Six months ago, I married a man who loves me and respects me…. We get along well, but I have noticed that, for everything he is going to do, he calls his mother to let her know…. He tells her absolutely everything, from what we’re having for dinner to what time he gets up in the morning. And if he doesn’t answer her messages, she gets upset with him….

We visit my mother-in-law every Sunday, but I almost always want to leave…. The Bible says that a man or woman should leave their home or family to make a home of their own. I don’t know how to talk to him about this. I don’t want him to think that I have anything against his mother.

Dear Friend,

Congratulations on your recent marriage! We love hearing that your husband loves and respects you. You are blessed!

You are right that the Bible says that a man should leave his father and mother and become one with his wife. (1) We agree that this is very important, and that is why we always advise couples not to marry until they can afford to live apart from their parents. But we don’t understand why you refer to it. Your husband did leave his parents, and now lives with you.

There are some who believe that a husband who treats his mother well is a man who will also treat his wife well. His thoughtful treatment demonstrates that he has the character qualities of compassion, kindness, respectfulness, and loyalty.

In any case, we can only give you advice based on what you tell us. You say that your husband calls his mother, answers her messages, and tells her everything about his life. But you do not say that his mother tells him what to do, nor that he considers his mother’s opinion to be more important than your opinion. And you do not say that he goes to see his mother every day, leaving you at home alone, nor that he neglects you to take care of his mother.

Remember that the Bible also commands us to honor our father and our mother, (2) and it sounds like that is what your husband is doing. We believe that you would be wise to change your perspective of this issue. Instead of being a bit jealous that your husband has a close relationship with his mother, be grateful that he is the kind of man who cares deeply about those whom he loves.

You are certainly not the first wife to have difficulty getting along with her mother-in-law. However, we believe that it will be easier if you try not to think of her as your competition, nor as someone who wants to take something that belongs to you. Instead, do your best to see her through your husband’s eyes. Love her because he loves her.

We wish you well,

1 Ge 2:24
2 Ex 20:12