‘My husband tells his mother everything and I feel like a third wheel in my own marriage. When I was marrying him, didn’t know I’d be married to his mother too.’ Sounds like something you’d say? well, you’re not alone. A lot of marriages suffer because the husband can’t keep anything to himself and runs to mama whenever something happens.
Your husband might’ve come from a close-knit family where he is used to sharing anything and everything with his mom. If he was a single child or if his dad wasn’t in the picture, it’s only natural for him to be deeply attached to his mother. It’s not all bad until it starts affecting your marriage. Your husband might not even know how sharing everything with his mom can be a bad thing since he has been having it this way for as long as he can remember. So, you have to tread carefully when you talk to him about your mother-in-law.
Don’t worry. Here I am offering you a few of the most practical ways to win your husband from his mother so that you can have a happier and healthier relationship.
Before we get too far into this, your husband telling his mother everything can mean a lot of different things. If she’s just too involved – that’s something we’ll get into. If things have gone further and she’s directly getting in the way you might want to look at husbands letting their family disrespect you (and how to fix it).
If you suspect there might be something deeper at play, make sure you take our marriage assessment quiz.
How to Win Your Husband From His Mother?
Sure, there’s no quick fix to win him from his mother as of today. But, you can find a way to his heart as long as you don’t make tactical mistakes to drive him further away.
Confronting His Mother? A Big No-no
Do you want to take it up with her to put her in her place? Well, you should. But, telling her to back off is not the way to do it. Rather talk to your husband and explain how his loose lips are causing problems in your marriage. Have a decent conversation without being angry or blaming him.
Try to make him understand how sharing the nitty-gritty details of your private life with your mother-in-law makes you uncomfortable. Make sure you stay calm throughout the conversation and ask him to keep this between you two. If he never thought it was an issue before, this can be a wake-up call for him to change.
Boundaries are Your Friend
If you live with your mother-in-law, it’s time to move out and start a life of your own. After that, you can suggest your husband schedule weekly visits to his mom’s place instead of just leaving everything whenever he gets stressed. When he talks to her over the phone, ask him to leave out the details of your private life.
Gently remind him that now he has a wife to turn to. He doesn’t have to ask his mom before buying something or vent to her every time you two have an argument. If his mom asks you personal questions, politely refuse to answer.
However, if your husband has already spilled the beans, you should stand your ground and tell her that you feel uncomfortable when she gets into your personal space.
Focus on Breaking His Habit, Not His Mom’s
Your mother-in-law might be very persuasive and asks him tons of questions whenever he calls or visits her. But, that doesn’t mean your husband is bound to give in and tell her everything. Your partner needs to realize that when he tells his mother about the problems he has with his wife, he opens the door for her to disrespect you.
If you see her treating you badly after a big fight with your partner, it’s because she’s disappointed in you from whatever she heard from her son. While this is infuriating, you should have the talk with your partner instead of lashing out at your mother-in-law. He should have respected the privacy of your married life instead of opening it to her.
A Little Sacrifice Goes a Long Way
Even though you don’t like to spend time with your mother-in-law, say yes when your husband asks you to go to a family dinner over the weekend. You’d rather be somewhere else, I get that. But doing this will show your spouse that you’re willing to put your differences aside and making an effort to make him happy.
Also, that’ll give you a chance to improve the relationship you have with his mother. They say if you can’t beat them, join them. Once you develop a better relationship with her, she’ll see how lucky her son is to have you by his side and how she can take a back seat now.
If she understands how her interference and unsolicited advice are bringing out counterintuitive results, she might even help your husband realize that it’s time to take your input before hers while making decisions since he decided to share his life with you. Even if you two don’t hit it off, it’s worth a try.
Be His Safe Haven
It’s imperative for your partner to understand that you’re not here to play his mother’s role. He should never compare the two of you and you should never have to compete against her. But, there’s no harm in knowing what he loves the most about his mother.
Is it her work ethic, the way she listens to him, or a certain food that she cooks better than anyone else? You don’t suddenly need to start acting like his mother but catering to his needs like she used to, might be the way to bring him closer to you.
Try to listen to him without interrupting and being judgmental. Whenever he talks about a successful presentation or achievement, tell him how proud you’re of him and inspire him to do better. Show him that you too can be there for him like his mama did.
When things don’t go his way, don’t start with ‘I told you so’. If he starts to feel safe around you, he won’t feel like running to his mommy for support anymore. Explain why he needs to discuss a job change or buying a house with you instead of her. Show him how the equation has changed and why he needs to focus on that now.
How to Talk to Your Husband About His Mother?
Does it feel like opening a can of worms? I hear you but who said married life is supposed to be all flowers and unicorns? Sometimes it’s more like having a difficult conversation with a ‘mama’s boy’ about none other than his mighty mom!
Let’s see how you can do that all the while avoiding a huge fight with your partner. And of course, don’t call him that. EVER.
Don’t Make This About Her
Remember that the problems you’re having are between you and your partner. Sure you feel like there wouldn’t be a problem to solve if she taught her son how to shut up. But, opening with that will just lead to a bigger fight.
When you focus on solving the issue instead of concentrating on his mother, it can help him see it from a more objective standpoint. Avoid telling him things like ‘I hate how you can’t zip your lip and run to your mom like the ‘momma’s boy’ she has raised.’
Try saying ‘I know you love your mom more than anything and I’d never stand in the way of that. But, I’d appreciate it if you turned to me instead of her whenever you need someone to talk to’. You can change the whole dynamic of the conversation that way.
Choose Your Words Carefully
Sure there are things about your mother-in-law that drive you nuts. But when you talk to him about his mother, make sure you don’t attack or berate her in any way. To the guy who keeps telling his mom everything, she is no less than a role model to him.
Doesn’t matter how much you want to say those things, don’t do it for the sake of a productive discussion. Besides, you wouldn’t like it if he talked that way about your parents or family, would you? Rather talk about what really matters and ask what you really want from him.
Explain how sharing details of your married life with mommy dearest isn’t healthy for your marriage and how that inhibits your growth as a couple.
Don’t Make Him Choose Between You Two
While you should make him understand that he needs to stop discussing every little thing with her and talk to you instead, don’t make him choose one before another. Don’t use threats to get him to stop because trust me when I say that’ll come back to bite your marriage later on.
If he isn’t mature enough to realize that you’re his wife who he started a family with should be his go-to person now, threatening him won’t make him see that. He is the one in charge of setting boundaries with his parents. You can just try to explain why after getting married it’s more important to talk to his wife before making major decisions and not his parents.
Keep Your Calm
Old habits die hard. Even if you can make your point as to why he should be able to make decisions without calling his mother and why she doesn’t need to know literally every single thing that happens in your lives, know that it’ll take time for him to switch his lifelong confidante and choose you to confide in instead.
Don’t pick a fight every time he forgets to tell you first when something happens. See if he is improving and coming to his senses by himself. Constantly nagging your partner will never make him change. If you keep your cool and deal with him patiently he’ll gradually start coming around.
Even after trying your best he might not see how his habit of tittle-tattling can cause a rift with his wife. If it seems like a lost cause and you can’t deal with it alone, give couples counseling a try. Your husband might fret if his mother doesn’t approve of it, but you do you aka what’s best for your relationship and family.