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Dating Disasters

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MIL Nightmares
Q: I canít stand my mother-in-law. Sheís totally rude and always butts in my husband's and my business. She really does cause a lot of tension between us. I canít even tell you how many fights sheís caused because of her ways. Recently my father-in-law passed away, and now there is discussion of my husbandís mother moving in with us. There is no way I can say no considering we are utterly blessed to have such a huge house with various rooms not in use. There are other brothers, but they all have much smaller homes. So, if sheís going to move in with anybody, itís going to be in our home. While we have more than enough space, I canít help but think that the house is going to start feeling really small. And I really can predict major fights to ensue. Is this act of kindness on my husbandís account really worth it if itís going to ultimately tear us apart? -Lynda, 38

Dr. Anna: You two really need to have an open and honest discussion here. It sounds like the tension is bad enough when sheís not living with you, but youíve been able to cope. But now youíre concerned her constant presence is going to overwhelm and break your marriage. Speak up and let him know youíre concerned this is going to break your relationship. If you two canít figure out a solution that youíre comfortable with, in this case, Iíd recommend coupleís counseling if you can swing it. Having a professional help you navigate this could be the difference between a healthy marriage and a divorce. Someone who can spend some time with you both, help coach you through the decision, and give you some coping skills to handle whatever decision to you come to. If you value your marriage, better to be active in dealing with this rather than passively driving into a disaster.

Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help. Read her complete bio!
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward. Read her complete bio!
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults. Read her complete bio!
NOTE: The information contained herein is provided for information purposes, and not intended as a substitute for advice or treatment that may or should be prescribed by your physician or recommended by your therapist.
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