#AskHappenings: Help! My husband seems to choose his mum over me

#AskHappenings: Help! My husband seems to choose his mum over me

Mfonobong Akpan

Dear Happenings,

My husband and I have been married for 6 years now, we’ve had a good marriage which has been blessed with 3 beautiful children, but there is one thing that has refused to change and that’s my husband being so attached to his family, his mother especially. It seems I’m married to her too, she has been supportive but she interferes too much in our marriage. My husband is her only son so they are very close, like they are a couple. He tells her everything, even things I think should stay between us both. I thought it was all going to change right after we got married, unfortunately it didn’t. He’s on the phone with her more than ever. There are times when I plan we have a family outing and my husband would invite her. We live in the same state and not very far from each other. I once suggested we move but my husband refused. I just feel my husband doesn’t understand that it’s me and him in this marriage and not his mother. I feel choked. I have tried talking to him about it, but he would just make light of it and tell me it’s his mum and she’s his best friend and all. I don’t permit my family to interfere in our marriage like he does. Sometimes I feel he chooses his mother over me. How do I get my husband to leave and cleave to me?


Mrs Moore


Dear Mrs Moore,

I’m sorry you’re going through this in your marriage. It can be quite frustrating. The daughter, mother in law struggle for son/husband’s attention is a situation many dread. Fortunately, the situation isn’t hopeless.

Basically when we get married we leave our families and then become one with our spouse, they become our primary concern, but this does not mean that we forget our parents, after all they are first family and have been in our lives long before your spouse comes along, we still owe it a duty to love and respect them.

Though your husband may have a wonderfully close relationship with his mother, it’s his duty not to let that encroach into your space as a couple. He should be able to draw the line between what should be kept private and shared. From your mail I assume your husband doesn’t just understand the extent to which his choices are hurting you and your relationship. You have to make it clear to your husband that it is NOT okay with you to have your PRIVACY intruded by his mum, not in a forceful manner but with wisdom, it’s his mum.

You would have to be wise in your approach to dealing with this, so you don’t end up being misunderstood to mean you want his mum out of your lives. He’s your husband, get the right time to have an uninterrupted discussion where you would make him understand how hard things are for you, how you feel he has a great relationship with his mum which you totally admire but would rather he didn’t spent those intimate family moment intimate.

Make it more on how you can improve your relationship rather than centre on all the things his mother does, so instead of saying things like, “Your mother is around much too often” or “You have to choose between you mother and I”, say things like “I want us to spend more time together” or “I feel very bad  when you take your mum’s side all the time” – Let him know that letting his mum in on every little detail may only make it seem  you can’t communicate with your spouse and that there really is no trust between the two of you.

Approaching it this way, he doesn’t get in defense mode but into the problem-solving mode and this makes it much more likely that the discussion will be productive.

Good luck.


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