31 Jul
My Parents Are Ruining My Marriage!

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!!

Signed,

Stuck in the Middle
_________________________________________

Dear Stuck,

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.

Good luck,

Marinka, TMH

8 Responses to “My Parents Are Ruining My Marriage!”

07.31.12#1

Comment by Cate8.

I cannot imagine moving back home. I have been divorced twice…fun times but I am really getting good at overcoming financial doom..;)
No kids, right? that makes it so much easier for you both to work.
Pay rent to your parents.
It’s their house now…. not yours. (Even though my mom still refers to my old room as mine—but really in fact it is the cat’s room-that’s a whole different story)
Save up 1st last & Security and get the heck out.

07.31.12#2

Comment by Alexandra.

Wise, yet playful advice.

I can offer none: only that this was almost our life 3 years ago.

We narrowly escaped it by two weeks time.

We had enough funds to cover mortgage until end of Nov, husband offered job 2nd day of NOvember.

I am still wiping the sweat off my brow.

Life and stories like this make me want to walk around saying to everyone who thinks I should live my life exactly like theirs, “What’s it to you.”

Really, What’s it to you.

That, and “Leave me alone.”

07.31.12#3

Comment by MommyTime.

I think the idea of paying rent — or of bartering the equivalent in rent in household jobs, grocery shopping, etc., if you are not both working and therefore can’t afford rent — might help. The line about them complaining if your husband wants to rest after working a 12 hour shift suggests to me that they may be asking for more active help around the house from people who are suddenly living with them. Perhaps thinking about ways to be more concrete about the mutual obligations of the blended household will help. Explain to them that his 12-hour shift is exhausting and leaves him feeling not very social (or whatever), so he would like an hour to himself when he first comes home. But you will do … whatever it is. You get the point. I think you all just need to be more explicit about your expectations. Good luck finding stable jobs and getting back on your feet fast!

Danielle Reply:

Agreed you genious you!

08.01.12#4

Comment by Danielle.

I lived with my husbands family for 5 months. We almost divorced. Imagine stepping out of the shower only to wrap a towel full of your BIL’s, ummm, self pleasure extract. You’ve got it good!

Cate8 Reply:

ewwwww (good description, though)

02.18.13#5

Comment by I Cannot Study Under These Conditions | The Mouthy Housewives.

[…] and still living with my parents. After my sister and her husband had a child, they decided to move back home while saving for a house. It’s totally ridiculous because there is no room here. Anyways, my […]

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