replied 8 years ago.
Hello again, and thanks for your replies with helpful, detailed, additional information.
Your situation with your mother's and Detra's relationship is not uncommon. Most mothers (parents) don't think the person their child is married to, is 'good enough' for them. Also, some people are always this way, and also become more 'unfiltered' in their old age, and feel it's 'okay' to say whatever they feel, even if it hurts others' feelings. While I understand you wanting to respect your mother, because we're taught to respect our elders, no matter how old we are, you need to have a discussion with her regarding her behavior toward Detra (and other people in the family, if you choose to throw that in). Tell her that you love her and respect her, but she hurts feelings when she says certain things she says, and there's no excuse for that, regardless of a person's age. Ask her not to say anything demeaning or critical of Detra to her face and/or behind her back, as it is hurtful to Detra and it's causing problems for you. Also, tell her that you locked the bedroom door when your mother was visiting because you were embarrassed about the condition of the room and didn't want her to see it, as you didn't have time to make the bed, etc., before rushing off to work. Detra had nothing to do with it, it was your decision, and she owes Detra an apology. It's most likely that Detra and your mother will never be best friends, but it's possible for them to function more amicably together, and no feelings need to be bruised.
Even though you're having problems with your mother interfering in your marriage (to which you really need to put a stop), there are other factors which are contributing, as well.
I find it odd that this comparatively new friend your wife has made, and to whom she might offer a job, has become so close with her in such a short amount of time--close enough to have her come to her house at 1:00 in the morning and stay until 5:00AM. If your wife needs a friend to talk to, because she has things on her mind, that's very understandable. She can speak on the phone, through emails, or in person, at a decent time of day/evening. The fact that the friend invited her to stay over if she's (Detra) hit a rough patch in her marriage, was a kind offer, but again, usually, an 'old', trusted friend would make this offer, and not a person she doesn't know that well, or for too long.
Not to add fuel to the fire, but do you think there's any possible chance that Detra is being unfaithful to you? You mentioned the rumor at work, regarding a particular man, and yes, I understand how people in public office are more vulnerable to these rumors, but her current behavior may belie something you haven't thought of, or don't want to considered.
Have you ever been unfaithful or thought of straying? This doesn't necessarily have to mean having sex with someone else, as you say you have no desire to do that and have never done that. When things get uncomfortable at home, it's not uncommon for a person to seek comfort elsewhere. You say that you are not that interested in sex, and that's alright, plus you indicate that Detra doesn't put it right up there as a number one priority, so that's good for your marriage, as it's not a point of contention, but even though she says that, she may be feeling neglected on a deeper level, re: your sexual relationship. I'm glad you've decided to seek counsel and medical advice re: your libido, and maybe that will make a positive difference in the situation.
You say that when you used to stay out late, it was to go to a music store and look for instruments for your band, but you also mentioned that sometimes you'd come home as late as 2:30AM. If the store closed at 8, you'd have some dinner, and the drive home is over an hour, but you wouldn't be coming home so late. Can you imagine what Detra was thinking, when you wouldn't be home for such a long time? You said you kept in touch by cell phone about every 45 minutes, but still, what could she have thought you were doing for so many hours?
I'm very glad to hear that you had a long discussion with her last night, and got some important issues out on the table, and were able to discuss them calmly and rationally. Detra leaving at 1AM to go to her friend's house was not an appropriate behavior, after you had just had this heart to heart and cleared the air about some specific things that have been troubling both of you for a long time.
I think it would be a good idea for you to start couples (marriage) counseling with a professional therapist in your area. You need to talk things out, in person, with a professional, and start making attempts at changing certain things in your lives, now, to improve your life together in the future. I believe you love each other very much, and I do think you need more open communication, without fear of reprisal.
You can't be responsible for the words that come out of your mother's mouth, but you can defend your wife, and/or speak to your mother privately and tell her to stop being nosy and hurtful with her comments, as I mentioned earlier. It's difficult to 'choose' between your wife and your mother/family, but there's really no choice to be made; when you're married, you're bound to defend your wife in front of her, to your mother. Agree with your mother that she SHOULD be doing things that make her happy, now; she deserves it!
While it's difficult to keep everyone happy, your main obligation is to keep your marriage sound and your wife happy. You will derive happiness from this, too.
I hope you're able to begin marriage counseling and obtain the tools to make your marriage and relationship stronger and better, with improved communication.
I wish you and Detra much good luck!
Cher and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you