LIFE

My MIL Walked In On Me And My Husband Making Love, Now She’s Furious

by Rebecca Endicott
Becca is a writer and aspirational dog owner living in NYC.

Life is a complicated business. That’s why LittleThings created the Ask Becca advice column!

I’m here to tackle complicated questions, big and small. From workplace woes to unrequited love, you can send any dilemma to AskBecca@LittleThings.com!

Every week, I sort through tons of responses from readers all over the world to find questions that we can all relate to. Whether you’re going through something similar or have some awesome advice of your own to add, the goal is to put our heads together and start a conversation!

Last week, the column took on a jealous ex, unfulfilling sex, a husband with a taste for smut, and problems making friends in a new town.

This week, we’ll be tackling a whole new range of topics, including a MIL with boundary issues, a new crush, a slacker boyfriend, and an unfaithful husband.

Scroll through to check out my very best advice, and add your own words of wisdom in the comments section below.

And if you have a question of your own, feel free to send it my way by emailing AskBecca@littlethings.com!

Photo Credit: Flickr / Pixabay

Nosy MIL

Mother in law walks in on them making love
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Dear Becca,

Three years ago I married the man of my dreams. However, his mother is a nightmare.

I know I’ve heard stories of men being “momma’s boys,” but my husband is quite the opposite. He begs her to give us space, but she doesn’t understand.

Two months ago she “surprised” us by moving into a house right across the street. What has followed is her breaking into our home on several occasions and moving things around, throwing away things she doesn’t like, and even getting angry at us when she once walked into our bedroom and caught us making love.

I have no idea how to handle the situation and neither does my husband. Please help me.

-Desperate Daughter-In-Law

Becca's Best Advice

Dear Desperate,

Let me say first of all, YIKES. She walked in on you during sex? I am so sorry; you truly have a monster-in-law situation here.

Clearly, your husband’s mother is having a very hard time respecting boundaries and giving the two of you the privacy you deserve. I think it’s time for your husband to have a very frank and honest discussion with his mother about personal space and independence.

He can say, “I have decided, with [YOUR NAME]’s support, that we need more space from you. We are a married couple with independent lives. Please do not enter our home without our permission.”

You can be present for this conversation to back him up, but I would let him do the talking, since she’s his mother. It’s possible she feels resentful of you for “taking away” her son, so it needs to be clear to her that the message is coming from him, too. Both of you are uncomfortable with these breaches of privacy.

If you two lay down the law and she still doesn’t respect your wishes, it’s time to take stronger action.

Good luck showing Mommie Dearest who is boss!

Becca

Feeling Like A Plain Jane

Woman feels Plain Jane compared to the other women crushing on the same man
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Becca,

I came across several of your advice pieces and was hoping you might be able to help me.

I am really falling for this guy, and he probably doesn’t even know I exist. Actually, I’m sure he has not a clue at all that I am here on this same planet.

I am a loner for the most part and my work has me stuck at a desk all day. His work has him out and about, sometimes traveling, and he’s always doing some amazing volunteer work.

He is so amazing, but we are in totally different social circles: I’m in the lower middle class and he is like middle high class standing.

What would be the best way to get him to notice me? What would I say?

He has many other girls chasing him down I’m sure, now that he is single again. His last girl was such a “supermodel” type, and I could never compete with that. I know a few other girls who have talked about approaching him themselves — again, super skinny and attractive.

How can I stand out?

-Anonymous

Becca's Best Advice

Dear Anon,

My first piece of advice? Don’t sell yourself short. You’ve probably heard the cheesy expression, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” Well, cheesy or not, I think it applies here.

This guy you’re crushing may or may not know who you are, but it’s easy to guarantee that he knows who you are; just go up and introduce yourself!

It sounds like you’re coworkers, which is a great starting point for getting to know someone. Next time you’re by the watercooler together, try making small talk.

Say, “Hey, I think we were in that benefits meeting together, I’m [YOUR NAME]!” Once you’re officially introduced to one another, it lays the groundwork for a friendship to develop.

You might start with chatting about commutes and coffee, but there’s always a chance that it will blossom into romance. The only way to know is to give it a try.

And as for all those other “super skinny” girls throwing themselves at him, don’t sweat the small stuff. Just because his last girlfriend fit a certain type doesn’t mean he’ll fall for the same girl all over again. After all, they broke up, didn’t they?

You’re perfect just the way you are. If he’s worth spending time with at all, he’ll see you for more than your pretty face!

Don’t count yourself out!

Becca

Beleaguered Breadwinner

Boyfriend is stays home without a job while girlfriend struggles to make ends meet
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Dear Becca,

I’m only 21 years old and have been with the same guy for almost three years; he’s 25. We live together, share a bank account and everything, and have no kids.

Well, he had a well-paying job, but decided to quit because he hated it. He’s been without work now for about four-and-a-half months, and it’s really starting to get to me.

I work all day, usually 50-to-60-hour weeks just to make ends meet, while he stays home. He goes to job interviews, but he just started trying to get another job around one month ago.

He doesn’t really clean around the house or cook. So, I basically do everything while he sits on the computer or plays video games.

I know he’s trying to find a job, but he’s being too picky and I don’t know how much more I can take. I’m exhausted.

My job only pays $15 an hour while the one he quit (without having another one lined up) payed $24. Rent isn’t cheap, along with all the other bills, and I’m at a breaking point.

I feel as though sometimes I despise him for it. What would you do? I love him, but I need to get this anger out also.

-Anonymous

Becca's Best Advice

Dear Anon,

You are just 21 years old. That is way, way too young to find yourself saddled with a guy who isn’t willing to support himself.

I’m glad you have a person in your life whom you love, but unfortunately, it seems to me like he’s using you. He might not be doing it consciously, but he is definitely benefiting from you working long, long hours to finance his unemployment.

It’s one thing to support your partner while he makes a shift to a career he’s passionate about; it’s entirely another to pay all the bills and do all the chores while he sits around and plays games.

He’s 25 and, as far as I know, perfectly capable of working, so he should be out there hitting the pavement. At the very least, he can get a part-time job to help make ends meet until he finds a full-time job.

In the meantime, separate out that bank account. Open your own account that only you have access to, and make sure your paychecks go there. He’ll quickly notice when his spending money runs out in the joint account. Tell him that you’ll pay your half of the bills and expenses, but he has to pick up the slack for the other half.

This is the time in your life where you should take financial risks for future gain — like switching careers, going back to school, or moving to a new city — because you aren’t tied down with a mortgage and kids yet.

You didn’t sign up for a dependent, and you aren’t his mom. Remind him of that. If he wants to act like a kid, maybe it’s time for him to move back in with his parents and for you to find some roommates who are willing to pull their weight.

You are strong and ambitious, and you have your whole life ahead of you; don’t let one slacker boyfriend drag you down!

Becca

Unfaithful Husband

Wife is concerned her husband was unfaithful and is afraid it will happen again
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Dear Becca,

I have been back and forth on what to do for a while. Me and my husband have not been married long. We moved in with his mother not long ago, then moved to a bigger city.

Recently, I found out he was flirty with a lady via social media, sending nudes and sext messaging. I see that as cheating.

Of course he blamed it on everything under the sun, but I stood my ground with him and he finally admitted he was at fault.

My thing is that I really want this marriage to work, but I can’t trust him anymore. I don’t know what to do because part of me wants to run away.

I feel like he will do it again in the future if times get hard again. Mind you, he has done it before when times where tough. All my friends say walk away, but he wants to work on it also.

What should I do? I need advice.

-Confused

Becca's Best Advice

Dear Confused,

Infidelity is one of the greatest hurdles for any marriage. Some couples come out on the other side stronger than ever, and some find that they just don’t have the same foundation of trust anymore.

I don’t want to count out your marriage, but it’s my opinion that you and your husband will have to work very, very hard to rebuild the trust between you.

Maybe he hasn’t cheated on you physically, but engaging in an online sexual relationship with another woman (or multiple women) definitely qualifies as infidelity.

Since he has done this before, my instinct is that you should save yourself some heartache and walk away. Still, no one knows your marriage better than you. If you really think it’s worth giving him one more shot, you should go ahead and trust your instinct.

The first step is to tell him exactly how you feel and how you want to move forward. Say, “I love you, but you have hurt me really badly. I am going to need to see proof that you are willing to work on this marriage and stay faithful to me.” Try couple’s counseling, and ask him to delete and block any apps he’s using to meet other women.

Then, institute a zero tolerance policy. If you catch him exchanging flirty texts or nudes again, immediately break things off.

I have to agree with your friends. Most men who cheat usually aren’t willing to break the pattern. From what you say, he’s pulled this kind of thing before, and has already had plenty of chances.

If you really want to give him one more chance, this is your opportunity. Just make sure he knows it’s his last one. You are worth too much to spend your time with a guy who isn’t faithful.

Know your worth; he is lucky to have you!

Becca

LittleThings writer Becca
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

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