What to do to get out of the conflict that opposes my stepfather?

I'm 50 years old, a husband, three children I love, and a job that fascinates me. But the relationship with my in-laws ruins my life. My father-in-law, a former soldier, can not stand being opposed to him. What I did, and since then, it's war. Véronique, Lyon

Claude Halmos

Psychoanalyst

answers

I asked myself when reading your letter, Véronique, why a woman like you, intelligent, passionate about her work (you are a researcher), her children and its activities, gave such importance to a family quarrel as you describe me. Petty mischief (with a father-in-law who accuses you of having a bad influence on his son ...), but which, moreover, clearly refers to pathogenic family functioning. This seemed to me an important issue because, without hearing what drives you, you seem to have no perspective to understand what is happening.

The pretext for the quarrel is trivial: your husband is wrongly accused by his father of letting things hang around, and you defend him, but the context is complex. Your husband is the son of a first marriage of his mother. His father having abandoned him, he was raised by the second husband of this mother, your current father-in-law. He then had two more children with your husband's mother, but your husband was his first "son". And this man, pathologically authoritarian and tyrannical (what had he lived with his own father?), Surely replayed many things with him. His current criticisms are thus to be questioned in this context. What does he reproach (beyond his present reproaches) to your husband? Why does he reject you? Is he, for example, jealous? But you must also question yourself. Why do you so fiercely defend your husband? What would her suffering mean to you in your own story? And why are you so affected by the rejection of your in-laws? Why would you need them so much? What is happening is undeniably unfair. But why would this injustice affect you so much? The questions are not lacking, and it would be important for you to ask them.

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