Husband Puts Parents Before Me

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I am married for almost 3 years now. Ours was love marriage, waited 2 years for my husband’s parents approval before getting married. My husband do love me but only when he thinks his parents are happy. He is too concerned about their happiness that he is ignoring mine.

We both are earning. He is supporting his parents financially and not willing to spend anything towards our home expenses as he is spending money for his parents. He is not willing to share rent/monthly expenses or nothing. Apart from spending on his parents needs he is also spending on their luxuries and this is my problem. One thing which made me very angry and which i am not able to understand or accept is I had to abort my first baby due to some complications. He asked me to bear half of the hospital expenses (25K of 50K) when he gave his mother 150K to buy jewelery at the same time of my abortion.” The reason he gave is that I am earning and I can bear my expenses.

I asked him if it is more important to buy jewelery than my hospital and the answer I got was “I did not think that way when I asked you to bear half of the expenses”. He says he will share the home expenses if I am willing to send money to his parents for their needs and for their luxuries too, he thinks since he is taking care of his parents it is my responsibility alone to take care of him and me.

This is just one example, I am putting up with such things for over 2 and half years. I feel that he does not care for what I feel or want or need and it is all about his parents for him. He even said that his parents are more important to him and not me and I can leave if I can’t accept this. I am feeling hopeless and really feel like giving up.

Am I wrong in asking to give me equal if not more priority? I am seriously thinking of breaking up as I am losing my patience each day. The only thing still keeping me in this marriage is the thought of unable to leave him, the love that I have for him that is the
reason for which we married in the first place. Please advise!

A: Your husband is more interested in being a good son than in being a good husband. Marriage usually means leaving our childhood family and starting a family of our own. That means shifting our loyalty and priorities to our marriage. Yes, it’s important to honor our parents and to help out when we can. But marriage is about making a new beginning. That means investing time and money and energy and love in the couple. In healthy families, the parents give their blessing and support for this change.

I fully understand wanting to help parents who are financially in need if a couple can. I don’t understand a husband who buys expensive jewelry for his parents but doesn’t take responsibility for at least half the bills at home. I sympathize with your disappointment and pain that your husband was more interested in buying jewelry for his mother than in paying the hospital bill. You were probably grieving the loss of a child. You needed the love and support of your husband.

From all you said, I don’t think your husband wants to change. He himself told you that you need to accept the current situation or leave. My suggestion is that you leave. You are already taking care of both of you so you do have the money to take care of yourself. I don’t see anything to keep you in this relationship except the fact that you care more about him than he cares about you.

You deserve better. As difficult as it may be, send this guy back to his mother. Make yourself available for someone who loves you and cherishes you and sees you as important in his life.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 2 Dec 2013

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2013). Husband Puts Parents Before Me. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/12/02/husband-puts-parents-before-me/