I did talk about everything I mentioned in the aforementioned paragraph.
I also talked about how I feel like it’s an emotional incest situation, how MIL’s over-involvement creeps me out and it’s not normal. How MIL is controlling and I suspect she may be a narcissist. I also expressed in the opening of my post that I feel ambivalence towards her. I love her, but I also don’t. It’s a complicated situation and I stand by that. I know all of what I wrote would be extremely upsetting for everyone involved to read. But, as my therapist pointed out, I shouldn’t be trying to diagnose anyone or give out labels. And I agree with her. But I hope they DO realize there is truth to my words. MIL IS over-involved and there is some serious enmeshment going on. They are not normal healthy family dynamics, no matter how hard they want to believe they are just a very close-knit family.
And because nothing EVER stays private in that family, now literally every-freaking-one in my husband’s family (aunts, cousins, freaking grandma) knows now and were sent the screenshots from my post. I was house sitting for my parents this past weekend and my husband called me in tears to tell me that my MIL, FIL, and SIL came over to our house while my MIL tearfully read all of the screenshots out loud. And everyone was crying. And now I feel like the worst excuse for a person. I was at my wits end and just needed some place to vent and at the time, that was all I could think to do. I didn’t want to cause harm to my husband’s family and I never wanted to get in the middle of it.
I didn’t know there were people out there like this who would mess with people’s lives for the fun of it. Everyone started attacking my mental health, which is no secret to anyone that I struggle with. I had a very traumatic upbringing and I see a therapist on a weekly basis. I don’t think this can be fixed and my relationship with my husband’s family will never be the same, and as a result, I am not sure my marriage will never be the same. MIL suggested they all go to therapy to figure out how to deal with ME. This shouldn’t even be about me.
The events had caused my husband to spiral into a deep depression. He has always struggled with clinical depression and anxiety (he is on SSRIs), but this is the worst I have seen in a long time. He does not see his own therapist and that is a huge part of the problem. I was really worried about him. He sounded completely hopeless and despondent.
My MIL was stonewalling him, as well as my SIL. He was over at his aunt’s house yesterday with the entire family for a Labor Day cookout. But they were pretending like he didn’t exist. They can be pissed at me all they want, but I don’t want him to have to deal with this garbage. They have been essentially forcing him to take a side and he has been practically sick over it.
When he got home last night, he was in much brighter spirits. He told me that he thinks this is a good thing that all of this happened because it finally opened up some dialogue with MIL once she decided to stop stonewalling him. He said MIL ended up apologizing for a lot of the stuff she did even though she ‘doesn’t remember’ the things she did to him throughout his childhood and to me.
I of course don’t believe she doesn’t remember because this woman remembers everything. Hubby went from talking about how he is done with life to saying he feels better after talking with his mom and hearing her say, “I’m sorry” which he said is something she’s never done before. She has never once apologized for her mistreatment until now. His words. His self-worth is evidently defined by his relationship with her. I see that now. He legitimately thinks things will be different now. All because of one conversation and one extremely overdue apology. I just now truly do think he really is too deep in the fog to see anything clearly. And I am starting to think he is beyond help. And I have no idea what to do.
My MIL and SIL and I’m sure other family members have started to unfriend/block me on Facebook. I knew it was inevitable. But it still really hurts. Because like I said, even if this family is very toxic and enmeshed, I do still love them. So this is painful. I am still also very worried that his family will try to make him believe I am the problem and he will be forced to choose them over me. I don’t want him to have to choose anyone over anyone.
I know my husband just wants me to be close to his family. He kept reiterating how he just wants everything to go back to ‘normal’. What he doesn’t seem to understand is that none of this was ever normal or healthy. It was just continuously sweeping crap under the rug to keep the peace and he and I both were tolerating behavior we should have never had to tolerate to begin with. I can’t do it anymore. I’m not sure how long my NC with his family will last. Maybe just awhile. Maybe forever. I don’t know. I just know that my husband is my top priority and I want us to be able to work this out without him having to take sides. I also know I don’t want to be just another controlling woman in his life like MIL and I would never force him to choose me over his family. I know they mean so much to him—toxic or not. And I will not dictate his relationship with them. We have a joint session with my therapist on Tuesday. It can’t come soon enough.
Advice or similar experiences appreciated. Thank you.

9 Comments

Latest activity by Rebecca, on September 7, 2021 at 3:19 AM
  • Sarah
    Master September 2019
    Sarah ·
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    You aren’t going to like my advice, but the truth is you have a husband problem more than you have a husband’s family problem. The fact that he chose to never set boundaries with his mother when it came to their relationship and when it came to you speaks volumes. The fact that he believes everything was normal before they found out what you said and that nothing about his mother’s behavior or his giving in to her behavior crossed a line shows that he isn’t ready to be married.


    It’s great you’re already in counseling. Please stay in counseling and continue working on maintaining healthy boundaries and getting yourself to a good place. Perhaps some kind of separation or couples therapy would be a good place to start with your husband.
    • Reply
  • I
    Just Said Yes April 2021
    Invisible ·
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    I need honest input right now, even if it hurts.


    Deep down, I know you are right and it sucks.
    I am not giving up on our marriage yet. But there is SO much work that needs to be done and I know I can’t be the only one putting in the work. I am very concerned about how my husband views reality at this point. It saddens me that he feels perpetually walking on eggshells to keep the peace is normal. It saddens me to think that he believed any of this was even remotely normal.
    Thank you for your honest advice.
    I will stay in counseling. I need it now more than ever. And I hope that my husband will consider couples counseling as well.
    • Reply
  • Katie
    VIP August 2020
    Katie ·
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    First, every family has their “stuff” so please don’t feel alone in that. We all learn as we mature. Lesson learned, going forward not to put things out onto social media and you are growing from that experience. On a positive note, family sounds remorseful and you as well sound genuinely remorseful. With all the cards out on the table now, there is hope to rebuild with a new foundation with new boundaries. If we all had everything perfect from day of birth, there is no point in growing through life. This is a chance for you and your husband to live more authentically and speak honestly going forward. Nothing wrong with living your truth and never too late to start! Wish you the best and have faith things will only get better from here ❤️
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  • Candace
    Super March 2022
    Candace ·
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    First of all, deactivate your Facebook account. It is seriously the best think I ever did for myself lol. That aside and included, you need to do what's best for you right now. You can't fix your husband or his family. The #1 boundary you should be worried about is the one around your mental health. Anything or anybody that tries to hurt you, cut. Even if that's your husband. Sorry but you can't live like this. Unless you want to be miserable for the rest of your life, he needs to be fully on board with your healing and boundaries.
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  • J
    January 1895
    Jessa ·
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    Here is a life lesson that I try to take to heart. You cannot change someone who does not wish to change. Even if they are your husband.

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  • K
    Savvy October 2022
    Kristina ·
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    Take one step at a time, if he is not willing to be a team player in mending the issues at hand, you will become burnt out trying to fix them all on your own and that will speak volumes on how the rest of your marriage will pan out from this point on. Get into marriage counseling if he is not willing to seek his own personal counseling out. Best of luck to you.

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  • I
    Just Said Yes April 2021
    Invisible ·
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    I’ve been sick to my stomach since Saturday. MIL definitely has her own narrative and she’s sticking to it. Hubby and I were great earlier. But now things are going wrong with MIL again and therefore so have his feelings towards me. I’m trying to set boundaries with MIL, but I’m experiencing serious pushback. There is no winning here. I know that now. Hubby brought up the, “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” How could he possibly believe that any of this was okay? I can’t comprehend it. And I can’t deal with his rug sweeping anymore.

    I just want us to be okay and focus on our marriage. This is all just so upsetting.
    My husband currently feels like I am making him choose between me and his mother. I’m not. He thinks I wanted to cause this drama. I didn’t. He thinks I’m jealous of his family and I want to destroy it. I’m not and I don’t. I really have no idea what to do right now. But he is definitely not on my side. 💔
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  • K
    Savvy October 2022
    Kristina ·
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    Perhaps talk with your councler and see what he/she suggests. Your husband is deflecting what's really been going on and it's much easier to utilize you as his punching bag, than confront his own family of their toxic behavior. Your husband needs to stop blaming you for issues that have been unresolved probably way before you two ever met, and seek council. If he refuses to at least try, you and you alone will have to cross that bridge when you have reached your tipping point with him. Best of luck.
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  • Rebecca
    Master August 2019
    Rebecca ·
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    This sounds like a Husband/MIL/SIL problem, not a YOU problem. (Well, that and a group security problem.)

    You expressing your hurt and frustration is NOT a bad thing, it's very healthy. If you still need a space for that, I would find a closed site, like a support group, not a FB group.

    Your MIL "tearfully reading the post" to EVERYONE is a classic narcissist "pity me, I'm the victim" move. It absolutely focuses on her and how she's being "accused"... as opposed to the real issue, which is... why would someone feel the need to say those things about her? ...Because they happened?

    I strongly suggest couples' therapy for you and husband, as well as individual for him (yes, I know he's on meds, but talk therapy would also be useful to work through what sounds like a traumatic childhood).

    I'm sorry. I brought the messed up MIL to the relationship, so I get it. (Though we went no contact before the wedding.)

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