“My husband chooses his family over me. Is there anything I can do about it?”
First, take a step back and breathe. Everything is going to be alright. You have to know that you’re not alone in this situation.
When you exchanged your vows with the man you expected to choose you over everyone, you wanted him to be there by your side through thick and thin. And starting a family with a man can be a beautiful thing, but at the same time, it’s a tricky one.
Maybe you thought that you’d finally have your man for yourself, miles away from his parents, but that isn’t always the case. Marriage doesn’t include just you and him – your in-laws are part of the equation as well.
And most marriages don’t have any issues with their in-laws as most of them live their separate lives and are aware that they should mind their own business.
The problem seems to be when your mother-in-law and father-in-law suddenly become intruders.
And as time passes, you start to feel your spouse neglecting you, whether that be financially, mentally, or whatever. And you don’t know what to do about it.
It can seem that your marriage is falling apart and that your husband’s spending more time with his family than with you. Suddenly, you’re not his top priority.
Why would my husband choose his family over me?
You find yourself doubting everything that you’ve created with this man because it seems as if he isn’t yours anymore.
Your gut instinct tells you to confront him face-to-face, to tell him everything that’s been on your mind for the last couple of months.
You’re contemplating the reasons for his actions and even if the two of you have a future together anymore.
Let’s get this straight. Confronting and forcing him to choose between you and his family should never be an option. You sure won’t have your happy-ever-after if you do.
Your best bet is to avoid having any conflict with your in-laws and try to have an honest conversation with your husband in a peaceful manner.
And I know that this kind of situation can be very hurtful and you just want to let all the anger out and say what’s on your mind. But take a deep breath because fighting with your spouse won’t solve your problems.
But why do men choose their families over their wives in the first place? What is the reason for it? You may think that it’s your fault that your husband chooses his family over you, but it’s not.
Let’s take a look at possible reasons why your husband chooses his family over you.
1. Men have the tendency to live with their parents longer
Recent studies have shown that men between 18 to 34 are most likely still living with their parents and not with a partner. As odd as it sounds, there’s a logical explanation for this. Hear me out on this.
It’s a well-known fact that women mature faster than men. I’m not just talking about emotional maturity, but physical and mental as well.
As a consequence of them maturing early, they usually learn how to be independent from an early age and get married sooner than men.
Still, you’re wondering: What has this anything to do with you?
Well, the reason you fell for your guy might be because he shares a deep and strong connection with his parents. And that’s a beautiful thing. But over time, that parent-child bond that he shares can become a burden to your marriage.
The thing is, when your husband lived with his parents, his priorities were different. And now that he’s married, he might have difficulties changing them as he failed to mature enough to do so.
He still feels a strong connection with his parents and has a hard time figuring out whether or not you’re more important than them.
That’s why your husband chooses his family over you because his connection with his family never evolved to the next level.
It’s always a good thing to see your husband spending time with his family and friends, but overly prioritizing one over the other can have a huge impact on your marriage.
2. He wants to keep the peace between everyone
You remember the movie Meet the Fockers? Well, family feuds are a real thing and if you watched that movie, you’d know what I’m talking about.
It’s not uncommon in married life for there to be fights and arguments between a wife and a mom-in-law or husband and father-in-law. Sometimes you might think that they don’t even respect you enough.
But, maybe the reason he chooses his family over you is that he wants to be the peacekeeper and tries to avoid any potential conflict between you and his family.
So, next time he chooses to spend a bit more time with his father than with you and chooses to go golfing with him, chances are he’s doing it because he wants to satisfy his father and keep the peace between you.
This is a rather difficult one to recognize unless you directly ask him. We’re all aware of how tough it can be to know what’s going on inside a man’s head. Men are mysterious creatures and mostly they keep things for themselves.
3. Everyone is living under the same roof
This is a really tricky situation and more common than you think. Another reason your spouse might choose his family over you is if you and your in-laws are living under the same roof.
Unfortunately, not everyone has enough money to buy a house once they find the love of their life. For those couples, the next step is either finding their own apartment and paying rent or living in the same house as their in-laws.
As you can imagine, the generational gap is quite huge, so there are bound to be fights and arguments for sure.
And then there are times when men choose to live with their parents even though they have some other options.
Don’t expect that you can avoid having any arguments and conflicts with your in-laws if you’re living in the same house. That’s impossible.
Those potential awkward situations are bound to happen. There’s little to zero privacy and your relationship with your husband will be heavily tested because of it.
Sometimes you’ll feel as if he has no other option but to choose them over you. That’s especially the case if they’re pressuring him.
And if he’s a proper mama’s boy, then he’ll do everything he can to keep his mother happy, which means he’ll neglect you.
Couples who live in the same house as their in-laws have the feeling as if they’re married to the whole family.
In those situations, it’s always difficult to take sides when some major or minor conflicts happen.
4. He feels guilty for not spending enough time with his family
If your husband chooses his family over you, there’s a possibility that he lived solo before he got married.
As a consequence, your man spent a significant amount of time with his family, be it family dinners, gatherings, or game nights.
And I’m not one to judge – this is a great thing. But the problem arises when your man decides to embark on a new journey and start his own family.
Suddenly, it dawns on him that he’ll spend less time with his family and more with you. His daily routine changes and he’s confused since his priority list has changed drastically.
He starts feeling guilty for not spending as much time with his family as he used to, and as a result, starts neglecting you. Eventually, you feel less worthy and as if you have to compete with them for his time.
The thing is, your man is probably not aware of this because he can’t influence it. His conscience is killing him and he feels compelled to go back to his old habits.
That’s how he ends up spending more time with his family than with you.
5. He’s a proper mama’s boy
The famous mama’s boy. We all know one and your man might be one, but you failed to see it before getting hitched.
Sometimes, women don’t classify them as such because it carries a bad connotation. They just secretly hope that he’ll get out of his mother’s shadow and take control of his own life. Being with such a man is a real struggle.
This is the kind of relationship where his mother smothers him with calls and text messages and he’s always there to answer them.
Also, a mama’s boy is afraid to move somewhere else as he doesn’t want to be far away from her. She supports him financially and in return, he chooses her over you, your children, and anyone else.
But what seems to be the problem?
Well, those moms have a difficult time seeing their sons grow up. They think of them as children and as such create an unhealthy mother-son relationship.
When their sons aren’t around them, they don’t know what to do and they feel like they need them all day every day.
Unfortunately, the same applies to their sons. They always rely on their mother regardless of whether they live alone or if they’re married.
“So, my husband chooses his family over me. What can I do if he’s a mama’s boy? “
The truth is, it’s very hard to break this pattern. Why? Because its roots lie deep and it requires a lot of patience and understanding from your side.
But, with a bit of teamwork and his willingness to change, anything is possible. So don’t give up on him immediately.
My husband chooses his family over me. What can I do about it?
Here you’ll find some tips that could help you deal with this issue. Be careful to always approach him with respect and try to be patient. Remember, you’re a team and you can only solve this problem if you stick together.
1. Have an honest and open conversation with your husband
The biggest mistake that you could make is to involve other people in solving your marriage issues.
One of the pillars of a healthy relationship is having good communication with your partner. Sadly, many women believe that they can read their partner’s minds. That’s simply not true.
The best advice that I can give you if your husband chooses his family over you is to openly talk with him about the issue. If you don’t say it, your husband won’t know it. Simple as that.
You have to show him that this “little” thing is bothering you. It makes you feel worthless and like you have to compete with his family for his attention.
Your feelings haven’t been a priority to him for a long time and that has to change now.
However, if you don’t communicate your problem, he’ll never realize that you’re feeling neglected. He’ll just continue choosing his family over you.
Share your feelings with him and see how he’ll react. Will he just ignore it? Or will he accept the fact that he overlooked your emotions?
Trust me, you’ll feel instantly better when you open up to him. On top of that, if your husband accepts he has a problem and he’s willing to cooperate, that shows you that you’re still his priority.
2. Compromise with him
Compromising with your partner is a must if you want to have a successful marriage. It means that you’re willing to give and take to make things better.
Sometimes, you have to take a step back and reevaluate the situation. Maybe you’re wrong and he’s right. Maybe you just imagined that he’s been neglecting you.
But not all of us are ready and know how to compromise. The good news is that it can be learned for sure.
So what to do when your husband chooses his family over you? In this situation, you have to compromise.
Let’s say that your husband constantly invites you to go over to his parents’ house for dinner. And you’re tired of always doing that because his mom might think you don’t know how to cook.
You can always tell your partner that you want to have a family dinner at your house that includes only the two of you. Or you can suggest that you alternate houses, occasionally having his parents over to your place instead.
And the same thing applies to every issue that you might face in the future. If you try to find a compromise with him, he won’t be forced to choose between you or his family.
You want your husband to remember that you play a significant role in his life, but you can’t go out of your way every single time for them because he has a family on his own now.
He needs to take care of you and not be so focused on his parents that he forgets about you.
3. Don’t let your anger turn into resentment
I know that you’re hurt now. You feel betrayed and abandoned by your husband. But don’t let those feelings turn into resentment.
You shouldn’t hold any grudges or ghost him – he doesn’t deserve that. It’s just that the bond that he has with his family is strong and you have to show him that he has a family on his own now.
Things will only get worse if you let your hurt feelings turn toxic.
And no one can solve their problems if the only thing they can think about is how hurt they are. That’s not how issues are solved.
So, take a step back and breathe. Don’t let your emotions govern your actions and don’t let them turn into resentment.
4. Give him time and space
You might be thinking that you should give your husband some time and space so he can choose between his family or you. But that’s not what I mean.
You have to take a step back so he can figure out that he needs to change. He has to choose to do things differently if he wants to have a future with you.
You can’t force him to change. He has to want it.
Neither you nor any of his relatives can have an influence on his decisions. Why? Because change starts within.
He’s the one who has the power to start working on himself. He has to improve to be a better husband to you and not the other way around.
Don’t nag him or demand that he choose right away between his family and you.
Remember, it’s his family. Of course, they’re important to him. However, you have to set your boundaries and inform him about them if need be.
His and your family will always be part of your marriage. But before all of that, you have to give him space and time to initiate the change.
Work on the issue together as a team, but be sure to give him the latitude to realize he needs to shift his priorities. If he’s not willing to cooperate, then there’s not much you can do about it alone.
5. Make all of your decisions together
Don’t assume that your husband agrees with you on something. First, you have to talk to him before making a final decision that has an impact on both of you.
Healthy communication with your partner means you always talk about everything with him and make all of your decisions together.
Just because you feel neglected and want him to ignore his family for the rest of his life, doesn’t mean he has to accept that.
Your husband is in control of his life, not you. He has to choose to change on his own and act accordingly.
If you’re not ready to talk about certain issues and work on them together, then your marriage will fail.
Because marriage isn’t about who is wrong and who is right. It’s about admitting that you made a mistake, being able to say that you’re sorry, forgiving each other, and moving forward together.
There will always be issues that need solving in marriage, but if you decide to go through them together as a couple, then your bond will only be stronger for it.
6. Be understanding
You should never criticize your husband for something he’s done. Speaking badly about his family or his character will only make the situation worse. Instead, show compassion and understanding.
Remember that those people are his parents. He grew up with them, so things can’t change overnight.
Show him that you know how he feels. Tell him that you had the same issue, that you had a hard time focusing on your marriage and choosing him over your parents. That way, he won’t be offended when you bring up the issue.
Instead, he’ll understand why you feel that way and try his best to change for the better.
Marriage is all about give and take. If you talk honestly and openly with your partner and with understanding, he’ll acknowledge your feelings and reciprocate.
Family issues are always tricky. It requires you to have a lot of understanding and compassion.
7. Be a team player
I know it hurts when your husband chooses his family over you. But if you try to turn his family against him, things will only get worse.
Don’t try to argue with him about why he’s choosing his family over his wife. Fighting won’t resolve the issue at hand, ever!
Instead of arguing, try to be a team player with your husband. Work together to find a solution for this particular problem.
Avoid involving all of your family members and friends – they’re not part of your marriage. You’ll only get complicate things if you pull others into the situation.
Remember, marriage is all about teamwork. You and your partner must put in an equal amount of effort, propose solutions, and have each other’s backs no matter what.
You need to constantly work on your team-playing skills as you’re not born with them.
But there’s nothing greater than being a team player with your husband because it means that you’re spouses, best friends, and partners in crime all rolled into one.
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