August 12, 2019 at 12:47 pm #307691
This is long and bit complicated, will do my best.
My husband and I have been married for almost 18 years, we have two kids together. We are both from the same country, but he is of a different religion(Islam) and I don’t follow any particular religion. I grew up in a Hindu and Christian environment and my family never forced or made us follow any religion, we were allowed the freedom to be ourselves and have always co-existed peacefully and still do. I went to temples and Churches, celebrated diwali and Christmas. When we dated, I met his family..we got along very nicely. I believed everyone co-existed as my family did……then it got serious, we decided to spend the rest of our lives together. I was asked to change who I am to become who they think is better for me and the kids. I politely refused, nor would like our kids raised in such an environment. Don’t get me wrong, I understand this is what they know to be true, so they are following it. Love is my religion and humanity is one family, I believe there is goodness in everyone..but not everyone is one the same level and it not easy to live in such a way. They don’t like that me and the kids do not follow Islam or a religion of ‘the book’. My husband is not on my side, nor support us. I feel as though I am on the bottom of his list of people he cares about and love. His extended family comes first, he values their opinion, my opinion or feelings are not important or of value to him and his family. They talk negatively about me to certain people and painted such a horrible picture of me. My husband is always finding faults with me..after religion issues then he became bothered by the fact that I had a few relationships in the past, and wasn’t a ‘virgin’. As he puts it, “you are not a wife I can be proud of”. He is always finding faults with me and everything I do..there have been moments when we are happy and loving together, but doesn’t last for more than a week, then he starts with the same negativity towards me, he actually looks around the house for something that is not done according to his liking, just so he can get angry with me and hurt me my feelings. I dread going to his family gatherings and vacations, but we still go. He talks negatively about me with his family and they do the same about me to him..then he comes to me and gets mad at me..that his family complains about me. Whenever his family have an occasion and we already made plans, we have to cancel our plans for his family. When we had kids we made an agreement to keep religion away from the kids and just let me be, as a result my kids didn’t attend any family functions at temples or churches. I kept up with the agreements. Now for the past few years his family have been having functions at their place of worship and they keep asking me and the kids to go and I refused, this causes so much problems. The kids never had a close relationship with his family, they never felt ‘loved’ or appreciated. The kids never felt comfortable sleeping over there and will not go without me. The used to ask for the kids to spend few days with them etc..they went once and never wanted to go again. I will not force our kids to be in a environment where they do not feel comfortable. Our kids have a closer bond with my family, as we used to live with them, they helped to raise our kids from birth. Now that the kids are older, they don’t even want to go his family’s occasions or vacations..but I still encourage them to go and make an effort and it is making things worst, because the more I encourage them to go, the more they distance themselves..the kids wont’ communicate with his family much because they say, they have nothing to talk about or have many things in common to talk about. Now his family is complaining to my husband about that too, it never ends. We just came back from a weekend getaway with this family, the kids greeted them with hugs and kisses etc..they always do..the regular how are you etc..after that, they kids were on their devices and didn’t interacted much with this family, or they would just sit quietly. His family complained to him again and me and him had an argument again, then he talked to the kids about it..basically told them that they have to try harder to communicate with his family and have a better relationship, so his family can be happy. He actually ‘blamed’ the kids for that, telling them things like, “why are you like this? What is wrong with you? My family feels upset because you.. etc..etc..” He never tries to see things from our perspective, if his family says something, then automatically he takes their side, they must be right and we are wrong. Just to let you know a bit about the kids. They are very empathic, intuitive introverts. Can you imagine placing them in an environment where they are not comfortable and being blamed because others in that environment wants you to be something you are not? The kids had tears in their eyes, they felt so sad, stressed and bad about themselves that they are not making his family happy. They felt suffocated being there, but tried their best to make an effort to go. The kids don’t even like being in their own home because they are not allowed to be themselves..that is why they love my parents place so much..they always want to go grandma and grandpas, they can spend months there and not miss home. When asked why they liked it there so much..they reply: ” because we are happy there, we feel free” it just breaks my heart. I never tell anyone about my husband and our situation, not even my parents..so I decided to post here otherwise I will explode and make myself even sicker with all this bottled up inside. So how do you deal with this situation, a husband that doesn’t value me or my feelings, one that puts his extended family first and always complains and finds faults with me. No matter what I do, or how good of a person I am, it is not good enough for my husband and his family.August 12, 2019 at 1:14 pm #307703
I feel so sorry for those poor kids. I am also an empathetic, intuitive introvert, so I get how they would feel, and his family making them feel bad about being themselves (and likely acting like normal kids their age do, depending on how old they are) will only push them further away. Honestly, I’m not sure what you can do in this situation short of leaving the guy, because it sounds like it’s him and his family that needs to change their behavior. Maybe couples counseling? But that would only work if he could see how his words and actions are affecting his family (i.e., be willing to take the blame).
Have you told your husband how you and your kids are feeling and how it’s affecting you? You have been married for 18 years. Has it always been this way or is this behavior relatively new?August 12, 2019 at 1:30 pm #307705
“I decided to post here otherwise I will explode”- you are welcome to post here anytime you want. I will be glad to read from you anytime I am at the computer and reply to you.
If it is your photo above your username (beautiful eyes, kind smile, expressive face), better delete it just in case (a very, very tiny chance) that someone who knows you/ your husband’s family has access to this website and recognizes you. Better not use real names of people and places, exact dates and such identifiable information.
If it was possible for you to take your kids and leave the country you are currently living in, away from your husband and his family, able to live safely elsewhere, that will be best, don’t you think?
I wonder if there are resources where you live, a women’s rights group, a children protective services agency, maybe a Christian or Hindu agency, maybe a contact that someone in your family of origin has… that can help you?
Otherwise, keep your calm. You are and have been in a very difficult situation for a long time and have survived it. Also, it seems that you are not completely powerless in the situation, that is, you still have a say about some things, correct? If so, better take full advantage of the power you do have.
I hope to read from you soon.
anitaAugust 13, 2019 at 4:28 am #307747
You and your husband have different religious beliefs – ideally you should each be accepting the other’s choice. This includes his parents. Your husband chose to marry you knowing you had those differences of opinion and in that respect he should be standing up for you. Unfortunately, his parents have coerced him into attempting to influence the children into their belief system. This will only make the children more adamant that they want nothing to do with it.
The fact that your husband and his family indulge themselves in negativity towards you is not of your making. You are not responsible for the way they choose to see you. He is always finding fault with you and creating hurt and upset and then has the audacity to tell you that you are not a wife he can be proud of because of what happened before you met him. If you are not a wife that he can be proud after 18 years of marriage, then you need to leave. Pronto!
His behavior is having a massive impact on the children. They are far happier with your parents than his. They feel free. I suggest you remove your self imposed “gag of loyalty” and have a long discussion with your loving parents and seriously discuss your future living arrangements. You deserve to be free of your malicious husband.
PeggyAugust 14, 2019 at 2:16 pm #307917
Thank you for all your wonderful responses, I really appreciate it.
Anita, you are absolutely correct, I am not totally powerless, but not without difficulties and stress and over the years I have gotten tired of it all. There is only so much a person can handle regardless of how strong they are. All those years of stress has taken a toll on me, as a result I have become sick with frequent headaches, thyroid issues, weight gain etc..I along with my kids deserve so much more. I spent some time alone, just me and my self..meditating and I came to certain realizations, I felt as though I have lost myself. This is not me, I was a person who was into meditation, yoga, spirituality..very strong and healthy and fit individual. I lost myself during those years, caught up in the stresses of married life and dealing with a difficult spouse, a life of fighting and struggle. As I am getting older, I do not want to waste another second of my life like that again. This is not the life I was meant to live for me and my children. It is not possible for me to move out right now, our living situation have changed a bit..still the same house, but I have decided to sleep in another room by myself. It’s only been a few days now, but I feel like a heavy weight has been lifted off my chest, I can breathe well again. I am taking it one step at a time, getting back in touch with my meditation, yoga and diet. I have made a list of things I enjoy doing and plan to follow through with it, I have connected with fellow disciples of my meditation group. It’s a great start and I can only grow from here. I will not give up 🙂August 14, 2019 at 2:25 pm #307919
I am glad to read from you again. And it is better to read that you made “a great start” from which you can only grow.
“There is only so much a person can handle regardless of how strong they are”- it is true, absolutely. Do what you need to do to get healthier and stronger, to save yourself. I hope to read from you again and again.