If there’s an issue between me and my mother-in-law, my husband won’t stand up for me. How can I get along better with her? How do I get him to value our relationship more?


This issue is about you and your husband, not you and his mother. To change how you feel about this situation, you must change your thinking. For starters, see it as a good thing that he has a strong relationship and values his mother — it’s not a competition.


Focus on what you can control: your relationship, not theirs. Talk to him when things are calm. Acknowledge how important his mother is to him and mention something you like about her. Let him know how important he is to you and how you value him and his support. Express that when issues arise between you and his mother, you don’t always feel you get that from him. Ultimately you want the same thing: to have your needs and expectations met and to feel understood. The more united you and your husband are on issues, the less likely that a rift will exist between you and your mother-in-law.


– Jonathan Alpert is a licensed psychotherapist. E-mail him your questions at jonathan@jonathanalpert.com


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