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Not Sharing Husbands and Sons ??


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#1 godsgifts

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 10:38 PM

I had a MIL who just could not share her son with me. I was very willing and happy to share him, but she would not and treated me and my children like crap all her life. I put up with her for 35 years and then I cut " myself " off from her, not my husband, not my children, just me, and boy did that stress go away.

Now I have a DIL who will not share our son with my family. I have NEVER given them any advise, butted in, I swore I would not be MY MIL. He wasn't speaking to his youngest sister for 6 mos before she was killed, thanks to my DIL. We all made up and low and behold she went on to our other DD. She went from 1 DD to another, to me, to my husband until we haven't seen them for 6 years now.

I don't understand why when I was perfectly willing to share my husband and son, the 2 men in my life I love with all my heart, and yet my MIL AND DIL just wouldn't or can't do the same. I don't want to be 1st in my son's life, but I'd like my family to maybe be 2nd. Why is it so darn hard for some women to share their sons or husband, we all have the same thing in common ,"we love the same man."

#2 oscarsmaman

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 10:50 PM

What, specifically, do you mean by "sharing" another human being? How would it look, if she was more "sharing" of your son?
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#3 MBear

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 10:55 PM

I think I might consider changing the words you use, like the word share. I never plan on sharing my DH with anyone including his mother. I also never have the expectation that my DS's wife will share him with me.

I am glad that you were able to cut your MIL off but still let your husband and children have a relationship with them. I believe that shows that you are able to put your DH and children's happiness above yours and I believe that shows a strong person as long as your MIL wasn't toxic to them. I am not sure if you are bring that up to say that your DIL should do that for you or that you understand not getting along with a MIL.

I believe it is important that you do not blame your DIL for you DS not speaking to his youngest sister. That was his choice. Your DS is responsible for his relationship with his family, not your DIL. Can understand though how horrible a death like that can be, and I am truly sorry that you and your family had to go through such a tragic event. There has to be some type of event or something that triggered this type of behavior. Usually people don't just stop having communication for 6 years over nothing. What event triggered it? There is nothing that I could do at this point that would make my DH stop having communication with his family. His family could do something though to make that happen. In the same respect there is nothing my ILs could do to make my DH leave me unless I contributed to it.

I don't think your MIL was in the right about wanting your DH and not sharing, but you IMO have no rights to share your DS, those rights disappeared when he turned 18 and definitely are gone now that he has a wife.

#4 Tinka

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:03 PM

You love the same man,, but in drastically different ways in both situations. I don't think a MIL or DIL can have an impact on their sons or husbands relationship with others, unless the man in question allows it. My own MIL did try a whole bunch of nastys to get in between DH and I, it was hurtful but it did not break us up. Because my husband would not allow it too.

In the same vein, I can't do anything to my husbands and MILs relationship. They alone are responsible.

So, my question is, why do you feel that outside partys are responsible for the quality of these relationships?
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#5 Whiteroses

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:19 PM

Im a Dil,im confused how I could share my Dh with my mil.

#6 Sunshine1002

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:31 PM

You love the same man,, but in drastically different ways in both situations. I don't think a MIL or DIL can have an impact on their sons or husbands relationship with others, unless the man in question allows it.


^^^^^^^^^^ This times a million! I'll never understandy why some MILs think "my DIL wont let DS (call me, visit us, spend holidays with us etc)" If the DS wanted to do ______ Im sure he would. If aDH allows his wife (and vise versa) to have that much control over their lives both need therapy.

I don't see how 2 people can "share" a human being. A husband/son are two different roles between two different people.

In our situation MIL didn't want to cut the chord or realize her sons were married, and it wasnt to her. In situations where the MIL" sees" the son as her DH there isn't such a thing as "sharing"
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#7 NewMama

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:42 PM

I think "sharing" implies you have similar relationships with the son/husband. In our own situation, I actually found that we had a good balance between his relationship with his mom and our marriage. As his wife, I have my place in his life, and MIL has hers as his mom. I don't see those two things as being similar, just because we're both women. I would hope she doesn't want a "wifely" role in his life, and I sure as heck have no desire to mother someone else's grown child. The "competing" started after DS was born with MIL, because she wants a more motherly role in DS's life. Since she feels my presence interferes with her mothering DS, we have issues. There is still zero conflict over DH's affections.

I think it comes from an unhealthy place when a woman can't accept another woman in her husband or son's life, when that "other woman" is a family member or spouse. That woman, be it the MIL or DIL, is so insecure or jealous that they have to cut out all the other women in their son or husband's life. And if the MIL or DIL succeeds, it's usually because the man takes a passive role instead of standing up for his loved ones. My husband would never have married me if I had been trying to cut his mom out of his life. We have our issues, but I'm more interested in working them out than cutting anyone off.

ETA: I also think that it's way easier to blame a DIL or MIL when the son/husband is the problem. We gave each other final say over family events for each others respective FOO. So if he decides he doesn't want to visit MIL, I don't argue with him anymore. If he says he wants to, I say sure and get DS organized. But when HE decides to bail on her, who gets the blame? Me. Who gets the snippy remarks and complaints? Me. Never, ever DH. He couldn't possibly decide of his own free will not to visit MIL. It *must* be NewMama who won't allow it.
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#8 Whiteroses

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:51 PM

My mil has 4 sons,but whenever she needs help with anything she only calls my dh to help her fil does it too. They never call my other bil and dh is the only one that is married. Dh and are out somewhere with our Dd then dh gets a call to go fix/do something so dh says he cant go over.dh used to go before,but dh would get really botheredby his parents always needing something when we where spending time together as a family.

#9 blondiex46

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:34 AM

I always say that the DS has to live with the DIL and if the DIL is complaining about the DM is it easier for the DS to just stay away cause if not he will have to hear the wife complain about the mother.....he has free will to talk, communicate stop over and see his mother but what will happen when he comes home if the DIL doesn't like his mother, will he get grief, yep sometimes he will.......The men don't want to deal with the stuff the the MIL or DIL dish out to each other sometimes, they just want them to fix it or shut up, he is in the middle....he loves his mother and loves him wife and they don't get along, what is he supposed to do, put in the middle, they would just rather walk away sometimes just to keep peace. Sometimes the DS just doesn't feel like dealing with his mother cause he doesn 't like her and the DIL is getting the brunt of it cause he doesn't go.

I used to say to my ex.....did you call your mother, did you go see your mother...did you get her a card for her birthday.....I would remind him all the time. I felt it was my responsibility as his wife and as a mother to make sure the relationship he had with his mother was on good standing.....my kids were paying attention and wanted to show them that no matter what I did the right thing where their grandmother was concerned....

Sandy
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#10 Whiteroses

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:49 AM

A husband shouldnt feel in the middle,if he does he doesnt know what it means to be a husband.If his mom keeps badmouthing dil to her dh, the dh should say "mom you know I love you,but its hard to come over to visit when you keep talking bad about my dw.If you would stop talking bad about her and treat her nicely we would be able to come over more often."
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#11 PhalenMum

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 04:27 AM

why are you sharing another human being? is he made of cake?

a woman who can't let go of her son so he can go on to have a relationship with his wife needs serious help (OP, your DuH should have stood up for you and your children).
A woman who won't let a man have a relationship with his family (like FBM's exDIL) also needs serious help.
A woman who, for whatever reason (not over silly things like a recipe {unless it's part of a much bigger problem}), discusses with her husband and together they make a choice to limit contact with his (or her) family, that is between a husband and wife.
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#12 mrsslant

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 04:46 AM

@Phalen: Now I want cake. Thanks a lot.
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#13 TNBebah

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 05:28 AM

I am going to weigh in as a DIL and a MIL. The term "sharing" I don't think that this was ment as in I want to do the same things with him as you, that would be weird. I think its ment as please allow time with her too. Not tons just some.

Now, moving on. Yes, our DSs are grown men and are in charge of them selves. But....you have to admit DILs are the ones they live with, sleep with, love to come home to, have children with.....no matter how much DILs say "I don't control what your son thinks and feels we/they really do have a part." If a DIL lets her displeasure known about a visit or phone call that hubby had with his mom and intentionaly or unintentionaly gives the "cold" shoulder when Dear Hubby does those things he will begin to limit communication with his mom. The reason I know this is that 30 years ago my DHs mom really, really got under my skin . The only good thing I could say about her was the she was an incredible cook. Did she do anything huge, no, just lots of passive agressive stuff. I would cringe when we would go. She didn't say the veiled mean things to me in front of DH she would wait til we were alone. When my DH would question her about saying them she would say "now, I'm your mother, you know I wouldn't lie to you, I didn't say that." Drove me nuts. So I started coming up with reasons for me not to go. DH didn't want to go without me, we were a family, family should go together. So his visits became less, and less. He didn't like her passive agressive comments to me, but couldn't get her to admit to them. It was years before the comments were heard by others. By then our visits as a family had all but stopped. He would go by himself and would call her on his way home from work just so I wouldn't roll my eyes and huff. I put him in the middle. I hated that his mom and I had done that to him, but I just couldn't go and have comments said to me the whole time and then denied. He loves his mom she raised him, did a wonderful job (only a few quirks,lol) He does want to see her and talk with her. I never told him don't go, but my body language, huffs, eye rolls....said it much more loudly than my words ever would. I'm ashamed to say I did that. I'm an example of how a DIL can cause a DS not to visit or call his mom as much.

Now, my for my MIL hat. I was cut off from my DS and DIL for 9 months to a year. It hurt. Badly. Did I want my DS to call me daily - no. Not even weekly. I would have been happy with once a month. I didn't even have to have a phone call. An email every now and then would have been okay. Do I blame DIL? Deep down, probably. For the whole cut off - no. I know what caused the cut off. Do I think it warranted a cut off. No, but my son and DIL did what they felt they needed to do. Is our relationship better now? Yes. I don't offer any advice when asked. My standard answer is "it is your decision to make, you know what is right for your family." The cut off served it's purpose, I am very careful with what I say and do anytime I'm around DS or DIL. I don't say or do anything that I think may in even the tiniest bit cause them to even raise an eyebrow. When asked to help I now say "tell me what you want me to do and what you don't want me to do" In saying this I get my boundaries and make sure I don't cross them. Is the same consideration returned to me. No. Do I think we will ever get to a comfortable relationship? Yes, but right now we are taking it slowly. As MILs we know how our son acted at home when we were raising them, what they liked and disliked, their personalities. Then all of the sudden they are married and this person that walks in our door says and does things to us that we have never seen or heard before from them. The only thing that has changed is the fact that our son is married. So the first reason we attribute the change to is the DIL. Is the change in behavior a combination of things - maturing, being responsible for someone else, stress in the work place? Probably. But we don't know for sure what causes the change we aren't talked to anymore because he now has a wife that he talks to. We just have this son that we no longer fully recognize. Do we want our sons to go back to being a child? No. But, we do have to adjust to the grown up son.

So, As you can tell. I wasn't the model DIL. I swore that I would be the model MIL. I made sure that I didn't do the things my MIL did to me and I still screwed up. In a perfect world all DILs and MILs would always get along and DSs would never be caught in the middle.
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#14 mrsslant

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 10:23 AM

TNBebah: I'm not understanding what you think you should have done in your MIL situation other than sit there, smile and take it. I don't think it was unreasonable to limit your time with her. And if your DH didn't want to go without you, that really is on him, not you. I'm all for maintaining a relationship even if you don't like each other when its due to a personality clash or some things that just get on your nerves. Your MIL knowingly wasn't nice to you, or she would not have lied about it.
As far as the eye rolls and huffy behavior: You know, most guys I know are willing to tolerate if it is over a video game/poker night/watching the game without a problem. So if they start limiting their relationship with their mothers, it wasn't as high of a priority to begin with. I'm not saying it is the most mature way to behave, but I don't think anyone can blame you for being less than thrilled when MIL's name came up.
I don't know much about your current situation but I will say that while your CO hurt badly, I'm sure it hurt them as well. My MIL is CO and will stay that way, but it was not an easy choice, a rash decision. Of course it was my "Fault". But honestly, DH made the decision on his own. I never tried to put him "in the middle" but he personally took offense to me being treated badly. He felt that it was a disrespect to him. Keep in mind the reason for the CO goes far beyond just her treating me badly but I guess the point I am making is that DH's really do make their own decisions, and it is often without their wives telling them to do it. Yes, I realize that our attitude makes an impact to a point but they are capable of saying something to their wives if they don't like the way she is acting, also.
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#15 NewMama

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 01:03 PM

I used to say to my ex.....did you call your mother, did you go see your mother...did you get her a card for her birthday.....I would remind him all the time. I felt it was my responsibility as his wife and as a mother to make sure the relationship he had with his mother was on good standing.....my kids were paying attention and wanted to show them that no matter what I did the right thing where their grandmother was concerned....


This is something I've always had an issue with. My husband was in his mid-30s when we got married and was perfectly capable of maintaining his relationship with his parents before we got married. Suddenly there's a ring on my finger and it was my responsibility to maintain it? Huh? It makes no sense to me. I'm fully supportive of him and my children having a relationship with my in-laws, but I refuse to be the one who maintains it for him. He doesn't get a free pass now just because were married. Anytime he says he wants to visit I never say no, I say just tell me when and where and I'll get DS organized. I'm not hounding him to call his mother or see his parents or do any of that stuff. He's a grown man, we share everything else in the household so it's not my responsibility to do that. No one expects a man to do that for his wife, so why is it expected the wife has to do that for husband? I'll never hinder the relationship, I only smile and am nice to her, despite her behavior over the last year and I'll keep doing that.

As MILs we know how our son acted at home when we were raising them, what they liked and disliked, their personalities. Then all of the sudden they are married and this person that walks in our door says and does things to us that we have never seen or heard before from them. The only thing that has changed is the fact that our son is married. So the first reason we attribute the change to is the DIL. Is the change in behavior a combination of things - maturing, being responsible for someone else, stress in the work place? Probably. But we don't know for sure what causes the change we aren't talked to anymore because he now has a wife that he talks to. We just have this son that we no longer fully recognize. Do we want our sons to go back to being a child? No. But, we do have to adjust to the grown up son.


I think this is huge. My husband frequently tones down his opinions and thoughts on things for fear of hurting his mother's feelings. He hides things from her because he doesn't feel that she can handle it. I remember having a conversation with her once about the way that my husband eats. He has a bowel condition and part of managing that condition is to follow bland diet. DS was a newborn and I was commenting that I hope when he grows up he eats like my husband. I was a very picky eater and my husband is very adventurous and likes a variety of foods, including some really spicy ethnic ones. She was absolutely shocked that he wasn't following this bland diet. He never mentioned it to her because he didn't want her to worry and just ate the bland meals she cooked him to make her happy. She repeatedly questioned me as to whether or not he really eats like that, and I told her he did and he always had for as long as I'd known him. And that he helped me become less of a picky eater. It was quite a surprise for her to learn something she didn't know about her son, not a huge thing, but still caught her quite off-guard. So I think when he does or says something that she didn't realize he felt, it's quite easy to think that it's me that's caused the change in him.

#16 ToodleMama

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 02:13 PM

I am assuming that by "sharing" you just mean letting him spend time with his extended family. It's an odd term, as it does kind of imply that you want to do the things with him that his wife does, like when a little kid shares a toy. I can't imagine that's what you actually meant, though. Yes you love the same man, but not in the same way. He's your son, you raised him, but DIL has chosen to create a family with him. Not saying one is more or less than the other but they are very different. Many people believe in "leave and cleave" and we do as well, meaning that when DH and I married we "left" our families of origin behind to "cleave" to one another. Everyone else is extended family now, and our immediate nuclear family takes precedence, always, if there's a conflict.

I can't keep my husband from maintaining a relationship with his extended family. Even when I was having trouble with my in-laws, and DH obviously knew about it, he was able to be a big boy and maintain that relationship without me. He sees and speaks to his family of origin now as a married man with kids much more than he did as a single man in his 20s. No amount of eyerolling on my part is going to change that. If we were having actual issues, we would talk about them and figure it out. Yes, I know that there are some DsIL who are manipulative and passive-aggressive, just like there are some MsIL who are. That doesn't absolve, in my opinion, the man in question from wearing his big boy underwear and working on the situation.

My DH is absolutely different now than when he was 23 and single. He's married, he has kids and a mortgage and a wife. He's financially responsible for a family. He's not going to be the same person MIL remembers, and he shouldn't be. Some of those changes, yes, are probably due to me. He's a more adventerous eater partly on his own before me and then partly because of things we like to do together. He reads more, because we like to read series of books together and talk about them. He's less likely to play sports with his cousins every single time we are over for a family gathering because he'd rather play with his kids. That's how it's supposed to be, and I don't understand how anyone with any sense could have trouble accepting it. Yes, you do have to adjust to the grown-up son, but blaming a DIL for "changing" him or something isn't right.
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#17 Eowyn

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 02:18 PM

This is an interesting topic...

I don't think you mean share the husband/son (because, as previously noted, men are alas not made of cake). I think you mean share the resources (time, energy, money--if travel is an issue-- attention) within the marriage with you. I think something very important to understand is that upon being married, those resources no longer belong to just one person, rather they are shared between the couple. I find that the best way to be gifted (and please accept what your son and dil give you as a gift, not a right, not an entitlement) with more of those resources is to be someone that BOTH parties want to spend their resources on.

I don't know how helpful this will be in a six year estrangement, particularly when you're clearly very angry with your DIL (so, naturally, probably not her priority for how to use family resources). I think your son and daughter-in-law have made a decision that, at least for now, you don't have a role in their lives. If that changes for you, I think the best thing to do is to abandon all ideas that you should be "second" to your DILs "first" and instead start from square one with both of them. You may need to re-learn all about your son, because he truly will be a different person now, but I bet if you imagined yourself six years ago, you were a different person too.

#18 Tinka

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 03:51 PM

There was a large chunk of time between DH moving out of his parents and even dating me. He didn't leave the nest to marry. While most of the ILs married right after school, so they didn't know life outside of their parents or marital home. DH and I had very different experiences, yet they casually assume that the changes they were privy to were due to me -even- while stating they saw some of it before me. The mind is a funny thing sometimes.

I would think there is something wrong if a parent knows everything about an adult child. Just not natural. It's easier to blame the newcomer for any changes you might see, but why blame? Wouldn't it be more unnatural to not change at all ever? Isn't it normal and very healthy to change upon marriage in order to happily share your life with another? Why is change classified as bad?

#19 SarahCasera

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 04:44 PM

You love the same man, but in drastically different ways in both situations. I don't think a MIL or DIL can have an impact on their sons or husbands relationship with others, unless the man in question allows it.


I think this is really the crux of it. I believe very strongly in personal responsibility. There is not a person in the world (whether it be by child, my husband or my parents) that could dictate who I choose to speak with or see. That is my choice and my choice alone. Even if a spouse or other significant person in your life shares their opinion or tries to influence me, I *always* have a choice.

I can see how much you're hurting godsgifts, and it does seem particularly unfair that your MIL treated you badly and you "turned the other cheek" so to speak only to have a DIL that isn't accepting of you either, I'm sorry for your pain. That said, your son has chosen not to speak to you for 6 years. It's time to put the blame where it belongs, squarely with your son. His wife didn't stop him from talking to/seeing you. She may have encouraged that but she can't force him, he choose his path.
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#20 SarahCasera

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 05:09 PM

I had a MIL who just could not share her son with me. I was very willing and happy to share him, but she would not and treated me and my children like crap all her life. I put up with her for 35 years and then I cut " myself " off from her, not my husband, not my children, just me, and boy did that stress go away.


godsgifts, I'd like to use your post as an example of what I was talking about. I'm trying to interpret what exactly a MIL not sharing her son with you, your husband looks like in terms of behavior. I'm going to make a lot of assumptions in order to make my point. Since you say she couldn't share, can I assume that your MIL spent a lot of time calling you husband and asking for favors and basically time spent with her, that pulled him away from your little family? I'm assuming that MIL was openly hostile and disrespectful to you, probably when it came to you as a parent, you as a homeowner, etc. Your MIL's constant demands of your DH's time/energy and the way you were "forced" to accept her horrid treatment of you and your children created strife in your marriage.

I have to say what was happening there, wasn't your MIL's fault. This was all your husband's fault. That's not to say that he can control his mother's behavior, but *he* had choices. He could've chosen to prioritize his immediate family over his mother, but he didn't. If he had, there would be no marital strife about MIL's constant demands of his time/energy. Your husband could've chosen not to allow him mother around you and the children if she couldn't treat you with respect. Instead he *chose* to allow his wife and children to be disrespected and emotionally hurt by his mother's actions and his inaction. *He* created strife in your marriage by not demanding respect for his wife! And honestly, you had choices too. You could've refused to allow yourself to be mistreated in your own home.

What I get from your post, is that you *chose* to allow yourself and your children to be mistreated so that your husband's life would be easier. Think of how much better all the relationships could've been, if your husband, from day 1 refused to allow MIL to mistreat you. Imagine that! Sure you may have had a few months or years where your husband and his mother had a rocky relationship, but eventually she would've come around because she had no choice if she wanted to ge in her son's life. If your husband had stepped up and said, "I refuse to let anyone mistreat my family or take time away from my family", then in the later years you could've shared meals and/or holidays with your MIL and everyone could've been cordial and pleasant, instead of subjecting you and your children to 35 years of abuse! How terribly sad that your husband allowed you to be mistreated by someone in your own home for 35 years, and how sad that you allowed yourself to be treated that way. That you has such little respect for yourself. I'm sad for you godsgifts, but you made your choices too.
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