How do I fix this?
August 17, 2007 10:37 AM Subscribe
My mom and my husband have become bitter enemies. Is there anything I can do to make it better? If so, what?
posted by anonymous to human relations (61 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
My husband and I got married in November 2006. It was a destination wedding, so only our immediate family attended. This summer, my mom decided to have a party at her house, a couple hours away from where my husband and I live. She invited her friends, people she works with, and a couple family friends from back in the day. My husband and I didn’t know most of the people invited. I knew from the beginning that the party was in large part to “show me off,” as my husband put it. In any case, it seemed like not a big deal—all we had to do was show up, mingle, and my mom would be totally happy.
My husband did not see it this way. From the very beginning, he was upset that my mom didn’t consult him or ask if he wanted a party. He referred to the party as a “command performance,” and insinuated that since my mom paid for our wedding, we were under some kind of obligation to do things we didn’t want to do. He also said that I was going along with the idea because I’m afraid of my mom’s anger. I will admit that my mom has a problem with anger, and that no, I don’t want to be on the receiving end of it. Also, I’m just kind of a passive, go-with-the-flow type person. Anyway, I tried to be sensitive to my husband’s feelings about the party, even though I thought he was overreacting.
The day of the party, my husband had a meeting for coaching my stepdaughter's soccer team in the morning. It was clear that attending the meeting meant that we would be cutting it really close as far as getting to the party in time. My husband agreed to leave the meeting early. We never actually discussed what time we were planning to get to the party. My mom wanted us there like, a day early, and my husband thought it wouldn’t be such a big deal if we were late to our own party. I should have known then that this would not end well. Anyway, the drive to my mom’s house normally takes about 2 1/2 hours, but there’s a lot of construction on the highway lately, so I figured it could easily end up taking 3 hours or more. Also we were losing an hour due to time zone change. I figured that we were leaving enough time to get there about half an hour early, which seemed like a reasonable compromise.
During the drive, my husband apparently made several remarks about how we were going to get there just in time, or how we were barely going to make it, or whatever. I don’t know because I was driving and apparently not paying much attention to the conversation in the car (we were driving up with my friend and her husband). I was sort of keyed up, and I was driving pretty fast. There wasn’t much traffic/construction, and we got there an hour early. At which point my husband accused me of purposely misrepresenting the actual start time of the party (i.e., “You said three eastern time! You lied!”). He thought we were going to get there right on time, in other words. It was an honest mistake, and I apologized, but my husband would not believe me. He was mad all day and went upstairs to brood a couple hours before the last party guests left. My mom was super pissed, and they got into a huge fight.
Now my husband no longer wants to see or talk to my mom, and my mom sent me an email last night about how my husband's behavior at the party was "abusive." I really wish they would both just calm the fuck down.
So do I have to take sides? Should I try to mend things or leave it alone? I feel like it's kind of my fault for getting the time wrong. Is it my responsibility to fix it?