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Old 24th April 2001, 06:25 AM   #1
macgyverbw
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Angry Marriage to a wife or Mother in law?

In the context of my first year and a little of my marriage, I have found my wife to be heavily influeced by her mother. This has caused great conflict. How do you steer a marriage away from such an obstacle?
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Old 25th April 2001, 02:38 PM   #2
Liz
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The first few years of marriage can involve a lot of adjustment. One way to look at what is going on is that your wife hasn't taken on board the need to "leave and cleave", to move on from her relationship with her family of origin as being the most important one to create a new family with you. However that leaving is not about leaving behind, but about changing the sort of relationship we have with our parents. It may be that she thinks she has done this. Have you had the opportunity to share some of the expectations you have of marriage and in particular how you see your relationship with your families. Your wife may have different expectations or model of closeness in family. Different doesn't have to be wrong, but it needs to be understood.

It's difficult to grasp from what you've written what the real issues are that you are contending with and what is causing the conflict. Are you feeling left out and ignored by your wife, or do you strongly disagree with the advice your mother-in law is giving her. It is important not to force your wife into a situation where she feels she has to "lose" her relationship with her mother, but at the same time for the health of your marriage your relationship with each other must be the priority.
I would suggest that you do the best you can to build up your relationship with your wife to draw her to you. The challenge from the scriptures in Ephesians chapter 5 is a huge one for the husband. He is asked to love his wife as his own body, to love his wife as Christ loves the church, whom He gave his life for. That sort of love is powerful. You could ask God to give you that sort of love for your wife.

You might like to look at some of the articles on conflict and communication and in particular in our Relationship Basics section. Conflict is not necessarily damaging to your relationship. Some issues do need to be worked through, but you both need to be clear what the issue is you are trying to sort out and not just be pulled down into hurt and accusation.

There are a number of books and programmes you can use to build up your marriage. David and I found Marriage Encounter really helped us to draw close and understand each other, but there are lots of other excellent programmes.

As you strengthen the bond between you, the bond with her mother will become less of an issue.

[This message has been edited by Liz (edited 25 April 2001).]
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Old 11th June 2009, 03:41 AM   #3
us marriage
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Re: Marriage to a wife or Mother in law?

My wife and I have been together for three years now and we've got a two year old daughter and I have a seven year old son from a previous relationship. My mother-in-law was fine until my daughter was born - from that point onwards my wife and her became abnormally close - they would phone/sms each other 5 to 10 times a day, my mother-in-law would drive three hours to spend the day at our house every Wednesday and my wife would spend at least one long-weekend at my parents-in-law's house per month. My wife even invited her parents to attend our first wedding anniversary dinner!

During this period my mother-in-law started interfering in our marriage Ė some examples; she would continually criticize me about small things, keep track of every detail of our marriage, didn't respect privacy and just generally tried to take control of our household. I initially mentioned to my wife in a gentle manner that I wasn't happy about this, but she did nothing to stop it. In parallel to this, my wife started to become very cold towards my son with her parents almost ignoring him while lavishing attention on their granddaughter. My previous wife passed away from cancer about five years ago, and my son has bonded with my wife, this rejection is doing him a lot of harm and itís showing in his behaviour, school performance, etc.

Eventually this escalated into several direct confrontations between my mother-in-law and me with my wife siding with her mother. This had a major impact on my relationship with my wife, to the extent that our love live collapsed and that our relationship became very acrimonious. The end result is that my wife moved out to go and live with her parents, sheís asking for a divorce and thereís little chance of reconciliation due to her mother poisoning her against me while she lives there. What I donít understand is why my wifeís relationship with her mother became so abnormally intense after our daughter was born? I never experienced this during my first marriage, is this normal? Any suggestions on what I can do to try and save the marriage?
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Old 11th June 2009, 08:46 AM   #4
Raymond
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Re: Marriage to a wife or Mother in law?

Briefly it is pretty obvious that your mother in law excercises a control spirit over her daughter. This is quite powerful as you have discovered. Probably the apron strings have never been severed. It's because the mother has never let her go and is hanging on to her as a child. This will stunt the growth of your wife and she will never be free until she stands up herself against this wrong control. At the moment the mother is succeeding and believe it or not sees you as competition for her daughter.

Control is a really ugly thing underneath it all and will stop at nothing to get it's way. You did well to stand up against it. I believe the mother will be playing on the daughters guilt and will be very clever at it. If you get a chance you need to live as far as possible away from the mother. Does the father see any sense or is he under her control?

It's the daughter who needs to free herself as the mother will never release her voluntarily. Does your wife even know what's going on.

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Old 4th October 2013, 05:44 AM   #5
abc
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Re: Marriage to a wife or Mother in law?

Hi all, i come across this thread after searching the internet and need help on this very mater.

My wife of 11 years has always been controlled by her mother (who happens to contol her family including the father). It come to a point where my wife eats/sits/talk only when her mother tells her to.

What's more is that we now have a new born and she i'm 110% sure is using the baby against me.

Is there anything i can do to safe my marriage?
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Old 4th October 2013, 06:42 AM   #6
chosen
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Re: Marriage to a wife or Mother in law?

abc what do you mean by she is using the baby against you?

There are books that I can recommend for you both to read if you like, that will say what needs to be done, but its really up to your wife to stop this, and to stand up to her mother. If her mother has always controlled her this will be hard, but the alternative is to live under her control until she dies.
In my experience the only way you may be able to stop this is by moving right away, and also limiting contact by phone as well. May seem drastic but if at all possible I would do this.

How does your wife feel about this? Does she wants to get away from this control?
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Old 4th October 2013, 07:12 AM   #7
abc
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Re: Marriage to a wife or Mother in law?

When i say used the baby against me i mean, get me to do things that i don't like, eg go over to her mum's house and socialise. Problem is whenever i go there i get lectured and told what i need to do in life.

Limit contact is not possible since i drop her of and the kid every day and pick them up again after work.

Wife won't read books, won't read anything more than 2 lines long.

Everytime i speak about how i feel about us being parents and that we need to live our own life as a couple we get into a fight.

All along my wife don't see how it effects us saing that he parents only wants the best and that it's normal to lecture their kids.

I've been at odds with her parents since day one after marriage, they think she is too good for me etc.
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Old 4th October 2013, 12:08 PM   #8
chosen
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Re: Marriage to a wife or Mother in law?

Well to her its normal because that is all she knows. Unless she can see what is happening I cant see how you can change it. Are you saying that she goes to her parents with the child every day? If so that is very excessive.

If they think you are not good enough, then they will no doubt speak negative things to her about you, which will not help the marriage.

The thing is that you saw this happening before you married, so what did you think was going to change?. She clearly hasn't cut the apron strings, and seems very immature and dependant on her parents. Unless you can get her to move away I am not sure what you can do. Of course its not normal or healthy for parents to lecture their adult kids. They need to let her go, but I doubt they will unless you both do something.

Would she agree to some marriage counselling?
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Old 4th October 2013, 12:56 PM   #9
abc
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Re: Marriage to a wife or Mother in law?

I know I cannot change her or change her relationship with her mum...it wouldn't be for me to do that but God. Right now i can actually say i'm done...

One day the apron string will be cut and that day she will wake up to herself.

I just hope that day will be sooner rather than later...

So why am i here talking about something this when ..."i'm done"?

I just want to know if anyone is in the same boat as me and what was the outcome for them?
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Old 4th October 2013, 03:24 PM   #10
chosen
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Re: Marriage to a wife or Mother in law?

When you say 'I am done' do you mean you are going to end the marriage? Have you ever calmly and properly sat down with her, and told her just how unhappy you feel and how disrespected this makes you feel? Does she know that you are so desperate?

I would as a last resort, both go to marriage counselling. I would also seriously talk to her about moving away as a way of saving the marriage.
I do know that many marriages do struggle with this senario and some do end, but you have a baby to think of so don't give up yet. Have you pointed out that God says we must leave our parents and join to our spouse?

MY MIL was very controlling, but fortunately my husband had moved to another country and thus escaped her clutches.
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Old 4th October 2013, 06:43 PM   #11
Raymond
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Re: Marriage to a wife or Mother in law?

It will not just happen on it's own one day abc without any action from herself. She has to recognise and want the freedom to be who she should be. Counseling will be a good idea but she will need to see it and then resist the control. It doesn't mean that she cannot love her mother. It just means that she recognises and resists the actual control that comes with it.
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Old 5th October 2013, 12:27 AM   #12
abc
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Re: Marriage to a wife or Mother in law?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chosen View Post
When you say 'I am done' do you mean you are going to end the marriage? Have you ever calmly and properly sat down with her,

Have you pointed out that God says we must leave our parents and join to our spouse?

MY MIL was very controlling, but fortunately my husband had moved to another country and thus escaped her clutches.
I'm done as in done talking and reasoning with her. Every attempt to sit down to discuss rational did not finish rather arguments break out.

She knows i'm very disapproving of her being under controlled and that I let my feelings known even to her parents but she just dishes it. They also don't care and just continue controlling her.

God said the husband to leave his parents not the wife. And I have done that...

Thing is if I do not see her parents when they care for the child (with her) that means not wanting to see my child which means not being a responsible father...that can't happen.
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Old 5th October 2013, 01:23 AM   #13
abc
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Re: Marriage to a wife or Mother in law?

[QUOTE=Raymond;76674]Counseling will be a good idea but she will need to see it and then resist the control.QUOTE]

Counselling will not be an option as she doesn't believe in it nor does her parents...this is the core of the issues they DON'T believe in anything but their own beliefs.

These are the things they believe in.

Only Doctors/Lawyers.
Money talks.
Their way or the highway.
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Old 5th October 2013, 07:58 AM   #14
chosen
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Re: Marriage to a wife or Mother in law?

Quote:
Originally Posted by abc View Post
I'm done as in done talking and reasoning with her. Every attempt to sit down to discuss rational did not finish rather arguments break out.

She knows i'm very disapproving of her being under controlled and that I let my feelings known even to her parents but she just dishes it. They also don't care and just continue controlling her.

God said the husband to leave his parents not the wife. And I have done that...

Thing is if I do not see her parents when they care for the child (with her) that means not wanting to see my child which means not being a responsible father...that can't happen.
God means for us both to leave our parents.
Its sad that she cant care for the child on her own, other mums all do. She is still acting like a child herself, more or less living with her parents again, its very unhealthy. She is putting them first and is putting what they want before what you want.

Write all this down in a letter so as to avoid arguments, and say that this isnt going to continue. If she wants the marriage to work she needs to go to counselling with you and learn what it means to be a wife, to leave her parents and put you first.
Is there a trusted mature Christian couple in your church who you can both go to?
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Old 5th October 2013, 08:00 AM   #15
chosen
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Re: Marriage to a wife or Mother in law?

[QUOTE=abc;76687]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond View Post
Counseling will be a good idea but she will need to see it and then resist the control.QUOTE]

Counselling will not be an option as she doesn't believe in it nor does her parents...this is the core of the issues they DON'T believe in anything but their own beliefs.

These are the things they believe in.

Only Doctors/Lawyers.
Money talks.
Their way or the highway.
It seems she doesn't have a mind of her own at all, and that is because they have always controlled her. I honestly think that moving away may be your only option here, because she isnt mature enough to see what is happening or to do anything about it.
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