Dealing with resentment?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Bean, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. Bean

    Bean Member

    Well, my 19-year-old is still here. The two-week deadline has come and gone.

    The Husband and I are no longer on the same page. He said ultimately he'd side with me, since I'm his wife, but he doesn't agree with me. He thinks her staying here right now is her only hope. If we kick her out he "Doesn't think it will fare well for her (prostitution? drugs? homelessness? wandering? safety?).

    So she's still here, and I'm not happy about it at all. The rules we (as a team) established, are slowly getting chipped away at by her, with no consequence. I'm having a very difficult time with this. I do not think it is good for our marriage, and I do not think it is good for our house.

    I try to see my husband's point of view. I try. But I think, right now, I have too much stacked up emotionally for the situation to be healthy for anyone.

    We've been through SO much with our daughter. The lying, stealing, violence, fights... it really took a toll on me emotionally. I don't feel like giving an inch right now because I'm still in a place of "open wound" from before.

    I think things would be different if our daughter would have been gone, made a commitment to sobriety, enrolled in school/work/made some sort of progress, and then asked to come home for X amount of time to enable her to accomplish ______. But right now it's basically, "I don't have anywhere else to stay because I've alienated/lied to/stole from everyone else," and we're stuck with her. Her behaviors are better than they were before, and she seems to be trying, but to me it's still the same old stuff.

    I haven't healed at all. I'm miserable. And resentful (which I'm not proud of). And I'm venting here. :(
  2. Mom2oddson

    Mom2oddson Active Member

    Vent away....

    You are not alone in the resentment. I have so much of it right now that I don't know how I'm going to survive it all. It's really hard when you are the ONLY one setting boundaries and no one else will respect them.

    Sending gentle hugs and a strong shoulder to lean on. (well, maybe not that strong, but a willing shoulder anyways)
  3. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Can you afford a hotel room? Can you take some vacation days and get away? He has put her first. I would remind your husband of your marriage vows -

    "To love, honor, and to cherish, forsaking all others..."

    When your children are grown, they are "others". He is not honoring the deal he made with you. Since she clearly has manipulated him onto her side, it's time to give him a deadline before you walk out and let him get rid of her on his own.

    What if, what if, what if? Any or all of those things might happen to her. Or she might get hungry and get a job. Or she might meet a nice man. Right now what she's doing with her life is sitting around her parents' house, being a spoiled little sponge, doing drugs, stealing, lying, and coming and going as she pleases. How is she any more safe than if she were elsewhere? That's a lie we tell ourselves instead of watching them fall down and get hurt. They fell when they toddled and somehow they learned to run. They fell off their bikes, and somehow they managed to learn to ride. If they don't fall, they'll never pick themselves up. It's hard to watch, but it's what parents have to do. The sooner you let them fall, the shorter the distance to the ground.

    Tell your husband to man up. No one told him parenting or marriage was going to be easy. This is the part where the dynamics change. You two did your job with her. For good or bad, there's nothing for you to fix. There is a marriage to save, and he'd better get on with it.

    I apologize if this advice seems harsh. It seems right. But granted, I don't live in your house. It is what I would do, given the hindsight of having kicked our son out. His mistakes are his own to make.
  4. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Would your husband be willing to attend an Al-Anon or Famlies Anonymous meeting with you? It might help him see that what he's doing is only enabling her, not helping her. If he won't, at least go for yourself. At this point it sounds like you'll have to learn to detach from both difficult child and your husband :( Not easy in the same household. A support system to help you cope is vital at this point, if you and husband aren't on the same page.

    I think taking a few days for yourself is a good idea.
  5. Bean

    Bean Member

    Ladies, it feels good to be heard.Thank you.

    Witz, your post sounds very much like the conversation I had with my husband yesterday and today. He does not attend Alanon and he doesn't go to counseling either. He's kind of hot or cold. That's how it seems most people deal with my daughter. Because she is defiant and can bark anyone down, they let her get away with everything, ignoring the rules and consequences, and then end up throwing her out when they've finally had enough.

    The Husband and I made rules, set consequences, and the only one to uphold them and remind her of them is me! I have no idea how this happened. We have 2 vacations coming up and I can't see bringing her along (miserable), and I have no clue where she will stay while we are gone (not here).

    Last night The Husband and I went out with friends for a few hours. The rule is, The Daughter is not allowed in the house (alone or with the boys) when we are not there. So we told her she'd have to find something to do for a few hours while we are gone. Somehow, while we are out, she makes it back to the house, comes in and goes to bed while her brothers are here. She talked to The Husband, who told her she needed to "go right to bed and not bother anyone." (That is where my resentment comes in. I feel like we can not do anything, or have any fun. She always finds a way to ruin it. Last time we went out of town for a baseball game, she broke into my parent's house and called to let me know. Thanks.)

    See, my reaction would be, "We are not home, and you need to go find somewhere else to be." End of discussion. But, because he didn't remind her of the rules, and back them up, she was able to triangulate the situation and throw it in my face this morning, "Dad lets me be here!! Why don't YOU?" She has her own way of manipulating and interpreting that you simply can't bend a rule or leave it up for discussion.

    My husband said if it came down to me or my daughter, he would choose me, but he is not happy that I would even mention that kind of choice (this was our discussion yesterday).
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think Witz is right. If nothing else, cancel the vacation plans. Take the $$ for vacation and take the boys somewhere. Tell husband that if he wants difficult child to live with him so badly that he cannot enforce rules designed to protect the other children from difficult child and her dangerous behaviors then he can stay home with her. Try not to be angry with him. Make it clear that this is the consequence of his choices. He clearly thinks that enabling difficult child is more important that sending a clear message to the other kids that you will NOT support drug use, illegal and/or dangerous behaviors, or disrespect. Make sure that everything you treasure is either taken with you or locked up. I recommend getting a storage unit off site - one that is gated with video surveillance (around here they are the norm and are quite inexpensive with small units being $15-$25 per month). Just before you leave put whatever you treasure into storage. Let husband know that you are not moving out but you do not want to take any chances that difficult child will be unsupervised in the home and will trash your stuff. If possible make sure that at least one noticeable piece of furniture goes into the storage unit. It will drive the point home that you do not trust difficult child or trust husband to stick to the rules he agreed to.

    I am quite sure your difficult child has been feeding her daddy a tale of woe about how awful you are and what terrible things will be done to her if she is kicked out. It is pretty classic difficult child manipulation. If he was the one enforcing the rules she would be selling you that lakefront property in Death Valley.

    WOuld husband go to al anon or a counsellor if you made it a deal breaker? Go to this with me and participate or X will happen to our relationship kind of thing? Do NOT make the consequence something you won't do. Maybe tell him you will move into another room or will make sure his most hated foods are prepared every night or his underwear are starched with the heaviest stiffest starch you can find or you will get rid of the tv?? Something that will make a big difference in his life and comfort the way difficult child makes a big difference in your life and comfort.

    This is going to take a big toll on your health and the physical and emotional health of your children. Please make sure that the pcs are seeing a therapist on a regular basis. They need a safe place to vent and to talk things out, as well as resources to help them realize that difficult child is NOT doing things they should be doing - regardless of how fun or free or great her life may look. Of course you need to be seeing a therapist also. It may be very helpful to take your teen son to alateen meetings - difficult child's behavior is likely to be causing a LOT of problems for him, esp if she is now to be allowed in the house when you and husband are not home. She is very likely to try to talk him into at least "trying" drugs and/or alcohol. If she can get one of the other kids to use drugs even one time she will be able to blackmail him into doing all kinds of things for her. If difficult child thinks Bean 2 is judgmental of her drug/alcohol use she may even try to slip something into his food or drink or to force him to use drugs. It is a way to manipulate him and to try to hurt you at the same time by "corrupting" your "good" child.

  7. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    I'm so sorry - I can't add anything more to the already great advice people have posted here, but you have my sympathy and support. Watching difficult child successfully manipulate and triangulate you and husband
    is NOT good for your other children. husband doesn't seem to be considering their needs or rights.
  8. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Oh I hear you. My husband is similar. When the kids were younger he would forget the rules...pretty hard to enforce the rules if you don't remember what they are. It took a while for the two of us to get on the same page completely. Things started getting bad enough that he partly got there himself....the other part is I dragged him to my therapist with me. What was hard for him to get i think was that we were not helping my son by enabling him. Seriously what lessons is your daughter learning if she can live there and just nor obey the rules, or be violent or disrespectful. That is what became clear to me, that the situation and the messages ne was getting was not good for him and his future.

    Since monsoon has been out of the house he has messed up a lot and has several charges against him he is having to deal with. He has found a friend to stay with and so far as far as I know has not burned those bridges. His friends dadnis helping him deal with things.

    The tension and resentment and feeling in our house is so much better without him here.

    I hope your husband can get on the same page sounds like he needs a bit of a push to get there.
  9. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    Bean, are you sure my difficult child isn't living with you??? Honey I feel every ounce of your pain!!! Resentment and anger are all I feel around her now. And all I want is this girl out of my house and I have told her so on many occasions. I have made it perfectly clear to her that I am not dealing with her in my house once she turns 18 next year because I do not have to. She is poison. And tha saddest part of all is she doesn't think there is anything wrong with her! She says I make her out to be this horrible person. She even treats her "friends" this way! It is no wonder that the only people that will be friends with her are losers that no one else will hang out with. I doubt she would see it even then. In my house, I have always been the one making excuses for her and enabling her. No more. Now she has both parents on the same page that are counting the days until her 18th birthday. 444 more days. Not sure I can last that long, I keep praying she will move out when she is 17. And no, we will not let her move back in. Ever. I am not having some one in my home, living off of me, and calling me a :censored2::censored2:. Nope. Not going to happen. Hate to say it, but if she ends up on the streets, that is where she put herself. Take a break, Bean. You deserve it!!
  10. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Bean, resentment is understandable.
    Would husband consider couples counseling. Seems parenting a difficult child is causing a rift in your relationship. It is almost impossible to get a difficult child to follow the rules with a united front
    let alone with a parent who consistently sabotages efforts. Maybe he thinks he will be the "good" parent.
    I know you want what's best for her but, as with most of us, we are working harder than difficult child on their lives. No wonder we are resentful.
  11. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Gee... I wonder where she learned that from. The apple doesn't fall very far from the tree. Does he not see it? It's as plain as the letters on this page. Your husband is making a choice, to be sure, and it's not you. If you love him and want to be with him and be happy, you have to draw the line in the sand. You or your daughter.
  12. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I agree 100% with witz. Honestly, I did have that discussion last night with my husband too, told him again I do not want it to come down to a choice but if he continues to do nothing, he WILL be choosing her. because I won't be around for him to choose! I think that might be what got through.

    But I deal with resentment a lot - resentment that husband doesn't have to get up in the morning as early as I do. Resentment that it feels like I do all the housework (to be fair, husband does ALL the outside stuff - I do NONE of it - but the kids, well...) Resentment that I do more for the kids than BM does. Resentment that I get treated like koi. The whole resentment thing is normal, I think - because without a difficult child in our lives, we could have/do/be _____________ (fill in the blank).

    HUGS. And maybe husband does not understand this? Mine didn't.
  13. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    At the first therapy appointment my husband and i went to the therapist asked my husband about his work and what he spent his mind thinking about. He talked about problems he is trying to solve at work etc. She asked him how much time he spent thinking about our son and trying to solve that problem. He did think about it but it was not the majority of his mental space. She pointed out to him that it was the majority of my mental space. Which at the time was true.... I thought about him all the time and kept trying to come up with strategies... this historically was true... and I was the one coming up with ideas and solutions throughout his 18 years. We also talked about how I was always the bad guy because i enforced the rules and how the majority of my sons anger was directed at me. I think she made her point with my husband. Several times I would wonder what i would do if husband broke some major consequence we had agreed on, like for example my son not driving our car due to our concern about what he was using the car for. I would imagine coming home and finding out that my husband had "forgotten" that agreement. It had happened so many times before just not on anything huge.... so in my fantasy I decided that if that happened I would tell husband that I was leaving for a little while and he could figure out what to do with difficult child. I could not do it alone anymore.

    Lucky for both of us my husband got on the same page so that this never happened. I wonder though if you are at a place where you need to sit husband down and say I spend a lot more of my mental energy on this and I can no longer do it alone. I need help or I am going to completely lose it. I can't live like this any more so make your choice. Of course it will only work if you truly mean it.

    What has happened more recently with husband and i is that major decisions we make regarding difficult child he tells him..... so that it is really clear it is coming from him too and I am not automatically the bad guy.. Interesting that in my sons eye it is still me he is angry at. That recent facebook message was directed at me not his dad.... even though his dad is the one who told him he wasn't coming on the trip. i think my son knows that if it wasn't for me he would still be sliding by and living at home. He may know my husband agrees with me BUT I think he also feels if it was just husband he would get away with it.... which is probably true.

    Sounds like it is time to sit down with husband and say look this is tearing us apart. We need to get together on this. What is the best way for US to get on the same page. Be willing to give a little to and to listen to his concerns and fears. He probably has all the same fears you do but has not done as much processing of them.
  14. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Toughlovin - that is very like the agreement my husband and I have regarding M. husband gets to follow through on everything. I dont get involved other than as a sounding board to husband. Mind you, I have a lot of say in our decisions, but he's the final arbiter. husband is now finally getting to the point that once I push him into the interaction, he makes reasonable decisions all by himself and follows through with M on it.
  15. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I could have written your posts, I am living your life. There is a good chance your difficult child will turn to drugs, prostitution, stealing, etc if you throw her out. Are you prepared for that? I'm not sure anyone is prepared as it is something that rips your guts out when you know your child is on the street and with bad people.

    This is the kind of stuff that rips families apart. There is resentment, blame, panic, anger. We need help in handling these situations, but there is no help around. There is no good answer. I am so sorry you are living this way too.

  16. Bean

    Bean Member

    Nancy, that is my husband's fear. He thinks she simply can not make it on her own right now. I understand it is a true fear and concern for him. It is for me, too. I think I'm just able to look at the bigger picture that includes the entire family's well being and not just her needs. It may be "better" for her right now, but I do not see it as being best for the entire family.

    The conversation has been opened regarding the struggle between The Husband and I, and I'm really letting him shoulder as much as possible right now so he can understand what I'm going through. In the evening if she's home and we can't take our regular walk together, then I go for a walk and let him stay here with her. We don't have the financial depth to do many of the suggestions that were given, but I am making note of them and will try and use them in other creative ways. I'm going to bookclub Saturday, and I'm letting him man the house. I just hope, sincerely, that he doesn't bend the rules while I'm gone (has happened before).

    I do see our daughter really making some progress, but then it is overshadowed by these emotional outbursts.

    One of our conditions is that she is out while my husband and I are at work. She can job hunt, she can hit meetings, volunteer, go to the library, whatever. But she's not sleeping at the house while the rest of the world is up being productive. Well, after another lousy morning for me (husband is already at work and is away for the times when I have to play "bad guy" and get daughter out of the house so I can leave), trying to get her up and out of the house, I told her that I wasn't waking her up tomorrow, I wasn't dropping her off anywhere. She's on her own. IF she doesn't get up and out by the time I leave for work, I'm taking everything she has in our house and putting it out on the curb. Even if it makes me late (she's dragged her feet and I've been late to work twice this week). Nearly every day has been a struggle. I've been sworn at, I've been late to work and twice I've fallen to tears. I can't handle it.

    Thanks for listening, understanding and advising.