My husband has had a tumultuous relationship with my parents for the past ten years.
My mother’s yelled at him repeatedly about the way he treats our children and me.
He’s a bit of a bully, mean, and often puts me down publicly, calling it “humour.”
However, her way isn’t acceptable, either. She recently said he’s an inappropriate father, in front of our young children.
We’ve had much less contact with my parents since, for our children’s sake. But my husband still isn’t kind to me and I'm not very happy in our relationship.
As part of my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary, they’re paying accommodation for my siblings and I, and our families, to celebrate Christmas with them in the South.
We’re only paying for our travel – a 24-hour drive or short flight. My husband wants me to tell them they’re selfish for not consulting with us about how we wanted to spend this vacation money (e.g. a different destination or all-inclusive resort).
This trip is about them and their anniversary, not us. I don't believe they’re selfish. It's causing a huge rift between my husband and me.
Your husband likes to stir up a fight, especially with your parents, since it also gives him a chance to boss you.
But he’s pushing you away, emotionally. To stay together, you need to change the dynamic and stand up to him.
Tell him that 1) you’re not carrying his message. It’s wrong and ungrateful. 2) Your mom’s not perfect but neither is he and you don’t accept his putdowns or meanness.
If he persists, walk away, even in public. Insist that you two get marital counselling. If he refuses, get legally informed as to your rights.
My husband’s brother and his wife are very difficult. Their daughter’s had an on-off case of lice for several months. They don’t believe in using the medicated shampoo.
Recently, we saw that it’s in her hair. We said we’re worried it’ll spread to other children at our daughter’s birthday party.
The child’s mother told my father-in-law “Yes,” her daughter has lice. Her husband later told us, “No lice.”
Based on the different responses and past head lice cases that don’t resolve without medicated shampoo, we asked nicely that she miss the party.
They now won’t come to our wedding claiming they can’t find a babysitter and rejecting any solutions.
We’re also being criticized for not having our three-year-old daughter at the ceremony.
Others also feel that it’s wrong to not bring her or invite children.
She has mild autism and it’s very difficult for her to sit through it.
We’ve said they’re welcome to bring their daughter to the ceremony but the reception is adult only, due to speeches, drinking and late hours.
Too Much Criticism
Other parents would be furious if you knowingly had a child with head lice present at the party. Her absence is a consequence of their choice to not use the shampoo.
On your wedding – it’s your child, your choice. However, just for the ceremony, someone might be happy to be in charge of distracting her when she gets restless, possibly in a separate room where she can have a few toys.
She’d be in the wedding photos and know, as she got older, that she was part of this significant event.
However, you know best what she can actually handle. So whatever final decision you make, stick with it, and ignore the critics.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman who doesn’t have time to date (Jan. 20):
Reader – “She should examine how much priority she gives to fitting her dates into her schedule.
“When I was last dating I regularly ran into "the busy woman syndrome."
“You’d have that first date, agree that you’d like to see each other again. Then the next time she’s available is three weeks next Tuesday.
“It’s not because she’s going out with other guys. It’s just as the writer describes: ".. it’s the gym, long and hard work hours, including socializing with business clients…”
“The guy’s likely to just let her drop and hope to meet someone who has some time for him.
“If she’s serious about meeting someone for long-term, she needs to look at her lifestyle to ensure that she’s making enough time to let the men she sees get to know her, and her to get to know them on a regular basis.”
Tip of the day:
If a partner’s bullying you, stand up firmly. If he/she doesn’t change, consider your options.