Hello dear reader (thanks so much in advance. This is pretty lengthy)
My wife and I have 2 children. 3 and 1 yrs. I love my family dearly and would do anything for them. Im a hard headed former Marine with a degree in Computer Science. I believe that everyone you meet in life is a teacher in one way or another. I come from a dysfuctional family (not a lot of affection in either direction) but otherwise well adjusted.
Recently, I asked her 2 sisters and mother on their stance about CPAP machines for wifes sleep apnea. I noticed after some time in our relationship that she would snore and quit breathing during sleep. I urged her to goto a sleep study where she was diagnosed.
A few years pass. My wife has not been wearing the machine mask even with occasional reminders. Recently studies have shown actual white matter brain death from low oxygen levels due to the apnea. This caused me to be more sincere with my desire for her to wear it sooner rather than later. I asked the inlaws in a group text (wife included) against my wife's advice their stance on my wife refusing to use the machine. I figured they would just maybe send a few texts to my wife encouraging her to use the mask like any decent person would upon hearing the news. Just be a little ammo for the cause. Stupid me.
The answers were astounding: the mother outright denied any health issues more than once. She is very supersticious in general. The two sisters said verbatum "patients have rights" and that she has no obligation to wear the mask (even as the mother of 2 small kids not to mention wedding vows and all?). They began to berate me saying I have low self esteem, I am pathetic, and abusive. I am none of these things. I asked them if they were fine with the progressive brain damage and linked the study. They said how dare I accuse them of not caring about their sister/daughter and that the cause of her health issues is actually ME!
My wife has a few health problems. In the beginning, i discovered symptoms of PCOS which none of her doctors even considered her having until I went with her (then GF) and told the doctor my concerns. They then did some tests and it turned out my suspicions were correct. We were able to have two beautiful daughters after the treatment! My wife was certain she was permanently sterile before this. I also pushed her to go to the doctor to get thyroid hormones checked. She was diagnosed with Thyroiditus and takes medication for it.
I have no medical training, I was just lucky to see all the symptoms and put 2 + 2 together. My wife is not very health conscious and so did not think to link symptoms to disease, which I understand.
The inlaws never really tried to get to know me since i came into the family 7 years ago. My wife says they think I am weird because I seem more "intelligent" (im no dummy but hardly an intellect!) than they are used to. This is weird because both sisters are college educated and so are their husbands.
They all commented on my race the very first time they met me. It was the first thing out of one sister's mouth, actually. They make snide remarks about me (in jest my wife says, doesnt feel like it) every once in a while too. I either ignore it or give one right back and thisndoes not feel like banter mind you.
They are also irate that I am also encouraging my wife to lose 20 to 30 pounds. I believe (as well as the endocrinologist we saw) that losing this weight will have beneficial affects not only for her thyroid, but the PCOS and the apnea. One sister says she is "like a plus size model" and beautiful the way she is.
I met my wife when she was overweight. I like em with some meat. Wink wink. After the health issues became evident, I told my wife directly that she was overweight and must lose weight for her health during an argument (a few, actually) and the inlaws found out. I have been an evil man ever since. I deserve nothing in their eyes and they told my wife they support her if she wants a divorce (she doesn't). She says she wants to get healthier. I think the family is giving her counter-advice and slowing her down.
A little history: My wifes mother used to choke and hit her growing up. One of her sisters "disowned her" for like 7 years. Her father has NEVER seen my kids and he lives 10 minutes away in the same house as wifes mother. He has been involuntarily admitted at least 3 times for alcoholism. The other sister took advantage of her for years and has never returned the favors. The mother wants like $60k from her and demands she give her the house. This because she put 20k down on the house.
Even so, the mom still would babysit her grandkids and we all get together on holidays.
The wife basically forgives them for all of this history and says I should apologize to them for the group text i sent asking about the CPAP because they interpreted it as an assault against the entire family.
Now they won't even babysit our kids because they are mad at me about the text.
What is your take on this whole situation? Am I a monster as they say? Is the family right?
Am I in the twilight zone?
My theory is that the family is HIGHLY manipulative and just plain toxic but my wife doesn't see it that way because they have "fun" during superficial gatherings.
As I said, the inlaws and I have never really spoken beyond casual convo. They just are not interested in opening up.
So, I can only infer from what I see.
It's a waste of your time trying to enlist the family's help when it comes to your wife's health issues. The issues are basically hers to sort with you assisting and encouraging her. She needs to help herself before anybody, including you, can in turn help her. It's between the two of you and nobody else.
Her family need to understand that by refusing to babysit your kids only creates a rift within the family when they really should be looking out for each other, as families do, and this should include them being concerned about your wife's health and well being. When you take two steps away from it all, these people's actions tell you that they have never really accepted you into the family and you're basically fighting an uphill battle there, even after 7 years. They need to realize if you're good enough for their sister, and she's happy, then you should be welcomed, regardless of your race, background and perceived intelligence.
When it's all said and done, you need to share your life with a partner who shares your values and standards and most importantly, above all else, it's your daughters who need their Mum and Dad to be happy and healthy to be the same.
I agree with the above views in that this is between you and your wife and how relatives got dragged into this is a mystery.
You say your wife is overweight and that is affecting her health and her sleep. But you don't say what SHE says about all this.
What do her Drs say? Can you turn this over to what she and her Drs think should be done?
What I'm saying is that this woman has a lot of people pressuring her one way or another about her health. You seem to be more concerned than she is. Can you let her face the consequences or the benefits of her handling her own health?
You seem like a very caring and intelligent husband and including your wife’s family in with her health concerns seems perfectly normal to me. But, it does sound like your are unfairly surrounded and outnumbered by women. Dear Lord, have mercy!
I’m sorry to hear your wife’s family has a problem with your race, but here’s to joining together in this huge melting pot called the USA.
Encouraging your wife to seek a doctors opinion and expressing to your wife that her health choices are very important to you seems very loving. But, she has to want to help herself.
You mentioned her family was very manipulating? Is it possible she’s showing her independence? And is it possible, that your military tough guy is coming across as being a little too pushy for your in-laws? Oh and thank you for your service in the military, you are an American hero.
Personally speaking, being 20-30lbs overweight isn’t that abnormal for a woman after having a couple children, And I’ve heard of cancer patience who beat cancer/radiation because they were 30lbs overweight. So, continue giving her unconditional love and she’ll sooner or later come around on her own free will.
I don’t know if you are a praying man, but here’s to you and her family all getting back together.