Dear Manay Gina,
My husband and I have been married almost three years, and we have a 17-month-old daughter. We live in the same subdivision as my husband’s mother. The thing is, she isn’t nice to me. Because our relationship is strained, my daughter is also not close to her grandma. However, my husband is always defending her. I need advice about how to handle this situation, because it is starting to drive a wedge between me and my husband.
There is sometimes inherent rivalry between mothers of sons and the women they marry. But if things are as you say, you need to have a major dialogue with your husband.
Does he value the relationship with her over you and your child? Why does he think her shabby treatment of you is acceptable? Is he not concerned that she is not accepting her role as a grandmother?
A rational discussion should yield an agreement that his loyalty is to you. It may be useful to sit down with her and ask what the problem is, though I suspect you may have tried this. A couple’s counselor might be needed to help you sort this out.
I personally believe all mothers should know their place. Mothers that interfere, know they are interfering. An elder in the family, or a spiritual adviser should also talk with your mother-in-law regarding her treatment of you.
Some resolution is necessary, because otherwise, your marriage will be in trouble. In the meantime, try to do things that will build your confidence and respect for yourself, until you get the strength to stand up and do what’s needed in your relationship at home. And if anything ever becomes out of control at home towards you or your child’s health, it is always better to walk away.
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“An ideal wife is any woman who has an ideal husband.”
– Booth Tarkington
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