I'm a 29 year old girl married for the last one year. I knew my husband for almost 3 years before marriage as we were colleagues and used to work for the same company. We travelled to Singapore (we both were working for an Investment Bank in Singapore then) after marriage. I had made sure that I always treated my husband's family with love and affection and consider them as my own family. My husband is very close with his family, especially with his mother and spends hours speaking to her over phone every day. I didn’t give much attention to this initially as I felt it is normal for parents to be worried when you start living with a new person. But this continues every day till this day.4 months after marriage, we visited my husband's family home for the first time. It was not a pleasant experience for me as i realized that there's a drastic change in my husband's behaviour when his mother is around. He acts as if he doesn’t care for me. He asks me to make sure that i sit in the backseat of the car so that his mother can sit next to him when he drives. The reason being she wants to make sure that he doesn’t drive rashly. Actually he's an excellent driver. He makes sure that he doesn’t talk to me freely or sit next to me. (He even changes the wallpaper of our laptop from a picture of we both together to a family picture when his parents visit or when we visit his place) I know he does care for me, but he at least ensures that his family doesn’t notice it. I initially thought that it's probably because I visited there for the first time, but this behaviour continued in all our subsequent visits. It is as if he is ensuring that his family understands that he doesnt care for me more than he cares for them.My mother-in-law kept on telling me how much her son (my husband) loves her and takes care of her. I was happy to know that he's a family person. But as days passed by, it started getting annoying as she kept on acting as if i was her rival even though she tried to speak to me nicely in front of others. It was painful for me as I wished her to be my mother rather than a mother-in-law. But still i ensured that i always treated her affectionately and i knew it would hurt my husband if i hurt his parents. I was shocked to see the way my mother-in-law and my husband treats my father-in-law. It seemed like he didn’t have a say in the house. During that visit, i saw my mother-in-law shouting at my father-in-law in front of everyone these were her words : "You just shut up, I decide how things should happen in this house, there should only be one voice in this house and that is mine, you shut up". I was surprised that my husband or his brother and sister said nothing. I saw this happening multiple times during that visit. I felt sorry for my father-in-law, i felt bad and insulted, i felt that my dad was insulted in public. When we were alone, i told my husband that he should treat his father nicely. Even though he did behave well with him for the next couple of days, he was back to his self soon and later accused me for giving my opinion in his family matters. When I asked him about the way his mother treats his father, he said it's none of my business. Since then I decided to ignore what I see and keep quiet to ensure that all these doesn’t create an issue between us. Even though i was surrounded by his relatives, i felt lonely & scared. Even today my eyes fill with tears when i think of those days. I wished i could get out of that house as soon as possible.I felt that my mother-in-law is overpowering and she ensures that everyone gives her attention all the time. She decides where/when/how the rest of the family lives. She decides to whom we should talk and when. I felt suffocated. Recently she started shouting at me too over a birthday gift I had sent to my father-in-law. I had sent gifts to her and my brother-in-law earlier on their birthdays and she didn’t have a problem with that. This is what she asked me "How dare you send gifts to my home without my permission? Who asked you to send the birthday cake? You repeat the same thing when i had warned you not to do so last time, who do you think you are?". I didn’t say a word and kept on listening but i was really hurt inside to have her shout at me for something as silly as a birthday gift.I was brought up in a loving family with my dad, mom and 2 sisters. My dad was always my hero; he was a man of principles & great values. I had never seen my parents fighting. I can’t remember a day when my dad or mom had shouted on us. I know how important parents are in ones life, but I'm not able to see my mother-in-law as my mother anymore. She's so much in to our life now, I have forgotten what privacy is. A typical day for me starts when my mother-in-law calls my husband at 5:00 AM or 5:30 AM in the morning. They talk for few minutes if my husband is sleepy and longer if he is not. She calls again at around 8:00 AM and this continues multiple times (up to even 15-20 times) during the day. in the evening once we are back from work, they talk for 2-3 hours. It never bothered me in the beginning, but these days when i realized that it's a regular thing and this seriously reduces the amount of time we get to spend together, it has started getting in to my nerves. He says that she's worried about him and that's why she calls him to ensure that he's fine. I don’t really understand this logic as I also have a family and a mother who stays alone. He said she'll fall sick if he doesn’t call her everyday. Recently we went on vacation to visit Switzerland and my husband was on phone almost all the time calling her, texting her, sending her pictures of Swiss, telling her how amazing the place was. If he gets involved in something and forgets to call her, she calls him and asks him why he did not call her. I wonder why she doesn’t seem to understand that our marriage needs some privacy and we need some time of our own. She even calls up at 12'O Clock and 1'O clock in the night. My husband mutes the phone and then talks to me in case i ask him something in between. He asks me not to speak to him while they are talking. She used to ask for me on the phone initially, but not anymore. I'm tired of this now. I saw a text from her on his phone after our swiss trip which said "You havent yet booked your tickets to come home in March and you are roaming around now". It was sad for me to see such a message from someone i though would be my mother when she knows that we have only got to spent very less time together and we havent even gone for our honeymoon so far!I also came to know that my husband sleeps with his mother often. I'm not sure whether this is normal as it's definitely not considered normal at my place. The first morning after I visited my husband's house after marriage, his mother was repeatedly telling me how he went to her in the night to ensure that she is fine and no one else is sleeping with her!! I'm not sure whether it's ok for a grown up son to sleep with his mother? I found it really awkward, but i don’t want to overreact and spoil our otherwise good marriage just because of this. I know he loves me and he is a nice & loving person when his mother is not around. I don’t want to speak to him about this now as we have always ended up arguing whenever i tried to talk to him about anything related to his mother. I don’t know why he wants to depend upon his mother for almost everything in this world and keep her updated of almost everything he does. He's grown up and is 30 years old; I can’t believe that he wants his mother’s opinion & guidance even now in whatever he does. I honestly don’t want him to cut all ties with his parents, but i don’t want it to affect our marriage too. I tried talking to my husband about this and all he said was 'you wont understand'. Please help
Hmmm.......you are in a tough place. Well, dear, if he doesn't see a problem and you can't talk to him about all this...........not a good sign.
Unfortunately, this family is extremely dysfunctional and these obsurd behaviors are NORMAL for them. They probably see you as the problem when in reality the family obviously has issues. His mother is apparently the "matriarch" and "runs" the show. She sounds like she loves controlling and manipulating her family.
Two options: You can stay and internalize all this and eventually "break" emotionally. Would suggest therapy, however, it is CLEAR your husband doesn't see a problem and doesn't plan on changing anything except you. In fact, the only thing he wants to change is YOU. You need to NOT say anything against his family and blend into the background ACCORDING to him. Sounds like some of his ways are just as controlling as his mother's but more subtle. Other option is not walk, but RUN. If my husband's mother told me her son/my husband went to "check" on her in the middle of the night to make sure "no one else is sleeping with her" I would have been gone; running for the hills as this is NOT normal.
If you all decide to have children, God help you.
This is a "good" marriage and he is "nice and loving" when mom ISN'T around.......hmmm........so, you are willing to accept things are decent at the most 50% of the time? When isn't mom's influence or presence NOT around? Just because she isn't there physically doesn't mean she is NOT influencing her son or the situation. She talks with him EVERY day. Plus, why would you stay with someone who treats you less then you deserve when his family is present to make a point that they are definitely more important than you? They WILL always come before you dear; he has made this point "crystal" clear.
As far as his mother's concern, it is HER way or the HIGHWAY.
In my opinion, you have been given a significant amount of "red flags."
You could seek therapy for yourself to help you to cope with this, but your husband and his family have "0" plans on "turning a new leaf."
I was married to a "mama's boy" ( the operative word is WAS). These men usually do NO change or have a very difficult time changing. Your situation sounds more extreme than mine was.
Life is just too short to be wasting it on nonscense.
Thanks a ton Londres70 for your kind response. You were spot on when you said "Plus, why would you stay with someone who treats you less then you deserve when his family is present to make a point that they are definitely more important than you? ". I always knew that his family is more important to him than me.., but i had always tried to make myself believe otherwise. But you just said it out loud.. loud enough for me to listen.
I was so worried & depressed yesterday, I couldn't even sleep all night.. I'm really really thankful to you for your advice as i was badly in need of one. I was feeling scared & lonely.. Thanks once again for taking time to respond.. It means a lot to me..
This reality is NOT easy to accept and hurts, but reality is reality. I went through a similar situation myself. It wasn't pretty, but I am so glad I spared myself and moved on. I am now with a man who doesn't allow his family to rule our marriage or lives and I do the same. Don't get me wrong, family is important, but I said wedding vows to my husband, not his mother, grandmother, children, etc.
Control doesn't equal love in any situation.
You can't change people but you sure have the power and ability to change you and pick and chose what you are willing to tolerate.
This is SO not about You!!
This is the dynamic of Their Family and the tone was set in the very beginning - before any of Them even knew You existed.
You are not going to change this (Them). You can only change Your response to the situation if You want Your marriage to survive.
I know a Mother and Son like this. He has been married 3 times and each of the Wives were unable to have his Mother SO present in their lives. When You speak of the telephone calls here You are describing the Mother and Son I know.
I've always called Their relationship "emotional incest".
His Mother, Her thoughts, ideas, opinions etc., etc., are more important and to be consulted first, above and over the Wife(Wives), EVERYTIME. You also describe this Woman's attitude and treatment of Her Husband in the same way as the couple I know.
Today the Father is deceased, Mother is 91years old, Son is 70years old
next month and they are living TOGETHER!! IN THE HOME HE GREW UP IN!! (Secretly I say He has crawled back into the womb).
This is my Husbands Mother and Brother - sad for my Husband that He grew up neglected cuz Mom was SO involved with Brother that my Husband and the Dad had to fend for themselves. And of course, Dad worked so my Husband spent most of His childhood alone. At least He grew to be a Man in charge of His own life!! (and does it well, I might add!!)
I've been close to one of His former Wives and She told me He even called His Mother on Their Wedding Night!! I'm not suggesting that You can't find a way to deal with this but I AM suggesting You will not change Their relationship - they will see You as the problem and they will send You on Your way if You cause too much trouble!!
I'm sorry. I know this is painful and You are hurt. I'm close to the situation so I see how really, really sick it can be.
Well, good advice above. I'm sorry that your husband is acting as he is and must say that the problem is not your mother in law but him. While I'm a mother of sons myself---- I know full well a time will come in which I will have to release my babes to start their own life and must blend into the background---- and I sure do hope that they find loving and loyal partner (as you sure sound to be)----------- I also know that it is my son's job to set boundaries with anyone that interferes with their life.
When we marry--- we start a new immediate family. You are now his wife and should be his primary concern. That doesn't mean his mother is not important to him----- but he must draw the line.
That he is unwilling and doesn't want to at all is where your problem lies. That makes you stuck. I'd not give up just yet though. I'd go ahead and have the discussions with him even though so far they have ended badly. Change your approach a bit and do not talk about it being his mother's fault. Tell him that you are unhappy with how much he calls her. That you feel it interferes with your marriage. You can tell him how much you appreciate his loyalty but YOU must be number one.
I had a mother in law that did drive me a bit nuts. My husband has a god son and he has a sister. They are a year apart in age and when they were little, my husband would have me pick out a gift for his god son for various occassions. Well, on Christmas---- I felt funny just going over and giving one gift to this 4 year old little boy and nothing for his 5 year old sister and I love kids---- and little girls--- so would pick up a little present for her too. My mother in law followed me outside when she just happened to be there one time we brought gifts over and told me to not do that. That wasn't how 'the family' handled godchildren gifts. I looked her in the eye and said "well, I'm part of the family and that IS how I handle it." Then I walked away and continued to do as I do. I wasn't rude but I was firm. And if she had yelled at me or something crazy like that---- I'd expect my husband to let her know that this type of behavior is out of line.
If you talk to him and see no improvement--- well. It would be hard for me to stay with a man that treated me like that (putting others ahead of me in the way you describe and allowing their family to be rude to me). You only have one life and being happy in it is important. Finding a partner that sees your relationship as the most important thing would be part of that in my opinion. Peace and luck to you dear.
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