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My Love of My Wife and Parents Are Hurting Me

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From Brasil: My wife is a brilliant lady and she loves me very much, so do I. I married her 4 years back without the knowledge of my parents as they were against this marriage. She was from a different country and the only way she could live with me was by marrying me to have a visa. Being an emotional person i agreed to marry her at the age of 26 unwillingly.

2 years later I got my parents to agree to my relationship and remarried her. But soon after the wedding there was a twist. My wife and my parents couldn’t get along.

My parents are not the perfect guys but they are for me as they brought me up filling me with happiness and showing me way to success. But their expectations to my wife and her expectations to my parents don’t match. Everything my parents says becomes offensive to her. If my parents visit my home, she spends most of her time in the shut room and there will be minimum communication.

I have tried to convince her to act in front of my parents as they were old and ignore whatever they say. At 60+ we cannot change them anymore and they are very important to me. But she insist and tells me that I must rather protect her from my parents.

I have been taking care of her since our relationship started in 2009 mentally and financially. I feel bad that even after this she can’t adjust to something that is important to me. But she do loves me and takes care of me in all other way. She ran away from her family to be with me one day lying to her parents.

I feel like I’m in the midst of fire and sea. I don’t know what should I do? I love both and I hate to see them sad. My parents had lost their 1st son in an accident, they are still recovering from that. Now they are sad with the relationship I am having due to non-cooperation from my wife.

What should I do? Do I just stop everything? Leave my family and wife and have a peaceful life? I am tired. I have been announced as the best employee this year but I have been slacking now and can’t focus much on work.

My Love of My Wife and Parents Are Hurting Me

Answered by on -

A.

It’s been said that the way a relationship starts is the way it continues unless something dramatic happens. You two started as a secret from both sets of parents and had a world of your own. Your wife seems to want to continue that arrangement. She wants a world that just includes you and her. Since she has left her parents behind, she wants you to do the same.

It was an unfortunate way to start your marriage, especially since you weren’t entirely willing. It’s an unfair demand for your wife to make now. From what you say, your parents have always been good to you and they have accepted your marriage. You are correct that at their age, they cannot be expected to behave very differently. They are who they are. In addition, they have already lost one child so the relationship with you and your family is all the more important.

Your wife probably doesn’t realize that her unwillingness to be compassionate and accepting of your parents may well end your marriage. It’s never reasonable to ask someone like yourself to choose between people they love. The partner almost always loses.

I realize counseling services are limited in Brazil, but I do think you should make the effort to find a couples therapist. Your wife needs to learn how to manage visits with your parents. You need to learn ways to reassure her of your love and support her emotionally so she can do it.

Do understand that this is not a situation unique to you. In my practice, I’ve seen many couples with this problem. We are generally able to find ways to get someone like you out of the middle and identify strategies so the partner can tolerate it.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

My Love of My Wife and Parents Are Hurting Me

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). My Love of My Wife and Parents Are Hurting Me. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 17, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2017/02/11/my-love-of-my-wife-and-parents-are-hurting-me/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.