Where do I begin? My husband and I have been together for 12 years and been married going on 3 this year. We have a new baby! (5 months old) and our marriage seems to be going downhill fast. It all started when his brother started dating this girl who has an infatuation with my husband. If she doesn't currently have it.. she did for many many years. She continues to text my husband or call my husband randomly and my husband responds to her. She and my husband once kissed over 12 years ago when we weren't together and ever since then she has been infatuated with my husband. Well, it's causing problems in our marriage because she continues to text message him and my husband responds. He says it's "harmless" and I shouldn't tell him who he can and cannot talk to. This girl has called me a 300 lb waste of life (I was heavier because at the time I was pregnant) and she says she doesn't have anything nice to say to me... but yet she doesn't even know one thing about me. This is now my husbands brothers fiancee... and it's creating problems because I choose not to be around this girl. She's after my husband, has nothing nice to say about me.. and everyone thinks I'm going overboard? That I should just "get over it and ignore her and be the better person" and I"m trying to tell them that ignoring problems doesn't help anything! I dont want my son around her unless me and my husband are there... and I got chewed out for that! I feel as if you condone negative behavior it only continues negative behavior. And because none of his family has discussed her negativity towards me (who mind you has been in the family for 12 years!!) then she will never change. But I'm the bad guy for not wanting my son around her! (I dont want my MIL watching my son when she is around.... and because of that I'm a bad person.) My husband has told her on many occasions to "stop talking to him" and she says "she will just try again next month.." etc. And then when she tries again.. he talks to her! (again.. saying there is no harm). Then because of all of this my MIL yells at my husband on the phone the day after Christmas because I wouldn't let her see my son... and she called me every name under the sun.
This is ruining my marriage. I'm deeply concerned with a family I have trusted to seem to throw me under the bus so easily when a new person comes into the picture. I dont want her in my life... she's clearly after my husband and/or was... and she has no respect for me or my family. I don't think it's overboard to control who is around my son.. and the fact that my husband thinks its okay and I just need to get over it makes me feel as if my husband isn't thinking about my feelings! I'm called "immature" "overboard" "pyscho" because of how strongly I feel... and all I want is some respect. She's never apologized to me for calling me such names and then she acts to everyone else like I did something to her. She says she has "nothing nice to say to me.." but yet I haven't done anything. I keep getting told to stop playing "the victim" but no one can see how condoning her behavior only makes her behavior continue!!
I think my husband is too involved in his family's life... and not as involved in ours. He just thinks im way out of line and my "hatred" towards this girl fuels everything... when this isn't even my fault. She's the one that has disrespected me and my family, called me awful names, and everyone else is just ignoring it. HELP!
On a side note... this is just the current problem in our marriage. There are many more problems that we need to deal with.. but we can't afford marriage counseling. So I'm starting with you.. and I deeply appreciate your help.
What a painful situation you're in! I actually don't see couples in my practice anymore, so because this is complicated and I want to give you the best answer, I've asked a colleague who specializes in marriage/couples counseling to respond. She will be doing that in the next couple of days. Her name is Claire Jeannette.
Last Edited by on Feb 24, 2010 4:36 PM
Hello Witsend. Whew. Please think of a way to make an investment in your family. The Women's Therapy Center in El Cerrito has a very good Couples Training Program. They offer lower fee therapy and very good support for their therapists. In the meantime I am very aware that your new baby has put your body, your mind and your emotional state in flux. Your husband -- no matter what kind of guy he is -- is also going through big changes. To whatever degree, you've been each others #1 and now there's this demanding, needy baby right in front of you. No matter how much you may have planned and wanted to have him his birth has thrown you, like so many young families, for a very big loop. It sounds as though this not very nice young woman is feeding your feelings of being out of control and you're husband isn't willing to help (due to guilt, passivity, not being #1 these days ... many possibilities) by setting limits w/ this woman. Understandably, you're trying to calm yourself down by setting restrictions on him. I don't blame you. It is not unreasonable to want him to end contact w/ her until everything settles down or to see if they can settle down. And, as you know, untimately you can't. You've tried to take care of yourself this way -- as well as setting restrictions on your MIL regarding this long time friend of your husband's family. (I hope I got that part right).
As boring as it sounds, I ask you to consider how you might calm yourself some in a way that you have control. The long term project is not about this woman or whether he sets a limit on her today. It is whether you two can find a way back to each other (or to each other for the first time.) Its whether you two can make a family that doesn't look just like yours or his but is something uniquely yours.
I have a wierd suggestion. Let you MIL watch your son, unless you really have reservations about her care ability separate from this woman, and go to an Al Anon meeting. If you're anywhere near MacArthur and Howe in Oakland, check out Mandana House (I'm not good at links). They have lots of meetings. Al Anon, although its officially for friends and family's of alcoholics, is really helpful for anyone who is wanting/needing to try to get things right for themselves by controlling the behavior of another. I SOOooo wish that would work (the controlling another.)
You may not be feeling my support but its there. I can't take sides or point fingers because you and I both know that relations are more complex than right and wrong. It's like a ball of yarn that is all twisted around.
You need someone to listen to you w/out judgement of you or anyone else so you can sort yourself out. So you can find a calmer space where you can take care of yourself and your son. Then maybe the rest of it will get more clear. I'm so very sorry for the frantic state I feel you're in. Trying to be calm when you haven't had enough sleep, have trouble eating because of the tension and upset, and when you're feeling abandoned by those you want to count on is a monumental task. I hope you are able to find some support just for you.
Take good care,
Claire Jeannette, MFT ClaireJeannette.com
Last Edited by on Mar 01, 2010 11:34 AM