Stress at 21

by Brittani
(Louisiana)

We have one car and I drive my family around

We have one car and I drive my family around


My father-in-law lives with me and my husband, he is 63 years old, and he is going through a lot with a hernia and a cyst on his liver. Well, for about 4 years, he has affected me in ways I have never experienced. He blames everything on my husband and me, and even if it is not our fault; we try helping him, but all we hear is what we do wrong, and just for the sake of my husband I try not to say anything. But I get so angry and I cry all the time; I feel selfish when I feel this way, and my husband tries to understand why I am so stressed out, but I feel like I shouldn't be speaking about his dad; but we have one vehicle and I am the only one with a legal license, so I drive them everywhere which doesn't bother me, but when his dad starts making me feel bad I just feel like I should let it go and not say anything. But now me and my husband hardly get little to no time together because his dad says "I have no one, no family", and that really hurts my husband, but he feels compelled to do his bidding and if he chooses not to, then his dad gets mad at him for wanting to be with me once in a while. But in all this I feel really selfish for how I feel, I am too stressed and too angry.


Editor's note:

Brittani, I am so sorry to hear about what you are going through. It appears to me that your father-in-law, who obviously is going through a lot himself, blames you and your husband for his (health) problems and related dependencies - perhaps even unintentionally. You both seem to be the misguided targets of the frustration he is experiencing at the situation he currently is in.

But regardless, I believe you are justified in feeling the way you are, angry and stressed out, at the current turn of events. You are not selfish. You are trying to work with the situation for the sake of your husband, taking into account his feelings towards his dad, and that itself shows your caring, accommodating and unselfish nature.

While your husband is certainly doing the noble and perhaps the right thing here by looking out for his dad in spite of all the verbal abuse he seems to be enduring, now that you are married, he also has a responsibility towards you. I think ideally, it would be best if he can get his dad to talk to a therapist to help him deal with his anger and frustrations, instead of venting it out on you guys - but getting your father-in-law into that chair is not going be an easy task.

Either way, you should express what you are feeling to your husband - in a non-confrontational way, and when you find the right time - instead of suffering by yourself silently. If this situation continues, it may soon come to a point when your husband may have to make a decision as to what is more important for his peace of mind - being next to his dad to personally attend to him, or the well-being and happiness of his wife.

I wish you strength in dealing with the current situation, and hope that things get better for you and your family over time. - Shan


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