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Thread: When your partner's family is toxic...

  1. #1

    When your partner's family is toxic...

    Hi everyone, I'm new to this forum and need some help. I'm emotionally exhausted and don't know what to do with this situation. I've been with my partner for a long time now, and about a year into our relationship it became obvious that his mom is abusive. When I say abuse I'm mostly referring to emotional abuse, manipulation, extreme violent outbursts, and sometimes physical abuse. Her husband is naive and scared of her, so backs her up. My partner knows she is sick and that she is abusive but it's impossible to talk to her or her husband without another huge outburst. This makes it impossible to resolve anything. I've been dragged into it as well by affiliation. My partner and I are young adults and he lived with his parents up until recently. This gave them a lot of power over him, but now we are leaving our separate homes and moving in together, which we hoped would end it. He has been living with me for a while now as well, but they still harassed him through text and calls. Anyways he still has some furniture at their house, which they are using as leverage to put themselves above him. I'm scared that even when all of his things are gone, they will continue harassing us and trying to manipulate us. My partner is well aware that they are in the wrong, but constantly having to decide whether it is worth the fight or if he should just give info their demands. We have both been insulted, attacked (physically and verbally) and manipulated many times by his mom specifically. I don't know what to do anymore. The last outburst she had, I have only seen her once or twice since, as it was so extreme I called the police. I obviously love my partner and want to stand by him no matter what, but I don't know what to do any more. If anyone has any advice or kind words they would be truly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Gold Member SarahLancaster's Avatar
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    You might want to rethink this relationship.

    If your boyfriend doesn't have enough courage to stand up to them and protect you from their attacks, he's not going to change. I wouldn't stay with someone who wasn't able to make a clean break from this ridiculous situation.

    Forget the furniture. If he doesn't part with them, you need to leave.

  3. #3
    He does stand up to them - it just makes it a million times worse, and then they start threatening us and insulting us even more. And then what? He doesn't want to permanently exile them from his life and I don't think I can ask him to. I don't know what to do. I can't leave him alone in this.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member melancholy123's Avatar
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    No piece of furniture is worth the nonsense from his parents, let it go.

    Boundaries is the issue here, he needs to establish boundaries with his parents. What will he tolerate, what will he not tolerate. Only he can decide that. Then he must make his boundaries clear and stick to them. If cutting them from his life is needed, then that's what you do.

    My MIL was a real shrew and I just stopped going to her house, the abuse was not worth it. Nobody stood up to her, so it was all pretty awful. I wish someone had put her in her place, but it never happened.

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    Are you the problem? Ie. Do his parents not like you in particular?

    I'm skeptical that two adults would behave this way unless they are really outraged by their son's choices or the people he's associating with. I'm also skeptical why you'd be "manipulated" so many times in the first place. I think you should be creating healthier boundaries also and taking a good hard look at why your choices involve these types of people whom you disagree with so much.

    The only time I've seen such behaviour is when severe insecurity is involved: racism, homophobia and other serious discrimination against groups of people.

  7. #6
    Yes I agree on the furniture - we both do. The problem with that is them using it as leverage and then harassing us with texts and calls. They just use it as an excuse. I hope he would be able to make the decision to cut them from his life. But I feel sorry for him that he might have to.

  8. #7
    @ Rose, no, I don't think it's me in particular. His mom has these outbursts at anyone who she can reach. I believe she is mentally ill but I'm no doctor. And we have cut them out of our life 2 or 3 times before, until they slowly come back in...

  9. #8
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by platypus554
    @ Rose, no, I don't think it's me in particular. His mom has these outbursts at anyone who she can reach. I believe she is mentally ill but I'm no doctor. And we have cut them out of our life 2 or 3 times before, until they slowly come back in...
    Sorry to hear this. If that's the case, she probably needs help from a qualified health professional or someone who works with mental health. Your boyfriend and you would do best to create healthy boundaries as the others have mentioned and both of you have to learn to know when to say no.

    Believe it or not, you are not the only couple who has had to create those boundaries especially with family. I can only say it's better to start early on and establish them than to start later and confuse everyone.

  10. #9
    It's also commonly known among his other family members that his mom is a bit "crazy". I guess my bf just really doesn't want to let them go. Today they had another huge fight over text. Hoping it is the final straw for him.

  11. #10
    Thanks for the advice. and if they step on the boundaries, do we just stop contact with them completely? I just don't know how to go about it..

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