Family Issues


#1

O.K. well here goes. My sister gave my niece up for adoption to my mother and her 3rd husband because she was going through a tough time in her life (bad decisions with consequences).

My Stepdad is a decent guy, goes to work, is a devoted father to my niece etc. He and my mom work opposite shifts and see eachother at shift change and on the weekends. My mom and him are both overweight (obese) and aren't healthy. They are both in their 50's; my mom just became a cancer survivor.

Here's the thing: My stepdad has been caught looking for women on the internet by my mother-she flipped out on him, he apologized-yet made excuses (you don't give me enough attention), my sisters and I were upset for my mom (because her first two husbands cheated on her too). BUT I've come to find out through comments made by my mother she has not been giving him the marital debt-for at least 2 or more years! I know she sleeps in a separate room than him (she says it's because he has a sleep apnea machine) and she admitted to me under questioning that she doesn't even kiss him, hug him or hold his hand ever even. She's not really interested in his motorcycle interests either (he's a Harley man) which is something he's passionate about. She also treats him like a child and berates him in front of us and my niece during family get togethers. Just a couple months ago she caught him on the internet again looking for women.

Now I KNOW that there is no excuse to cheat on someone, my problem is I basically chewed the guy out before for his internet thing and now I find out my mom doesn't treat as a husband at all. I feel really bad about the whole thing. While it's unacceptable to look for other women online, my mother is horrible to him and pushes him away. I feel bad for my niece in a house where this is going on. They only have a "token" marriage. They aren't Catholic (Southern Baptist) so divorce is an acceptable alternative to them.

I feel like I should apologize to him for my past behavior with a "I'm sorry [so-and-so] for how I treated you before I didn't know all the details of the situation"-but I don't want him to think that I think it's ok to look for other women either. I've tried to talk to my mother about this and she says "well I can't give him any affection there is no use since he's too fat for us to do anything" (as though she's the pinnacle of health :rolleyes:). She has a friend that is in the EXACT situation. She's also overweight, demeans her husband, denies him the marital debt (she has no problem volunteering up this info to anyone even if they don't ask) and makes horrible comments to him about his weight. My mother is turning into if not already has this woman. (she's an apostate Catholic now Wiccan) :eek:

So what should I do? (I know it's THEIR marriage) but this is my mom and my stepdad they have my niece and are raising her. My sister is just up in arms because she's on the straight and narrow now (but still Southern Baptist).

ANY suggestions would be helpful.

DoT


#2

[quote="defenderoftruth, post:1, topic:207790"]
O.K. well here goes. My sister gave my niece up for adoption to my mother and her 3rd husband because she was going through a tough time in her life (bad decisions with consequences).

My Stepdad is a decent guy, goes to work, is a devoted father to my niece etc. He and my mom work opposite shifts and see eachother at shift change and on the weekends. My mom and him are both overweight (obese) and aren't healthy. They are both in their 50's; my mom just became a cancer survivor.

Here's the thing: My stepdad has been caught looking for women on the internet by my mother-she flipped out on him, he apologized-yet made excuses (you don't give me enough attention), my sisters and I were upset for my mom (because her first two husbands cheated on her too). BUT I've come to find out through comments made by my mother she has not been giving him the marital debt-for at least 2 or more years! I know she sleeps in a separate room than him (she says it's because he has a sleep apnea machine) and she admitted to me under questioning that she doesn't even kiss him, hug him or hold his hand ever even. She's not really interested in his motorcycle interests either (he's a Harley man) which is something he's passionate about. She also treats him like a child and berates him in front of us and my niece during family get togethers. Just a couple months ago she caught him on the internet again looking for women.

Now I KNOW that there is no excuse to cheat on someone, my problem is I basically chewed the guy out before for his internet thing and now I find out my mom doesn't treat as a husband at all. I feel really bad about the whole thing. While it's unacceptable to look for other women online, my mother is horrible to him and pushes him away. I feel bad for my niece in a house where this is going on. They only have a "token" marriage. They aren't Catholic (Southern Baptist) so divorce is an acceptable alternative to them.

I feel like I should apologize to him for my past behavior with a "I'm sorry [so-and-so] for how I treated you before I didn't know all the details of the situation"-but I don't want him to think that I think it's ok to look for other women either. I've tried to talk to my mother about this and she says "well I can't give him any affection there is no use since he's too fat for us to do anything" (as though she's the pinnacle of health :rolleyes:). She has a friend that is in the EXACT situation. She's also overweight, demeans her husband, denies him the marital debt (she has no problem volunteering up this info to anyone even if they don't ask) and makes horrible comments to him about his weight. My mother is turning into if not already has this woman. (she's an apostate Catholic now Wiccan) :eek:

So what should I do? (I know it's THEIR marriage) but this is my mom and my stepdad they have my niece and are raising her. My sister is just up in arms because she's on the straight and narrow now (but still Southern Baptist).

ANY suggestions would be helpful.

DoT

[/quote]

I wouldn't mention the internet thing....that's between him and your mom. I would keep it simple and tell him that while you don't agree with his behavior you may have misjudged some of the situation. It sounds like your mom has already left the guy if they aren't sleeping together....at least in my humble opinion.


#3

You have a fundamental right as your mother's daughter not to be involved in any of her DRAMA with her current spouse or any other. In your shoes, I would apologize to your step-father for getting involved in their private marital business, and then refuse to hear any more about it from either of them.

It's a serious boundary violation that your mother discussed any of this with you, because no matter how old you get, you are the exact WRONG person for her to talk to about her marriage problems. Should she try to dig into it again with you, refuse to be a party to the discussion and suggest that they both see a marriage counselor.

As far as your niece is concerned, it's unfortunate that she's growing up in such an unhealthy household, but I don't think at this juncture there is anything you can do about it besides be a good aunt to her, spend time with her, bond with her, and pray for her. It's hard to watch, I know, but thank God you're in her life.


#4

[quote="defenderoftruth, post:1, topic:207790"]
...she doesn't even kiss him, hug him or hold his hand ever even.

...I've tried to talk to my mother about this and she says "well I can't give him any affection there is no use since he's too fat for us to do anything"

[/quote]

Too fat to hold his hand? :confused:

The parts I quoted had me on the verge of having a good laugh, until I realized you didn't mean it as a joke or as a humorous story. :o

Withholding affection and demeaning one's spouse are pretty quick ways to destroy a marriage... :( It's not right, what your stepdad is doing (watching women online), it's essentially a self-destructive way to cope with pain and rejection. He might be retreating into a world of fantasy, other men often retreat into alcoholism to numb their pain.


#5

It can be tough for a step parent, to come in as an outsider into the family.

It could be good if you go out somewhere and have a good old talk with him. A nice cup of coffee, somewhere away from home, a breath of fresh air or something. You don't have to apologise if you don't want. You don't necessarily even have to mention your previous words to him....just have a good old talk over what he's feeling and how he views it from his side.

It could be he feels sort of lonely having come into the family later. By offering that shoulder to lean on, or friendly ear, it might actually help him sort some of it out in his own head, which would then allow him to take steps, in whichever direction he feels best, to find a resolution to this situation. And he would also know he wasn't being 'ganged up on', which is another feeling that is all too easy for a step parent to feel. By knowing he's not alone, he might be able to deal with it better.

And on another note...being overweight does not stop anyone from having a good, full life, so to speak. It sounds as though it could be a convenient excuse.


#6

Truly sad, pray for this poor man & his Wiccan Witch!

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, Ora Pro Nobis Peccatoribus!

mark


#7

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.