145 response to "Dysfunctional Family and Holidays ~ When You Feel like the Bad Guy"

  1. By: mk Posted: 18th August

    If in-laws mistreat, retreat. 1) Always have escape plan & if they abuse, leave immediately, even if go alone, & don’t have to be around any more, take own vacations/cruise when they’re together. Always have something more fun up your sleeve. 2) Direct conversation only to 1 responsible, your spouse, & totally ignore responding to them, b/c your in-laws are spouse’s problem, b/c they’re actually MEAN to own child, b/c mad left & married & abuse partner as proxy abuse to punish kid & break up marriage & their kid is letting it happen. 3) If their adult child would stand up to them, or go No-contact, in-laws would/could not scapegoat the partner nor have access to abuse. A problem w/ an inlaw means a problem w/ an enabling spouse, codependent enmeshed spouse whom hasn’t learned to say no to the parent & still child under parent’s thumb..*chooses to obey them over protecting you from their purposeful aggression…breaking VOWS. 4) ignore anything they WILL say, to be disliked/ dissed by evil people = good. Expect worse than they dish out, laugh at antics, imagine them as 18 month olds acting out. 5) could opt to leave all of them to themselves (even spouse) & go live life w/ people whom love you if spouse fails to support/protect b/c it will not change & you risk becoming bitter..& they’ll diss/scapegoat you to your kids.. 6) Don’t choose partner w/ red flags of enmeshment ! Took yrs to realize- mean abusive people like that would not be allowed in my life if it were not for their child, my spouse. They don’t love me at all & have wanted to punish/harm us b/c, unlike mama’s boy unmarried 66 y.o. older bro, my spouse actually got married & moved out!!!

  2. By: Mel Posted: 9th December

    I searched google looking for whether or not I should be obligated to go with my husband to see my inlaws on holidays when all they do and have ever done is disrespect me. I stumbled upon this post and it made me feel good while also leaving me feeling sad. My husband has yet to come to terms with the fact that he has been manipulated and brainwashed by his parents his entire life. It’s just as you say, he is their well groomed dog and he refused to disobey his masters. He is consistently being put down and told he is not good enough by these people which in turn causes me to have to do damage control to get his head back on track to not thinking he is a worthless piece of crap. Yet he still has this need to see them. I don’t get it. I’ve tried everything with them and it’s just gotten worse over the years. Currently my MIL (who is the ruler of the house) in not speaking to me because I “hurt her feelings”, and yes those words were said to me. How did I hurt her feelings? By doing just what you said you and your husband did. I asked for respect, I asked to be included, and I asked for respectful boundaries. When I was told no to all of that, I demanded those things for our family, to which I was told I’m a negative person and if she doesn’t see her son, she will know it’s because of me. I just don’t get people like that, mostly because my family was never that way. Now that the holidays are here I feel so torn between my friends practically telling me they will come get me if I go to his parents house, and my sweet old fashioned mom telling me I should suck it up for him. My heart always wants to suck it up for him and would do anything for my husband, but my brain is screaming WHEN IS ENOUGH ENOUGH? When does my happiness matter? When will my husband finally see how hurtful they are and stand up for him and us?

  3. By: Grandma Posted: 11th May

    Hello Darlene,
    Thank you for the response and advise.
    I will talk to my daughter .

    Thanks again,


  4. By: Grandma Posted: 4th May

    Hello everyone! I ve been reading comments and advises to the past 2 years. Was trying to find an answer, pray and hope.
    I am 60 years old , and have a daughter with 2 grandchildren that lives in another state.
    It has been a roller coaster after little kids grew up/ 10 and 7/. I helped her as much as I can , in spite that I am running busy office.
    Daughter is married,and have very opinionated husband. I accepted him the way he is, in spite of his comments of my material status, the way I look, care of myself, whatch my weight, exercise, etc/ he is overweight/
    Sometimes I cried in her house, but tried not to think about , as I adore my beautiful grandchildren.
    We flew with my husband to them to celebrate my birthday. It took me few months to return to normal life.
    This year my daughter said that they want to come in celebrate New Year.
    As soon as I heard, I started feeling dizzy, etc. I spitted out that we will have a company, and they will be bored with us.
    I cannot believe I said it.. I was feeling seek whole week , as I thought how could I rejected MY daughter to come over with my adorable loving grandchildren …
    But I did, as I am not able anymore to tolerate that critical jealous judgements …
    My husband said that I did right thing…

    I still feel guilty…but I am afraid that something would happen/ it affects my husband a lot, and takes us both long time to return to normal life./ I do not know how to please him, what to say.. It seems normal to us, but gives my daughter looks, and she is upset too.
    Any advise?
    Thank you

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 5th May

      Hi Grandma,
      This is a horrible and not uncommon situation that you are in here. As for advice.. The truth often works; you could be honest with your daughter about why you are unable to deal with her abusive husband and see how that goes. There is a big chance that she is not going to take any action but if you can’t see your grandchildren the way things are now, it might be the only chance that you have for a relationship.
      Hugs, Darlene

  5. By: Disney Posted: 1st May

    I have been searching for support for years now. Someone in an old post mentioned the dysfunction of a family farm I married a man that grew up on a family farm. He did not follow in the footsteps and went to college. I met him training for a marathon together. My husband is one of the top runners in the area….never was allowed to participate in sports in school due to the family chores. I was brought up differently…my parents were military and we lived a middle class life. There has been so much resentment and jealousy towards me and at times their own son. He helps out on the farm every time he can…he would work his job all day in the summer and then help with doing the hay…his parents are retired and sell the hay…of which when he helps he does not ever get any money his way. Even though my husband longs to be a part of the family farm, he never will be accepted because he does not live the life. His brother and his family live on the farm and help out now. His brother’s wife resents us as well because she grew up in poverty. She would complain when my daughter and son brought friends to go sledding on my father-in-laws property. My brother-in-laww do not own the house they stay in it for free! It got to a point where my daughter then was not allowed to go to the barn….she did nothing wrong.

    My in-laws are resentful of my success in my career and the fact that I am a leader and have coached swimming for our local high school for years now and have produced State level swimmers. My father-in-law will passive-aggressively put down any success I have had. They never compliment my husband on his running even when he ends up in the paper for winning a large event….he will however mention a neighbor’s son.

    They are even resentful of my mother….who is a retired nurse and dresses very nice and still looks great at the age of 78. My mother has always been a giver and would always make sure at the holidays that my father-in-law had the best cheese cake for dessert….because he loved it. Never a thank you…but they would give her a small gift that was bought at a rummage sale. We lost my dear brother this year…my mother’s second due to a disease they were born with. When i had to travel across the country and I asked if she could prepare a meal…she responded “I can try”. No sympathy card to me or my mother…no phone call even to say she was sorry.

    My own daughter has been the brunt of it too…she is a very pretty young girl and she receives passive aggressive remarks…usually about her clothes that are trendy but not expensive. she is in junior high now.

    They live 20 minutes away and have never invited us over just to invite us over…have never asked my kids over just to have them over.

    I know this is long but it has been 20 years in the making. I would over look all the comments until I realized what they have been doing to me all these years. Do not know what to do..they live near us and part of the reason we moved back here 15 years ago was to be close to family so my children would have close relatives. My mother is close by and close with them. She gives them support…I just feel the apposite with the other.
    side. Even their extended family does not contact us…no cards from Aunts or anything. I have cut them off as much as I can with the exception of having them over for holiday dinners.

    Any advise…I dread for days when I know they will be coming and then suffer through the passive-aggressive subtle comments for days as it hurts me.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 5th May

      Hi Disney
      Welcome to EFB ~ I may be the person sharing about the family farm system. (and I am the author of this website) because I married into one and it is a terribly dysfunctional system here. My family of origin is just as dysfunction too so I had it on both sides. I finally stood up to the whole thing on BOTH sides. If you don’t have my e-book yet, that might help you get started sorting it all out.
      It is available here on this website. (upper right side bar on computer, or home button on mobile)
      Hugs, Darlene

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