#DearMommyPracticality: MIL and Husband's Love-Child Issues
They had a top-of-the-world romantic relationship that they knew they were meant for each other. So...
They had a top-of-the-world romantic relationship that they knew they were meant for each other. So they got married and started a family but doesn't live as happily, as how they would like their story to go. Not when our letter sender isn't at peace with her man's past and first most important woman in his life, his mother.
That's what our letter sender's dilemma is. She does not have a perfect relationship with her mother-in-law (MIL), and a thing of the past with his husband. She's afraid that this might affect her sanity and even her marriage.
Her email is quite long so I will just be sharing with you parts of her #DearMommyPracticality letter. Here it goes:
Dear Mommy Practicality.
I am married and we have a daughter. My husband had a love child (son) with his ex who left him for another man. His son stayed with him and my mother-in-law took care of the child ever since.
This is my current situation right now. My husband lost his job recently after my mother passed away. To make matters worse, during this depressing time, my MIL and my Brother-In-Law attended a party invited by my husband's ex, when they didn't even console with me during my mom's wake.
I didn't talk to my MIL for a month to somehow make them feel that I am not okay with what they did. I sent a sorry text anyway after realizing this can't go on forever. But instead of accepting it, she told me hurtful things like, that I should be the one taking care of my husband's love child. The child has been under her care ever since he was born. I’m pretty sure that if I’m going to be the one taking care of that kid, she will be checking on him every time and I don’t like that.
While all these things were happening, I don't have my husband's support. I almost left him. I also almost ended my life. I just thought of my daughter, that I need to be strong for her. I feel so alone. Please give me an advice how to survive or live in the kind of situation that I am in right now. Thank you.
Yours Truly,Ms. LVDear LV,
First of all, thank you for trusting me with your life's problems. Let me just tell you that you are not alone in this kind of situation. Everyone who had been married also had gone through some adjustments with their in-laws.
I see mainly two issues here: your communication with your husband and his support to you, and repairing your relationship with your MIL.
Above anything else, prioritize your marriage. Talk to your husband about how you feel about him losing his job, the emotional stress you are experiencing with the loss of your mother and how your MIL is affecting your feelings towards him.
Make him understand how you feel but at the same time, hear him out. He must be feeling a little low right now. Having a job is important in a man's self-worth, while for us women, we find satisfaction or self-worth in people like family, children, friends and church. Since he's feeling low, like any child, he must be feeling secured when obeying or siding by his mother. So arguing with his mother is not the way out of the situation. That's why, the humility you showed when you asked forgiveness, regardless of what she said, is admirable. It showed maturity and grace.
Remind your husband about the vow you made for each other. For better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, til death do you part. Women handle stress better than men. I know you're a strong woman, be stronger now, for the sake of your family. All family issues (like what arrangements should be done with your husband's love child) can be talked about and decided on if both of you have a open mind and a forgiving heart.
Mother-In-Law and Stepchild
Regarding your MIL, she's the mother of the man you married and understandably, you husband loves and respects her. I am not saying that you should shrug off her opinions about your husband's child with his ex. Still give her the due respect. You may just tell her that you and her son will discuss first about this situation. To give you another perspective, maybe she's already tired taking care of a child and she wants to enjoy her life.
But, I disagree that it's now your obligation to take care of the child. It's not an obligation, but it's a selfless and noble act if you do. You're correct when you said that it's not the child's fault that he's in that situation. Discuss this thoroughly with your husband. It would help to be able to arrive at a win-win situation and favorable answers to these questions:
- Is it the best for all concerned?
- Will it affect the children (including yours) positively?
- How will it affect your family's financial wellness?
- Will it help grow and improve your marriage?
You cannot control what other people think or feel, how other people act, and what other people will say. There's only one person you could control, and that is YOU. It's harder said than done, but it's easy to start trying to change how you think and feel. You can only bring peace to your heart if you will it. You may be in a difficult situation right now, but it's not the end of the world. Have more faith, hope and love: Love for yourself and your family. Ending your life or your marriage is not ending the problem. You might be creating other problems sprouting from the main problem. Deal with the problems by being present. Do your obligations for your family, work diligently (and don't bring personal problems at work), and just make sure what you're doing is right and what's best for your family. Practice positive outlook in life, discretion of your frustrations with your MIL when dealing with her, and forgiveness of yourself, your husband's past and present mistakes, and of everyone putting you down. Lastly, prayers do wonders. Never forget to talk to HIM and ask Him for guidance in every thought, in every word and in every action you do, that they may all be according to His will and greater glory.
Life is beautiful LV. As mothers, we have the power to help change the world become a better place, through our children. Think of your child in everything that you decide to do. God bless!
Very truly yours,