I need some help, but don't really have any one to talk to.
I love my wife. We have been married for 2 1/2 years and have had a good life. We get along well, are very active, have two great dogs... and we both want to start a family.
However, we have always had a problem with my mother...
My parents divorced when I was young. My family is very small. My parents, my brother, and three family members on my father's side. Both of my parents have no money and no prospects. My dad is busy chasing his fantasy dreams, and my mother is sick and living alone. My brother doesn't want much to do with any of us.
As kind as my mother can be, she is also isolated, scared and desperate. I've always hated seeing her in such a state and I told her that once my family had been created, she could be a part of it and that she wouldn't have to live the rest of her life alone.
My wife and mother despise each other. Both are jealous and resent each other. They both feel that they should take a priority in my life, to the exclusion of the other.
My belief has always been to value my wife and new family first, but that I would always have strong ties and responsibilities to my mother (family).
I know that my ties to my mother are a heavy burden on a young marriage, but it is the reality of my life.
My mother essentially has no contact with the outside world, other than through me. I help to arrange her food and medicine, her appointments... and I am her only social contact. I tried to involve some outside assistance, but it did not result in less work for me and seemed to create a lot of confusion.
I do realize that it is not healthy for me to be her only contact... but I cannot force her to socialize.
My mother has often said that her greatest fear is being placed in a care home as she values her independence (??) and privacy. However, I am the only person standing in the way of this happening. Without my help, she would not be able to live on her own.
Plus, my wife WANTS my mother to go to a care home. She feels that my mother should either live completely independently of us, or she should go in a home.
Ironically, my wife has a very large, close, and controlling family. My wife's dream is for us to be independent of my mother... and then buy a house across the street from her parents so that we all can be close... and so that our kids can be close to their "grandparents".
I used to be very close with her family. More recently, I have pulled away. I haven't felt comfortable being with her family to the exclusion of mine. I honestly wouldn't mind living near her parents... but I feel that the gesture needs to go both ways.
Unfortunately, I have made a big mistake over the past few months. Unable to deal with the stress of fighting with my wife and mother about the situation, I've just stopped talking about everything. Meaning, I haven't always told my wife about when I was helping/ seeing my mother. And I led my mother to believe that my wife and I hadn't been living together. I've been lieing.
Foolishly I thought that time would heal some of the wounds and that I was giving my relationships a chance to get stronger - without the overhang of all the crap that goes on.
As an ending to this, I know that I need to find a way to deal with my mother in a more healthy manner. I also feel that my wife needs to be more accepting of my mother and that she should develop a relationship with her. My wife's standoffish and all-or-nothing attitude leaves me with nothing to work with.
Plus, everytime that these problems surface, my wife either leaves me or kicks me out. This I take very seriously when we discuss having kids. I know that we will probably never be able to solve all of the issues with my mother... and it would kill me to lose my kids over this.
Ok, first of all, you have no business bringing kids into this mess of a marriage!!! I'm sorry if that sounds harsh, but it is reality!
Your Mom needs outside help! Yes she is your Mom and you should help her out some, but she should not CONTROL you with guilt. Relying on you constantly is putting a horrible strain on your marriage and I am sure your mother fully knows what she is doing. Find her a nurse/housekeeper to come in once or twice a week. There are nice places for elderly people to live these days where they can care for themselves or be cared for. Retirement communities have popped up everywhere!
Your wife needs to grow up! How unfair of her to include her family in your lives and not yours. I would NEVER live across the street from my parents or my inlaws!!! How close do you live to your families now?
If you both want this marriage to work you need to distance yourselves from both families and work on THIS relationship. Find a good marriage councelor and start talking!!!
Sounds like you're being pulling in two different directions by two completely selfish and possesive women. I say dump'm both!!! Might be hard with your mother, but you should get some outside help and cut the apron stings. You'll have a much nicer relationship with your mother if it is centered around doing FUN things, like bingo or bridge.
As for your wife. You're just a sperm donor! She wants to have kids and have a perfect life, and anything that is important to you is simply a bump in her perfectly paved road. She seems embarassed by your mother. No loving wife would make her husband feel bad about caring for his sick mother. She's pretty low.
The first step in the right direction is setting your mother up in a situation that frees you up a bit, and if your wife happens to come around great. If not, you have more free time to find a girl friend that will WANT to play bingo and bridge with you and your mother.
I think it's pretty harsh to put so much blame on the wife...after all, she has her own family, friends, kids?, work colleagues, a husband. She lives a full life and can function in the world and interact with other people. On the other hand, the mom sounds severely disturbed and would probably benefit from some psychological help. It's not at all normal or healthy to have no contact with the outside world and depend on one son for everything to the point where he has to lie to her about leaving his wife! I agree with the poster who said she needs some outside help...sure, she doesn't want to live in a home, because she'd prefer having you waiting on her hand and foot. But that's incredibly selfish and controlling...she's threatening your marriage and your family by being so needy and difficult. You are going to have to put your foot down and stop letting either of these women boss you around and control you, because as things are going, you're running yourself ragged trying to please both of their incredibly taxing demands and risking both relationships by lying.
I'm not saying your wife is blameless, but at least she can function normally in the world and doesn't expect her son to revolve his life around her and solely attend to her every need for the rest of her life. I can't stress enough how destructive and disturbed your mom's behavior has been...you don't want to hear that, probably, because men hate hearing negative things about their moms, but please consider this from your wife's perspective. She's put up with a man whose mom is incredibly demanding, manipulative (with all the guilt you feel about how pathetic and lonely her life has been), selfish, and so deluded she thinks that a son should ignore his wife to cater to his mother's every need and whim. She needs a reality check--if she values her independence so much, tell her that she'll need to start taking care of herself, and be sure to mention that there is plenty of privacy at lots of retirement homes (some have apartments and even houses). You just can't sacrifice your marriage, your future children, and your own happiness because you have a mother who sees nothing wrong with demanding that you give up your life and do everything for her while she refuses to give up her "independence." Being in a home would be great for her--it's extremely unhealthy to have no social contact, and for old people who spend every minute alone at home, they deteriorate and die much faster than those whose minds are kept fresh with at least some contact with the outside world. You are not doing your mom any favors by allowing her to dominate and threaten your own life and family when her demands are unreasonable, illogical, and borderline delusional. She needs full time care, both mentally and physically, and some contact with humans other than you. If you took a stand and stopped this ridiculous behavior on her part, I bet your wife would respect you a lot more for finally refusing to allow your mom to take over your life until the day she dies...believe me, she'll only get more demanding, needy, and sickly if she keeps living in total isolation as time passes. It's not loving to either your mom or wife to let the current situation continue--your mom needs to face reality, and your wife needs to see that you realize how absurd your mom's manipulations and demands have become. I guarantee that she will be willing to make some compromises if you explain why they're important and if she sees that you are willing to compromise on an issue that quite frankly, would have sent me running for divorce court. Now I know family is immportant and I would NEVER abandon my mother, but if my mom was obviously living an unhealthy, dysfunctional life, I would make sure she got the care she needed, even if she was babbling nonsense about needing independence while unable to function without my constant assistance. I think your marriage has to come first, as do your mom's long term best interests--can you see yourself being a 24-hour hospice nurse and still having a job, friends, and family of your own? You could even end up like Norman Bates from Psycho --just kidding, sorry if that wasn't a funny comment, but I thought maybe it would lighten the mood considering how serious, urgent, and threatening this situation has become in terms of its potential to impact your whole future. Please start putting yourself first and doing what is smart for the women in your life, even if they don't always like it...you will never succeed at pleasing them both without becoming a compulsive liar and driving yourself crazy in the meantime!