mother and husband problems

kymw61768April 7, 2008

Hi everyone,

I've lurked around here a while and read many posts. After being so confused I've decided to post for opinions that are unbiased.

Here is my question....Is my mom being over protective?

I want to give you some background. I was married 16 yrs to my childrens father. I have twin daughters that are 21 and in college so they dont live at home. I also have a 10 year old son that live with me and my 2nd husband of 3 yrs now. My first husband (children's dad) passed away 3 years ago.

My new husband is very good to my children. My daughters arent home much but when they are here he is wonderful about cooking for them and they like him. My son loves him too. They play video games together and pass football outside. My husband never complains about driving my son 600 miles to WVA and 600 miles back 3 to 4 times a year to see his fathers family. He really is good to him.

My mother has always had a problem with my new husband. She is still very much grieving over my 1st husband death. She says he was like a son to her. I understand that because I miss him very much too. Actually my entire family (my father,sister,brother) were very close to my first husband and miss him alot. But it seems that my 2nd husband cant be given a fair chance.

My mother and husband has had differences a few times in the past 3 yrs. She DID NOT want me to marry him. She says it was too soon. (we were divorced 5 yrs before he passed away) There have been a few instance where my mom has been at my house and have had words with my husband. She makes comments about it being Billy and Kym's house. Not my new husbands house. Ive moved from that house now. She doesnt want my husband to dicipline my son. My husband now (Wesley)has spanked my son about 3 times in 3 yrs. My mom found out the Thursday that he had spanked him and when he came to pick my son up. She jumped all over my Wesley (in front of my son) and would not let him take him home. Told him I would have to come and get him and shoved my son into her bedroom so he couldnt go. My son was saying "no Mema I want to go with Wes" My husband just left and called me and told me to go get him when I got off of work.

When I went to pick him up she was trying to argue with me. I wouldnt I just got my son and left. I havent talked to her until this morning she called me at work. She said she wouldnt be able to pick my son up because she was doing her taxes. I had not planned on her picking him up. Ive made other arrangements. She told me if I wanted to be with "him" tht was my business. But that she didnt want him spanking my son. Is this her business? Am I wrong? She tried saying my son was scared because she was going to say something to Wes when he got there to pick him up. From what I could tell and after talking to my son. He was upset because he said Mema overreacts and he didnt want her to hurt Wesley's feeling" He then said "why doesnt she like Wes" My son knows that he can get a "sympathy" from my mom. And he does work it. She feels sorry for him because his dad died and she will tell everyone that "Landon(my son) can do no wrong. So yes as a 10 yr old he does work it. I hope he has learned his lesson after this.

Its just that this sort of thing has happened several time with my mother and my husband. My husband will never argue with her but it sure seems she is trying hard to pick fights. He will leave and I think this makes her mad. Its not always about my could be about him smoking to him living in mine and "Billy's" house (weve moved now) to how I spend the Survivors benefit check tht is for my son. Is any of this really her business. What do I do? my mom and I used to be close really close. But looking back we got along because I was always doing whatever she thought I should do. Now at 41 Ive changed alot of things in my life some not by choice and she is always telling me I make bad decisions and has always meade me fell like nothing.

I pointed out to her that my step father spanked me. What is the difference?

Sorry this is long but felt that the background needed to be told. There are so many "instances: with my mon I couldnt begin to tell them all.

Thanks in advance for taking the time to read and reply.

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Ok, generally, your mom should just bud out of your life, but, and this is a big but, I find in some situations like yours, there may be more to the story and you may be leaving out some stuff.

I have a good friend who talks and sounds almost exactly like you do about her mom and dad not liking her boyfriend... similar examples, similar tone, similar my mom should bud out stories, but I know something she hasn't told me that her mom has told me... her boyfriend has physically abused her big time and was acutally arrested for it. She seems to leave this part out when she complains about her parents not accepting him.

Now, I'm not saying that something like this is happening in your case; I've just seen it more than once. There is a reason your mom doesn't like your new husband. Yes, parents should bud out, but I find in 90% of the cases, mom's maybe do know best and want the best for their children. The fact that your mother didn't do this with your first husband leads me to think that it's not just her personality style to bud in, but that there may be something she senses or even knows about your current husband. I think even you may be closing your eyes to some things. Otherwise, I'm not sure why you would even post this.

So in other words, if you have given us all the needed details and there is nothing else going on, then yes, your mother is wrong to bud in... but if there is more to the story and your mother may really be worried about the safety of you and her grandson, then she probably does have a right to bud in.

Have you had a long talk with your mother. Try that, get everything out. Ask her bluntly what she specifically doesn't like about your husband; what she suspects. I have a feeling there is more to it than the fact that he's just not your first husband. Curious, does your husband work and contribute substantially to your family financially? The house owner comments seem like maybe she doesn't think he's bringing in enough.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 1:29PM
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Thanks Carla for replying,
My husband has never abused me. I wouldnt live with that. My mom just loved my first husband. Years ago she was like this with my brothers girlfriend. She seems to find something in our (mine,brothers or sisters)lifestyle and then makes it out to be horrible. Makes a mountain out of a molehill. So its definitely her style.
The running joke in our family is when she starts on someone the others say " well aleast she's giving us a break for the moment"
She did nose around in my first marriage but like I said before I did everything she wanted so she didnt bother me much. That was when my brother was dealing with so much of her stuff.
I know that she means well and I know she loves us but she needs to realize that we are grown adults now.
The house comments were because she didnt want me to marry again. She said I should wait until my children were grown and then worry about another man. My first husband was a great dad and husband for years. The last 5 yrs he was strung out on drugs....meaning everything. Lortab,percoset,methadone and shooting dilauded. Thats the reason for the divorce. Then he passed away with a drug overdose. We all miss him but life does go on.She makes me feel awful for remarrying. My new husband doesnt do drugs and yes he works. He works for an explosive company and is a blaster. He makes alot more than me in the summer and works 10-12 hours a day. In the winter when the weather is bad he doesnt get as many hours. Everything is regulated by ATF and homeland security. He still always makes at least what I make even on the slow seasons. He always contributes to the household. We couldnt make it on my income because I help pay for my twin daughters college.
We sold my house and moved to a new house that was just "ours" after we were married a year. I didnt use any money from my old house to buy the new one. At my husbands request we divided it 3 ways for my children. So then that is when she made the comment to Wes that my 1st husband pays the mortgage still because of the survivors benefits. She doesnt know what I do with that money. I do pay bills with it and my son has everything and more than he needs.
The reason she doesnt like him from what I can tell is this......He doesnt tolerate her being this way. And shes not used to it.My father even told her to mind her own business and if she had to say something she should ahve waited until my son wasnt around.
There is a part missing to the story but I didnt want to mention this. But I will now that you have said there must be a reason that she's so concerned.
When I was 2 I was adopted by her husband(the only father I know) and not to go off too far into it but he was physically abusive to me from the time I was 2 until about 4. Then it turned from physical to very very emotional abuse until I moved out at 17.
I hate to even say this because I feel that Im betraying my mother but at the same time I keep thinking....why in the hell didnt you stick up for me like that. My children have never lived through anything that my mother put us through by staying with a man that was mean.And I do feel bad talking about this because she has always been a good mom just really nosey and bossy.
I hope this clears thing up a bit.
Looking forward to more comments. I need to figure out how to deal with her!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 2:23PM
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Yep, that does clear it up a bit. I dind't mean to be so nosey about income and such, I have just noticed that sometimes those "digs" have some background to them.

I truly can't believe the positive fasination your mother had with your first husband especially considering the divorce and his drug problem. Wow, that's some unconditional love for an in-law.

I would bet your mom is afraid that your husband is going to turn out like hers and abuse your child. Maybe she's paranoid, maybe she's just guilty and trying to reflect some of it onto your husband. It's a shame that she can't be happy for you that you found someone you love to marry that will help raise your son (and daughters).

I would still have a serious talk with her. Gosh, even bring up your step father if you must especially if you think it may be the reason she is so overprotective of your child and his stepfather. But, try to get at the root of her problem. Unless there is even more to the story that even you are not aware of, then I see no reason that your mother should be allowed to abuse your new husband the way she has been. And, yes I would use those words to her.

If she continues to pick on him or start fights, you, as the daughter, should kindly ask her to leave your house or leave hers. I'm not talking about shutting her out for ever or never inviting her back, just make her go home when she plays bad. She should get the picture.

It's bad enough she subjected you to an abuser as a child; you and your husband shouldn't have to put up with her abuse as an adult. Talk to her and see what she has to say.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 3:02PM
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I think she is living in the past. When I married my 1st husband at 18 my father then changed. No more verbal abuse. I guess he realized I was grown and he actually became very nice. Helping with our down payment on our first house etc. And believe it or not hes a loving grandfather. I still have issues with him but for the most part all is better. I said that to say I think my mom looks back to that time during my marriage as the first time that things were normal. No more worrying about the way I was being treated.So those were good times. We were all married and having kids and going to my mom & dad's for dinners and pool parties etc. When I divorced and had to go to work full time with 3 young kids things changed. Then she started. heaven forbid I date! I was criticized for everything from what I wore to where I went to who I had visit at my home. Believe me I was raised very sheltered and I certainly wasnt doing anything that was wrong. Especially since I had children at home. I said that because I think that is why she loved my ex so much. And he was one of those guys that everyone loved being around! In a sense he brought our family together. So she glamorizes the past as my therapist once told me. Too bad I dont still see her...LOL

I cant bring up the past with my mom. During the time I was dating Wes we really had some blow outs and I did say to her some things I wish I just let go now. When I talked to her about my childhood she always says "I know I know we were such awful parents" sorta sarcastic and sorta defensive. She will say " why do children blame everything on their parents" Im not even blaming just that if you want to go nose in my stuff then I have a right to say a few things. I'm not going to let anything go on in my home that she did ALLOW. I would be enbarrassed to even say anything if I was her.
I did just leave when she started when I picked up my son.I told her I would not argue with her.Thats been the way Ive handled her lately,just leave. She called me today at work and said "I cant talk to you when it comes to Wes"
Am I wrong....Its not that I dont want to talk to her but Im trying to draw some boundaries and stand united with my husband. Something I didnt always do with my first husband.
I love her but we cant talk about anything anymore because it always goes back to how stupid I am for marrying Wes. Funny thing is she will ALWAYS tell me how I did nothing wrong in my first marriage. That I was a good wife and mother and it was all his fault yet she loves him and hates my new husband!
I will never get to the root because shes not willing to talk about the past without getting defensive. Again, sorry this is so long! And Thank you for listening.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 3:45PM
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Sounds like she's a 'black and white thinker' with an 'on/off' switch when it comes to you --

When you married your Ex, she turned her 'mothering switch' off and allowed running your life to be your husband's issue. Then when you divorced, she turned the 'mother switch' back on and started trying to control your life again. And it sounds like she resented doing it. Why would she feel she had to?

I'd try a calm, clear, firm and short statement where you thank her for her concern, but state that YOU are the person in charge of your own life and family, that you are 100% committed to your marriage, that you have a good husband who is a good father, and that you will no longer tolerate any criticism of your husband or interference in your life. State that you will always love her, but that you will enforce your boundaries with your feet -- then DO IT.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 4:56PM
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There are actually several issues in your post. It's not really one question.

Most of what your mom is doing/saying is wrong. She shouldn't be interfering in your marriage. Period. I have some serious questions about why she seems to have had such warm feelings for someone so involved with drugs, but that's probaby better not looked at too closely.

But since you've posted about the abuse in your early life--it stands to reason your mom was probably abused, too. And if she wasn't, she knows you were, and is in hell thinking about how she wasn't able, back then, to stop the abuse. Even if that's not the case, a woman who would sit back and allow her child to be hurt--either physically or mentally by a man who wasn't related to her by blood has some real issues.

And maybe now--that she's older and has possibly found some strength, she's trying to make up for that by protecting your son.

She's certainly wrong for butting in. But there's a part of me that knows she's ABSOLUTELY RIGHT to stand up for a child who is being hit by an adult. That's never right. It's never necessary. But YOU should be the one forbidding anyone from hitting your child. Children should be raised with love. I'm not saying children shouldn't be disciplined--appropriate discipine is just as important as love. But it teaches them nothing positive when someone bigger and more powerful than they are tries to solve problems with physical violence. As both a teacher and the parent of an adult child who's never ever been hit by either of her parents--and who turned out to be a stellar person--I can assure you there are far better, far more effective, far more positive methods of discipline you can use.

Again--it's not your mother's place to interfere in your marriage. But by law, it's EVERY'S legal responsibility to step in when a child is abused. The problem is, the word abuse means different things to different people. To be honest, if I saw an adult hitting (or spanking or paddling) a child, I'd definitely report it to the authorities. And I really do think that some unresolved past guilt may be pushing your mom in this one issue.

However, it's up to you to handle your mom as an adult would. You don't have to argue with her. If she's acting inappropriately, it would be far more effective to quietly remove yourself and famiy. Just pick and go home--she'll get the message very quickly if you do.

I truly do hope you reconsider letting anyone abuse your child, though. You have such a history with it yourself--you know it's not a good thing. good luck.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 5:06PM
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Your Mum probably feels guilty about the abuse suffered by you from your step father, so she is probably looking for signs of abuse in her GS's step father. She could do something about that !

I haven't read all the postings so I hope I am not going off track.

YOU need to talk to her and lay down some boundaries.

Your marriage is your marriage, not hers. She has no right to meddle. Assure her you are happy.

I think it might be a good idea to NOT ask her help with babysitting your son, try to make other arragements. Its too easy for her to be nosy when she has him in her house.

She probably just needs re-assurance that you are okay.

I would not engage in any arguments with her. Just make up your mind what your boundaries are and stick to them.

Good luck with it all.

Your husband sounds like he is doing the right thing.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 10:05PM
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Popi-I think your right about the child care situation. This week I made arrangements for myself or my husband to pick him up. That wont work much longer. We cant keep leaving work. I checked with the school for the YMCA aftercare program and they are booked up. Probably wont be able to do that until next year.
My mom called a couple days ago. I had not heard from her since she made the scene at her house. She said that her feelings were hurt because I didnt ask her to get my son. Said that I shouldnt keep him from her because we dont agree. Again, I feel quilty as usual!!!! There isnt much more school left and between my sister,husband and mother maybe she wont have him as much. I am going to try for that. Next school year I will sign him up for after care.
He goes to WVA for 5 weeks to visit his Dad's family. But the rest of the time he goes to my mothers. That will probably be a problem. He wants to go because my mon has a pool and all his cousins and sisters and friends are always there swimming. How can I tell him no. I could put him in summer care but he would hate it.

azzalea- I dont abuse my child and dont allow others. He has been spanked very few times. That is always last resort. Usually if hes doing something to put himself in danger and has been warned and then continues. Yep, Im gonna spank him. Would rather him get spanked than to get hurt or worse from riding his dirt bike in traffic.

Things have died down a bit. My mother and I have spoke though it was strained a bit. She told me to tell my husband she was sorry .She said she meant what she said but she shouldnt have blown up like she did. She said that that is her weakness....she cant control her temper. I sometimes wonder if she likes drama. I didnt tell him. Dont know if I will. I think she needs to tell him herself. I should have told her that but was just wanting to get off the phone and was trying to avoid another arguement. If we get on the subject of my husband we will surely fight!

Thanks all for your replies!!!!! Still trying to figure out everything. Taking one situation at a time.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 11:33AM
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I do not spank my child or stepchildren because they have never done anything serious enough to need to use spanking. But, I do not consider an occasional spanking abuse. As a child I got spanked a few times for serious incidents such as being 5 and leaving the house with my friend early in the morning while my mom was sleeping and his parents were sleeping. Both our parents woke up and neither of us were in our homes. They look outside and there we were playing. We both got spanked. I never left the house without permission again! Was it abuse, I do not think so. Many children grew up with the occasional spankings and they are also stellar people. Because some people took it too far there are people who call one spank abuse. I am not sure I agree with that.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2008 at 5:51PM
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Exactly my point.

You don't consider physical punishment abuse, I do. Many people agree with me--and many agree with you. THAT was the point I was making. That there are different opinions on exactly how abuse is defined. And it is the law, if one sees abuse, YOU'RE committing a crime if you see it and don't report it. So the grandmother has every right to her opinion, and to say something about it. Mom has the right to keep grandmother from seeing her child--if she feels her right to hit the boy is more important than his right to have a relationship with his grandmother.

By the way--I also was spanked as a child, and can assure you, the way it makes a child feel? Is DEFINITELY abuse in my book. In fact, I cannot think of anything that is more abusive than for a big, authority figure to hit a small person who doesn't have the right (by their size or position as the child, or because their parents have always told them NOT to hit) to hit back. It's a power trip for the adult, plain and simple. And there are certainly much better ways to teach a child right from wrong--ones that involve them learning how to make good decisions because it's the right/best thing to do. But, I will acknowledge, once more, that that's MY opinion. I understand that others may or may not agree with my stance.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 7:40AM
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I know that there are different views on spanking, that is what I was trying to say. Laws vary on spanking as well. I have a friend in Missouri and classrooms still have paddles hanging on the walls and on occasion children have been paddled once or twice on the behind. Would I want that to happen to my child, no-but it happens.

As California law now defines it: "Child abuse is a physical injury which is inflicted by other than accidental means on a child by another person. ... It does not include spanking that is reasonable and age appropriate and does not expose the child to risk of serious injury."

Take that how you would like.

As far as the grandma in the situation is concerned I do not think this whole dislike for stepdad is about spanking. I think that there are many parts to it, including attachment to previous son-in-law. And if mom did keep her child away from grandma a little I do not think it is all about that she wants to spank her child. I think it is more to do with she wants her mother to let her live her own life without constant nagging from her.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 10:31AM
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Azzalea- I understand that is your opinion. I hope that you would realize that I have an opinion too. you say that you understand but you continue to push your position on spanking. I feel very few times the need to spank but there are times that I needed to spank. My daughters are grown and very responsible young ladies. They work, go to school, drive new 350Z's that they pay for along with their insurance. Will graduate next month and are purchasing a house together at 21 years. And guess what!!!! I spanked them a few times. I can count on one hand how many times. It wasnt often but needed.
I dont want to keep my son from my mother at all. And I wont. I will reduce the time together because I feel that it gives her aminition. But I do this to keep down trouble in the family. Not so that my son can be spanked. What you said was ridiculous.

mom2emall- you are right. If it wasnt her exploding about this it would be something else. She has had a pattern for 3 yrs with my husband and goes way back with with my brother and his then girlfriend. She will even go at the grandkids (the older ones) My neice and daughters get it too sometimes.

And thanks for your defense from azzalea. I certainly would never abuse my son and wouldnt allow others. Im glad to know that you can see that its not even the spanking that caused the problems.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 2:02PM
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