My husband of three years is amazing!
He used to always agree with everything his mother said, until I told him it’s okay to voice your own opinions and thoughts.
She then thought I was "brainwashing" him.
After marrying, when I moved in with his family, my problems with her started.
He was so hurt by this that we eventually moved out. I no longer talk to his family and haven’t seen them for two years.
She used to abuse me mentally and verbally. I was in a horrible state the first year living with them, and stayed in our room.
She’s manipulative, always makes herself the victim, and acts like it’s everyone else’s fault. A big blow-out happened that resulted in my not talking to his parents. She called my parents (like I’m age two) and told them what happened.
My family’s travelling here this summer for a wedding, to which my husband’s side is also invited. I don’t want any interaction between our families.
We’ve decided to move next spring, but he’s not told his mom yet because he’s scared and knows she’s going to blow this up.
I’m scared that she’s going to start trouble with my family and say stuff about me.
Should my husband WAIT to tell his mom that we’re planning to move, before or after this wedding happens?
Someone has to be the grownup.
Your decision to move away is the most mature response to this difficult relationship.
You’ll need to stand firm as a couple, and state, without going into past history, that you’ll be moving soon, where, and when.
But a too-early announcement can fall flat. Where and how you’ll live will be the first questions asked. If you can’t answer, have no job plans, or sufficient savings, both sets of parents will react negatively.
Hold back till your plan is closer to a reality.
Meanwhile, handle this upcoming wedding with determination to not let the old pattern repeat.
Start talking to your in-laws with simple greetings and politeness. You’ll look the better person for doing so.
Tell your mother only as little of the back story so she knows your side, then drop it. If a “blow-out” seems imminent, walk away.
When you take the high road, others will have to react differently.
My mom wasn’t so supportive when I was diagnosed with depression/anxiety.
She and my older sister never came to my therapy, nor went on their own.
I was assaulted by a doctor but it was never discussed.
Frequently over the years, she exchanged my gifts or returned them. Yet she accepts expensive gifts from my rich sister and from her grandsons.
I feel like I’m not good enough.
My mom says she loves me, but her actions are otherwise - indifferent, dismissive, disrespectful of my safety, hurts, pains and issues.
She’s in her 80s now and its harder to know what to do.
She was apparently unable to understand or have compassion for your mental health diagnosis. This reaction is common among uninformed people who fear a stigma related to depression.
Fortunately, you were better informed and wisely sought counselling.
You’re hoping for understanding now, thinking it’ll soon be too late.
But in her 80s, she’s unlikely to change much.
If you seek her love, forgive her. Be kind and caring, those are the only “gifts” that matter now.
FEEDBACK Reader finds another (better) way to be married to a “slob” (May 3):
Reader - “My late husband never tidied up either, so I did it.
“We complemented each other’s weak areas, making them look better, as he was just as good at coping with mine as I was with his.
“When he died, my father-in-law came over, and being a very neat man he tidied up all the tools.
“The basement had never been so neat, and every time I had to do laundry the evidence that I was now a young widow was there "in my face."
“I would have given the world to have had the mess back.
“And I was never embarrassed by my husband (or his untidiness).
“Message to that wife who wrote you: If your friends come to see you and your husband, not your house, they will also accept him as I accepted mine.”
Tip of the day:
When two generations live together in constant conflict, someone among them has to be the adult and make a change in the situation.