Domino, I didn't read your entire post, but I "get it" about this family. Because I didn't read the entire post, I'm unclear as to whether or not this "family" is cohabitating in this run-down house that you were pressured into buying, or if there are children as a result of your marriage.
I can't (and, won't) tell you what to do - you've engaged in counseling to save your marriage, but this marriage is doomed, regardless of how much counseling you've engaged in with your husband. He is allowing this abuse, and you clearly have a choice before you: stay and manage this misery until such time as your husband (and/or his family) calls it quits, or get the hell out and recover from these experiences before you get involved in an extramarital affair or choose another narcissist. That's it.
If there are children as a result of this marriage, you have my most heartfelt pity because those children will (without fail) be raised to become perfect narcissists, themselves, or perfect victims.
From my personal experiences, my own past issues (from early childhood, on) are directly related to the sociopaths that I ended up marrying during the past 30 years. The first one was abusive on every level, and the second one was a seemingly benign predator that married me for my money and maintained a deviant, violent sexua| "double-life" that was exposed over a year ago. The financial frauds that the second exspath included coercion, forgeries, and raiding of my private investments. Because I did not understand myself, first, I did not understand the set up and long-con of this second exspath which has resulted in life being utterly destroyed. Financially, spiritually, sexually, emotionally, and physically, I was left completely dismantled.
Having typed that, this whole-self devastation has resulted in my determination to learn from these experiences and to educate others about what sociopathy is, who a sociopath might be, and how to protect one's Self (Self = soul) from experiencing the same devastation that I have. This is my opportunity to learn about boundaries and construct them. This is also my opportunity to recognize that I do not (do not) have to tolerate anyone's "bad behaviors" because I crave approval and acceptance. I am learning to validate myself so that I can choose whether or not to "trust" another human being. I do not "feel" obligated to tolerate any type of behavior that I find inappropriate, distasteful, dishonest, or harmful to me or others. Although I'm recovering and I'll be okay, in due time, I would not wish my experiences upon another human being, even the predatory exspath that destroyed my life.
The family dynamics of your husband echoes that of the second predatory exspath, and these dynamics will never, ever, EVER change. Certainly, there is an "environmental" influence, but there are also questions about the role that genetics plays in sociopathic tendencies. Some of the behaviors and actions that you're describing are hard-core sociopathic tendencies, and there is no "safe" or "successful" method of managing these tendencies. Sociopathy cannot be medicated, surgically removed, counseled away, or spiritually zapped. It is a lifelong and terminal disorder that results in damages, across the boards.
Visit the following website to learn more about sociopathy and recovery: www.lovefraud.com
I wish you the very best.
EDIT ADD: Domino, I went back and read over your post and it seems that you did not produce children within this marriage. A very wise decision. But, what I also am reading is that you believe that the marriage is "strong" and that you will "make it work." I would urge you to visit the website that I posted, above, and learn more about your situation. The marriage isn't "strong," by any stretch of the imagination, and the only thing that seems to be "working" in overdrive is the blatant abuse that you're enduring and tolerating to please the husband and his family.
There are very few things in this lifetime that are a certainty. But, what is vital for you to accept is that, the more years that go by, the more damages you will suffer regardless of whom is perpetrating the damages. The family dynamics that you're describing are almost carbon-copied of the ones that I experienced with the second exspath, and these people (and, their son) are never, ever going to change.
Again, my most sincere best wishes to you.
Weary, I'm so sorry for your experiences.
Its sounds as if there are a number of toxic dynamics going on in this "family," from the MIL to the husband and on to the step-son. There is absolutely nothing that you can do to "save" this marriage. You can only "save" yourself. If, by chance, your own personal changes promote positive effects upon the relationships, then that's terrific and the marriage may become healthier, in due time. However, from what you typed, there is a reason that the first marriage ended in divorce, and probably not because of what your husband has told you. The dynamics of this family sound abusive, on every level. There is clearly an absence of boundaries, on every level. From the MIL to the stepson, it's no-holds-barred as far as inappropriate behaviors go.
I would gently suggest that you consider the option of individual counseling to learn techniques to manage this toxic environment as far as you are concerned. I would also contemplate the possibility of taking immediate actions to prevent further trampling of boundaries.
For instance, at 16, the stepson should be out working at a part-time job, preparing for college, engaging in extracurricular activities, and so forth. That he is addicted to video games is 100% the fault of his parents - video games, television, DVD's have ALL replaced healthy family interactions as a means of babysitting and managing children, today. If they're quiet and not causing problems, whatever they're doing on their computers doesn't matter in many, many families. This kid is going to be a burden if he isn't forced into some sort of "normal" pattern of behaviors. Is the stepson taking Ritalin or Adderal? Those drugs are other means of management to alleviate parents from taking a role in raising their offspring: if they're quiet, we don't care HOW that quiet is facilitated. Setting boundaries without saying, "These are your boundaries," will be difficult, at first, and absolutely cause problems, but the internet, cell phones, and all technological devices need to be EARNED. Kid wants internet? Then, he can darn well take out trash, mow the lawn, do the dishes, and begin changing his language BEFORE the internet is restored. Password protect the WiFi. Disconnect and store all video consoles away until they've been earned. TEACH this kid about rewards and consequences.
MIL is a different story. If she arrives unannounced, nobody answers the door. If she continues creating a scene, call the police and have her escorted from the property. Post a "NO TRESPASSING" sign on the porch at eye level so that there can be no questions. This woman has to earn the privilege of coming to your home.
This MIL is not going to change. The spouse is not going to change her. So, the choices are that you can remain in this environment and do nothing until you lose your mind. Or, you can remain in this environment and engage in individual counseling to learn positive steps that you can make to help yourself cope. Or, you can contemplate ending this contract of marriage. At any turn, none of the options are pleasant (as is often the case). So, whenever you have some moments of calm, quiet, and balance, it would be a good idea to contemplate these choices, write down your personal goals, and imagine (NOT PREDICT) what your life will be like 5 years from now, and then 10 years from now.
Also, please, consider the extreme levels of anxiety that you're experiencing within this whole family dynamic. Anxiety can cause dreadful physical, spiritual, and emotional issues, and this is why I suggest counseling - a trained professional can give you the tools that you need to cope and manage your situation.
Brightest blessings to you on this challenging journey.
......he wins. And, that's all that this fellow is interested in: winning.
If you are experiencing extreme anxiety from this, it might be a very good option to consider some counseling therapy just to help you get your bearings straight, and to learn coping and management techniques. Once your confidence increases as you gain management of this anxiety and fear, you response (or, non-resopnse) will be comfortable and he won't matter.
For now, ANY response will be giving him what he wants. I read that you're unable to block all of his emails, and that is truly a shame. But, you can ignore his attempts to contact you, on every level. Don't even read them - I know it's a challenge to simply delete them, but once you do it a few times, that will become easier and easier to do.
I am SO sorry that you're experiencing this and, please, understand that your reaction to this is very typical for those of us who have experienced trauma, particularly when it is the individual who caused the trauma that's trying to get back in.
Brightest blessings of courage and comfort to you.
You are living in an abusive relationship and your children are learning how to be abusive by watching the interactions between you and their father.
White Shark is spot-on. Get out, regardless of money. Money will not ever buy this man a conscience, nor will it ever buy you and your children safety. There are agencies and organizations that will help you and your children to get on your feet.
Additionally, avoid ALL relationships for a couple of years after you've been legally divorced. Get involved in some counseling therapy to learn how to make strong choices for yourself and your children.
I lost everything that I owned and ended up homeless, very, very sick, and without any means of income when I ended my second marriage. I learned that the ex spouse had raided my private investments and that I would never recover a dime from him. I have lived in poverty ever since. BUT..........I am not afraid, I don't have to beg anyone else for my needs to be met, and I am well on my healing path after intensive therapy and the hard work to get there. You (and, anyone else) can do this, too. Don't allow money and / or security to be the reason to remain in an abusive environment. NOTHING is worth that.......your children will either develop into perfect victims, themselves, or abusers like their father. If they see that you make wise decisions and are willing to sacrifice material things in order to preserve your health and theirs, it will make an impact upon them - that women aren't objects to be used or abused.
Then......there's the very distinct possibility that he will eventually be arrested and charged with some type of sex crime. So, get rid of him, now, before he takes you and your children down the toilette with him.
Brightest blessings to you.
Once again, the "holiday season" is upon us and abusers have available countless opportunities and excuses to perpetrate more frequent and severe episodes of domestic violence and abuse against their victims. Domestic violence/abuse includes: emotional violence, verbal violence, physical violence, religious/spiritual abuse, financial abuse, and sexual abuse. Domestic violence and abuse has no cultural, religious, sexua| orientation, ethnic, or economic boundaries. There is no stereotype or profile for domestic violence to exist, and it covers every "intimate" relationship, including platonic and familial associations.
During the holiday season, it is a statistical fact that reports of domestic violence and the severity of the episodes make a dramatic spike. The reason is simple: there are ample excuses for the abuser to experience "stress," and therefore more ample opportunities to blame victims for increasing stress in one way or another, especially in our current economic climate. Of course, the victims have nothing to do with the perpetration of violence by their abusers - they don't "ask for it," or stretch the limits of stress to cause their abusers to harm them. They are just there, for whatever reason.
If children are involved, the violence often becomes even more extreme with a reported 90% of all domestic violence being perpetrated IN FRONT OF CHILDREN. Often, the victim is threatened with "No Presents" for children unless the victim agrees OR submits to (fill in the blank). The victim is frightened of being abused, certainly, but they are even more frightened of the threats that may be seen through by the abuser. In my previous life, the abuser did, indeed, follow through with threats and the children were denied gifts during the holiday, special holiday meals, participation in religious/spiritual rituals, and many, many other witholdings. Keep in mind this statistical fact: children who are raised in an environment of domestic violence and abuse are 10 times more likely to develop into abusers or victims, themselves. If they develop into abusers, their level of abuse will be greater than their predecessor's.
How to know if you (or, someone you know) is involved in an abusive relationship? The first thing to do is to open your eyes and put on your "listening ears." From the National Domestic Violence Hotline website, www.ndvh.org, a general list of potential violence/abuse is provided:
I got out. I lost many, many things, including my own children. You, on the other hand, might be able to fare better than I did if you go through the proper channels. NOTHING is worth remaining - "Things" can be replaced, but there is no monetary equivalent to human life or well-being.
My most sincere positive energies and brightest blessings to all who are afraid, suffering, and desperate. End the cycle and contact: .National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−SAFE (7233) or TTY 1−800−787−3224
Right. I feel that I "know" that there is something seriously wrong, but I'd like feedback and insight just to affirm my intuition, on this.
My eldest son has tried to make a turnaround, but he's still Borderline, and always will be. After his second marriage ended, he immediately hooked up with a young woman from Russia, online. He claims that they met on a political chat board, but I don't believe that any more than the moon is made of green cheese. Regardless, he went to Moscow on 3 occasions to hook up with this woman and finally brought her over to marry her.
On his dime, he transported her over here, has paid for her naturalization process, married her, etc. Now, she's in her 8th month of pregnancy, which was a "surprise" to my son, and she is behaving badly, IMHO.
It began when I met my son, last year, and he and I had a long, long talk about the past, and the present. When I met his Russian wife, I asked her many questions that were appropriate - I am the elder, here, and I asked questions about her plans, her goals, her homeland, etc., and she later complained that I had asked "awkward" questions.
Since she became pregnant, I had offered to help them both out when the baby was born, and the offer has been rejected, numerous times. "You don't need to help. We have a neighbor who will help." Then, I sent a birthday gift to this woman and she sent the gift back because they weren't skin-tight garments that she's accustomed to wearing - I thought that she'd want to be comfortable during the summer months of her preganancy, as anyone would, and this was not the case.
THEN, I sent baby clothing that I had found and received a message from her that, while she appreciated the clothes, they had enough and they wouldn't be using any baby clothes that were used, unless they "knew the baby that had worn them." They would not be accepting clothing that was "worn too much" or unwashed, unclean, etc., and that they would only be using new cloth diapers.
Whatever - I'd already accepted the fact that I will not be involved in my grandchild's life, and I'm not going to go screaming about grandparents' rights. It's a waste of time, money, energy, and emotions, and I cannot change this situation.
My concern is that this woman has scammed my son for a green card and citizenship in this country. He has paid for all phases of the naturalization processes, including trips to locations and the fees that accompany all of the paperwork. AND........this woman contacted me 2 years ago to complain of my son's abusive behaviors on both FaceBook and through her private Skype account. I believe that she's setting him up for a domestic violence / abuse complaint that will automatically guarantee her a green card, housing, welfare, and every other service to become a citizen, once the baby is born.
During these complaints over FB and Skype, she asked about previous relationships and my son's anger issues, to which I was open and honest about and suggested that she contact the Domestic Violence Hotline. She contacted my younger son in this very same manner at the same time, as well - I didn't know this until last night, and my younger son didn't know about her contacting me, either.
Any insights on this? I'm managing my concerns about this situation, but there is something very wrong with this whole situation, I can see it, I can smell it, and I can almost predict what's going to happen simply because of this woman's odd behaviors, etc. This is NOT a cultural misunderstanding as I know many, many immigrants who do not behave this way, and I have never had a gift given back to me or thoroughly criticized by anyone during my entire lifetime.
Thanks for any input!
To clarify: after the woman had contacte my younger son, and myself, she deleted both her FB page and her Skype account, and now communicates with her mother in Russia via some sort of Russian Skype Equivalent.
Suddenly, after the complaints, everything was wonderful.
During the Skype and FB communications, she asked about my eldest son's past and steroid use and clearly stated that they had been trying to concieve a baby, but had been unsuccessful. THEN, when she came up pregnant a few months ago, my eldest son said that the pregancy was completely unexpected.
Too many red flags are flapping, here, and I'm going to have to make some decisions about my own choices that will likely be unpleasant.
Thank you for the input, and I believe that I'm sticking with my intuition, here. In the past 5 years, I've done some serious personal recovery and realignments of my personal beliefs and effort to remain objective. The facts are the facts, and my youngest son is overwhelmed by the "possibility" that his sister-in-law "could be" a scammer. He acknowledges that this woman is behaving very badly, and has behaved very badly in the past.
Emotionally, I'm very sad about this situation - it's sad on every level and the baby is, indeed, my grandchild. I can only say this because my son and his wife do not spend a moment away from one another, and it's not the "healthy" kind of attachment. She doesn't work or even drive, and my son is disabled and has always been seriously isolated. It's very unhealthy, and I've read countless articles of how this will likely go down: he's a mess and she's going to accuse him of abuse and/or threats of violence. Because she's married to him, she'll be granted a green card as the baby is a born citizen, and she'll be eligible for every welfare program available, including legal aid. My son, on the other hand, will be forced to pay alimony and child support and there's nothing that I can do to prevent it. It is what it is.
Walking away from this situation is the only thing that I can do, practically speaking. And, I've been practicing separating my feelings from facts, and this situation is rotten from the gate.
I won't tell my son what I believe, or even hint at my concerns. It would only give him a cause to hold onto this sham of a marriage even tighter. Big, "ugh," here but it is what it is.
Thanks so much, BlueRose - it just is what it is, and there is absolutely nothing that I can do. Even contacting ICE won't have much impact because they're legally married, and that's how she got into the U.S. She didn't come over on a work visa, and that's enough of a red flag, right? Now that she's going to have a baby next month, that'll be the final thing that she'll need to finish her task.
I did a lot of research on this when this woman's behavior began to change, suddenly. Of course, I was verrrrry dubious about the whole thing from the beginning, but my son is a grown man, and he made this decision, himself. To interfere would only make matters worse. And, you know my history and the issues with this son from years back - it's not going to be pleasant.
So, I've accepted the situation as it is, and I realize that there is absolutely nothing that I can do to prevent the inevitable. (sigh) Oh, well.........
Good to "see" you, and I hope that all is well with you! Thanks, again!!!
Well.......I did contact this woman via an assertive (NOT angry) written message to indicate to her that returning gifts and criticizing / complaining about what was gifted is 100% unacceptable in this country. I also pointed out that grandparents are held in high esteem to do for their grandchildren as and how they can. I stated that she needed to contact me using her own email account, or Skype account, or even using her own cell phone, but that my son should not be the go-between.
I received an outrageous rant, this morning, from this woman. It was accusatory, ugly, and of the utmost disrespect imaginable. She went so far as to call me a "racist" with reference to a comment that I made that she didn't understand the customs of this country and that it might create problems for her in the future, since she didn't arrive in this country on a work or student visa - she came into this country strictly on a marriage visa, if there IS such a thing.
I do not care, one iota, about this woman, and my eldest son allowed this whole thing to blow up by misinforming this woman about his past, how many marriages he's had, what the circumstances were that ended each marriage, and that I had somehow had tried to interfere in his second marriage. I never spoke to his second wife and only met her on the occasion when I picked up my youngest son who had been living with them for a short time.
She is now in the TEXTBOOK final phase of isolating my son from his family, will be delivering this child, soon, and she will likely file charge of domestic abuse and/or violence once this child is born. Every aspect of this woman's behavior is listed by the US Embassy as patterns of green card scammers. From arriving in this country at my son's expense, to the marriage within 90 days, and the subsequent drama/trauma and unexpected pregnancy, this final effort to isolate is absolutely noted as predictable.
I am out. I am done. I cannot risk my progress for any man, woman, or child, and this whole episode has made me sick to my stomach.
This morning, I became very sad and angry about this woman's behaviors because I had kept up a false hope that both of my sons and I could enjoy a healthy relationship, finally. Well, that's just not the case. The eldest son is (as I mentioned) Borderline and Cluster B. He has extreme control and anger issues, is an admitted abuser, and he ended up marrying one just as devious as he is, if not more so.
So........a note to parents out there who are trying to mend fences with adult chidlren and feeling guilty for whatever rift that exists: if you have stood accountable for the mistakes that ALL parents make, including ones who escaped dysfunctional dynamics, and apologized to your adult child, you have done as much as you can. The rest is up to them because, as adults, they are making their own choices.
I still love my eldest son and care about his well-being, I will not be drawn into this mess, even if a grandchild is involved. I cannot allow myself to become attached to a human being that I will never have contact with.
Bruised, I'm so sorry that you've experienced this.
I would like to suggest that you take advantage of every service available through "Victims' Services." If the police were involved, he will face criminal charges that have nothing to do with you.
I would also strongly urge you to file for a restraining order and POA (Protection Of Abuse). You can do this through the civil court and an advocate from Victims' Services will help you through the entire process, from filing and everything else.
Lastly, I would encourage you get involved in counseling, ASAP - strictly with a specialist that deals with abuse, domestic violence, PTSD, and anxiety. There will be peer counseling available, and that's up to you, just as professional counseling will be.
You didn't do anything to deserve this, Bruised. Please, change your CZ ID name because being bruised is temporary - you will survive, recover, and heal from these dreadful experiences just as I did. "SoulfulSurvivor" isn't just a silly name that I chose.
Brightest blessings of healing, comfort, and courage to you.
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