More threads by Annette


I don't know where or how to begin. I looked up this site becasue I was desperate to talk to someone who might understand or be able to offer me something. I guess the bottom line is - my anger and my fear is destroying me and I've tried everything I know how to get out of it, but it just drags me down deeper and deeper.

I've been married to my husband for 25 years - dated for 2 - so I've known my in-laws for 27 years. They have never liked me and when we announced we were getting married, my husbands parents said "Why would you want to marrya girl like her?" I thought that they meant I was a slut or something - and I wasnt'. I was a nice girl - a virgin - hardly dated - so I was confused and hurt by that. Over the past 25 years they have treated me like dirt. Basic courtesies that you would afford a stranger are not wasted on me. I treid everything to try and get them to like me but finally realized that the problem was not with me, but with them. Then one Christmas, all hell broke loose - I dared to challenge their offensive attitude and rude comments to me. I was treated to some choice name calling then my father in-law proceeded to verbally abuse me so visiously that I was left completely brutalized. It was the first time in my life that I had been shamed. And it was revealed taht what they had meant by "that kind of girl" was that I had been born illegitimately and had no family. I know the logic of their thinking is right off the wall - especially when you consider that their daughter is a lesbian and her partner seems quite welcome in the family and that their youngest son is one of the sleeziest guys I know. I, on the other hand, have had a nice family, raised three responsible, great children - but I'm unacceptable becasue of my birth.
Since that Christmas, I have been struggling with fear - that I would be hurt again - and have built walls and defense mechanisms around me to keep out anything hurtful. I have removed my vulnerability from my personality and keep myself isolated from people. I don't make new friends and the old ones I have, I keep at a distance. As for my husband - he sat there and said and did nothing to stop the attack. I have pulled away from my husband - not only does he remind me of his father, but his constant relationship with them threatens me. What I needed form him was to feel his protection - but I didn't. I've told him the extent of how they have hurt me, but the bottom line is - they're his parents. I struggle daily with putting one foot ahead of the other - trying to pretend that I'm OK but I'm not. I feel completely lonely and isolated and yes - thoughts of suicide give me comfort. I have thrown out any pills in the house that would tempt me when I'm depressed - but I know that I'm getting sadder by the day. And when I'm not sad - I feel rage. Rage that I keep inside. There is no one to talk to about this. No way to get my rage out. I feel as though I need a way to express all the anger at my in-laws - but I dont' know how. So I keep it inside and it eats away at me. I need to know how to escape from all of this.
The extra twist is that my daughter is getting amrried this summer - and although I'm excited for her - i have spent everyday dreading and afraid of how I will handle having my in-laws here. It angers me that they have taken up so much space in my head - but I have not been able to find a way to escape it. They torment me - inside my head - everyday.
Anyway - I guess that's it. I was just wondering if there was anyone who had any idea how I could battle this - win over it - or find some peace about it. And don't tell me to forgive them - I've tried that.

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
I don't think the priority problem here is whether or not you can forgive them. It's what your husband's failure to defend you has done to your trust in him and to your ability to feel safe in your own marriage.

I would strongly advise you and your husband to go to counselling together to get this out on the table and come to some resolution or compromise before your daughter's wedding gets any closer. This shouldn't even be a matter of choice for either of you: This wedding should be a special day for your daughter, her new husband, and your family, and it isn't going to be with this hanging like a cloud between you.
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