“Hi. Sending love from [REDACTED]. I’m a married gay man and my mother-in-law is a monster-in-law.
Goes on every dinner. Takes trips w/us. He has to lie to her when we go hang with friends to let her down “easy”
When I talk about it – I’m complaining and I “don’t like his family”
Love you lotz. 🙂
My Dearest Bad Biddie,
Your husband is not wrong, because the the truth is that you don’t like at least part of his family. The issue is not so much that you don’t like your mother-in-law, the issue is that you don’t feel like you have a right to voice any objection about the highly unusual fact that your mother-in-law feels entitled to intrude upon your married life. And, while this will likely be of little solace to you, I hope you can take some comfort in the knowledge that you’re not the first man, nor will you be the last, to dislike his in-laws. If my DMs are any indication, the world is filled with people who fell in love with their partner before realizing that blood is not always thicker than water, especially when that blood is by marriage.
You’re likely never going to change the fact that your mother-in-law knows no boundaries, but what you and your husband need to change is the fact that you should always be batting for the same team. As it stands, your husband has shut down any attempt at a productive conversation about how abnormal it is for two grown, married men to be accompanied by a parent on every dinner date and multiple vacations. He has made it clear that he has and will, at least for now, continue to prioritize his mom’s feelings over yours, and, moreover, is gaslighting you into believing that you are somehow the problem for not wanting to third wheel his relationship with his mom.
I urge you to first, make a conscious effort to approach your husband about his mom from a place of understanding. Ask him why he wants his mom on every dinner date and vacation. No one does anything they don’t want to do, and from where I’m standing, it appears that your husband finds comfort in having his mom around more than usual. I find it hard to believe that she would be such a fixture in your life if your husband didn’t, on some level, want her to be. By approaching your husband from a place of wanting to understand, you might just open up a part of your husband that he, subconsciously or not, hasn’t been able to share with you, and from there, you can come to some sort of compromise where, perhaps, your mother-in-law comes over for dinner once a month rather than every week, or your husband makes time to see her on his own more frequently, etc.
Of course, there is the likelihood that, even with your great effort in coming from a place of understanding, your husband is still unwilling to productively speak about this issue. If this is the case, you have a choice to make and it’s whether you can tolerate the life you know now or whether some time apart could serve you both well. Your husband, to an extent, has come to realize that, for all your complaining, you’re still around, and he still gets to have both his husband and his mom the way he wants it. It’s not healthy, and it’s likely not the marriage you signed up for. We all make compromises in marriage, and right now, the only person compromising anything is you. Some time apart could be the wake up call your husband needs to realize that constantly prioritizing his mom’s needs before yours is not the way forward. As drastic as the above sounds, it’s unrealistic to expect our lives to change by doing what we’ve always done. I hope, in any case, you choose to do something you’ve never done before, because you deserve, at the very least, more than what you’ve already been given.
Your internet hype woman
Hey there, I’m sending lots of love. Like Anna said, you don’t have a problem with mother in law, the problem is with your partner. You must have the conversation. I’m sure you fell in love with a lovely person but you were not aware of the situation with his mother. As a person with a very intrusive parent who knows no boundaries I have to tell you a couple of things that might be of some insight. Having a parent like that is a constant battle. It’s abuse, yet not the violent kind so that you can feel justified enough to close the door behind you and never speak to your parent ever again. Which sometimes is the only thing that works. It’s more likely you spend a tremendous amount of energy throughout your day to keep on bargaining about your boundaries. You have to lie, or to fight ,or I don’t know what else ,and it’s exhausting. The older you get the more exhausting and embarrassing it gets. Wrong. Embarrassing it is when you are young and you want to go out with your friends for a beer. If you are a grown, accomplished person and you have a personal life of your own, it’s straight on humiliating. I’ve experienced that a week ago when I had to live with my mother for a couple of days because I needed to fix some damage in my own place and she made my life hell. If I could then I would have stayed anywhere else but none of my friends could take me in and I couldn’t pay for a hotel room or something. I should feel grateful to my mother for taking me in at this time of need but at the same time every part of me felt violated by her presence. Which feels humiliating and you feel ungrateful and your whole excistance feels wrong. So there is likely that there will come a point that you give up the fight. Especially when you have got to a point when you have some things that are important to you. Like your partner has you. It’s more likely that he just tolerates his mother and he feels horribly about it which makes it hard to set boundaries. It’s also possible that he feels attached to his mother for some reason. If the first is right, he needs support to set his boundaries. And definitely needs therapy. You are not obliged to provide this support if you can’t. But it is what it takes to keep your life your partner. Else, you have to make a very hard decision.