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User Topic: Does a man have to choose between his wife & his mother?
mchercheur
Member
Member # 37735
Default  Posted: 1:06 PM, September 6th (Friday)

Shouldn't a person's primary loyalty be to their spouse?

What do healthy boundaries look like in a marriage re: a spouses parents?


together 25 yrs, married 24 yrs, 4 children;Rebuilding
D Day: 5/10/2011 PA
OW: WH's co-worker,divorced, no children, 20 yrs younger than I-----& she knew he was married, had met our kids, but that did not stop her from trying to destroy our family

Posts: 1095 | Registered: Dec 2012
simplydevastated
Member
Member # 25001
Default  Posted: 1:13 PM, September 6th (Friday)

Yes, their loyalties should come to the spouse and children (if any) first. They are now the immediate family.

Healthy boundaries will be different for each family. Some families blend well with the in laws and there's no issues. Some in laws don't know when to step back and let their children be the adults that they are.

My best advice will be to sit down with your husband and discuss what is wrong between his family members and your marriage and then decide on what are the best boundaries for your marriage.

Some in laws may not see what they are doing as a problem and having an open discussion with them is all that's needed.

Of course, that's in a perfect world.

Good luck


Me - BS, 39 (I'm not old...I'm vintage)
Two Wonderful children - DS10, DD7
Married, for now... (4+ D-Day's, listed in profile)


Posts: 5375 | Registered: Jul 2009 | From: In the darkest depths of hell!
Blobette
Member
Member # 36519
Default  Posted: 1:24 PM, September 6th (Friday)

My MIL is controlling and toxic and never wanted WH to marry me. She has said all kinds of nasty things about me. My WH has never given into this and has always made it clear that I came first. OTOH, I never said "it's her or me". His mother had a hard, hard life (she was put on a train at age 11 and never saw her parents again -- Holocaust) and is terrified of losing WH, I think. Because I was comfortable knowing that I came first (we moved to the States, after all), I was also able to support his minimal contact with her (weekly phone call). However, given what we now know about how much her behavoir shaped how he is now, perhaps that wasn't a good thing!

Here's an example of how nasty she is: my WH is infertile and our children are the product of donor sperm. His mother actually told him that she doesn't regard our children as "really her grandchildren" in the same way that WH's nephew is. Can you imagine a mother saying that to her son? Egads...


BS (me): 49
WS: 50
Married: 25 yrs
Kids: 2
OW: Co-worker, 7 yr LTA
DD 8/1/2012, Working on R

Posts: 1036 | Registered: Aug 2012
mchercheur
Member
Member # 37735
Default  Posted: 1:29 PM, September 6th (Friday)

Thanks for your responses.

Although I tried to be a good daughter-in-law before WH's A, my MIL has been a huge problem in my marriage from the beginning. She lives 5 min. away from us.

During WH's A, she made excuses for him & blamed me. She is an unremorseful WW & OW herself, as well as a controlling narcissist, but has always stated that she hasn't done anything wrong.

Since WH has moved back home, she has tried to pretend like nothing has happened---so I decided to end my relationship with her (have been trying to eliminate toxic people from my life)-----have only seen her for 3 family life events (funerals,graduations, etc.) during which times I acted polite but tried not to have any interaction with her.
I have not prevented her from seeing her son or her grandchildren--she can see them as much as she likes.


When I try to talk to WH about this, he states:
"You are trying to make me choose between you & her."

My response to him up until now has been that he should just keep the 2 relationships separate.

But now I am thinking: Do I have the right to insist that he choose between us?

Maybe what's at the heart of the problem is that I still don't feel sure that I am WH's # 1 priority.
He says I am, but in my gut I don't feel that that is true.


together 25 yrs, married 24 yrs, 4 children;Rebuilding
D Day: 5/10/2011 PA
OW: WH's co-worker,divorced, no children, 20 yrs younger than I-----& she knew he was married, had met our kids, but that did not stop her from trying to destroy our family

Posts: 1095 | Registered: Dec 2012
Blameitontherain
Member
Member # 37476
Default  Posted: 1:34 PM, September 6th (Friday)

When a person says "I do" they are creating their own immediate family and loyalty should be to them. Mothers, fathers, siblings, etc all became extended family. This is how it should be in a perfect world.

I too am battling in law issues in our marriage. I don't think WH and I will ever see eye to eye on it. It sucks that I feel like I come in second place based on the way WH and his father have treated me in the past. WH says he understands where he was wrong to do things in the past and it wont happen anymore. Trouble is I am afraid to let fil back into our lives for fear WH will not back up his words.


Posts: 273 | Registered: Nov 2012
mchercheur
Member
Member # 37735
Default  Posted: 1:40 PM, September 6th (Friday)

Yes , I for sure know how it feels to be treated like a "second class citizen". That's how MIL treated me for years. Anytime a problem arose between us (like if she undermined my parenting), she told WH that I am overly sensitive, or that I'm the one with the problem. WH was used to seeing the world thru her eyes. I feel that her influence caused great damage to our marriage.
Blameitontherain, if I were you, I would think twice before letting such a toxic influence back into your life.


together 25 yrs, married 24 yrs, 4 children;Rebuilding
D Day: 5/10/2011 PA
OW: WH's co-worker,divorced, no children, 20 yrs younger than I-----& she knew he was married, had met our kids, but that did not stop her from trying to destroy our family

Posts: 1095 | Registered: Dec 2012
Lovedyoumore
Member
Member # 35593
Default  Posted: 1:41 PM, September 6th (Friday)

Thanks to major FOO issues, I married a damaged person. He had a cold abusive father and a smothering passive aggressive mother. I was too young and ignorant to see it at the time of our marriage. His mother treated me like the OW in her life. She quietly made comments to mt H about my ineptness. She wanted to talk about our sex life and other personal issues with my H. Sometimes he ignored her and sometimes he talked. She lied about me to her friends and treated our two children differently than her other grandchildren.

We went to marriage counseling over 15 years ago and his relationship with his parents was a familiar topic. The MC told him to chose between me and his parents and when he chose me, the MC told him he needed to emotionally divorce his mother. To his credit, for the most part, my H did divorce her. It was not pretty and they had just started to properly mend 3 years ago when she died in a horrific accident. Her death and his guilt started his downward spiral into his A.

So yes, her behavior forced my H to choose between me and her. Even though it was the proper choice, in some ways I ultimately paid a huge price for taking her little man.


Me 52
WH 52
Married 30+ years
Together trying to R

I tell people I am tired but really my heart is broken and I am sad.


Posts: 1201 | Registered: May 2012 | From: South
mchercheur
Member
Member # 37735
Default  Posted: 1:52 PM, September 6th (Friday)

Blobette, I sent you a PM


together 25 yrs, married 24 yrs, 4 children;Rebuilding
D Day: 5/10/2011 PA
OW: WH's co-worker,divorced, no children, 20 yrs younger than I-----& she knew he was married, had met our kids, but that did not stop her from trying to destroy our family

Posts: 1095 | Registered: Dec 2012
mchercheur
Member
Member # 37735
Default  Posted: 1:56 PM, September 6th (Friday)

His mother treated me like the OW in her life

The MC told him to chose between me and his parents and when he chose me, the MC told him he needed to emotionally divorce his mother

Yes, I feel like there is some kind of emotional incest going on between WH & his mother.


together 25 yrs, married 24 yrs, 4 children;Rebuilding
D Day: 5/10/2011 PA
OW: WH's co-worker,divorced, no children, 20 yrs younger than I-----& she knew he was married, had met our kids, but that did not stop her from trying to destroy our family

Posts: 1095 | Registered: Dec 2012
StillGoing
Member
Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 1:57 PM, September 6th (Friday)

I would choose my balls in a desk drawer over my mother.

eta:

SLAMMED in that drawer.

eta again:

By a robot arm attached to cyborg Fabio telling me I will never be as handsome or wonderful as he is.

[This message edited by StillGoing at 1:59 PM, September 6th (Friday)]


“Fate is a fickle bitch who dotes on irony.”

Posts: 7115 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
wincing_at_light
Member
Member # 14393
Default  Posted: 2:02 PM, September 6th (Friday)

A dude answers: Yes, he does.

He should continue to honor and respect his mother, but his primary concern should be toward his wife.

If my mom ever thought I was giving her preference over my wife, she'd hit me upside the head with a frying pan...but she'd be sure to defer if my wife wanted to brain me first.

That said, if my wife ever told me I had to choose between her and my mother, I'm not sure how I'd react to an ultimatum like that -- because it would amount to a threat of emotional harm towards my mom on some level.

(Fortunately, that's never been an issue in my marriage.)


Machiavellian idiot savant

Posts: 6687 | Registered: Apr 2007 | From: Indiana
tryinginmi
Member
Member # 29358
Default  Posted: 2:04 PM, September 6th (Friday)

Yes. When we marry we are choosing our spouse. Unfortunately many do not understand what that truly means. My WH is mommas golden boy. Her influence caused more damage than anything else to my marriage. I truly believe WH never would have had an affair if it was not for her.


Me - BW 38
Him - FWH 38
Her - MOW 46 Fat Assed Toothless Man Faced Whore!!!

DD#1 July 28, 2010 Admitted to EA. A went underground.
DD#2 August 19,2010 Admitted PA


Posts: 954 | Registered: Aug 2010 | From: Michigan
Blameitontherain
Member
Member # 37476
Default  Posted: 2:16 PM, September 6th (Friday)

Mcherchuer have no fear, fil isn't back in my life only WH's. I was asking WH if fil thought anything they did was wrong, he said he didn't know what fil thought. I asked how was I ever to give fil a third chance (yes, third chance as I had already wiped the slate clean before but they fudged it up again) if fil won't acknowledge any wrong doing? WH says I don't think I want my fil interacting with you since all you will do is pick him apart and scrutinize him. Hell yes I will- he is a threat to my marriage and family. I would be on guard. We are at a stalemate.

Posts: 273 | Registered: Nov 2012
mchercheur
Member
Member # 37735
Default  Posted: 2:25 PM, September 6th (Friday)

That said, if my wife ever told me I had to choose between her and my mother, I'm not sure how I'd react to an ultimatum like that -- because it would amount to a threat of emotional harm towards my mom on some level.


wincing,
I haven't yet said it. But what I want is for WH to have the balls to confront her---instead of going along with her in pretending that nothing has happened. His excuse is that she will never change.


together 25 yrs, married 24 yrs, 4 children;Rebuilding
D Day: 5/10/2011 PA
OW: WH's co-worker,divorced, no children, 20 yrs younger than I-----& she knew he was married, had met our kids, but that did not stop her from trying to destroy our family

Posts: 1095 | Registered: Dec 2012
heathenchristian
Member
Member # 40060
Wink  Posted: 9:24 PM, September 6th (Friday)

I have told my WH this many times, that I am the one he should talk to about our marriage not his mom.
She is a nice person and means no harm, but she just needs to be in everyone's business.
If you saw the call logs to his mom....150min, 55min, 230min....
It's crazy.


If you don't want me at my worst, maybe I won't need you at my best.
DDAY 1 - not sure but it was July, Aug or Sept 2010 (supposed bj from hooker)
DDAY 2 - 7-22-2013 she was the made up hooker

Posts: 99 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: IL
Tearsoflove
Member
Member # 8271
Default  Posted: 9:42 PM, September 6th (Friday)

Blobette,

Good for you for trying to be understanding under the circumstances. However, given that MIL said this:

that she doesn't regard our children as "really her grandchildren" in the same way that WH's nephew is.
I'm wondering how your husband resisted the urge to say: "That's okay, the kids don't think of you as their grandmother, either."

If my mom ever thought I was giving her preference over my wife, she'd hit me upside the head with a frying pan...but she'd be sure to defer if my wife wanted to brain me first.

Awesome Mom, WAL.

I'm the same way with my kids. Of course, I expect respect but the person they choose is who should come first. And if I've taught them anything about people, they'd never choose someone who made them choose between us.


Me: BS
Him: FWS
3 kids

DD#1: 3/18/2003
DD#2: 9/28/2010 with a follow up on 1/28/2011 where he decided to come clean about the EA actually being a PA.

The OW could have been anybody and both turned out to be nobody special.


Posts: 3779 | Registered: Sep 2005
tryinginmi
Member
Member # 29358
Default  Posted: 9:57 PM, September 6th (Friday)

I highly recommend the book Toxic In-Laws. It probably helped us more than anything else.


Me - BW 38
Him - FWH 38
Her - MOW 46 Fat Assed Toothless Man Faced Whore!!!

DD#1 July 28, 2010 Admitted to EA. A went underground.
DD#2 August 19,2010 Admitted PA


Posts: 954 | Registered: Aug 2010 | From: Michigan
Hearthache again
Member
Member # 28564
Default  Posted: 12:29 AM, September 7th (Saturday)

That said, if my wife ever told me I had to choose between her and my mother, I'm not sure how I'd react to an ultimatum like that -- because it would amount to a threat of emotional harm towards my mom on some level.

I understand your reasoning behind this. But, you seem to have a great mother that would also stand up for your wife. Many of us do not have that. We have MIL that will flat out treat us like crap and our H's let it happen. I think in these situations a statement like this is more "You stand up for me or I am leaving." Which is a very reasonable thing to ask for.

Yes, this statement is drastic. It sometimes has to be in cases like mine and the other ones described. I made a statement much like this to my H. His mother has gone so far as to physically hit me. When I called and told her what I thought about her involvement in the A(she was a minor player in it). She called me every name in the book and said I deserved it. I put my foot down. Told my H "You stand up for me and put major boundaries in place(including going over there without me for a long time because she would allow OW#1 over at her house all the time) or I am gone." I will no longer let her emotionally abuse me or my children through her treatment of me.

I never once told my H he was not to talk to her or see her. I even suggested ways that they could keep a strong bond around the boundaries.

I do however see your point in the statement. This in a normal relationship with a MIL that is not abusive or toxic to the marriage can be very manipulative and can cause emotional harm.

In our situation it has worked out for the better. Once he stood up to her and did not back down things changed. She over time has seen how destructive her behavior was. I am very lucky though. I know people that things never got better.

Shouldn't a person's primary loyalty be to their spouse?
What do healthy boundaries look like in a marriage re: a spouses parents?

Yes, a person's primary loyalty is to ones spouse. Your spouse is going to be the one person you spend most of your time with in life. You are more than likely going to have a longer relationship with your spouse than your parents. Well at least time spent with them.

Healthy boundaries include: Mutual respect for one another. You always have the last word when dealing with children and decision making with in your house. If they do not agree they should respect you decision anyways. Time spent should be Spouse, children, then parents. When it comes to holidays being open to new traditions and celebrating them on other days due to your new family. Not having to know everything that goes on between you and your spouse. Calling and coming over at appropriate times and duration(each family is different). Listening to each others needs and wants. Above all else abide by the Golden Rule.

I hope that gives you a little idea of what healthy boundaries look like.

[This message edited by Hearthache again at 12:34 AM, September 7th (Saturday)]


Me-BS(32)
Him-WS(35)
Married-12 years together 13
Kids 4: 15, 12, 8, and 3
DDay#1 9-26-2008 Dday#2 4-26-2010
We have R!!! But I still hate the number 26!

This too shall pass
I edit a lot because that stupid box is so small!


Posts: 871 | Registered: May 2010 | From: Michigan
mchercheur
Member
Member # 37735
Default  Posted: 10:07 AM, September 7th (Saturday)

Many of us do not have that. We have MIL that will flat out treat us like crap and our H's let it happen.

^^^^^This is my problem.

I think in these situations a statement like this is more "You stand up for me or I am leaving." Which is a very reasonable thing to ask for.

I have been trying to ask WH to stand up for me. But he is afraid to confront his mother.

So, I guess my choice is to live with it this way or not to continue on in trying to R .


together 25 yrs, married 24 yrs, 4 children;Rebuilding
D Day: 5/10/2011 PA
OW: WH's co-worker,divorced, no children, 20 yrs younger than I-----& she knew he was married, had met our kids, but that did not stop her from trying to destroy our family

Posts: 1095 | Registered: Dec 2012
shatteredheart7
Member
Member # 39734
Default  Posted: 11:03 AM, September 7th (Saturday)

IMHO, a man shouldn't have to chose between his mother and his wife unless the mother will not treat his wife with respect. Then the wife should take priority over the mother.

My MIL, on the day we got married told my mom that she wished he had found me years before but yet she told me that she wanted a family picture taken at the wedding, of just her, FIL, DH and his brother. That told me who she felt her family was.

When he started the A he stopped asking me to go to his parents with him. Probably because he was using visits with them as his alibi when he was visiting OW. I have not spoken to his mother since March of 2010, she had called me a couple of days before she was admitted to the hospital psych ward for 5 months. She is severely bi polar and they haven't found a med that will help her. When she got home he never asked me to go with him to see her, and honestly I was relieved.
When I moved out his parents offered to pay for the best divorce attorney in town. They have said that I was "making him miserable". He couldn't seem to tell them what he had done, so I emailed them and told them. He confirmed everything I had told them. They still blame me! They treat strangers better than me. His mom calls him a couple times a week and tries to give him the guilt trip about not having the time to come see them because of me. I have emailed them and told them that I would never tell him he couldn't have anything to do with them, that it is his decision entirely if he wants to see them. He has told them that as long as they continue to treat me like they do then he will not make special time to see them and he will only be around if he has the free time and feels like it, that me and my kids are his family and his #1 priority now. His mother has said things like... "I won't be around for to much longer so she(me) won't have to deal with me for long" I ignore them. If we run into them in town and they stop to talk to DH I just keep walking. If I stop while he talks to them they act like I am not there anyway. The real kicker in all this, we talked to his parents very good friends about the way they were treating me. They said, they are old (70's) and set in their ways, it will take time for them to forgive her (me). I about choked to death on my anger. Thankfully DH set them straight. But I have given up. Their selfishness and stupidity is going to cost them their son and the only grandchildren they would ever have (my kids)


Me~40
FWH~46
Married 8yrs
Together 11 1/2
Me~ 3 kids, 21,17,14
Him~no kids
A with a mutual "friend" for 2+yrs
He confessed 9/9/12
A was over 2/12
7/13~ Happier than we have been in yrs!

Posts: 240 | Registered: Jul 2013
Topic Posts: 20