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Topic : Getting Along With Your In-Laws

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Created on : Thursday, July 07, 2005, 09:13:41 am
Author : dataimport
Love them, tolerate them, or despise them? Dealing with the in-laws can be stressful to a marriage. Share your stories and coping strategies.

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January 21, 2009, 10:18 am CST

Weatherall

Quote From: weatherall06

I have tried sitting him down and speaking with him bout it and he always takes it the wrong way. He thinks that I hate his mom and his family and thats not true. I love his family but they always act as if they should still come first in his life and I dont feel that way. I mean we are married and have 2 kids of our own. His mom always tries to put him on a guilt trip saying he doesnt spend enough time with his little brother who is now 14 and that isnt fair to him but I dont see how that is more important than his 4 year old sone and 18 month old daughter. SHe is just nosey when it comes to whats going on with us. I mean if we are having an arguement she is always trying to put herself in it and out her 2 sense in. But she is always rude to me and blames me for everything that goes wrong in our marriage and tells me thats her baby abd shes looking out for him. I mean to say I am not perfect but I dont do everything wrong we both have faults but its like she digs to find me in the wrong. They work 10+ hours a day together and ride to work together and what not so they are always together and I dont know if that plays a part in it or what???? He knows how I feel and he doesnt try to give into his mother I just think he does it unconsciously sometimes and doesnt see it. I just hate feeling like an outsider in my own marriage when we are around his family. I just feel like when we are all together they have a secret that I dont know.

 

Thanks....

That secret you feel is called "enmeshment"...I have always felt like my husband was inside a bubble with his father, mother, and sister, and I was always outside that bubble looking in.  He would tell me that I could basically be in the bubble too if I chose to be, but I didn't want to.  Inside the bubble was nothing but toxic sickness that I wanted no part of.  And they never "mean" to be this way, they were raised to be loyal to them beyond all others.  And unfortunately that means, you........and your children.

 

The only real way to remedy this, and maybe salvage yourself is to set boundaries.  Don't allow him, his mother, or anyone else to get you upset anymore.  If you and your husband have an argument and he talks to his mother, let him know that you find that a form of betrayal.  What happens between the two of you is sacred and private.  If his mother has something to say, try to politely tell her that her comments are inappropriate since any issue you and your husband have is between you and him.  And unless her opinion is expressly asked for, then it is not acceptable for her to voice it. 

 

Ultimately HE is responsible for saying no to his mother or standing up to her and her guilt trips.  You cannot force him to do it, no matter what you try.  You can state your case, voice your opinion, and then stand back and enforce your boundaries.  They will get upset with you, sabotage you, and try to make you feel as if you are the one with the problem, but you're not.  Obviously you don't hate his mother, although it's hard not to place the blame on her sometimes, I know.  But your husband is a grown man, and should know what is right and wrong, and should also listen to your feelings and concerns and try to resolve it.  If not, he is creating resentlment and anger from you towards him.  If you talk to him again, try not to even mention his mother or the things that she does that you don't agree with or upset you.  Make him take the blame, which is where it belongs.  It's hard not to feel bad for them because they just don't know any different, but I bet if he looked around him, he'd be hard pressed to find other men his age this entangled with their mothers.  Would he allow some Joe Blow on the street to talk to you the way she does or voice their opinion about your personal and intimate issues?  I think not...

 

Good Luck!

A

 
January 21, 2009, 11:52 am CST

Alternatively.....

Quote From: anarchya

Why won't men talk?  Why is it so hard to just tell someone what you feel or what you're thinking?  Gawd, this pisses me off!  LOL  It likes pulling teeth sometimes!

 

Last night my husband and I are cuddling on the couch, and out of nowhere, out of the thin blue air, he says..."So where was the apartment at in Oregon that you were looking at?"  I was caught a bit off guard but answered that it was in Portland, and then asked why?  Of course, he just says he was wondering...I asked if he was thinking about moving (knowing full well that the answer would be HELL NO), and he says..." Not to Oregon!"  He was being really quiet and a bit detached all day, so I asked if something was wrong?  Of course, he says no...What the heck?  I dont know if he was pouting because I spent all day shopping with my friend on Sunday or what.  I just let him feel whatever it is that he is feeling anymore, and I don't let it affect me.  I've started to notice that he likes to say things sometimes just to see how I will react or even almost putting me down, and I'm not going to let him.  My standard response now is going to be something like this..."I think that what you said was inappropriate and even a bit hurtful, if that was not your intention, then I will give you an opportunity to rephrase it, but I will not let you try and make me feel bad"....! 

 

Anyway, just had to blow off a bit of steam...Thanks for listening!

 

A

He knows something is wrong.  You've stomped about and said "I'm going to leave if this doesn't improve" and he is considering whether a fresh start elsewhere is something he would consider to save the marriage.  He asked where you were thinking of moving to because he's stressed and forgetting things and to find out whether it's somewhere he would want to go.  Oregon isn't attractive to him but he is reluctant to discuss alternatives because you have spent so long suppressing your needs that you are no longer willing to accommodate any need of his that doesn't coincide with yours.

 

I'll go back to the Motorbike weekend to illustrate further.  You've been for years and don't like it yet you feel it's a failure to go this year when your husband is being made president of the club because you wanted to do something else.  Why not see it as the start of a marriage where you BOTH do things to please the other instead of you just fitting in with his plans.  If I were him I wouldn't feel you wanted me to attend the Horse Festival with you. 

 

 

 

 

 
January 21, 2009, 2:37 pm CST

A N other

Quote From: a_n_other

He knows something is wrong.  You've stomped about and said "I'm going to leave if this doesn't improve" and he is considering whether a fresh start elsewhere is something he would consider to save the marriage.  He asked where you were thinking of moving to because he's stressed and forgetting things and to find out whether it's somewhere he would want to go.  Oregon isn't attractive to him but he is reluctant to discuss alternatives because you have spent so long suppressing your needs that you are no longer willing to accommodate any need of his that doesn't coincide with yours.

 

I'll go back to the Motorbike weekend to illustrate further.  You've been for years and don't like it yet you feel it's a failure to go this year when your husband is being made president of the club because you wanted to do something else.  Why not see it as the start of a marriage where you BOTH do things to please the other instead of you just fitting in with his plans.  If I were him I wouldn't feel you wanted me to attend the Horse Festival with you. 

 

 

 

 

I know he is aware that something is wrong because I've been trying to get it through his thick head for years.  But now he knows how serious I am about the "leaving" part.  I found an apartment, and I've applied for jobs online, even had a phone interview.  But as far as him moving, he has already made it perfectly clear that he never will, especially now that he has a very solid and good paying job with two retirements.  He has always known that I've had dreams of living in Oregon, I think he was asking because he wasn't sure if it was Portland I was looking at or a smaller town that I've been to that I've always said I love.  If we can't make things work, then I fully intend on living out my dream to move to Oregon.

 

I hear what you're saying, but I am still willing ot accomodate his needs, e.i. going to the club function.  I already told him that I would go, and apologized for not understanding how important it was to him this year.  But I also told him that next year I am going to the Strawberry Festival instead, and that if he cannot go with me due to his duties with the club, then I understand and accept that.  He has a year in advance notice on this so it should not come to a surprise next year when I do not attend the club function.  I think that is completely fair, and it is a compromise.  And before we even talked about the club function, I asked him if he wanted to go to the Horse show with me.  His response..."I'd love to, but we'll see what's going on".  I already know what that means...he needs to see if there is anything going on with the club!  Where do I rate here?  I have always put the things I want to do on the backburner for him, and maybe it's time for him to do the same for me.  But I'm not even asking for that, I'm just asking for a little equality here. 

 

I like your theory about  "a marriage where you BOTH do things to please the other "...but it always seems a bit one sided to me.

 

Thanks for your input.

A

 
January 21, 2009, 3:09 pm CST

Getting Along With Your In-Laws

Quote From: anarchya

That secret you feel is called "enmeshment"...I have always felt like my husband was inside a bubble with his father, mother, and sister, and I was always outside that bubble looking in.  He would tell me that I could basically be in the bubble too if I chose to be, but I didn't want to.  Inside the bubble was nothing but toxic sickness that I wanted no part of.  And they never "mean" to be this way, they were raised to be loyal to them beyond all others.  And unfortunately that means, you........and your children.

 

The only real way to remedy this, and maybe salvage yourself is to set boundaries.  Don't allow him, his mother, or anyone else to get you upset anymore.  If you and your husband have an argument and he talks to his mother, let him know that you find that a form of betrayal.  What happens between the two of you is sacred and private.  If his mother has something to say, try to politely tell her that her comments are inappropriate since any issue you and your husband have is between you and him.  And unless her opinion is expressly asked for, then it is not acceptable for her to voice it. 

 

Ultimately HE is responsible for saying no to his mother or standing up to her and her guilt trips.  You cannot force him to do it, no matter what you try.  You can state your case, voice your opinion, and then stand back and enforce your boundaries.  They will get upset with you, sabotage you, and try to make you feel as if you are the one with the problem, but you're not.  Obviously you don't hate his mother, although it's hard not to place the blame on her sometimes, I know.  But your husband is a grown man, and should know what is right and wrong, and should also listen to your feelings and concerns and try to resolve it.  If not, he is creating resentlment and anger from you towards him.  If you talk to him again, try not to even mention his mother or the things that she does that you don't agree with or upset you.  Make him take the blame, which is where it belongs.  It's hard not to feel bad for them because they just don't know any different, but I bet if he looked around him, he'd be hard pressed to find other men his age this entangled with their mothers.  Would he allow some Joe Blow on the street to talk to you the way she does or voice their opinion about your personal and intimate issues?  I think not...

 

Good Luck!

A

Well his mother and father are getting ready to go through a divorce after 24 years of being married. And his dad is always telling him its hard to make women happy since he is trying to make his mom happy as well as me but I dont see how it is his responsibility to make his mom happy or take care of her being that I am his wife and I never want him to choose between us I dont feel that is right do to the fact I would not want him to ask me to do that with my family. But like I have said I feel like my family with my husband should come first and foremost no matter what. And he has told me that we do but you know the saying actions speak louder then words.

 

I dont allow his mother or anyother to see me upset or know I am upset I just keep it to myself and maybe thats my problem b/c I do not brinf it to my husbands attention most of the time just b/c I odnt want it to cause a fight or whatever with him. I never try to force him to do anything or tell them anything I just tell him how I feel and like I said before he them accuses me of hating his family it can never just be a disagreement it has to be really negative.

 

He has told her before that she isnt going to talk to me the way she has before in the past and she always says that I am not going to talk to his mother in that way. And I try not to talk to her in a negative way I hate that it makes me feel really bad I am not that type of person unless you push me to that point. But ever since she has decided that she no longer is happy in her marriage and wants to be single its like she is trying to find some reason for us not to be happy. I am not saying thats her intention but thats how I feel most of the time.

 

I love my husband and would do anything for him hes my life. Besides being a stay at home mom taking care of my kids and going to school online he is my world. I live to make him happy but I feel like with the slightest mistake or not doing something he wants he runs right back to mommy.....I hate that more then anything....

 

Confused....

 
January 21, 2009, 3:50 pm CST

Confused, no wonder...

Quote From: weatherall06

Well his mother and father are getting ready to go through a divorce after 24 years of being married. And his dad is always telling him its hard to make women happy since he is trying to make his mom happy as well as me but I dont see how it is his responsibility to make his mom happy or take care of her being that I am his wife and I never want him to choose between us I dont feel that is right do to the fact I would not want him to ask me to do that with my family. But like I have said I feel like my family with my husband should come first and foremost no matter what. And he has told me that we do but you know the saying actions speak louder then words.

 

I dont allow his mother or anyother to see me upset or know I am upset I just keep it to myself and maybe thats my problem b/c I do not brinf it to my husbands attention most of the time just b/c I odnt want it to cause a fight or whatever with him. I never try to force him to do anything or tell them anything I just tell him how I feel and like I said before he them accuses me of hating his family it can never just be a disagreement it has to be really negative.

 

He has told her before that she isnt going to talk to me the way she has before in the past and she always says that I am not going to talk to his mother in that way. And I try not to talk to her in a negative way I hate that it makes me feel really bad I am not that type of person unless you push me to that point. But ever since she has decided that she no longer is happy in her marriage and wants to be single its like she is trying to find some reason for us not to be happy. I am not saying thats her intention but thats how I feel most of the time.

 

I love my husband and would do anything for him hes my life. Besides being a stay at home mom taking care of my kids and going to school online he is my world. I live to make him happy but I feel like with the slightest mistake or not doing something he wants he runs right back to mommy.....I hate that more then anything....

 

Confused....

Hi, sorry you are going through this.  It is a common theme on here that women come on here "Am I crazy?" because dealing w/ this nutjobs makes us feel crazy!  (sorry, I'm grumpy, LOL).   Nobody is perfect, no family is perfect.  But your husband should be able have his wife & chidren first, and still have room for his other family members in his life.  The expectation (and even demand) to remain "first" is the red flag of an imbalance, IMO.  Along with lies, meanness, guilt, manipulation, never being satisfied, favortism.....and an almost bizarre need to please and/or fear of speaking up on the part of the adult child.  These are discussed by new posters in this section over & over again.

 

I am guessing that this is all going to escalate if your MIL & FIL divorce.    I predict she will be even more desperate to pull your husband into the role of her male partner.  Especially since she still has a dependent child.  

He runs back to his mommy to get the validation, ego-stroking.  He gets a reward, because he came to her complaining about you. (And he's not being held responsible for being unreasonable to you). He gets mother's attention, which in families like this is often an elusive item, a tool growing up that was used to punish & reward based on if you perform to meet the mother's (usually) needs.   The love tends to be quite conditional.

It's a very, very difficult position to be in as a woman. I also feel bad for the men because I do think they truly feel torn. 

 

 

 
January 21, 2009, 4:54 pm CST

**A**

Quote From: fourlilmonkeys

Hi, sorry you are going through this.  It is a common theme on here that women come on here "Am I crazy?" because dealing w/ this nutjobs makes us feel crazy!  (sorry, I'm grumpy, LOL).   Nobody is perfect, no family is perfect.  But your husband should be able have his wife & chidren first, and still have room for his other family members in his life.  The expectation (and even demand) to remain "first" is the red flag of an imbalance, IMO.  Along with lies, meanness, guilt, manipulation, never being satisfied, favortism.....and an almost bizarre need to please and/or fear of speaking up on the part of the adult child.  These are discussed by new posters in this section over & over again.

 

I am guessing that this is all going to escalate if your MIL & FIL divorce.    I predict she will be even more desperate to pull your husband into the role of her male partner.  Especially since she still has a dependent child.  

He runs back to his mommy to get the validation, ego-stroking.  He gets a reward, because he came to her complaining about you. (And he's not being held responsible for being unreasonable to you). He gets mother's attention, which in families like this is often an elusive item, a tool growing up that was used to punish & reward based on if you perform to meet the mother's (usually) needs.   The love tends to be quite conditional.

It's a very, very difficult position to be in as a woman. I also feel bad for the men because I do think they truly feel torn. 

 

 

I greatly appreciate all the advise and support you have given me. You are right when you say she pulls him to be that male in her life and what she doesnt realize is he is already in that role with me. I try to reason and give the benefit of the doubt with what she os going through but she is heartless and does not care who she is hurting she is only worried about her. She always wants my husband to go to the bar after work with her cuz she wants to drink and hang out but she wants him to drive home but what about hom coming home to eat dinner with his family and spend time with his kids. She told him he was stupid cuz he drives over an hour each way to work everyday cuz he wants to be home with us. They pipeline so they travel together and stay together but since they are close to home he comes home every night. I just thought that was crazy that she would even say that. I mean any normal person would want to be with their family when the can seeing that we dont get to see him all the time.

 

And yes when he runs to mommy she is quick to tell him how I am not good enough and the only reason she deals with me is cuz he loves me and wants to be with me. She tells me that is her baby and she is always going to look out 4 his best interest and lalalalalalalalalala. I have 2 kids and no they are not grown but I know already there is a time to let go and let them be and make their own mistakes. And I am not sure if she completely gets that and that is what kills me the most.

 

It also kills me cuz he doesnt want me to tell my family anything when we get into and I dont cuz I do feel like that is our problem and it is easy for me to forgive hom and move on cuz I do love him but it is not easy for a parent and thats what he doesnt get. But I dont talk to my family about is but he is quick to run to his. So now everytime I do get around his family I feel like they are whispering bout me behind my back. Oh yea and not only does he tell his mom things but then she takes it upon herself to tell family friends of hers as well............

 

I am sorry if I just keep on but it does help to talk bout this to someone who understands. And I am sorry to see what you are going through. Men are just crazy I think...lol...

 

Thanks Again.....

 
January 21, 2009, 5:01 pm CST

sorry fourlilmonkeys

Quote From: fourlilmonkeys

Hi, sorry you are going through this.  It is a common theme on here that women come on here "Am I crazy?" because dealing w/ this nutjobs makes us feel crazy!  (sorry, I'm grumpy, LOL).   Nobody is perfect, no family is perfect.  But your husband should be able have his wife & chidren first, and still have room for his other family members in his life.  The expectation (and even demand) to remain "first" is the red flag of an imbalance, IMO.  Along with lies, meanness, guilt, manipulation, never being satisfied, favortism.....and an almost bizarre need to please and/or fear of speaking up on the part of the adult child.  These are discussed by new posters in this section over & over again.

 

I am guessing that this is all going to escalate if your MIL & FIL divorce.    I predict she will be even more desperate to pull your husband into the role of her male partner.  Especially since she still has a dependent child.  

He runs back to his mommy to get the validation, ego-stroking.  He gets a reward, because he came to her complaining about you. (And he's not being held responsible for being unreasonable to you). He gets mother's attention, which in families like this is often an elusive item, a tool growing up that was used to punish & reward based on if you perform to meet the mother's (usually) needs.   The love tends to be quite conditional.

It's a very, very difficult position to be in as a woman. I also feel bad for the men because I do think they truly feel torn. 

 

 

thats was meant for you i wasnt paying attention
 
January 22, 2009, 6:51 am CST

You certainly are not alone

Quote From: weatherall06

I greatly appreciate all the advise and support you have given me. You are right when you say she pulls him to be that male in her life and what she doesnt realize is he is already in that role with me. I try to reason and give the benefit of the doubt with what she os going through but she is heartless and does not care who she is hurting she is only worried about her. She always wants my husband to go to the bar after work with her cuz she wants to drink and hang out but she wants him to drive home but what about hom coming home to eat dinner with his family and spend time with his kids. She told him he was stupid cuz he drives over an hour each way to work everyday cuz he wants to be home with us. They pipeline so they travel together and stay together but since they are close to home he comes home every night. I just thought that was crazy that she would even say that. I mean any normal person would want to be with their family when the can seeing that we dont get to see him all the time.

 

And yes when he runs to mommy she is quick to tell him how I am not good enough and the only reason she deals with me is cuz he loves me and wants to be with me. She tells me that is her baby and she is always going to look out 4 his best interest and lalalalalalalalalala. I have 2 kids and no they are not grown but I know already there is a time to let go and let them be and make their own mistakes. And I am not sure if she completely gets that and that is what kills me the most.

 

It also kills me cuz he doesnt want me to tell my family anything when we get into and I dont cuz I do feel like that is our problem and it is easy for me to forgive hom and move on cuz I do love him but it is not easy for a parent and thats what he doesnt get. But I dont talk to my family about is but he is quick to run to his. So now everytime I do get around his family I feel like they are whispering bout me behind my back. Oh yea and not only does he tell his mom things but then she takes it upon herself to tell family friends of hers as well............

 

I am sorry if I just keep on but it does help to talk bout this to someone who understands. And I am sorry to see what you are going through. Men are just crazy I think...lol...

 

Thanks Again.....

I've had trouble w/ my MIL since having kids.  But luckily my husband doesn't talk to her about our problems, and we spend very little time w/ them.  He is afraid to speak up to her, though. 

Them badmouthing you to other family members is common mentioned on here as well, and my MIL does that; to try to keep me on the outside or justify her meanness toward me, I guess.

It stinks.

 

 
January 22, 2009, 10:34 am CST

Thanks

Quote From: fourlilmonkeys

I've had trouble w/ my MIL since having kids.  But luckily my husband doesn't talk to her about our problems, and we spend very little time w/ them.  He is afraid to speak up to her, though. 

Them badmouthing you to other family members is common mentioned on here as well, and my MIL does that; to try to keep me on the outside or justify her meanness toward me, I guess.

It stinks.

 

Well my husband doesnt exactly run to his mother with our problems but like I have said they work together so if she over hears a convo he has with me on the phone and hears we are argueing or whatever she starts the 40 questions. And automatically points the finger of blame at me. If we are argueing then it is because I have done something wrong. So then when I have to be around her she just gives me the cold shoulder unless she sees me and him are on good terms or he tells her to grow up. I dont understand how she can be damn near 50 and playing childish highschool games. I mean dang I am only 23 but i think I act more grown then she does.

 

 

 
January 26, 2009, 12:26 pm CST

I don't trust my MIL!

My MIL has a problem with pills. She takes Diazepam, Ambien before bed, anti-depressants and other pills. The problem with this is that she sometimes takes too many at a time and has had to be taken by ambulance to the hospital due to over-dosing on them. She says she isn't addicted to them, but, she takes too many at times so I believe that she is. Isn't binging a form of addiction? She does this because my FIL tries to control her medication intake due to her behavior.  She has emotional issues as well and is seeing a therapist, she says, once a week.  Just a few months ago she was taken to the hospital from an overdose and her blood was tested and came back positive for amphetamines. So, in addition to the downers she already takes, she has been taking uppers to prevent her from getting very lethargic and low-functioning, something I've been taught can kill you by overworking your heart. I just had a baby girl 4 months ago and she wants us to leave her with her. I don't trust her because she is always doing something to put herself and others in danger. My FIL deals with her constantly blaming him for why she does things to herself and he is on edge worrying about her all the time. Also, whenever she gets drunk she tends to be abusive and do stupid things like trying to jump out of moving vehicles and slapping her husband in the face while he's driving. This one time, just recently she did that and my daughter, my 14 year old SIL, my boyfriend, and I were in the car. My boyfriend had to get in the front seat with her so he could make sure that she didn't succeed in jumping out. I have spoken with her about how this makes me feel and how I don't feel any trust in her with regards to my daughter being in her care alone and she told me not to worry, because she wouldn't get like that if she was in her care. I don't trust her still because she when she got very drunk she said she didn't want to hold the baby because she was drinking, but and hour later comes and tries to take her from my SIL so she could hold her. I don't want to risk her dropping my daughter and then not remembering the next day. I will remember. It infuriates me because I'm the only one who sees how serious her problems are and am trying to protect the baby. This has caused much stress between my boyfriend and I. I love him, but, sometimes I feel like leaving him due to his attitude toward this situation.

Then, I feel trapped by being with him sometimes, because I believe that he would leave the baby with his mom if I left him, even though he knows how she shouldn't be trusted. 

I have told my boyfriend all about our conversations and he thinks I just need to forgive her and trust that she will keep her word. I can't do it. He says I'm too over-protective of our daughter, but, my gut tells me this is a huge problem that they don't see as being one. I used to be close to her and not really care about what she did so much until I starting seeing a pattern and how my SIL was never home because they didn't want her to see what's going on between them. When I was about 8 months pregnant, she pulled some stunt at her work and went home and she and my FIL were arguing and she wanted to take off in the car. She tried jumping out of the window in the front, to get out of the house. This has been going on for a long time and I've had it with her.

 

  I went a week overdue in my pregnancy and I had to be induced. The first day in the hospital my MIL took me and my boyfriend in the morning, stayed until about 10 a.m. then decided to leave. Later on that day she called me on her cell from a bar and told me that she was having a celebratory drink with some co-workers. I hadn't had the baby yet and she was out getting drunk. Well, she drove home, then to the hospital all drunk, hollering, "Yeah, we're having a baby!" My boyfriend saw how drunk she was and flipped out. He told her that he didn't want her there like that and to leave. I felt so disrespected because of her behavior and they both started yelling at each other in my room. So I got in between them, hooked up to I.Vs, pissed because they were arguing while I'm in labor. I told her not to leave because I didn't want  it on my consciense if she or someone else got hurt on her way home, took her keys and her cell, told my FIL off for telling her to go there like that. The nurses heard what was going on and called security. They had her outside and were going to arrest her, but my FIL went to get her. I was so upset and shocked that she would cause a scene in a hospital. She doesn't cause trouble every day, but, it's hard for me to tell when we will see a disaster strike. She's unpredictable and I don't like it. My boyfriend is so used to it that he wants me to just get over it and I can't. I don't like being around her, but I do it for my boyfriend and for my daughter. When she's

sober and with my daughter she loves her and gives me a break, but, I don't feel comfortable leaving her with her at all because of the things she's done. That is no place I want my daughter to be at by herself. Am I being too paranoid or am I within reason?

 
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