Relationships & SexProblem Pages

Selfish mother-in-law is ruining our marriage

Problem PagesBy Maura O'Neill
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Dear Maura

I'd given my wife an ultimatum: Me or her mother. The woman is your worst nightmare by a million.

Think of all the mother-in-law jokes and you’ll be­gin to get an idea of what I’m talking about.

She’s been ill over the last two years. My wife’s sister does nothing to help. No matter what you do for the woman it’s not good enough.

Quite simply, I just can’t take anymore. I know it’s not fair on my wife, but I’m hoping that she will see that she needs to put some distance between her and her selfish mother.

Am I wrong about this or is there some method in my madness?

MAURA SAYS: I wouldn’t see it as madness, more a build-up of frustration over the years and now you can’t take anymore.

Also, you are just being protective of your wife and trying to fight her corner. But it’s a tricky situation and there’s no easy solution.

It’s such a pity that your sister-in-law isn’t doing her part. Is there any way you could convince her to get on board?

What about getting in some home help?

You need to have some­one else sharing the care of your wife’s mother.

It’s too much to expect you to continue as you’ve been doing and you’re right to stand your ground on that point.