My husband is a wonderful person, but he's also a mama's boy. He can't make decisions without his mother, and whenever I have a different opinion from him and his family, he tends to side with them to protect their feelings. I feel rejected and that I'm not being given the respect I deserve from him. How do I resolve this? - R.T., 30, Maryville, MO
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Step One: Don't use the term mama's boy. It's derogatory and emasculating, and you'll never be able to resolve the situation or look at your husband with respect (not to mention lust) if you think of him in those terms. So, let's rechristen him as caring guy who loves his family but just hasn't gotten the message that the wife, and her wishes, come first.
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Have you talked to your husband about this? And by "talked," I mean at a time when you're feeling happy and connected and not after he's just sided with Mom and you're mad enough to throw a plate at his head. If not, you must. Tell him what you told me: that you feel rejected and disrespected, and though you appreciate his caring nature, it's paramount that he work to make you feel that your feelings come ahead of those of his folks.
The conversation will probably include a nonproductive exchange something like this. Him: "But she's my mother!" You: "But I'm your wife." Him: "But... she's my mother." You: "But I'm your wife." To avoid a stalemate, tell him that while you respect his feelings for his family, you'd like him to at least consult with you before siding with them. That's all. He doesn't have to agree with you or defy his mom; you just want a consult. So next time there's a decision to be made, he can tell Mom, "Sounds good, but let me talk to R. about it first."
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Karen Karbo is an award-winning writer and author of The Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons from the World's Most Elegant Woman. She's also a mom, a writing teacher, and a horse owner. Check out more advice from Karen.
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