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The only hurdle in my marriage...


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My wife and I have a spectacular relationship. Everything about it is out of this world and better than I would have ever dreamed of. We are both 25 and we have been married almost 2 years now, and there is no question in our minds we will always be together. We only have one problem and I have no idea how to deal with it.


The issue is...my family.


They were nice enough to start out when we were dating. But I tried to give her a heads up that it may not always be so nice. My dad is fine, he is submissive though to a fault (a trait I for the most part dont have). My mom has a very standoff-ish attitude, very difficult to get along with, and pretty much very fake, always trying to show she is better off than maybe she really is. She is very opinionated and doesnt hesitate to share it.


The problems started when my wife was having showers before the wedding, and my mom and sister kind of flaked out on some of them with pretty lame excuses. They were always giving their opinions of the wedding choices, colors, venues, etc, which I think got on my wife's nerves, but she hid it from me and confided all of these things that were driving her up the wall to her own mother (not suprising, she is very very very close with her family, very sheltered, amd much closer to them than me to mine). Things finally came to a head at the wedding where my mom was in charge of the rehersal dinner, and did all of this planning, my wife came in last second and basically changed everything almost down to the last detail. This kind of angered my mom, and she said some pretty mean things, then she and my wife's mom got into a spat actually at the wedding, (I fault both of them for being pretty childish, but my wife completely and totally blamed my mom for everything). My older sister, who runs a blog, later blogged about the event, and posted some stuff about how it was too religious and bubbly for her taste (she is very cynical and says lots of candid things not really thinking about it), but my wife has hated my older sister ever since this happened because it was so hurtful and how much time her dad had taken to plan everything just right.


So other little things continued to build up, things my family would say they were going to do, and wouldnt and my wife pulled further and further away. I tried to assure her that everything was ok, and that not to worry, it's just how they are, as long as we are happy it doesnt really matter what they do. But she saw in everything that they were trying to impose, or be too nosy, so she basically would rarely talk to them, or got mad if they were asking about us, or even when we would go to their house, she would (quite obviously) be rushing us out the door. but I know my mom was frustrated because I was drawn closer to my wife and really drifting from my family, which I am not too concerned about, my relationship could sacrifice a bit so my wife could do more with her family, I didnt have a problem doing that, but my mom kind of took offense to the fact that we did almost everything with her family and very little with mine. Things were tense, but it wasnt like it was terrible.


We moved to Washington DC last May for job stuff, and things seemed to get better because we were apart and didnt really have any issues because we werent dealing with my family day in and day out. She missed her family terribly so that was hard, but we managed well and it made our relationship stronger than ever. But she still felt like my family would meddle and didnt really want to talk to them that much.


We flew home a couple times and always stayed with her parents (45 minutes away from mine) and rarely saw my family, much to my displeasure, but i dealt with it for her. When we flew home for Christmas, we were home for several days before even seeing my family, my wife had planned all of this stuff (almost strategically) to kind of set that up, and planned a big bruch (which my dad couldnt make it to, so the rest of my family didnt want to go because of the tension between families), and she said well they had their opportunity.


Well we finally went out to eat with my family and my mom basically ignored us and didnt say a word at dinner and it was pretty clear what she was doing. This made me made, so I got into a fight with her where she said some things that a mother should not say to a son. (I don't want to toot my own horn, but I turned out really well and it is something I do pride myself on. I am a good person, and I am patient and have respect for everyone, I don't treat others badly and try to never even speak harsh words about anyone). She basically said she was disappointed for how I turned out as I was defending the attitude and actions of my wife, and things got rough. It was probably the first time I really stood up to her in light of all the things happening, but even then I always felt it had just been my wife overreacting to most everything (wedding colors, missed events, little things that really dont bear on the big picture). She even says all the time that my mom ruined the happiest day of our life, the wedding, in which we both had a blast and she certainly didnt show any kind of frustration.


Ever since then (almost 8 monthes), they have been on a very thin line, my wife said she just needs time to get through it and I have given her all the time in the world, but she still feels the same. Every time my family calls, my wife always has an insinuating tone, like "What did SHE want". Within the past several months, she blocked her emails, doesnt answer her phone calls, doesnt respond to text messages, even blocked my family from seeing anything on Facebook (because they were being too nosy on it). I find most of this ridiculous myself. I know that is probably not a good attitude to have.


My mom recently asked me if it was worth even trying to reach out, and I in a round about way said probably not. I have been trying to smooth everything out for almost 2 years, and really havent made any ground


My wife is supposed to be in my sister's wedding in a few weeks (which she doesnt want to be in, says she is only doing it as a favor to me, and wont let me get her out of doing it even though i think it would be best for everyone). Her parents asked her to ask me if they should go to the wedding, I told her it is not my place to answer that. They decided not to and RSVP'ed that they would not be coming. My mom asked me why, and I said I hadnt heard that yet. When I asked my wife, she said she found out the day before (didnt tell me) and got mad that it was even any of their business. I told her I was disappointed in their decision, because I thought they would have gone if for anything that fact that both of us are going to be in the wedding. She said they werent because it would be too "awkward" for me. I said they made the wrong decision and she flipped out because they "couldnt read my mind".


So this was today, and we spent the better part of the last 3 hours going off on each other. I want her to be open to having some form of relationship with my family. She wants to basically cut off all contact and cut them out of the record books, as if they never existed. I refuse to accept that and basically tell her that it will only serve to drive us apart, as I will have to talk to them behind her back (I said I just wont tell her what we talk about cause she doesnt really wnat to know anyway), and that when we go home, I will have to go see them without her, and that I would be embarrased to bring her over there anyways (since it seems everyone hates each other anyways, I dont know why I play the game)


She said some things that stung, but I dont think she realizes that she says them and they hurt me. I am not proud of how I reacted, I got mad, I screamed, I threw some things, she got mad, pushed me, said other mean things, eventually we calmed down and just tried to talk through it.


She says that she wouldnt ever talk to them if we werent married, so why would she now, I can tell she doesnt want the relationship at all. She says that I never put myself in her shoes and dont understand how she feels and how all this stuff affected her over the years.


I say that it affected both of us, I have put myself in her shoes and I dont come to the same conclusions (which she gets mad about saying that I dont understand her and that it makes her doubt other aspects of our relationship -- which really hurts). I said I need from her some effort, meaning try reaching out to my family, dont block them and ignore them, she says she will have to think about it (which means no), and says that what she needs from me is to support her better (i.e. agree with me and decrease your contact even more with your family).


This is kind of a long novel, but I don't know how to deal with this. I don't think I am wrong. I want a relationship with my family, I want them to be a part of my kids life, I dont want to look back with regret when they pass on at my wife and think she kept me from something. But I feel like she wont budge. Any effort she does, she says is just a favor to me, she sets her self up for clauses and conditions so she can basically weasel her way out of having to interact with them. She wont have any relationship with my family until "I support her and agree with her about everything" and given enough time, maybe she'll try to heal the gap (which she says very insincirely)


To sum up:

- My parents have done many mean things, are a bit standoffish, but for the most part, I dont think they have dont anything to warrent all of this

- My wife has a very aggressive attitude, things are very black and white and she is not afraid to cut you off if you cross her

- She can't stand my mom because she has a strong attitude, and is very opinionated

- She can't stand my little sister because she is fake and selfish

- She can't stand my older sister because she wrote some opinions about our wedding ceremony

- She can't stand my dad because he lets them all run over him, even if he knows it is going on, he isnt going to jeapordize his relationships (and I dont blame him, it is not his place)

- She says I always take their side, and never understand what she goes through and I always defend them (which I think i often do, but not purposefully, I am very logical and I try to just logically lay everything out)


This is the ONLY thing we fight about, and we both can get downright mean because neither one of us seems to be budging an inch. It is the only character trait that I dont like about her, the way she just cuts people off and closes the door forever in her mind, and I have told her that it disappoints me, because when she gets on this roll, she is just mean. I dont find it acceptable and I want to have a semblance of a relationship with my family, but at the cost of my relationship with my wife?? It kills me. In my mind, I KNOW i am right and it should be the right thing to have a relationship with my family, they really arent that bad, and if you dont expect much from them you wont be disappointed. But I am terrified at the fact that it is basically an ultimatum and that they may have to be cut off from me for me to get anywhere, and she knows how much it upsets me, but its like it doesnt matter.


I know i have written a novel, but I dont know what to do and if anyone out there has any kind of advice, I would truly appreciate it. I view this as the only hurdle in my otherwise perfect marriage.

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Way I see it the wedding is something women dream of having and family should not be involved. If your wife simply cannot stand your family, you may just have to whatever it, but she should sort of deal with it. Shes just not being understand, but I can understand her being fed up with it all. Because they are a part of you and you can't just cut them out of your life. Your just going to have to figure out arrangements to deal with it but be open and don't hide things. Don't let this ruin your relationship and mention that to her. That you don't want it ruin what you two have, but you feel it might. Its just going overboard. I don't think she should be in that wedding its just tense, bad situation. But if she wants to so be it.


Your wife is just being stubborn because she is holdy a very strong grudge against your family. *i dont mean that in a bad way!

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Gosh, you sure have been going through alot! Me and my husbands families are very different, and for different reasons make each of us uncomfortable at times. I can spend hours and hours just 'hangin' at my parents house and my husband goes NUTS, and my family is actually pretty cool as is my hubby... don't quite get that.. but anyways.


I think a good compromise would be to have your relationship with your family autonomous with your relationship with your wife. Family calls your cell... you go see them a couple times a year... can give wife updates, if she's ever interested, she is of course invited to attend, but other than that it's like a group of friends she doesn't quite get. I think this will calm the waters until.. well.. until you have kids and then it's a whole nother ball game.


Good luck!

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Ya I forgot to mention, don't even think of having kids. That will make things millions of times worse, because she may not want your guys' kids to see your family. Or she may say uhh huh, but then after their born not want them to. So this somehow needs to be cleared up. But I would think its only fair to alter holidays for dinners or what not, or possibly you see them alone a couple times a year.

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Sorry to say it, but it sounds like you married your mom.


Make sure you feel much more comfortable in your marriage before you start having children.


Yep, I totally agree. They don't get along because it is two of the same personality types vying for control and holding grudges. I would suggest setting up a time where all of you can get together and hash this out.. come to a truce on this. I think you really need to step up to the plate and tell both sides AT THE SAME TIME that they are behaving childishly, sticking you in the middle and it is all ridiculous and hurtful.

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i dont mean to be cruel but you cant fault everything on your family. Everyone grows up in a different universe, and i'm sorry, no matter what people say, marriage is not about 2 people, but a 2 families. Marriage is only a success if both family can get along well without judgement or cynical opinion. Pardon my speech but i think your wife does need to learn how to be not so judgemental and let go of the past, you'd your wedding, and like you said you guys had a blast. She should stop being a bridezilla and move on with life now. If she really loves you she wouldnt try and come between you and your family and being so childish about things. When you marry, family is part of the package whether you like it or now, thats something your wife really needs to understand. Why hold on to a grugde for so long? Its only going to be worst. You've been a good husband and been supportive of her for so long, its time for her to grow up and let go of things. Start fresh and shed the "dark" past with your family. Strong opinion or not, if you love your spouse you should love your spouse' family too.


Imagine this, everytime your wife is being rebellion against your family, she's putting another potatoe in her sack of hatred, over time the potatoes stacks up and she's only going to burden herself more and more and its going to make herself suffer. Not you, not your family, but herself. You should really seek counselling if she continues to be selfish and refuse to give your family a chance. Afterall, marriage is for life, so is family. She should be grateful that your mother is not trying to fraud her or kill her or get you two to divorce.

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I would talk this out in front of a counselor.


Things this complicated need to be broken down because there is so much emotion swirling around that it is hard to see it all clearly.


I think you have 2 very opinionated families set in their ways. I also think that your wife is only thinking of herself when she wants to cut off your family. She has to put herself in your shoes. She also needs to see that you understand how she has been insulted and hurt. People need to be heard and you two are not hearing each other from all the emotions.


I have a very abusive family and my husband has never told me to cut them off. It is getting closer and closer to that and he wants it to be my choice. I love him for that.


Please get help with this so it doesn't cause years of damage.

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Dont you think tis time for your wife to GROW UP and learn that magic word Compromise..Sounds like you have bent over backwards in order to appease her every wish and i dont doubt that you love each other to pieces...WHY dont you ask your wife what she thinks would be a fair compromise so that BOTH of you have a relations with BOTH sets of parents..the past is the past (wedding etc) move on...trivial really...We dont all have perfect parents nor partners at that..And honestly isnt it easier to get along that NOT to.. Its not like they are trying to DAMAGE your relationship they just want to spend SOME time with you because they love you of course. And naturally get resentful when you spend more time with your wifes family HEH parents can get jealous too you know...Unfortunately your wife and your mother have created a lot of resentment towards each other this needs to be aired around the table and talked about..You can agree to disagree about past matters but tomorrow is a new day ..Your wife is not considering the pressure and stress this has put on you under and now to some extent your marriage...You mentioned your wedding was quite religious..Well then tell your wife to show some forgiveness and to respect your love for your parents more and that it would be nice to have your parents for dinner hear and there, SHE should WANT to do this for you its not like your asking her to cut off her right arm..you will have children one day what then?? more competitions..Okay so your parent can be a pain Im sure hers arent perfect either none of us are...Get it out in the open with all present and move forward.. They still (parents) wont be living your life they just want a small share in it as they should!!!!

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  • 3 weeks later...

After reading everything posted, I would say that a little of the "I don't necessarily agree with my wife, but I love her and thereforee respect her feelings about the issue" IN THE BEGINNING would have helped out with this.


Now things appear to have blown up rather big. Going to talk about it with a counselor for a couple sessions would really help you guys out. I would also suggest you try to find a book on the mother-in-law subject, and read it for yourself to try and see your wife's perspective a bit more.


It is not your wife's responsibility to reach out to your mom or vice versa - It is YOUR job to communicate clearly with both of them, and do a much better job yourself of establishing boundaries between your marriage and your family's apparent intrusion/over-involvement.


She isn't faultless here, but you are the person posting so I am only going to respond to your request. I think your wife needs reassurance that to you, she is your number 1. When you get married - THAT is your first and foremost family.

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