This was sent to Aunt B via email
Dear Aunt B,
Hello, my name is Jessica and I am 22 years old. I really don't know where to start... ok, back in 2004 I joined the US navy and that is where I met my current husband (he was stationed in Virginia and I was stationed in Florida). When we got married we really didn't know a whole lot about each other, just that we were "in love", we got married in July of 2005. 3 weeks later I found out I was pregnant..... come to find out when I was 8 months pregnant my husband came out and told me that he had cheated on me, he apologized, begged for forgiveness, said it would never happen again etc.... after having a serious conversation about our marriage I decided I would forgive him and try to move past the mistake he made. So far our whole marriage we have not lived together due to the military. December of 2006 I got out of the Navy and instead of moving to Virginia with my husband I moved back to my hometown due to our financial situation and moved in with my mother, I thought it would help us save money for awhile and it would be easier to pay off bills. (which we did) Currently I am still with my mother, but my husband and I are talking about moving me and the baby to Virginia this July after my sisters wedding. And this is a big problem for my mother, she tells me she believes that he is still cheating on me, and that he has never stopped, she is afraid that I am going to move there and find out for myself that he is cheating and then not have enough money to move back home, and that she can't afford to move me back if I have to. Umm, this is really a big fight between my mother and I, a constant battle. To me it would only make sense, that if my husband did not want to be married to me that it would be 10 times easier for him to tell me over the phone that he wants a divorce then to tell me to my face... on the other hand my mother thinks that he is avoiding divorce because he doesn't want to have to pay child support. All I hear from my mother is negative comments over and over and over.... and really its just driving me insane. My gut feeling tells me that he is not cheating on me and that I trust him. I'll admit that every once and while I think about it... the "what if" questions tend to pop into my mind sometimes. But if he was with another woman and didn't want to be with me, why would he want to plan to move me to Virginia?? That just wouldn't make sense to me. So my question is, what do I do?!?!?! The only thing that would please my mother is if I divorce him, she thinks he is no good. But I don't want to live life to please my mother..... I have to think about myself. Right? Just any advice about this whole situation would be great..... Thank you for your time.
While I feel it is important for a woman to respect her Mother, note that I used the word "woman." I truly feel for your situation and my gut instincts tell me, if he was truly about cheating, he wouldn't want you to move to Virginia. That would be stupid on his part, now wouldn't it? In addition, you will always hear me, rather, see me write that we must pay attention to our gut instincts. Yours, has told you that he is faithful. He obviously loves you or he'd make excuses why you should stay with Mom. That would be the easy way out, right? While we can't know what tomorrow brings, your place is with your husband. If you stay with Mom and never dip your toe in, to test the water, you'll never know or have the chance at a happy marriage. If nothing else, you must consider, that your child may need his/her father. I do believe that children need both parents, unless it makes complete and utter warfare. That scenario, is never good for the child. But where there is love, there is a happy child.
I imagine, in this case, you had to tell Mom, why you were moving home. Let this be a lesson for you, as well as the countless couples out there, that you never tell Mama. I wrote about it here. As you see, this is a textbook case, of you forgiving your husband but Mom can't. He hurt her baby and she wants nothing more to do with him. This puts a strain on you and your mothers relationship. Live and learn, as I did!
I think that your rightful place is with your husband. If you two are to make a go of it, moving to Virginia is the answer. But how do we get Mom, to see this?
You may have to dig and think of an incident, where your Mother was hurt by someone and she forgave them. Why do I have the feeling that your Father is not in the picture? If he is, in the picture, surely, there is something he did, through the years, to hurt your mother. They say that Love is Never Having to Say You're Sorry (Love Story 1970's) I don't know about you but there are countless times where I was hurt and I hurt someone else. It may not have been on a grand scale but find something that was done, to make your point. Then, you show Mom, how when this person apologized to her, for the harm they had done, she accepted it. But what if you had not? What if you had held a grudge and made things difficult?
You must point out, how it would feel, if you refused to let go of what was done to her, which of course, would makes things rather difficult.
I think Mom is only trying to look out for your welfare and suffice it to say, she means no harm. Just like most Mom's, she doesn't want her child to hurt or to be hurt and wants to protect you. But you are a woman, no longer a little girl and you may have to point this out. She may have to realize that she needs to respect your wishes and put her feelings aside for the betterment of your marriage.
A man shall leave his mother, a woman shall leave her home. When you marry a man, he becomes your family. Unless he is actually hurting you, your place is in that home. You must point out to Mom, that your rightful place is with your husband and you must try for the sake of your child, as well. Maybe ask Mom, what it is, the real reason, why she has such disdain for your husband. If it was because he fooled around, she must understand that it is your decision to forgive him and out of respect, she should try to put her feelings aside and try to understand that you love your husband dearly and you want it to work.
You sit Mom down, have some coffee and tell her that you want to speak to her woman to woman, not mother and daughter. This will set the stage for a capsuled scenario of understanding and outlook. You also state that you do not want to argue or upset her, you simply want to talk. You would appreciate an audience with her that is not filled with angry thoughts or words, just woman to woman.
You then tell her that, you want, you need, her blessings and understanding. It is eating you up, the fact that you want to be with your husband and she can't stand the idea. You tell her, you would hope she could find it in her heart to forgive him, for the sake of your child as well as yourself. You say that you must give this a chance but you must have her blessings. You can't stand the thought that this would upset her, as you respect her, love her and never want to hurt her. You can point out that if we never forgave people, the world would stop and in your little world, it is falling apart. While you understand and respect her feelings, you would ask that she respect and try to understand yours and the love that you have for your husband. It is then, that you point out, that you are going into this, with your eyes wide open. You will not be stupid, you will be on your toes, concerning, if he has impropriety on his mind. You will also stash some money, a "Just in Case" fund. You ask Mom, to please try and understand, try to see how being away from your husband and her animosity towards him, is more than you can bear. Can she find it in her heart, possibly, to forgive?
Put on Aunt B's Bitch Belt
You will then make your husband, more than aware of the fact that, this has torn you and your family apart. You will not stand for any monkey business and if he's not serious, he needs to say so and go on with his life, minus yours. You tell him that a true man is about honesty and if you do not make him happy, he must say so. Say something before you go out there, with fooling around on your mind. Point out to him, that you are done crucifying him for what he has done, you choose to forgive him. It is only because you do have undying love for him, that you are able to forgive him. It does not mean that he got away with it and you will never be gullible again. Then, you ask him, how would he feel, if you had done that to him? Would he forgive you? Would he trust you and would his own mother, forgive you? Perspective. You must let him know that if he hurts you again, you will not be as nice and you will do your damnedest to make his life a living hell. Let his imagination ponder that and never tell him what you are talking about, just let him know that it is not an idle threat but an extremely calculated and well thought plan. Keep him on his toes, make him think!
Further reading Click Here
First I want to say thank you so much for your reply! It was VERY helpful in making my decision. And you knew EXACTLY what I was talking about. And you were also right about how my father is NOT in the picture, my parents were divorced when I was 5 because my mom CAUGHT HIM CHEATING on her. And I feel that this is another reason why my mom holds such a big grudge against my husband, because it was done to her too. I have already discussed with my husband if he is to do it again to me, how I will not be as nice this time as I was the last. He said that he knows that and that he isn't trying to "get rid of me". So we'll see how things go. As for sitting down and talking to my mom "woman-to-woman", I really don't know if I should do that, I am afraid that it will not go well and its going to turn into another one of her "Shes right and I'm wrong" arguments. I really don't know how to approach that part of the "process". But I will keep in touch and let you know how everything goes! Thank you for taking the time to write me back!
My Dearest Jessica,
In the event of being completely wrong and looking like a total ass, I omitted my real feelings about Mom. But I was right and I knew she'd been burned. She just doesn't want you to go through what she went through. She may very well be right but I think putting the fear of God into a man and stating the facts does work. It worked for me. I let him know that at any point in the game, if I did not trip his trigger any longer, he was free to go and the hell with how he thought I might feel about it. I also pointed out just how ugly it would get and I could not be held accountable for my actions, were he to fool around on me again. I do not believe he ever did. I stayed on my toes and I kept him on his. I did not give him free reign to behave as if he was or act like he was single. I pointed out that what was good for the goose, is twice as tasty for the gander and if he wanted to go out with his buddies, his single buddies, then he wouldn't mind if I did? Then, he could sit at home with the kids and wonder just what the hell I was up to? I thoroughly enjoyed that feeling as I did follow through with putting him in my shoes. His approach changed. A guys mentality can, when he's out with his single buddies, be as if he were single and he wants to act like his friends, right? He places himself in the "Strike Zone." That's where chicks hit on him and he becomes vulnerable, especially after he's been drinking. An innocent dance turns into going home with the girl. Then, it was regretful behavior. Knowing the nature of the hunter, we must never be stupid, gullible or willing to allow our men to place themselves in the strike zone. You just have to make him think. Most of all, if a man thinks he can get away with it, there's a damn good chance, he'll try it. It's the same with crime. If you want to deter it, their has to be real civil penalty. There will be serious repercussions for his behavior. The best part is to keep them guessing, wondering. Their own imagination will do the trick, you just plant the magic seed.
I feel, eventually, you are going to have to deal with Mom. Even though this may be so uncomfortable to have to approach, you will have to do it or stand the heat of the bad feelings you create. ( 9 times out of 10, I tell people to write their feelings down, in the form of a letter.)
Tell Mom, that you realize she's only trying to protect you from what she went through. You know she means no harm. But you must give your marriage a try, for the sake of your child and for the sake of happiness. You let her know that you have your sense and sensibilities in check and you are aware of things and their potential. But you love him and you have forgiven him. Forgiven but not forgotten and you ask her if she could find it in her heart to give you her blessings, so you may have this chance at happiness? It's time for her to let her baby bird fly again.