Home » Ask the Therapist » Parenting » My husband won’t put our family first.

My husband won’t put our family first.

Asked by on with 1 answer:

I feel I am at the end of the line. My husband and I have been married for 5 years. He has a huge family and a mother who is treated like the queen bee. Some of the siblings have failure to launch due to mom’s depressive states of being alone. Some siblings have drug issues and some are just gossipers wanting to start problems, but all of them (6 siblings and mom) do not like me. They try to hurt me talk bad about me and make my husband choose sides.

They want him to be the person he was before he met me and if he doesnt involve in drugs or partying they blame it on me. (mom has no issues with the drugs and partygoers in her house) they are always talking on the phones all day to my husband and involved in every aspect of our lives, even to our vacations and personal times. I have stated my opinion numerous times to my husband and we have argued over this issue for 5 years, yet it seems he is sticking up for them and telling me Im the crazy one and they are not doing anything to me.

I ask him to stick up for me when his family puts me down and he says he does but as they point and scream in my face, he turns his back on it (literally). he allows them to put me down in emails and says nothing to them, instead he spends hours on the phone with them laughing and seeing everything is ok. I tell him that I feel like he is backstabbing me because he cant stick up for me and the kids and he allows them to do this to us. And as he is allowing this he talks to them all everyday on the phone like nothings wrong. He then retaliates by yelling at me and telling me that I am the problem.

There is more to this and this is a vauge discription of what is going on. I just want to know?? is his family being too much, should he minimize his calls with them if they cant respect us?? Am I wrong for even asking him to minimize his time with them for this.

(insight on the mother and my husbands relationship)
When I gave birth to my son, my husband gave me a guilt trip that i needed the mother to be in the birthing room. I hated the idea because of all the hurt and pain she had caused me and at the fact that at that moment she wouldnt even talk to me, but I agreed for my husband. after having the baby (uncomfortably), they took the baby away to clean him and check on him due to being born way to big, when they gave him to the father to give the baby to me, he gave the baby to his mother instead, as I sat there in disbalief that I wasnt the first to hold my baby.

We are always catering to her to make her happy, she always gives us a guilt trip and even if it hurts me or my kids today, he still suckers in for her. Is he wrong to put us on the back burner for her??
Thank you for listning to my story and answering me. I know that massive emails may seem to get overwhelming. But I do thank you for your time and efforts in helping me. Thanks.

My husband won’t put our family first.

Answered by on -


No. You’re not wrong. Part of growing up and making a family is transferring primary allegiance from one’s family of origin to the new family. One of the responsibilities of the older generation is to support the new family in doing this. Ideally, there is room for everyone to have good relationships with everyone else while putting emphasis on creating a safe and secure environment for the children. It sounds to me like your husband hasn’t found a way to become a loving husband first and a respectful son second. He has been raised to think that doing so risks his membership in his original family. Of even greater concern is that the so-called adults are modeling for their children that drugs, partying, and hurting others are appropriate ways for adults to behave.

Fighting only exhausts you and makes your husband’s family gang up on you all the more. My suggestion is that you drop the fight and do all you can to develop your career and a life outside the scope of this family. If it gets to the point that you can’t stand it any more, you’ll have the means to separate and a group of friends who can offer you support. Meanwhile, protect your children from the situation as best you can. For the sake of peace, you might want to make an appearance at family events but I see no reason for you to stay very long when family members can’t be civil to you and can’t be reasonable role models for your children.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

My husband won’t put our family first.

This article has been updated from the original version, which was originally published here on February 22, 2008.

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

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. (2019). My husband won’t put our family first.. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 25, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 29 May 2019 (Originally: 22 Feb 2018)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 29 May 2019
Published on Psych All rights reserved.