Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
This is a Premium feature
Caught between my mother and my husband(49 Posts)
Just wanting to get some advice on a tricky situation here. I’m living in Singapore at the moment with my husband who is from the UK. My mum had come to visit me here and because of the covid situation, she is not able to fly back to her own house as there isn’t a direct flight. She lives in malaysia and all incoming passenger needs to be quarantine in Kuala Lumpur for 2 weeks before taking connecting flight elsewhere in the country. She is not an avid traveler and she is only a small lady. In view of the recent increase in robbery, mugging etc due to government lockdown and also the risk of catching the infection during travelling, I’ve advised her to stay with us until the situation is less risky to travel. This is coming to 3 months and my husband is getting irk due to this and is pushing for me to send my mum away despite knowing very well my concerns and thoughts. He also pushed for us to have an “open conversation” about when she is likely to leave. Many of the times, I’ve persuaded him to let things go as situation remained unclear at the moment. However, because of the pressure from him, I’ve mentioned to my mum about the fact that I might need to get her a separate abode for the mean time and this has greatly upset her and also makes things sour. I can’t help but thinking that he is selfish and only cares about himself and cannot our up a little sacrifice for me and my mum in view of the pandemic that we are experiencing. How can I ask him to stop being selfish and be a little considerate and instead of feeling uncomfortable with my mum, maybe to try to forge a connection with her? My mum is not even a nasty person. She just have a habit of making passing comment and because of this my husband thinks that he “lives in a prison where he doesn’t have freedom”! Any advice would be appreciated
A difficult situation OP.
Sacrifices need to be made on all sides.
How long do you imagine this situation will go on for?
Speak to your husband and ask for a compromise.
Speak to your mother.
What sort of comments?
Perhaps she needs to stop with the comments if they are offending your husband.
If she finds that too difficult, perhaps she should move out.
3 months is a long time.
Re your comment:-
"my mum is not even a nasty person. She just have a habit of making passing comment
Its interesting how you state she is not a nasty person; this is after all someone whom you grew up with, its your normal. What passing comments is she making, are they directed at you mainly?.
You do not mention your dad here; where is he?.
Are you yourself afraid of your mother OP?. It appears so, you certainly have gone out of your way here not to upset your mother, your mistake here as well was giving her no exit date when she arrived.
Re your comment:-
"In view of the recent increase in robbery, mugging etc due to government lockdown and also the risk of catching the infection during travelling, I’ve advised her to stay with us until the situation is less risky to travel".
Is this really the case in Singapore or for that matter Malaysia, I think not particularly in light of news reports I have read about these countries and covid 19. The first part is you completely overstating any risk here to her.
I think most husbands/wives would be feeling the same after 3 months.
Is your husband selfish in other ways? You cannot stop someone from being who they are. If they are selfish and unsympathetic then that is what you are stick with.
Having said that, what kind of 'passing comments' does your mum make? As a guest in your home she needs to be respectful too.
3 months is a long time!
Is your husband usually reasonable?
even if she was 100% delightful, 3 months would be a long time.
The situation is obviously difficult right now though.
I'm sympathetic to your husband. Three months is a very long time to have a guest stay with you. Especially one who has a habit of 'passing comment'. I suspect I would also feel like I was in a prison if I had to live with someone who was being critical of me all the time.
I don't think there is anything unreasonable about him asking for an open conversation about when she is going to leave. The fact that you are accusing him of being selfish after he's put up with it for three months, is quite unfair.
It's tone deaf to stay with your adult daughter for 3 months and then "turn sour" when a separate abode is suggested.
Makes me think she is not the innocent victim she claims to be.
I agree - I think he seems to have gone out of his way to be fair and reasonable, and I suspect your mother hasn't! You do need to have a discussion about how you make this work, and if you can't, what you do to get out of the situation. You might start out by telling your mother that you expect her to stop making "passing comments". Even by your version of this it sounds as though she really is being nasty with her comments. I bet his version of it is somewhat less complimentary than yours.
I barely survived three hours with my mother in law so I think your husband has been very accommodating to put up with her presence for three months, especially if she is making "comments". I don't think your husband is selfish at all, if anyone is it's you and your mother.
You made an arbitrary decision for your DM to stay for a non determined length of time.
She makes comments, that he has put up with for 3 months even though they make him uncomfortable and has tried to talk about it. yet you see him as the selfish one.
You need to get some perspective.
It's not clear on nationalities involved here but if your husband is British it's unlikely he expects parents in law or parents to stay for more than a few days, this is just not how family works here (for better or worse)
In many countries eg Asian it's normal for parents to come for long periods and basically take over the household in many cases. Which is great for practical support but not always great for your own freedom and decisions.
Knowing that makes it a lot easier to mediate and understand both sides.
Her passing comments were things like “oh you didn’t wash the fruits before you cut it?” “Oh you are determine with your new diet!” This was perceived as being sarcastic by my husband. There was an intended flight but all flight to her hometown has been cancelled and they have to be quarantine in KL. With the lockdown in Malaysia, a lot of people are struggling financially and this has given rise to increasing case of mugging and robbery. If she were to travel to KL, her exposure to travelers that might be infected or the risk of her being targeted as a potential victim increase. I’m not afraid of my mother but I’m sensitive to her needs emotionally and physically. Considering how much she’s given up to raise us up, I place her welfare quite high up there and this was made clear to my husband even before we got married. My father left home for work before all these lockdown happened so he is at home at the moment. My mum flight was supposed to be end of March and this has been cancelled twice now. I hope this made it clearer with the predicament I’m in.
Yes I’m chinese Malaysian and my husband is British. The concept of filial piety is something extremely hard to convey to him. Which makes it even harder to explain my situation to him
The concept of filial piety is something extremely hard to convey to him.
Even if you managed to convey it to him he’s under no obligation to comply with your approach or your wishes. She’s your mother, not his. He’s the one who’s stuck, you’re basically insisting she stays and he has no option about who’s in his own home. Expecting to not only put up with it but do so with a smile on his face is more than a bit unreasonable. My husband and I adore my mother. 3 months under the same roof might well put an end to that.
Well your Husband didn't marry a British woman and you're not living in UK so he should try to understand how important it is to look out for your parents.
On the other hand tell your Mum to stop making passing comments. You already know he doesn't like it and you could have already addressed this. You might feel it's ok to put up with it but don't assume others will and why should they?
Your husband is fed up with her "passing comments" and I don't blame him. Why haven't you told her to stop? Of course that kind of passive-aggressive nonsense is going to cause major issues.
Could you go back with your Mum and stay there for as long as needed and then come back?
I couldn’t last a week let alone 3 months with a MIL making passive comments especially in your/your husband home.
Have a conversation with your mum to stop the comments& ask your husband to try and understand how difficult it is for you - perhaps he can take himself off to the bedroom to watch a show he likes if he feels suffocated or go for a walk.
I’ve mentioned it to her about her comment but to be honest, instead of a nasty comment, she was just being surprised and also finding it fresh that we are doing things different to what she is used to and hence those comments. My husband is not selfish in anyway but he is an over thinker and will over analyse every sentence that anyone had made. We just had a little cry over the matter and I hoped that she understand that we are not being nasty and wanted to kicked her out. She’s given up her career to be a full time housewives and brought me and siblings up. As a result she has no financial input whatsoever and is fully dependent on us and my father for financial support. Even if she were to move out, there is no where for her to go to as hotels are shut and her current visitor visa doesn’t allow her to rent a room on her own under Singapore law. Renting a whole one bedroom apartment under my name to accommodate her might be possible but that will set us back £1500 per month of rent alone. I appreciate that it sounds like she is being nasty but everyone who has met her has said that she’s the most pleasant person even my own husband before the lockdown happens.
Unfortunately that’s not possible as I’m the main bread winner here. To do that would mean that I will lost my job as I will be absent from my job for a whole month due to quarantine in both sides of the country. I work as a doctor here so I’m still in the front line at the moment dealing with the covid situation here
Send DH back to the UK
Sounds like you are all stuck together and you need to speak to your DH about being tolerant and understanding of cultural differences. Also your Mum about asking you stuff in private so things aren't perceived as criticisms.
Honestly it must be incredibly tough on all of you
I think if your husband were to tell his side of the story, it would be a very different version of events.
It’s not clear but it sounds like you made the decision to have her essentially live with you this whole time, now going on three months. That’s a really really long time for someone to have to live with their in laws and not something I could cope with frankly.
You acknowledge her passing comments but I can imagine how they would be interpreted as passive aggressive snide remarks, especially after 3 months. And your mother doesn’t sound like she has any intention of making things any easier following the conversation about her finding somewhere else to stay. I really feel sorry for your husband. Cultural differences or not, I think he probably feels trapped and really uncomfortable in his own home and unsupported by his wife.
I’ve mentioned it to her about her comment but to be honest, instead of a nasty comment, she was just being surprised and also finding it fresh that we are doing things different to what she is used to and hence those comments
You're not listening.
Your Husband, who you've already said is a reasonable person and didn't dislike your Mother, has told you her comments upset him.
Listen to him, stop defending your Mother, and tell her to stop it. You are married, not a little girl living with mummy anymore so support your Husband. It's his home too, not just yours and if he doesn't want a commentator pointing out 'differences' then that's his right. Nobody likes someone in their home with too much to say about what they see
Please login first.