Family Dynamics....GRRRRR!


#1

My husband and I have been married for quite a few years...and there is something in his family dynamic that really is concerning me. From the beginning of our relationship I noticed that his immediate family members would talk down to him, tell him that he didn't know what he was talking about, would tell him that he couldn't remember things that he remembered, or would totally dismiss his opinion as "preposterous". Because of the way this makes him feel, my husband has labeled himself as "the dumb one".

Whenever there are family events, this still takes place. I don't know how to go about expressing my concern...they listen to me even less than they listen to my husband.

HELP!!!


#2

I am somewhat of a big mouth, so every time this happens, I would say in a louder-than-normal voice, "Did you just mean to imply that (husband's name) is stupid? Because that is what I heard." And I would do it EVERY SINGLE time they did it, so not only could they not get away with it, but maybe my husband would understand what they are doing.

Otherwise, I wouldn't go to family events any more. Demeaning people are horrible to be around.


#3

I agree with the last post, if you don't confront the problem, it will continue.. so I'd either confront them when it happens (charitably) or just maintain limited contact with 'em.


#4

[quote="Cyclophile, post:3, topic:233881"]
I agree with the last post, if you don't confront the problem, it will continue.. so I'd either confront them when it happens (charitably) or just maintain limited contact with 'em.

[/quote]

I am in a similar situation with my wife. I have confronted my in-laws many times on her behalf to no avail. Just give your spouse support all you can and accept that they likely wont change.


#5

My :twocents: worth - look up "codependency," "scapegoating" and especially "gaslighting." Gaslighting being a term from the classic movie "Gaslight" which was about making the person question their sanity by trickery and deception. :rolleyes:

It sounds as if keeping your hubby in a role that they have pre-defined him into, suits some unspoken agenda. You may have to document what they say to catch them in their contradictions. It's too bad it's illegal to tape-record people without a warrant (at least I think it is) :blush: . . .


#6

[quote="prstoessel, post:4, topic:233881"]
I am in a similar situation with my wife. I have confronted my in-laws many times on her behalf to no avail. Just give your spouse support all you can and accept that they likely wont change.

[/quote]

I don't think that the family would change, no, but it would give me great satisfaction to throw it back in their faces and it might also serve the purpose of showing the spouse that 1) you are defending him/her and 2) the family is truly not being loving but scapegoating or demeaning him/her.


#7

Thanks for all the input and suggestions! I really appreciate it.
I have had to limit my contact/conversation with one of my husband’s
siblings in particular. Not only has this sibling treated my hubby like dirt
they have also jumped my case multiple times in front of the entire family
over absolutely nothing. After these instances I get funny looks and then
eventually get asked “What was that all about?” I have come to the
conclusion that when this individual is around I am simply going to
stay out of this individuals way. The other party makes no attempt
at civil conversation…in fact the only time he/she has spoken is to
start a fight.

I have no idea what the problem is…or what I have done…maybe never
will. It just makes me sad.


#8

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:6, topic:233881"]
I don't think that the family would change, no, but it would give me great satisfaction to throw it back in their faces and it might also serve the purpose of showing the spouse that 1) you are defending him/her and 2) the family is truly not being loving but scapegoating or demeaning him/her.

[/quote]

Unfortunately, there was little satisfaction in any of it. I still stand up for her when called to, but not with any expectations of change in behavior.


closed #9

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