I am Shantale's husband. I have read RTR, and have listened to various parts of it a few times with Shantale, but we have not sat down together and listened to all 12 hours or so together. It's hard to concentrate on something so intense with a baby running around demanding your attention. I have made an attempt to become more emotional honest since reading the book; it is very difficult. We have definitely both benefited greatly from the analysis provided but have not implemented the principles in our lives to the degree which we would like. I have RTRed some with my father, and only gotten deflection and hostility from him. Shantale and I have RTRed since she has posted this, but it is hard to break the cycle of self-censorship. We talked about the conversation we had which caused her to write this, and we RTRed after we listened to Stef's Baby Dream podcast and how it made me feel. I think we are improving in our attempts to apply these principles to our lives, but we are no where near close enough.
I think her mother is probably one of the worst people I have ever met. I have had two conversations with her in which I was open and honest. The first I pointed out she was trying to hold onto two opposing principles, and that she had to give up one to remain consistent. I pointed this out repeatedly before eventually telling her she was a hypocrite. At that point she sort of shrugged her shoulders and walked away. The second was a conversation about a range of topics, where I basically explained to her systematically what the consequences of her beliefs were; all I got back was that she thought i was trying to manipulate her words into things they weren't. When I told her i was just removing the bullshit from her ideas, that ended the conversation. Amusingly at the time, shantale's father told her mother that I was completely right and she was a fool. What a lovely marriage they have.
Her father is slightly less horrible, but he enabled her mother forever and looked the other way during all the terrible things she did. He is also horribly irresponsible and has endangered the life of his grandson on his other daughter's wedding day by driving around blackout wasted on painkillers. When I have brought up the massive abuse shantale and her siblings suffered at the hands of their mother, I think I causes something to snap in him. Since then he has been highly volatile and hostile towards her mother, but in an abusive manner. We thought for a while that he might actually be changing and desire to make himself a better person, but he just repeats the same "argument from armageddon" every time we bring up anarchy, and I don't think he will ever be able to cease his self destructive tendencies.
I have definitely advocated not speaking with her family again, but I completely understand her reluctance to do so because of our nieces and nephews. I do think that the only way to protect them is to show them that we don't think these people are good and moral, but instead of being able to tell them that they will only receive negative propaganda about us.
I am not going back with her to Indiana in January because we cannot afford to (her parents bought her ticket). I wish I could, we could stay with one of my friends instead of her parents if I could. She has gotten my mother to go to the wedding and come down and stay with her basically the whole time. My mom is a bad person, as I think i've made clear elsewhere, and I am working on talking through our history and my feelings there. We have discussed things quite a bit, and she has shown SOME desire to be honest and talk about things though, so I have given her some time to work things out in her head. I'm confident she will not change though. The point of inviting her down is basically to run interference between shantale's parents and shantale. My mother's presence will pacify them, and force them to refrain from the abuse. I'm not too happy about the situation, but I think it is better than shantale having to deal with her parent's alone.
I think shantale shouldn't go to the wedding at all, I don't like her friends who are getting married (Catholic and fake). I want to say more but the cafe we go to for internet access is kicking me out.