Marriage and the Husband-Wife Relationship/five in a relationship
I have been married to my husband for years and have five wonderful children. After I married I moved to a small country town where my husband lives, right next door to my in-laws. At first things were sort of okay, but now I just can't stand the whole situation. In my marriage there are at least five people, that my husband seems to prioritize, first there is my mother-in-law (whom is 90 years old) whom my husband runs after and is at her beck and call 24/7, then there is my brother-in-law whom has down syndrome (52 years old) that my husband wants to eventually move in with us, then there is my bossy and over bearing sister-in-law and her two children that make phone calls to my husband demanding him to take her to appointments etc that she has arranged for her, and after this long list he might be able to spare a thought for me and his own family. I have become increasingly unhappy in our relationship and have asked him to move few houses down the road into our other house, but each time I mention it he gets upset and says that his mum needs him and that we will have to wait for her to pass away before we can move anywhere and my mother-in-law breaks into tears or says things such as I think that I am ready to die now, and of course my husband panics and nothing ever gets resolved. I don't feel that I am getting anything out of our relationship anymore and that my husband has no time for our children.
ANSWER: Hi Eve~
That has got to be very tough for you to cope and deal with. I can totally understand him taking care of his mother and even his brother. However, there have to be boundaries. He allows this and it's been affecting your marriage and relationship ever since. It's already taking such a huge toll on you and even the kids. You and your family should be first priority not his mother and the rest of his family. He married YOU. He's letting them come between you and the marriage and that's not acceptable at all. I could strongly urge you to try to sit down with him and have a serious heart to heart talk with him. He needs to know how this is affecting you. And what you're willing and unwilling to put up with in this marriage. Would you be willing to move to your other house to save some of your sanity that you have left? You might at least consider it, b/c being where you are now right in the middle of all the chaos isn't doing you or your stress levels any favors. And we all know that stress is hard on your health and can severely affect how you feel in life. I know it might sound like a very drastic measure to take here, but in reality something really has to give here. You're already doing everything on your own anyway, taking care of the kids, etc and this all has left you very unhappy.
Of course, before you go moving out, sit down with your husband and talk with him very matter of fact and be very frank and up front with him. What he's doing isn't okay and it's becoming too much of a burden for you to have to pick up the slack when he's gone taking care of his family. A person can only take so much of something before they break. I really do completely understand that he has some obligations and dedication to his family to a certain extent. However, when it's taking such a huge toll on you and your life together, that's when it's become a huge problem for your relationship and marriage. Something has to be done or it's only going to get that much worse as time goes on. You seem to already be at your breaking point. How much longer before you finally throw up your hands and you're done. I don't think he really understands just how this is affecting you. Talk to him and hopefully he will listen to you and hear you out and you can both work together on some sort of compromise or resolution. Bottom line is you can't keep doing this, it's become too much. I hope this helps you some.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Hi Samantha,
Thanks for the advice, I have spoken to my husband he says he understands how I feel, but how can I leave them now that mum is 90 and needs me most of all. He suggested that we could move but we need to take them(his mother and brother) with us. He reassured me that his priorities are the kids and me but he can't just pack up and go. I feel like our whole life in being run by them and he does not see it that way. I am very disappointed with his response and feel very manipulated and trapped. He even mentioned that his mother didn't eat on Sunday night because I wasn't there to cook, I told him why am I responsible for her not eating, it is not my fault that she did not make herself a sandwich and that maybe we should organize meals on wheels for her, because I am not always available to cook for 9 people. I don't know what to do next!
This is why I suggested for you to move to the other house so that you don't feel like he's taking advantage of you. He will most likely try to guilt trip you into staying. Men are good at that where it benefits them, and they will also tell us what they think we want to hear to shut us up at the moment and put the argument aside until later. He must still not fully get it it since he suggested they would have to come with you to move. That would totally defeat the whole point of you getting away from them. It's like he doesn't want to budge from putting his family first. I can only imagine how frustrating this is for you. You need to ultimately figure out what it is you want to do about all this and to weigh your options. The choice is up to you.