My Parents Don’t Respect My Husband

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I have a master’s degree in education and I make a decent earning as a teacher. I met my husband 9 years ago- married 4 yrs ago. He is 17 years older than me and he didn’t even finished high school. He is just a hard working man, who has a general labor job. He is a great, decent man. He treats me with love and respect; and we get along really well. Honestly we have an excellent marriage and “education or money” has never been an issue between us. The HUGE problem is with my parents, who practically hate him. Although my parents “pretend” in front of him (I mean, they have been nice to him) only I know how much resentment they have towards my husband. My parents have made it very clear to me that they don’t like him at all. Lately my mother is driving me crazy telling me how stupid I am, that I should get a divorce, that he is “enjoying me”, that the man of the house should be the provider- not me; etc. It hurts me so bad. I have never replied anything to my mother. But since my mom’s comments have been so frequent lately this is killing me. To make it worse my husband thinks my parents like him. Please help me, I don’t know what to do; I feel so sad right now.

A: Let me see if I understand this: You are married to a man who works hard. He adores and respects you. You get along fine. It is neither to your credit or to his blame that we live in a culture that often doesn’t respect people who work with their hands as much as those who work with their head. Right? So, at 31 years old, why are you so reactive to your parents’ opinion? Yes, it’s a shame that they are so shallow. I agree. But there is really no point in trying to reason with people who are unreasonable.

I’m concerned that in your efforts to make peace or by your silence, you have inadvertently given your parents the idea that there is something to argue about. There isn’t. Stand by your man. He – and your marriage – are worth it. Tell your parents in no uncertain terms to get over it. You love him. He loves you. It’s too bad they can’t be happy for you but oh well.

Then stay out of debates, discussions, and arguments. If they bring it up again, just remind them that it’s their issue, not yours, and change the subject.

Then enjoy having a marriage that so many people in the world wish they could find.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 11 Aug 2012

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2012). My Parents Don’t Respect My Husband. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 29, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/08/11/my-parents-dont-respect-my-husband/