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Dreadful Christmas

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I have posted previously re the relationship with my husband's family. We have just had the most stressful Christmas. Two of his children have not bothered with him (apart from when he took them to football). I suppose that means they've not bothered with me. They live abroad and are only home for short visits. Two of his children came round and exchanged gifts which was good. One kept going on in detail about what a wonderful family time (all siblings and mother together) they'd had and telling stories of things which had happened. I think this was very hurtful to my husband.

My husband has been so stressed he could hardly eat on Christmas Day. We have arked and sparked over things and now I just feel drained. His children have behaved so badly towards their father but until he stands up to them it will keep happening. And he will never stand up to them. So I am faced with 3 choices. I either let them get their way and we go separately to family events (or I don't go), we continue as we are and insist we go to things as a couple or not at all and then have to live with all the stress that follows. I don't feel right now that I can do that and am beginning to believe that my marriage is over and I should just walk away. I am aware that as he doesn't stand up to them and, in his words, "is just dad" with them, that the finger of blame for the disruptive relationship is being pointed very squarely at me!

This is such a sad situation. My own children's father is dead and I find it so hard to believe that anyone could treat their own father so poorly.

Dreadful Christmas

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Hi, you’re right until he does tell them things aren’t going to change. And not only does he need to do it for himself and his mental health but for you too, so this can stop getting repeated and the stress and tension can stop.

In a way he’s also kinda letting his kids down too, by not being honest with them, as a young adult myself, I would hope my mum would always be open and honest with me and I’d want to know if I did anything wrong.

He might have always done this and they know this. They know they can not bother with him as much or throw in little hurtful digs and be disrespectful.

It sounds like you’ve talked a lot already. Personally, I think he should stand by you, and you should both go to family gatherings together or not at all, and start from there so they get the message you come a a couple.

Dreadful Christmas

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These roles in your husbands (ex) family are entrenched. The adult children think your husband is quiet, passive and there’s just not much to talk about, huh?

So they fill the space with stories about happy times, which includes their mother, his ex. To “make thingshappy” seems to have been her role in this family/marriage.

So .... one thing your husband can do is to do what he’s not used to: be fun, funny, and assertive.

Can he do that? Probably not. It was never his “role.”

Why did you fall in love with this man? You must see character attributes that you found attractive enough to marry him. What were they?

These adult children need to see these same good qualities and learn to treasure and appreciate them.

This is not going to happen overnight.

In the meantime, resolve to be a united front when dealing with family. Don’t give up on this man - since he has qualities that made you fall in love with him.

Lift those qualities up!

Dreadful Christmas

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Thanks for your replies. My husband was always the joker in his family, the one the kids knew was fun. And also the one who possibly undermined the discipline.its so hard to see him stressed out at times when he should be happy and celebrating. It puts such a strain on us as a couple, especially as my kids are so warm towards him

Dreadful Christmas

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Hi Christy,

Well I didn't read the previous entry you had made about your situation, but I will just give some feedback based off of this one.

First thing is, there's nothing wrong with his ex's children mentioning his ex and the things they do together. That's a part of your life and it's a packaged deal with your husband. It's a shame if they aren't great to your husband, but they did still come around to visit and seemed happy.

Most families break down over the years, from my experience. People develop their own lives and start their own families. And I can't think of too many families where someone isn't estranged and they're all really close-knit.

I would try not to let this negatively impact your relationship. You love your husband, and although the situation makes him upset there is rarely an easy solution with children and divorce. Just be there for him and reassure him he's a good man.

Dreadful Christmas

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What has happened that he is no longer the family “joker” and now is even unable to speak to his children about how he or his new wife feels?

You say he’s stressed - so much so he can’t eat.

What do you attribute all this to?

This thread has expired - why not start your own?