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My wife hates my mother, and my wife resents me for it.



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  • My wife hates my mother, and my wife resents me for it.

    Hello all! I'm 22 years old and have been married to the love of my life for around 6 months now. We are both 22, and our marriage was our first real relationship we both experienced. We were both very traditional and saved ourselves for marriage in every sense of the word, our marriage was the first taste of real love and attraction we both experienced in our lives.

    I say all of this because I want to give the most amount of context possible in hopes of finding out what I can do to save my failing marriage. To make this exercise of asking strangers on the internet advice about a relationship between two souls, I feel like I have the duty of laying out each one of our backgrounds and belief systems to make this plead for advice as effective as possible.

    My wife and I are both Muslim and Egyptian. We share so many similarities and commonalities, things that brought us together in love such as our shared culture, our shared language, and our shared faith in our belief system. I knew she was the one for me the first time I met her, everything from her demeanor to her beliefs to the way she carried herself. TLDR: I love this woman.

    Despite my wife and I having similar culture and beliefs, we had very different childhood experiences. This, is where I feel our conflict begins.

    I have been blessed in my life in many ways, mainly I have 2 loving parents, both of which are not perfect, but have supported my dreams and ambitions my whole life. They have been married for 24 years now. Growing up, my parents argued and fought, but I never experienced any traumatic events or big fights that mark my memory. I cannot say they have a perfect marriage, but they are together until today and seem happy, even if they squabble sometimes. I lived in Egypt for most of my life, and only moved to the US when I was 17 for college. So I've been in the US for around 5 years so far. I have always had a really good relationship with my parents, and I often seek their advice, even if I don't necessarily take it (90% of the time I don't). My mother has been my source of inspiration and I've always been very close with her, she has always motivated me and pushed me to be the very best. My parents still live in Egypt, and I currently live in the US with my wife.

    My wife, God bless her, she had a much more difficult childhood than I did. Her parents were divorced a couple years ago (not sure of how long ago it was), and her childhood, as she described to me, was incredibly traumatic. Both her parents are still alive, but she has no contact with her father, or at least very little. She resents him very much, for reasons I know of and others I don't. Her relationship with her mother is pretty good, she is extremely kind and I personally think of her as my second mother. Because of the trauma that my wife experienced, she has developed a very sensitive approach to when she feels she is in danger, or in a dangerous situation. She is hyper sensitive, not in any condescending or demeaning way, but that's what she and I have agreed upon admitting in order to make our relationship work and our dynamics healthy. She also has anxiety, ADHD, and she says she has traces of autism.

    The conflict started in the very beginning of when we were getting to know each other. In the first two weeks of us chatting, she explained to me that her relationship with her father is non existent. At that time, I was still in the early stages of the relationship, and I just wanted to get a sound piece of advice from my parents on a person that could very well be my future partner for life. I shared with my father how she doesn't have a good relationship with her father, since culturally the marriage proposal is done from family to family, so my father was bound to ask whether her father was in the picture. My father than discussed with me openly telling me his thoughts, which summed up to be, "don't judge a book by it's cover, but beware of x, y, and z). Later, wife asks me if I told my family anything she discussed with me about her family dynamics. This was one of the first times where I experienced her tone shifting to angry. I was taken aback, and I instinctively replied no. A split second later, I realized I had made a horrible mistake, and I told her right then and there, "Im sorry, I didn't say the truth. I did in fact tell my father that your father was not in the picture, and Im sorry that I said I didn't. I did not share any details, just the barebone facts that need to be conveyed to my family in order to pursue your marriage." That was the first time my wife felt distrust in me, and she has not forgotten it since. I am not exaggerating when I say that I responded with the truth a literal split second later. I know that I lied, and that does not detract from the impact of my lie. But it is important to know the full story.

    The next instance that happened was when I shared with my parents that my wife (at that time we were planning to get engaged) was trying to take her NCLEX exam so she can become a licensed nurse. My wife was having a really hard time studying, and the exam was really really stressing her out. I was always available and offered her all the advice, encouragement, and support I could. It was a very sensitive time for her. She expressed to me that she wants details about the exam to be kept private. As in, she doesn't want anyone to know what day she will take the exam or her pass/fail result. At that time, I was looking for a job, and our relationship was getting serious. However, we couldn't do that if neither of us had any stable and high income. I was blessed with an amazing offer and I promptly took the job while she was studying. My parents were concerned because my savings were close to none, and they wanted to see our marriage flourish, so they asked me if she works or is working towards a job. That's when I replied, she is taking her exam to become certified. I must admit, my parents began to ask many many questions about the exam, and I began to push back saying that I don't want to share any details. In the end, some details ended up being shared, but non essential ones like "is she studying for the exam", and "what resources is she using". My father had worked in medicine and was specialized in standardized medicine testing, so his advice was based in genuine experience and not just being a spectator. All in all, my wife did not appreciate the advice, as is her right, and she was extremely upset that someone tried to guide her on something that is stressing her so much. When she took the exam for the second time, she again asked me not to disclose any details. At the time, we were literally making arrangements for marriage and buying furniture and everything, so my parents were asking what the status of her getting a job was, to which I replied, she is taking the exam. That was wrong of me. I should have never shared that. I made sure to express to my wife how wrong I was, and I apologised to the moon and back for my transgression, and made it up to her in every way imaginable.

    (To understand our dynamic at home, we are now married, but I am the sole provider of the household, and my wife does not work yet. I paid for all the wedding expenses, the jewelry, gifts, and furniture. And I didn't take a single dollar from my parents. My mother in law did help a lot, God bless her.)

    The next big instance that happened was one week before our engagement, up until that point, I had taken a vow with myself to not hide anything about my past to my partner, even if it was going to be negatively attributed to me in the future. I wanted to be completely honest even if it bit me in the back. I was speaking with my wife on the phone, and I had talked with her about my previous pornography problems. I felt safe explaining to her that I struggled with it in the past, but the moment I met her I quit cold turkey. That is the cold, hard truth. What I said next was the tombstone to my funeral. I explained how one of the things that helped me was my mother's guidance on the subject. The truth was, I had a really comfortable connection with my mother, and I did not feel awkward asking her something like this that would generally be awkward between a parent and son. I was genuinely interested in her help and guidance as an adult. My wife was disgusted from this. She started becoming judgemental and yelling and calling me weird. It triggered something inside her, so she asked if my mother knew that we kissed before. In that moment, I was faced with two choices: tell the truth, or lie and cover up forever. I came clean and told her that my mom had asked if we kissed, and I said yes, but only on the cheek. The moment I said that, she blocked me on all my numbers and social media, wrote me telling me I'm disgusting and to basically f*ck off, and that she doesn't want anything to do with me. The next day, I drove 3 hours to her on no sleep (we lived 3hrs away before we got married) and collapsed on the side of the road while on the phone with her begging her to give me a chance to explain. Ever since that situation, my wife has looked down upon my mother and I, calling our relationship incest, weird, and disgusting.

    When my wife finally met my mother during our engagement, it started off well. They talked a lot in the beginning, and seemed to genuinely enjoy each other's company. However, everything changed after the kissing on the cheek situation. My parents are no saints. They are not the easiest to deal with either. One of the times that my wife keeps referring to is when my wife was talking to my mother, and she described how someone commented negatively at her at Walmart. My mother's response was "Its ok, don't be delusional I'm sure they didn't mean to attack you". I must admit, that was not a good answer on behalf of my mother, and she clearly hurt my wife's feelings.

    Fast forward to our wedding, my parents were on the phone with me and they were talking with me before the big day. They advised me with many things, but the most notable is they commented saying that its best not to have kids right away, as we are both young and not financially eligible for a decision like that. This is by far the most upsetting thing my wife has ever heard, and the reason behind the conflict I am experiencing today. She cannot let go of how upset she feels that my parents said that.

    After getting married, my wife and I started to argue more and more. 90% of the time, the argument would start with a trigger, then would always lead to her dissatisfaction with my parents, specifically my mom. After we had a couple of arguments, I realized an action had to be taken otherwise we would never stop arguing. I called up my mother, and sternly told her to stat out of my wife and I's personal lives, and to not ask any questions. In my eyes, I used a very harsh and assertive tone, in my wife's eyes, I went easy on them. I stood up to my mom on what my wife was upset about, and I communicated to my wife that any action she wants I will take to achieve her happiness. My mom was taken by surprise, it had been years since I spoke to her like that. She doubled down and said "You guys can't have kids now". Naturally, later after the argument was dissolved, I texted my mother re-assuring her that I'm still her son, and that I apologize for the tone I took, but I stand firmly behind what my wife and I need for our relationship. "Questions of importance such as when we have kids and such are to be our business and our business alone" is what we ended our conversation on. My mother was deeply upset and treated me awkwardly for the next week. The two points that my wife uses against me today are: I didn't stand up firmly enough to my family, that I am a people pleaser, and that My mother's actions are irreparable trauma for my wife.

    Where I stand right now is as follows: my wife is demanding for us to separate, even after I spent hours listening to her concerns and asking her what actions she needs to see to be able to find closure. Every time the topic comes up I approach with a solution based attitude, aiming to solve the problem. Her counter is that the problem is unsolvable and will never be solved no matter what, and that she refuses to give any ideas on how to move forward. She refuses every attempt for me to book counseling for the two of us, saying that I don't believe anything she says about psychology and that I only listen to people on the internet who are licensed psychologists.

    I want to make clear that I understand that I am in the wrong. I am not a saint. I am not a perfect person. I just want to resolve these issues with my wife but we just can't seem to be able to face each other with solutions. Every solution I offer is shot down with statements like "you caused me trauma" "I can and will never get over this" "I didn't marry to experience this" "My life was better before I was married to you". While I understand these are statements of anger, I am struggling because I don't know how to move forward from here without her help. I want to get better. together.

    The trigger that caused this whirlwind to unfold was a couple of days ago, my wife and I had just finished praying together. I had noticed that she was extremely quiet and was glued to her phone. I knew something was bothering her because I know her well and can tell when she is upset. I have a very involuntary need to make sure someone is ok if I seem them be upset. I feel like in situations like this, asking what is wrong and showing concern is of upmost importance, after all no one likes to be unseen when they are upset. I asked my wife what is wrong, and she was very reluctant to answer. I finally convinced her to open up to me, and she said that she was bothered by a incident that happened a while ago. One day, I invited my wife to come upstairs and see the office building where I work. I know my wife is naturally jealous of my coworkers, and instructs me to only speak the minimum needed in the office to do my job. I don't mind that, and I don't necessarily disagree with this idea. However, I also felt like my wife was going to overthink that every female in my office has a relationship with me. One of my coworkers greeted her with a huge smile, and told her "He is such a great man", my wife looked at me like she wanted to kill me. It was the end of the tour I was giving her, and we were heading towards the elevator. The receptionist for the building was standing there waiting for the elevator as well. I sighed in Arabic saying "Oba", basically meaning "Geez", I was expecting my wife to make a comment on how I was ogling this person with my eyes. My wife heard my sigh and immediately started overthinking, she thought i sighed because I have something to hide or I am afraid of this person. I simply sighed because I was tired and was expecting her to make a comment and start a fight. I later explained to her clearly that there is nothing between the receptionist and I, she literally probably doesn't know my name and we haven't even spoke a complete sentence to each other the whole time I have been employed there. Fast forward to a couple days ago, my wife brought up that she still feels distrust from this incident. At first, I tried to be empathetic and to re-assure her gently that I did nothing wrong and that I understand she's upset, and I'm here for her. A mistake on my part was I was feeling personally attacked because I know myself and I know what I did and didn't do. I stand up for myself when I feel like I've been wronged or judged unfairly. My defensiveness triggered my wife, and she proceeded to yell and say that I was invalidating her emotions. I explained that I am not invalidating her emotions by telling her what really happened from my side of the story. I told her I respect her emotions, that she feels upset, but I also have a right to say if I feel I have been misjudged, and guide the conversation towards a healthy resolution. My wife raised her voice, so naturally I did as well, and she started calling me a bastard. I paused, confused. I asked her if you are mad at me, you can insult me, but why insult my family like this? She replies with yelling, claiming that she has every right to insult them and belittle them. At that point I was very confused because I did not know if the argument was about what happened in the office, or about my family... Things spiraled out of control and she started packing her things. It was late at night, and my mother in law lives 3 hours away from us, naturally I told my wife that she can't leave right now in the middle of the night. I offered to stay in our second bedroom and she can have the master or vice versa, in other words I told her it's unsafe to drive at night right now, if you feel like you must leave you can leave at sunrise and I will give you space until then. She refused to listen, shut off her gps and location data, and pushed past me to the door. Every time we have had an argument, my wife has collapsed or had high blood pressure. Literally every time I was concerned for her health whenever she was boiling with rage, and every time she threatened to leave in the middle of the night, she collapsed after or became extremely weak. As her husband and as the person responsible for her physical safety, I wouldn't be able to help her if she leaves in the middle of the night without me or my mother in law knowing her location or where she is going. My top priority in situations like this is to avoid a catastrophe from unfolding. Her younger brother passed away in a car accident 2 years ago in the middle of the night. We are both scarred by the dangers of driving at night recklessly without proper attention, focus, and safety. The yelling was making her feel very uncomfortable, I understand where she is coming from, but the solution I offered of each of us backing up into our own spaces is a very viable solution that ensures our safety, even if we are mad at each other. When she refused to listen and was pushing past me at the door, I told her "Stay, ill leave instead" and I exited the apartment. I took a walk for a little bit to calm things down, and I went back up. She has stonewalled me since then for the last couple of days, despite every effort from me to rekindle our connection, I've hugged her and re-assured her, offered to do fun things together, played fortnite with her (it's her favorite game and her way of de-stressing) and tried every affectionate action I could think of. The nail in the coffin was yesterday, during my lunch break at work I called my wife and said hi to her. She was still very dismissive but I powered through and called her twice just to have small talk and keep communication open between us. After work, I had to go to the dealership because I've been trying to sell my car. I had texted my mother earlier in the day asking her to pray for me to make it easy as I have been having trouble selling the car, something Ive been talking to my wife consistently about and keeping her updated. On my way to the dealership, I text my wife asking her to pray for me as well. When I get to the dealer, and as I am sitting down to negotiate my car, I get a call from my wife and she is furious with me. She basically says to me to never text her the same thing I texted my mother (I texted to each of them "Please pray for me"). How she knew what I texted to my mother I have no idea. But essentially I came home to a whirlwind of yelling insults and disgusting things at my mom and I, all because I asked my wife to pray for me and texted my mom earlier to do the same. The logic that my wife is trying to use is that during an argument one time, I described how my mother had been very supportive of my career all her life, but I do not feel that type of support from my wife. When I expressed that to my wife, she became incredibly angry that I compared her to my mother. I did not mean to compare her, I was comparing an action or behavior that I feel I need from my spouse. I understand that the way I said it may have upset her, but I meant no harm and no comparison person to person, I just simply wanted to ask for a need that I require in a relationship. I am learning that the next time, I will never bring up another person when talking about an action or behavior I need reciprocated in my life.

    I feel very confused and my head is spinning, I am not sure who is right anymore or what should be done. I know that we are both good, loving people, and that we truly do love each other. I just don't know what to do from here...

    If anyone has advice for me, please, I am in need of it.

    *Last note: This is my perspective, I may or may not be wrong, and I want to clarify that my wife, too, has her side of the story. It is nearly impossible to describe everything in a couple of paragraphs, so I pray that I did my best service in providing the most fair description.

  • #2
    It's clear from your detailed account that you're going through a very challenging time in your marriage, and I appreciate your honesty and openness in sharing your story. Relationships, especially marriages, can be complex, and it's not uncommon for couples to face difficulties and conflicts along the way. It's important to approach these challenges with empathy, understanding, and a willingness to work towards resolution.

    Firstly, it's crucial to acknowledge that both you and your wife have had different life experiences and backgrounds that have shaped your perspectives and behaviors. Understanding and respecting each other's past traumas, triggers, and sensitivities is key to fostering a healthier relationship.

    Communication is one of the cornerstones of a successful marriage. It seems like there have been instances where miscommunication or lack of clarity has led to misunderstandings and hurt feelings. Being transparent and honest with each other, even when it's difficult, is essential. It's commendable that you've been open about your past struggles and have taken responsibility for your actions. Moving forward, continue to prioritize open and honest communication, and actively listen to each other's concerns without judgment.

    Respecting boundaries is another crucial aspect of a healthy relationship. Your wife has expressed a need for privacy regarding certain aspects of her life, such as her relationship with her father and her career aspirations. It's important to honor these boundaries and refrain from sharing sensitive information without her consent. Building trust requires respecting each other's privacy and vulnerabilities.

    Navigating relationships with in-laws can also be challenging. It's common for tensions to arise, especially when there are differences in expectations or communication styles. Setting clear boundaries with your parents and addressing any concerns or conflicts together as a couple can help mitigate misunderstandings and reduce friction.

    Seeking professional help, such as couples counseling, can be incredibly beneficial in addressing underlying issues, improving communication skills, and finding constructive ways to resolve conflicts. It's encouraging that you've expressed a willingness to explore counseling as a way to work through your marital challenges. Encourage your wife to join you in therapy sessions, as having a neutral and trained professional can facilitate productive conversations and provide valuable insights.

    Lastly, prioritize self-care and emotional well-being for both yourself and your wife. Managing stress, anxiety, and unresolved emotions can impact the dynamics of your relationship. Encourage open discussions about feelings, validate each other's experiences, and find healthy outlets for managing emotions, such as mindfulness practices, hobbies, or exercise.

    Remember that navigating marital challenges takes time, effort, and patience. Be kind to yourselves and approach each other with compassion and empathy. With commitment, understanding, and a willingness to work together, you can overcome obstacles and strengthen your bond as a couple.


    • #3

      Relationships, especially marital ones, often come with their fair share of ups and downs, and it's important to address issues constructively and with empathy. I'll do my best to provide you with some insights and suggestions based on the details you've shared.

      Firstly, it's crucial to acknowledge that every individual brings their own set of experiences, traumas, and perspectives into a relationship. Understanding and respecting these differences is key to fostering a healthy and harmonious partnership. From what you've described, both you and your wife have had unique backgrounds and challenges that have shaped your views and behaviors.

      One of the recurring themes in your narrative is the conflict surrounding communication and trust, particularly in relation to your family dynamics. It's evident that there have been instances where misunderstandings and differing expectations have led to tension between you and your wife. Here are some points to consider:

      1. Transparency and Honesty: Open and honest communication is the cornerstone of any successful relationship. It's important to be transparent with your partner about significant matters, including past experiences, family dynamics, and expectations. However, it's equally important to respect your partner's boundaries and preferences regarding what information is shared with others, especially family members.

      2. Respecting Boundaries: Your wife's request for privacy regarding certain aspects of her life, such as her relationship with her father or her professional endeavors, should be honored. This includes refraining from sharing sensitive information with family members without her explicit consent. Respecting boundaries demonstrates trust and consideration in a relationship.

      3. Empathy and Validation: Validate your wife's feelings and experiences, even if you may not fully understand or agree with them. Empathy involves putting yourself in her shoes and acknowledging the impact certain situations may have had on her emotional well-being. Avoiding defensiveness and instead offering genuine empathy can foster a sense of understanding and connection.

      4. Self-Reflection and Growth: Take time to reflect on your own actions, behaviors, and communication patterns within the relationship. Consider how your past experiences, including your relationship with your parents, may influence your interactions with your wife. Personal growth and self-awareness can contribute significantly to resolving conflicts and building a healthier partnership.

      5. Patience and Understanding: Healing and resolving conflicts take time and patience. Avoid pressuring your wife to "get over" past issues or expecting immediate solutions. Instead, demonstrate a willingness to listen, learn, and work together towards mutual understanding and resolution.

      6. Cultivating Positive Interactions: Focus on nurturing positive moments and interactions within your relationship. Engage in activities that you both enjoy, express appreciation and affection towards each other, and prioritize quality time together. Building a foundation of positivity and connection can help counterbalance conflicts and challenges.

      Remember that every relationship goes through rough patches, and it's normal to encounter obstacles along the way. What's important is how you and your wife approach these challenges together, with a commitment to understanding, growth, and mutual support. Wishing you both strength, patience, and resilience as you navigate this journey together.