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!

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Hurting the Babies

So with the holidays in full swing we need to have a discussion about mixing families. It’s no secret that people are master manipulators.  There is no fail proof way to determine if the new boo you have is the one that will honor you all of your days as well as do right by you and your children.  Even for those who aren’t married or have kids you really don’t know.  Love is about leaps.  However while you dip yourself into new love and mix families let’s talk about some of the drama with kids that we tend to forget.

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Growing up I was taught about being unequally yoked.  That had a lot to do with religion. However the principle is a good one to examine.  How do you link yourself up with a man or woman and don’t know their core values?  You aren’t going to agree on every little thing but let’s be  real, having kids or not is important.  How you will raise them is important.  I know of some men who marry women who have no intention of having children then bam they get side swiped and most end up leaving their wives for it.  The same holds true for men who make it appear they want to have a family but do things to ensure they can’t like get a vasectomy and never tell their mate. It’s a cruel and evil world out there.  Let’s organize how we need to protect ourselves and our children and future children from the foolishness.

Stop Marrying These Disagreeable Men and Women

How does it come off?  You have a man or woman who doesn’t like your family.  Then if something happens to you can you be sure that your child will have access to both sides of the family?  I know of evil families.  I really do.  However you deprive kids of having a relationship.  I am not going to act like there aren’t reasons to withhold kids from being around one side of the family over another.  There are.  But we as ADULTS have to be sure to separate our petty feelings over the kids.  My thing is at least try.  That’s key.  You should always be willing.  If after a sincere try to it doesn’t work then I can high-five a pull back. You knew from the time you were dating them and as time went on the person you were attempting or had attempted to yoke up with would not honor you or your kids by making things easy for your kids.  This isn’t just for folks with kids.  This is for the childless and wanting to be parents too.  Let me give you an example, my mother in law and I at one point of our relationship wasn’t on the up and up.  However whenever her and her son got into something or her and I did the same, I NEVER stopped the kids from being around her. That’s not my call.  It isn’t your call unless that parent will cause harm to the child. Then be around but don’t stop.  My mother in law isn’t here and although it was tough when we lived together I would have deprived my kids of their short relationship had I been in my bag all the time.  I am glad that my kids had the limited time that they had with her.

You know who you are married to or want to be with.  You know that they will not do right by you or your family. What is it about these disagreeable women and men that makes you throw caution to the wind and proceed.  Like most people will reveal a part of their hand if you are listening and really watching.  Instead we let sex, looks, stature determine more than it should.  Then we say I don’t know why this person is like that?  You knew it deep down.  I am not suggesting that all in-laws are evil, mine wasn’t either but what I am saying is stop bringing kids in the midst of your mess.  And you can say well I don’t have kids so I am good, you’re not.  You set the tone now for how you will do when you get kids. It’s true.  I was talking to a friend.  She made some ugly comments about her boyfriend’s kids and now they aren’t together.  She was devastated.  But I kept telling her you can’t say mean things about folks kids and think they will link themselves up to you.  If they were smart, they wouldn’t.  You have to be careful.  Sometimes the way you speak about your future especially where kids are concerned is important.  People don’t realize if you want to find out what someone is thinking just plain old listen.  People allow their heart issues to come out just from bringing up the same issues.

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Yes things happen that make disagreeable women and men come off as off but they are protecting themselves.  I know of a few but that is a small amount of folks.  Some people keep things going on.  Somebody has to be an adult.  Please stop allowing these issues to affect kids.  They do affect them no matter how much in your head you are telling yourself that it doesn’t.

Now unless you have made it clear that you don’t plan on taking kids around your mate’s family  and your mate is crystal clear than you are creating issues.  Why?  Children are a product of both sides.  To be honest.  You can keep kids from a side of a family and they will still exhibit some attributes of the other side.  You can’t keep kids away from folks just because you don’t want them to be like that side of the family.  If it’s in them you will be seeing parts of their unallowed family.  You haven’t solved anything.  Some family are toxic this is true.  However you have to teach kids how to be in the world and not take on everything about others.  I have friends who attend family functions with their kid to protect them from certain sides of families that may be toxic.  But guess what?  They tried. They didn’t just automatically cut off.  Being a parent means at times setting our issues aside for what’s best for the child.  Try with kids even if before things were bad.  Always be willing until people prove to you that you can no longer take your children around.  When kids grow up and you have tried, they will see things for themselves.  But can you say you tried when deep down you haven’t.  Kids will form resentment towards the parent that withheld them from their family when you don’t at least try.

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I think people hear what they want to.  There is no way my mate could tell me our kids are not allowed to have a relationship with my family without real warrant.  And I wouldn’t have yoked myself to someone who would be like that.  You better know that you know that the person you take vows is really on the same team.  Everybody hollering Team (insert last name) is really on the same team.  Some will be on the team as long as its beneficial.  That is why being who are gold diggers end up creating at times family households that causes more harm.  Yes I said gold diggers and let’s be clear gold diggers are both men and women. I don’t care what society says there are some greedy men who want what they want to.  You bring kids in the midst and treat kids like pawns.  Kids aren’t bargaining chips.  Please stop having kids just to shut your mate up.  Yes I said it. You didn’t want kids so I will have this one just so they can get off my back.  Many parents don’t even form bonds with these bargain kids because of it.  Kids need sound households not perfect ones.  Make sure the well-being of your kids is the vocal point.

How people treat your kids is key

If you are married to someone who allows there to be separate treatment of your non biological kids versus the biological kids that you share, they are not the man or woman for you period.  Now when you are dating you will have bumps in the road, but once you marry a person and you HAVEN’T worked all of the kinks out you are creating a disservice to yourself and your kids.  Do you know of the petty things adults do to kids? Like get biological kids gifts for the holidays  but not the non biological kids? Do you know some ugly petty adults will make comments in front of non biological kids that makes them feel unwelcome? Let’s keep this 100.  You should definitely not be on the Earth messing with kids.  I really do believe that.  Kids don’t have a choice when adults decide to link together.  If you or your family treat a certain set of kids differently, mean or etc. that is the worst thing you can do. Kids may not understand why but they turn into adults that never forget.

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I have been in situations where I remembered how some folks treated me as a child.  My step-dad never treated me like step anything. He raised me from a young child and I would go to toe over him. I only highlight step to illustrate for this blog.  However the same can’t be said for the rest of his family.  I am not suggesting that I was abused, nor overtly mistreated, but I remember comments made in my presence.  I remember my mother making sure that no one would overtly mistreat my twin and I different from my brother. We need parents to step it up in this category.  There are some adults that I still don’t vibe well with.  However as an adult now I make sure that no one does it to any of my children. I also don’t have to entertain the same adults now.  I remember getting into a conversation with my dad and he made it clear to me that I could just be an adult and withdraw.  He wasn’t encouraging me to disengage but he made it clear that instead of getting more and more upset, walk away.  It was the best idea.  I never wanted as an adult to put my dad in the middle of any issue with another adult at this point.  What is done is done.  But like the saying goes, you will never forget the way someone treats you.  Be careful of how you treat step kids.  You got grown adults walking around being hurt now over the way step families treat them. I did my job by going to counseling and anything else I needed to do to deal but most do not.  And it matters to a step child to get it right within themselves. If you are a step child (adult) still hurt over folks that will never admit, never apologize please get help.  I refuse to let people who don’t influence my life for the positive to have a hold over me.

To any of my family that I am sure is or will read this, I am not opening up anything so miss me with the texts or the phone calls.  These are my experiences and nothing is going to change that.  I don’t need a pow wow, move on like I did and do what you need to do like I did for me.  No family no matter how perfect we all want to look like will get it right.  

Kid will pick up on the wrong

Every kid no matter how nice and perfect their households were will pick up on the things that aren’t right.  I know for me things didn’t come up for me until I had my own kids. I can’t say my childhood was bad because it wasn’t.  However things that most kids didn’t have to deal with we did.  It made us strong.  My parents did the best they could and as far as I am concerned I came out of it with the will and tenacity to be a good adult.  I am not perfect by any means but watching my parents struggle definitely made me handle tough situations now. I didn’t grow up with a silver spoon and it made me want to go that much harder in life to be great.  Kids pick up on the good and the bad no matter how you try to shield them.  You do your kids a disservice by not handling your issues.

The holidays are upon is.  It’s supposed to be the happiest time of the year.  However this is the time when adults do the most passive aggressive stuff to kids who are victims in the midst of couples who link together.  Please know your limits and be honest with yourself BEFORE you marry.  Stop getting married thinking time will work things out.  You can’t change who you really are when you really don’t want to.  You are just lying to yourself for the sake of marriage or having someone linked to you.  Just stop.  You are bringing in future kids and messing them up before they even have a chance to be in this world and be messed over.  I have had many talks with parents of mixed families before writing this piece.  The sentiments are different  but sadly the situations turn ugly. I have a friend that confided in me that he or she doesn’t want to be married due to the fact that they don’t want to have kids.  The sad part is they gave hope to a mate that they would have kids and now they don’t want to.  That isn’t fair to their hopeful mate. I couldn’t sugar coat it because they are a friend to me.  It’s a messed up situation.  There are years lost now.  I pray that their union can hold on because to me that is a place of betrayal that you can’t deny.  It’s one thing for both partners to be on the same page about not starting a family. However to lie and knowing you aren’t is devastating.

Please step families, stop mistreating kids. I know you really want to get back at the biological parent because you don’t like the fact that your biological family member could have done better in your eyes.  Stop.  Grown folks can be grown and make their decisions. Who someone links up with doesn’t stop your breath, doesn’t make you fat, or bring money into your home.  Leave kids out of your issues.  Let me say that karma never misses so if you intentionally hurt a child please do NOT think that you will reap that.  You and I both reap what we sow.  You get what you dish out so be careful of the servings you dish. Kids should always be respected at all times.  Be underhanded to the adult if that is what you want but don’t do it to a child.

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One last thing, be careful that you don’t fall in love with a monster and it cost your child their innocence.  Too many kids are killed and molested by “step” families and for what? There isn’t enough sex or money in this world for me to sell my kids over to a monster. Please be careful and listen to your kids.  Sometimes what you think is hate from a child could be a cry for help.  I would rather you get a vibrator or a blow up doll before you link up with someone who will mistreat or harm your child.  Oh and it’s sometimes not the step parent but some of these raggedy biological parents are a mess too.  No one is exempt.

Ask yourself the following before you link up with a person?

  1. Do you want kids?  Like actually birth or parent them? Be honest with yourself and the person you are with.  Do NOT give false hope.  Situations may  not be perfect so while you wait for that moment to happen, please be careful that you aren’t hurting your mate in the process.  No one should bring kids in mess, but be honest and open during the hard times too.  It’s not fair for someone to wait for you and you knew you weren’t going to be open to a family.  Allow that mate to make the decision if they want to be open to your maybe or no response.
  2. If you have kids from a previous relationship is the person you are thinking about marrying willing to be a full-time parent?  Are they treating that child with the same respect as if you and he or she birthed that child together? Does the family of your beloved treating the child or children with the utmost respect? Watch how people treat your kids in the bad times because the good times will not cancel out a hurt child over petty inconsiderate comments.
  3. Do you parent a mixed home with the same rules?  Having separate rules for one set of kids over another is creating issues.  Be clear that parenting is a dual partnership in every sense of the word.
  4. Do you have open communication?  Can you child come to you and tell you that one parent has hurt them and you set aside your love for your beloved and investigate? Love is blind.  You should never dismiss a child until you have found out what your child’s issues really are.

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.