Life Upside Down

This is my first post as I have been searching for a lot of answers lately and just can’t seem to find any good answers. Here’s hoping you guys can help. My ill wife was 15 wks pregnant with our first child in our very satisfying marriage when tragic events unfolded. A severe bout of pancreatitis in my wife killed our baby and almost killed my wife. She was so sick from the pancreatitis that it even affected her brain as the swelling went all the way up there. Recovering in an intense rehab hospital, she slowly regained her strength to walk, speak and memory was slow but of course, not all was back to normal. She had to continue the outpatient therapy and especially regain her cognitive functions to understand emotions and feelings. To someone who just knew her, she appeared fine but to a loving husband who lived with his wife for 5 years, there were some subtle changes. However, as soon as she left this rehab hospital, her pancreatitis reappeared and back she went to the ICU after 3 days of freedom. This time, doctors found her pancreas necrotizing and surgery was the only option. I was doing the best I can helping her through the surgery and was going to help her back to full strength, knowing full well that she needed to continue with her physical and cognitive therapy prescribed by the rehab hospital when she was discharged. However, thanks to her overbearing and possessive parents (mostly the MIL), that never came. Her parents who she adores (the MIL mainly) and at same time is always trying to satisfy, have been very possessive and unwilling to share in the care and rehabilitation of their daughter, especially to me, the husband. Not only do they spend almost 24/7 at the hospital, where my wife has pretty much ignored and ‘forgotten’ me, they have made her almost like a 12 year old, who only obeys her parents. Of course, a loving husband does not react well to such situations about his wife, and my bad temper about their refusal to alter their ways has resulted in my wife asking me to leave and never come back to her. It’s been three months now since then and I have been even asked to move out of our apartment while she occupies that place with her MIL. Financially, I am fine and her parents are now footing the bill for the rent but I really find this unfair, that our marriage is now ruined because of her parents influence on her delicate state of mind. To be honest, I am slowly moving on with my life now alone and with each passing day of non communication, I feel stronger and stronger that I don’t deserve to be treated this way and that my wife can be with her parents the rest of her life. To top it all off, no one has followed up on those cognitive therapy for my wife, so she has NOT seen any therapists or psychoanalysts about what’s going on with her. Her MIL don’t believe ‘anything is wrong mentally with their daughter.’

Throughout the whole ordeal in the hospital, the MIL wanted to be in 'charge'. She felt she needed to make those decisions about her daughter, as I 'don't have experience' in these ordeals. She got her wish when the daughter, my spouse, invoked the doctor-patient confidentiality rule against her husband!! Not only could I NOT speak to her doctors, I couldn't even know what her recovery nor her timelines for recovery were. Not only did the MIL blame me for preventing her daughter from happiness, she also blamed me for keeping her from finding work!! Like, who is able to find a decent job in this economy, and besides, she can't work in the U.S because of visa restrictions. Then it was onto bashing me for not being able to have a steady and job where I get promoted....the funny thing about all this was that the wife repeated the same objections to me, 2 weeks later!! Gee, I wonder who planted the seed in her fragile, emotional state?!?!

I am not faultless in this as these actions done by the MIL have gotten me really angry. My anger can be very scary which I admit, but I also found her lack of respect to our marriage and to us in these trying times is what gets my blood boiling. I will tell you that yes, I raised my voice and banged on tables but NEVER did I threaten to hit nor hurt anyone.

The last words my spouse and I have said were that she never wanted to see me again and that she wanted a divorce. I don’t want to ‘bank’ on friends’ word that say one day she’ll regret her decision, I don’t really know if I will be around to wait for her, as there is no time limit on these things. I have to do what I can to carry on my life and after always considering her in any decision I made, the past five years, it’s time to realize that I just can’t stop my life dead in its tracks waiting for an unknown event. My feelings of anger and frustration are really directed at her selfish and overprotective parents (the controlling MIL)who I fully understand would want to shelter and protect their daughter but at the same time, they must also realize what damage this is being done to BOTH of us. In my life before lowering to a level of ‘hate’ and ‘despising’, I am always keen to see things from the others’ perspective before jumping to a conclusion and I must say I cannot see how they can ruin their daughter’s lives for years to come by encouraging her to shelter and hide behind their so called ‘love’. I have been a loving and respectful husband to her for these past five years, growing immensely to love and respect my wife. We were this close from starting our own family and while being dealt this huge blow from the Maker, I felt, we as a couple could endure through this, and we'd be much stronger. Do you think any meddling and overbearing MIL would allow that?? And yes, the in-laws are HK born Chinese with a few dollars in their pocket and I am a Canadian born Chinese, who did the best to support his wife in all our years of marriage......and now, it's all gone in a matter of months......
therack therack
5 Responses Jul 12, 2010

Check that your MIL is not narcissistic (NPD) because if she is, you were in a battle you could never win, anyways!

hello everyone,<br />
just to let you know our marriage is being dissolved as we speak. The ex-wife is back in Canada along with her overbearing parents, and I am taking whatever steps I need to get on with my life. Sometimes, you try and try but you don't get the outcome you want. The ex-wife and I went to one joint counseling session before she said she had enough of it. Thanks for her overbearing parents, she cannot see beyond her mother and that's the huuuge problem no one wants to deal with.

Thank you for sharing this story. One of my biggest fears in life is something happening to my husband that will lead to long term care such as you've described. It's not a fear of taking care of him or providing for our family though, it's a fear of the hell I will have to go through with his family during an already difficult time. I have no doubt my MIL would behave just as your has. I've always wondered if it was an irrational fear on my part but now I know it's not.

Thanks Reddcorn1, but I have done all that with the in-laws. The wife is acquiescent about the whole thing and in the beginning, the more I tried to reason with both the MIL and her, the more they despised me. All along they thought I wasn't 'worthy' of protecting or caring for their daughter and if it means losing the marriage, so be it. That's the arrogance that cause me so much anger and frustration on my part. Communication has been totally cut off and they're intending to take my spouse back to Canada where they live. They will abandon our former apartment and leave me to dispose of the furniture and wedding pics, etc they left behind. You're also right in that my spouse is spiritually dead to me, like you said. She doesn't want to talk nor even have anything to do with me. All that I know, it is what it is and I must learn to accept things and continue preserving my mind and soul. Your words of encouragement and from any out there who read this are the only things that will keep me going. Even if others say I am wrong and deserve what I got, I don't mind even hearing that as well. Everyone on that side of the fence all think I deserve what I got......

I think at this point, you need to seriously ask you in-laws what their intentions are. Do they want your marriage to disolve? Do they want to take their daughter back home with them for the long term? Do they want their daughter to be alone or in state care after they have passed on? Some of these questions may outrage the hell out of them, but you'll need to explain that their behaviour towards you, the deterioration of their daughter's care, and their encouragement of your wife abandoning you is going to lead to such outcomes. Perhaps they will realise that they need to back off a bit and let the two of you reconnect once you tell them how dire the situation is for your marriage. Perhaps not. It is possible that they will go full force into more actions to alienate you from your wife. If such becomes the case, you will then need to decide whether you want to make a legal complaint and action against them in order to preserve your marriage or if it is time for you to bid farewell to your wife as though she had actually died. Remember, there can be two deaths in a lifetime: the spiritual one and the actual physical death. If someone has died off to you spiritually, and there is no connection left, they may as well be physically dead too.<br />
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I'm so sorry for the loss of your baby and the difficulties you're experiencing now with your wife, your in-laws and your marriage. I'm not certain if your in-laws live in your country or not, hopefully they do not and will have to leave after some time. Then perhaps you might be able to reconnect with your wife in peace and find out what is really going on. I wish you all the best in such a terribly difficult situation.