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psychlady, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 6892
Experience:  Psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of a variety of mental health issues.
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My daughter is married to a verbally and physically abusive

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My daughter is married to a verbally and physically abusive man. Because he has been to jail a few times for the physical abuse, he now just verbally abuses. He recently contracted lymphoma for the second time, and this time Dr.'s suggested a BMT. He would not be able to have this procedure but for my daughter, who pays for the insurance thru her job. When they opted to do the BMT, my daughters insurance company opted to pay her for a disability leave if she would be the "caretaker." Which meant, she is basically a 24/7 ICU nurse. Driving to hospital every morning by 7:30 AM, measuring urine, sterilizing living environment, cleaning after incidents, etc. She had done this faithfully for about a month and a half now. In addition, there have been fundraisers which she has headed and has gotten a bit of money, not much, to help them through this struggle. I forgot to mention, husband is self employed. The other day when they were driving home from hospital, (she's driving and being yelled at every block of the way for her incompetent driving) she asked what bills needed to be paid with the funding money. He told her she was a "stupid f**king bitch" for asking, and when she was ready to take over the bills she could handle them. When she told him about the fund raising events that her friends were helping with, (he has no friends) he said, "they're stupid" for doing so. My question is this. Since I am privy to this information, when am I supposed to draw the line. I was going to sell some articles that might have brought in some funds, I was going to help with the events, but when I know what she is going through, and what he is saying, and the things he's saying about those trying to help, when do I bow out? I don't want to "bail" on my daughter, but I've helped her out so much in the past, and now to know how this ingrate is treating her and how he feels about people trying to help, I don't know what to do. I want to help her, but he is such a bastard, I feel stupid to continue. I wouldn't tell her friends, but almost feel like I should. But, I could never do that! When she tells me how mean he is to her, her son, (and son is picking up on it now and doing the same) what am I supposed to do? Continue on, acting like everything is peachy? When do I get to bail out!? Without guilt! And how do I justify this to her?
You should bail out when your conscience tells you to. You can explain to your daughter that you are happy to help but do not want her to be abused. She has the right to continue this relationship or not. You don't want to enable her but your anger says that the relationship is toxic. Let her guide you through what she will and will not tolerate. If she chooses to live with this you have no choice but to stand on the sidelines. Unfortunately it is her decision but support her and her alone. She may change her mind when she is ready
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I'm asking your opinion on what to do about continuing to participate in "family" events where son in law will be present. Christmas, Easter, things like that. My daughter loves to entertain and if I'm not there, she will be hurt. At the same time, being there is about to the point of making me physically ill. Choking down dinner, waiting for the next slam. He doesn't bring on the abuse full force in front of me, but, it's bad enough that I am so uncomfortable, I would rather be anywhere but there! Never a compliment for her hard work, or cooking abilities. Grandson is allowed to use the poorest of table manners. Should I say to her, I can't participate in these family get togethers any longer, or go ahead and go, pretend everything is ok, and suffer through them for her sake? How do I get out of it without hurting her. What can I say to make her understand I can't take seeing what's happening to her.

You should never just put up a facade. I would talk to her in private about your feelings and especially that you want to participate but he is abusive. She has to find a compromise. Tell her that if you are not there it is not punitive but that you can't witness his behavior. I would discontinue participating at that point until you can be comfortable in this setting. Let her know that you are not trying to hurt her but that you can't watch such behavior. It may serve as a wake up call
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