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Wife and Mom can't get along...


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I've been married 5 years and my wife and mom just can't get along. It's really getting to the point I am depressed about it and angry with them both.

 

My wife's mom NEVER offers an opinion on anything and so my wife reacts really badly to any kind of advice or comment from my Mom. I know these comments are well meant and can be ignored but my wife gets really angry and puts pressure on me to stop my Mom saying anything. I know my mom can be a bit pushy but I am used to her giving her opinion and so on. If I don't like what she says I ignore.

 

Everything my mom says I feel my wife puts the worst possible interpretation on it and assumes its meant as some really controlling or critical comment. My wife even gets angry when my mom gives gifts to our kids because they are the wrong gifts or she feels they are trying to control how we raise our kids.

 

I have tried to tell my mom to rein in her tendency to give advice. I've also asked my wife to try to let things my mom says wash over her a bit more or give her the benefit of the doubt. But neither of them will do this. My mom just gets upset or tells me she should be allowed to give advice. My wife gets angry and accuses me of taking my moms side.

 

It's even worse when we visit my parents. My wife is always trying to get us to do activities without them or objecting if I want to go along with whatever my parents want to do. She gets angry that I am prioritising them over her. But it's only on the 3-4 times a year that we see my parents. The rest of the time my wife and kids are my only priority. I get angry that my wife does not give me credit for the fact that I put her and our kids first all the time. It's like she is in some battle for control of me and can't accept that when we do see my parents I actually want to spend time with them. When we see her parents (more days a year even though they are further away) I never cause a fuss and am happy to fit in with whatever.

 

It's gotten to the point that I dread any interaction between my wife and parents. I feel I can't invite them to stay in my home. I feel I can't suggest we go and stay with them either. I am so sad because I really love my parents even though I know they are not perfect. They are getting old and I want them to get to know my kids while they area able. I also dread what will happen when they need our help in future years. I am also hurt because I feel that if my wife loves me she should feel some need to get along with the people who raised me, but she does not seem to.

 

I wonder if anyone has advice..?

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Sorry to hear you are caught in the middle of this. Good you talked to both of them. You should be able to see your parents and she may have to grin and bear it at times.

 

However it will cause strive if your wife perceives you as not having her back and being a team. It might be wise to say "you're right, mom's too opinionated at times" and at least give the impression that you are seeing her point of view.

 

Try marriage counselling they are good at stuff like dealing with in-laws and extended family.

My wife gets angry and accuses me of taking my moms side. She gets angry that I am prioritising them over her.
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You not taking a side isn't taking someone's side. Your wife and your mother are two independent and capable adults, perfectly able to put on the invisible earmuffs when necessary and who know how to keep things civil even when things are disagreeable.

 

My long-term girlfriend knows she's got full license to retort in any way she pleases when / if my mom offers an unsolicited opinion or advice. She's a very opinionated woman, so my gal gets plenty of opportunities to hold me to that. Obviously I expect them both to not verbally abuse each other, but the point remains. If they were to, I'd "side" with the person being unjustifiably chided, only to the extent to which it stops right there.

 

Yes, you are the middle man, the shared "object," but they can and should be figuring out a way to foster their own dynamic, even if it means amicably limiting it. The more you entertain the drama, the worse it gets. All parties should know that you have no intention of cutting anyone out or engaging in any sort of abstract politics. Lead by example.

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Oh brother, this could have been me and my mother in law. She was loud and opinionated and interfering and we did not get along. Ever. My husband is a mild mannered guy who never ever told his mother to lighten up, nor did his dad. His dad was a nice guy, and I liked him a lot. We never did resolve anything, so it was always tense and it got to the point I just didnt go to their house. I wish we could have had a civil relationship but it never happened. I used to say I could be Princess Diana and she'd still hate me...

 

So, good luck to you, I have no suggestions. But if you figure out how to sort this out, more power to you!

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Marriage counseling is the best thing, I think. Or maybe family counseling of some sort with all of you, but short of you and your dad doing an intervention on the two of them, without the kids present, I can't think of anything else that would work. But you are going to have to find some sort of solution that works for both and at this point it sounds like you need outside help to do that.

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I had issues with my MIL, but you would never know it, because I ignored it. The frequency at which we saw her had ebbs and flows, but when she got on her high horse, I just smiled and nodded. It wasn't worth the aggravation to get in the middle, and I really didn't care what her opinion was, I just went on my merry way. Your wife's sensibilities may be more delicate in this area. Everyone is built differently. However, in my humble opinion, it is the duty of the SO to try and keep the peace when it comes to the in-laws. Why? Because your parents matter to you, and they are important to you. Your wife seems a bit over-the-top (complaining about the type of gifts your mother gets the kids seem obnoxious). I guess counseling would be best. It is important your wife knows the marriage is being damaged by this. If she cares enough about you and keeping your family together, she will agree to a third party helping to sort this out. Good luck.

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