The difficult and controlling mother-in-law is taking up all of my husband’s free time

DEAR DEIDRE: The careless behavior of my mother-in-law is running my marriage.

She is 65 years old and widowed last year.

She won't leave him alone and neither of us is happy


She won’t leave him alone and neither of us is happy

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Now my husband finds it impossible to say no to her.

She treated him harshly with requests, and he was so stressed that he applied it to me and our young daughters.

I am 39 years old and have been married to my 40 year old husband for 15 years. I was nice to his mother before, but she was always controlling.

Now, she calls him ten times a day, every day, and asks him to come fix things or help her with the paperwork in the evenings and weekends.

We rarely see him. He also has a stressful job and can’t cope.

But instead of standing up for her, he just yelled at me.

I get – and respect – that he wants to be a good son, but I don’t think I can do more than that.

Contact Deidre

All issues receive a personal response, usually within 24 hours on weekdays.

DEIDRE SAYS: It sounds like she really needs it and is putting a lot of pressure on your husband – a man who is nice and clearly doesn’t want to let her down.

You need to talk to him again and suggest that you try to work out her needs together.

Setting some boundaries is essential.

First, his mother might limit calling him in the evenings unless there was a real emergency.

My Stress Pack might be helpful for him to read.

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