Momma Boy's Momma is the Problem


I am at my wits end. My husband and I have been married for nearly a year, and we dated for almost a year before that. Everything about our relationship is really good, if not perfect (at least for us!) with one exception. He used to be a momma's boy before I entered the picture, and while he still devotes sufficient time to her, she wants more and more. He understands my feelings, and he has tried to bridge the gap. How do I help her realize we are on the same team?
Married to Momma’s Boy

Dear Married,

I would say that your solution lies somewhere between compromise and control.  It’s a very delicate balance to keep everyone happy in this situation – and the main thing you must possess is bountiful finesse.

I think it’s awesome that you asked the question, “How do I help her realize we are on the same team?”  Instead of feeling threatened or intimidated by mom-in-law, you are mature enough to realize that she is feeling insecure by your presence.  At least I can assume that you aren’t doing anything to inflame an already tense situation.

So since it’s clear that you are mature and reasonable, I would try and approach her directly.  Start involving her more in your family activities.  Invite her over for dinner, lunch, tea or dessert – just the two of you.  Pretend like there isn’t any tension between the two of you.  Ask her advice on something, and thank her for it.  No one can resist someone who is consistently kind to them.

Start with this positive effort to improve your relationship.  After a while, when she asks your husband for something that conflicts with your life, broach the topic the next time you see her.  Don’t be angry, be direct and firm – with a smile.  Say something like, “Yes, I know you had asked Ted to build you a new deck, but he has such a bad back, that we didn’t think it was a good idea.”  Ensure your husband backs you up on these occasions.

It seems to me that you’re all right with him spending a good deal of time with her, but not excessive amounts of time.  Allow her some of the attention she craves, but don’t falter when she goes overboard.  A simple “no” that you follow through on is required – just the same as is suggested with spoiled children.  Don’t feel guilty about it, for she’ll pick up on that right away and exploit it through your husband.

Because your husband is so caring with his mother, he is probably a very sensitive guy.  Try and keep in mind that this sensitivity is part of the reason you love him, and perhaps that will help you put the situation into perspective on the days when you feel really fed up.

Best of luck with your situation!

For everyone else: email me!


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