Lenka (58): My mother-in-law managed to break a functional husband …

That children often follow the example of their parents is not the case. And we also know that they behave like this in adulthood, perhaps unconsciously. My ex-husband Petr is a shining example.

My parents were fine. And their wedding was fun. Of course there were a few clouds here and there, but compared to other families it was full of spirit, laughter, love… My husband Petr had a lot more trouble. His mother divorced four times. And I’m honestly not surprised. Who would be with her?


We didn’t notice each other from the first moment. She didn’t leave the thread dry on me, I even felt jealous. Excuse me, does anyone know a woman who’s jealous of her son’s girlfriend? I could feel her appearance when we arrived in the summer, for example, and I, as a young girl, wore shorts. Yes, I have long, slender legs, even after years, but isn’t that a bad trait? Behind her, she tells my future, that I dress like a “paradise”, that I am defiant, overconfident, just for nothing. And he couldn’t stand up to her. However, we got married and had two daughters. Luckily, the grandmother didn’t show much interest in her granddaughters. Here and there we came to visit her when she and her son repeatedly discussed failed relationships, that was all she cared about. She was looking for another victim, a partner. It suited me, at least it didn’t fit into our lives.

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Suddenly I had a mother-in-law at home

It wasn’t until almost twenty years after the wedding that the problems began. At that time, we were already living in the village in a house that we built ourselves. One day Peter informed me that my mother was coming to visit us for a longer visit. He is said to have financial and relationship problems. What was my surprise when a longer visit turned out to be a long stay. Upstairs we had a larger guest bedroom, where she stayed for about six months. And then she came, nothing good enough for her. Sure, I was by far the worst cook and housekeeper, but she didn’t even wash a cup.

But what bothered me the most was that she smokes. It was impossible to meet her without a cigarette in hand. Our house turned into a smoking room and I was very surprised that Peter, a sworn non-smoker, didn’t care. I won’t describe what quarrels and how often they happened, but my mother-in-law kept digging at me, and Petr never stood up for me. The tension mounted until the day the mother-in-law packed her bags to leave. I only rested for a moment, what was my surprise when my husband packed with her. It turns out that Petr is even more dependent on his mother than on me. He simply decided to leave the family alone.

To return to? Just for a moment

The children, although almost adults, were also embarrassed about this, but because they really didn’t need their grandmother, they stood by my side. And they missed Daddy’s presence. I waited for Peter to come back. He did not return, but did not file for divorce. He kept in touch with the kids, so I pretty much knew how he was doing. He didn’t speak to me. And then suddenly he returned home after two years. No explanation, just a brief apology. He wanted to follow where we were before his mother’s “visit”. I realized that he too was disappointed in his mother, I wasn’t watching. I know they called me sometimes, I was no longer in contact with her like before.

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Long stay again? twice and enough

Everything was fine for two years, although we weren’t as open to each other as before. And then suddenly his mother-in-law came to visit him. Unexpectedly, unexpectedly. With two big suitcases. That history would repeat itself? I didn’t want her to stay with us more than two nights, and I made that clear. However, she said something about how she was renting out her apartment and had nowhere to lay her head. I offered to provide her with ground floor accommodation and even help fund it, but that she couldn’t stay with us forever. We all knew it wouldn’t help. But that’s what I asked the wrong man! Within a week, Petr paid the sublease in the next town and moved in with his dear mother. And that didn’t really surprise me!

I filed for divorce myself, but before that I told my husband that Holt should choose – either family or cohabitation with his grandmother. He chose his mother. Later he regretted it and apologized, but I refused to take it back. Sometimes coexistence can’t work, but that doesn’t mean people can’t see each other. But my husband had a different opinion.

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Expert opinion: Mgr. Wiktoria Fiurášek, psychologist of the online counseling center MOJRA, www.mojra.cz

More couples are likely to identify with a similar situation. It may not end in divorce, but often one partner struggles to cut themselves off emotionally from their parents. Problems can arise if neither the partners nor the parents of the partners understand that the relationship (partner or marital) is a separate unit that sets its own rules, boundaries, family rituals, etc.

The agreement of both partners is important when it comes, for example, to a longer visit by parents / relatives or other family members. This cannot be a simple opinion, but a mutual agreement. Partners should talk about their feelings, expectations and ideas. Another important thing is to set limits. Partners need to clarify what is right and what is beyond their coexistence. These limits must also be respected by parents.

Contact: www.mojra.cz

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