I’ve been married almost 11 years and we have one son who’s 8. We’ve come to realize that we probably shouldn’t have married, at least not as soon as we did. I don’t think either of us was prepared enough. But, with that being said, we do love each other, have worked at staying together and have both matured considerably. All in all, we have a good marriage.
The problem is that his mother is very manipulative and attacks backhandedly. I could go into detail, but I’d have to make sure you’re sitting down to hear it! The problem for us is that my husband doesn’t “see it” and it couldn’t be more obvious. I’ve tried to at first ignore it thinking that she was just getting used to the idea that her son had another woman in his life. Then I tried dropping ‘hints’ that this behavior was inappropriate and that I was offended. I spoke to my husband many, many times expecting him to deal with it (they are his parents after all!) to the point that he thought I ‘nagged’ him. So then I tried not to mention anything at all which only built my resentment and allowed her to continue. He’s told me to deal with ‘my own problems’ so I’ve confronted his mom several times. I spent over a year in counseling when our son was about 2 yrs. old. I recently spent time with my parish priest who suggested we seek counseling.
My husband’s very open and willing to seek help up to the point where our counselor said that he needed to deal with his parents and to stop allowing me to be the ‘bad’ guy. When I mentioned some of the problems I’ve had with his parents, she looked at me as if to say, “whoa!” Yes, it’s been that bad and again, very obvious. My husband really does want to work through our “marriage problems,” but cannot bring himself to admit (even to himself) that this is really what his parents are like. He’s an ‘only’ child and I believe that his parents control him with guilt. I have tried to just avoid them as much as possible to keep my own sanity, but he confronts me with “you never see my parents anymore.” It’s as if he’s two different people. He’ll attack in regard to his parents, but when I confront him about it, he’ll deny that he said it or that’s what he meant - and do the same with them. On the one side, we have a very normal relationship; we’ver earned respect and appreciation for each other even though we have very normal marrital problems: finances, time-management, communication. These we work on. But his parents are ‘untouchable.’ Our counselor told him that I have very good insight and that even though he didn’t see it, he needed to respect my insight; that I’m not telling lies. She even set up a meeting for him and his mom to visit with her where he would establish some ground rules. He couldn’t do it and he canceled the meeting telling the counselor that we had talked about it and would continue to talk about it; that we’d call her if we needed more advice. What I had told him was that I could see that he wasn’t ready to confront his mom (I feel it’s pointless to confront her when he isn’t even ready to admit to himself that she’s a problem)and that he should cancel the appointment with her (his mom), but that we still need counceling.
He said he feels like he’s disrespecting his parents (he’s refering to the 4th commandment - please keep in mind that he’s not a baptized christian and has recently told me that he’s not going with us to church anymore). I have prayed for him and myself, I’ve offered sacrifices and my sufferings. I know that I cannot change him, but this problem is going to tear us apart. I want to continue with counseling, but I’m afraid to push because he knows that I think the problem is his.
My husband and I have come a long way in our relationship and especially for our son’s sake, we don’t want to seperate. But we’re hurting and we need help. What should I do?