I Married a Mama's Boy

by - 12:25 PM

Q.


My husband and I have been married for 6 years. When we visit his mother, she downgrades me in front of our kids, thus making me not want to visit, or for her to see the kids. Our kids are young, 6 and 4, and I don't want her filling their heads with nonsense about me. When I tell my husband what she says and does, he sides with her. He always has an excuse, and thinks I take it too hard. How can I either make my mother-in-law behave around our kids and me, or make my husband open his eyes to see what she's doing to me and the kids?

—Wife of a Mama's Boy

A.


Dear Wife,


You can't “make” your mother-in-law “behave,” or “make” your husband “open his eyes.” But you can package your messages so they’re received more receptively. If you continue forcing a choice between Mommy Dearest and hubby, you’ll lose.  So exit this triangle. Instead of pointing fingers, share these feelings: “Honey, when your mother said ____, I felt ____.  Now I feel uncomfortable being there with the kids. But I recognize these visits are important to you, and I want to honor that. How can we resolve this?” You have sweetly passed the problem to hubby to solve and subtly asked him to man up. If he doesn’t respond to this approach, return to me so we can devise a Plan B.

 —Dr. Gilda

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