I have a complicated problem. Let me start by saying I do not intend to leave my husband. His mother’s (my MIL) life has crashed and burned. The aftermath of her recent forth divorce has left her with no long term place to stay. Thus, she has moved across the country to move in with my husband, me and our two young daughters. She is mean and my husband a wussy. A week after her arrival, she yelled at my six year old daughter, “what’s wrong with you? Are you retarded?” When I angrily complained to my husband, he replied, “Oh, she didn’t really mean it”. Last week at Bed, Bath and Beyond, I turned the corner just in time to see her stick something into her purse. My own MIL shoplifting! I told my husband I would NEVER take her with me to any store ever again. He didn’t say anything, but just walked away. How do I get this incredibly screwed up creature out of my house?
Freaking Absolutely Out Schwartz
Dear FAO Schwartz,
It can be a real curse to be massively unassertive. However, when we allow anyone to injure our children, there’s something much more serious going on. And, I must admit , I have an issue with parents who don’t protect their children. However, as a therapist, I try to remain as objective as I can.
We can sit here and try to diagnose the cause of hubby’s problem: fed bad formula instead of being breast fed? Terrorized by doodle bugs when he was ten? Daddy didn’t love him as much as he did the family gerbil? Who knows, and really, who cares? The facts, regardless of our diagnoses are that you got one bad woman for a MIL and a husband who is pretty worthless in sticking up for his family (sorry to insult your previous taste in men). I am assuming that you have confronted your MIL in addition to complaining to your husband. As you are unlikely going to slip testosterone into his iced tea, my dear, you are on your own with protecting your family.
Consider moving ½ of mutual bank accounts into a new account for yourself in case of emergency. Then inform the wuss-meister you are giving his bizarro mother thirty day notice. You both can seek out new living quarters for her, including damning one of his siblings with her temporary residence. Public housing may be an option. Perhaps enrolling her into a prescription drug trial in another state would be a benefit. She’ll make some quick bucks on that venture; and maybe some new drug would turn her into a human. In the event the black widow and the gummy worm do not wish to make a residence change, you may have enough to at least temporarily move out with your girls. Your “husband” may soon tire of cooking and cleaning up all by himself, and assist his mother in moving out. Once Mrs. Badness has moved out, please feel free to write again for an idea on how to seek some degree of happiness with you and the girls. As for your husband, change is always possible, but you’ve got to want it first. I hope he can learn how to be a husband and father. It’s a good existence to work to become a protective, devoted man to your wife and your children.