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Dear Wendy

I’m being used as a scapegoat by my husbands family…

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  • #876272 Reply
    avatarSouthernmom72
    Participant

    It’s very long (6 years at least) story, so I’ll try to condense it. I married a great guy, still married 10 years now. Had 2 kids + my stepdaughter. Hubby is English and his mother is still there, although she visits once a year for 1-3 months. His brother came into America illegally and remained for 6 years until he got his resident card last year. His brother is a charming, fun, sneaky, enabled, narcissistic, non child support paying, non working, manipulating alcoholic who has always (according to hubby) manipulated every situation, but mostly their mother.
    Brother in law used to spend every weekend with us, cheating on his “fiance” (now wife) (who he was using for financial support and a roof over his head) He would always stay with us on weekends (to get away from her and her daughter) and bc our house is close to downtown (and he was illegal w/out a licence or a job) he could walk downtown and hook up with girls and go home with them. This isn’t that big of a town so we would hear from friends whose roommates beds he had woken up in etc. Plus he was pretty proud and bragged to my hubby a lot. We hated it but didn’t say anything, because that’s what everyone has always done for him, enabled. Until I decided one day to ask his fiance to consider giving some thought to something he had told her that clearly didn’t make sense (It was an opportunity for her to open her eyes to what was being done to her, without me having to say it as it was VERY OBVIOUS.) She has low self esteem and a history of letting men walk on her, so instead of doing what I asked, she took it straight to him who denied it. At this moment he must have realized he needed to keep me separate from her to keep his lifestyle and plans for a green card intact. This turned into him saying that I “didn’t want him to babysit my son anymore, after he’d done it a lot and he was hurt by me bc of it.” This was total B.S. as we were broke (so while he wasn’t my FIRST choice for a sitter, he was my ONLY choice) so I never said that. This lie of his worked like a charm though as it managed to turn me into the scapegoat (so he would not only NOT be to blame for the division in their family (Only a prob when their mom comes to visit) but he would in fact now be the VICTIM. This has gone on for 6 years. Problems are: We have recently realized hubby has Asperger’s, his mom has no idea and his communication style is to hide his head in the sand so she doesn’t know this or many other transgressions of his. She only knows about our son who has Aspergers. We are positive his mother has it also, she checks every single criteria and has always misunderstood everything and been torn up about it afterwards, yet never learns. Problem is she is so gullible (and never remarried, doesn’t keep friends long, so no one to talk to) so she has believed this lie and has thought I was the reason her sons have been apart for the last six years. She is brokenhearted and I get that completely which is why I have been kind and tried to let it go. I wanted hubby to handle it, but I knew he couldn’t, also I know how manipulative BIL is so just kind of left it out of hopelessness, plus we were busy with small children, custody battles, life, etc. Several times we have explained everything to her (hubby starts it, I give details, timelines etc.) and all it takes is 2 days and she is back to believing her other son again. She feels sorry for my son, that he probably can’t “go against” me and see his brother, so he gets zero blame, just pity. I know that is hard for her but my BIL is lying through his teeth. This last time when (2 weeks ago) when we explained it, we even provided her of screen shots where we had both contacted him about reconciling that she didn’t know about, showing her we were not the ones who were prolonging this divide. I don’t know what to do. She is planning on getting a visa and volunteering here for a year next year. I cannot tolerate this any longer. She makes rude comments under her breath about me and when I am not around to my stepdaughter (who I am close with) and to my husband she says rude things about me, then is very sweet and complimentary to my face, this causes alot of conversation between hubby, stepdaughter and me after she leaves, wondering WTH. They both tell me things she says. I need this stopped. This is hurtful and untrue. I haven’t done anything! In fact I have been WAY TOO NICE by not blowing up and telling her ALL that I know about this other son of hers (abortions, police troubles, illegitimate son not acknowledged or paid for etc) What on earth can I do? This whole thing is SO WEIRD and complicated!!! I wish I had a hubby who would have just nipped this in the bud 6 years ago, but I don’t. I understand his Autism makes it hard on him, so it’s pretty pointless to get on him too much about it, plus his mother is known for her Asperger’s Meltdowns and she absolutely LOSES IT irrationally when she gets upset. Something her sons have learned to avoid at all costs. I am the truthteller in the family, therefore the scapegoat it seems. What do I do???

    #876278 Reply
    avatarMiss MJ
    Guest

    Stop trying to manage other people’s relationships.

    You shouldn’t have interfered in your BIL and his wife’s relationship. You certainly shouldn’t air all their dirty laundry in a destined to fail effort to poison his mother against him.

    And, it’s on your husband to manage his relationship with his mother, even with his Aspergers. It’s also on him to make sure that his daughter isn’t being drawn into drama between his wife and his mother. He absolutely has to step up here. Therapy might be able to help him develop the skills he needs to do that. Finally, he really, really needs to stop repeating the nasty stuff his mother says to him about you. That’s supremely unhelpful.

    Take a giant step back here.

    #876279 Reply
    avatargolfer.gal
    Guest

    Yeah, you have a husband problem more than a mother in law problem. You need to step way back. You’re done visiting with mother in law. You’re done explaining the estrangement with your husband’s brother. You are very done hearing the nasty shit your mother in law says about you. Husband deals with her from now on and you limit your contact to, like, a one hour visit on Christmas and a mother’s day phone call. If she comes over you have a spa appointment, or a coffee date with yourself, whatever. Have a convo with hubby and tell him you’re out. No more dealing with his mother. If he has a problem with that and wants to continue to subject his wife to a hateful woman who says awful things about her (which he refuses to do anything about) then it’s time to reevaluate why you’re married.

    #876286 Reply
    avatarFYI
    Guest

    Why do you need an unstable woman to like you?

    #876292 Reply
    CurlyQueCurlyQue
    Participant

    1st NONE of what you wrote about your MIL has to do with your BIL. All of that backstory was unnecessary.
    2nd. When your MIL visits for months at a time (and soon a year) will she be staying at your house? If she is then talk to your husband about ground rules and have HIM convey them to her. If it’s not yet been decided then i strongly suggest not letting her stay with you.
    3rd. Your husband has maneuvered life well enough to have been married, had several children and presumably a job. He can have a conversation with his mother about her attitude problem. All she needs to do is be nice to you and about you when speaking to your step daughter. She can bitch to your husband but he needs to not relay that to you.

    #876508 Reply
    avatarButtery
    Guest

    This sounds like a total shit show and if I were you, I would just try to stay out of it. Your hub, BIL and MIL have been together/dealing with each other LONG (LONG!) before you got on these scene so let them carry on. As you mentioned you have so much other stuff to deal with.
    When your MIL is talking to your husband and step daughter about you – they should just shut her down. Why listen to that? Listen, my mom is pretty toxic and ridiculous. I had to inform her of the things I want her talking to my son about (since he was born, he’s 12 now) and things I don’t feel are appropriate. If I hear her trailing off into politics or her MLM products with him, I step in and tell her to stop. I’ve also empowered him by telling him to ask her to stop when she does that and change the subject or simply leave the room. And no, its not being mean to grandma to let her know that you don’t want to discuss politics with her, but that you would like to talk about X or Y. He has been using those tactics! And he feels relieved and is so much happier to speak to his grandma when she’s in the right frame to talk.
    Living life does not mean constantly being at the mercy of others. If others want to consider you “mean” because you don’t want to talk about something with them, oh well.
    You had so many other issues here that you need to start considering how to work with or manage or disengage from. I had to actively do this in my life and it has helped me AND MY FAMILY, so much. You are a grown ass woman with children to love, protect and teach so you’ve got to figure this stuff out.

    #876529 Reply
    avatarLOL
    Guest

    You want/let that man around your child?!

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