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Wife gives husband ultimatum; 'She's trying to erase me. It's your mother or me.' + Update

Wife gives husband ultimatum; 'She's trying to erase me. It's your mother or me.' + Update


"Told my husband it’s his mother or me"


I’ve been with my husband since high school and his mother has always been a problem. You can check my post history in justnomil for context, but basically she hates me, she’s a covert narcissist, and I have tried everything to get along with her but she has made it impossible.

In September my husband asked me for divorce after a solid two years of fighting about his mother. I found out I was pregnant five days later. I moved back home with our toddler two months later and I have been living in a one bedroom apartment with her and trying to figure everything out.

Shortly before we moved my husband realized that he didn’t really want a divorce but I left anyway because the apartment was secured, I wanted to be by my family, and I feel that’s a big breech of trust and I am not a doormat.

Regardless, we are going to our individual therapy and trying to work it out. The distance is helping. I’m setting new boundaries especially about his mother. For Christmas, I invited him to stay with me so our toddler can wake up with both parents and open presents and celebrate as a family.

He asked me to go with him to see his family. Initially I said no, but then decided I can’t be scared of them and then send my toddler to see them without me. Well, his aunt’s FIL died, and his mother used that as an excuse to rescind my invite because they don’t want to deal with my “hostility” after a death in the family.

I am scared to death of these people and terrified to angered them. But go off sis. Anyway, I basically tell my husband that regardless of our relationship status, anywhere he is not welcome is somewhere I would not go.

He decided to bring me anyway, tell his family to get over it, and make it a good Christmas for our toddler. I was very proud of him. While we are there, I found a picture my MIL cropped me out of and put up. This picture was taken last Christmas when we were celebrating toddler’s first birthday. I was furious and cried on the way home.

Shortly after Christmas I had my anatomy scan, and I again invited my husband to stay with me so he could go. I also had therapy during this time, and brought him so he could see how my therapist reacted to the Christmas drama.

He had asked his mom about the picture, and she sent the “original” which wasn’t the original picture at all. After this session he realized how he’d been manipulated, how he should have reacted, etc. he said he needed time to process. I said okay.

This past weekend, I drove toddler to him to spend the long weekend. The night we got there, he and I were looking at his phone and he was in his messages, and I see a preview of a text from his mom saying something like, “you know my heart.”

I asked what that meant, he dodged the question, I asked to see the messages, and he shows me. He basically tells his mother he knows she didn’t cut me out maliciously and believes her excuse that she was trying to get a close up of toddler and husband.

I was furious, went to bed and tried to calm down over the next day but I couldn’t. I ended up leaving and left my toddler with him to finish out the weekend. I did a lot of thinking driving home (4+ hours).

Ultimately, I know he probably did it to appease his mother. But my whole marriage has been about appeasing his mother, not fighting her lies, not standing up for ourselves, and tolerating her BS. I’m done.

So my husband asks to talk and explain, and I said I’d be willing to listen if he committed to six months no contact with his mother and grandmother and marriage counseling. He said he wanted to talk first and if I still feel that way, he’ll do it. I said I’m sorry to hear that and refused to answer his calls, and stated my terms repeatedly until he gave up.

On one hand I feel like I’m in the right. He left me, if he wants me back it’s going to be a different relationship focused on us, not his mom. I’m pregnant, raising our toddler alone. I’m about to start working full time too. When we have disagreements within ourselves, we can solve them quickly and compassionately now.

We have gotten so good at that. But when his mother is involved he is immune to reason and every time he stands up for himself or me, his mother and grandmother manipulate him into changing back. I truly believe he needs this time away from them to get out of the FOG.

On the other hand, I want him to choose to do this on his own. I don’t want to force his hand. I don’t want to do this but I can’t live like this. Appeasing his mother all the time, stressing me out and wearing me down. She keeps me up at night.

It has been three weeks of drama over a picture. I told him I’m protecting my peace and can either join me, or stay stuck in that circus. But his mother has no place in my life and if he can’t cut the umbilical cord then he doesn’t either.

I feel like I’m being cruel but I don’t know how else to get untangled from his mother. I want to start over. If he wants to start over with me, it includes starting over with his mom and not doing the same old BS. Sorry this is long, but I don’t know if I’m doing the right thing or being too harsh.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after the OP's initial post:


You could point out that you know it is hard to change habits, and you know it will be hard to start choosing to put his wife first after a lifetime of putting his mother first, but you want a real marriage, and a real marriage means the wife comes first, not his mom.

The OP responded here:


I have. We’ve been doing this dance for years now. I’ve tried being compassionate and patient and understanding, and he’s been told dozens of times that he should put his wife/kids/created family over mom/grandma/family of origin.

Last we talked (before I found out about the latest texts), he said he was afraid to stand up to his parents because they are financial security, and he doesn’t think he can do anything without them. Classic narcissistic abuse results.

It’s pitiful. And as awful as this may sound, I can’t stand the cowardliness anymore. I understand the dynamics at play but when he sticks his head in the sand and enables her knowing he’s enabling her it just drives me nuts.


Have you told him that relying on his parents for financial security while letting them abuse his wife is pathetic and cowardly? Using those exact words.

The OP again responded:


To be frank, I believe the words I used (months ago now, not when he told me the financial security thing) were that he was a pussy, a baby, and a scared little mommy’s boy in addition to being pathetic and a coward.

This was around the time of August I believe? Because I told him I did not want a text or gift from his mother on my birthday and he couldn’t tell her no. I’m not proud of that but I didn’t hold back then.


You are. He was the one who asked for the divorce not you. Wasn’t that cruel to you, to say it only to change his mind once left with an empty house, all so he can placate his mommy Keep sticking up for yourself.

Cruel would be pushing what YOU need to the side so he can be comfortable doing the same crud he’s done for the last few years. Change doesn’t come without discomfort. You’ve had your share of discomfort, it’s his turn. He either decides he wants to be YOUR husband or his mother’a pet. He has thinking to do and choices to make. Leave him to it. He can discuss it with HIS therapist.

A little over a week later, the OP returned with an update.

"Update: told my husband it’s his mother or me"


I told my husband I was ready to hear him out this weekend so we set aside time to talk. He told me during therapy we learned to identify the problem, but didn’t learn how to handle it (we did), he told his mom what she wanted to hear - picking his battles and choosing what leads to the least amount of stress and strain.

He wanted to stop his mom from sending more explanations and “proof” and excuses. He wants to talk to his therapist to learn how to handle it and readdress things that need to be readdressed.

He said he understands the long term repercussions and was angry that I assumed he lied to me and didn’t let him explain. He knows he did what he did in the past on purpose and wasn’t dismissing the problem.

I said I knew he was telling her what she wanted to hear, but I’m tired of telling his mom what she wants to hear and he didn’t tell me he was doing that so I felt lied to. We agreed he could take space to think of what to do, so I didn’t push for it to be handled quickly and I trusted him to talk to me when he was ready to handle it.

I said I asked for no contact because we are in a cycle of rebuilding our connection and every time his mom gets involved she tears it down and we fight over her. The drama and the stress aren’t good for me, the baby, or our toddler and I need to focus on what’s best for them.

I’ve lost a lot of respect for him and don’t trust him to fix his relationship with me and his mom and himself simultaneously. He said I’m manipulating him with an ultimatum and not listening to what he thinks and feels, and telling him what he thinks and feels.

I said he’s taking it too personally, and that I need to get out of the drama - I can’t be involved with him if his mother is involved too. He asked how that fixes anything because he will take them to his parents regardless, and I said if we are coparenting it resolves me of responsibility.

You take our children to abusive people and you watch the consequences of your choices. But if I am with you and I go against what I think is right, and expose my children to abusers, I have to live with that guilt or spend my time fighting with you to protect them.

Because I’d do anything to protect my children, and I have given him time and grace to figure it out with his parents and I could spend the next 18 years in court throwing away money to make sure they never see our children.

But I want what is best for my kids and I do not want to fight with their dad for years and years about his mom anymore. In or out of court. He said that I’m using threats and I said no, you don’t understand how lenient I have been and how understanding I have been.

I haven’t filed for child support, I haven’t reported the money he stole from me, I haven’t reported his behavior to his command, etc. etc. and that I’m at the end of my rope, there is no more time to try again as we’ve been trying to figure out our marriage and his relationship with his mom for years and years, and I’m done.

I’m focusing on myself and our kids. His mother no longer affects my life. He’s very angry because I am not listening, he is not doing what I say he is doing, I am assuming and lecturing him, I am treating him like a dog I can hit, I am manipulating and using our marriage as leverage.

I said I have every right to leave a relationship I don’t feel loved or respected in. I do not like your behavior. I do not like how you allow your mother to treat me. I do not want to be in a relationship with you if it continues.

A lot of this was repeated back and forth, and I eventually added that just because his mom can say something and make it reality doesn’t mean he can too. He can say he’s not doing this or that, but he is regardless of his intentions.

He cannot dispute the things he’s said or done which is what I am angry about - I repeatedly said I know your intentions but your actions tell your mom otherwise. When you said, “yes mom it’s okay I know you didn’t do this maliciously,” you literally told her it’s okay to do that and that she can continue doing it.

I said I’m done fighting about your mother, he said we’re not fighting about his mom he’s being barked at and his thoughts are being ignored. Then every time I brought up the thoughts I’m not ignoring he says I’m not talking about that, I’m talking about the whole thing.

I’m ngl, I eventually just told him when he grows some balls he can call me and he was already yelling but he yelled something like, “oh I’ll do that I’ll grow balls I’ll do whatever you tell me to do and you know what I’ll do? I’ll just-“ and hung up. I didn’t call back. This really sucks.

Here were the top rated comments from readers after the OP's latest update:


Yeah, i'd quit talking to him about resolving any of this. Because you're not gonna get anywhere. Just file for the divorce and get her out of your life.


Yes. Move on.


Forget about your MIL; you have a serious SO problem. Congratulations for realizing this! Enough already! “I haven’t reported his behavior to his command.” Now’s the time. “I haven’t reported the noney he stole from me.” Now’s the time. “I haven’t filed for child support.” Now’s the time.

If you can prove that his parents are abusive; you may be able to get full custody without visitation. Enough already! Best wishes for healthy new beginnings for you and the LOs!


Yes please report him to his CO. He needs to learn the hard way.

The OP responded here:


Idk why but all the “Enough already!” made me laugh lol. I don’t know if I can really report the theft because it came out of our joint savings. But he took more than half and “generously” left me some, but not half.

He agreed to pay me back so I sent him an email outlining what he agreed to to document it. Also, he “couldn’t” give me an address bc he didn’t know what it was - he lives in an RV park now - but he remembered to update it in Geico so now I have it.

Lastly, I don’t know how to prove they’re abusive. They beat him and his brother as kids, and when my daughter was 3 months old my FIL threw pillows at her, but the only other witnesses were my SIL and MIL. Idk if that’s enough.


All too often, someone will accuse you of not listening when really what they mean is you're not AGREEING with them. Because in their twisted worldview, they cannot fathom it being possible that you've heard what they have to say and STILL disagree.

So, do you think the OP is being irrational? If you could give them any advice, what would you say?

Sources: Reddit,Reddit
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