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Honestly need advice

Old 07-21-2007, 04:56 AM
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Honestly need advice

AH has been 3 weeks in Intensive Out-Patient Therapy. He has been going to AA meetings on his off days. He's been doing homework every night. He has been great at home. It's been great.

His mother is lying, controlling, manipulative, religious and always has to be the center of attention. Every time we're around her, some huge drama happens and she's in tears. Everybody has to help grandmama. She abused AH as a child. She was abused as a child. Her husband (AH's stepfather) is an alcoholic who has never sought treatment. AH has spent his life being her protector, particularly since his father died 15 years ago. She has hated every woman he has ever been with, including myself. Her presence combined with AH's alcoholism has been the cause of me eating more crow than one should ever swallow in a lifetime. Oh yeah, every single time we're around her, he get absolutely hammered, way more than usual. When he's around her, his face is white, his teeth clenched but yet he still dotes on her.

So, last Thanksgiving was the last straw for me. I haven't spoken to her since. But we have also moved from being a 14 hour drive to a 4 hour drive. So now she wants to see our children, and says she wants to go with AH to one of his family sessions to be supportive of his recovery.

In the past, HER want to see our children trumped everything. I'd prefer she never see them again. AH is almost 50. It sick how he can't or won't see the dysfunction, admit to himself that she is not an "angel" (he once called her that to me a long time ago) and cut the apron strings. Also, we see her about twice a year. She is NOT part of AH's immediate family. WHY would she go to his family therapy? I think if she REALLY wanted to be supportive, she'd go to Al-Anon and fix herself instead of continuing to judge my AH and me.

AH is asking me if I will agree to her visit.

Here's my question.

Al-Anon is about setting boundaries. Al-Anon is also about not being jerked around by the actions of others, learning to be happy without trying to control the A.

I'm new to Al-Anon. I've never told AH his mother wasn't welcome in our home. But a few week ago, I told him I thought we should both work our programs before she comes to visit. We're babes in our programs, and her presence will be a huge challenge for both of us.

She's hounding him though, and if he says no, she will sob her eyes out and curse me to every person she knows.

Do I say it's okay for her to come, because I'm not supposed to be controlling?

or

Do I say it's not okay for her to come, because I have set a boundary?

Thanks all.
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Old 07-21-2007, 07:02 AM
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Personally, I would say its not ok since I need my boundaries and do not need added drama that I can avoid as I am healing and recovering.

Have a good long talk with yourself about what you need and want. Accept that its ok to be selfish and focus on your needs and the needs of your husband.
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Old 07-21-2007, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by respektingme View Post
Al-Anon is about setting boundaries. Al-Anon is also about not being jerked around by the actions of others, learning to be happy without trying to control the A.

I'm new to Al-Anon. I've never told AH his mother wasn't welcome in our home. But a few week ago, I told him I thought we should both work our programs before she comes to visit. We're babes in our programs, and her presence will be a huge challenge for both of us.
You say "for both of us." What does your husband say? In Al-Anon I've learned to speak only for myself. There are other choices. One that comes to mind is, if your husband wants his mother to visit, that you find something else to do during that time. Has there been a discussion between you and your husband, or just what you think is best right now?

It was extremely difficult for me to see just how much I was trying to control everything and everyone around me. It took a lot of working the program to start to change.

Good luck.
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Old 07-21-2007, 07:31 AM
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I'd also leave it between AH and his mother and then (graciously and in a low-key way) try to stay out of their way and let them work out their stuff....maybe it will be a good thing. If you get in the middle,it will become about you. He's a big boy and you do not need to be there to "protect him",even if that is the way you have come to feel. I understand this is easier said than done; BTDT a few times. If you are minding your own business,etc while these two adults are left to themselves,you can leave their problems in their own lap and possibly they can find their own solutions. You can be supportive of your AH,but you aren't his mommy.....she is! ha All JMHO.

Might be a nice time for you to schedule a hair cut,lunch with friends,etc something fun that will take you away from the drama without causing to it. You are a built-in excuse if you position yourself in the middle;IMO.

Also; as the mother of young adults,it is nice to spend some time with them alone sometimes,no matter how old they are and how much you may or may not love their spouse,children,etc. I always tried to give AH that time when we were visiting his parents or brother or sister (we all live in different areas and saw each other a few holidays a year and for a time,a one week group vacation at the beach).

Good luck!
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Old 07-21-2007, 07:50 AM
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Well it looks like you have a whole family there that can be destructive to YOUR health.
When you marry a person you also marry their family. So you must think can I live with THEM?

Well now that we can not go back in time what can we do?

Well you can protect you and children, and frankly you husband should honor this.
A destructive person to your main family unit should be taken out.
There is no reason to duplicate the atmosphere that your husband grew up in, for your children.

This goes far beyond the AA or Alanon thing, it’s a matter of respect also.


Put your foot down.
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Old 07-21-2007, 11:53 AM
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What does your husband say when you tell him all of these things?

What's his opinion on whether or not his mom's presence would be damaging?

Like above, I'd say you don't have to be there when she visits. But I'd be clear with yourself, with him, AND with her on what your boundaries are before she comes. Namely: no drinking in my house, no insulting you, absolutely none of the abusive sh*t she did.....and if any of them is violated, out she goes.

GL
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Old 07-21-2007, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by GiveLove View Post
What does your husband say when you tell him all of these things?


GL

Thanks all. See? Some of you say she should come, others say no. That's what is going through my head as well. In the past, he'd put his foot down, I'd pitch a fit, he'd drink, she'd come, hell would break out, he'd drink some more, and then it would take weeks for me to chill out.

This time, it's a little different. This morning we spoke briefly. I told him my thoughts, both pro's and con's. Told him I don't want to be controlling, however, my gut says it's a bad idea. I asked him what he thinks, and to be completely honest, at least with himself. He said he's learning in AA that when he's confused, he should pray about it and not make a rash decision. So he said he needs time to think. He admitted that he's not so sure he wants her in his group meeting, although someone told him a family network is crucial to recovery. But she's not in his immediate family, and those meetings get to the guts of the alcoholic, so I'm not sure he wouldn't feel humiliated with her there. He agreed he hadn't thought about it, but thinks it might be uncomfortable. He also agreed that we go through hell during/after each visit with her, and that he drinks a ton when he sees her. I KNOW he has HUGE resentment issues with her, even if he never ever verbally admits them to anyone. This extremely religious woman is verrry angry inside, yet has this forced smile all the time. Her father was a roaring alcoholic, and her mother a mean, spiteful, horribly abusive mother.

So, AH's mom claims (nobody is this stupid) that when he was a boy, he was unruly. She asked the pediatrician how to get him under control. Supposedly the doc told her to spank him first thing when he wakes up. Apparently the doc was joking, but conveniently, she claims to have been following doctor's orders. So, AH woke up to a beating first thing in the morning, until he was so screwed up that he whispered to the family preacher what was happening. Other stuff happened too, but he'll claim to everyone that he can't complain, he had a perfect childhood.

This woman is pure evil. All of her brothers and sisters have either served time in prison, or been admitted to a psych ward. She claims it was the grace of God that she was saved at 14, and has been spared the same fate. She punishes everyone around her to stay on top. It's really sad, just sad. She's given me fits over the years and I'm finally through with her. I realize she's toxic and will never ever change until she at least realizes she has some problems. She is never wrong, apologizes to noone. And at church, she sings louder than anyone. Just too much for me. And her presence makes my AH act like a 10-yr-old. You guys wouldn't believe what my AH does for a living, but it's horrible to watch a man who can conduct himself so professionally around a group of millionaires be reduced to a childlike whimp by an old bat that's barely 5' tall.

I'm leaning towards telling him how I feel about it and not forcing him to do anything. And if she does come, I will stay busy and away from her. I thought about leaving town, but I don't trust her alone with my kids. She used to talk horribl about my stepdaughter's mother to them when they were little. I don't want her trying to feed that garbage to my kids.

Thanks for all your responses.
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