Bad Situation for My son

Carrie - posted on 08/14/2013 ( 9 moms have responded )

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In need of advice,
Have very HOSTILE family from DH's side. They don't like me, don't want me around their house, which I have no problem respecting, but here is the kicker, they tell me I'm not welcome there when my son is. They don't want me in their house when he's there, and DH goes along with it.
Yeah

Absolutely horrifying situation to find myself in, I want to do what's best for my son, but how can I protect him from his own family? They act as if they have rights to him, and disrespect my wishes as his mother. They as a family have NO respect for personal boundaries.

It's like a game of "I’ll show you" instead of do what's best for the child. It's irrelevant if they like me or not, how do I cope with my son being in this position? I've tried to say no he won't go over there, but SIL gets on Facebook and discusses how much "mental help" I need. Always an insult, and only ever via Facebook. We've just de-activated Facebook. It's a messed up situation for a sweet boy, and I as his mother cannot protect him from it.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Melissa - posted on 08/19/2013

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Seal counselling. your husband needs help being the protector of you his wife and all of you as a family unit. when he married you, his allegiance shifted from his family to you. he is the key to making this equation work. God bless.

Tracy - posted on 08/19/2013

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Invite them over to your house and have your son invite them from the sounds of things they won't come if they do it is on your terms and if it gets nasty tell them to leave. When your son knows they are being invited and they don't come he knows it is not from you keeping him away. If you go over there don't use the mother card use the fact that you are the custodial parent which means you are held responsible for anything that happens to him and seeing as they do not abide by your rules then they can only see him when you are also present and if they don't like it that is to bad because if something was to happen to him when you are not there you are still the one responsible and you have no intentions of going to jail for them or anybody else. If you knowingly put your son in what could be a dangerous situation such as neglect, abuse, filth, etc. you are liable and held accountable even if you are not present.

Lauren - posted on 08/19/2013

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I'm with Cheryl and Brittany. We all need to be respectful and understand that we contribute to tough situations. That being said, it's your child; your rules. Whenever I get frustrated at my family or in-laws, I calmly remember that we have the "collateral" (the kids). I certainly don't intend to ever use my kids against our families or as pawns, but they need to remember that we are their parents, and anything that happens goes through us first...and there have been situations where we've had to set and reset and reset ground rules. It's an ongoing battle, but when it's frustrating, just remember that it's your child and however you choose to handle it (maturely), your son will see that and respect you for it as he gets older.

Cheryl - posted on 08/18/2013

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I had a toxic relationship with my own parents. They were emotionally abusive to my husband and I for years. I never wanted to cut off contact because they were my parents. It took them trying to manipulate my oldest and finally my mom assaulting me for me to cut them out of all of our lives. We are much happier now. Its a decision I don't regret for via minute. However your DH needs to support you and be the one to tell his parents... otherwise you are the cause and that is not fair to you. HTH

Brittany - posted on 08/15/2013

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Wow, I'm soooo sorry! I think deactivating your facebook was a good move. They are CRAVING a response from you. They WANT to hurt you. I know it's hard because you probably love your DH, but honestly, they DON'T have rights to your son. YOU are his mother. We, as parents, have to do what is right for OUR children. If they are insulting your son's MOTHER, then what kinds of things are they saying in front of your son while he's there? Negative things about you? Not healthy for him to hear. I don't know the kind of people they are (sounds like they are ones needing mental help though) but you need to call them out on everything. Not only are they going to put negative thoughts into your sons head, but I can see something like this putting a damper on your relationship with your DH as well. I think you absolutely CAN protect him from it. Don't let him go over there till things are resolved and if they can't then, by golly, don't let him go. Our kids are a part of us. It's a package deal. I'm sorry you're going through that. :(

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Carrie - posted on 08/20/2013

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I appreciate all of this wonderful advice. DH did cheat, but the situation with his family was so bad that it put a distance between us, and I can understand what led to it. We have moved past it. Its infuriating that his sister laughs at me and says it's not a big deal. I don't have to like her, but I agree with the civility, they are not putting the child's needs first. I have tried to establish boundaries saying no, we all need to be civil, but it's a failed effort. DH just takes baby over there anyway, and lies to me about it, he's not capable of standing up to them. I've asked that he go to counseling to deal with them, but he refuses. I'll have to talk to DH about this, it's not that he's not supportive, it's that his family is JUST that dysfunctional, they make him grovel for approval, it's awful. He's constantly apologizing for fear they will cut him out of the family. I've seen it and stand by offering him support. They don't see our family as a family because of their dysfunction, I love the boundaries idea, but it's difficult to establish them in a respectful way with this dysfunctional family operating in the background, they are not emotionally healthy people. So, how exactly do I establish these boundaries, I would love to, not in an effort to be vindictive, but to protect my son from this. I'd love for him to have a relationship with all his family, good or bad for me. I've tried and failed, I'd love for them to be a part of his life, he deserves his family, all of them, so how can I establish boundaries where I have failed up to this point?

Helen - posted on 08/20/2013

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Well done for deactivating facebook!

I know it is easy for an outsider to say but I would refuse point blank to allow your son there until they are at least civil to you - they don't need to like you, but they DO need to be civil (and the same goes for you - you don't need to like them either :) ).
You need to get DH on side - tell him exactly how you feel, that is it totally unacceptable for his family to treat you in this way and that he needs to back you up. As Melissa said - the day he married you you became the focus of his new family and the most important people should be you and your son, not his family. They should NOT insult you in any way, especially in front of your son, and that if they continue this behaviour then you will stop taking your son to their house and if they want to see him they will have to come to your house and can only stay as long as they as respectful of you and your son.
Your hubby is in a very difficult situation, but you need to stay calm and strong and keep telling him that these are the rules (write them out and pin them up somewhere if you have to!) and if his family wants to see your son thats what happens. Also - he cheated on you, so you have grounds to be angry with him. Don't make a big deal of it, but remind him that you are still with him, that you love him and that you want to work this out so there is as little friction as possible and you can all exist as peacefully as possible with your son having a happy life knowing as many of his relatives as possible.
If you feel that this is the last straw, then you might have to think hard about leaving him, and starting a new life with just you and your son.

It is such a shame that people treat each other like this. I really hope that this situation gets sorted out soon, for your and your son's sake.

Lauren - posted on 08/19/2013

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If it's that bad, I wouldn' t send him over there anymore. You'll get backlash, but until they understand you are his mom, I would make it plain and clear they're causing themselves to have to miss out. No way is that okay for your son!

Carrie - posted on 08/19/2013

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They don't go through me in any way shape or form; they bypass me, and say horrible things in front of my son about me. They don't ask me, or keep me updated in his care. He's starting to have night terrors, and I know that this will affect him emotionally. He will either have a) anxiety, or b) depression, and I want so much for him to be a healthy happy child. This Family tries to take away my role as mom. It's very messed up. They love my son, but don't see his connection to me, and don't respect it. And my fear is that they are going to mess him up, and there’s NOTHING I can do to protect him from them. I feel very powerless. I feel very soory for DH too, to be caught in this situation.
DH is in an enmeshed family, it's very hard for him to tell them no because they are controlling. They frequently ask him where his allegiances lie, with me or them. What kind of family would make you choose? They don’t have healthy boundaries established within this family, so how am I supposed to establish them where they cannot be established? Or don't exist to begin with. What a horrid situation for my sweet child to be in.
I'd prefer to be on the outside looking in in this situation. NO matter what ground rules I set, they are disrespected. DH will sneak the baby over, and I’d rather just know that he’s safe.
I am not even treated like I am my son's mother. They were even insisting DH get a paternity test after our little one was born. They tell me I'm overreacting about this whole situation. DH cheated on me while I was pregnant, and they say I'm making it up and make fun of me. I want to leave him at this point, but a bitter custody battle would ensue with my son in the middle. How are we supposed to raise a happy child with this mess?
All I’ve ever wanted was this child and to be a mother. How do I set boundaries in such a situation where they are so blatantly disrespected?

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