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princesa
04-01-2014, 08:22 AM
When is a mother/son relationship unhealthily close when that son has been married for several years. What are signs?

Is it daily phone calls or lengthy hour long phone calls every few days which is the case in this instance. She only calls him directly.

When they talk about extended family issues about people you never even knew existed. Shouldn't I know these people?

What are signs he is not 'leaving and cleaving' that the wife should be aware of and how does she address it considering she's asked him before to maybe cut the cord a little.

Also, would it make a difference if they recently became closer because of a sudden illness in their immediate (my extended) family? And even if this is the case, does that mean 'no boundaries', forget he is a father and husband first and call whenever and for however long you want? She left him a message asking him to call her because something happened in the household of the sick person and she wanted him to call his sister to calm her down. Mother left him a message at midnight and he called her when he checked his voice mail at 6:30 in the morning.

I find that weird. What can he do? He's states away...why does she need to call him so late at night for something he has no control over? THis is not the norm but the extreme version ever since the illness in the family. Before this they still speak to eachother every other day.

JCAtheist
04-01-2014, 08:34 AM
In *my* opinion, both as a son, and as a father of a male 16 and 18 year old, it seems there's another question underlying what you are asking, but I could be wrong.

However, putting that aside, the only thing that you have said that gives me any pause is that you don't know the 'extended family'. After a few years, I would of thought most of anyone that had any real importance in the main family, would be known. At the very least, when they come up, you are then given explanation as to who they are.

There are some in my own family I have never really discussed with my wife, after 24 years of marriage... they just never came up or had any influence to deserve mentioning. If something happened to them though, it would filter down the grapevine and would come up.

On the phone calls, that's a difficult thing to answer really. is there something wrong with a mother and son talking every day, or a few hours every few days? What is it you find inappropriate about this? I mean, it may be more than many are used to, but by the same token, I know many females who do exactly the same thing (as well as a few other males). Is it the things they discuss that make you uncomfortable? That the time isn't spent with you?

That's what I was alluding to at my opening, that there seems to be another underlying issue.. imho, of course.

princesa
04-01-2014, 08:37 AM
thank you. I edited my last 2 paragraphs if you care to offer insight.

She was emotionally abusive to me for years before we were married. Today i was upset and yelled at him to cut the chord. He told me to get over the grudge already.

Yes, i hate that he is her hero in her time of need (any time of day or night apparently and he can be aloof to his nuclear family) but when his mom and dad call he's on the phone with them for about an hour and having a grand old time.

JCAtheist
04-01-2014, 08:37 AM
Oh.. you added some more while I was quick replying :teeth:

Family dynamics can be hard to work out. It does 'sound' as if there is possibly some clinging going on. Still hard to make any real sound discernment without understanding more of the overall processes that make the family 'tick'.

JCAtheist
04-01-2014, 08:39 AM
thank you. I edited my last 2 paragraphs if you care to offer insight.

She was emotionally abusive to me for years before we were married. Today i was upset and yelled at him to cut the chord. He told me to get over the grudge already.

Well these things change perspectives quite a lot. Does your husband agree that she has been emotionally abusive?

And, do you feel you hold a grudge over what happened?

princesa
04-01-2014, 08:42 AM
He knows but that still doesn't change the fact that that is still his mother, would be his explanation and it's the truth. Yes, I hold a grudge. She never apologized and is a neglectful mother in law and grandmother but she showers her son with love and attention, exclusively. My father on the other hands spoils him with love and gifts. I'm the girl here! adds fuel to the fire.

The worst part, he doesn't mind as long as he's getting attention. If he ever puts his foot down and says, 'mom, you never call my wife or kids, just me, they are my family and if you can't make an effort for them I'm afraid that's insulting to me'.

I'm a beast for suggesting it.

JCAtheist
04-01-2014, 08:52 AM
Sadly, I don't think you are going to get her to change, although it's not impossible... just highly improbable. As for your husband, it is my opinion that his first concern should be you and your children. If it is something that is obviously bothering you, it needs to be addressed.

You need to dispose of this grudge too, as it obviously doesn't really help the situation. Not that I don't sympathize with your situation in it all, I just don't see how you holding on to it will be any part of the solution when it comes to fixing it.

It is just my opinion, but it seems that you and hubby need to sit down and find a way to talk this through without bringing in overheated emotions. I also realise how difficult that can be to do.

And, you aren't a beast.


JCAtheist

princesa
04-01-2014, 08:56 AM
As for your husband, it is my opinion that his first concern should be you and your children. JCAtheist

So he is showing that he is, in fact, lacking concern based on my post? I think so, I just want to see if others see it.

JCAtheist
04-01-2014, 09:28 AM
So he is showing that he is, in fact, lacking concern based on my post? I think so, I just want to see if others see it.

Well it appears so, from what you have put. Of course, there are always two sides to a coin... possibly a third if you count the edge. If this whole thing upsets you this much that you two are having heated words about it, then yes, imho it needs sorting out before it days any more damage.

RBerman
04-01-2014, 10:20 AM
Princesa, as I recall from your previous posts, this has been an issue for years. You are concerned that your husband puts his mother before his wife. That would be a problem in the best of circumstances, but it's worse when the wife and the mother don't get along, regularly putting him in a position where he can only satisfy one by upsetting the other; thus as you say, he thinks you're treating his mother unkindly and unfairly based on past problems. Your husband can't be happy with the situation. Is he willing to attend marriage counseling to improve the situation?

One Bad Pig
04-01-2014, 10:24 AM
Yes, I hold a grudge.
Whenever a Christian holds a grudge, I recommend they take a look at the Lord's Prayer.

"Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us." Kinda puts things in perspective IMO. I know it's not exactly easy to let go of a grudge - but would you rather hold the grudge or have your sins forgiven?

princesa
04-01-2014, 10:47 AM
Whenever a Christian holds a grudge, I recommend they take a look at the Lord's Prayer.

"Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us." Kinda puts things in perspective IMO. I know it's not exactly easy to let go of a grudge - but would you rather hold the grudge or have your sins forgiven?

hi OBP, i have worked on letting go of the grudge and at times I really thought i did but when he pays such attention to her whereas it appears he is not 'leaving and cleaving' but clinging would it really matter that i let go of the grudge if I see it continues? If I truly do let it go, (how on earth?) than it will only accomplish me feeling better about it (which is great) but he is still putting her first, is that not right?

princesa
04-01-2014, 10:54 AM
Princesa, as I recall from your previous posts, this has been an issue for years. You are concerned that your husband puts his mother before his wife. That would be a problem in the best of circumstances, but it's worse when the wife and the mother don't get along, regularly putting him in a position where he can only satisfy one by upsetting the other; thus as you say, he thinks you're treating his mother unkindly and unfairly based on past problems. Your husband can't be happy with the situation. Is he willing to attend marriage counseling to improve the situation?

We can't afford it, timewise or financial. The truth is he is so very close to his parents, he speaks to them for hours, he calls his sister every day because of the illness situation. I grew up very different. Myself and every other adult I know don't call their parents every day and talk for half hour. I understand there is a special situation on her illness but we are states away, why are they calling him at night for advice saying it's important? He's not God. I don't get it.

He said "My family is going through something right now and we're trying to figure out a way to help"......for 15 years whenever he said 'my family' he meant wife and kids, not this time, it's mommy, daddy etc...

I feel our nuclear family is second place.

Obsidian
04-01-2014, 10:55 AM
I do think that his behavior is bizarre. It would get on my nerves, too. But that said, you chose to marry him, and you should have seen this coming.

On the plus side, at least there isn't much chance of his getting disinherited.

princesa
04-01-2014, 11:01 AM
I do think that his behavior is bizarre. It would get on my nerves, too. But that said, you chose to marry him, and you should have seen this coming.

On the plus side, at least there isn't much chance of his getting disinherited.

I never understood people who say things like 'well he was like this before you were married so....', honestly, some people marry young and they don't think of these things. It really doesn't make sense how this is supposed to be a useful thing to share.

Spartacus
04-01-2014, 11:07 AM
:hug: I know you've been struggling with this for quite a while, Prin. I could shoot my mouth off with all sorts of ramblings, but I don't think there's much I can say that will actually help you, aside from praying for you and your extended family.

One Bad Pig
04-01-2014, 11:20 AM
hi OBP, i have worked on letting go of the grudge and at times I really thought i did but when he pays such attention to her whereas it appears he is not 'leaving and cleaving' but clinging would it really matter that i let go of the grudge if I see it continues? If I truly do let it go, (how on earth?) than it will only accomplish me feeling better about it (which is great) but he is still putting her first, is that not right?
It's not right that he's putting her first. However, you can't control what he or she does; only your reaction to it. We as humans have a tendency to accept people for how we think we can change them, not as they are - which tends to cause disappointment in relationships because we don't have as much influence over how other people are as we'd like. It's a thorny problem, and no mistake.

princesa
04-01-2014, 11:20 AM
:hug: I know you've been struggling with this for quite a while, Prin. I could shoot my mouth off with all sorts of ramblings, but I don't think there's much I can say that will actually help you, aside from praying for you and your extended family.

thanks spart

princesa
04-01-2014, 11:21 AM
It's not right that he's putting her first. However, you can't control what he or she does; only your reaction to it. We as humans have a tendency to accept people for how we think we can change them, not as they are - which tends to cause disappointment in relationships because we don't have as much influence over how other people are than we'd like. It's a thorny problem, and no mistake.

Thanks. I think my problem honestly is figuring out if he is putting her first because he doesn't cut her off to once a week phone calls. I sometimes wonder if I'm being unreasonable. See? I don't know for sure that he is putting her first or if I only think he is. How do I measure?

Spartacus
04-01-2014, 11:27 AM
Thanks. I think my problem honestly is figuring out if he is putting her first because he doesn't cut her off to once a week phone calls. I sometimes wonder if I'm being unreasonable. See? I don't know for sure that he is putting her first or if I only think he is. How do I measure?

Is there anything in your shared marriage vows that you think he isn't living up to? In what ways is he falling short of what he solemnly swore to do?

princesa
04-01-2014, 11:33 AM
Is there anything in your shared marriage vows that you think he isn't living up to? In what ways is he falling short of what he solemnly swore to do?

Honor? If your wife is trying to explain that the emotional bond may be a bit unhealthy and just try calling once a week, tell her you were busy and that's why you didn't call back, she'll perhaps loosen her clinging. He is like the surrogate husband since she is single. I think he's afraid he'll stop being her baby. Its sickening.

Other than that, he's a good husband.

Also, we don't see her during the holidays, we went once this year and it was awful. Every holiday is sacred and I spend it with my children, this has been an argument for years too. But we don't go and I always feel he seems nostalgic like he misses her on Christmas instead of seeing the blessing in front of his eyes. I could be wrong but i doubt it.

JCAtheist
04-01-2014, 11:35 AM
Thanks. I think my problem honestly is figuring out if he is putting her first because he doesn't cut her off to once a week phone calls. I sometimes wonder if I'm being unreasonable. See? I don't know for sure that he is putting her first or if I only think he is. How do I measure?

Maybe by making a list of what is actually important to you, and getting him to do the same thing... and then comparing them, perhaps. This way you can both find common ground again, and maybe realise what each of you finds important. It's very easy for us to assume we know something about someone we are close to, but it's not always the case. I still discover things out about my wife after 26 years of us being together.

Finding some other focus and then start taking a look at the issue once you are more 'solid' seems like a sensible approach.

Personally, I don't see an issue with a son being in contact with one, or both of their parents, even if it is every day. Might be unusual, as I stated before, but... I can't say it's wrong. What does appear to be wrong is how this contact makes you feel due to the issues as you see them. Does this mean you are being unreasonable? Maybe, to a degree.. but then, so is he, and so is she - from what's been presented here.

You can't measure that without taking a step back and looking at it all more objectively. And, unfortunately, no one here that doesn't know you or them personally is going to be able to give you a truly informed response. I hope you find a good path forward.

princesa
04-01-2014, 11:38 AM
Maybe by making a list of what is actually important to you, and getting him to do the same thing... and then comparing them, perhaps. This way you can both find common ground again, and maybe realise what each of you finds important. It's very easy for us to assume we know something about someone we are close to, but it's not always the case. I still discover things out about my wife after 26 years of us being together.

Finding some other focus and then start taking a look at the issue once you are more 'solid' seems like a sensible approach.

Personally, I don't see an issue with a son being in contact with one, or both of their parents, even if it is every day. Might be unusual, as I stated before, but... I can't say it's wrong. What does appear to be wrong is how this contact makes you feel due to the issues as you see them. Does this mean you are being unreasonable? Maybe, to a degree.. but then, so is he, and so is she - from what's been presented here.

You can't measure that without taking a step back and looking at it all more objectively. And, unfortunately, no one here that doesn't know you or them personally is going to be able to give you a truly informed response. I hope you find a good path forward.

Thank you. In what way do you find she is being unreasonable from what i've stated? I do appreciate your response and will reread.

Spartacus
04-01-2014, 11:43 AM
Honor? If your wife is trying to explain that the emotional bond may be a bit unhealthy and just try calling once a week, tell her you were busy and that's why you didn't call back, she'll perhaps loosen her clinging. He is like the surrogate husband since she is single. I think he's afraid he'll stop being her baby. Its sickening.

Other than that, he's a good husband.

It seems as though your concern is about your husband's spiritual welfare. Given that his mother is apparently lonely, what would you describe as a healthy approach to their relationship? Lying? Withholding affection? Those don't seem like healthy behaviors to me, either.

JCAtheist
04-01-2014, 11:45 AM
Thank you. In what way do you find she is being unreasonable from what i've stated? I do appreciate your response and will reread.

Well from what you have said, she has treated you poorly in the past. I'm sure this has been brought up before between you all, no? If not, and she doesn't know you feel as you do, well then I can see a little more where your problem stems from. If it has, and she is aware that you have felt hurt by her actions before, then I would suspect that she's aware of your feelings and is being unreasonable by discounting them and continuing to cause possible friction in your marriage.

You mentioned about how she treats you and the grandchildren, basically ignoring you and them for him etc. So, yes, from what you have said, she seems to be an unreasonable person. However, I still maintain that your husband and you need to discuss and come to some joint agreement as to what stance to take... as you two are married (with children), and that takes priority. Imho.

princesa
04-01-2014, 11:46 AM
It seems as though your concern is about your husband's spiritual welfare. Given that his mother is apparently lonely, what would you describe as a healthy approach to their relationship? Lying? Withholding affection? Those don't seem like healthy behaviors to me, either.

Is it wrong to withhold affection if this affection seemingly trumps the feelings of your spouse?

princesa
04-01-2014, 11:49 AM
Well from what you have said, she has treated you poorly in the past. I'm sure this has been brought up before between you all, no? If not, and she doesn't know you feel as you do, well then I can see a little more where your problem stems from. If it has, and she is aware that you have felt hurt by her actions before, then I would suspect that she's aware of your feelings and is being unreasonable by discounting them and continuing to cause possible friction in your marriage.

You mentioned about how she treats you and the grandchildren, basically ignoring you and them for him etc. So, yes, from what you have said, she seems to be an unreasonable person. However, I still maintain that your husband and you need to discuss and come to some joint agreement as to what stance to take... as you two are married (with children), and that takes priority. Imho.

Well, she rarely calls me and when she does i always ignore and never return her calls. Only one time in 19 years of knowing her has she said 'you know, if i ever seemed mean in the past i was only doing it for your own good'...that's the closest i get to an apology. She calls on the childrens birthdays when she's reminded and she'll leave me a sweet voice mail maybe twice a year but i am stone.

even if i did forgive her, I still wish I would feel my husbands loyalty was first to his wife.

Spartacus
04-01-2014, 11:52 AM
Is it wrong to withhold affection if this affection seemingly trumps the feelings of your spouse?

I don't know, but I'm not sure if that any answer to that question would completely address the questions I raised.

Obsidian
04-01-2014, 11:54 AM
I think the Bible teaches that if you be nice and forgive people, the majority of the time they will be nice back. That goes for both the mother and your husband. Who cares if she apologizes? It sounds like she is single and lonely anyway. She is getting plenty of punishment for the poor way that she treats people.

To the extent that the phone calls bother you, I think you should just get him to agree to take the calls at a time when he is away from you, so you don't have to be bothered by it. Personally, I think phone calls in general are annoying -- no matter who they're from. And it bugs me when people are always on the phone around me. So that's where I'm coming from. Have him yak with his mother elsewhere.


It really doesn't make sense how this is supposed to be a useful thing to share.

Yeah, I guess it wasn't that useful. But the useful thing would be to remember all the good things about your husband that (hopefully) outweigh this negative. And focus on that.

princesa
04-01-2014, 11:55 AM
I don't know, but I'm not sure if that any answer to that question would completely address the questions I raised.

To answer your question, I think a healthy approach would be to call his mother once a week to make sure she's ok and if she needs anything.

Calling everyday a few times a day, or even every other day, for long periods of time, seems an unhealthy relationship for a man of over 40 to have with his mommy. I hope that answers, i feel he needs to slowly break the clinginess.

princesa
04-01-2014, 11:57 AM
I think the Bible teaches that if you be nice and forgive people, the majority of the time they will be nice back. That goes for both the mother and your husband. Who cares if she apologizes? It sounds like she is single and lonely anyway. She is getting plenty of punishment for the poor way that she treats people.

To the extent that the phone calls bother you, I think you should just get him to agree to take the calls at a time when he is away from you, so you don't have to be bothered by it. Personally, I think phone calls in general are annoying -- no matter who they're from. And it bugs me when people are always on the phone around me. So that's where I'm coming from. Have him yak with his mother elsewhere.



Yeah, I guess it wasn't that useful. But the useful thing would be to remember all the good things about your husband that (hopefully) outweigh this negative. And focus on that.

that's useful. thank you. He's such a dang talker. I'm so different. But she takes the take. Two talkers and me, the introvert. It's almost comical. I honestly could not imagine what I could say to my mother for an hour or even half hour every day! Every week maybe, every 2 weeks, sure, but every day? I just don't have that much to say.

But they yap like old BFF's (best friends) and I hear in his voice the naturalness he doesn't have with his own wife, and that gets me.

I'm not as 'flowy' and at ease when conversing with my parents whom I get along with great, I'm more comfortable talking with my husband ofcourse, I don't sense that in him.

Spartacus
04-01-2014, 12:08 PM
To answer your question, I think a healthy approach would be to call his mother once a week to make sure she's ok and if she needs anything.

Calling everyday a few times a day, or even every other day, for long periods of time, seems an unhealthy relationship for a man of over 40 to have with his mommy. I hope that answers, i feel he needs to slowly break the clinginess.

It is clear that your mother-in-law has hurt you deeply in the past.

It is clear that her relationship with her son is one of, if not the most important relationship in your mother-in-law's life right now.

To what extent is each of these facts problematic?

Obsidian
04-01-2014, 12:21 PM
But they yap like old BFF's (best friends) and I hear in his voice the naturalness he doesn't have with his own wife, and that gets me.

On a practical level, his talking to her less will probably not change how he interacts with you. That is a separate issue. I doubt that anyone on this forum can help you with that much. Be pleasant; be submissive; don't nag; be forgiving; engage in good activities together. Those are about the only tips you can get from the internet.

I wouldn't say that your jealousy is wrong (or right), but you probably need to figure out some practical way to get over it. Or like I said, at least keep it from being shoved in your face all the time.

princesa
04-01-2014, 12:31 PM
It is clear that your mother-in-law has hurt you deeply in the past.

It is clear that her relationship with her son is one of, if not the most important relationship in your mother-in-law's life right now.

To what extent is each of these facts problematic?

The first fact is a wound that hasn't healed most especially because she doesn't pay attention to her grandchildren which would have healed us somewhat. If you don't like me but adore my children we can get along. Its problematic, she doesn't even try, it should bother him since it deals with his children.
The second fact- it is not healthy for a mother to cling to her married adult son and constantly call him. It is problematic if he's still cleaving. I'd be happy to hear from anyone who can show me that I'm being unreasonable there. There is a situation with the family involving an illness, maybe i need to be more understanding, i don't know,..

princesa
04-01-2014, 12:33 PM
Be pleasant; be submissive; don't nag; be forgiving; engage in good activities together. Those are about the only tips you can get from the internet.

I wouldn't say that your jealousy is wrong (or right), but you probably need to figure out some practical way to get over it. Or like I said, at least keep it from being shoved in your face all the time.

yeah, trust me, i know that's the best i can hope for ...nothing will change after so many years so I just have to shut my mouth and smile and try to forgive and settle for being second in my spouses life. big deal.

Obsidian
04-01-2014, 12:38 PM
The fact remains that your strategy -- trying to weaken their bond to make your own seem better -- is just not logical.


The second fact- it is not healthy for a mother to cling to her married adult son and constantly call him.

Nothing about this woman sounds healthy. But her health isn't your concern.

princesa
04-01-2014, 12:50 PM
The fact remains that your strategy -- trying to weaken their bond to make your own seem better -- is just not logical.



Nothing about this woman sounds healthy. But her health isn't your concern.

her clinginess affects our marriage. he is not leaving and cleaving.

One Bad Pig
04-01-2014, 12:56 PM
Thanks. I think my problem honestly is figuring out if he is putting her first because he doesn't cut her off to once a week phone calls. I sometimes wonder if I'm being unreasonable. See? I don't know for sure that he is putting her first or if I only think he is. How do I measure?
I think it's not healthy to measure, though I quite understand the desire to do so.

Have you ever read C J Cherryh's Foreigner series? You'd probably identify well with one of the bit characters (the main character's mom is quite clingy).

Obsidian
04-01-2014, 01:05 PM
her clinginess affects our marriage. he is not leaving and cleaving.

I disapprove of how he is behaving. But honestly, I don't think he is violating this verse.

princesa
04-01-2014, 01:11 PM
Why would anyone call their son at midnight , leave a message that it's important, to solve a domestic issue in someone elses home out of state? I'm at a loss, TRYING to be understanding. THen, the son calls back first thing in the morning and tells me i need to be understanding because it's a family health issue. then says he 'fixed' it and i shouldn't get involved. i'm tired.

RBerman
04-01-2014, 03:04 PM
We can't afford it, timewise or financial. The truth is he is so very close to his parents, he speaks to them for hours, he calls his sister every day because of the illness situation. I grew up very different. Myself and every other adult I know don't call their parents every day and talk for half hour. I understand there is a special situation on her illness but we are states away, why are they calling him at night for advice saying it's important? He's not God. I don't get it.

He said "My family is going through something right now and we're trying to figure out a way to help"......for 15 years whenever he said 'my family' he meant wife and kids, not this time, it's mommy, daddy etc...

I feel our nuclear family is second place.

At least from your perspective, that certainly seems to be the case. As for whether your can afford it financially or timewise, (1) If the outcome was that he stopped talking to her for hours, then counseling would actually be a win timewise; (2) divorce and its aftermath would be even worse financially and timewise. Given that this issue keeps coming up in your life, it's hard to imagine that it's going to go away or even seem better if you don't get help.

Teallaura
04-01-2014, 03:34 PM
:hug: I kinda got the 'venting' impression reading the thread (you tend to type too fast when you're upset and grammar becomes more 'optional' :wink:) which was why I refrained from answering (that and I was busy crying over the cat :argh:).

PM me if you like. :hug:

Bill the Cat
06-12-2014, 11:51 AM
Closing per thread starter's request