Dr Hedda on Mother-in-Law Trouble

Posted on Mar 12 2013 - 4:44pm by Dr Hedda Mae


Dear Dr. Hedda:
I’m sure you’ve heard this problem before.  It’s my mother-in-law. 
Carol and I have been married for 12 years.  We have two wonderful children who are 7 an 10. She’s a stay at home Mom.
Her mother doesn’t like me.  Hasn’t from the get go.  Never been that warm and loving mother-in-law we all wish for.  Instead she slanders me to her daughter every chance she gets.
If I work late or on weekends it means I don’t really love her or the children.  If I”m late for a meal or late coming home it means I am probably cheating.
At first we both used to laugh about her charges against me.  Lately it’s not been so funny.
I can feel Carol pulling away from me.  Looking at me with a more curious eye.  She’s even starting calling me at work 2-3 times a day – just to say hello.  Her mother has made her suspicious of my every move.
I am not cheating, I am not even flirting.  I work hard to support my family. But my mother-in-law doesn’t believe it.  She says all men cheat and I’m no different.
I’m nothing special, just a guy who loves his family and is in danger of losing it.
What can I do?  I love my wife but she seems to be taking her mothers side more often than before.
Sadly and defeated

Dear Stan:
What can you do, really? You can’t turn a woman against her mother (without some hard proof) you don’t want a divorce and you love your children.
Can you find a way to disprove her?  Start coming home a little earlier, take the kids out for a whole day so your wife can have a quiet day for herself.
Every now and then, surprise her with flowers or a movie night when you have already arranged babysitting and not with your mother-in-law.
If nothing works, ask for a transfer or find a new job that’s too far away for her to drop by at a moment’s or no notice.
You can’t change your mother-in-law.  You can’t change your wife.  You may have to make change to keep the things and people you love. Sometimes life is not fair.
This may some like I am writing about someone who is stalking you.  Well, I am.
Dr. Hedda

About the Author

Dr Hedda Mae is a psychotherapist based in Oregon. She has been in private practice in both the clinical and private sectors and has spent many years as a national lecturer on subjects such as family dynamics, childhood and adult personality disorders and multicultural psychiatry. She can be reached at - hedda@romancebeat.com

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