i have this mother in law who won’t back off on me. she insist’s that i am not consistent with my son. nobody else has a problem but her. she’s been riding my but for about over 10 year’s now. i keep telling her to back off but she won’t listen. she think’s that since she’s being consistent on telling me how i treat and discipline my son she think’s that oughta be telling me something.

there is nothing wrong with what i do to my son and how i treat him because if there was my counselor would’ve told me along time ago. my husband think’s he need’s to ride my son’s but constantly. even if he’s good. he say’s he’s only trying to make him mine. i said yeah but even if he’s being good you need to do that? he willnot let that child breathe he won’t back off on him. he’s going to run him out of here if he keep’s it up. we disagree and fight about how he discipline’s my son alot. we’ve even split up twice now once is because of that but another reason is because of him talking to another woman about advice of what to do about me. that was a mistake. when he had a problem with me he should’ve confronted me not the other women. each time he find’s out something he run’s and tattles to his parent’s about it especially if it comes from me. then it start’s into a dispute between his parent’s and i. then he want’s to know why we’re fighting. because he’s the one who start’s it.

A: Constant criticism does not help anyone learn anything except to be afraid of the critic. Correcting a child’s behavior (or anyone’s for that matter) needs to be done within the context of love and respect. It sounds like what your husband and mother in law mean by “consistency” is merely agreeing with them and doing so constantly. You don’t agree with either their ideas or their methods so of course you are in constant conflict.

In fairness to your husband, I’m only getting your side of the story. But bringing other people into your problems (like the other woman and his parents) isn’t helping the two of you build a strong and trusting relationship. You two have to learn how to listen to each other and make some compromises.

You need some support. I suggest you ask your counselor to help you by including your husband and mother-in-law in a session to talk about what all of you want for your son and how best to achieve it. The counselor might also be able to help you and your husband learn how to take care of your own business and how to communicate better with each other.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 13 Oct 2007

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2007). My husband and his mother constantly criticize.. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/10/13/my-husband-and-his-mother-constantly-criticize/