You’ve seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel All Alone in Their Marriages, keep the Braxton sisters calm on the hit show Braxton Family Values. Now it’s your turn to sit in her chair…

Dr. Sherry,

From day one my mother-in-law has hated me. When I first started dating my husband we were both going through a divorce. He has one child and I have four, and since we have been together all she ever talks about is how many kids I have and how she heard I was no go and she never wanted him to marry me. (Both before and after we got married.) It’s been several years and she is still talking about it, so I gave her a piece of my mind and let her know that I also know her past isn’t squeaky clean either. It’s tearing my husband apart because he wants us to have a relationship, but I can tell by his mother’s actions that she never wants me around no matter how hard I have tried to get along with her. So now I just keep my distance. Help!


Giving Up

Dear Sis,

If your mother-in-law “hated” you before you married, what made you think that would change after your marriage? Her attitude towards you was a glaring red flag that you chose to ignore and still marry him. This was a problem that needed to have been addressed long before you got married. I am sure your husband was well aware of the problem. It was and still is your husband’s role to help resolve this. This is his mother but you are his wife. It would not be wise to put him in the position that he has to choose between the two of you. It is likely that you will not win that battle. The fact that he has not dealt with his mother regarding her treatment of you says a lot about how he feels about you. You are fighting and giving the wrong person a piece of your mind. You must deal with your husband. While the conflict may be tearing him apart, it has not been enough for him to get a backbone and stand up to his mother. He must decide if he is going to continue to allow her to disrespect you as his wife. You can’t change how or what your mother-in-law feels but you can change how you respond to her. In this case, I would not respond to her negative attitude. You are wasting your time if you are waiting on acceptance and approval from her. I recommend that you and your husband seek marriage therapy to process your feelings and deal with issues. Refocus your time and energy on yourself.  – Dr. Sherry

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