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Mother-in-Law Best Friends with Husband’s Ex-Girlfriend

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My mother-in-law is best friends with my husband’s ex, who he has known since he was little and dated after high school for like 2 years. We have been married for 7 years and it has been an issue. His mom treats her like her daughter and because of this I distance myself from her. The ex tried to separate us several times and even married my husband’s friend. She got pregnant last years and miscarried and tried to reach out to my husband for support. My mother-in-law talks about her to me all the time with no sympathy even though my husband and I have said things to her. In a few years my husband and I want to build a house and have my mother-in-law move in for financial reasons and because she is an older lady. But I know she will want the ex to come over and she will say she helped pay for the house so she can have whoever she wants over. Although my husband understands why I am upset, he and his mom both say I have issues and need to grow up. I am at a loss of what to do. Do I just get over it and if they have an affair I get a divorce? Or do I get over it and trust my husband that she is an ex and he doesn’t want anything to do with her? I am a jealous person and I have trust issues. I love my husband but I feel like my mother-in-law needs to respect my feelings after many conversations (ending it she will talk to who she wants and I need to grow up and I have issues). The ex has no concern over my feelings because I have confronted her multiple times about it. I am at a loss.

Mother-in-Law Best Friends with Husband’s Ex-Girlfriend

Answered by on -


At the risk of saying the obvious you and your husband are too involved with his mother. This is called enmeshment. Planning to have her move in with you for financial reasons seems like going from a bad situation to worse. Why would both of you want to live with a person who has no regard for your feelings? No amount of extra living space is worth the aggravation and would be setting yourselves up for a disaster. You and your husband need to have a different plan for your future that includes less (certainly not more) of his mother and none of his ex. If there are no children from his ex, then the two of you need to make a life separate and apart from both of them.

Your husband telling you to grow up is also interesting. His mother is flagrant about her lack of respect and makes a point of talking about the ex. Your husband is aware of the history of her trying to break the two of you up — so he and his mom saying you should grow up seems like he wants a simple solution rather than to respect how you feel.

In order to forge a new plan I’d recommend you have a few sessions with a couple counselor. This will bring the issue in front of a third party who may be able to help. The “Find help” tab at the top of this page will help you find someone in your area.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Mother-in-Law Best Friends with Husband’s Ex-Girlfriend

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Mother-in-Law Best Friends with Husband’s Ex-Girlfriend. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 5, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 15 Oct 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.