Post # 1
We recently got married in my husbands culture. This was a wish from his parents. Before we met, he spent a few days a week at his parents house and a few days a week at his own home (now our home). I also went along with this set-up for a few months until recently it got on top of me and I realized I dont want to spend the night there, as often. His family are very caring, but I feel they interfere too much. His mother calls me anywhere between 4 to 5 times a day to see what im doing and making for dinner. We live a 25 minute drive away. Recently I told my husband I want to spend more time at our own home but his mother isnt happy about it. She called me up and told me I need to spend time at her home and sleepover along with my husband. I love my family, but I want my husband and I to have our own space and I feel that we are not getting that opportunity. I dont feel like a wife. His mother insists on cooking for us or when I do cook, she will tell me what her son likes and doesnt like. I would never stop my husband from seeing his mother, but I need to develop a routine with my husband that will allow us to grow as a couple. Right now I feel stuck. Any help is appreciated
Post # 2
Do you have the kind of relationship where you and she can have a heart to heart and you tell her what you told us? Even if you don’t, that would be my suggestion. The point needs to be made that he has his own family to build and you need your space to do so. What kind of relationship did she have with her own MIL? Did she want time/space alone with her husband or did she welcome all that “togetherness”?
Just come at it in the most loving way possible. If that doesn’t work then Darling Husband will have to set boundaries or sleepover by himself.
Post # 3
This is a husband problem. Your husband has the responsibility to put you first in his life and ensure your needs are being met, same as it is yours to do for him. Part of growing up is learning how to separate from your parents while still honouring them. I think you should have a talk with him about his responsibilities and your expectations. Set a firm boundary that you are willing to spend X amount of time with your in-laws and you will not be sleeping over. They will complain. Just be kind and say you cannot commit to more then that but you do appreciate your relationship with them. Say it again…and again….and again.
Post # 4
I get the cultural thing. I come from a culture in which it’s okay for MILs to say stuff that’s totally inappropriate for them to say in the American culture. I have an excellent relationship with my Mother-In-Law, but she also falls for the fallacy of thinking she can say certain things to me. And guess who stops her. Not me, my husband does. I think it’s inappropriate for her to call you and essentially guilt trip into staying over at her house. Your husband needs to put his foot down. He’s now married to you, and he needs to think about you first, and you’re not even stopping him from catering to his parents (which is very generous of you, btw). If he can’t stand up to his parents, sorry to say, bee, you’re going to have a lot more issues in the future.
Post # 5
What is his culture and what is yours? In many cultures this is normal. Did you expect him and his family to change once you got married?
Post # 6
In Ireland we are very close to our families, but not to the extent of living part time here and part time there. I came from Ireland and have decided to stay here as my husband would not want to move so far away and we are good with that. Yes, I expected that we would live together, just us. And visit his parents on a regular basis, but not live there.
However, when I stay at his parents , I had a drawer for my clothes and underwear. My Mother-In-Law called me one day to tell me she went through my husbands bedroom and took all my underwear and clothes out and put them into a different bedroom.
I am in school full-time and the pressure is starting to build up on me. I have tried to tell my mother in law that I love her and her family and her company, but that I want to start building a home with me and her son.
A few weeks ago she came over to our home to pick up something that belonged to her. Whilst there, she went through and reorganized our fridge, and cupboards, and walked through our bedroom and spare room. She commented on the laundry (half a basket), my shoes being in my closet, and questioned why my husband had bought a new lampshade for our dining room. Mother-In-Law also made comments on what I wore (mainly in the summer). When I tell her what I’m cooking for dinner, she will ask how am I making it? does my husband like that? and sometimes she asks me to send photos of what I made.
My husband is in his 30s. Our cultures are slightly clashing. We spoke about our living arrangements before our Hindi wedding. We initially got registered and were happy with the small, low-key ceremony. However, due to his families wishes, we had another wedding that they class as our ‘official marriage date’.
I can not stress it enough that I appreciate his family and everything they have done for us, and for him before I came along. But I feel it is time for us to branch off slightly and have the time, space, and opportunity to build a marriage. Right now, there is too much family input from his side.
Post # 7
rw473 : Way too much interference and a complete lack of boundaries. This is not okay. Again, I reinterate that your husband needs to put his foot down and tell his mother to back off.
Post # 8
Yeah her behavior is so out of line. Sit down with your husband and outline your boundaries. It’s his job to stand up to his mother and tell her your boundaries. Stop answering her phone calls so often. Even once a day is too often. If your husband won’t set boundaries then you need couples counseling. Google DWIL nation and post your question there. They are experts at this stuff. They can be harsh but they have good advice as far as how to handle conversations, how to put up boundaries etc.
Post # 9
I’m of Asian Indian decent, so hopefully that gives a little background to what I’m saying.
You need to be direct with your Darling Husband and tell him this enmeshed family arrangement isn’t working for you and is not what you envision for your life together. And you need to have your Darling Husband be frank with you about what he envisions. Because what you’re describing, frankly, is not uncommon in Indian culture and if he’s ok with this, it’s only going to get worse for you. I’m not saying all Indians engage in this style of enmeshment, but it’s not necessarily seen as unhealthy either.
As an example, my parents, who are first gen immigrants to the states, live in my neighborhood. They have the code to our door. They drop in throughout the day to see my kids, use our long distance…my father likes to go through our fridge. I was upfront with my American (European background) Darling Husband when we were dating that this is how it would be if we moved in together bc it would be incredibly offensive to my parents for me to tell them to stop. He understood it and while it irks him from time to time, he was well aware that this was a cultural thing and I wasn’t changing it. If he had a problem with it, we would not have moved in together. We have set other boundaries with my parents – they’re not to drop by without calling in the evenings, we may not necessarily greet/host them if they come by unannounced (we aren’t getting out of bed to say hi) – for example.
All of this is to say, this is completely cultural and if you two can’t reach a workable compromise for the two of you now (before kids), it’s not going to get better. You need to be clear and firm about your boundaries and listen to your Darling Husband to see if you two can find common ground to agree on. Indian mothers are notoriously involved in their sons’ lives (my mom said on more than one occasion that she was glad my dad’s mom was an ocean away and had zero desire to come to the States!).
Post # 10
Before allowing it to go any further, I spoke with my mother in law this afternoon. We are both sensitive by nature and were both bottling things up to spare the feelings of each other. After explaining how I felt, she was able to clarify her intentions and hadn’t realized that they were a little too much for me. She said I am like her daughter and she didn’t realize she was overstepping. In turn, I told her I understand her son means so much to her and that I never wanted or want to offend her or her family.
I think as we go forward, we will continue to learn about each other and I will accept how much she enjoys our company, and she will also accept that we will spend some time apart.
Like I said, we are both sensitive by nature and were both bottling our feelings up. After we spoke today, just her and I, I feel better and I know she does.
My husband is understanding and has always treated his mother with respect. His mother told me it will take sometime for her to adjust to him being gone more often, and asked to do so bit by bit.
I appreciate everyones feedback. It meant a lot to me. We are young and in our first few months of marriage.