Direct Answers from Wayne &Tamara

Relationship advice authors and columnists Wayne & Tamara Mitchell

Relationship Advice Authors and Columnists

Direct Answers from Wayne &Tamara

Relationship advice authors and columnists Wayne & Tamara Mitchell

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where, when

motherInLaw

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Why can't we all just get along

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Clinging to a past relationship

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NoIsAComplete

NO is a complete sentence!

When they won't take no for an answer.

CamelsBack

The Straw that Broke the Camel's Back

The seemingly insignificant thing which causes the inability or unwillingness to endure any more of the burden.

Mother-In-Law Issues --- Page 1

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Locksmith

Q My wife asked my mom several times not to open the bedroom door without knocking. A year ago we had an issue with mom about this. She storms into our bedroom one morning as I am showering in the adjoining bathroom.

     My wife asked my mom several times not to open the bedroom door without knocking. A year ago we had an issue with mom about this. She storms into our bedroom one morning as I am showering in the adjoining bathroom.

     Mom is almost in a panic because she needs another bar of soap. My wife is naked in bed, I am in the shower, but she needs a bar of soap. We fuss at her and come to an agreement: No coming into a closed bedroom door without knocking.

     We discussed getting a lock for the door but did not.

     Then, it starts happening again during this visit. While I am at work, mom goes into the bedroom and talks to my wife through the bathroom door while she is on the toilet. On the last day, mom opens the door when my wife is applying some Vagisil.

     My wife explodes. She told me she was like, “What is wrong with you? What gives you the right to just walk into an adult’s closed bedroom door without knocking?”

     A year ago my mom said she had no choice because she needed soap. This time, she had no choice because the cats growled at each other and she had to separate them. If she knocked, she said, my wife might still be asleep. My wife is like, “So wake me up or let the cat’s do their thing.”

     Now my mom never wants to come back and only wants to see and hear from me. She is like, “I try so hard”, which is the underlying problem. She tries so hard when we do not want her to try at all. We just want her to be here, relax, and visit. But she will start pressuring my wife to set the supper table at 1 p.m.

     It’s now, what do you want me to do? and worrying obsessively about our pets. My wife says she feels like Tom Cruise in Rain Man, when he had to stop the car, get out, and cuss as Dustin Hoffman’s character went on and on about having to get his underwear from the Kmart in Cincinnati.

     To make matters worse, to use another movie analogy, I have more the Michael Corleone personality while my wife is more like Sonny in The Godfather. Not that we are gangsters, but I am calmer, keep my own counsel, and never let others know everything I am thinking.

     My wife is more expressive, emotional, and has a temper. She could never bluff in a poker game. She told my mom she loves her, but she drives her crazy sometimes. My mom contends my wife never loved her at all.

     Dan

A Dan, security-conscious Michael would have had one of his minions put a lock on the bedroom door. Farsighted Michael would have foreseen the need for a lock on the bathroom door as well. If locks had been installed, none of this would have happened.

     Take this in the kindest way possible, but we think you’re auditioning for the wrong role. In this instance you resemble Michael’s brother Fredo, who always failed to foresee consequences.

     Can we address you like this? “Fredo, you did not do what you should have done. And you, Fredo, thought just talking to your mother would settle the issue.”

     An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and your wife is the one who suffered the consequences. You failed your mother and you failed your wife. Who got exposed? Your wife, and she is a woman who is not your mother’s daughter.

     We’re not going to walk you out to the lake for a one-way boat ride, because we think you learned the lesson.

     Now, the separation of these two women is a good thing, giving your wife time to deal with the violation, and you the time to do right by her. Install the locks.

     Wayne & Tamara

     Write: DirectAnswers@WayneAndTamara.com