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Yeah, being near his parents sounds like a really bad idea. I'd give this some serious re-thinking. If you don't have any choice both you and your husband need to learn to set firm boundaries. Your husband is an adult child of abusive parents and you'll need to learn how to advocate for him. I suggest you post on /r/raisedbynarcissists and /r/JUSTNOMIL and read this book with your husband. You can see right now how poorly this "second chance" is going to go. You're heading into rough seas. Is there any way you can cut the trip short? If so, I strongly advise you to do so. You and your husband are very close to making a huge mistake.
You are absolutely not the asshole. I'm sorry that you have the parents you do. Your parents sound overbearing and toxic.
Below I will paste a link to a book that I believe will help you. I'd be happy to gift you this book if you'd like.
A Book Recommendation i'd suggest is Toxic Parents
And as selfish as she's acting please remind your husband that phones work two ways. So she could just as easily pick up the phone on her end to try and communicate, and yet she believes that THAT falls on the two of you. You guys have your lives to live, jobs to work. Can't always be at her beck and call 24/7. Maybe it would be easier for the two of you if you guys just emailed back and forth vs Calling/ being forced to call.
Stick to your plans for Christmas this year. If she tries to play the guilt trip card inform her of all the times you told her that you had your own plans and that you're sorry she chose to ignore them and plan her own party as well. You guys are not super heroes who can be in multiple places at once.
Hugs, dear ((((notinthetruth)))).
Your family is very dysfunctional - take it from another survivor of an extremely dysfunctional family. Your father sounds an awful lot like my hateful, manic-depressive & frequently depressed father - in other words, your dad is not mentally nor emotionally healthy.
I gleaned a great deal of good from the book "Toxic Parents - How to Overcome Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life"
Here's a preview of the book on Amazon:
I was most struck by one comment in that book, made by a compassionate therapist, who said (approximately), "If I could give my patients just one gift, it would be the ability to leave their [poisonous] families to their fate."
Sometimes ya gotta leave nasty people to the consequences of their own actions. Your father is likely depressed (perhaps chronically), but until he admits that to himself (& stops acting like a know-it-all asshole), he's going to stay trapped in his own personal hell. Your mother sounds just a wee bit like an enabler, too, so I wouldn't feel too sorry for her, either.
the medication will take 4 - 6 weeks to work. full habituation will probably take upwards of 12 weeks. you should start to see improvements after the 1st week and any intolerable side effects might not be something that you're aware of until you've taken it for a while. you have to get used to it and learn how the drug makes you feel.
you might want to read Toxic Parents.
Of course DH doesn’t understand. He had normal parents. He is still thinking of your parents as rude idiots and he cannot comprehend the crazy, and the lengths Nparents will go to maintain their version of reality.
I recommend that he take a look at these two books. He just doesn’t realize what you have dealt with your entire life. Your fear has nothing to do with perusing this sub or posting for help on Reddit. Your fear has everything to do with your intimate knowledge of your Nparents crazy.
I found Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcississtic Mothers to be very powerful. It’s a tough read at times but I think it will be helpful.
>Every so often, my wife (39F) and 7-year old son will get into an argument and she'll wind up giving him the silent treatment.
At 7 he's probably reading already. Just hand him a copies "The Heart of Parenting", and "Boundaries With Teens" (assuming she's closer to teen l level than kid level), and "The Happiness Trap" so he can learn how to set appropriate boundaries with her. Once he gains some maturity and adult emotional skills, he can teach her to do the same as the whole house will run more smoothly.
>I'm not a perfect parent myself
None of us are.
> Our son is definitely a handful but I can't help but feel that this particular method of discipline is a bit cruel for a little kid.
Not necessarily cruel, as kids will get used to almost anything if they don't know any difference. But it does tend to create problems later in life..
> I've told her before (when our son was in bed) that I didn't think the silent treatment was the best approach, but it's happened several times since.
She may have been a victim of conditional parenting or emotional incest as a child, in which case she wouldn't really see anything wrong with it or see any reason to change her behaviour.
> Is this something I should make a bigger deal about stopping or is it just a less-than-ideal response to a difficult situation (our son can be very frustrating)?
This is a giant deal IMHO, though not one that's going to be easy to address. Conditional or authoritarian parenting often arises from a controlling personality type which can destabilize a family, lead to more teenage angst and rebellion, and generally increase tension and anxiety in the home. It sounds like she blames the kid for how she feels which is not good for anyone. If she's not regulating her own emotions, then she'll be incapable of teaching him to regulate his (see Recovering From Emotionally Immature Parents for more info). That only escalates over time until one of them grows up.
This normally doesn't indicate a lack of love, but a lack of emotional coaching by her parents resulting in a lack of parenting skills. Not easy to deal with. The skills needed to recognize and fix it are the very ones lacking.
Tl;Dr: Using the silent treatment is not OK, but you'd be wise to be well prepared before bringing up emotional abuse, passive aggressive manipulation, and Toxic Parenting with a mom who's already stressed, maxed out, and doing the best she can with what she knows.
Narcissism Recovery Podcast by Yitz Epstein https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/anchor-podcasts/narcissistic-abuse-recovery-life-coachinghttps://www.stitcher.com/podcast/anchor-podcasts/narcissistic-abuse-recovery-life-coaching
Toxic Parents by Dr. Susan Forward & Craig Buck https://www.amazon.com/Toxic-Parents-Overcoming-Hurtful-Reclaiming-ebook/dp/B000SEH80I
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The actual book this is a summary of is very very good imo.