I’m 47, happily married for ten years, and father of two young daughters.
My wife (40, mother at home) always had a problem dealing with my mother.
Mom’s 73, healthy, living alone well. She lives nearby and sometimes drops in for half an hour to see her granddaughters and chat with us – usually every two weeks.
My wife considers her uninvited visits a painful intrusion.
Mom is a good person, but talks constantly, and always tries to show she’s still “cool,” which is irritating for my wife (and for me sometimes). As a result, we rarely visit her, and never invite her for a meal.
I told my wife to talk directly to Mom, otherwise tell me what she’d do in my shoes, but she says, “Just try to understand me.” I don’t want open conflict between them, nor to turn my back on Mom.
The kids are aware of turbulence over this.
I’m considering counselling for myself since I guess this goes deeper than the “intrusion" issue.
- Divided In Quebec
Your wife is looking for more support from you, and I agree that there must be more reasons than just a talkative mother-in-law.
You’ve thrown up your hands on this, asking her what she would do. But she wants you to come up with strong, helpful ideas yourself.
You can’t stay passive or in the middle on this or any other couples’ issue.
Starting therapy on your own is wise, to reassure your wife that you want to address the problem which she’s fixated on. But very soon, you two need to get help together, since your mother’s chatter is being used as a smokescreen for other things that need to be discussed.
My son, 16 is handsome and athletic; my goal is to raise him to be responsible and respectful of our few house rules important for his personal safety and our family’s well being.
However, I’m facing conflict around curfews, especially when he’s with girlfriends.
If a girlfriend is at our place, I’d assume she’s expected home around midnight. Yet his girlfriend, 16, has no curfew.
I’m uncomfortable when the two are downstairs in our family room, lights off, well after midnight.
When he visits her home, her parents are out! I’m thinking these “dates” are “booty calls.”
I have concerns about teen-age pregnancy, STD's and interrupted educations.
Why are parents of girls not setting limits to the amount of time they can be out with boys?
- Worried Parent
Raising kids with healthy, reasonable standards isn’t about what other parents do. Teenagers deserve some acknowledgement of their growing up, but have to earn your trust if there’s to be any relaxation of rules.
Negotiate. Be clear about your concerns, but allow some leeway for your son’s wishes (e.g. offer him one later curfew a month, or for special occasions). Tell him why you feel he’s not emotionally ready for a sexual relationship, but also talk to him about safe sex so he knows the risks and protections.
Find some compromises e.g. if her parents are out, the couple visit at your house.
Also, she doesn’t have a curfew, but he does, and that’s when she must leave.
If you feel their relationship is getting out of hand, call her parents to ask what they think (without openly criticizing their lifestyle).
Things may be better or worse than you imagine, and that information may help you negotiate more realistically with your son.
My husband of six years and I have been in counselling for six months; things are only somewhat improved.
I love him but don't feel much passion towards him or our marriage due to the many problems we've had, especially since our son, age three, was born.
I keep thinking about my ex (high school sweetheart), though I’ve not seen him or had contact for 10 years.
Would I be “cheating” to secretly find this guy just to talk to him?
The risk is that it could easily lead to cheating.
Your ex has become your fantasy escape.
Married life after having a child naturally means less time for passion, more opportunities for clashes and disappointments.
However, seeing this guy –or reviving the old romance - won’t return your carefree youth. But it will cause more troubles, adding confusion and deceit to problems you need to confront.
Stick with counselling.
Tip of the day:
When a partner offers no ideas regarding a problem, the spouse often feels unheard.