I don't know if I'm really posting this in the right forum or not, but I'm just not exactly sure where else to put this. My boyfriends father was physically abusive to him, his mother and his three siblings throughout their childhood. This is not new to me, I have known this for almost the entirety of our close to three year relationship. But I just can't deal with it. I just have a hard time being in my boyfriends parents house, around his parents, in this atmosphere where happiness is this temporary thing which is almost always short-lived. This place where it is normal for conversations to start out laughing and end up screaming. My partner has worked through some of his past with a therapist, as well as one sibling, and he says he is able to come to terms with his past and his fathers abuse. I support him 100% in whatever path he needs to take to make peace with this part of his life, and it breaks my heart when I see how terrified he is that he will some day end up like his father. But no matter what he says, sometimes I hate his dad. I feel like I should make an effort to dislike him less, or something, but I just don't want to. I want to yell and scream and make a big deal out of it, not just let this man go out in public, and act pleasant with the world. Every time we're at family gatherings of his and I see his father acting like the good old family man, I want to grab everyone and shake them. I want to yell at all of them, 'dont you see?!' I would like to be able to be around my partners family without feeling constantly on edge, but I just don't know what to do. Am I supposed to just go over for dinner and act like this is all fine? As if none of it ever happened? As if I didn't know? As if I haven't had to wake my partner up from nighmares that are one part fear, one part memory? I don't know how to interact with this man. I can't even look at him sometimes. He makes me angry, he makes me sad, and I don't know what to do about it.
Can I first ask how much time *he* wants to be spending at home? And has his father, or any of his family, participated at all yet in family therapy, or has the only therapy that's gone on been for your boyfriend?
Also, have you talked about these feelings and questions with your boyfriend? If so, what did he say, and what conclusions or agreements did you both come to together so far?
-------------------- Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen About Me • Get our book! Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead Posts: 65636 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000
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