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Thursday, 14 September 2000

Q & A: Married to a Mama's Boy

Written by  Silvet Sufar Shalit, PhD

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Q & A: Married to a Mama's Boy

QDear WholeFamily Counselor,

I have been married for three years now to a man who is really sweet but allows his mother to run his life. She wants him to help out with their business and pay him half of what he makes now. I have been totally against this from the beginning of our marriage. Because I have voiced my opinion on the subject (my husband tells his parents everything I say), his mother hates me with a passion. She has verbally abused me so many times in person and on the phone and my husband will not stand up to her.

My children and I are not allowed to go with my husband when he goes over to their house or business. Not that I would even want to. But it is causing a lot of arguments lately as I feel he should not even want to go if we cannot attend. I have tried counseling with him only for him to get mad and end the session. His parents are in their early 80s and he feels because they are elderly, their needs come first.

Please advise. I am so tired of the pain.

Married to a Mama's Boy

ADear "Married to a Mama's Boy,"

You are married to a man who is very attached and involved with his parents. You are very pained by the endless fights with your husband over his parents. You feel that your husband owes his new family his total loyalty while your husband feels that "because they are elderly their needs come first."

The conflict has escalated so much that you, the daughter-in-law and your children, do not join your husband in visits to his parents. This must be extremely painful to your husband as well.

While your pain is understandable, you are fighting a losing battle. You will gain much more support from your husband if you respect and accept his feelings and behavior with his parents, rather than opposing them. You can even be proud of your husband for being the model of a caring adult child to your children. Wouldn't you want your children to be as caring towards you when you are in your early 80s? Your husband is not going to change his behavior at the twilight of his parent's lives. And your in-laws are not going to change either at their age.

My advice to you is to gather all your strength to be the generous and compassionate one. Don't pressure your husband to chose between you and his family of origin. You may find that he will appreciate your new attitude so much that his behavior will change.

Good luck.

Silvet Sufar Shalit PsyD

Last modified on Tuesday, 15 March 2011 16:45
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Silvet Sufar Shalit, PhD

Dr. Silvet Sufar Shalit is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. She is a certified clinical psychologist with twenty years experience in psychotherapy.. She works in a psychiatrist outpatient clinic and has a private practice. with twenty years experience in psychotherapy. Silvet studied acting in New York, freelances as a creative writer and is an accomplished photographer. Silvet Sufar Shalit is the mother of Eitan, a 20-year-old autistic young man.

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