husband wavering already!

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by gsingjane, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. gsingjane

    gsingjane New Member

    Oh, my goodness. Well, our difficult child wrote my husband an email today, in which he said that "mommy and I are on the outs," but wondered whether he and my husband could stay in touch because "I have recently received some upsetting medical news." My husband pushed the panic button, of course, and called, asking what I knew about all this and wondering what to do.

    You may recall that our difficult child had made similar comments to me last week in a phone call - to the effect that he'd gotten bad medical news, but didn't want to tell me about it in that specific conversation. After I calmed down, I realized that (a) there is a remarkable synchronicity to John's receiving bad health news and our instituting consequences for bad behavior; (b) that what he did (implying horrible news, about which he knew I'd worry, but refusing to tell me what it was) was actually really cruel; and (c) that there is really nothing I can do anyhow, since I'm neither a doctor nor responsible for his care. I had made the decision not to share this with my husband, who is suffering his own health problems (cancer which may or may not be in remission) because reasons (a), (b) and (c) are also valid for him.

    Now, of course, my husband wants to resume contact with difficult child (this is after less than a week!) so that we can stay abreast of John's health issues. I told him, flat-out, that I thought John was manipulating us again, and we did have a bit of a personal dust-up over it (not uncommon). When I got off the phone, though, I started thinking about things and I realized, John knows exactly what he's doing, going to his dad with this. Certainly it's true that if John were on his deathbed, or presently terminally ill (neither of which he is), all bets would be off. Of course at that point, yes, time would be very short and all would be forgiven. I think that what John is thinking is that his dad is acutely aware of his own mortality, and it is true that (John implies but never comes out and says this) the days that he and his dad spend together may in fact be numbered, whether that's because of John's health issues or my husband's. John also knows that husband lost his own father (to the same cancer husband has now) at a very young age, and mourns all the lost opportunities and chance for reconciliation that represents.

    I can see that my husband and I really either need to figure out a consistent approach to difficult child, or seek counseling to decide how we're going to handle things between us relating to difficult child. I think that an awful lot of the time, husband feels that I'm just "being mean," "cold," or "unsympathetic" when it comes to difficult child and his health issues and his conduct. And I feel that an awful lot of the time, husband is being a squishy waver-er who brings a lot of this down on us, by sending out inconsistent messages and by refusing to choose a plan for difficult child and stick to it.

  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Jane, of course I am on the outside looking in at your life, but geez, I have to say, your son sounds like a MASTER manipulator, he is really good. Doesn't get your attention, goes behind your back to your husband and scares your husband. Yuck. He is using his health issues to scare you both into giving him what he wants, and if he doesn't get it from one of you, he does the divide and conquer route. I felt angry reading your post, that he would do such an underhanded creepy thing as to approach your husband when your husband is sick and not come clean as to what his health issues really are ( I don't believe any of it) but make you both sick in your hearts worrying about him. Didn't you say you thought he was a sociopath? Well, sociopaths don't care what happens to you as long as they get what they want. You are temporary 'food' and if that source of 'food' dries up, they will find another. I know that sounds cold, but that's what sociopaths do.

    If I were in your shoes, and I have been really close to where you find yourself, I would run to a therapist before any further back-pedaling happens. You do need to figure out a consistent plan and stick with it, regardless of all the BS your son will give you about it. You must prepare yourselves for the next step which is as soon as you say NO, he will up the ante, he will find new ways to manipulate you, he will do whatever it takes for him to get what he wants. You guys need support, you need someone to help guide you through this maze you find yourself in. Your son has both of you held hostage by the fear surrounding his health issues and I imagine it's been easy for him to do it too, since of course you love him and don't want him to be sick..............but you are keeping yourselves stuck in this mess by enabling him. I know it's hard, really I do, I have a daughter who is a master manipulator and it was very hard for me to see. EVERYONE else could see it, but not me, I wanted to believe her each and every time, I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt.

    You two need to wake up and look at the reality here. You are starting to see it, the script he follows, the way once you stop enabling, he suddenly has health issues, but you can't know what those health issues are. Really? Would you buy that from anyone else? My therapist told me that we go into a sort of FOG, where you can't define reality, you simply react to their manipulations, you are stuck in the FOG Jane, push it away and look reality in the face because you are getting snowed. Your poor husband, his own health issues and your son playing on his feelings...........yes, that is cruel with a capital C.

    Very often it is the women who see the truth for what it really is and unfortunately, you have to drag everyone else along with you until they can see it too. I heard that in my support group often, the mothers saw it first while the Dad's stayed stuck in denial. That's a tough spot for you, which is why I think you need a therapist, someone on the outside with no allegiances who can just state the truth. Perhaps a NAMI support group for parents. Or a private therapist well versed in these issues. You will be surprised to learn how astute these difficult child's really are, when we are feeling sorry for them and thinking they are so weak, they are in fact quite savvy and bright and clever and articulate...............Jane, take it from another Mom whose been in your shoes, get help, get it fast before your son figures out different approaches to rob you of more of your money and more of your life...............Sorry to be so blunt, but this is exactly what I needed to see the light, someone to simply state the truth to me. I'm rootin for you......stay the course.............HUGS............
  3. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    Yes, they are master manipulators! Maybe if you can get hubby to read some of the posts here (not yours lol) or some of the books, he will begin to see that what you have been doing in the past is not working. It's time to try something else.

    It's not easy and they are so persistent! I think a therapist would be a tremendous help.
  4. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I'm sorry that you are dealing with this but, frankly, if my difficult child called with a teaser about "upsetting medical news" that she didn't want to share....I'd start loudly speculating about what kind of medical news it could be: herpes, gonorrhea, genital warts, butt fungus, mouth rot, get the idea. I'd bet anything that sort of tactic would either force your son to back off the lies and manipulation, or admit the nature of the "medical news".

    But that's just me...

  5. gsingjane

    gsingjane New Member

    Well Daisy that's funny! Maybe I should have tried it instead of getting all dramatic!

    I am not entirely sure it would have worked with difficult child though ... he did have a major organ transplant in the summer of 2011 and I *think* what he might be hinting at is that he's going into rejection. He's been sort of back and forth all winter with it and was hospitalized last month for 5 days, although they did ultimately decide he wasn't in rejection but just had a virus that caused his numbers to bounce up which looked like rejection. Another possibility is that the underlying condition, which led to the transplant, has returned; or, although this would be very early for this, his long-term use of steroids and anti-rejection medications (he was on anti-rejection drugs even before the tx) have led to cancer. He IS going to get cancer, the question is just, when.

    husband agreed with me today that, because - by difficult child's own decision - we aren't part of his care team, he can handle whatever this is by himself unless he chooses to share further. I had asked husband what we would do differently if we did know what it was, and husband eventually agreed that there really isn't anything that we would do differently. Certainly whatever is wrong with difficult child medically, isn't cured by stealing! The two are completely unrelated!
  6. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    The thing's sometimes very hard to know when our difficult children are being honest and when they are just bending the truth a bit and when they are out and out lying right to our faces!

    I've found that if I take them ridiculously seriously (such as trying to guess the illness myself, or asking tons of follow-up questions, or offering to "take charge" of the 'emergency') that's usually enough to get them to back off their story if they are not being truthful.

    If they ARE being truthful? Yes - we love them, and we are willing to lend the help that we can.

    We are NOT willing to be taken advantage of!
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im sorry he is still being a horses behind. Going to his dad was unforgivable. I do think you can have somewhat of a relationship with him because of the fact that he does need to make his peace with his dad before either of their time's do come but that has nothing to do with money. You can love someone to death without giving money. People who are as poor as church mice do it all the time. I mean what would he do if you had no money?