- 7 years ago
I feel caught between a rock and a hard place. My husband’s mother is his only living relative. I REALLY want them to have a good relationship because we are married, and now he is a part of my huge family and I am his wife (we don’t have kids), but his relationship with her is beyond awful. She treats him like his is still a 12 year old boy, and there is no reason for it. He is a grown up responsible man and an awesome husband. I knew that their relationship was a bit strange before I married him, but I thought I would just keep my distance and let them work through their issues without getting into the middle of it. I also figured that if she treated him like that, that she would also hate whoever he decided to marry and treat me the same way……
HA! I work in the entertainment industry and she is always eager to “show off” her daugher in law to her friends, and loves talking about me and what I do for a living. She is super supporting of all of the projects that I work on, and always eager to tell a stranger who I am and what I do….. and I also feel like this might be the only reason she likes me. However, this is a whole different issue, and not what is bothering me the most.
What bothers me is how she treats him. She goes out of her way to make sure that I like her and that everything between us is good, but in the same breath she will turn around and insult my husband (her son) to his face, in front of me, his friends, and whoever else may be around. Really nasty, mean things that would make me flat out punch her in the face if she was anyone other than his mother. When she does things like this I always tell her what she is saying is extremely rude and disrespectful, but she carrys on until my husband snaps and then they bicker like children. They will flat out scream at eachother, and it makes me very uncomfortable. I was raised in a household where my parents would never talk to me like she talks to him, and he has put up with her treating him like this for so long that now he responds with things that I would never in a million years would have said to my parents either.
Her husband died when my husband was a child and I don’t think she ever got over it. She never remarried and my husband said that she started hoarding because of it. She became a loner and it caused her to lose most of her socail skills. She is very socially awkward now, but this is no excuse for how she treats him. He has gotten to the point where he is so definsive around her sometimes he will snap at her when she hasn’t even done anything yet, but it is because he is so used to her treating him so poorly. He is in his 30’s for crying out loud. He is a working professional (has been for years), he is married, and we are living a happy life in our own place. I don’t know why she feels the need to constantly put him down the way she does. I do not even like being out with both of them at the same time anymore. I go back and forth between being angry with her for something awful she said, and angry at him for something awful he said back, and angry at myself if I was there and couldn’t think of anything to stop it.
This situation is so sticky because it is his mother. She is his only blood relative alive on planet earth that he knows. I want them to get along, but I can’t make them. Their relationship is so toxic it makes me sad. It is like they both want to be in eachother’s lives but they don’t know how. Normallly I would tell someone with a relative like that to cut them out of their lives, but I can’t say that about her because she is his mother (and his only living relative). It has gotten so bad that I want to sit them down and talk to them about it, but I feel it is not my place. He said he would be open to therapy, but she it totally against it. I feel like I want to sit them down and talk to them about how this makes me feel as I am often in the middle of their bickering and forced to choose sides. Of course I would choose my husbands side everytime, but this makes me feel like shit and I am getting tired of it.
He has lived outside of the country he was raised in and away from his mother for at least 17 years. He returned to his country of residence to further his studies in his chosen profession, and I joined him when we got married, but we plan on leaving once he is done with his studies in 2 years. She doesn’t know the person he is now, and it is like time for her is frozen with him mentally still in highschool. I know I can’t fix things between them, but I feel so helpless. I don’t know what to do when they have fallings out anymore, and this whole situation makes me want to cry. We will leave in a few years, and chances are never return to this country to live. I keep telling him that his mother is old, and this is the time he has to enjoy her company before we leave for good. Chances are that after we leave we won’t visit more than once every year or two, and eventually she will be dead. I feel sad that his relationship with her is so strained, and I want to help but I don’t know how.
What would you do? Leave it alone or find a way to help them? And if I decide to leave it alone do I tell them how their relationship bothers me and I don’t want any part of it, or is that unacceptable from his wife? I don’t know what to say or do. I am very confused. She is a very lonely old woman (whom I also suspect of having some severe mental issues), and she is always very happy when we spend time together, but I can’t stomach the way she treats my husband. It is totally out of line. I respect her because she is his mother, but eventually she will cross a line that not even the fact that she is his mother can excuse. Thanks for reading. Opinions and suggestions are welcome and wanted.