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Need help- husband and in laws gossip about me.


alphabit

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I've posted about this before, but now I am at a crossroads and I need advice because I'm driving myself so crazy not knowing what to do.

 

My husband and his parents are too close. During the course of our new marriage, I have caught him many times talking to them about me behind my back every time we have a fight about something.

 

He exaggerates the story when he tells them and leaves out his wrong doings, and of course they sympathize and take part in judging me without even giving me the benefit of the doubt.

 

I thought it had stopped but the other night he thought I had left the house and I heard him complaining to his dad about me. They constantly text and email- more than ten times every single day, especially between him and his dad. He tells his dad important things before he tells me.

 

I think his dad actually likes it that I get so hurt about them gossiping about me, because he specifically will ask my husband if we are in a fight just so he can hear about it. His dad likes control and I feel he likes this tug of war over my husbands allegiance, because he knows he is "winning."

 

I feel like my relationship with my in laws is ruined, its awkward and strained and they see me as he describes me- which is terrible. I feel like my husband picks his dads need for gossip over my need for privacy every time. I cannot trust that what I say will stay between me and my husband, I'm always afraid he will call his mom, dad, and sister and tell them everything (which has actually happened several times.)

 

He has even lied to me about texting his dad about me, hidden his phone, deleted his messages, and locked his computer so I cannot see anything. Everything is secretive and if I ask about it, I get berated for not trusting him. I tried to talk to his mom about it but she told me it was my fault for not trusting, and that trust is a choice I must make, regardless of what my husband does. I disagree. I feel like trust is earned and he needs to earn it back.

 

What can I do that isn't too controlling? I hate to make rules about him talking to his parents, but I feel I need to. He only calls them when I am gone or he is out of the house, and I am pretty sure it is so he can slander me. He wont talk to them in front of me.

 

Help me please. I feel so gross and betrayed. Sometimes I have to smack myself back into sense because I start to believe all the bad things they say about me. We have been to counseling about it and everything, and he says he won't do it, but then I catch him doing it again.

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I have read your other threads about this situation, and I think it is a very unheathy one and will only get worse with time.

 

I think that if your husband wants to work out issues in the marriage, he should be working them out with YOU and not his parents.

 

I would suggest that the 2 of you see an objective , professional marriage counselor to work through your issues.

 

It sounds like there are lots of arguments and things that you 2 don't see eye to eye on. This marriage likely won't last without counseling.

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Have you tried to talk to his parents just by yourself? Take them out to dinner, explain why when he calls to complain about you, you feel hurt and worried that they are getting the wrong impression because he is only telling one side.

 

Reach out to them, because honestly I don't think making rules is going to change your husbands behavior. And no matter how uncomfortable it makes you, it really makes you look like a the bad guy asking him to talk with his parents less. And I'm sure it would upset his parents and "prove" your husband is right to complain about you.

 

It's a hard situation. How long have you two been together? How old are you?

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I only tried to talk to his mom. It was a disaster. She told me I needed to work on my "issues", but I don't know what she meant because only his family knows what "issues" they think I have.

 

His dad has apparently said "Nobody will stop me from talking to my children..." so I haven't tried to talk to him. They all know how I feel because my husband did tell them that I dont like them talking about me, but they don't care at all.

 

We have been together for about 2.5 years, married for 5 months.

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I only tried to talk to his mom. It was a disaster. She told me I needed to work on my "issues", but I don't know what she meant because only his family knows what "issues" they think I have.

 

 

His parents are too much in your business. When you explain yourself to his parents, it only re-affirms to them that they belong in your business, when in reality, they do not.

 

You both need to vent to an objective source, and not in secrecy. Put everything out there on the table to a counselor. That will help both of you to work on individual issues and also communication issues as a couple.

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I married him because I love him, and too many reasons to list...

 

I knew he was close to his parents, but we never lived together so I was never there to see how involved they were. Now we live together, share a phone plan, etc so his daily hour long calls to his dad have come to light.

 

We had an issue with this when we were engaged but we talked to our pre marriage counselor about it and I trusted that it was over...until I found out it wasn't.

 

Now I give him chance after chance, and it keeps happening. He can't seem to resist telling them everything I do or say during a conflict. Ugh.

 

My trust is gone, and I don't see how I can stay married since he thinks he doesn't have to earn it back.

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End it. It's already toxic, and it's only going to get worse. You said yourself that the trust is gone(rightfully, so), so better to end it sooner with little resentment, rather than wait and start doing little things that will add up into hatred for each other. Be smart, civil and end it.

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Hi Alphabit... first of all, just wanted to say that I am really sorry you are going through this.

 

You seem to be seeking some sort of validation for your feelings because his family acts likes its so normal to be like this. So, here goes: you have absolutely every right to be EXTREMELY upset over this. This is a MAJOR dealbreaker. You are NOT being controlling in demanding that this stop. And, even if this weren't such cause for upset, the mere fact that this behavior is not sitting well with you should be reason ENOUGH for your husband to reevaluate what he is doing. He is disrespecting you and, because he doesn't respect you, neither does his family. They are clearly ganging up on you and causing you great emotional distress. But they are only doing this because your husband is INVITING them to do it. If his parents were wise, they would be telling their son to go to you to deal with these issues and they would not be passing judgment on you (especially because they've only heard one side of the story).

 

The biggest problem, however, is not your in laws. It is your husband. He is displaying hostile behavior towards you by continuing to engage in this inappropriate contact with his father after you and your therapist have made it clear that this is damaging to your marriage. He is destroying your image among his family. What he is doing is very, very serious. He is abusing you and you have every right to be p****d off. He has proven to you that he is not trustworthy and that he is not willing to discontinue this behavior, so this gives you the right, in my opinion, to snoop, since he makes no effort to rebuild your trust.

 

Whatever faults you have, whatever problems you have... does not justify what he is doing. He might not be intentionally trying to hurt you, but he is hurting you all the same and this needs to stop.

 

I know what you are going through because my husband does the same thing. If I get upset, he tells me that he has a close relationship with his parents and that I should respect that. His father has interfered enormously in our marriage and his mother will go as far as opening his mail without his consent... that's how "close" they are. I can't say I've solved these issues yet, but we will be attending counseling and have this addressed. They do not talk as often as your does, though, so hopefully it won't be so hard to make my husband see that in-laws don't belong in a couple's affairs. Ever.

 

The fact that you have tried counselling and he just doesn't get it doesn't leave you with many options, I'm afraid. Either start filling your family or friends in on every single detail of your married life and badmouth your husband to them or leave. I, personally, would leave. I would not expose my husband or my marriage problems to people who I know will take sides and pass judgment. I know how unfair and humiliating this is.

 

I would just leave and let him be with his dad. This will force him to deal with the consequences of his behavior and will send a clear message to him: that you will no longer tolerate this.

 

He hasn't given any indication that he will change. He is taking these communications behind your back. You have no trust in your marriage and he doesn't seem to care. His family doesn't respect you and your husband invites them to participate in your marriage.

 

So, in my opinion, you should leave and go NC for a while. I really can't see any other way of getting through to him. Oh, and even if you do manage to stay together, move out of there! Nothing good has ever come out of living with the in laws.

 

Best of luck!

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Oh, just one more thing... I absolutely HATE inlaws who like to stir up trouble for newlyweds. You're starting a marriage, it's not always easy, and you don't need a couple of old people, who are supposedly wiser and should know better, making things even more difficult. If you take a look at their marriage, it's probably filled with issues as well, but they don't share their problems with others, do they?

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It's bad that he has no respect for your privacy when talking to his parents but it's far more disturbing that he lies to them about you!

 

I know you don't want to make rules for him but it is time for some boundries. I would enlist the help of a couple's couselor as a final effort to get through to your husband and to provide you some with some additional support.

 

I really sympathize with you. You must feel like you're living in a den of wolves!

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He exaggerates the story when he tells them and leaves out his wrong doings, and of course they sympathize and take part in judging me without even giving me the benefit of the doubt.

 

.

 

Ouch! This is super unhealthy and it sounds like you are out-numbered! This almost sounds like bullying behavior to me.

 

This marriage likely won't last without counseling.

 

I agree with everything BellaDonna said, but especially this. Big "if," though.

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  • 1 year later...

alphabit,

 

I hope things are in a much better state of resolution for you, 2 years after your post. Your (hopefully former) husband and his family are emotionally enmeshed/incestuous and it appears that they are heavily invested in remaining sick. No one could marry into this family and hope to remain whole and sane; God help any child born into this family. I'm guessing that you came from a family that also had weak boundaries (maybe an alcoholic family system?) and that you are more aware of the sickness and danger such weak boundaries engender. Please look for spiritual help and stay w/what heals you. Best of luck.

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  • 1 year later...

I came upon this article by accident but it indeed very interesting. I was searching for topics regarding men talking behind their wifes back and topics on gossiping men and this is what I found. Question: Has your Husband changed and did your In-Laws ever back off? To be honest -- Your Husband sounds like he hasn't grown up and as if he allows his parents to control him which they should know better because he's now a married man and/so I don't blame you for feeling betrayed because I've experience some of those very things myself. What a mess?

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  • 1 month later...

My husband is very nosy and gossipy, he doesn't enjoy any other form of socializing and I seem to be his main subject! His friends and family like hinting to me that they know very personal things about me when I join him with them. I'm at my wits end. We've been to counseling and he repeats everything we discussed. The therapist tries to get through to him but can't seem to make an impression. its like he's addicted to the attention he gets for talking about me in such personal ways.

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I'm 58 and my husband is 61 all he does is gossip and its always about very personal things about my personal life with him or just about me! his friends and family love to hint that they know certain things about me when I agree to join him with them. I'm getting ready to just stop visiting his nosy family all together! He seems to be addicted to the attention he gets from this fodder. I'm at my wits end with him concernig this!

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Here I am again. We have been to counseling but he just repeats everything we discussed! and the therapist can't make an impresson on him. we just don't go to therapy anymore. I know it's because he's very immature we've been together for 7 years and its his only relationship. and He's never had so much attention before, but it's all at my expense. I'm extremely frustrated with this addiction he has!

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