Ask Toi: Follow up To the Wife who’s Husband’s Mother paid him to leave her

So this was a suggestion from a reader to find out what happened to the couple whose mother paid the husband to leave his wife and he took the money:

If you didn’t get a chance to read the original article, get it here

The update is that they are happily divorced. They hadn’t been married that long and the mother in law was an issue throughout the relationship. The wife once she knew that he had taken the money, stayed about 6 months so she could save money to move out. She moved out and filed for divorced the same day. She is currently not dating but in school and focusing on what she wants to do. She stated that leaving was the  hardest yet best decision she could have made. She knew that her mother in law was messy but not that messy. She said that the part that hurt the most was that he took the money stating he was going to use the money for them to buy a house together.

I asked her about any red flags and she stated the following:

The mother in law definitely had a vote in what the couple did. The husband would talk to the mother in law every time an argument or disagreement was had. She also noticed that the son had been giving the mother in law large amounts of money and would be late paying bills. The mother in law was always told and then the money was borrowed back. She also noticed that the mother in law spent all of her time at the couple’s home. She would insist she needed to see her son daily. Anytime she would assert herself in her own home, the mother in law would tell the son that she was being disrespectful towards her.

I think this was by far the worst of a mother in law story I have heard to date. I have never personally experienced anything so horrible. I will say that a marriage needs to be about the husband and wife and not letting everyone in.  No one has more of a vote than the two individuals that made the covenant. Being balanced is knowing when to vent and when to learn to heal and deal with your spouse. I have always said be careful of the information that you give to others about your relationship. You will get over things quicker than the outsider. Mother in-laws should always be respected and so should wives. There should be attempts to resolve issues where both can be honored. However if a mother is disrespecting your wife you should speak up.

I am so sorry that you had to go through that but when people show you who you are its wise to believe them. I wish you much success in school and that you continue to develop into the woman you are meant to be.  It sounds like you really weren’t going to win in this situation. If divorce was for you and you’re happy I wish you much more happiness in all that you do. There is someone who is going to be on the same page of life and relationship when you get to that point of wanting to get back out and date. In the mean time, study hard and enjoy!

Advertisements

Ask Toi: Christmas Concerns

It’s 7 days before Christmas and with that in mind, let me answer a few Ask Toi that have been sent my way these last couple of days.  Keep in mind that in order to submit a question, please email them to toitimeblog@gmail.com

Although I am preparing for Christmas, end of the year, etc I will always and forever be available via email or any of my toitimeblog social media sites

  1. What do I do if I am early in the dating stage and the new boo family gives a gift to me? ANSWER: One I would always go to a family event even as a new dater, with a hostess gift. Ask the boo if the family drinks, or bring something that can be used in the home. It doesn’t have to be expensive. This holiday season I bought these wine bottle holders from Michaels for 3 for $5 and one bottle can be around 10 so there’s a gift for under 20.  Do not feel the need to get anything that is too personal yet.  You want to be appropriate and welcoming.  Be yourself and enjoy the time.
  2. Do I have to go to all of these holiday parties? ANSWER: No.  I would get the list of parties that you are going to and go to the ones of those who you are the closest.  I know that some folks will be bummed but the reality is no matter how much money you may or may not have, holiday parties can become expensive.  You have to be smart in how you do them.  If you want to go to them all, then do.  Find a black number, and dress that same outfit a number of ways.  If you are asked to make something, find a signature dish that you know will take little to no effort like a pasta salad.  Make sure you know how long you want to attend and make an entrance as well as an exit.
  3. My family can be a handful, how do I politely tell my new boo that I do not want him to interact with the fam bam just yet? ANSWER: Go to your individual celebrations with your own family and meet up and do something that is just for you and the new boo.  Let the new boo that you don’t want to bring them around just yet.  This will only work if you are being truthful and honest.  If you have multiple boos and you trying to be slick, trust and believe things will reveal themselves.  Don’t ghost you’re new boo just because you aren’t sure of where you, spend time with them and make them feel like you are trying to put in the energy you want in return.

Keep in mind that no matter what stage of life you are in, not everyone is in a jolly spirit.  This doesn’t mean you need to water down who you are and what you want to please them.  Be yourself and enjoy or not enjoy it as you seem to fit. If drama is on your menu, kindly exit stage left.  People all around the world are practicing self-care and don’t be surprised if a few of them look at you sideways or exit left.  Don’t nobody have time for the foolery any year.

Ask Toi: Is it ever okay to text/call someone else’s mate?

From my reader: “My cousin constantly calls my husband for things.  It could be a ride, borrow money, there’s no limit.  I have said something numerous times to my husband to stop answering the calls but he said he doesn’t want to appear mean, what do I do?”

One, the first conversation you should be having after your husband is to your cousin.  If your cousin needs anything that should come through you first.  To me it’s about simple respect.  I don’t know a cousin of mine that is going to call and ask to borrow money from my husband.  In our house the family member that is related to needs to ask the specific mate.  So if your cousin needs anything he/she needs to call you directly.  I don’t get what is wrong with folks when it comes to the respect line of husbands and wives.  You do not go to another persons mate for things like money.  That’s a no no.  You don’t go to people’s mate like that.  There may be others who disagree but that’s how you cut down on drama.  The drama doesn’t even have to be anything else other than keeping respect in the forefront.

I’m not anti helping your family, but its’ your family it should come from you as far as the initial discussion and then you and your husband see what and if you are able.  My thing is that the cousin it way too comfortable at this point and that needs to be stopped.  I get your husband doesn’t want to come off mean but he needs to understand how you feel about it.  IF you have an issue with it than it needs to be discussed and come to common ground. Not only that you KNOW your family way better than he does.  He needs to take your lead on this.  I would tell him that if she calls he can tell the cousin to call you from now on.  You may find that the calls won’t even come anymore. I’m not saying your cousin is using the situation but I  do know if its honorable he/she won’t have problems coming correct.  Anything that takes people away from their households should be discussed between husband and wives in the household.  It sounds like to me things are getting done and you are hearing about it after the fact.  Let me also bring another perspective as well, your husband needed to communicate because some folks will use things and then turn them into things much bigger.  Your husbands don’t need to have things turned into the wrong thing.  As a wife you should know before things occur in regards to your husband with your family.  I know the whole premise of when you get married you marry into families but family don’t mean call for anything, get what you want, and not go through your own blood line either.

The In-Law Game

In-laws can be some of the most beautiful people you have ever met.  Then there those that make you reconsider marrying the love of your life.  Regardless of what side you are on, respect can make the difference to whether a situation can be workable or not.

This weekend my husband’s family came for a visit.  They actually and technically didn’t stay at our house but they are still visiting.  I don’t care where you are in your relationship, the very sound of in-laws can make you run.  I am a person who doesn’t like the unknowns and change for me can be difficult if I feel like I’m not in charge. Since I have learned to take big steps back, this was going to be no different.  Now with the holidays, I got several text messages from others who were in my same boat. How to deal with in-laws was the topic.  I have written about this very topic plenty of times.  In-laws aren’t the enemy.  It’s the level of relationship or lack thereof that makes or breaks the interactions. My husband’s family is also from another country which plays a big part in how they view me.  I have had nothing but good vibes since I met them a few years ago, but my nerves are on edge anytime its time for a reunion with them. This weekend once we embraced my level of anxiety went away and my flow with them was natural.  They are some really awesome people.

However for those who have less stellar than mine, you will need to think of the bigger picture.  One is that you must remain respectful at all times.  Let’s keep this real, in-laws are people and you may or may not get along with all people all the time.  Respect may look differently to some.  You may greet them and not have much to say because of the level of disrespect that comes from them.  You may be in a position where the in-laws haven’t accepted you 4 kids in and 10 years later. Trust and believe this happens a lot more often than the movies want to portray.  You have to remember to honor your mate and yourself with how you respond.  I would never allow myself to get into a heated debate with my in-laws where I would call them out of their name.  However in the nature of honesty I have gotten into debates with my mother in law on various topics. Sometimes they were good and sometimes they were bad.  I don’t condone name calling, threats, and physical altercations.  The reason is you can be mad, you can express yourself but as an adult if I have to hit below the belt and hit you, threaten you, or call you out of your name then one of two things need to happen.  One option is an immediate retreat.  I will leave you in a place arguing with yourself.  I am the type of person who can be aggressive so I know my limits.  If I feel like I’m losing my cool, I will walk away.  The reason is I come from a home that taught me to speak up for myself.  I would rather have you talk about how I backed down then to do something I may or may not regret later.

The second thing is to avoid conversations that I know are going to be too intense.  If you try that and it doesn’t work, then go to option number 1 and leave.  It’s that simple.  I have been on both sides of the in-laws.  Some in-laws you flow with and there isn’t an ounce of issues.  It’s almost like an extension of your own family.  Then there are times, when things have gotten out of control that staying in your own lane helps everyone involved. Can things work out?  Absolutely but it takes both sides to be willing to do get it right.  We all know what’s it like coming into someone’s family.  I think that in-laws lose sight of that.  Some in-laws feel threatened by the new relationship that they don’t even embrace it.  Word of advice even if you don’t like your new in-law, acting out of character, rude, or mean will NOT make the situation any better.  You can point fingers all day but YOU are responsible for YOU.

Here are some things that can help:

  1. Take a deep breath
  2. Take control of the emotional circus.  This can be done by being positive and really putting yourself to the side.  I KNOW for a fact even in the most horrible of in-law situation it works.
  3. Change your expectation.  Sometimes you want the best outcome but you have to factor in that people are people and you can’t change them.  Instead of trying to mend the fences, try to get through an outing at a time.
  4. Get out.  Yup I said it.  There has to be a room, your car or somewhere you can go to regroup and come back or leave if its gotten out of hand.

If you are the in-law that is knowingly causing issues, do better.  You know within yourself that your actions are less stellar.  Especially if you are an elder.  Nothing irks me to no end to see someone who you expect to have it together and they act childish. Trust me age and stage can only get you but so far.  The minute you act like you have sense and treat your new family with dignity and respect which is what you want in return your relationship can have a chance to grow.  You may not like your son or your new daughter in-law.  That’s your choice, but just like if you work with the public and many of them you do not like but you have to do what’s right, than do it with them.  If you have grandchildren that are in the midst or a potential for some to be in the midst, do better by them too. Do NOT think they can’t pick up on things.  I have seen family members talk down on a parent and the child innocently hear it and it breaks them.  You don’t think you will reap what you sow? You don’t think there’s a greater stone over your head for hurting a child due to your adult actions?  There are.  We need not forget that.  Also while we are talking about kids.  If you don’t forge a real working relationship, the parents can stop you from having interactions or have only limited interactions due to bad behavior and it isn’t worth it in the long run.

If all fails do NOT be afraid to grab a bottle of wine and smile.  Everything can be pushed through with a bottle of Moscato.  If I can have a descent relationship with my in-laws who I have gotten into things with, where bad things have been said, where hurt feelings had prevailed, you can too or you can at least be respectfully removed from them as well. You do not have to interact with your in-laws at the same level as their natural-born family, but you can have a working relationship and often times it’s at your discretion to make.  Be kind.  Remember that you may have an opportunity to be someone’s in-law and have to remember how you were treated so you can treat others better.

Like I have always said, keep in-laws out of your business.  If you want things to be better it may be wise not to tell them every little detail of your relationship.  Often times you think you are venting but I’ve said it before you will get over something a lot quicker than your family or friends will.  You can make things worst before it even begins if you do not have checks and balances on the level of relationship from the very beginning. Do not allow them to drive a wedge in your marriage and do not drive a wedge in their relationships either.  You don’t have to like his mom, but deal with the situations like you would want your husband to deal with your mom.  If you wouldn’t out right disrespect your mom do the same for him.  If that means staying away, or retreating, or even having less interactions than make it work.  It doesn’t serve with a husband or wife is between parent or spouse.  Don’t make them choose.  The relationship is different for each respectfully. Establish the lines of respect in the dating phase.  It can be done and everyone can have the opportunity to get along even if they choose not to.  In-laws can be tricky relationships but if you know where you stand and keep respect in the forefront you can at least make it to the next function.

Lastly on this topic, if you are the son or daughter, cousin, or whatever relationship of the one whose family has disrespected the spouse in some way, do not try to act like it didn’t happen.  I know you think by doing that it will make it better but it won’t.  Own it. You know how your family member is and you know they can be some of the rudest folks that you even know.  Do NOT make your mate feel like they are wrong for not accepting their bad behavior.  I know that makes you second guess everything you have been taught.  You know what bad behavior looks and feels like.  Just because Aunt so and so always is like that, doesn’t mean others have to put up with her.  Stop giving your mom, dad, aunt, brother, sister, whomever passes.  Acknowledge it and YOU not your spouse needs to sit down and talk with them.  Often times the family who has acted out don’t even realize it or sometimes don’t even care because “that how they do.”  You can be who you want except disrespectful.  You the spouse of the offending family member needs to be in the forefront of making change.  Do not put the responsibility on your spouse.

Ask Toi: Is it ever inappropriate to speak to a mother in law when disrespect comes to play?

I can say that this is a pretty vague question.  You are to give your elders in general respect and that includes mother in laws.  Respect is also earned and therefore if you are in a tight spot with a mother in law that isn’t being respectful speak to your husband about it.  My rule of thumb is to let the blood child handle it first. When my husband and I was getting married we had issues however we never allowed any one set of family members to disrespect anyone of us.  If there was ever an issue the blood child handled it.  However the flip is to understand that your husband isn’t going to be able to get his mother to do as he says.  She is grown and set in her ways.  He is responsible for speaking up not causing her to change her behavior. Once your husband has tried and his mother is still the same way don’t make your husband pay for her bad behavior.

Now that’s in the world where all things are pretty civil.  I think when things become to the point where adults can not like each other and stay in their sand castles, than you need to make a plan that works for all.  In our case my husband only required that I give my mother in law respect.  I didn’t have to do any extras as far as going out to eat, and shopping at the mall if I didn’t want to.  He never wanted to force my hand into a relationship.  No one should feel forced.  If you being the wife can’t be civil than be cordial and move on.  If you feel that your husband isn’t handling the situation the way you want than only handle the situations as they come.  This means you will have to attempt to allow each situation to be single situations instead of allowing it to build.  If you can’t do that only go around when you are with your husband, speak and move on. There’s no written law that says you and your mother in law have to be best friends.

If there are children involved than make sure you give his mother the same fortitude you would give your mother.  Keep her involved with her grandchildren and interact with her where they are concerned.  It’s a lot easier to deal with your mother in law with the kids than it is sometimes without.  If it is to the point where all hell has broken loose and you refuse to be in the same room I think that is a case by case situation.  Most mother in law relationships are strained to begin with.  Not to say all are, I know of plenty who have the ideal mother in laws that are a direct extension  of their own mothers.  That can happen when two mature adults are involved as well as have their egos checked and care about someone other themselves.  However for the rest of the population I always say treat your mother in law how you would want to be treated down the line and how you would want your husband to treat your mother.  That doesn’t mean that it will be a bowl of cherries all the time but keep that in mind because no matter who you are you reap what you sow.  So be careful of the things that are said in anger.  Be willing to apologize and be the bigger person as much as possible.  If you have to say something directly to your mother in law, keep your words on task to the issue at hand, speak up for yourself but don’t be disrespectful, and be consistent.  If its totally gutter bad to the point where you can’t and refuse to be in the same room with your mother in law, than so be it but make an attempt to make it better.  Sometimes being quiet is a good thing.

The one thing that is always wrong to do with anyone not just a mother in law is to name call.  Put yourself in your husband’s shoes if you heard him call your mother names how would you feel?  So again feelings are going to get hurt ANY time you interact with other humans.  What not okay is to hit below the belt.  Even if your husband is soft spoken he won’t forget what you said about his mom and vice versa if he did it to yours.  So name calling, hitting below the belt, etc. is wrong don’t let it come from you.  There are things we will say that can’t ever be taken back and keep that in mind.  If you mother in law does the same for you, retreat. Sometimes some space or not coming around to clear your mind is healthy and no one can tell you that you need to interact.  Sometimes we all need some time alone to come back and be better versions of ourselves.

Ask Toi: Is it okay to ask my wife’s sister not to visit our home?

It depends.  This is a very vague question.  On the surface the answer is no.  My reasoning is simple, if your family is allowed what makes your wife’s sister not able to come to your home? Now let me say unless extreme disrespect has occurred then you are going to have to roll with that NO.  Why? You aren’t expected to like your wife’s sister but you are expected to show her respect.  Your wife and her sister are going to want to visit each other and connect.  Now that doesn’t mean it has to be at your house all the time but to think that in the course of your marriage she’s not going to visit at least once at your home doesn’t make sense.

Not all families have this cookie cutter relationship but a general level of tolerance should be granted.  We aren’t talking about a cousin but her sister.  Now if her sister has been down right disrespectful I would assume other than just plain not liking you than its something to look into and have a conversation.  I wouldn’t have anyone in your home that is causing division regardless of the relationship but in the same token you have to know your reasons.  So this means you need to talk to your wife.  Now if you and your wife have had a discussion or even an argument regarding the sister and you are looking for me to tip the scale one way or other I can’t do that.  One you haven’t provided me enough information to go by.  If your wife’s sister has gotten in your face, threaten to harm you or called you out your name I think that you are definitely justified.  And to any reader that would suggest that because we are talking about a male in that he has no right to feel threatened by a woman you are misguided.  Any one who threatens you with physical harm even if they are capable or not has not only shown disregard for you but that they have absolutely no control and can’t be trusted.

If it was on the other foot and it was your sister causing issues would your wife be okay with her visiting your home?  If no than maybe having a conversation to work things out is in order.  If it hasn’t gotten to this level than maybe a sit down with your sister in law with your wife present may work.  This way the attempt to make things better is the key.  Like I said you and your wife’s sister don’t have to be close but you do have to be both respectful. Your wife sister has to understand you and her sister are married and are on the same team.  That’s why the team should sit down and attempt to make it right.