Dealing With a Toxic Environment


#1

If you lived very close to your in-laws( who were rude, vulgar, openly racist, condone the use of drugs, and smoked indoors) and and your spouse had a very close relationship with them, wanting to be over/stay over 3 nights+ a week how would you handle this?

The environment is very toxic and not good for my husband who struggles with his conversion because of his parents influence, not to mention our child. It’s bad enough that my not yet two year old niece says things like the N word, C&$, calls her mother a B#$@, and screams S#*& every time something goes wrong.

I’ve suggested moving a state or so away, but he just can’t imagine being so far away from them, and when we lived 2 hours away he still insisted on going back every weekend.


#2

[quote="Bporte00, post:1, topic:244807"]
If you lived very close to your in-laws( who were rude, vulgar, openly racist, condone the use of drugs, and smoked indoors) and and your spouse had a very close relationship with them, wanting to be over/stay over 3 nights+ a week how would you handle this?

The environment is very toxic and not good for my husband who struggles with his conversion because of his parents influence, not to mention our child. It's bad enough that my not yet two year old niece says things like the N word, C&$, calls her mother a B#$@, and screams S#*& every time something goes wrong.

I've suggested moving a state or so away, but he just can't imagine being so far away from them, and when we lived 2 hours away he still insisted on going back every weekend.

[/quote]

Your problem isnt your inlaws. I hate to say it but moving a state away doesnt fix the weakness that you and your husband have to things that arent right. There is no excuse if your two year old says these things, none. You and your husband are the primary educators of your kids and are surely the captains of your souls. Its time to actually convert your heart.
If you are weak, and married a weak man then it is to be expected to have these problems. I understand that you feel as if you are yearning for a better way and a holier life. I think it is exactly what you need. But there is no magic wand here. Tears, hard work, leadership, honor, love, logic, communication, teamwork..... and on and on. I will pray for you and you will be praying a ton in the years to come.


#3

I see that the 2 year old is a niece but the premise of my advice stands. Your problem is with your own selves. Not the inlaws. There is no way this is a recent development.


#4

When I was four, my Dad got posted to a remote location as part of his job. He moved our family about 3,500 km away, and stayed for two years.

He said it was the best thing he could have done for his marriage. My mum wasn't completely attached to her mum, but she was still pretty dependent on her. The move forced her to rely on my dad and their relationship was strengthened because of it.

Their parents both came to visit for a month or so once while they were there, and were welcomed, and Mum & Dad were glad to return home after the two years was finished, but the experience of being separated from "the apron strings" was invaluable.


#5

Does your husband recognize his parents' problems or does he think they are just fine and that it's you who needs to chill out? If the former, you have some hope of improvement. If the latter, it's going to be an uphill road and yes, your child will be influenced by them.

You are over at his parents 3 x a week??? He has never left their home fully. He is supposed to "leave and cleave" and not return to his parents house and spend almost as much time there as in his own adult home.

If he cannot cut the ties with his parents, you've got problems ahead. I don't know what the answer is, if his own niece using the N word and other disgusting words doesn't shock him, well, what will?

Prayers for you, dear sister.


#6

I agree with posters who think that it is the relationship with your husband that needs to be worked upon. He acts like a child that still needs his parents and prioritises them over his wife and child. That is not healthy. As Julianne said, it is very troubling that he is not appaled by his niece's vocabulary. I suggest you have a conversation about this. Point out all the problems of that environment and discuss how that will influence your child. He should be alarmed at that. And pray that he comes to his senses. God bless.


#7

He agrees with me that the behavior is far from appropriate, but if he says anything or corrects her when we are together they just laugh and tell him he was worse and he turned out fine. He has a burning desire to change and to live more Christ like and raise or children in a wholesome environment, but is easily dissuaded by his parents. Weeks of bible study,prayer, and discussion is quickly undermined by one comment from them.

I honestly don’t think anyone in his family has ever done the “leave and cleave” :frowning: His older sister and her family lives with her husbands mom, his grandmother lived with them up until last year when she had to be placed in a care facility, and his fathers mother lived next door up until she died.


#8

Excusing the comment mistaking my niece for my own child, I’ll address the weak comment.

I’m far from a weak personality and in general my husband is not either. In his defense if the only moral you were ever taught was to honor your parents, if your whole life you had been told and shown in daily living that you should honor your parents without question and anything else was good, it would be a rather big deal to defect from their way of teaching. Am I weak because I will not rip my husband from his parents bond? I’d like to think I’m ensuring I don’t put him in the middle and end up tearing our marriage apart.


#9

[quote="admonsta, post:4, topic:244807"]
When I was four, my Dad got posted to a remote location as part of his job. He moved our family about 3,500 km away, and stayed for two years.

He said it was the best thing he could have done for his marriage. My mum wasn't completely attached to her mum, but she was still pretty dependent on her. The move forced her to rely on my dad and their relationship was strengthened because of it.

Their parents both came to visit for a month or so once while they were there, and were welcomed, and Mum & Dad were glad to return home after the two years was finished, but the experience of being separated from "the apron strings" was invaluable.

[/quote]

It's nice to know that I'm not the only person that a move to get away from his parents influence would be helpful. We've talked lately about moving some where with a high Catholic population (building castles in the sky), I think it would hurt him to go, but I'm almost certain it will help in the long run.


#10

Honoring our parents doesn't mean blind submission to them - especially as we get older. After God, our marriage (if we are married) should be the most important relationship in our life. Moving does sound like a good idea, at least for a few years. Yes, it may hurt him at first, but a lot of good things do. Above all, stay faithful in prayer and obedience to Him together.


#11

[quote="Bporte00, post:8, topic:244807"]
Excusing the comment mistaking my niece for my own child, I'll address the weak comment.

I'm far from a weak personality and in general my husband is not either. In his defense if the only moral you were ever taught was to honor your parents, if your whole life you had been told and shown in daily living that you should honor your parents without question and anything else was good, it would be a rather big deal to defect from their way of teaching. Am I weak because I will not rip my husband from his parents bond? I'd like to think I'm ensuring I don't put him in the middle and end up tearing our marriage apart.

[/quote]

There are different ways to be weak. What I am hearing is an excuse. "he was raised that way" Well, I dont think that can excuse what you are describing as evil.
It sure doesnt bolster the argument that you are not weak. Im sure you were smart enough to marry knowing full well who your husband and his family were. To stand up for Holiness, and to honor your family and wife require strength and honor. If a man cannot cleave to his wife that is a problem. If someone cannot recognize that they have a weakness enough to start to deal with it that is a problem too. One cannot post the personal problem you have posted and expect that the advice will be pleasant. It is possible that the in laws are not as you described but rather annoying and you wanted to bolster your point of view. However if they are as you described you do yourself no favors by thinking that the husband has been raised to honor without question.

This is a pretty obvious problem. It has a harder and less obvious solution. But one thing is for sure, it would be easier and more benificial for you to change yourselves rather than change your in laws. It would be such a toxic environment to raise a kid in. I am also concerned that your husband wants to be over at their house enough that you would "stay" over many times a week. Something isnt right here.


#12

[quote="Bporte00, post:7, topic:244807"]
He agrees with me that the behavior is far from appropriate, but if he says anything or corrects her when we are together they just laugh and tell him he was worse and he turned out fine. He has a burning desire to change and to live more Christ like and raise or children in a wholesome environment, but is easily dissuaded by his parents. Weeks of bible study,prayer, and discussion is quickly undermined by one comment from them.

I honestly don't think anyone in his family has ever done the "leave and cleave" :( His older sister and her family lives with her husbands mom, his grandmother lived with them up until last year when she had to be placed in a care facility, and his fathers mother lived next door up until she died.

[/quote]

Well, it is not merely proximity, it is the true cutting of the umbilical cord, although distance can help if the relationship is too tight to be broken away from. Your husband has not really become his own man if one comment from his parents (mother?) can totally undermine his hard work in becoming more holy. He wants to please them more than he wants to please God. No judgment on him for that, it's just reality. If and when he decides that his life with you is important enough to put some distance between you and his parents, things will change. Do you have a child of your own yet? Sometimes the presence of a baby changes everything....suddenly you are thrown into a world of protecting that baby from undue influences...


#13

[quote="Mark_David, post:10, topic:244807"]
Honoring our parents doesn't mean blind submission to them - especially as we get older. After God, our marriage (if we are married) should be the most important relationship in our life. Moving does sound like a good idea, at least for a few years. Yes, it may hurt him at first, but a lot of good things do. Above all, stay faithful in prayer and obedience to Him together.

[/quote]

I know this, but he feels my view on respecting parents is foreign and cold. I really am thinking of suggesting he speak to our Priest on the matter so he can hear from someone other than me that he can love and respect his parents without making them the center of his world.


#14

That’s the issue though now isn’t it. I know it’s evil, you know it’s evil, but to him it is life as general. So how do you convince someone that has been indoctrinated to believe it’s the norm that it is really very wrong? I won’t deny I am not weak to an extent, we are all weak, and I did not post demanding pleasant advice. This is an issue I’ve been dealing with privately for a very long time, too ashamed to admit that I’m in this situation, and so I did post assuming the advice I would get would be helpful, kindly worded, and full of brotherly love as most of my questions on this forum are.


#15

[quote="Catholicpotato, post:11, topic:244807"]
There are different ways to be weak. What I am hearing is an excuse. "he was raised that way" Well, I dont think that can excuse what you are describing as evil.
It sure doesnt bolster the argument that you are not weak. Im sure you were smart enough to marry knowing full well who your husband and his family were. To stand up for Holiness, and to honor your family and wife require strength and honor. If a man cannot cleave to his wife that is a problem. If someone cannot recognize that they have a weakness enough to start to deal with it that is a problem too. One cannot post the personal problem you have posted and expect that the advice will be pleasant.** It is possible that the in laws are not as you described but rather annoying and you wanted to bolster your point of view**. However if they are as you described you do yourself no favors by thinking that the husband has been raised to honor without question.

This is a pretty obvious problem. It has a harder and less obvious solution. But one thing is for sure, it would be easier and more benificial for you to change yourselves rather than change your in laws. It would be such a toxic environment to raise a kid in. I am also concerned that your husband wants to be over at their house enough that you would "stay" over many times a week. Something isnt right here.

[/quote]

They are far from annoying, aside from their glaring flaws they are loving people who have been there for me since I was 12 years old, however I just can't ignore the problems like I did then because I understand the deeper implications.


#16

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:12, topic:244807"]
Well, it is not merely proximity, it is the true cutting of the umbilical cord, although distance can help if the relationship is too tight to be broken away from. Your husband has not really become his own man if one comment from his parents (mother?) can totally undermine his hard work in becoming more holy. He wants to please them more than he wants to please God. No judgment on him for that, it's just reality. If and when he decides that his life with you is important enough to put some distance between you and his parents, things will change. Do you have a child of your own yet? Sometimes the presence of a baby changes everything....suddenly you are thrown into a world of protecting that baby from undue influences...

[/quote]

We have an eleven month old, who he says he wants a better life for. He wants her involved in the church, home schooled, doesn't want to let her watch tv or listen to bad music....He just doesn't see that the most dangerous influence is his family. :SMH:

I probably shouldn't have posted this, I feel like I have opened a can of worms and painted myself to be a bad person.


#17

[quote="Bporte00, post:14, topic:244807"]
That's the issue though now isn't it. I know it's evil, you know it's evil, but to him it is life as general. So how do you convince someone that has been indoctrinated to believe it's the norm that it is really very wrong? I won't deny I am not weak to an extent, we are all weak, and I did not post demanding pleasant advice. This is an issue I've been dealing with privately for a very long time, too ashamed to admit that I'm in this situation, and so I did post assuming the advice I would get would be helpful, kindly worded, and full of brotherly love as most of my questions on this forum are.

[/quote]

So are you now saying that your husband does not recognize the corruption of a child and racism are evil? That it is life as general? I dont care if he was raised by nazi, cannibalists there are things that you know as evil and denounce and things you approve of. I am not meaning to be mean but I can understand how it could come off as hurtful but I cannot engage in a silly game of tiptoeing around the Truth. And honestly they idea that you might think the advice you recieve should be sugarcoated only underlines the point I have of weakness.

I say these things and I hope you can see that I feel for you and want the best for you. And I say them with the knowlege that I am:banghead:. Most likely you will disregaurd or get defensive. But I include what I think is prudent and truthful advice knowing that others will read your post as well. I truly will pray for you. Not in a "I hope you see it my way" or anythign like that but in a "God please help this person and her family" Bring them peace and Bless them with Holiness.

Bottom line is that you and your husband must worry about YOUR faithlife. You must pray, attend Church and if at all possible, spend many hours in adoration.
It is time to be the parents your God wants you to be. It isnt as easy as saying you want to homeschool and do things differently. As a homeschooling parent with a non catholic or even religious extended family I KNOW! But you must work as a Holy team or you will be doomed to failure. And the praying and surrounding yourself with holy influences must start now, immediately.


#18

[quote="Bporte00, post:1, topic:244807"]
If you lived very close to your in-laws( who were rude, vulgar, openly racist, condone the use of drugs, and smoked indoors) and and your spouse had a very close relationship with them, wanting to be over/stay over 3 nights+ a week how would you handle this?

d.

[/quote]

it would not matter if they were burning incense and praying the rosary all the time, the problem is why your husband feels the need to stay there 3 nights a week. that is his problem, not theirs.

Under no circumstances should you bring a child into an environment where there is drug use going on, or hate speech you don't want her to hear. If you have a baby or are pregnant you can use that as an excellent excuse not to be around smokers.

But your issue is not you absenting yourself, it is why he is so attached. If this is not resolved there is trouble ahead.


#19

[quote="Bporte00, post:16, topic:244807"]
We have an eleven month old, who he says he wants a better life for. He wants her involved in the church, home schooled, doesn't want to let her watch tv or listen to bad music....He just doesn't see that the most dangerous influence is his family. :SMH:

I probably shouldn't have posted this, I feel like I have opened a can of worms and painted myself to be a bad person.

[/quote]

No one is accusing you of being a bad person. But at some point, you and your husband must decide and draw a line, if not for yourselves, for your little girl. Your husband is an adult, you are an adult, but your little girl is like a sponge and she will pick up the attitudes and behavior of her grandparents very quickly and they will be hard to eradicate.

Your husband needs to stop all this foolishness. "Mom and Dad, I will come over once a week from now on, but I can't in good conscience bring little DD because I don't want to hear her repeating disgusting words. You may think that I turned out OK but I want more for her. I have to battle my tongue every day, and it takes a lot of effort for me not to curse and be a bad example to my daughter. I love you both but I have to draw the line somewhere. If you want to see her, you can come to our house and leave your bad words (N word, etc) at your house. Otherwise you won't be able to come here either, and DD will grow up without knowing the Mom and Dad I love."

See how easy that will be??? :rolleyes:


#20

That’s exactly what I am saying. As hard as it may be for most people to fathom this is the case, he can see the wrong NOW in his child behaving in this way, but as far as racism goes It’s a way of life in the city we live and is more common than not. I understand if it’s hard to believe if you’ve never been in the environment. I came from a Christian military background and had never seen racism in action until moving here, it was a foreign concept to me, but the fact of the matter is it is a reality here.

Please don’t think that I am disregarding you, that is far from the case. I acknowledge that we have a long battle ahead of us, but I am trying to emphasis that way of life here is so vastly different than what most people experience and my husband is coming into his faith never hearing of God or seeing the inside of a Church until just recently. This is a battle of breaking a life time of habits.


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