Home > Mom's Life > Family Relationships > Parent/Child Relationships > When Your Mother and Your Husband Don't Get Along
|

When Your Mother and Your Husband Don't Get Along

Dr. Judy Kuriansky—New York clinical psychologist, media personality, and author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to a Healthy Relationship and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Dating, gives us her answer to this question. First of all it is really important to recognize that there is nothing wrong with you. Dr. Judy empathizes with you; "It is a sad situation when your mother and your husband do not get along and it is wonderful when they do."

What you may have to do when things are less than perfect is…

  • Adjust to the fact that you do not have one big happy family and accept that as your reality.
  • Consider these two people as you do your friends and view them as separate individuals in your life who you can understand but not control.
  • Spend time with each of them separately.
  • Talk to each of them and let them know that you are not getting in the middle of them to play peacemaker.

These are the preliminary steps to take. You still have two more important points to consider: what puts them at odds and how you divide yourself between the two of them.

Woman to Woman

Not even Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, got along with his mother-in-law right off the bat. It took three years to arrive at a friendly relationship. Without referring to his own life, Freud later wrote that husbands resent a wife's attachment to her mother. Likewise, he said, mothers are jealous of their daughter's love for someone else.

"Why Don't They Get Along?"

It could be they simply aren't a natural, good fit or that your husband merely never won your mother's approval or there is a rivalry and competition for your time and affection, Kuriansky explains. On a deeper level, Dr. Judy recognizes that there may be other dynamics at work here. Their relationship could have triggered other family dynamics that revive earlier feelings of being left out or transfer a son's disdain of his mother to his mother-in-law. Whatever you uncover, Kuriansky warns, "Don't try to play the therapist."

Rather, she suggests that a therapist move your mother or husband forward to remove this angry element that affects their relationship.

Who Should Get Top Billing?

Dr. Judy answers this part of the question by explaining that both your mother and your husband have equally important places in your life, although generally one's husband has the bigger allegiance. However, there are times and circumstances when one of them has to take center stage—particularly in cases of a mother's illness. It is up to you to evaluate who that will be, and communicate to the other why he or she has to take the backseat at the moment.

Of course it helps if your mother understands that her role and priority in your life is different from your husband's!

|

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Mothers and Daughters © 2001 by Rosanne Rosen. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

happy holidays

Find gift ideas and
party tips for every
celebration.

GO

highlights

Top 10 Holiday Gifts for Teachers
Offer a genuine "thank you" to your child's teacher halfway through the school year. Give one of these extra-nice holiday gifts for teachers.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Top Family Movies in Theaters for the Holidays
Taking the kids to the movies is a special family treat for the holidays! Don't miss 2014's best family films in theaters from Thanksgiving through Christmas.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!