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TherapistMarryAnn
TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5808
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I need some help to solve an issue my wife and I are having.

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I need some help to solve an issue my wife and I are having. My first wife passed away in 1987. I re-married in 1990. I had always been welcomed to gatherings,etc. by my first wifes family up until 3 years ago. Apparently I have upset my first wifes mother, but she will not talk to me to tell me why. Now for the issue. Since I am not invited anymore to these gatherings which include the holiday's, I don't feel my wife should be going either. She is being invited bt them, but is told everytime that I am not welcome. She knows this alone hurts be deeply. It is also hurting me that she accepts the invite and still goes. I feel this is totally wrong and she on top of the other hurt, hurts me some more. I have told her everytime this comes up how much it hurts and I would not like her to go to a place where I am not welcomed. She is still going even though she knows how much this hurts and we end up in an argument. I just cannot understand her point of view. And, since she knows how much it hurts me, I get really mad. Am I nuts? This is not even her "blood" family. What should I do or how should I approach this differently. Thank You.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

You are not nuts at all. And you have every right to be hurt by your wife's actions. This is, after all, your first wife's family. So the relationship between you and your first wife's family is through you. Although is it very kind of your first wife's family to include your second wife in the family gatherings, it is still about you and your first wife.

If your first wife's mother has stopped including you in these gatherings and will not tell you why, that is unfair to you. She should at least let you know why she feels as she does so you can either try to address the issue, or know why you need to stay away.

The fact that your first wife's family still includes your second wife in their invitations seems to be a direct message to you in order to hurt you more deeply. And that can cause enough pain in itself. But the fact that your wife ignores your hurt and still attends the gatherings only adds to the pain. She is basically saying that she sides with your first wife's family and not with you, when her loyalty needs to be with you.

It is not unreasonable to tell your wife that you are hurt by her actions. She is going against you by ignoring your needs. She should at least talk to you about the invitation and ask you if it is ok if she goes. And because of her friendliness with your first wife's family, she could even offer to try to mend the issues between you all and see if she can help you rather than go against you.

Try again to talk to your wife about your feelings. If she chooses not to listen, ask her to go to therapy with you. This conflict has the potential to drive a wedge into your marriage and cause a larger issue. But if she will not go to therapy with you, go on your own. You need the support and the opportunity to work this out and decide how you want to address it.

Also, try to talk to a member of your first wife's family that you feel you might have a closer relationship to, such as a sibling or cousin. They might be more open to talking to you and helping you find out why the mother has stopped talking to you. And if you can repair the relationship, then this issue may resolve itself.

I hope this has helped you,
Kate
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you very much. I forgot to mention that I have 2 boys by my first wife. When this first started, I was also upset about them going. However, I realized that this was their Grandmother and they had every right to stay in touch with her. My second wife and I have a daughter. She is also invited along with my wife. I am really at my wits end on this. What triggered it this time was the fact that one day I went out and brought in the mail. I noticed an envelope that said my first wifes family name on it. It was a thank you for attending my first wifes niece's graduation party. Now I feel my wife has gone behind my back. Needless to say, this has really started something. I don't want to really say she lied to me, but she had to have told me she was going somewhere else when she really was going to this party. I hate to think my wife has lied to me..should I?

It sounds like your wife might have gone behind your back and did not tell you the truth. In that case, she is undermining the trust in your marriage. Trust is the foundation of any marriage or relationship. Without it, the marriage falls apart.

It sounds like the problem with your first wife's family is only a symptom of a deeper issue. If your wife is willing to go behind your back to see your first wife's family, that says she does not respect your feelings at all. In that case, it might be a good idea to seek therapy as soon as possible. Your wife needs to talk about why she is lying to you and hurting you in this way. You deserve an answer to what is going on.

Kate
TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
It sounds like your wife might have gone behind your back and did not tell you the truth. In that case, she is undermining the trust in your marriage. Trust is the foundation of any marriage or relationship. Without it, the marriage falls apart.

It sounds like the problem with your first wife's family is only a symptom of a deeper issue. If your wife is willing to go behind your back to see your first wife's family, that says she does not respect your feelings at all. In that case, it might be a good idea to seek therapy as soon as possible. Your wife needs to talk about why she is lying to you and hurting you in this way. You deserve an answer to what is going on.

Kate
Thank you so much for the positive rating and bonus. I appreciate it!

My best to you,
Kate