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LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm, Clinical Social Worker
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 308
Experience:  10 years post-MSW experience
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I am in a situation with my husband and family. I grew up

Customer Question

Hi I am in a situation with my husband and family. I grew up very close to my family including cousins we grew up like siblings. Unfortunately about 15 years ago my sister and cousin said that my aunts husband (non blood relation to my cousin her step father) acted in approproriatly in a sexual way to them. Everyone in my family supported them and we did what we could to resolve the situation-the police said there was not enough evidence or crime for a case so nothing ever came to court. The deal my parents made with this guy was to just leave and never come to family events or spaces again. I have not seen him in 15 years. After a year of therapy my aunt decided to stay married to this man. He is not around, I still don't see him he has respected the stay away agreement, but is married to my aunt. However one of my cousins whom I do see often maintains a relationship with him-and allows her kids to see him. My husband keeps bringing this up and is demanding I not have relationship with my cousin or my aunt he calls them pieces of shit. My sister and my cousin (the two that made the allegations) have all maintained a relationship with my aunt and cousin (they do not see the step father/uncle) and have moved past everything. My husband keeps bringing it up and is trying to make me choose between him and my family on paper his argument makes sense but we did what could to keep the family together and to move on.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Just to follow up for 14 years my husband let this situation go and never said anything about it but last year my husband and my cousin (the one who sees the man still) husband were talking and my cousins husband said "I think 'my aunts husband' is a good guy and he watches my kids" my husband held onto this conversation for a year and started to get more and more rude to everyone In my family. Finally (at a not good time) my mom confronted my husband to get him to talk this through with my cousins husband so at least they could come to an understanding-my husband (who had been drinking) went crazy and started swearing and calling my cousins husbands names. My husband cousin first denied he ever called the guy a good guy so it set my husband off-and he went crazy. I know it is a confusing situation. But really we all get along and have all healed from what happened 15 years ago we do not agree with my aunt for staying with him and I would never go to her house or see the guy but we still love her and she does still hold a place in my heart I care about her-is our realtionship different now, yes,----my husband is basically calling that side of my family trash and he is so embarrassed by it?!
Expert:  LeahMSWuofm replied 4 months ago.

Hello and thank you for your question. My name is***** does sound like a tough decision to make and of course, we understand your husband's motivations well to try to keep his family protected. I am sure you and him share this ultimate goal. It seems to me that your husband is unfairly judging other people for their choices. Some people have a harder time letting go of the past than others but it does not seem particularly advantageous in any way that your husband continue to have conflict with the people who have decided differently from him on how to handle this. This is especially true since your cousin's husband retracted her statement that the uncle is a good guy. Considering you and him are on the same page to stay distant from this potential threat and have exercised caution in terms of not seeing him, perhaps it would be time your husband let go of some of his resentments towards others. He cannot control their choices or actions and can control his own but the difficulty is that his actions are perpetuating strain for you with your own family and this is potentially unfair.

I would continue to talk to your husband about what your goal is here. I would assume it will continuously be reinforced that he wants as well as you want nothing to do with this perpetrator. Therefore you and him can continue to be on the same page regarding the protection of your direct family and should work to let go of what other people have decided for themselves. It is not your husband's responsibility to make decisions for other people and judging them is only causing conflict. Hopefully, he can come to see this more from your side where you just want some peace and comfort with the people who you have grown up with which does not pose any immediate risk to your family. Letting go of the past is liberating as living in the past is bound to cause pain as it cannot be undone. Please continue to help you and your family look forward by enjoying time together and watching your families thrive.

I hope this helps! I look forward to carrying out this conversation with you.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thanks-for your response I appreciate that he will never let it go and will never change his mind he is very stubborn. My family shares a property on the lake one side of the family owns one house and the other family owns the second house I grew up everyday of the summer with my whole family spending time together there-the man is not allowed to come up there my husband said his goal is to drive my other family off the property and buy them out-no one wants this I have told him that but he thinks he is right because he keeps calling them pieces of shit and that they aligned themself with a pedofile (which technically the guy is not) at this point my husband has decided he does not want any realtionship with any of my family in a way I feel like he is using the past situation as way of controlling things. He has never really liked that said of my family (outside of the whole situation) he is taking something away that is extremely important to me and I really can't convince him of that. He says don't you want a husband who would not stand for that kind of behavior he calls them weak and pathetic men for accepting their mother and mother in laws decision. I want to change my situation but he keeps saying to me you are going to choose a pedofile accepting family over your husband. He states the facts and it does sound like I am choosing a "pedofile" over him but I feel like he is hurting everyone by doing this-
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
There is no threat to his children they have absolutely no realtionship with this guy-I would never allow it. They do have relanship with their cousin (who they adore) who does see this guy and my husband says that is a direct threat?l to his children? They only see their cousin over the summer and a few times throughout the year.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
lastly my husband doesn't own the property on the lake it is my parents but he says he has just as much control as what goes on there as anyone else.
Expert:  LeahMSWuofm replied 4 months ago.

It does sound like your husband is being irrational on the matter and using this, like you said, as ammunition to continue to put distance between himself and this family. Unfortunately, this is at your expense. Considering he has no actual rights over the property, it sounds unlikely he has the amount of say that he is asserting and that is a good thing. For now, considering how passionate he is on the issue, there may not be an easy resolution. Perhaps the best thing would be to say that if your husband feels so strongly about this side of your family,. he is welcome to disconnect himself from them and stop seeing them, but that you will not be making this choice. It does not sound like there is a direct threat here so again, his using safety as a point is moot. It may just be an issue where you agree to disagree and let it go with the stance that if he is so against this family, then he can feel free to disengage from them but that this is his choice and you choice is to stay involved.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
It makes sense when you write it but unfortunately when we talk about it he says the people he talks to (annoyed he even talks to people about a family issue) agree with him and that I am wrong. And that his summer has been ruined because we all sided against him. I appreciate your help
Expert:  LeahMSWuofm replied 4 months ago.

You're welcome. Family relationships can be so complicated. Just stick to the simple sides of your stance and focus on where you agree - that keeping children safe is a mutual priority and practice and will continue to be so. This concept does not necessitate the destruction of your other relationships with your family.

Take care,

Ler\ah

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