Should I Be Honest

Other non-sexual marriage issues.
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Katydid
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Should I Be Honest

Post by Katydid »

Yesterday, my Mother-in-law texted me with concerns about my husband's attitude towards her. My husband openly admits that he doesn't like his mother and he treats her poorly when we do visit. She wanted to hug him goodbye but didn't and felt badly. Usually, I make some vague excuse or non-committal comment like, "it's ok, you can hug him next time." But this time I texted her back and said to not take it personally. He is determined to have an attitude and carry chips on his shoulders.

The next issue is my brother. My husband has decided to dislike him even though they used to get along quite well. I am not 100% sure what put that chip on my husband's shoulder, but I suspect strongly that it has to do with my brother's wife setting a boundary. My husband comes from an Italian family that is more touchy (hugs, shoulder pats, touching arm, sitting close to chit chat, etc) and treats in-laws like direct blood family members, and after she recommited her life to Christ and became more conservative she didn't want my husband touching her anymore. No more hugs unless she initiated them. No more sitting close to talk. My husband took offense at this feeling like they accused him of being sexually inappropriate, so he's never forgiven them.

Now, for two years my brother has been asking my husband to help him with a yard project that utilizes my husband's expertise. My husband keeps ignoring my brother and making excuses. So my brother has been asking me to talk to my husband. I have, and tried to initiate a commitment on my husband's part, but he only vaguely complains about whatever it is that put the chip on his shoulder about my brother.

After 2 years I am ready to just tell my brother the truth: my husband has an attitude about you and your wife. I'm not exactly sure why or what started it, but he is determined to carry that chip on his shoulder. I suggest you find someone else to help with the project and be only needfully polite towards my husband. Don't go out of your way to engage with him. He is choosing to misread your motives and intentions in order to feed that chip.

Should I speak truthfully from now on? I can't expect my husband to. If anyone asks him he's clear as mud, gaslights, and makes things up in a tirade that has everyone just wanting to get away and avoid him. He's a bridge burner and he fights dirty. Of course, I wouldn't speak so to mild acquaintances or clients. I'm talking about close family.

What do you think?
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MiddleMan
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Re: Should I Be Honest

Post by MiddleMan »

I think you guys need to read the Emotionally Healthy books from the Scazzeros. https://www.emotionallyhealthy.org/ They would say be honest.
Lightbulb
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Re: Should I Be Honest

Post by Lightbulb »

I'd be honest in both cases. Protecting your mother in law from her son's actual feelings towards her aren't doing her any good. It isn't prompting her to seek our restoration. Knowing how he feels gives her an opportunity to assess for herself whether she is willing to pursue reconciliation on the terms he expects.

Same with your brother. I think its appropriate to tell your brother why the chill is showing up and they can decide on their own whether they want to pursue restoring the relationship. And then they can take it from there.
MrMarried
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Re: Should I Be Honest

Post by MrMarried »

Katydid wrote: Mon Jul 08, 2024 9:43 am Yesterday, my Mother-in-law texted me with concerns about my husband's attitude towards her. My husband openly admits that he doesn't like his mother and he treats her poorly when we do visit. She wanted to hug him goodbye but didn't and felt badly. Usually, I make some vague excuse or non-committal comment like, "it's ok, you can hug him next time." But this time I texted her back and said to not take it personally. He is determined to have an attitude and carry chips on his shoulders.

The next issue is my brother. My husband has decided to dislike him even though they used to get along quite well. I am not 100% sure what put that chip on my husband's shoulder, but I suspect strongly that it has to do with my brother's wife setting a boundary. My husband comes from an Italian family that is more touchy (hugs, shoulder pats, touching arm, sitting close to chit chat, etc) and treats in-laws like direct blood family members, and after she recommited her life to Christ and became more conservative she didn't want my husband touching her anymore. No more hugs unless she initiated them. No more sitting close to talk. My husband took offense at this feeling like they accused him of being sexually inappropriate, so he's never forgiven them.

Now, for two years my brother has been asking my husband to help him with a yard project that utilizes my husband's expertise. My husband keeps ignoring my brother and making excuses. So my brother has been asking me to talk to my husband. I have, and tried to initiate a commitment on my husband's part, but he only vaguely complains about whatever it is that put the chip on his shoulder about my brother.

After 2 years I am ready to just tell my brother the truth: my husband has an attitude about you and your wife. I'm not exactly sure why or what started it, but he is determined to carry that chip on his shoulder. I suggest you find someone else to help with the project and be only needfully polite towards my husband. Don't go out of your way to engage with him. He is choosing to misread your motives and intentions in order to feed that chip.

Should I speak truthfully from now on? I can't expect my husband to. If anyone asks him he's clear as mud, gaslights, and makes things up in a tirade that has everyone just wanting to get away and avoid him. He's a bridge burner and he fights dirty. Of course, I wouldn't speak so to mild acquaintances or clients. I'm talking about close family.

What do you think?
Is your husband a Christian?

If he is or goes to church, maybe he could go to a Bible study, Sunday school, home group or whatever that uses materials that focus on issues like forgiveness and loving your neighbor. If he's a Christian, this sounds like a big 'discipleship issue' with him.
newwifenewlife
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Re: Should I Be Honest

Post by newwifenewlife »

- Have you read the books I've recommended?
- What do you see?
- What do you think you should do and what is holding you back from doing so?
- Why do you feel the need to protect him from the consequences of his choices?
- Why do you seem to continually protect others, including his own mom, from his choices?
- How is this impacting your family? Your health? Your relationships?
Tantalum
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Re: Should I Be Honest

Post by Tantalum »

I would ask myself the question: what are the chances that by being honest the situation will improve?
If the chances are not great, then I would not say anything, on the basis that
(a) not all problems in life are solvable,
(b) it is easier to make situations like this worse than to make them better,
(c) in my experience, most people are too self-absorbed to listen to advice anyway.
Katydid
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Re: Should I Be Honest

Post by Katydid »

[]

Is your husband a Christian?

If he is or goes to church, maybe he could go to a Bible study, Sunday school, home group or whatever that uses materials that focus on issues like forgiveness and loving your neighbor. If he's a Christian, this sounds like a big 'discipleship issue' with him.
[/quote]

No, he isn't. He was, but even when he was and I went to our pastors about these issues, they wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole because they knew he'd blow up, take offense, and leave. He ultimately left, anyway, and now mocks and blasphemes.
Paradox
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Re: Should I Be Honest

Post by Paradox »

Katydid wrote: Mon Jul 08, 2024 9:43 am
Should I speak truthfully from now on? I can't expect my husband to. If anyone asks him he's clear as mud, gaslights, and makes things up in a tirade that has everyone just wanting to get away and avoid him. He's a bridge burner and he fights dirty. Of course, I wouldn't speak so to mild acquaintances or clients. I'm talking about close family.

What do you think?
Always speak truth, but these problems are best treated by Silence: do not speak. The relationships you describe affect you, but will affect you less if you mind your own business. I recommend the maxim, "Never miss an opportunity to stay silent," and, "Their business is NOT my business."
I promise you will compound the problems around you as soon as you start telling a person what another person thinks of them. Tell your mother-in-law, "That is not my business."
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