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Mom- in-law just shows up

Maria wrote:

My situation maybe different, or maybe I'm just different. My husband and I have been married for a year and a half. We lived together for 1 year prior. He did tell me that his mom has a habit of dropping in town (she lives 2 hours away) without calling and expects to stay with him.

He told me this was a major problem in his last relationship. We live in the house I bought before I met him and because of his personal debt I still pay 3/4 of all bills. After the 1st time I met her, about a month later she calls up at 11:30pm and asks to stay at my house. My then fiance was at work. As my future mother in law, I felt responsible in letting her stay. Sure enough one hour later 12:20am she shows up. After that she repeated the same behavior about 4 or 5 times, always just blowing into town assuming she will stay with us.

Finaly after the 6 time. I told him look, this is becoming a problem. Why can't she stay with her 3 other children (one son married with kids, one divorced daughter with one child, one single son or one her grown sisters) My husband blew up. How dare I speak up. I told him its not so bad that she must always stay with us, but she will not call first. She will call after she is already here. I then have to rush to tidy up the house and make up the guest bedroom. I thought my husband and I had a clear understanding that she would not stay with us all the time and he would wait til I offer.

Well the last time, we agreed for her to stay, It was her birthday. I asked him to call to find out when to expect her 4 times. He never did and finally on thursday he agreed to call her. Not 15 minutes later he called back to say she was already on her way. Again I rushed home to clean and prepare. If that wasn't bad enough. That evening my husband informs me they are on their way but first have to stop and pick up her "friend" who will also be staying. Her friend turns about to be her AA sponsor, a recovering alcohol & drug abuser his mom has only known for 2 months.

I was quietly furious. But I was cordial and didnt want to embarass my husband, his mom or the girl. They stayed for 3 days. I never said a word and my husband did thank me. But two weeks later, He asked in a very challenging manner "My mom is coming back to town (tonight)Can she stay?". I almost hit the roof. I am so frustrated and feel soo pressured.

Again we have been married for a year and a half, I am still paying 80% of the household. (He also has a 14 year old that stays 1 or 2 times a month in which I have no problem). This is not what I expected when we got married. I had no real clue as to how far in debt he is. And in addtion to dealing with that, He feels that it is ok for his MOM to stay with us once a month. I think we are about to split over it. I love him so much but feel he doesnt value or appreciate my feelings.

I know this is long but please I need some advice, I lost my mom sixteen years ago and have no one to talk to about it. I am going to lose my mind. How will I get my husband to understand that it is not because I don't like her. Its just because I have been on my own for 20 years I have no kids and am not used to having people around all the time. I feel because she has so many other options, her other grown kids and a sister in our town and she knows this is a problem for my husband and I, She also does not care about me or my relationship with her son.

Dear Maria

It seems there is little option but to split up.

You say he warned you in advance this was a problem, but you do not say what agreement you came to on managing the issue. I guess you never bothered.

You tell me three or four times how much you contribute to the marriage, so I guess you tell him three or four times a day. The days are gone when a man owns his wife because he is the breadwinner ... and we have not reached the stage that a woman owns her husband because she is. A marriage is a partnership of equals, or it is nothing.

Yours, I'm afraid, is probably nothing. You don't say why you keep your home in such a mess that it needs a stressful clean whenever she comes, you don't say why you resent her so much.

Or why you have never discussed the issue with her.

If this matter really is as big as the marriage, then yes.Walk away. Because you have shown no inclination to sort it out, merely to punish your husband.

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