Dear Mouthy Housewives,
I have a situation at home. I love my husband and everything is great between us, but in the last 8 months we went through alot of financial hardship, we both lost our jobs and were on unemployment for a long period of time and had to move in with my parents for the time being.
Ever since we have been at their place, there has been a lot of tension between my parents and husband. My parents are constantly judging and critisizing my husband for choices he makes. Even if he is working, they wonder how he can rest after doing a 12 hour shift. I am always stuck in the middle, my mother is always unhappy no matter what my husband does, and she feels like he is not following normal rules of behavior.
We are two different generations in one home and my mother does not agree with a lot of our decisions, but I feel like she should respect them. I just feel like they are trying to control my marriage and it is causing tension between me and my husband. I feel like my mother is trying to make issues because she does not approve of my husband after 4 years of marriage…Please help!!
Stuck in the Middle
I really feel for you. Because you and your husband are emerging from the trauma of financial stress and are dealing with its residuals.
Although you were fortunate that you were able to move in with your parents, as you’ve well seen, it has come at a price. Sometimes when adult children return home, even for a brief visit, both sides revert to the roles they had years ago, when everyone was younger and more energetic. When children move in, the dynamic is magnified. This means that your parents get to voice their disapproval of the boy you brought home and you get to feel that they’re being unfair and don’t understand you and never will! (This can be followed by a door slam, but that’s totally your call.)
And it is unfair. Because the reasons that you are now living with them are no one’s fault (At least no one in your family. ::Shaking fist at the economy::). And because that boy is now your husband, a man who works to provide for his family, and one who treats you well. And your parents, despite what I assume are their best intentions, have absolutely no business taking their frustrations out on him and making him feel like he is not good enough.
The tricky thing is that you are living with your parents, so they may not take kindly to your letting them know how hurtful they are being.
But you need to tell them anyway because not only us your relationship with them is at stake, so is your relationship with your husband.
Let your parents know that you appreciate them letting you move in, and that you realize that the situation is not ideal. Your parents must already know the precarious state of the economy, but remind them that blaming and criticizing your husband is a bad approach. Explain that you and your husband are partners and that you are doing the best you can under the circumstances. Ask them what the two of you can do to make the living arrangement easier for everyone. Be prepared to make some suggestions that take into account your and your husband’s strengths. For example, if one of you is handy, offer to fix some things that could probably use it. If the other is a great cook, ask your parents what nights would be best to prepare dinner.
If your parents are not receptive to the conversation or if it seems that they are simply unable or unwilling to change their attitude towards your husband, you need to think about moving out. I am unclear from your question if whether you or your husband are now working. If you are trying to build up a nest egg before moving, that plan may have to be expedited. Or you may need to seek temporary housing until you get the place you want and can afford. Yes, it’s a financial burden, but living with your parents is becoming too emotionally expensive.