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When your wife spends ALL her time with her parents, what's going on here?


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I have a friend. He's married a girl from Belarus. She just turned 29. She got her greencard about a year or so ago thanks to this marriage. Since then she has brought her parents over to visit and they stay six months a year. Now they had been married for a couple of years when this started happening and ever since the parents started coming over their marriage has gone down hill.


Once the parents came over the wife starting spending all of her free time with them. She works, has a side business and goes to school at night so she already has limited time. My friend and his wife had things they did regularly, such as go to the beach on the weekend where they would bike, rollerblade, play badminton, shoot basketballs, etc. They also did other things as part of their routine. But she would not go do these things unless she brought her parents along....her parents who don't speak English and he does not speak Russian. After a few weeks or so her parents told her they did not want to do these things so the wife stopped going with her husband. He would end up going alone to the beach to get his exercise. This pattern expended to the point where weekend activities were planned by the wife to be spent with her parents regardless of her husbands schedule. For example, there were times when he could not go away all weekend due to work so she and her parents would go, e.g., to San Francisco and leave my friend at home.


He not only felt like he was second to the parents and their wishes were more important to his wife. If he did do something with his wife, the parents would always come along so he never had alone time with his wife and as they all spoke Russian he felt like he was just along for the ride.


Compounding matters, they live in an expensive part of town and both have had their apartments for a long time so their rent is very low. On the other hand houses where they live start at over a million dollars. Since both of their apartments were small and both did work from home each kept their apartment while they looked for a house, which is taking a while to find apparently.


This means that when the wife's parents are here for six months a year they live in the wife's place--a one bedroom apartment. The mother sleeps in the twin bed with the wife and the father sleeps on the couch. Normally, my friend spends a number of nights a week with his wife at her apartment and they do what husbands and wives do. But of course that does not happen with her parents there. Now he feels like the outsider and not even welcome there. Apparently he has gone as many as three months without sex with his wife because of this situation. To say he is not happy about this is putting it mildly.


On the other hand the wife chooses not spend nights at her husband's place. Oddly, she says it would be "embarrassing" as though her parents don't know she is having sex? He tells her this is crazy because they are married and she's a grown women. She says it will look like a "booty call."


The wife spends quite literally almost all of her time with her parents. This now has been going on for two years. And yet still the father speaks no English and the mother barely speaks any English. They were both unemployed in Belarus and really don't seem to have much money which makes sense given Belarus' economic condition.


To me it seems like the 29 year old daughter/wife is being a parent to her parents. She drives them everywhere, she spends her free time with them. She goes shopping with them, etc., all to the exclusion of my friend.


Apparently the wife wanted to go to Tahoe over the Thanksgiving weekend, leaving town for four days or so. My friend told her his work was such that he could not go out of town for so many days. She left anyway, spending Thanksgiving with her parents in Tahoe while he was home alone on Thanksgiving.


Then he told me of an Ice Cream museum thing where the wife got tickets from someone at work and they had three tickets. So she bought the tickets and took her mom and dad and never even asked her husband if he would want to go.


I've been hearing these stories for a long time now. Finally I told him how he'd been complaining for nearly two years to me about how his wife stopped doing things with him and how she made her parents the clear priority.


Making matters worse, her parents did not want their daughter to stay in America but instead wanted her, their only child, to return to them in Belarus. (Which is odd to me as she has much more opportunity here for a successful life than in Belarus.)


What is going on here? What is wrong with a 29 year old woman who spends so much time with her parents that its like she's dating her parents or she's the parent.


I really don't know what to tell my friend to do. This just seems so unhealthy to me. What's up with his wife? What should he do?

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Agree with above poster - keep your nose out of other people's business, especially marital relationships.

What's going on here is cultural and I will emphasize again - you have no business questioning, commenting or in any way getting involved in your friend's marriage. It's a good way to burn your friendship to the ground. What he does with his wife and how they handle this is between them and only them.

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My friend confided in me and asked for my advice. They are at the point of getting a divorce and he blames their present near-divorce state on what's transpiring. Rather than just giving him my two cents I was hoping someone more relationship knowledgeable here might have some insight.


That said I have read several marriage articles about the subject of a child spending too much time with their parents and every article I've read thus far states it will likely damage and possibly derail a marriage.


I asked him about this situation being a cultural difference and he said he has asked a number of his friends who are from Russia if this is normal, a cultural thing, and they have all said definitely not.

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Keep saying to yourself, "my friend married her knew she was from Russia and wanted all this". Best not to lose a friendship over your opinion of all this. If he confides in you, just listen.

they had been married for a couple of years when this started happening and ever since the parents started coming over their marriage has gone down hill.
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lol....I'm sorry but it is very typical - your house is my house and no boundaries whatsoever. None. Very very culturally typical. Of course there are always exceptions to the rule, but stereotypes exist for a reason.


Anyway, if you like to keep your friendship, then do yourself a favor and just be a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on as much as you can tolerate that, but do not jump in with advice. Keep your mouth firmly shut outside of sympathetic "I hear ya man. Ya that's tough." Do not get involved. We are telling you this as a voice of reason and life experience.


If he wants to get divorced, he needs to decide for himself. If he wants to try and work on things, he will figure it out. Do not get involved. Just because it's cultural doesn't mean he needs to put up with it if it does't work for him. Again, his call. Keep out of it and keep your opinions to yourself if you value your friendship with him.

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If he's on the verge of divorce and wife still won't change anything to save the marriage, then your friend is already solving his problem. His best advice should come from his lawyer who understands his rights in the matter. I'd avoid badmouthing the wife in case they kiss and make up, because then YOU will be the one left out of their lives.


I'd just buy the guy a drink or a meal when he needs a friend, and I'd listen and keep my mouth shut.

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For someone not directly involved, you sure do know a heck of a lot of very intimate details about the situation, and appear to be way too wound up about this.


I find that odd.


Have you and your wife sought marriage counseling?


Or your "friend" and his wife?


I would suggest that over soliciting advice from not just strangers on a message board, but strangers that are not even able to seek more info from the person directly involved.


Why doesn't your "friend" open an account and talk to us directly?

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