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Old 12-05-2018, 03:44 PM   #1 (permalink)

Join Date: Nov 2018
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Allowing my spouse to be angry at the alcoholics in my life

In all of my enabling behavior and not standing up for my own life and relationship, my spouse has really taken an emotional beating. He became the scapegoat when he tried to join the family when we were first dating, and they rejected him because he was firm with boundaries (he has his own abuse history). They didn't like this and I was caught in the middle. I didn't have the tools to stand up to them and took the guilt and their feelings for "causing the collapse of the family" by choosing a partner that they didn't like. After 10 years of being together, I am finally releasing my grip to not control how everyone should be reacting to each other, and is allowing him to have his own feelings about it. It's painful that he doesn't want to see my parents anymore, and I am struggling with how to navigate the coming holidays, where they just want togetherness. This will be my second xmas without going there to see them, and it's hard, because I just want everyone to get along. But I see how when I prioritize seeing them over my spouse's needs, it makes him feel like I am shafting him. So even though it's hard and I have a ton of guilt, I think my parents are finally getting the picture, and I just heard that they started therapy, something they adamantly avoided, saying it was all my fault. This is a huge step forward, but I know that there is a long road ahead. We are to the point where we can't even talk about my family it has burned us so much and he gets so triggered by it. How do I not feel like I'm leading a double life if I talk to my family, while also honoring the hurt my husband is feeling?
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Old 12-10-2018, 04:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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That's a hard position for both of you to be in. Between a rock and a hard place because no matter what you do, you can't make everyone happy. Since controlling anyone else's behavior is impossible, all we are left with is controlling our own behaviour.

I think your husband has taken a healthy position. We have every right to protect ourselves, and it's ok to do. We can't control anyones feelings, their feelings are their feelings. You are on the right track in regards to the title of your post.

None of this is easy. But you are both making progress, so yay for that!!! Keep going forward. Hugs to you!
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Old 01-02-2019, 03:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hello Francesha,

I hope that somehow you two were able to enjoy your holidays!

I'm glad your husband has very strong boundaries especially when it comes to your parents. Perhaps that two of you could sign up for counseling so that just talking about your parents won't trigger him so badly and so that you may learn to have some boundaries around your marriage as well.

Best of luck to you in the New Year!
The ordinary acts we practice every day at home
are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest.
~ St. Thomas More
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