My husband of two years is 31, I’m 30. Two years prior, his father abandoned his mother, leaving behind debt. My husband helped her pay some.
He shares a condo ownership with his mom. I agreed to move in after our marriage, joining her and his brother there. I didn’t think it through.
Problems started when my mother-in-law (MIL) daily butted into every small thing, stating things as the way she wants, saying I also want it her way.
Boundary issues arose. She plans my day from clothes to food. She’s a poor listener who expects everyone else to listen. She expects me to follow religious prayers and rituals which I'm not into.
My husband and I planned to buy our own house. But my MIL has a say in everything from house-hunting to budgets and endless plans.
I get panic attacks because my life’s led by someone else, though I have a well-paid job and a very different personality from hers.
My husband feels empathy for her. She has arthritis but is healthy enough to work full-time. My husband says she cannot afford to live alone. His brother just got a well-paid job and lives here every weekend.
I cannot focus on my work or anything else. Having someone over your shoulder 24/7 is annoying and frustrating. I keep telling myself her intentions are sane but she’s taken over my mind.
My husband said she’ll be living with us until she retires (she’s 52). She keeps giving me signs that she’s not leaving us anytime. I love my husband but I cannot take this anymore.
I get such a negative vibe from her. Every time my husband and I talk about this, I sense his deep hurt. But I cannot live like this forever. I'm losing commitment and scared. How can I try to save my marriage?
MIL Has No Boundaries
You’re all living in separate silos - a mother-in-law who’s “running” the household (and you); a husband who’s the “boss” which interferes with his role as your life partner; and you, frankly, as the outsider.
It’s an unhealthy set-up for your marriage, especially since your husband and his mother seem determined to continue this way even in another house. Don’t let that happen.
If at all possible, stop reacting and instead start talking about solutions. Perhaps his brother can buy into the condo with his mother while you two move on your own.
Or, tell your husband that you love him, can’t live this way, and you need marital counselling to develop a plan acceptable to you both.
If he won’t go, I strongly suggest you get your own counselling support since the situation’s affecting your ability to work, think, and stay committed to your husband and a future together.
After our divorce, my husband remarried. Last year, he asked for forgiveness. We reconciled in March.
He’s been promising to come here but hasn’t. He’s not yet divorced his wife but he calls me occasionally. He keeps saying he’ll tell me about her “later.”
On January 1, he wrote me a touching message. Now, I just want to tell him that he’s wasting my time. Or is it too early for me?
Does He Mean It?
He apparently misses you, but hasn’t the nerve/confidence to broach separating from his wife. There may be circumstances he hasn’t shared with you.
Tell him to explain or you’ll have to move on by not communicating further. Mean it.
My girlfriend of seven years and I live in separate houses. I work from my home and set up shop in half of the house and live in the other half. I plan to move to her place in a few years.
However, she lives in a constant mess. She’s disorganized, and her place is dirty/filthy. Before I start cooking dinner (she doesn’t cook), I have to clear the kitchen, empty the dishwasher, clear counters/table of the dirty stuff.
Also, she sleeps with the dogs and cats so I also have to wash sheets. I fear the day I’ll move in with her full-time. I don’t want to become the Houseboy.
Keep your house. The plan won’t work unless you both make changes, starting with her cleaning up after herself and agreeing to sharing major clean-ups. And you accepting some disarray. Also, you’ll need separate office spaces as she won’t change those long-time personal habits.
Tip of the day:
Some couples live amicably with extended family but not easily when there’s a domineering in-law.