So what happens when you have to choose between your wife and your parents?
My parents (53M) (52F) are ruining my marriage (25M) (27F). They want me to divorce my wife.
So basically me and my wife started dating 4 years ago. When it all started one thing my father said was: “Look at WHO he found in this whole city”. This is where I thought it’s going to be though. My wife is working, never been in any sort of “bad” activities and doesn’t have any addictions. My father wasn’t satisfied by the way she looks. My mother kept silence but just for some time before I decided to marry her. We were dating 12 months by that point and I was just 22 years old. She told me different things but mostly importantly 90% of them were why I shouldn’t get married. This didn’t stop me. And by the way, I am the only child.
We got married and are living now for 3 years together. Soon after marriage we moved to another country and settled there. It was hard to move and we went through a lot together (unemployment etc). We are doing good now though.
In the meantime, I didn’t cut my ties with parents. I called them at least 4-5 times a week to talk for 30 minutes minimum. Always asked how they’re doing. So did my wife, she had conversations with my parents on a weekly basis. My parents obviously were not honest to her about the way they really feel about her. I thought that maybe with all the struggles they seen that she went through with me, they are going to at least start respecting her more.
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About 7 months ago her parents came to visit us. My mother lost temper and messaged my wife several time after her parents left calling her “b*tch”, telling her to “f*ck off” etc. She justified this because she thinks that we are trying to “forget them” and no one called her when her parents were here for 2 weeks or so. This is not true. They tried to call 3 times and she could call them herself. My wife didn’t cut ties with my mom even after that accident. But obviously all my attempts to assure her that my parents actually have good attitude to her were wasted.
After this happened, 3 months after, my parents came to visit us. I have to be honest here. My parents used to drink a lot when I left them and when they came to visit us they were basically intoxicated every day (some days – very, some – not so much). I haven’t seen them sober a single day when they came to us and stayed in our house. We had a cool roadtrip, visited many places etc, but the best day for them still was the last one when I had to drive them to another city where they had flight back. This was the best day according to them because my wife wasn’t with me. They also think that my wife was all the time (it was Christmas holidays) with us because she wanted to control me. They wanted to spend holidays separately I guess.
The worst part happened when all of them got drunk the day before Christmas and everyone expressed their concerns. My wife that she’s not feeling loved or respected, that my parents say good things but they don’t mean them. My parents saying that her parents are not trustworthy people, my mom calling my wife “b*tch” again, that she married me because she wanted to move to another country etc. My dad kept saying me that I’ve married a fat girl, jew etc. However, even after that my wife kept talking to them and my mom I would say some sort of apologized and said that this all happens because “I love my son too much”.
When my parents got back home, my mom had a talk with her mom and expressed her opinions about the trip. She told her mom that we live like partners, we don’t love each other, my wife doesn’t cook for me and that’s why I lost weight (when I told them numerous times that I just want to lose weight to get fit). Additionally, that my wife didn’t prepare for their arrival as she was supposed to, that she is fat and we’ll see WHO she is going to give birth (like grandchildren from her can be defective).
Soon after that my wife told her mom to stop talking to my mom (they used to call each other frequently) and my wife obviously did the same. Now I’m the only one talking to my parents. The only thing they tell me is that I always look sad and I don’t talk to them about what is really happening in my life. I look sad basically because always when I talk to them the following is constant in their life – everything is bad. They now tell me that my wife and her mom are not talking to them because we are doing good financially and we don’t need to rely on their potential support. Their support though was never needed when we were here (they sent money from time to time which we usually didn’t spent, but put in GICs). One of us always had a job to support our life (we always earned more that my parents though).
My mom always tells not to trust her parents because all the trash-talking about my wife got transferred by her mom to my wife. Which seems absolutely fair in an honest relationship. Time to time they call me names as well.
At this point I don’t even know what to do. I am the only son. I love them even with their addictions but they obviously want me to divorce my wife. They will never support me having children with her and will never trust them my children.
When they say that they hope everything is going to be good with us, they don’t mean this. I don’t even feel loved by them anymore, especially when they came here only to drink, smoke and advice me on my personal life. Always explaining any of their bad behavior because they “love me too much”.
What should I do? I thought of restoring relationship between them and my wife but it doesn’t seem an option. Cutting them off completely? My mom says that I have to speak with her about what is really happening in my life, not about the weather for example. This means that I have to speak about my wife.
I love my wife and she loves me back, but I don’t think that my parents still love me. They hate my wife, her parents and maybe me.
p.s. sorry for my English, not native speaker
TL;DR my parents hate my wife and want me to divorce her for absolutely crazy reasons beyond my understanding. I don’t know what to do.
When you have someone that matters in your life, like close family or friends, they should certainly be able to respectfully let you know what they think of someone you start dating. Even if it’s a negative opinion, it may be helpful because when you’re dating someone, you can have a biased view of her while someone outside the relationship may be able to see things clearly.
That being said, it’s your life and whom you choose to be in a relationship with is your decision. People that are close to you should respect that and after they offer an opinion, they should back your play, whatever it happens to be. That includes your parents.
If your parents get out of line with your wife (or for that matter, vice-versa), it’s your responsibility to lay down some boundaries. In this case, this guy hasn’t done that. He’s essentially let them run his wife down for years. Had he made it clear that was unacceptable, it probably would have never gotten to the point where they became abusive to his wife and even more bizarrely, trash-talked his wife to her OWN PARENTS.
So now, he’s in a better late than never position. He needs to make it clear that he loves his parents, but they better not have anything negative to say about his wife. Then, he’s going to have to enforce that boundary. That may mean ending phone calls with his parents if they attack his wife. It may mean keeping their grandchildren away from them. It may mean that he doesn’t get to talk to them very often unless they change their ways. It is what it is and although his parents are behaving badly, he bears a lot of responsibility as a man for letting it go for this long. Fixing that isn’t just going to be about his parents changing their behavior, it’s going be about him setting limits for his parents and enforcing them.