DH & I splitting up-- he cites in-laws

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Registered: 05-07-2003
DH & I splitting up-- he cites in-laws
6
Sat, 02-19-2005 - 6:32pm

Hi listers!

I haven't posted in a few months, but I've had some in-law problems, as well as marital problems. DH and his father and siblings are all alcoholics, MIL is an enabler in denial. DH & I have decided to separate-- we have 2 sons 17 and 8. DH says part of the reason our marriage failed is because of the in-law problems in recent years (All the in-law problems have been from his family). I don't necassarily agree with his assessment-- I think the major issue is the alcoholism, and the fact that I married so young. It maight be easier for him to blame his family, rather than admit that his alcoholism was a major factor.
Anyway, I don't foresee any vindictiveness on DH's part, but I have a nagging feeling that once my ILs get wind of our splitting up, then they'll resume their former bad behaviors of getting toasted and calling my house and unloading their issues on me. I told DH about this, and I told him that I won't hesitate for a SECOND to cut his family out of our sons' lives if they start hassling me about the marriage ending. MIL gets very emotional and martyr-like, SIL gets blame-y and paranoid, FIL gets rude and belligerent, and BIL gets like his father, but threatens as well (DSs and I have a restraining order against BIL). In the past, if ILs didn't like how we lived our lives, they'd call and scream at us, including calls to MY side of the family.
DH hasn't moved out yet-- I told him he could get his living arrangements sorted out, and then he'll move out of our house. Probably best not to tell ILs (he'll handle telling his side, I've told my mom already, and she's OK with it) until he's out of the house. We haven't told our kids yet as well.
Anyway, if anyone has any advice, please pass it along! :-) This is uncharted territory for DH & I-- no one has EVER divorced on his side of the family-- his parents have been married over 50 years, but even DH says they should have divorced years ago-- it's a very toxic relationship. My parents divorced when I was 9; mom's parents didn't get along and lived in separate states for 20 years until my grandfather died; and my maternal grandmother's parents' divorce made the newspapers in 1927. DH's family act like they're better than others because the parents have been married so long, and have ostracised me because my parents divorced. My mom did a damn good job for a single parent. My brother and I are well-adjusted adults, and we don't call up others in a drunken snit and unload our anger on unsuspecting, innocent people. BIL has been arrested for assault & battery, has restraining orders against him, drunk driving arrests, and SIL is so afraid to leave the town that she lives in that she never goes anywhere without my MIL. I pity my ILs because they're so ignorant about their own lives and how they judge and treat people. They go around perpetuating lies about me and my parents to boost their own low self esteem. It's truly pathetic.
I guess I've rambled on long enough! Any advice?

Susie




Edited 2/19/2005 9:38 pm ET ET by susieyippin
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Registered: 03-19-2003
Sun, 02-20-2005 - 2:21pm

I'm sorry to hear that you and your DH will be separating. I know you have worked hard with DH to try to get him sober and stay sober.

I don't think the problem is your ILs. The problem rests with DH. If he stood up to his family, then it would make a BIG difference in the quality of your lives. It takes two, but I know you have said many times that DH is an alcoholic and that is very toxic to any relationship. He seems fine with wanting to be an alcoholic and so does his family. You have been through a lot and it seems that DH does not want to take control of the situation and get help.

It is sad to see any separation/divorce, but it sounds like it may best for you and your children in the long run. If the ILs call to unload on you, then have your phone number changed to an unpublished number, and then tell DH that his family can call him on his cell phone ONLY. If that doesn't work, then you can always go for a restraining order against those ILs, too.

Hope this helps and let us know how things are going.


Avatar for susieyippin
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Registered: 05-07-2003
Sun, 02-20-2005 - 6:37pm

Hi cl-stretch,

Thanks for the kind words. I know we're facing some tough decisions in the near future, but I know I can meet this challenge. DH said that he's willing to be flexible if I'm willing to be flexible. I just got tired of the whole alcoholic cycle, you know? DH goes on the wagon (half-heartedly) for a while, then figues he's ok to have a beer or two, then thinks that's ok, so he can have more, and so on, and on and on.... I'm so not into perpetuating the cycle. I've noticed the stress level at my house is very high, in comaprision with other families that I know. It got so stressfull last fall that I got a cold at the beginning of November, and I had absolutely NOTHING to fight it with, and I was in bed for a month. I was just totally physically and mentally exhausted from trying to be the adult to clean up after DH's booze-feuled drama queen antics, having to hear him come home every night and pick fights with us, and belittle us by telling us that we're a burden, and he's the only one who does anything around the house, etc..... GRRR!!! It took me another month just to be able to get back to a semi-normal routine. My doctor had me on massive doses of vitamin C, and immune support herbals to get me through the rough parts. My back muscles were in constant spasm from the stress, and my shoulders were way up around my ears!! Thank goodness my neighbor (who is also a good friend!) is a massage therapist-- she's been very helpful with the muscle issues.

DH told me that he might as well just give up drinking altogether, if it'll keep the family together-- to quit for me and the boys, so to speak. But, I countered that is no reason to quit. He has to want to quit for himself, not at our behest. It's also a little too late. I care about him, but I fell out of love with him a long time ago.

DH has tried to stand up to his family, in small ways. I think he's seen that it's OK to have boundaries where they are concerned. That it's alright to assert himself if he's been upset or wronged by their actions, instead of just ignoring their bad behaviors, and hoping that they'll see the error of their ways.

Having the ILs call him on his cell is a good idea. DSs & I gave him a cell for Xmas, and he uses it all the time (This from a guy who thought all technology-- computers, cell phones, answering machines-- was the root of all evil! He's figured out how to forward his calls from work to his cell, and the ILs can even call the work number and get him wherever he is. I'm not sure how to handle if MIL wants DSs to visit her at her place... Some of my posts from last summer were about problems from MIL, and issues that arose with younger DS visiting her at her house. DH and I will have to sit down and hammer this out-- maybe even draw up some sort of paper that will detail exactly what we're going to do, and give MIL a version, just so she's clear about our boundaries. I'll have to tell my attorney, and she'll know what to do.

SIL was asking what the boys were doing for February vacation (this coming week-- SIL was asking if they were going to visit), but I don't want them visiting right now, especially SIL. I can just tell her that the boys have made plans for this week. If the ILs don't like it, tough. They'll get over it.

Take care,

Susie

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-23-2003
Tue, 02-22-2005 - 10:26pm

{{hugs}}, Susie.

I don't remember reading any of your posts and I don't have any advice for you other than maybe to see a lawyer if you haven't already. Just wanted to say that I'm sorry that you've gone through all this. It sounds like you are making the decision that is right for you.

Good luck to you and your kids. :)

http://www.paganedge.com/
Avatar for susieyippin
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Registered: 05-07-2003
Thu, 02-24-2005 - 6:55pm

Hi ubermedusa,

Thanks for the words of support. I have spoken with a lawyer, and actually my husband asked me if something was "going on", or in other words, he said that he knew that things were drawing to a close, as far as our marriage. He'll probably be moving out in a month or two, as soon as he gets his living situation sorted out.

Take care, and I'm sure I'll be posting more as time and the situation progresses.

Susie

Avatar for nmitford
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 03-01-2005 - 10:18am

Susie, normally when a couple divorces the parents of the non-custodial parent see the grandkids during the non-custodial parent's visitation.

We like your friends and we LOVE your mom -- Terri Clark "Girls Lie Too"

Avatar for susieyippin
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-07-2003
Wed, 03-02-2005 - 10:52am

Hi nmitford,

DH and I are basically on the same page as far as his family are concerned. He doesn't want his sister to have very much contact with the kids at all-- in fact, we had his sister on our will as the boys' guardian, but when she started getting flakier than usual, he and I decided to remove her completely as guardian, and go with a non-family member. We both agree that his brother will not see our younger son under any circumstances. Our older son will be 18 next month, and since he'll be an adult, whether he wants to see his uncle will be his decision.

As it stands at the moment, DH and I will probably not legally separate until the end of the school year. Younger DS is having trouble adjusting to his mew medication for ADD, and we will need to get him into behavioral therapy as well. I don't want to disrupt his progress at the moment (he's had enough problems with the ADD and school, so I want him to be "settled" a bit before we upturn the applecart), and I'm having some health issues right now, and I don't think I can handle 2 kids alone. Best to get a little healthier first.

We have caller ID and an answering machine, so 99% of the calls can be screened. I've also told DH my feelings about if his family starts crap, and he said that he will deal with them. He has gotten better about how he deals with them now. I'll also mention all this to my lawyer. She knows about the restraining order against BIL, so I'm sure she'll know what to do.

Take care,
Susie