Needy and controlling mother-in-law is taking up all my husband's free time

DEAR DEIDRE: MY mother-in-law’s needy behaviour is running my marriage.

She’s 65 and was widowed last year.

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Now my husband finds it impossible to say no to her.

She runs him ragged with demands, and he’s so stressed that he takes it out on me and our young daughters.

I’m 39 and have been married to my husband, 40, for 15 years. I got on well with his mother in the past, but she was always controlling.

Now she calls him ten times a day, every day, and asks him to come over to fix things or help her with paperwork in the evenings and weekends.

We rarely see him. He has a stressful job too and isn’t coping.

But rather than stand up to her, he just snaps at me.

I get – and respect – that he wants to be a good son, but I don’t think I can take much more.

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DEIDRE SAYS:  It does sound like she is very needy indeed and is putting a lot of pressure on your husband – a decent man who clearly doesn’t want to let her down.

You need to talk to him again and suggest that you try to manage her needs together.

Setting some boundaries is essential.

For starters, could his mother restrict her phone calls to him to the evening unless there is a real emergency.

My support pack on Stress might be helpful for him to read.

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