Sat | Dec 10, 2016

Troubles with mother-in-law

Published:Tuesday | October 21, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Q: I am having trouble with my husband and his mother. I do not feel that my husband stands up for me when his mother visits our home and is disrespectful to me. The only saving grace about her is that she gets along very well with our son. They have a warm relationship and she treats him well. She is always buying presents for him. She did not want her son to get married to me. She thought I was not good enough for him. He has a masters' degree and has a very good job. In addition, he paid my way to get a first degree. I am from a poor background. He bought me my first car. Now, we are planning our first overseas trip and he wants to take his mother. I believe that she is the one pushing to come. He is claiming that a trip together will help the relationship between his mother and I. In addition, my mother is overseas and he feels it would be good for the grandmothers to be together. My mother-in-law is not in the best of health and my mother has no time to be catering to her. Furthermore, we are planning to take our son to some fun places which would not be appropriate for her. I told him that I do not want her on the trip. However, he has already bought the airline tickets. Am I being unreasonable?

A: It was silly and dictatorial of your husband to buy the airline tickets without consulting you. He is using his superior economic earning power to have his way. He can change the airline ticket and she can use it another time. If he wants to take his mother for a vacation that is a good idea. However, you need time with your husband to sort out your issues. Sometimes a vacation provides time to discuss issues and have fun. The absence of work stress can facilitate better communication between you and your husband. You do not need a stressor such as your mother-in-law on this trip. If this trip does not help the marriage then both of you need to consult a counsellor.

There will be other opportunities to sort out issues with your mother-in-law. You both need to have a heart-to-heart talk. I would think that by now she would accept you as a daughter-in-law and the mother of her grandson. The potential for a civil relationship is encouraging based on the reality that she adores her grandson. It could be that she is treating her grandson well in an attempt to show you up. However, do not worry about her motives but accept the good relationship. Perhaps her not being on your overseas vacation could send a message to her to change her ways.

You need to have a frank discussion with your husband and politely tell him that you do not want your mother- in-law on this maiden trip. Tell him that after the relationships improves then next time she might be able to join the family trip. However, there is no space for baggage on a fun trip. In addition, you should let him know that you do not appreciate him not challenging his mother's treatment of you.

All the best on your family vacation and marriage.

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