Dear McKoy: My mother-in-law has a strong attachment to my husband. Ever since she moved in with us last year, our marriage has become a wreck. She finds fault with everything I do around the house, she even started cooking for both of them and excludes me. She basically takes over all the chores that I usually do for him. She is always hugging and kissing him as if he is still a child. It is clear that she dislikes me and the feeling is mutual. However, my biggest problem I have with her is that whenever my husband and I have an argument she lets him sleep in her bed. The way they sleep cuddling each other does not seem normal for a grown man and his mother. It makes me wonder if they are sharing a sexual relationship. At the moment we do not speak to each other and my husband is begging me to be more friendly to her. I hate this woman because she is destroying my marriage. Any advice?
Dear Opal: I can tell you’re becoming increasingly annoyed and exhausted from what you’ve said, which is a perfectly reasonable reaction to the situation you’ve described. It can become bothersome when a third person, such as a parent, begins to live with two individuals in a marriage. You probably feel like she is invading your space coupled with the fact that she doesn’t have a problem displaying her resentment towards you. I can see how this is causing problems between you and your spouse because you aren’t receiving enough one-on-one time with him, which is extremely important in any relationship. Your description of them sleeping together is odd, but for now you can give them the benefit of the doubt.
You should have a clear and calm discussion with your mother-in-law about her behavior and how it is affecting you. It is necessary to inform her that she is causing a rift between you and your husband. Also, tell your husband how all of this is affecting the marriage and that he has to set boundaries in the household so that his mother clearly understand what expected of her while she lives there. If he loves and respect the marriage he will do what is right. On the other hand, if he doesn’t then that will prove to you that his mother is priority.