I’m marrying a wonderful woman in less than six months.
However, my mother wants nothing to do with my bride-to-be or wedding. She was away from my life for 13 years, now back under three years… the same time my fiancée and I got together.
My fiancée has always been cordial and respectful to her, but disliked some things my mom was doing and saying towards her.
She wrote her a polite letter to which my mom took major offence. She and her partner have never liked my fiancée.
A year before we got engaged, they said that she wasn’t allowed in their home.
The rest of my family loves her and is extremely supportive.
My mom doesn't believe that my fiancée has Asperger's syndrome ( High Functioning Autism), sensory issues, and anxiety.
It's insulting and very frustrating for us. But it also hurts me because I'm afraid of losing my mom again, despite that she's being manipulative and mean.
My fiancée’s hurting over this. How do I set some healthy boundaries while making it clear that my wife’s my first priority, even if it means risking my relationship with my mom??
Sad and Confused Groom-to-be
Your mother’s holding you hostage to a relationship with her that she once left behind.
Your future happiness now depends far more on your primary relationship with your future wife, not your mother.
Speak up. Tell your mother you want her in your life, but won’t risk your marriage because of her hostility to the woman you love.
Either she keeps her uninformed opinions to herself, and is civil and accepting of her future daughter-in-law, or she chooses again to shut you out. If your wife can’t visit, you won’t visit.
My brother graduated with a Master’s degree. He had a job for eight months, got laid off and hasn't worked since.
In two and a half years, he hasn't done anything or even gotten an interview!
He only applies Monday-Friday from 10am-3pm! He’s always playing video games or reading.
My mother doesn't seem to mind that he’s lazy!
I’m supporting them both financially. My mother helps out through her pension and other government funds.
Meanwhile, my fiancé and I want to marry and look for a new home.
I’ve provided my brother with opportunities. Had he sent his resume to the hiring manager, he would’ve gotten the job. But he didn't want that type of job.
My mother’s crying as I've told her that I cannot contribute to the same level while saving for a house. She says I'm being selfish and unaccommodating.
If I move out, they won’t survive in their current situation. They’ve refused family counselling and looking for another place for over two years.
There’s now no love, support, or communication at all in our household.
Should I move out or stay and become more miserable?
Find a place for you and your fiancé where you can live modestly, pay less support to family, and save for a house.
Give notice of a future deadline for when you lower your support further, to save more.
Research what level of down payment you’ll need and what mortgage payments you’ll be able to afford.
Send more ideas for your brother’s employment to both him and your mother so she sees that his holding out for dream-jobs is hurting them both.
You’re not being selfish; you’re saving yourself from living in a dysfunctional atmosphere manipulated by your brother’s laziness.
FEEDBACK Regarding the mother’s concern about a babysitter with mental health issues (March 16):
Reader – “If her babysitter’s consistently great with the kids, attentive to their safety and needs, and has proper medical care and treatment for herself, and is stable, this should be a non-issue.
“Many mothers and teachers struggle with depression and anxiety and do an amazing job caring for youngsters.
“Some doctors, nurses, and lawyers have mental health challenges.
“So long as the babysitter has coping mechanisms, is responsible, and not overwhelmed by their own symptoms, she’s likely capable of watching the kids for a few hours.
“If the kids seem unhappy, distressed, or feel unsafe, then find another babysitter for them.”
Ellie – As I wrote in my response, the only other consideration is that you feel certain and trust any babysitter in your home to react quickly and appropriately in an emergency – e.g. a child’s sudden health crisis, fire, etc.
Tip of the day:
The person you love and commit to must be your priority, even before critical parents.