- June 1, 2019 at 1:58 pm #844534
5 years ago my husband had a nervous breakdown/ mid life crisis. He acted immaturely and very erratically for 2 years. I knew what was happening and gave him some space to recover which he did. Our marriage is now better than ever. FYI – He did not cheat on me, cause financial distress, etc. He did cheat emotionally but I understood as I researched mid life crisis. He mainly was a selfish jerk at the time. We have been married 27 years.
My family has never liked him even though he has helped them tremendously. We gave my sister a downpayment for a house without asking for repayment, hired her to manage our store at a drastically higher than market wage and loaned my parents 25000 which they did not pay back. He never mentioned it.
During his breakdown my family became very critical of him. He understandably finally snapped and told my parents he wanted his money back. He reprimanded my sister as she didn’t show up for work 3 times and was critical of his breakdown to staff. He did not ask my sister for her house downpayment back though.
Ever since then, my family will noy speak to him. We work alongside my sister and she will not acjnowledge him. He is friendly to her and speaks to her but she generally answers with curt one word replies or ignores him completely. My parents will not acknowledge him at all so I am no longer allowed to bring him to family events – which makes Christmas and weddings very lonely. It has been 3 years and although he tries to be friendly and make inroads he is rebuffed. I am so hurt and frustrated and dreading the next few years. I am hoping someone has some advice. Sorry this was so long. LilyJune 1, 2019 at 3:01 pm #844536
I would not go to family events if my family refused to let my wife come.June 1, 2019 at 3:02 pm #844537
Also, fire the sisterJune 1, 2019 at 3:30 pm #844539
Thank you for your advice. I have been trying to keep peace and make everyone happy but I think it is a lost cause.June 1, 2019 at 4:00 pm #844542
So why is it we are loaning family money (or giving family money) that made husband become financially stressed? Why arent we saying no? If your family has never liked your husband why would you agree that giving them large sums was okay to do? Even after all he has done for them they still are ungrateful and dislike him. Do you not have your husbands back? Why arent you the one confronting your parents and sister? Why is sister even still working for you guys? Why didnt you tell your husband NO on loaning money out to them? Clearly your husband loaned money out to your family because he loves you and cares about what is important to you but a line needs to be drawn on your part and assuring your husband that your familys financial problems are no longer y’alls problem anymore and yeah they should be paying money back if that was agreed upon.June 1, 2019 at 4:05 pm #844543
I was thinking exactly what Fyodor wrote. If an employee can’t treat their boss with respect, they get fired. Give her warning that she needs to be professional at work and if her attitude doesn’t improve, let her go. And let your family know that you have forgiven your husband, the two of you are a package deal, and you will not be attending any more events to which he is not invited. Stop letting them get away with treating him like this. I’m hoping your family will start behaving more graciously when they realize you won’t continue to tolerate their rudeness. If not, that’s sad, but any estrangement that results will have been entirely because of their choices.June 1, 2019 at 4:12 pm #844544
Thank you again everyone for your input.
Poppy – there is more of a backstory that I thought would make the post even longer than it should be. When we opened our business 20 years ago my parents gave us a very large loan as they were able to financially at that point. We paid them back in full with interest. When the time came that they were in a jam and needed money we felt it was only right as without them we would not have been able to open the business. My husband agreed fully at the time. However, I agree with you – I have been straddling both my family and my husband’s needs to make everyone happy and I have failed him. I was very close to my family and just wanted to find a way for everyone to be happy. At the end of the day I have to choose my husband. Thank you for helping me to see this more clearly.June 1, 2019 at 4:20 pm #844545
It’s nice to be able to loan people money in a time of need. That’s great that they were able to help but i hope it hasnt made you feel guilty which put you guys in a financial crunch. After all, you paid them back with interest. What does dreading the next few years mean btw?June 1, 2019 at 5:53 pm #844547
Why don’t you just talk to your family members? Just take your sister out for a relaxed lunch — don’t think of it as a big confrontation — and listen to her. AFTER you listen to her, tell her…
He did a lot for her — a job, a salary, a downpayment.
He needs to be respected at work.
It would be helpful TO YOU if she would chill.
Then do the same with your parents. Just listen, and then ask for what you need. Tell them all that they’re putting you in a tough position.June 1, 2019 at 6:25 pm #844548
Thank you very much everyone for your advice. I am going to try what you suggested.
Poppy – I guess what I mean is the increasing distance with my parents, the Christmases and special occasions that are so strained. I am just finding things very difficult and everyday at work is incredibly stressful. I only say a few years as my parents are in their mid seventies so once they pass that is a different situation.June 1, 2019 at 8:20 pm #844550
You wrote that your husband was having a midlife crisis for two years. Does that mean he was being an asshole to you and your family for two years? You wrote he snapped at your parents and told them he wanted HIS money back. He reprimanded your sister. Were you also present for these incidents? Was it his money, or also your money? It can be really hard to rewrite history when you’ve made a bad impression. And if it was long term assholery, it might take even longer for your family to like him again. Or be civil. You’re married to him and love him and have forgiven him. It’s not hard to imagine that they might not be on the forgiveness train yet.
I think you should talk to your sister about her disrespectful behavior at work, and your parents separately. It’s possible they are still hung up on how he treated you, that he emotionally cheated on you, etc. It’s possible that they know something you don’t. It’s possible they are ungrateful assholes or some combination of these things.
Most people try to keep family and business separate. It rarely goes well long term. It takes a very strong family- and one with boundaries. I would also say loaning money is often not advisable with friends or family in general. It gets seen as a gift, or there’s no way to repay it, or there is no actual agree or contract about repayment and that builds resentment. With in law issues, we normally advise people to take the lead with their own family. You should be dealing with them, he should take a step back. Of course, when he is your sister’s boss, the line gets muddied. Are you also her boss?
Regardless, you need to start making some real boundaries. You deal with your family. Ask your parents about the money. You should talk to your husband and work out what you want to say to your sister. Take her out for a coffee. Listen to her side. Give her another chance, maybe. It seems you’d like to keep your family in your life, so you need to probably not burn a bridge with your sister right away. Tell her to cut the shit, in the nicest way possible.
Stop loaning people money, unless you’re super rich and don’t mind losing it.June 1, 2019 at 9:19 pm #844552
The money has complicated things for sure. But the bottom line is, he was an asshole for two years. He treated you and your family badly. They watched as he hurt you, cheated on you. It’s HARD to forgive someone for hurting your loved one.
You made the decision, as his wife, to forgive him. That’s absolutely your right. You can’t make your family feel the same way. There are consequences to being an asshole, and he may have permanently damaged his relationships with your family.
I’m a little confused about your terminology. You say he had a midlife crisis. That’s usually used in a critical/mocking way to refer to someone acting out out of selfishness. If there was actual mental illness that was diagnosed and treated, it’s a different situation than if he just decided to have an emotional affair and be a selfish ass for two years because he was tired of being a grownup.
If he’s recovering from a psychiatric problem, I think you have grounds to ask your family for tolerance. If he was just being a jerk, well, the damage might be done. He’s going to have to win back their trust.