Question: Dear Luise: How do I bring my husband and my mother closer together? I have a 1 year-old daughter, and ever since she’s been born, my husband and my mother have been at war. My mother is an overaggressive person and feels like she is entitled to spend all her time with her granddaughter. My husband is a sensitive, private and over protective father and he completely disagrees. Since we live in the same home, it has become a strenuous situation as you can imagine, and has caused a strain between my family and him, with me being in the middle. She constantly wants me to bring the baby upstairs to visit, and he objects because he wants to spend time with his family as well. While I agree with him, I feel he is being too possessive and doesn’t want to compromise. Please help! I am desperate for a resolution. J.
Answer: Dear J.: My take on this is that you need to stand by your husband. You can’t change him or your mother. However, you need to present a united front and set up some boundaries before you move into separate residences, which I hope will be very soon. Seldom, if ever, do two adult women live comfortably under one roof. It is either your roof or your mother’s.
Your mother needs to know that she doesn’t make the rules in your marriage and her overbearing behavior isn’t going to change that. When your husband is home, I think he needs to be with his immediate family…wife and child. When he’s not at home, your mother, as your second consideration, gets to see your child. You need to let her know that’s how it is.
You can’t be the peacemaker. You are an adult and a mother and standing by your husband is not taking sides. It’s how it is. Your mother was once in charge in her own home and that gave her jurisdiction over you. You are no longer under her rule or subject to fulfilling her preferences. That’s the way it is whether she likes it or not.
I’m sure there are other ways to look at this issue. I would like you to come over to my Web-forum at: www.wisewomenunite.com and present it there for further support. Blessings, Luise