Question I have been married for 10 years. I have three kids. One of my children suffers from terrible OCD. I have not medicated him because we've been able to manage it but it's quite stressful at times. He is a lovely brilliant active boy but he suffers. It doesn't help that my husband and I alternatively are supportive but we fight with eachother. Many years ago my husbands parents called our son weird and my husband not only didn't stick up for our son, he didn't care how much I was hurt by this. His parents say whatever they want and don't feel they should ever curb their tongue. I know they love the kids and my husband but all they do is bring panic into our home. They're not positive people. In addition, for my husband's entire life, they fought in front of him, neither one ever conceding. They view fights as something face saving. I view love as losing face sometimes because you want to give in for someone else. My husband is a very loving but chilly person emotionally and he doesn't seem to care about how he grew up even though he is acting the way he claims he hated his parents did (but that he claims he eventually tuned out). It's so bad that suppose I've seen his parents 200 times, they have fought 150 out of those 200 times. Not spats. That's the problem. Small slights are big slights to them and they just talk and talk and talk, and PUSH BUTTONS. They push each others buttons like my husband pushes mine. Me pushing his button is saying pretty much anything that points a finger even if he didn't do something he swore he'd do 100 times. I've never heard his parents apologize. My husband only apologizes to me after he says about 100 nasty or contorted things. I know he's add ocd but I really believe that his worst problems are how he learned to cope with this. He doesn't learn from errors and he's hostile and plays the victim when he victimizes. He does the damage and then he says sorry but obviously it's hard to swallow. My parents have a very healthy marriage and it's not that I think my husband's parents should've divorced (frankly I don't think either one of them could get along well with another person) but I think my husband needs to understand a wife and child come first. He claims to get everything I say then repeats this abusive pattern of abusing me verbally if I ask him to do something or point out nicely something he didn't do or messed up and it doesn't end. His parents have said so many nasty things to me. His father tells me what being a good mother means (how should I take that? I do everything for these kids), his mother is always lecturing me on safety to the point of abnormalcy and I don't want this in my life. They've never apologized for anything, even calling our son weird and other people have advised me without batting an eyelash not to have them over. My husband sadly is afraid of them. Sometimes I hate my husband, I hate him. I feel hate instead of love. I feel close to divorce because the other day one of my kids asked us to stop arguing in tears. Usually we argue after hours and if the kids wake up we stop. It's gross, I know. I love him but my main reason for being with him is our kids. I think I fell alot out of love watching him not be manly and not stick up for me. I also don't know how he can claim to love me and keep going at me till I bleed. Thanks for any advice. I want to be part of the solution not the problem. Just to let you know how bad it is with his parents, they told me they don't want to be told what to say to us about anything. How can I work with this? My kids are NOT their kids. They haven't lifted a finger to help, all the more reason they cannot act like parents or undermine us.
Answer You need to set communication rules: no name-calling or demeaning language allowed. If someone is overly negative or angry, the other can say, "I'm not talking to you until your finished being angry."
I think the solution is to agree on how to talk to each other and setting limits on anger.
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