Mother in law hell


I’ve just arrived home from work. I have a bit of a short break in my work day and figured what a great idea to go home and relax for a few hours…but this is never quite the case around here so who was I kidding? Mama always has a mission and it usually involves MY living space. Today 2 guys showed up with tool belts. Oh God, what now?

As I was promptly shooed out of my own bedroom I retreated like a cat into the computer room. A bit annoyed that not a day goes by without some stranger in the apartment banging away at some appliance, I spent my time fuming and banging away at my keyboard. That’s when I found this site Mother in law hell. Of course I was intrigued immediately and I registered right away too!

Who knew that there was an entire secret society on the web about mother-in-laws? I’ve been blogging for a year now and the web is my only source of English entertainment, I am shocked and amazed that it took yet another day of frustrating annoyances here to prod me further and just for fun type into Google’s search engine “mother in law from hell”

Hopefully with this new-found sisterhood I can cut back on the vodka a bit  : )

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About lmarmstrong66

I'm a blogger, painter, writer, singer. For the love of all things in nature and creativity.
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39 Responses to Mother in law hell

  1. Señora López says:

    Believe me – we are not alone! 🙂

    I’m a North American married to a Central American (from El Salvador), and I believe the Latin American mother-in-laws can be just as troublesome as the Italian ones 😉 It is a very difficult cultural difference to embrace.

  2. Linda says:

    I keep forgetting, I am a mother in law now! Ha and for as much as I like to be fooled into thinking my daughter in law and I have a good relationship we do get on each others nerves and even fight. It seems to be a rocky road for anyone. And I am on my third mother in law myself.

  3. Marisa says:

    I just moved in with my CRAZY Spanish mother in Law (I am a North American) and was attacked physically when suggesting I do my husband and my own laundry. Litterally had the clothes ripped out of my arms. Thank goodness this should be temporary! Thanks for posting the site! Hilarious!

    • Oh Dear! I play dumb sometimes and ask my MIL to show me how the iron works (it is a bit different than the type at home), or how to cook something, this way she doesn’t feel railroaded by my presence. The only thing I still have an issue with is that she likes to cook all the time and I may have already had other dinner plans for us! She is always cooking stuff I hate and then I feel stupid making something only for me to eat. But she has gotten used to my picky diet. Best of luck to you! Glad you enjoy my blog : )

  4. Anonymous says:

    OMG! I can’t believe so many women are in my position!
    My boyfriend (Who i will soon be marrying) and i live with my soon to be in laws. My boyfriend and his family are Ecuadorian and we live in Ecuador but I’m from the U.S. we have to live with them until we have enough money to have our own apartment which could be up to a year from now!
    She is always interrupting us to ask him if he wants to eat, we have to do her errands with her on the weekends, I swear she must dislike her own husband because she uses my boyfriend as a surrogate husband!
    It’s causing problems in our relationship because my boyfriend feels torn between my mother in law and me but is it so much to ask that she show me a little respect?!

  5. roxanne midulla says:

    I married an american-italian. I have only one word of advice. If his mother is still alive, do not marry an Italian. Worst culture in the world.

    • pat says:

      I’m Italian from Northern Italy (1 hour road from Austria) and there people are more like germans, but in the rest of Italy, especially in the south, mother son relation is disgustingly close like in all southern Europe. The only Italians with little mother / son issues are in Northern Italy, probably because there people have more germanic roots than latin.

      Tell me, do most american-italians come from southern-italy?

      • Hi Pat,
        Most Italian immigrants in Canada seem to come from the South not North of Italy. My husband has explained that the economy post war was much better in the North so people either came North or left Italy altogether for a better future.

      • Eleonora says:

        I’m from northern Italy either and my mother in law (Venetian) is a darling, she loves me like a daughter, helps me and my husband isn’t a mama-boy at all. My life is perfect and wonderful. I’m very sorry for roxanne and the blogger, but I think is unfair to write that Italian culture is the worst.

      • Dear Eleanora, perhaps you should read more posts because this blog is meant to see the lighter side and humour of life in Italy, not only show the worst. Life is full of ups and downs and if you read other comments you would soon learn that my mil is also very generous and kind…

      • Eleonora says:

        lmarmstrong66. you’re right and I apologize to you, I understand your article is meant to be funny, but I’ve read this comment: ”f his mother is still alive, do not marry an Italian. Worst culture in the world.” It doesn’t seem something hilarious.
        Same goes for hazel007 (March 18, 2013 at 2:34 pm)’s comment. In Italy there are both intrusive and good mothers in law and millions of Italian men aren’t mama-boys. Not only my Italian mother in law is a darling, my Italian mother is also a darling with my brother’s wife. Both my mother and my mother in law are 70 years old.
        If you’re American, Italy isn’t that different by your country. Although Italy is way smaller than U.S., is a mosaic of many cultures. The typical Italian doesn’t exist.
        Merry Christmas to everybody!

  6. hazel007 says:

    I was actually relieved to hear that the problems of the mother in law are not just an italian thing. I thought it was just an italian problem (I am italian) because for that generation of women, with a particular trait of character (intrusive, disrespectful, asfixiating, gossiper, busy-vodies, in that incestuous relationship with the male son..) will send you to the looney bin.
    My advice..don’t marry an italian mama’s boy. You. are. doomed. -.-
    It will drive you bananas.

    • Lucky for me my husband is very independent and self-sufficient, but his mom still tries to lay his clothes out for him sometimes and if she doesn’t like what he’s wearing she yells at me hahaha. I just laugh and tell her that her son must be colour- blind 😉

  7. Katie says:

    I was so pleased to find this website! Before I launch into a critique of my Italian motherinlaw I would like to affirm that I know lots of really nice Italians, this is purely a critique of the Italians in my husband’s family and Italians themselves who have complained to me about their own Italian mothers and mother in laws.
    When you marry an Italian, if they are a traditional Italian with traditional family from the south usually worse, I m trying not to mention a particular town, you really do have to be prepared to marry the family too in my experience and with this, means:
    Parents on the phone talking about food and gossip every day or two days.
    Son taking great pleasure in talking about banal trivia for ages with mummy
    Pressure to go on holiday every year with mamma and papa’ and all the relatives to the same average seaside town because “e’ comodo” and everyone follows the same trend.
    Being told you have put weight on or hearing people bitching about your weight gain
    Women generally bitching about other women’s appearance
    Pressure to do la bella figura ALL the time
    Appearance is number 1 priority in Italy followed by food and clothes and la bella figura
    Relatives very intrusive and suspicious of anything different
    Adults making children fit in with them not vice versa. I received lots of resistance to my baby son needing to go to bed at 7.30
    Children wrapped up too much setting the standard for feeble tollerance to cold as adults
    Preciousness and at the same time ironically disaffection to insults because they are so used to it
    Mother in law tidying around you all the time
    and obsessed with cleaning and making the bed perfectly
    My mother in law insults me and her own children regularly, the best one I got this holiday was ” ooo you were much thinner in the last weeks of pregnancy than now”
    My Italian motherinlaw is a pushy, loud mouthed, eats and talks with mouth wide open, insulting, obtuse, insensitive and incapable of showing any empathy to anyone even her precious son, pain in the bum. She stirs and winds up wherever she goes. I m in need of a holiday after my “holiday” with her.
    Does anyone else have similar problems with their Italian mother in law?
    😦

    • Hi Katie, thanks for finding my blog 🙂
      What you have described is indeed accurate in many cases. I am pretty sure that my lack of language skills saved my sanity in many ways!
      Although I will agree with the appalling table manners, (note to self, never sit between my MIL and husband in a restaurant), my extended family have been pretty nice to me. So, I consider myself to be very lucky 🙂
      My perspective of relaxing vacation time is also quite different than my husband’s. But I always manage to steal him away for together time by taking him out of the area for holidays…where no one can just turn up. Lol.

      Take care, Leah

  8. vrna iaccarino says:

    count me in!
    cant live here anymore. am a filipina with 2 kids, husband on the ship, living before with in laws but now in front of their house. She makes me feel so depressed that i just want to disappear. My latest was i took my children, 3 and 1, in parco giochi. She called me as soon as we got off from the bus. She asked me WHY i didnt even call her just to say that we’re going???? I said why do i have to call you???? this happened before and non ce la faccio piu. am 30 yrs old and maybe turning 13 yrs old. she said am maleducata blah blah blah and hangup. she even called me when we got home so i can say that were home. cant do or go anywhere. i told her i want a little bit of space coz of the thin air. i want to be more independent and my husband doesnt even want to hear that from me. it makes me mad and sad. maybe they should just marry themselves. i just want to be a mother to my children,enjoy it like others ma non lo so. it sucks that sometimes i feel that i got no choice but to be with them coz i got nobody here…

    • Want some friendly advice? Call her and text her 30 times a day, lol. Then she will get the hint that she is being overbearing and perhaps stop.
      Sorry you are having a rough go at it…

    • hopelessromantic77 says:

      So sad. I feel your pain! it is a miserable predicament to be in. I can relate to “no choice but to be with them coz I got nobody here…” but for me this one line has changed over the one year. I rather be alone then with them… i’ll take that! and im soon on route of moving on from even the love of my life cuz stress kills! and shoooooot if you or me then YOU! im not gonna sacrifice my health for these crazy ass people!! I hope ur well VRna

  9. trina says:

    @Katie:I feel your pain. Im in the same situation as you, married an italian and live next door to my italian mother-in-law in the south of italy. Life is somtimes like a LIVING HELL. (thats all i have to say). God bless you.
    Not to say that all italians are loud, rude, and insensitive. My husband is one of the most caring, sensitive beautiful humanbeings alive. Even he can see how is mother behaves. We treat her with so much love and respect, but she will always hate my husband for marrying me, cos im not catholic and have a different approach to life. Im not a religous person, but i belive in being a good person and worshiping God in your heart.

    There is good and bad in each culture, but the older generation in Italy cannot tolerate positive change and common sense. Theres alot of ignorance going on, which you wish you could help them understand,( but dont waste your energy as you will either be seen as an outcast).My mother-in-law walks into our home without greeting me.
    She gossips with her staunch catholic neighbours. She cleans and cleans the house yet no one wants to come inside. If you step out in the garden, the next day she starts to sweep the garden, which has only two leaves on the ground. She hates everything thats loving and innocent. It brakes my heart when i have to see her throw rocks and stones at starving stray dogs that took shelter near her home on a raining day. If my husband and i go out even after weeks, she is bitter and glum with my husband and especially me.
    She expects us to live in her misery, not go anywhere, stay in the same town for the rest of our lives and live to eat…God if im wrong forgive me, but i really cant take this anymore.

  10. patbona says:

    I noted that the more a society is patriarchal the more there are problems with unhealthy mother / son relationships.

    In these societies mother / son relation is perverted because women get consideration only when they are mothers of a son (mother or bitch). They are just not allowed to be women at all.

    In such societies women are stuck in their mother role and forced to be too close to their children, with men traditionally kept out of having meaningful relations with their kids (parenting for men not seen as “manly”) which is bad for the emotional health of both mother and children (children staying too close to their mothers to grow up). Not to mention the probably almost extinct sexual live when they become mothers, due to religious and society pressure. Too often mothers are compared to the Virgin Mary (which I consider sometimes to the worst MIL of all).

    In such societies mothers have still today little possibilities to do anything else for themselves. Kind of a barless prison, that keeps both mothers and sons prisoners.

  11. FLA says:

    My Italian MIL visits every few winters from Italy. All she does is complain of ailments…I am not sure that any truly exist–the doctors say no. My kids do not like her because she never wants to play with them because she is too tired, too old, etc., etc. She is not bossy with me but she is always too hot, too cold, dizzy, too tired, has a headache, an upset stomach, aching bones, is seeing spots…the best one was this week when she told me her thyroid hurt…”fa male tutto….oooo dio, signore povera mi.” Is constant self-pity and general complaining a common trait? (Not southern or northern–from central Italy.)

    • Ha! Yes, it does seem that way over here. Many are paranoid about getting a draft if the window is open or a fan is on and pointing at them. The kids here too seem to get a lot of fevers. Very strange. If you tell an Italian you don’t feel well the first thing they ask you is if you got a fever. The second thing they will tell you is that you are depressed.
      I think a lot has to do with the economy and state of the country in general. It is very rainy and grey here in the North which is related to depression and it is also very damp which may be why they are weird about the air and drafts. It could be 15C but the humidity still gets into your bones and you want to be wearing a warm jacket. If it was 15C in Canada we would all be wearing shorts and a t-shirt, hahaha

      • Eleonora says:

        Well, I live in northern Italy and I disagree the wheather is always grey and bad. Warm season starts on April and ends in October. There are a lot of sunny days even on Winters. The 8 regions of northern Italy are VERY different each other and change from beautiful mountains’ landscape to beach.
        Living in an alpine region I’m used to extremely cold Winter, I don’t complain it. Moreover Liguria’s echonomy is way worse than other 7 regions in the north, Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna are rich, Piedmont is going well and the 3 authonomous regions are well either. As my husband and I both have a good job, I’m not depressed. My life, as I’ve already written, is wonderful, jobs, nature, cities, people, is all very nice here. It seems to me that you all are making generalizations. Per favore, smettetela di criticare gli italiani, essere italiani è una nazionalità e non una razza di animali, se 10 italiani la pensano in un modo, non significa che gli altri 55 milioni la pensino come loro. Siate un po’ aperti mentalmente ed accettate che esistono adorabili suocere italiane, che il tempo NON è sempre grigio e deprimente, che in Italia vive anche gente felice, che non tutti pensano di avere la febbre ai primi sintomi del raffreddore, cercate di allargare le vedute, io AMO il mio paese, amo il mio clima, amo interagire con gli altri italiani, qui nel mio paesino tutti si conoscono, si sorridono, si salutano e aiutano a vicenda, amo stare qui e non immigrerei mai altrove nemmeno se mi offrissero di vivere in un posto dove è estate tutto l’anno.

  12. Mary says:

    HA! You think you got it bad….we’ll let me start by telling you I’ve been living with MIL since 2001. Her husband passed away in 98 and she moved to VA following us. She got a small apartment same complex we were; we would visit her on weekends after church and it was awesome. I had 2 small children at the time, got pregnant and she decided to give my husband his early inherent (a house). We moved in together, 4 bedrooms house. We give her the master bedroom since she was sooo nice in giving us this beautiful gift. My husband and I loved to have her with us because she would help us with the kids while we worked. Then, he’ll broke open,,,,,she started controlling the financials and getting involved with everything weather, doctors app, rehearsal ect..she would write everything on the calendar and will reminded us constantly if we missed something. Did I mention she is ITALIAN? I’m not italian neither an American but our upbringings are similar. We are both Catholics so in his department she loved me . When we moved in fist we couldn’t eat anywhere but the kitchen, the kids would have to play only in the playroom. The whole house was a museum. The blinds would have to be up every AM and even. Down by dusk and only lamps could be o sometimes we were watching TV and she would walk in turning lights off . Doors closed at all time because the heat or AC would run more $$. Formal dinning only on Sundays at 2:00 pm no later than that. Used formal silverware from knifes to salad fork regular fork ect… One day I spilled a soda on the carpet and I started crying apologizing to her and her look on her face was speechless. I became pregnant with my 4th child and things starting to be worse. She would be so mean to my kids, she would smacked them on their faces yelling and screaming and calling them names. She even put them in dark closets when they did not listen to her. My kids would tell me how mean she was and I would tell my husband but he told me that’s how he was raced and he turned out ok. Yeah…. A dis functional family I say! . I became so depressed and stressed out that I miscarriage the baby at 15 weeks. Went to the hospital alone because my husband had to look after the kids. Came home and empty inside 😦 I felt so lost and all because of the stresses of being in our house but controlled by MIL. I didn’t care anymore and wanted to live so bad but deep inside I knew I couldn’t do it because of my believes in marriage and my kids. I got pregnant again and this time I was doing better in my job, I was happy because I love children and I told myself I would not let her get the best of me. My MIL is a nice person don’t get me wrong but very difficult to live with, she is a Gemini (two face ). 2 weeks before my last baby I had it with her and told my husband I wanted out……he told me what could he do and I told him to cut the umbilical cord from his mom! And if he didn’t move out that same day I was going to live him. He had no choice. She told us we were making a big mistake and we told her maybe but our happiness was more important than living in a house that wasn’t even ours until she died. We were not happy being constantly reminders of how bad we were racing our children(to her standard ). We moved in to a nice home the very same day and I had my baby and we were so happy,,,,finally our home. Then, she starting coming around again and told us she’ll move out and we should come to our house. She got her own place and we moved back home.
    4 years ago she began to frail and we thought it was time to bring her back with us so we could take care of her. She is 86 and STILL runs the house. I’m done! She would never ever change. There is a saying: ” name me an Italian MIL who doesn’t want to be in control” well mine is. I’m stuck with her. I’ve been married for 18 years and lived with MIL for 12……I have yet enjoy my marriage. Don’t make the same mistake I made.

    • Mary! I think you broke the record for longest comment on my blog 🙂
      It sounds like you had a tough go at it. I’m sorry to hear that. While my Mil can make me crazy at times, I know her heart is in the right place. She has always been very generous and kind to me. There are big cultural differences for sure and I learned the value of locked doors in bathrooms but I find it is better to try and laugh at the craziness that is my life as much as possible. I hope things improve for you in time. Take care and keep calm and carry on 🙂 hugs, Leah

    • hopelessromantic77 says:

      your story almost had me in tears. if it wasn’t for the fact that I’m at work I think I would be sobbing hysterically. im scared that this will be my future. Screw Romeo and prince charming no one told Cinderella that the real witch is her mother in law!! DAMMMMMMM lol

  13. tungigiHnin says:

    Italian mothers in law are not the only ones. I live in the South of Spain and I can assure you they are the same here. We are in a small village where the local pastime is gossiping and bitching about other people. My father in law is good to me but is a total macho pig towards his wife. My husband (when I met him) in London was a totally different person but now that we are in “his” territory he is very macho too, though he´d never admit it. He starts shouting at me for the stupidest things and I have told him that this is not acceptable. Today he started shouting at me again because I didn´t know how to do something, our 4 year old daughter was around and he started shouting at me. I am 6 months pregnant and the last few months have been hard as I am far away from family and friends and am here living in their village. Well, I was so upset that I could´t help crying. Guess what? The mother in law comes into my room 5 minutes later to tell me that I am behaving like a child by crying and showing my emotions in front of my daughter and that even if her son shouts at me I should´t get upset.
    And now she isn´t even talking to me.
    I feel so lost here and so incredibly down. Somehow, as he is her golden son, all the things that go wrong are considered my fault, my doing. i can´t even talk to my parents about this as they are so far away on a different continent and it´s only make them worry.
    My mother in law has no empathy whatsoever, expects everyone else to react, feel, think like her. Feels free to criticize me in everything from the way I am not at a fiesta every day (she is 70 and she is always at parties…has called me a bland bore for not wanting to go out all the time), she criticizes the way I dress my own daughter because the clothes are not flashy enough etc. etc.
    I donut know what to do as I wanted this pregnancy to go peacefully as the previous one was a nightmare with pretty much the same problems.
    Just need someone to understand because I feel like I´m going crazy here.

  14. tungigi says:

    Italian mothers in law are not the only ones. I live in the South of Spain and I can assure you they are the same here. We are in a small village where the local pastime is gossiping and bitching about other people. My father in law is good to me but is a total macho pig towards his wife. My husband (when I met him) in London was a totally different person but now that we are in “his” territory he is very macho too, though he´d never admit it. He starts shouting at me for the stupidest things and I have told him that this is not acceptable. Today he started shouting at me again because I didn´t know how to do something, our 4 year old daughter was around and he started shouting at me. I am 6 months pregnant and the last few months have been hard as I am far away from family and friends and am here living in their village. Well, I was so upset that I could´t help crying. Guess what? The mother in law comes into my room 5 minutes later to tell me that I am behaving like a child by crying and showing my emotions in front of my daughter and that even if her son shouts at me I should´t get upset.
    And now she isn´t even talking to me.
    I feel so lost here and so incredibly down. Somehow, as he is her golden son, all the things that go wrong are considered my fault, my doing. i can´t even talk to my parents about this as they are so far away on a different continent and it´s only make them worry.
    My mother in law has no empathy whatsoever, expects everyone else to react, feel, think like her. Feels free to criticize me in everything from the way I am not at a fiesta every day (she is 70 and she is always at parties…has called me a bland bore for not wanting to go out all the time), she criticizes the way I dress my own daughter because the clothes are not flashy enough etc. etc.
    I donut know what to do as I wanted this pregnancy to go peacefully as the previous one was a nightmare with pretty much the same problems.
    Just need someone to understand because I feel like I´m going crazy here.

    • Hi, gosh I am so sorry for your situation, it sounds like you are havong a tough go at things. I just had my mil here for the night, she was supposed to stay several but left only after one night saying that she wasn’t comfortable in my house (I even knew she was smoking in the bedroom and turned a blind eye to keep the peace) At first I was insulted, since in my opinion I did all I could to make her feel welcome. But you know what, I stopped myself from feeling that way. I realized that it was her problem and not mine. No matter what I did, it was never going to be good enough. So, I just shrugged my shoulders and moved on. I will focus on the positives, like she is there for me when I need someone to watch my cat when I am on holiday. This has more value to me than anything else.
      I’m sure that being six months pregnant has heightened your emotions too so next time you feel this way count to ten and start humming your favourite tune 🙂 or nod and say I know, I know and smile a lot, hahaha. I find that if I just agree and say yes it shuts down the naysayers fast. As for your husband, well I can relate to that too. My husband has changed over the years and has taken to snapping at me at times. I shut him down immediately and tell him that his tone is unacceptable. It really is a cultural thing for sure. But I also found myself constantly compaining too and I am sure I was no picnic to be around. I try and stop myself from complaining so much since I am sure my husband gets the bulk of it. Now when we talk I try and talk about all the positive things. If something is bothering me we talk but as soon as he gets defensive I change the subject and say not to worry that it is nothing then call a girlfriend. European men have a strong desire to protect and provide and if we demonstrate that they are not meeting these needs with our complaints then they turn and get defensive. I wish you luck my friend. Stay Zen! You married for love…and now you have a happy baby coming into the world soon! How exciting!
      Hugs, Leah

      • Gigi says:

        Thanks Leah….gosh!! It´s great to be able to get advice from someone who can empathize. It´s difficult to even have close confidants here as everyone seems to be related to everyone….un primo or una prima….so tongues wag an awful lot.
        Thank you 🙂

      • Glad to help. 🙂

  15. f graziani says:

    I think I may be opposite now in position but could really use some help regarding my mother in law. My husband is Italian. We have been together now ten years. My mother in law was wonderful and loved me until she realized I was marrying my husband and he was leaving her home. I actually really was saddened at the change but I gave up life here in america to move to Italy so she wouldn’t be alone (my husband was very close also-we planned both ways for over a year and I knew he just would be miserable leaving her). We lived there for over 3 years. There were some hurtful moments, extreme unbelievable moments from her and his family that I think could only happen over there. In the end, I really became miserable, we both tried to get her to accept us. he would leave for a day or some days to see her and would come back stressed because she was very unhappy for my marrying him. Eventually we both had to come here; she wouldn’t budge on her pride (I don’t think it was all her however; when her sister and family attacked me in our home once I saw her look at me and quietly have a sort of sad look. I think it was the pressure of her sister.

    We are now here in America, my husband is fairly bitter. He said goodbye to his mother before coming here and asked her to try to come see us. She hit him, yelled and told him to leave. He was very hurt. However, I am very worried now. She is 78 years old. She lives in a small town where she is secluded with stairs all over the village and is on the fourth floor. there is another condo there on the floor above her that we contemplated eventually staying in to help her (whether she likes it or not) but have to face that it’s just not possible. Our job is very good here and my kids have just begun or are in College here. We want her to come here. This is the help part. I have gotten my husband to begin writing her and trying to call (I know this can take time). She is just so close to her sister; they live literally less then a Km away in the same town. She has a lot of pride and listens to her sister; whom has only her husband and her. We would like to try to persuade her to come here. I honestly don’t know what will happen to her in the next couple of years after 80 but am extremely worried. My husband says he’ll try but still doesnt think she will come voluntarily and that her sister, no matter how bad a shape she is in, will fight hard against it. Any real suggestions would be welcome. Thanks in advance.

    • Dear reader,
      The cultural differences are wide however, your husband chose to marry you and accept those differences. Why should you be miserable when his mother has made it clear that she doesn’t approve of your marriage?
      She is a grown woman and her sister is there to assist her if needed. Don’t let her manipulate you into thinking she is fragile and weak, she’s not. Bringing her to another country will just increase her dependency on you and she will miss her sister so how can that be better for her? As she ages, encourage your husband to visit her more often and make arrangements with locals or services in her region to help her if needed in his absence.
      I think you need to ask your husband about where his bitterness comes from. Is he bitter at his mother for treating you poorly and driving you away? Or, is he bitter at you for wanting to leave a miserable living situation? He is most likely torn between his loyalty to his mother, especially if he is an only child, and his new life in America, which is his present and future. He has a responsibility to your kids and to you as his family too.
      Not an easy situation or solution. Italian men seem to have difficulty letting go of the apron strings…mostly because the women are often widowed and they have an insane need to place all familial responsibility on the shoulders of the men in their clan. A very old-fashioned mentality, and ridiculous expectation in today’s society. Reverse the scenario for a minute…would your husband tolerate being manipulated and mis-treated by your parents?
      Wishing you strength and patience to find the right balance in this situation.
      Hugs,
      Leah

      • f graziani says:

        Thank you so much for your response and help. It is exactly the situation for my husband with his mother; he lost his father when he was 15. Just after the death, apparantly, there was a lot of cruelty toward her from the family and she was forced out of their family home by his brothers. A normal family feud ensued and my husband felt the responsibility. It has to be said in here that I see the very best and unique parts of him are thanks to the dedication to his family and mother. He was really torn and it hurt a lot to see that over the years. I asked less of him; especially in the first years, to try to spare him the delusion I knew he was feeling. The first year he was utterly convinced that she would come around and would be just a little more deluded and quiet each time things like our engagement, wedding, etc came up. Finally he gave up but then it took awhile to wait for him to defend me. However, he did. There was a point when I was crying and really just tired of it all after the family was there. I was really sobbing when he came back. That was the point when he really became bitter (4 years ago) and it never changed. In any time I tell him to talk to her and keep up with a visit or connection he will listen to me and promise to try to forgive and try again but I think he has been shot down just too many times. Nothing is really so black and white and there are a lot of hurt feelings with the very large problematic pride.

        You did help with that-I talked to Francesco about maybe an agency over there and I did remember that Italian women can be healthier longer. His mother was very strong; I will just always worry that strength may ebb. She loves my husband. I don’t understand this pride over all else; that’s what I need to understand. I think she does need him. I always understood her in a way because she has been a tough lady with a lot of strikes against her. It still saddens me that we couldn’t have made the best of it and added her as a Nonna to my kids. She’s a good woman; just has a lot of pride. Still going to keep trying to have some kind of communication. We do need to visit in the next years; maybe then he would go after in some kind of a normal schedule. Not giving up yet though for that (smile). Thanks again.

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