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  • Family in-law anxiety help

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    Old 12-13-2018, 10:25 AM   #1
    Join Date: Dec 2018
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    Anonymouskitty0 HB User
    Family in-law anxiety help

    Hello, Iím going to make this post as short as I can but try to explain as much as possible! I have anxiety really bad and I tend to be a people pleaser. My husbands sister and mom have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and there have been times when I felt attacked for no reason. A couple of examples.. my sis in law has a 12 year old sheís tried to invite to spend the night at our house, I wasnít comfortable with it so I said no it wasnít a good night. She proceeded to make a post on ** about us not making time for family and then sent me a very hateful text and blocked me completely. A week later she somewhat apologized but I feel like itís because they love and want to see my 1 year old son so they didnít have a choice. Ok second example, my mother in law. Sheís an alcoholic as of 4 years now (idk how it developed but it sucks). Well when I was preg it got really bad bc she takes meds for her bipolar and she would drink and you wouldnít know who you were going to get. When my son was born she showed up to my house on the way home from the hospital and was drunk and started ordering me around to go to sleep and she took my son out of my arms. I told my husband to ask them to leave. Meanwhile my sis in law didnít come to see the baby in the hospital and said ďshe wanted to come when I was settled.Ē We worked a day out(she didnít want to come after work so it ended up being a week) and she said it was perfectly fine. She then made it out to the mother in law I was keeping her from meeting the baby and delayed it for a week. The mother in law then texted my husband (I still donít know what all was said I honestly donít want to know) but she called us selfish and who knows what else but here comes my problem.. my husband is a huge people pleaser when it comes to his family and I totally get it because he loves them and wants to keep the peace. But rather than confronting the situation saying ďshe did make an effort for you to see the babyĒ or telling his mom ďyou seem not like yourself today maybe you should go homeĒ or on other numerous occasions I feel I am always thrown under the bus. He doesnít so much throw me under the bus but he says things that donít address the issue. He said the house was dirty for example which is why we were waiting for her to come a week from when I planned w her. Itís very frustrating. I probably canít change how he reacts but how am I suppose to keep the peace without being the bad guy?

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    Old 12-13-2018, 11:23 AM   #2
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    jfms99 HB User
    Re: Family in-law anxiety help

    My Mother used to have problems with my Father's sister when she would come to town to visit. Either she just abstained from seeing her or she left town. There were some incidents where my Father probably should have put his foot down but would not so he could keep family peace and so on.

    Hard to give advice here except maybe you should do the same, just avoid them and leave your husband to his own devices in his relationship with his family.

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    Old 12-13-2018, 11:36 AM   #3
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    Re: Family in-law anxiety help

    Dear kitty,

    I don't see how we can remain a people pleaser and effectively deal with mentally unbalanced folks. In my own family we had a few unbalanced members and we learned that we have to have strong priorities and boundaries for the safety and peace of our own family.

    No one has to be mean about it but definitely people pleasing does not mix well with BP disorder. We all need to deal with our own relationship problems and fix ourselves. We either protect the needs of our family or we don't. That's just being responsible as an adult and parent and spouse. If your husband refuses to draw the lines, then it is up to you. Definitely you can be kind while being firm in the way you speak.

    You know they have a disorder so it's up to you to not take their rude behavior personally. That is about them, not about you. You need to take the time to discuss these things and make a plan with your husband, and you need to be very firm with him that he is the one to tell his extended family what may and may not be done at your home. Then you can tell them (your husband's name here) said that doesn't work for us. Use words "that doesn't work for". Make it a phrase both of you regularly use.

    People walk over us when we are not clear or precise about our own boundaries, most often because we have not set strong limits. If we allow something one time others expect it again. It's our job to draw the lines around our own selves and our own immediate family.

    All of us want our own way. Mental or emotional issues or not, there is nothing wrong with simply saying I know you are disappointed, but that doesn't work for us, sorry. Repeat the same words as often as needed. And let go of their side of it. We have NO control over what others think or feel and we need to learn to leave that with them.

    If they dislike our boundaries that is for them to deal with. It is not up to us to make others 'feel' a certain way. When you fully accept and understand that the inlaws are responsible for their own thoughts and emotions you will relax and become better at just drawing the lines that you need for your own peace of mind. That is all anyone can do.

    We cannot have our own mental health and cater to the imbalances of mentally ill folks, no matter how much we love them. We simply cannot afford to involve ourselves in the emotions or rants of the mentally ill.

    Can you get an answer machine and check who calls before you answer? If so, hubby should tell his family ahead of time that you are using an answer machine because you don't have time to run to the phone. Just be polite and be firm. Both you and your husband will have to agree to this.

    If anyone leaves rants on your phone, HE should tell them that neither of you are going to return calls if they do that. Excuse, me, hon...BP folks can behave. But we have to draw the line for our own selves. I have BP members in my family and they do not misbehave toward me. Usually they know who they can manipulate and that is who they call.

    You can tell hubby that you need for him to talk to them so you are not get in the middle when his family complains. That you need for him to stand up for you and deal with his family.

    Sorry I just went on and on about this. I know how it feels to get blamed for what I want for myself while others do as they please. I have learned that relationships require tough love. We can be very kind and sweet while explaining what we will or won't do or be involved with. You can create some boundaries with your husband, too, and tell him that you don't want to be told what they think of you and that he needs to deal with their personal problems himself.

    ~ YaYa ~

    Last edited by Administrator; 12-13-2018 at 12:22 PM.

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    Old 12-13-2018, 12:23 PM   #4
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    Re: Family in-law anxiety help

    You cannot please anyone but yourself...people pleaser or not, if you are not happy, you have no business trying to make anyone else happy.

    When they want to come over, make sure your husband is home and let him know that you are going out. If they want to see the baby; your husband is capable of taking care of his child for a few hours, isn't he?

    I have not been home when one of my husband's relatives stops by for the past ten years. And, if he drops by unannounced, I suddenly have an errand to run. I went to the movie by myself recently just to avoid confrontation.

    I am NOT a people pleaser, but I have boundaries and I do not respect those who do not respect mine.. Instead of fighting with my husband, I simply say "fine, but I wont be here' and do not give him any room for argument. When I get home, I pretend I was never gone and pick up where I left off. He has tried to pick a few fights over the years about this, but it takes two to argue and I refuse to do so. I simply smile and ask if he had a nice visit?

    Your MIL has no business driving drunk...or being around your child drunk...but if you cant stop her from doing so either take the baby out or leave the baby with its father and hope for the best. No need for you to get upset about what you cannot change.
    RRMS- dx 05

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    Old 12-13-2018, 02:31 PM   #5
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    Anonymouskitty0 HB User
    Re: Family in-law anxiety help

    Thank you so so much for taking the time to reply. This really did help and I appreciate it.

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