I understand its importance to him and am open to it (although my mother-in-law who is constantly around scares me) but I can’t get through him that he needs to at least discuss it with me! Luckily we’ll have more space than last time, but at least saying, “Hey, my parents want to come a month early, what do you think?” would have been so much better than, “By the way, they’re coming.”
We had an argument about it because he would be fine with my mom coming over, but I can’t seem to tell him that I would at least have worked it out with him as my partner. Please help, is there a way to get through to him calmly that doesn’t end in a fight/standoff?
— Husband does not consult me
Husband does not consult me: It’s easy to see why you’re frustrated now: on a granular level, this is an issue where your husband is shutting you out of the conversation about his parents extending his stay. But that’s what it sounds like one Example of a bigger problem: You don’t feel respected by your partner and there don’t seem to be any agreed-upon boundaries in your relationship.
First of all: the immediate problem. I can imagine that planning this long overdue celebration is already taking a lot of emotional and mental energy, and it may feel like your husband is not taking that stress into account. If you can understand the parameters of your own mental and emotional abilities and communicate them to him, it might help him understand this as something separate from “a problem with his parents.”
The fact that your husband doesn’t understand why this is important to you—and that he made the decision without you—points to a deeper issue of differing marital expectations and roles.
Since this was a recurring conflict, I imagine your frustration has slowly turned to resentment. If left unaddressed, this type of resentment can create an insurmountable wedge in your marriage.
But it’s not doomed if you both can come to an understanding that making the decision to build life with someone from another culture is about creating your own bridging family norms both Cultures in a way that feels good both Partner.
Culture, family dynamics, and gender socialization contribute to our understanding of these roles and norms, and both you and your husband have your own framework in which marriage and family are defined. It is obvious to each of you. Of course you would agree to host my family longer. Or, Of course you should talk to me about it beforehand.
You are both convinced that you are right. Hence the distance.
But just because it’s obvious to you doesn’t mean it’s the same to your partner. I wonder if you’ve spoken explicitly about how your cultures have helped you define your own values and understanding of family/marriage roles?
You should also discuss your expectations of each other and what you think are expected of you as a husband, wife, son or daughter-in-law. Leading with kindness and curiosity can help you uncover the feelings that are showing in your conflict.
As the daughter of Indian parents who is also in an intercultural marriage, I understand that there are cultural considerations regarding the role and presence of an extended family in the marriage. However, the focus should be that you should decide as a couple why and What Boundaries are important.
You want to develop a clearly formulated understanding of divided Expectations. (For example, “If we’re going to take people, no matter who they are, we need to discuss it with each other before we make a decision.”) Make a list of agreements and New Family norms that you are both comfortable with can help you develop a common front.
If creating shared expectations and understanding each other’s roles is widening the gap between the two of you, I would encourage you to see a couples therapist. It’s not a sign that you can’t solve the problem, but you may need a professional to guide you through this process and hold you both accountable.
Remember: you are both responsible for making your marriage a priority, and you both bring your own family experiences to the relationship. Each of your cultural and family norms is important, but they should not be used as an excuse for hurtful behavior.
Just because we’ve normalized certain dynamics doesn’t mean they’re healthy.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/advice/2022/07/14/ask-sahaj-husband-doesnt-consult-wife/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=wp_lifestyle Ask Sahaj: How can I get my husband to consult me about big plans?