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Annabella

Setting boundaries - not putting up with disrespect and Im the bad guy

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Hi....Im really struggling again.  My husband is seemingly getting more and more tired as he battles his cancer and still works full time.  He can get quite verbally abusive with me when he is in such pain.  Also, my adult daughter is living in our home now until she marries in september.  she is feeling emotional over missing her fiance who is far away in africa, where they will live after the wedding.  I have tried to be understanding and kind about setting appropriate boundaries in our home asking my daughter not to shower in my husbands and my ensuite bathroom as it is too intrusive to me.  I had told both my daughters this at least ten times before but they continued to use the ensuite anyway.  They do not know that I am undergoing anticipatory grief as I watch my husband get more and more fatigued.  I want to spare them the emotions  as they are aware he is in a temporary remission and I want them to be happy for now until this remission is over.  My daughter feels depressed from missing her fiance and when \i asked her to shower in the appropriate shower she gave me the silent treatment for the rest of the day.  \i am concerned she may be depressed from missing her fiance but \i also suspected something deeper could be bothering her.  |I found out in a recent heated discussion that \i have never apologized to her or anyone for an  affair I had five years ago.  \i went through 4 years of guilt and suicide attempts because of the intense guilt i felt that i couldnt find the energy to bring it up to apologize as i felt so guilty for so long over it.  \i feel like we are all on an emotional roller coaster ride and that it is about to crash. \i get snarky replies from my other daughter who visits once in a while anytime that her older sister is upset with me.  \I say that if you cant say anything nice dont say it at all and \i tell them they must respect me in my own home.  It feels like nothing i say or do makes anything better and \i need a break.  Can anyone help

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You're dealing with a lot here.  It sounds like your family has a lot of unresolved stuff and you're feeling the fallout from it.  If they want an apology, give it to them.  No sense carrying around all of this stuff on your plate.  It's never okay to strike out at others because of what you're going through...honestly, it sounds like time for an overdue discussion with your family about respect.  They need to respect your room, your home, your position in the home whether they're away from someone they love or not.  I'd explain that you have a myriad of emotions you're dealing with, with knowing you're going to lose your husband, and you don't need silent treatment or snarkiness on top of it.  Explain that you love them but it's essential they respect you while they're in your home, this is your sanctuary.

I'm sorry it's so tough right now.  You soon get your break, wishing your daughter back here...that seems the way of it.  Hang in there, I know it's hard right now, but nothing stays the same forever, I've learned that in life.  

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12 hours ago, Annabella said:

They do not know that I am undergoing anticipatory grief as I watch my husband get more and more fatigued.  I want to spare them the emotions  as they are aware he is in a temporary remission and I want them to be happy for now until this remission is over.

My dear, it seems to me that you are working overtime to protect your daughters from the reality of what you know is (or might soon be) happening. There is a very large elephant in the room, and try as you might, you cannot conceal it from them, because it comes out every which way but straight, and in ways you cannot control. It takes great effort and energy to keep hidden whatever is going on inside your heart and mind ~ your worst fears about your husband's illness and what may be in store for both of you. Perhaps that is part of the reason that your daughters' behavior feels so hurtful to you. This is a time when your family needs and deserves all the support you can give one another, but that isn't likely to happen until everyone is aware of the reason for your anxiety and pain.

You can collude with your husband in keeping the truth of his condition from your daughters, including your thoughts and feelings about all of that, but you are paying a heavy price by doing so. I invite you to read these articles:

Keeping the Secret of A Terminal Prognosis

Should Our Dad Be Told That He Is Dying?

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thank you again....it has been a very tough week.  we will have to call a family meeting to discuss respect and kindness and being there for each other I think.  Also, I will have to discuss that it is too hard for me to be in denial.....we must face the facts together and be there for each other together and through this.  Thank you. articles were a good read.  Good night for now.   And yes I will apologize.....could not remember that I hadnt...i think it was too difficult for me to face what i did but it was a long time ago so an apology will be coming.

 

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Good luck with you, Annabella, continue coming here as you have need.  Sometimes kids take the child role with us even when adults and we need to require their maturity with us. ;)  I'm sorry about your husband.

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You have rec'd some very sound and wise counsel. This sounds like a household/family of hurting people and hurting people hurt people, sadly enough. I have to tell you a story as a prelude to posting my reply.

Mrs. Garrison was a dear friend of mine's mother. Although I rec'd this story from her daughter it can be verified in her book-Mrs. Garrison and the Holy Ghost.

Mrs. Garrison was on her way from Florida to visit her daughter in Ala. The trip took much longer than expected and this was before cell phones. When Mrs. Garrison finally arrived she explained that she had been driving along when the Lord spoke to her. He told her to pull over and go to a certain house, knock on the door and when they opened the door to enter and hide under the table. Mrs. G was instructed to pray for this household, as there was a family who were in great difficulty and hurting badly. Mrs. G prayed till the Lord told her to leave.

Imagine that I am Mrs. G. I am going to be praying for your household until the Lord releases me. I pray that you and your husband will resolve the issues between you and that his pain will be eased so that you and he can find the beauty of your marriage and be prepared for whatever comes in the future. I pray that you and your daughters will find resolution and forgiveness with their Mom and Dad and each other. I especially pray for the daughter that is marrying soon that she would recognize the beauty of marriage and go into her own marriage prepared and ready for all that God has planned. I pray that respect for all will be maintained in every way. I pray for mercy and grace that the true joy of the Lord might be found. I pray that true love will fill this family and that that love will help them to overcome the difficulties in their lives.

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