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My husband's family are putting me in a cage!

Tagged as: Big Questions, Family, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (20 May 2010) 8 Answers - (Newest, 20 May 2010)
A female United Kingdom age 30-35, anonymous writes:

My husband is in afganistan doing a dangerous job !

and ever since he has gone he and his family have put me on lock down, I cant go out for a drink with my neighbor, im not alowed to go and see my old best mate because shes a bad influence, i cant post what im thinking on facebook incase it upsets him, cant goi out with the girls, cant go to my mums incase i go to my friends house! everytime his mother gets a hint of anything that i say even if its just i am thinking she flips at me swearing shouting saying that im not thinking about him or his feelings, when i moved two hours away from home to marry and be with him!

i tryed talking to his mum and step mm about somthing that was bothering me and they both fliped, i cant cope - i feel like i cant talk to anyone and im on a ball and chain they wont even let me talk to him about anything thats bothering me. i cant turn to anyone i am getting to the point now where ive had enough and dont want to loose my hubby but it feels like if anything happens to him whilst hes in afgan that they are going to blame me for stressing him out, thing is he dosent talk to me ether if he has a problem with me he runs straight to his mum and now we have had a massive argument i dont know if there right or im right to stand up for myself and right of freedom whilst im married !!

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A female reader, Tisha-1 United States +, writes (20 May 2010):

Tisha-1 agony auntI like what Emilysanswers advised much much better than what I initially posted. She knows what she's talking about.

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A female reader, chigirl Norway +, writes (20 May 2010):

chigirl agony auntIf your husband can't handle the "stress" of you having a lie if your own he deserves to live a complicated life. That is HIS issue, not yours. I can't stand men like this. Don't take it. Go out and do what YOU want. You are a free being, not someones slave! If he can't handle that you have a brain and a life of your own, then maybe it's time to file for divorce. I am a believer in valuing the marriage and the promises made to each other, but one promise he made you was to respect and value you. Locking you up, preventing you from seeing people or interact with the outside world, controlling what you do... That is not respect. That is trying to make a slave out of you.

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A female reader, Emilysanswers United Kingdom +, writes (20 May 2010):

Next time you speak to your hubbie, just tell him that you love him so much but can't deal with his family so will be cutting contact with them for a while.

My hubbie went to Iraq 3 times and then only reason I have my sanity is because I went and visited all my friends, went out drinking, went out getting my mind off things.

What will stress him out is you putting on a big fake smile over the phone and sending him blueys which blatantly say "Everything is FIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINE!!!" and nothing else.

He will want you to be happy and as long as he's getting letters from you and emails and can talk to you on the phone then he will be happy.

Leave this awful woman, go home to your parents, and do what ever makes this tour easiest for you. The happier you are, the happier he will be.

Good Luck!! xx

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A female reader, Tisha-1 United States +, writes (20 May 2010):

Tisha-1 agony auntCan you move home for a while? Until he comes home? You sound desperately unhappy with the situation.

"Dear Mother-in-law, [whatever you call her]

I'm writing because I'm hoping to clear the air between us and hopefully set things back on track, back to the positive as it used to be.

My world has been turned upside down by Sam's deployment, and I know yours has too. It's such a constant worry and the knot of anxiety about the danger he's in never leaves my stomach. I hate that it is this distressing and I hate that I have caused him any distress whilst he's deployed. I would hate for anything to happen to him and I don't want to be the cause of any sorrow or worry to him. Or to you either.

I know you are concerned about me and my activities and I know it's because you want the best for Sam. Trust me, I want the best for Sam too.

I know I am clumsy sometimes at expressing my feelings on things like facebook, but you must believe that it's as stressful on me as it is on you, and I need to be able to have people support me emotionally and mentally while he's gone. I have to have an outlet for my feelings, and right now, I get the sense that you want me to pretend that I am perfectly fine with everything. You see, I am not fine, I am worried sick. I have these fears and feelings and if I don't get a chance to share them with someone, I will be severely hurt and damaged. Sam will come home to a woman who is miserable and unhappy and I don't think he would want that either.

So I will be spending time with my girlfriends and seeing my mum, because I need the moral support. I will continue to be Sam's moral support and as it seems to upset him if I have a problem, I will not tell him when I have a problem. I will find a way to cope with it so that he doesn't worry, but I will be talking with friends about it.

I understand that you are concerned about one of my friends being male, and in order to alleviate any concerns about my staying faithful to Sam, I will stop seeing this friend alone for the remainder of Sam's absence. When Sam is home safely, he and I will be able to spend time with this friend again. I like him, he's a good friend and right now I need friends, but I appreciate that it might not look right for me to spend time with only his company. If I do see this person, it will only be as part of a large group.

I'm so lonely and unhappy and I don't want Sam to worry about this at all, so I will stop mentioning it to you. But I do need moral support and I will be getting it from my girlfriends and my family, just so I don't go mad here.

I sacrificed a lot to be with Sam, just as he is making great sacrifices to serve, and I intend for him to be as proud of me for how I handled things while he was gone, as I am proud of him for being such a brave, honorable and wonderful man. A better husband I could not hope for.

I know you are going through a lot of worry and unhappiness too at this time and I just want to let you know that I feel for you as well. I know it's hard being the mum of a soldier, it's such a worry. I want you to be happy and content as well so please do your best to take good care of yourself as well. Maybe we all need some special tender care from our family and friends to help us cope. I hope you feel better soon.

If Sam comes to you with a problem that really should be private between him and me, I would so greatly appreciate it if you would give us the chance to work it out before you get too involved with it. It's important for me and Sam to make this marriage work and I hope you understand how much I want it to go well.

Well, this is a lot for one letter. I hope you take it with the sincere desire for good feelings on both our parts. My number one priority is Sam. I hope you are doing well and I'll be in touch soon.

All my love,



Dear Sam,

I've just written this letter {enclose it] to your mum; I want to send it to her, what do you think?

I know things have been difficult while you're away and I want to set them to rights again. I want to be the wife you're proud of and I can't wait until you are home safe in my arms. This is my way of trying to fix things and I hope you know how much I love you.

all my love,



Now there are parts of the letter to mum that Sam probably shouldn't be reading but I expect she would share it with Sam straightaway, so you are heading her off at the pass, so to speak, by letting him know what you're planning to do before you do it.

This is a bit extreme, the letter, but perhaps if you don't send it to Sam or his mum, it can still serve as a sort of framework for you to build upon in communicating with her.

I am not trying to be mean here, I am merely making an observation, but your tone in your messages is a bit dramatic. If his family lives 2 hours away, they can't put you on lockdown. The problem I fear is that you are sharing too much information in public. I expect it's mostly about facebook?

I think you need to be judicious in your use of facebook and don't post sad or unhappy messages on your wall for all to see. Try to post messages that show how strong you are and how much you love your husband. I think you can talk with your friends on facebook in private to share the unhappy bits. Okay? So ease off on the use of facebook. There's too many ways things can get misconstrued there.

You need to do an image makeover on yourself on facebook. From this day on, you are proud, loving, concerned and capable wife of Sam, a brave, loyal and wonderful man. That's the public persona. In private, only to your girlfriends and your mum, you can let down that mask and share your unhappiness and deepest fears and feelings. Okay? Sam doesn't need to know that you have been crying to Tracy about how worried you are. He also doesn't need to know that you were out late with a hen night. For now, until he's home, consider every message as to how it reflects on you, a military wife. It's a difficult role, military wife, but you can do it.

Find the local support group for those families of deployed soldiers and get involved with it. Go to the meetings and express things there. I think you'll find yourself surprised that you are not the only wife in this situation and you may even make some new friends. Okay?

Best wishes to you and I hope Sam makes it home safe and sound and SOON.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (20 May 2010):

I dont live with them i live on my own 2 hours away from them, theres been two occasions where ive hurt him one when i didnt tell him somthing straight away and the other when i went out with my male neighbor for a drink, as friends nothing happened and i understand why he got upset but now because hes gone to his mum about everything she has formed a bad oppinion about me and makes out i dont care about him when im stuck up here alone 24:7 making me feel guilty when i havent done anything rong.

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A female reader, Denise32 United States +, writes (20 May 2010):

Denise32 agony auntAsk your Mother (IF you are living with his mother and can even call yours on the phone) to come WITH THE POLICE to get you out of there!

Or, try to slip out of the house sometime and go to your family; if you can't do that, phone the police or a women's shelter.

This is a very bad situation and even though you love your husband, you MUST take drastic measures to protect yourself and be able to live your own life!

One more thought: since you are able to send email, send one to one of your friends (maybe not the one who is a bad influence) and ask them to get hold of a women's shelter for you, or, to come and get you out......

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A female reader, Tisha-1 United States +, writes (20 May 2010):

Tisha-1 agony auntWhat on earth happened before he went to Afghanistan to create such a lack of trust and controlling atmosphere? Why are you living with them instead of your own mother while he's gone? Is there a child involved?

Is there a cultural difference between you and the family you married into?

I'm asking all these questions because it astonishes me that they would put you in 'lockdown' mode -- it's so bizarre.

Obviously everyone is right to support the soldier who's deployed. His (or her) needs should be paramount in everyone's minds. But so to do the family members left behind need support and consideration and caring. His mum and grandmum as well as you need that. It's like cancer, in a way, the person going through it has to be taken care of, to deal with the chemo and the doctors appointments and feeling ill all the time. The people who love the person with cancer get stressed too, and worry and they need to be supported by others. It's like a domino effect, isn't it?

Why is it that they are treating you like a teenager who needs constant supervision? What happened to create this mess?

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A female reader, k_c100 United Kingdom +, writes (20 May 2010):

k_c100 agony auntI cant quite tell if you live with his mum or not but assuming you dont live with the family then this is what I think you should do:

Tell his mum that you love her son very much, you are his wife and want to spend the rest of your life with him. However while he is working abroad you will continue to have a life, you are an adult and she has no right to control your life. Tell her that you have friends and family and you will be visiting them, whether she likes it or not. Tell her the more she tries to control you, the more problems it is causing in your relationship with her son, so she needs to back off and let you live a little for the good of the relationship.

She has no control over you - basically you are letting her behave this way. Surely you have a job, or a house, or some way of getting outside? If you dont own a car then you can use public transport to get to wherever you want to go - I'm sure at 19 you cant be reliant on his mother for everything? If you have your own money then you can do as you please, simple as that. If she physically tries to restrain you then you can report her to the police, but I'm sure it will never come to that.

I think once you start going out and about on your own, doing your own thing then she will eventually see that you are not misbehaving or cheating, and that you are a faithful wife who is just living her own life.

But I guess if you have no job, and live with his family then you have no real options - aside from getting a job which will give you some independance.

As for your husband - well I guess this is one of the pitfalls of marrying at such a young age, and why most people are sensible enough to wait until their mid to late twenties when mummy and daddy no longer have such an impact on life. You cant make your husband more mature I'm afraid, you married a teenage boy so you are just going to have to put up with it until he gets older. Most men dont reach full maturity until they are 30 so you might have a bit of a wait on your hands!

Try talking to him though, ask him why he feels he cannot talk to you about your problems and why he always goes to his mum. Tell him you understand they are close and think it is great that he has someone to talk to, but as husband and wife you would like to start sharing your problems with each other first before you go to your family. Tell him it is part of married life to have arguments but the only way to sort them out is together, as a couple, and involving other people is only going to complicate matters. Hopefully he will listen and take on board what you have said.

You are not in the wrong here - his mum is in the wrong for behaving the way she is. But if you live in her house, then I guess it is more understandable because it is her house so her rules. She cannot stop you going out though, you just need to stand up to her and start going out on your own so she can see your not up to anything bad and just being a normal 19 year old. As for the problems with your husband - as I said before, you are not in the wrong and your husband is acting like a baby but this is pretty normal for boys of around the age of 18-22, and is one thing you should have considered before you got married so young.

I hope this helps and good luck!

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