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I need to vent about my future family...


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#1 Prettyhazardous

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    Posted 26 June 2009 - 09:16 AM

    Ok this may be a rather long story...
    My FI and I have been together almost 4 yrs (4 yrs in October). After we had been dating for about a year my FI cut off all contact to his family (I was away at college when we first started dating). This was because of an abusive relationship with her, she and I never met, but we talked on the phone a couple times.
    Once my FI purchased his house he changed his cell number and no longer had any contact with his mother. I knew for a while that they didn't have a good relationship, but the idea of no contact with her was perplexing to me. After ab 2 yrs of dating he finally told me ab their relationship and that she was physically, verbally and emotionally abusive to him. She was not married and is really close to her siblings. He would rather cut her out of his life and have her save face with her family than explain to the family what she did to him.
    So over the past couple of years his mother would call me maybe 2x a year to check in on him (this is because she only had my cell number and no contact info for him). The convos would always end with her crying and asking me to have him contact her (will continue)

    #2 Prettyhazardous

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      Posted 26 June 2009 - 09:35 AM

      His mother has breast cancer and was not doing to well.
      During Pre-marital counseling the pastor said that he needed to mend to relationship with his mother and invite her to the wedding. He sent her an invite but did not contact her. Of course she contacted me and asked to have him contact her. I always tell him when she calls and he always says that he's not contacting her, as she is no longer a part of his life. This idea makes me really uncomfy bc I think what if I do something wrong can he just kick me out of his life as well..
      Well last night things got really wierd bc as I was home alone his aunt and cousin knocked on the door. When i opened it they introduced themselves and asked in Brian lived here. I said yes but that he wouldn't be home until 10pm, but asked them to come back last night. They were so happy and his aunt was crying and hugging me. I then called him and told him what happened and that they would be coming back. He arrived home early and we talked a bit ab the situation. When they arrived it was a really nice reunion and they discussed what happened with him and his mom (his aunt almost didn't seem like she believed him but his cousin said she had an idea bc she used to spend the night with him and remembers him getting "beat" but she didn't realize the severity). We all talked about his life over the past years and then the wedding came up.
      His mother hadn't told them ab the wedding (with good reason of course, as she and I have never even met and she hasn't seen Brian in years). His cousin was livid. She was very angry that he didn't invite them to the wedding and that he intended on getting married without any family involvement, she covered it up really welll but I knew she was pissed.
      They even questioned my feelings ab the whole situation. I explained that I constantly pushed him to talk with his mother in the past but eventually just gave in to him doing it in his own time.
      Well now they want to come to the wedding and our ship is full. I feel so bad bc it's not their fault that they weren't invited and I seem like a bitch for allowing him to do this.
      They were really nice and they kept telling me how good of a family they have but I thnk they were really embarrassed, as was I.
      I have no idea how this situation will play out but I think it's unfair that they can't come to the wedding.
      It's so much more... but this is basically the issue...
      Please help me out with how to handle this... He was really mean this morning and said it was bc he was rushing but I know how he operates and things are gonna be bad between as he works thru this. I am just so stressed that it's gonna be hard for me to handle all of this at one time.

      #3 JOSIE

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        Posted 26 June 2009 - 09:50 AM

        Ashley - Your situation sounds extremely painful. I can only tell you that my mother was a victim of extreme abuse both physically & sexually, as was her younger brother. (Abused by a stepdad). My mom was able to cope with her feelings, forgive and move on, but her younger brother could not do the same and cut off all contact with our family, until we recently when he came back into my mom's life and ended up passing away due to drug use, etc....

        The point of my little story is that people cope with things in VERY different ways. It sounds like your FI, like many others, has chosen to push the issue aside and not deal with it - by cutting out the family. It is probably less painful for him than having to re-live those events in his mind or be reminded by having a relationship with his mother.

        I think it's important to understand, and try not to feel guilty, about not inviting them to the wedding. At the time you did not know better, and had only heard one perspective....that part of it is out of your hands now.

        It is clear that Brian's family is reaching out to him, and trying to establish a relationship. Whether or not he is ready to take those steps is up to him. All you can do is encourage him to talk about these past events and ask him if he will be ready to forgive and build a different foundation. I would just try to be calm and loving, because it's clear that this is a very touchy situation. Would he ever consider professional help? Some things are just out of our hands and professionals can really give the best treatment.

        Just be the best support system you can be. What are your true feelings on the situation? What does your gut tell you?

        Good Luck!!! I'll keep you in my thoughts :)
        11.28.2009

        #4 mrsrhbtobe

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          Posted 26 June 2009 - 10:08 AM

          Ashley, I agree with a lot of what Josie said above. People deal with stress and grief in their lives very differently, and often in the only way they know that works for them. It sounds like your FI has chosen to set a boundary with his mom by cutting her out of his life and not allowing himself to be hurt further by her. He has made it very clear that he doesn't want her in his life by changing his contact information and not giving her his new #s. I do respect that he didn't drag her through the mud with her family by telling them all what she had done.

          While I agree with your premarital counselor that your FI needs to address the severed ties with his mom, I'm not sure inviting her to your wedding and acting like their relationship isn't stressed will help. Forgiving someone for any abuse takes years of therapy at times, and I'm so sorry that he'll have to go through that. Cutting her out of his life probably was quite helpful to him if she was that toxic. True, family is family, but that doesn't give his family a free pass to treat him however they want. I'm also sorry that she has breast CA because if he isn't at peace with his relationship with her when she dies, that will stay with him for a while.

          I am sorry that his mom's family is putting pressure on you to invite them to the wedding....because this is not about you, or them for that matter. So try not to feel responsible for mending the severed family ties in your FI's family:) If they continue to be pushy about the subject and put pressure on you about being invited, you don't have to tolerate being treated that way. This is your wedding girl, and you don't need anything dampening your day!!! He has to be the one to take the initiative with her and her family, and have the desire to do so, when he's ready.

          I think the best thing you could do for him would be to let the stress put on by his family roll off of your back, and just be a source of support to your FI when he needs your ear to listen. Best of luck, and just try to remember that this isn't a stress you have to own right now....especially on your wedding day
          Love is not about finding the right person, but creating a right relationship. It's not about how much love you have in the beginning but how much love you build till the end.

          #5 DanielleNDerek

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            Posted 26 June 2009 - 10:21 AM

            Ashley you cant feel bad about not inviting fi's family to the wedding. It was his choice and should be his choice. You cant force him to talk to his mom either. Even if you know everything that happened to him, you may never really understand fully how he feels about what he's been through unless you were in the same exact situation.

            Maybe you can talk to your fi after the wedding about having his family over like his aunt and cousin, i wouldnt even bring up his mom, and show them your wedding pictures and tell them about the wedding. But honestly you really need to let your fi do what is right for him. You cant push him into anything.
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            #6 ~Nicole~

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              Posted 26 June 2009 - 10:49 AM

              Ashley, I totally relate to the situation you're in. My FI has cut off his whole family with the exception of his grandparents because of his mother. While she isn't physically abusive, she does know how to make someone's life hell and to be honest, I fully support his decision. We would probably be fighting so bad over the drama if she was still in his life that we wouldn't even end up getting married!

              I think its wrong to force him to mend the relationship with his mother, and girls don't hate me for saying that. I probably would never say that if I weren't in the situation I'm in and hadn't witnessed what I have with FI's mom. If I were you I would be happy that he is looking at the future with you and is happy with his life the way it is. As for the rest of his family, if he decides that he wants to involve them in his life then fine, but otherwise I would stand by his choice. You can't feel bad for not inviting them. Under the circumstances it couldn't have been avoided, KWIM? Good luck!
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              #7 Vikki

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                Posted 26 June 2009 - 02:53 PM

                We get this stereotype set that families should love each other no matter what and forgiveness should be automatic. But sometimes family issues are so damaging that cutting off contact isn't running away, it's a healthy way of healing. Some can forgive and go on as though it's water under the bridge. Some can forgive but have to retain boundries and other's may not be able to forgive at all. Your FI has had a lot of time over the years to re-evaluate his response to his family attempts to contact him-and has continued to choose not to participate. I think you should respect that.

                You said:
                "This idea makes me really uncomfy bc I think what if I do something wrong can he just kick me out of his life as well.."

                I think this is unfair to both you and Brian. Your relationship with him should not be compared to his mother's, even if he and his mom had a perfect relationship. I agree with the other girls, your role should be to support him, maybe encourage him to seek some professional help but most importantly be there to stand behind whatever decision he makes.

                #8 DanielleNDerek

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                  Posted 26 June 2009 - 03:07 PM

                  Vicki's response was very well said. EVERYTHING was dead on.
                  ***Married November 6, 2008***Gavin Born February 28th, 2010***
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                  #9 sn0048

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                    Posted 26 June 2009 - 03:22 PM

                    Ashley,
                    This is an extremely tough situation I am in a similar situation as your fiance and do not have a lot of contact with my family so speaking from the other side all you can do is be there for your fiance and let him heal and mend the relationship on his own terms. If you force a relationship it won't really be genuine. He needs to heal from the pain in his time and all you can do is be cordial to his family and let them know that while you hold no ill-will towards them, it is contingent on your fiance's willingness to have a relationship. I'm sure the history behind is extremely traumatic and he just needs time. You could encourage him to talk to you or someone about it to help the healing process for his sake. It seems like his mom is remorseful for the past and ideally they can repair their relationship but until he is ready to forgive, there is not much that can really be done. I'm sorry you feel caught in the middle, you shouldn't have to take on that burden but again I'm sure there's a lot of unresolved issues. I hope this is helpful to shed some light on the the other perspective and speaking from experience, time sometimes does a have a way of helping things work out. As for the Aunt and Cousin situation, maybe when you guys get back yall can grab a brunch or something together and share the memories from the trip.

                    #10 BillysBride

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                      Posted 26 June 2009 - 03:23 PM

                      Quote:
                      Originally Posted by DanielleNDerek
                      Ashley you cant feel bad about not inviting fi's family to the wedding. It was his choice and should be his choice. You cant force him to talk to his mom either. Even if you know everything that happened to him, you may never really understand fully how he feels about what he's been through unless you were in the same exact situation.

                      Maybe you can talk to your fi after the wedding about having his family over like his aunt and cousin, i wouldnt even bring up his mom, and show them your wedding pictures and tell them about the wedding. But honestly you really need to let your fi do what is right for him. You cant push him into anything.
                      This is EXACTLY how I feel.

                      It is not for us to judge from the outside looking in, how someone who has been abused chooses to respond to it. As painful and uncomfortable as it might be for you to witness his distance from his family, think of how it must make HIM feel? To be so in need of keeping his mother out of his life that he has been willing to sacrifice his extended family as well.

                      You have to trust his gut and his judgement in this. Only he was there and only he knows what it was like to suffer what he did at this woman's hands. I wouldn't push him to talk to her nor give him any more phone messages. People change, absolutely. But part of the change needs to be ACCEPTANCE that it's possible the damage they did is irreversible. Just because she may have turned over a new leaf doesn't mean he to open communication with her or have her in his life.

                      As far as the Aunt, it wasn't your call and not your fault. You have nothing to feel guilty about. If you guys are having an AHR, maybe you can try to include them in that? Otherwise, I'd just make it clear what the circumstances/reasons are that you can't invite them to the wedding now. They need to understand this was your fiance's decision and he had his own reasons for it. Coming to you and forcing guilt and responsibility is inappropriate.

                      Your fear about Brian being capable of cutting you off is something I think you know is just knee jerk. This woman spent heaven knows how many years depriving him of the love, safety and security he deserved as a child, then who knows how much longer after adulthood? His decision to put her out of his life isn't something that happened in response to just up and getting mad one day. It's the result of years of suffering and heartache. Can you honestly ever see yourself doing anything as bad as that?
                      Savannah

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