9 reasons why crying is good for your health
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Dear Coleen,

My son is having problems with his wife and I feel so worried and upset for him, but also powerless to help. She’s volatile and is on his case all the time. She bombards him with messages at work and if he doesn’t reply instantly, she goes crazy when he gets home.

They have two daughters, who are wonderful, but she thinks nothing of shouting at my husband in front of them – she has few boundaries and doesn’t care who gets hurt. They married in haste in my opinion. She’s undoubtedly extremely attractive (on the outside), but hasn’t shown me that she’s a very nice person.

If she has too much to drink when they’re out she’ll criticise him in front of their friends. It’s emotional abuse in my book. I’ve asked my son why he doesn’t leave her and why she’s so angry. He said he wouldn’t leave his girls and that his wife is just very insecure. She also hates that he confides in me. I’ve cried myself to sleep over this, but my husband says there’s not much we can do. What do you think?

I know it’s frustrating, but I think your husband is right. I understand from a mother’s point of view how you feel – you want to protect him and make everything better – but he has to make his own life choices. Also, he doesn’t need other people adding to the noise. Make sure he knows you’ll always be there if he needs to talk or sound off and you’ll support him no matter what.

I love my daughter-in-law very much, but I still think of my son as my baby boy. I can get defensive if I don’t like ­something she’s said and I have to remind myself it’s probably because I’m his mum and that she might be right. Your situation is different, but trying to pressure him into leaving or reacting in anger will not help. His decision might be to stay come hell or high water. Just be there to pick up the pieces if they can’t work it out.

As for your daughter-in-law, I’d reach out to her. Tell her you’re worried about her and if she needs someone to talk to, your door is open. You could offer to take the girls to give her or them some time. And keep in mind, however well we think we know what goes on in relationships, we don’t. You’re hearing one side of the story and the truth often lies somewhere in the middle.