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Ask TherapistMaryAnn Your Own Question
TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5957
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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I have been in a relationship for 24 years, married for 8 and

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I have been in a relationship for 24 years, married for 8 and my husband has always put his parents/family first, we have no children together but I have a daughter from my first marriage. The problem started when my husbands sister had to go to court for gbh on a young girl aged 14, she got fined and lost court case. We didn't inform my daughter of any of this because we didn't want chat at school, etc. When my daughter was out one evening, she met with the girl that got assaulted by husbands sister and my daughter agreed that she was wrong to have hit her, sister-in-law found out and took offence and did not want anything to do with my daughter. She saw my daughter at work and upset her, I then phoned her to find out what was going on and this ended with us all not wanting to have anything to do with each other. There wasn't any name calling or anything from me, I just wanted to know why my sisterinlaw was doing this. My husbands mother then took offence at me and my daughter, I have got on well with her and fatherinlaw for 18 years, they have not had anything to do with us since. My husband never stood up for us or tried to get them to change their minds. It is now 4 years later and the problem has not gone away as my husband just sees them and is very secretive about it. I find it very dishonest and resentful, I love my husband but this problem is causing me great stress and my feelings towards him are that I want to separate, Can You Suggest Anything I Could Do or Say?
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

You are right that your husband should have dealt with his family and the situation they caused. He is responsible for telling them that their behavior is unacceptable and that they need to leave you and your daughter out of it.

However, if your husband refuses to acknowledge that this is his responsibility and allows you and your daughter to be hurt by his family, he may be avoiding because of fear or just an unwillingness to get involved. Either way, you may need to take a more drastic step to get him to acknowledge what he needs to do.

If your husband refuses to hear you when you bring the subject up, consider having a close relative or friend intervene. Someone you can trust. Sometimes spouses who refuse to hear their partners need to hear from someone else that they are not doing what they are supposed to do.

If that does not work, consider telling your husband that you insist on counseling for both of you. A therapist can support what you are saying and help your husband work through whatever is making him avoid this issue.

I hope this has helped you,

May I please request that if you find the service I provided helpful at all that you rate me with three or above? Your rating is the only way I am reimbursed for my answer. Thank you so much!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have asked my husband to go to counselling with me but he refuses and continues his relationship with his family. Do you think that I have tried for long enough as I am getting very depressed because of this situation and think that leaving my husband is the only solution. Thank you

You're welcome! I understand. It is very hard when you feel your husband is not putting you first like he needs to in your marriage.

You may want to try a trial separation. Because it is too easy to dismiss your partner's feelings, sometimes a spouse needs to know you are serious about what you feel. A trial separation can help your husband see that you are deeply hurt about this situation. Here is a resource that can help you:

Should I Stay Or Go? : How Controlled Separation (CS) Can Save Your Marriage by Lee Raffel

It may be enough to let your husband know that you are very hurt without having to let go of the whole marriage.

TherapistMaryAnn and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you