Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Don't know how to help him.

Ok, DH had a really rough childhood, I mean REALLY rough, horrible abuse at the hands of his father and other family members after being kidnapped from his mother. He was beaten so badly that there are parts of his back that he can't feel at all because of nerve damage, not to mention being put in the hospital almost dead because he was denied medical care. After the hospital stay he was returned to his mom at age 16, and she demanded that he get a job and pay off every scrap of food she allowed him to have. After he graduated he got a good job and moved as far from her as possible. Now here's the problem; my family LOVES him! They want him to be part of the family I was raised in (I have a great family) and he's so scared that they'll try to use or hurt him that he backs away most times. He's getting better now with our daughter almost here, but he's still edgey. How do I help him realize how much they love him?


Asked by Anonymous at 6:01 PM on Apr. 13, 2009 in Relationships

This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • The best thing to do, since hes already had counseling, is just give him time to adjust to a normal family life. Depending on DH and your dad (and other members) comfort level, maybe give them chances to be alone (short periods of time, with you close by) together in order to get used to being alone and not afraid. And, depending on everyone, maybe have your dad just straight out tell your DH "Hey, I know people haven't shown you what a real family is, but we are going to prove to you everyday that we aren't like that and that we won't ever hurt you" etc. Also, I really think that when your child arrives this will help him understand the love that comes from a father to a child in a healthy family dynamic. Maybe then he can relate to your father through that common bond. Some emotions will always be there, even after counseling and time. I'm sure you can make it through with patience and love.

    Answer by ozarkgirl3 at 7:09 PM on Apr. 13, 2009

  • He should seek counseling.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:04 PM on Apr. 13, 2009

  • Just give him time. Coming from a house full of abuse (not nearly as severe as your husbands though) I can tell you that all it takes is time. And maybe a talk with your mother. Does your family know about his abuse? And if they do, does he know that they know? IF SO, maybe (preferably before baby gets here) your mom or dad could pull him aside and just let him know that they love him, and that they will be there for him no matter what. Kinda an official "welcome to the family" and after that, just leave it be.

    Answer by CarolynBarnett at 6:05 PM on Apr. 13, 2009

  • OP here- he's had counseling, several years before I met him. It's just that his idea of family is a group of people who will hurt or use you, so he stays kind of distant from them. He's not distant with me and to hear him talk about our daughter (she'll be born in two months) he sounds like he's over a lot of it, but with my family, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc he gets nervous. He actually likes my mom, and looks forward to her visiting because I'm on bed rest and he thinks her cooking is the end all be all, lol. So far he's only been comfortable with my mom and grandmother, but the rest of my family he's nervous, and they all just love him.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:08 PM on Apr. 13, 2009

  • OP again- yes, they know about his abuse, and they know that there are things they can't talk about and they avoide them. My mom has the best relationship with him of all my family, but because of being beaten so badly by his own father he thinks that my father is someone to be wary of. In all honesty tho, my dad is wonderful, and he wants to have a good friendship with DH. I'm hoping that the baby will help him open up a little more, he's so happy about her because this will be the first family other than me who hasn't tried to hurt him.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:11 PM on Apr. 13, 2009

  • Give him time. And you may want to have your mom and granmother have a talk with him since he seems to get along better with them. Have them tell him that that is NOT how things are done in your family. No wonder he has skewed ideas of what family is. He may not be able to understand how your family can love him so much when his own family didn't. And sometimes it will take time. and you may be surprised how much the birth of your daughter may open him up emotionally.

    Answer by spiritguide_23 at 6:14 PM on Apr. 13, 2009

  • You can't. He has to discover for himself that they are good people. Trust will be an issue for him for a very long time, maybe forever. Surround him with love. Your family needs a certain amount of info so they don't think he is rejecting them. Go slow.

    Answer by GrnEyedGrandma at 6:18 PM on Apr. 13, 2009

  • he has no clue what that kind of love is. Just let him grow used to it. It might take a lifetime for him to accept it but it will happen. Just be you.

    Answer by admckenzie at 7:17 PM on Apr. 13, 2009

  • Well, he hasnt experienced REAL love before. A family kind of love he never had....He needs time to get adjusted with it and feel it and be around it. It is a new concept for him. It will have to be over time that he gets adjusted to REAL love. Keep showing real love with out asking anything in return. Just love on the guy. He will get used to it but time...... ANd all the hugs and kisses of a new baby helps too.

    Answer by ministrymom at 7:48 PM on Apr. 13, 2009