Just Passing Through

In one of the messages that Mom left yesterday, she said that Dad was going to be heading back to the beach today. She left me a message today saying that Dad was in town, and would be heading to the beach later this evening. I intentionally waited until I was home from work to call, just to see if he would call first. I called and left a message at the house for him, asking him to call me. He didn’t – or he had already left. He didn’t even call or stop by to see the kids.

Some of the messages that Mom has been leaving lately (I haven’t answered a call from her in a few days) have been telling me what a bad son I have been, and how much I’ve broken Dad’s heart, and how he left saying that he didn’t have a son anymore. I had taken that as just Mom ranting and searching for my buttons to see if she could get a reaction. That assessment may not be accurate, as this is not the first time Dad has ignored me. A few weeks ago (while Dad was at the beach and Mom wasn’t), I talked to Dad and told him about some exciting stuff the kids had done that weekend. I said that they were excited about it, and that they would love to tell him about it. I told him that we would be home all evening, and made it a point to not go anywhere. Fortunately, I didn’t tell the kids that he would call, because he never did. Not then, not later. He even sounded like he was going to call. Oh well, maybe he’s gone back to enabling Mom’s problem and buying into her allergy kick.

My wife is really angry at this – I think mostly because she thought that Dad was going to stay ‘on our side’ – or at least neutral. I was hoping for it too, but really didn’t think it would last. It never has. Dad has a VERY long history of creating excuses for Mom’s behavior. The first one I remember (that he told me anyway) was 25+ years ago, when Mom was ‘going through menopause’ – which lasted until my brother’s accident 10+ years later, when that became the excuse-du-jour.

My wife feels betrayed – partially for herself, and partially for the kids. I’m not sure that I feel anything any more – at least not about Mom and Dad. It has all just become a problem to deal with, like an annoying leaky faucet or perpetually running toilet. Unfortunately there isn’t a gasket to fix this one.

~ by namegoeshere on June 27, 2007.

5 Responses to “Just Passing Through”

  1. I wish that there was an easy fix to this problem. I pray that there will be a turning point for all of you soon. I especially pray for your children as this has got to be especially hard for them as they are losing their grandparents…who are choosing this path.

  2. I know that your wife is angry. You have to be heartbroken.

    How are you going to help your wife and kiddos get over this hurt? over their anger? Your the point man.

  3. I just wanted to make a note based on my experiences with my husband. Hopefully it will give you something valuable.

    In the first 7 years of our marriage, but really noticeably in the first 5 years my husband had a habit of enabling his mother. Not that my MIL is like your mother. But by enabling I mean simply being passive to her wants and desires. It wasn’t that he was actively doing anything but that was the problem.

    This became a huge issue for me. I really felt betrayed by him. It got to the point that I put a huge wedge in between us because what he saw as passive behaviour I FELT as active behaviour against us as a unit of Husband and Wife.

    A very minor example that won’t embarrass me later, is that of making plans to visit. We’d look at our calendar and decide that a specific collection of dates would work to visit. We knew our routines and their routines and tried to actively pick good times to visit. His mother typically agreed to one of the dates. But then would start calling to reschedule. Always at a moments notice, a few times we were heading out the door to drive to their house.

    My husband would always, for the first 5 years, change our plans and accept her reschedule.

    I realize this is not the best example, but the end result is that I really felt like my MIL ruled our lives. My husband wasn’t intending that, but it was the end result in my mind.

    It especially bothered me when it started to influence our children. When she’d promise to visit and then cancel with a phone call hours after she was to arrive. When she’d show up at our daughter’s birthday with no present and gifts for our son, her favourite, instead.

    Her actions filled me with the need to protect my children and when my husband apparently did noting my rage and urge to protect did get projected onto him too. Logical or not, that is what happened.

    I can see now that part of his reaction was a “bide my time until she’s gone.” But that, in my world of “do something about this now,” was not an acceptable response.

    The reason I am telling you this is because I was filled with anger at my husband because I didn’t feel he was being active in protecting my children from her behaviour.

    It was really truly not good for our marriage.

    We have a lot of problems today because of my husband’s unwillingness to be proactive in this matter instead of reactive. I see your going to the CPS as being proactive.

    I share this example because I know, given other “stuff”, that your mother has injured your family and your relationship with your wife. I just share from the perspective of a wife and how I felt in the hopes that perhaps you can have some understanding at emotions your wife might be experiencing.

    It isn’t necessarily logical, but it is highly possible that she will be going through some rage and anger herself that isn’t just directed at your parents.

    I am completely okay if you post this or decide to delete this rather long comment. Also, just even typing out my comment left me feeling hot under the collar as the feelings aren’t something that go away overnight.

    And I ask in advance for forgiveness if I have offended you with my comment.

  4. To songbirdy:
    I don’t offend easily. I’ve had YEARS of practice of not being offended by some of the most vile filth to spew forth from Mom’s mouth. Well intended commends will never offend – even painful ones.
    In the first years of our marriage, Mom caused lots of problems that I was not willing to see. I could hear her talking, but nothing she said registered. It has taken quite a long time to get out of that habit, and my wife has been more patient with it than I deserve. Occasionally, she has been angry with me about it for good reason. I think that if she had known my family first, she would have run for the hills. I can’t say that I would blame her, I feel like doing that at times myself.

  5. Hi, I’m Robert. I’m 38 years old, and married to the love of my life. She and I have two sons, one in high school and the youngest, three. My wife and I are the average, college-educated, church-going types, working paycheck to paycheck like everyone else. I have the same type of “bi-polar mother”. Truthfully, I could not believe what I was reading! It looked as if a long-lost twin had written the story of part of my life. The parallels are frightening. Anyway, here’s a recent cross-section of my story. My mother has been hostile to most of our family members for probably the greater part of thirty five years. My father has spent most of this time trying to smooth over her destructive personality with the rest of the family to keep the peace and keep the family together. As she has aged, now 65, she has become much worse. My mother finally has about burned the bridges with most of her friends, her family members, and now my wife and I. What is sad, is that she can be the most charming, kind, loving person you would meet…when it benefits her. She is extremely creative, but does not do anything creative, unless she has an audience. She attacks my wife and other family members, then when others are upset, she plays the victim and “forgets” what she said or did. My father finally sold out on my mother and family, by buying into her lies and drama. Now, they hide in the walls of their multi-million dollar home in a the “best” part of town or jet set to their second home, smug in the wealth and prestige they have as the “foundation” of their marriage. To try and feel better about what they do, they go to the church pastor and lie to him about the other family members. They cancel plans with our little one to visit over and over, and later blame us. Quick example…we sent our little one, finally, over for a visit. It seemed to go well, but out of the blue upon starting the truck, my father has asked me to return his house key. We later heard from my grandparents that they were blasted over the phone by my parents for having lunch with me the other week…that “my grandparents were the cause of my parents and my problem.” My wife and I have decided that it is no longer safe for us to bring my three y.o. over to their house. While I fully support grandparents rights, in most cases, I am glad that there are very good general limitations in our state. God bless my sweet wife for her support. I think the only reason we are together is God and our unwavering support for one another. Last note…we will meet with my “normal” family members next week to try talk about my parents. I pray that our meeting will further unify the rest of the family, and that maybe we can come together with some kind of plan to help the emotional instability of my mother and father.

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