Thursday, December 5, 2013

Just Ask Joyce: "My husband is jealous of my relationship with Mom. What do I do?"

Q: “The only thing I want for Christmas is for my husband to stop being jealous of my mom. I am pregnant, and we are already battling about who can be in the ultrasound room when the baby’s gender is revealed. I want my mom; he doesn’t. 

I have a close relationship with my family. My mom and I are great friends and share lots of time together. My parents have never missed a special event in my life. He is not close to his family. They squabble more than they talk civilly to one another. He views our closeness as control, not a family bond. He says this should be something the two of us share, not everyone else. How can I convince him that I want her to be a part of this important time? I don’t see anything wrong with that. Am I being selfish, or is he?"

Joyce: I can see both points of view. Every aspect of having a baby is a special time for a couple. I understand when couples decide to keep the joy of revealing gender between “just the two of us.”

Your description, however, leads me to believe there could be an underlying problem beyond the obvious. My sense tells me your husband is a bit jealous. The focus could be jealousy of your time spent with Mom as opposed to him or because you have a close relationship with your parents. I speak from experience when I say being deprived of the parental bond is hard on every child. My concern would be that if he is jealous of your attention being directed at someone else now, then what happens when the baby arrives? This is definitely something the two of you should address pre-birth day.

I am more disquieted about the long-term effects in your marriage and extended familial relationship than the I-don’t-want-to-hurt-Mom’s-feelings-now dilemma. Here are a few issues the two of you should consider in your ultimate decision.
  • Be sensitive to one another’s feelings. The premise I advise all couples of 'you are more important than I am' stands true in every conflict in marriage. In any relationship, when you are looking out for the other’s welfare more than your own, compromise will be forthcoming and palatable for all.
  • Mom needs to be delicately sensitive, too. She’s a mother, but she was a wife first. She understands intimate moments as a couple. With your close-knit relationship, you should be able to tell her if the two of you have decided to keep this between the two of you. As a concession, waiting in the lobby for you to view first and then inviting her in is an option. And, technology offers many innovative ways for someone to “be there” when he or she physically can’t. Additionally, her mother’s heart should desire to celebrate your marriage as she has had the opportunity to celebrate hers.
  • Is there something else? I’m not suggesting more than I am covering my bases here, but should there be a personality clash between your husband and your mom, inform them that you will not participate in any issues that will cause stress for you and the baby. The health of Mom and Little One is of utmost importance. If necessary, inform them to put on their big-girl/big-boy panties and act like adults. 
As soon-to-be-parents, you and your husband will be responsible for teaching your child(ren) feasible ways for working through relationship issues. It’s a good time to step into the 101 Basics of Conflict and find a playing field where everyone can find a suitable position. This is one of the most thrilling and special times in a family’s history. As a grandparent, let me further add: You want and need us on that watch, so don’t shoot yourselves in the foot!

Change your life … NOW! Write Joyce Oglesby, Family-Life Fitness Pro™, at I’m here to help! Check out my books and other resources today at


  1. My husband is jealous of the bond my baby has with my mum, he's decided he's going to stay home and look after the baby when I'm at work so that my mum can't, sucks

    1. My first thought was that if the roles were reversed and the husband wanted his mother present, we'd all be asking why he can't cut the umbiblical cord. I think the same is w/this mom-to-be. She's married first, a daughter second! Grow up and be respectful of your marriage. The mother-in- law should step up and tell her daughter she (the grandmother) will be there for her, but for her on the side, not part of the show. The marriage is headed down a shaky path if the narriage continues to have three people in it. I'd be interested in knowing how the couple resolved the issue of mom being in the room when the baby's gender was revealed-- and if the marriage is thriving, barely surviving or already dissolved.


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