Psychological Warfare With In-Laws

 

There are several reasons for unsuccessful marriages, and it’s seldom about the in-laws. Most of us learned to be independent at an early age, especially when we have a family of our own. Only a few have to deal with their in-laws. How does it feel like for people who have to? What if you have no choice but to deal with the original Mrs. Robinson, but you just can’t get along? What should you do to not compromise your marriage with the issues surrounding you and your in-laws?

 

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Justin and I have been married for six years, and we have three beautiful kids. His parents have been helping us ever since because it wasn’t a good start for us. I got pregnant when we were 17, and we had no idea how to be adults, let alone to be parents.

Justin’s mom and dad have been helping us financially, but his mom has a say in every decision in our family. For six years now, I feel like I’m developing depression because I always have negative thoughts on how insensitive they are. I feel worthless and disrespected.

Two years ago, my husband’s parents separated, and we had to move in with his mom which I hated. Don’t get me wrong! She’s a sweet woman and all, but she’s just too intrusive and hands-on about everything, and I feel like she’s going way past her boundaries, or am I not in the position to feel this way?

She’s treating my husband like he was still a kid, her kid. I don’t know if it’s a bad thing that I hate it, but I do! There were times when we were talking about personal matters and giggling, and then his mom would butt in and ask, “Why?”

She sets rules for my kids which I find annoying. There was a time I told my son he could watch TV after he finishes his chores, but my son told me he’s grounded. Grounded! “Who grounded you?” I asked angrily. “Grandma did,” he replied. He said his grandma grounded him for causing everyone delay because he moves very slow.

I don’t know, and I don’t want to weigh the situation anymore, but I hate the feeling that she disregards my decisions when it comes to my kids. I don’t just sit around and wait for every meal. I work hard to help somehow raise my children financially, and I just find it so unfair that they let me feel this way, that I’m nothing! They don’t respect my right as a mother, as an individual!

 

Jor-El Caraballo, LMHC said, “If you have had significant issues around trust, safety, or stability in relationships previously, I think it’s important for people to have other sources of support outside of their partner(s). This support can come in various forms such as friends, family members, clergy, and even a therapist.” So I went to see a therapist because I don’t know how I’m going to deal with my emotions. I understand that  I hate her so much, and It’s not just because of the single incident but the continuous feeling of being disrespected and disregarded. I’m on my second session, but there are a few things I realized. I don’t know if I’m the only one experiencing this, but somehow, I want to share my experience. Maybe it could bring light to someone’s troubled mind who is in the same situation as I am.

 

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Keep In Mind That:

 

  • We all have a choice. If you’re stuck in a situation you’re in for a long time, don’t point your fingers at someone else. It was your choice to stay, and you can always get out if you want. Yes, there are a lot of factors why people remain where they are even though they are If you’re going to stand up for any consideration you’re holding onto, don’t complain.

 

  • Only you have the power over your happiness. “Happy people make healthier choices,” explains Scott Glassman, PsyD. You feel pain and stress because you allow them in your life. You have to admit that the solution to all your struggles is in front of you. You just won’t take it because you’re afraid to take a risk.

 

  • If you’re having trouble with your in-laws, talk to your husband not them. It is unwise to deal with the problem by confronting the people who should not be involved. They may be the main reason for your hardships, but it is because of your husband that you have to deal with them. And remember that they are just parents to there, once, kid.

 

  • Someday, you’re going to be a mother-in-law yourself, so right now, be someone who you want your son to marry and, one day, someone who your daughter-in-law, present self, would love.

 

  • If you’re at your in-laws’ territory, there’s no way for you to get things the way you want them. Remember that! If you’re going to be the queen of a castle, build your own. There could never be two queens in one kingdom.

 

 

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Silently fighting over whose power is higher between a mother-in-law and a daughter-in-law is a never-ending emotional abuse. There’s always going to be psychological warfare especially when you’re living together. A wife has a right and obligation to speak up about anything that’s making her uncomfortable, and the husband must protect her wellbeing. That very much includes her feelings and emotions. “Give yourself time to heal. We can be harder on ourselves than on any other person. Realize that fully overcoming the issues you had to face during your relationship may take time, and that’s OKAY.” Heather Edwards LMHC, NCC, BCC said.

To Stay Or To Go – What To Do?

I always blamed my mom for our broken family. Don’t get me wrong – she didn’t cheat on my dad. But in my mind, she never gave him a chance to repent and be a good husband to her. I was ten at that time. My brother Marcel was three or four years old, and the twins (my sisters Neemah and Neelah) were a little over one year old when it happened. She just took all four of us and decided to leave my father after one indiscretion.

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Suffering Is A Choice

[Forms Of Abuse A Woman Suffers]

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Every abuse that happens over and over is with consent. If women have been hurt for the first time, it is always their choice to stay and be harmed again, but why do abused women stay? It is because of hope. They find a way to justify what their husband did and sometimes end up blaming it to themselves. “Maybe, I talked back,” is what they keep saying in their heads. Nonetheless, no one has the right to hurt anyone, especially a husband who vowed to love his wife through thick and thin.

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Marriage 101: The Sad Truth About Verbal Abuse

 

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When you are in a marital relationship, you know that love isn’t supposed to hurt. As much as possible, it should encourage a positive overall development that keeps your mental, emotional, and behavioral aspect healthy. Therefore, there is no room for any types of abuse, especially verbal ones. Not all marriages have a fairytale moment, and parts of the struggle require an effective intervention so that it can still hold onto its core values. There is always an effort in determining the connection of verbal abuse to your emotional and psychological health.

 

It isn’t Just About Yelling – “Emotional and verbal abuse in a marriage is a grey area.” Dr. Chantal Gagnon PhD LMHC said. We often consider the relationship with verbal abuse whenever a raising voice is present. However, it’s not always about yelling and shouting. It has something to do with your significant other’s behavior towards you. The verbal abuse somehow supports the bad behavior of your partner and pushes you do doubt your own beliefs. It tries to manipulate the situation by using a louder voice that somehow threatens and degrades you.

 

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The Painful Comparison Matters – Verbal abuse can also come in a mild conversation where your partner tries to hurt you with words by comparing you to another person. It usually starts with a small complain and then escalates into more significant blame. Your abusive partner will continuously humiliate you and disregard your capabilities. He will tend to ignore your feelings and would instead continually point out your mistakes and blame you for things you can’t even control. For him, there is always someone better than you and that you are not worthy to receive recognition.

 

Below The Belt Criticism – Learning to accept your flaws is essential in marriage. However, when your partner tends to criticize your work, salary, ideas, strength, the way you dress, and even your body type without complementing your positive sides, you can expect a verbal abuse in that situation. According to Christine Scott-Hudson, MA MFT ATR, “Emotional abuse could also look like repeated criticisms about personal vulnerabilities you’ve shared with them in the past, such as abuse histories, phobias, fears, or sensitive information about your past.” It will merely create an effect on your psychological aspect because you’ll always think about your defects with great exaggeration. Your partner will always notice something negative about you, and it will put you in a condition that you won’t even appreciate yourself at all.

 

Jokes Are Always Half Meant – There is a type of verbal abuse in a relationship that you think doesn’t seem to matter at some point. However, though you may find it cute and entertaining, some of those jokes are a considering attack on your values, competency, and personality. The longer you suffer on the sorts of negative comments, the easier it is to believe that the insults are an accurate representation of your character.

 

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“Humans are complex and all of us experience emotions like anger and sadness, so it’s very normal that at some point in the relationship, you will disagree with your partner.” Maryann W. Mathai, LPCC, LMHC, LPC, NCC explains. Though it is common for any relationship to have discussions and arguments, you should never allow your partner to make you feel inferior. Remember to evaluate yourself on how some of your significant other’s comments make you think.  Ask yourself how those words affect your emotional and mental state. It’s true that some situations and people are above you, but you should never lose your focus on determining what types of verbal approach are helping or destroying you.

Status: Taken [Taken For Granted!]

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A lot of people are in a relationship, but not all of them know why they are in one. The beginning of a romance doesn’t matter in the long run because the critical question you need to be asking yourself is “Why are you in a relationship?” Some seek a companion, some for practicality, some by accident, and some are genuinely in love.

Not all people are happy with their current status. Some who are ready are not in a relationship, and there are those who don’t even deserve to be in one. Some people don’t appreciate what they have. They inflict pain on their partners. It’s either they are unaware, or they just don’t care. When you are in that kind of a relationship, admit it. Your status is taken: TAKEN FOR GRANTED. “I think that one sign that your relationship is toxic or bad for your mental health is how you feel. If you find that when you are with your partner(s), you often feel down or drained, then it might be time to speak to a third party for some more objective feedback,” says Jor-El Caraballo, LMHC.

Signs You Are Being Taken For Granted:

  1. He Doesn’t Call You Right Back.

When he keeps on coming up with an excuse why he cannot call you back, he is taking you for granted. There is no such thing as “too busy” if he wants to. He will make a way to make you his priority no matter what. If he does this once, it’s okay, but when it becomes habitual, then you apparently have a problem.

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  1. He Doesn’t Take You Out.

Couples need to go on a romantic date from time to time. It helps strengthen their relationship. But if your man doesn’t take you out on an aromatic evening date, that means he isn’t thinking about your relationship at all. It’s either he doesn’t care, or he’s too confident you would stay.

  1. He Is Always On His Phone.

It is okay when he is on the phone doing business and other essential matters. But if that’s what he does all day and all night even though you are a foot apart, it is definitely not okay! It’s like you are wearing Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak, and he doesn’t see you at all, you need to ask yourself why. Why you choose to stay there at all! Nicole Issa, Psy.D said, “By conveying this message to you, they keep you ensnared because you eventually start believing that no one else would ever want you.”

  1. He’s Always On A Boys’ Night Out.

Spending time with friends at least twice a month is healthy for both men and women, but when that’s all he does without taking you out for a romantic night out even for once in a month then you should know you are taken for granted! If he cares about making you happy, he should know taking you out for dinner once in a while is just a simple gesture he can do.

  1. He Doesn’t Have A Plan For Your Future

It’s as if he doesn’t seem to care about your future at all. He doesn’t talk to you about getting a house of your own, traveling somewhere with just the two of you, or he doesn’t save for unexpected expenses or emergencies. He’s a “come what may” and though it can be just immaturity, you don’t do that when you genuinely care about the welfare of someone you love.

All the above signs are a hint that he is taking you for granted, but it doesn’t necessarily mean he doesn’t love you. Then again, it is up to you if you deem yourself deserving of that kind of love. Each of us deserves the stars and the moon, and it is up to you if you want to settle for less. “It can be difficult to re-establish a healthy routine and empower yourself after a toxic relationship. Fortunately, coming to the realization that you need to let go is one of the most difficult steps.” Heather Edwards LMHC, NCC, BCC said.

 

Struggles Of Being Married To A Psychiatrist

Psychiatrists are medical doctors who have invested their time and effort in studying the relationship of our physical state with mental health issues. They are responsible for diagnosing, preventing, and treating mental disorders based on their nature. Psychiatrists are in a way intimidating. Imagine being with someone who probably has something to say about all the things relating to human behaviors and such? Can you ever be right?

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Interpersonal Therapy And Battered Woman Syndrome

According to the National Statistics Domestic Violence, about 10 million Americans suffer physical abuse, being 15% of their intimate partners. This number includes both men and women. People who inflict pain on others have mental health issues that have been suppressed or left untreated. They must have suffered the same violence when they were young. They are unaware that the physical abuse they cause others could pass as psychological trauma. Many women acquire mental health issues such as anxiety and depression from their abusers. They then can develop a mental health condition known as battered woman syndrome.

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Recognizing And Dealing With Emotional Abuse

 

If you are feeling offended and hurt, thinking that you’re never going to be enough, and you’re often scared that your partner might get angry, then it is most likely that you are emotionally abused. Generally, an emotionally abusive relationship involves a continuing pattern of offensive statements, bullying, and negative behaviors that pull down a person’s self-worth and self-esteem. Ultimately, it damages her mental well-being. Consequently, emotional abuse can occur not only in marriage and dating relationships but also among work colleagues, peers, and family members.

Among the different types of abuse, emotional abuse is among the most difficult to identify. It is discreet, sneaky, and yet manipulative. It has creative ways of chipping away one’s confidence and pushes him to doubt his beliefs and convictions. The end result is the victim feeling caved and isolated in silence. He won’t be able to survive the relationship, but he is too scared to leave, so the cycle continues until it is acted upon.

Recognizing The Signs

According to Darlene Lancer, JD, LMFT “Emotional abuse may be hard to recognize because it can be subtle, and because abusers often blame their victims. They may act like they have no idea why you are upset.” It won’t be easy to determine whether or not you are in an abusive relationship, but the first thing you’ll need to do is stop and take the time to contemplate on how you communicate with your boyfriend, spouse, family member, or friend. If you feel drained, depressed, anxious, and in so much pain, then you are most likely in an emotionally abusive relationship.

Below is a list of signs that you are emotionally abused. Please bear in mind that it won’t help if you make the excuse of saying to yourself that it’s not that bad, because it is, and it will get worse.

Emotionally abusive individuals present with these traits:

  • They demand too much of your time and expect you to drop everything when they need you.
  • They are almost always dissatisfied with what you do, no matter how much effort and energy you put into it.
  • They criticize you for the ‘substandard’ things that you do.
  • They are manipulative, and they often successfully twist your perceptions and convictions.
  • They refuse to recognize your own opinions and expect you to share his opinions on everything.
  • They blame you for being selfish and needy to take your needs for granted.
  • They argue for the sake of arguing – whenever they want to.
  • They have an erratic temper that scares you when you’re in front of him.
  • They don’t care if they embarrass you in public.
  • They are sarcastic, rude, and insensitive towards you.
  • They tell you that your ideas are insane and don’t make sense at all.
  • They treat you like you’re some kind of property or possession.

Dealing With Emotional Abuse

“Emotional abuse could also look like repeated criticisms about personal vulnerabilities you’ve shared with them in the past, such as abuse histories, phobias, fears, or sensitive information about your past,” says Christine Scott-Hudson, MA MFT ATR. The most important step in dealing with the abusive relationship is acknowledging that you are in it. Be honest to yourself, and then you can find ways to regain control over your life. Here are other techniques that you can learn to practice to successfully reclaim your life and leave the emotionally abusive relationship for good.

  • Prioritize Your Physical And Mental Health. Take care of yourself by eating healthily, getting sufficient sleep, and engaging in enjoyable physical activities. It’s time you thought about yourself.

 

  • Don’t Blame Yourself. There’s nothing wrong with you. You are just in the wrong relationship at the wrong time. You are a victim of emotional abuse, and you will continue to be unless you decide to leave. “Become aware of your emotions and allow yourself to feel them. Mindfulness is the main goal here, and bottling up emotions won’t do any good.” Heather Edwards LMHC, NCC, BCC said.

 

  • Set Boundaries. When you’ve decided that it’s enough, you need to tell your abuser that you will not allow him to shout at you, insult you, or offend you in any way. Be firm with implementing these boundaries. If he continues to abuse you, then it will be over.

 

  • Plan An Exit. This is the last and final move you’ll have to take if your abuser has no intention of changing his abusive ways. If you’re having doubts or you are scared, talk to a close friend or go to a therapist. Get help to finally be able to leave. You deserve better.