More threads by starwalker

Hey all,

Need some advice. I married a girl from another country (Asian culture, me being white), and we've been married for about 3 years now. As is more common in where my parents are from (Eastern Europe), my mother is extremely protective of me (and has been for the last whatever # of years), to the point of calling me on a cold morning to tell me to wear a scarf (not to mention that anytime she needs computer help, question about Excel, suggestion about where cheap fruits are sold, etc. etc. etc. she calls me). Not surprisingly, this being entirely different from how Asian cultures work (where once a child is out of the house, the parents are nearly automatically expected to back off and let them be, no matter how much they miss them and so on), this has driven my wife to the point of threatening to break up with me.

My difficulty with it is that my mother is extremely self-confident and has no doubts that her way is the right way, and when I tried to change her mind in other respects in the past, it has frequently ended rather negatively. Convincing her of something this big ("leave me alone") seems like an almost impossible endeavour.

I know that this is an almost entirely too typical a situation. I'm curious to hear of what other people may have done with this or what they think.

this is a tough one. is your wife asking that your mother backs off a certain amount, or does she expect her to disappear from the picture completely?
From as far as I can tell, she just wants the overprotectiveness and the excessive oversight to stop (I don't think I would allow a complete "disappearance" -- after all, this is my mother, and not some random person).

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
This is an issue that might benefit from an objective third party. Have you considered making an appointment with a couples counselor for you and your wife to discuss how each of you sees the problem and alternatives for dealing with it? You may be surprised to learn how often this kind of thing crops up.
Hi Starwalker! I don't know to what extent your mother might be overmeddling, if she is in fact, but from reading your concern, sounds like your Mom's phone calls are inoffensive (small talk). Unless the frequency of her calls is annoying (which can be controlled by letting the voice mail pick up her messages for your convenience), perhaps your wife's suggestion to break off your marriage vows is indicative of more serious marital problems which would be worth exploring with her in marriage counselling. I don't know if there's any truth to the "four-year-itch" in a marriage but I heard this so many times that it makes me wonder...


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