FAQ

Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Announcement Icon
You can win one of three $200 gift cards. Complete our survey by 5pm, 30 June 2024 AEST to enter the draw. Your response will be anonymous so you can't be identified.

My Husband VS My Family

Aria87
Community Member

For many years my husband has been "putting up"with how my family behave.
I used to cover up for them whenever they would be in the wrong, assuming it would help him just move on from the situation as i believe you cannot change people and at the end of the day im used to how my family are.

December came to breaking point, where i had an argument with a sibling, which lead to my husband letting out all his frustration against my family. Which lead me to confronting people and their behavious, in which they have all learn how to speak to in laws etc.

My mother is a big help in my life, now my husband refuses to help drop off our son at her house as he doesn't want to see her until hes ready. This brings a huge divide for me as my family want to apologize to him to work and move on from the siutation.
My husband feels if he does this he is giving in and it will only happen again. Ive made it VERY clear the boundaries noone can cross.
Im not expecting my husband to have daily lunches with any of my family. But i do wish he would just let my mum know whats bothered him, allowed her to apologize and we learn and move on from this. My husband needs more time, but the more time the more its oging to break more relationships and this gives me massive anxiety. I feel i cant turn to any family as they will just keep pushing me to fix my husband, ad i cant keep pushing my husband because im afraid he will loose it.
Please help 😞

9 Replies 9

Quercus
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Aria and welcome to the forums.

Your story is one I relate to from my own experiences. Being stuck in the middle of conflict between family and your spouse is a horrible and exhausting position to be in.

You said something that stood out strongly to me. You said in the past you've covered up for your family. Sounds familiar. Being the mediator is also exhausting.

Reading your post I got the impression that you are uncomfortable with conflict. Is that a fair comment?

I'd like to share something and it's ok if it doesn't help. It's just another way of viewing your situation.

My family avoids and buries conflict and it just fuels more resentment the next time an argument happens. My husband's family is the opposite. They speak up and argue all the time. Hubby has taught me that conflict can be necessary to clear the air and start again fresh.

I used to try cover up conflict between hubby and my family and try keep the peace. But it was pointless. He knew, they knew and resentment grew until it all went to pot like you described. And I got stuck in the middle.

What helped was deciding how I felt about conflict and talking to hubby about how we as a couple wanted OUR family to function. By this I mean my husband and our kids. I want our kids to cope with conflict and not be anxious and a people pleaser like me. I hate how my family bury conflict and use it later as fuel.

So I made a decision to change. My family hate it, but it's not their choice to change me. I accept they can choose to argue however they like but so can I. If they can't accept that I'm ok with that too. I feel more comfortable in myself even if it means we don't see my family much anymore.

I wanted to share that to show that your husband's reaction is understandable. I would react the same. It makes sense that he's reluctant to forgive. In my family outbursts like that would get brushed off with a BS apology and then they'd just go back to doing the same thing again.

I understand that you don't feel able to ask for help from your family and no doubt that is difficult. But I've learnt that in hubby's family you can argue and yet that doesn't stop people from wanting to spend time with our kids. That's the kind of manipulative thing my sister would do to make me give up or pressure hubby to perform by my family's rules. But we're not kids anymore.

So... Who else can help you? Do you have friends you can ask for support with your children?

I hope you feel able to return and chat.

Nat

Aria87
Community Member

Hi Nat,

Thank you for your reply!
And yes 100% right. Ive covered up my entire life.

This situation, i did confront my family, they too didnt like but they also accepted they could have offended my husband. My father even spoke to my husband hoping it would help him out in moving on with this. but my husband, blames my mother. is now making it hard to just drop off the kids if im working, doesnt want my mum coming to pick them up (which helps us both) i find this very stubborn and embaressing now.im so tired of it.

I dont know what else my husband wants out of this situation, and his response is he needs 'more time

we dont have time.. and the issue comes up every single week!! when my mum helps me when im at work.

😞

Aria87
Community Member
What also doesnt help, is i work with my family too!

Quercus
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Aria and thanks for your replies.

I can understand totally that the conflict between your hubby and Mum is making things way more stressful for you. It's horrible being stuck in the middle.

When you wrote that your husband was being stubborn and you found it embarrassing I have to admit I had a chuckle to myself because it felt so familiar.

Conflict used to make very incredibly embarrassed and uncomfortable too. But then one day hubby said something that made sense to me... That when I try make peace it makes him feel like easing my own discomfort/inconvenience/embarrassment was more important to me than him being hurt. It was a good point. What do you think?

If your husband needs more time is it possible that something your Mum did or said has really upset him?

Or perhaps he's upset that you're not more angry? I've learnt my husband considers our family unit's needs (us and kids) have more priority to him than our parents needs. It took time to understand that he expected me to feel the same. So if he was angry he expected me to be angry on his behalf.

All guesses of course! Have you had time to s it down and ask your husband what specific actions and words has upset him so badly?

Does he feel like anything will change if he accepts the apology and moves on? Is there anything he expected you to do differently.

As always... Family conflict is the pits and I do feel for you. Hopefully you can find even small ways to feel less anxious.

Nat

Aria87
Community Member

Hi Nat,

Youre my breath of fresh air when i read your replies.

I have asked what exactly happened and what comments its been all these years, and the answer is "i cant even remember" now ANYTHING i do to fix this situation comes flying back at me and hes even more angry.
But you are right, he probably is angry im not angry. But I tired to explain i was proud that i confronted them, and told them everything how we felt, they understood he needs time even tough they want to apologize etc to help move on from this.. and my husband just gets MORE angry. I tell my husband, the fact he doesnt trust ive dealt with it, and he said he doesnt believe me is the main thing that gets to me now, but he then blames my family and insists im acting this way to get my way about him moving on. And he just gets more stubborn from there. Its like i get excited ive done the right thing, i come back expecting my husband to be proud of that and i get the exact opposite.

I agree i try to make peace as it eases myself, and i hope my husband takes on that too as i feel hes TOO hard and needs to accept that yes people make mistakes, they all want to apologize as they never want him to be so hurt about anything.. but how it came about, so abrupt and sudden, thats where i found it unfair. BUt ill never understand that part of my husband and why it came down to being so cut throat.

Olga

Aria87
Community Member

Hi Nat,
Youre the breath of fresh air i need when i see your replies.

Ive asked my husband when all this came down to it, and he said he couldnt remember exactly what.

I deep down thing i was doing something that my husband didnt like, in which he blames my family for my upbringing. Therefore has taken it out on them more than me as im his wife.

I agree with the comment if i try make peace, it makes it worse. But for me, i like to deal and move on. Whats the point of being uncomfortable. People listen if you speak. But my husband is not like this.

My husband believes no change will happen, and all he wants to do is cut them off. This hurts. I cant work a week and be able to accept that this is normal like, because it isnt. Not when i rely on the support of my family when its needed also.

I dont know how to handle this any longer. When i get these altimatives from my husband, do i just accept these and do what i need to do with my family alone with my son?

Quercus
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Olga,

I'm sorry you had to wait for my reply. Things here have been not too great.

Thank you for saying my replies have helped you. It feels good to know.

It sounds like you're in a really difficult position right now (total understatement).

I'm not sure reading whether your husband wants to cut your family out of your lives altogether or if he doesn't want to see them as an individual? The reality is that he cannot make that decision for the both of you. You get a say too and it's clear regardless of their faults you love your family and don't want to cut them off. But if he doesn't want to see them that is his choice as hard as it is to understand let alone cope with.

If you have to see your family with your son only is that something you will be able to learn to deal with? I'm asking will your husband respect your right to see and love your family even if he doesn't want to?

I worry that if you feel guilty all the time when you choose to spend time with your family or it makes him angry at you how can you manage this without fighting all the time?

Do you think your husband might agree to couples therapy so you can discuss how this can work practically? We've been seeing a counsellor recently and although I wondered how it could help (and had to fight tooth and nail to get hubby to agree to try it) it has helped to have an independent third party acting as mediator for us.

It helps that the counsellor is a man too because for some reason my husband asks him at times if what I'm saying is fair or reasonable from his view and when the counsellor says it is, he considers what I'm saying. I suspect in our case it is an unconscious cultural issue.

Do you think having someone help you discuss this as a couple might help you to find a compromise?

You said your husband is angry. It made me wonder if he is being defensive? It must be hard to have felt rejected by your family for so long without being able to confront them. Do you ever wonder if he is afraid that you'll choose your family over him if he pushes too hard?

I ask because that's how my mind works. I feel like hubby will eventually give up on me so I get angry, defensive and I push him away. Reject him before he can reject me.

Obviously your husband is his own person and my dramas are my own. I'm probably biased. Being angry and defensive is familiar. At heart when I'm like that I'm asking him to notice I'm not ok and to be affectionate.

Just more waffling thoughts sorry. I hope you're ok.

Aria87
Community Member
Hey, are you okay!?!?!

You know, i took your advise.. and yes, my family didnt like me telling them they were in the wrong, but i was more worried as ive never confronted such an issue. And the issue, is with them. My husband just needed to see me stick up for him. and now i see his point of view. however, i need to be careful on what i continue to share, as if i tell him how anyone bugs me, i will only fuel this.
This isnt forever for him, he just wants to do this in his own time, as thats how my parents have pushed him. Its his choice, and my husband doesnt like it either.. but it is what it is! Im MUCH happier i got it off my chest and don thave to keep defending anybody or anything as im not the actual issue.

Im here to help you too if you need to chat?

Quercus
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Olga,

It is so good to hear that you've both been able to work things out even if it's a work in progress. I love hearing when things improve.

Thanks for your offer and care. I really appreciate it. I'm just overwhelmed again but it's a long story. I have a thread in the long term section and you're welcome to come say hello (no need to read it). But it's ok if you're happier to chat here too.

I hope you feel able to update with how you're doing if it helps you.

❤ Nat