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Trouble With the In-Laws

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Q: My wife and I have a great relationship. After four years of marriage, I feel really supported by her and never doubt her loyalty.

However, I can't say the same about my mother-in-law. She's never felt that I'm good enough. She constantly picks fights with us for no reason. We've tried to say things on occasion, but it has not changed anything. How can I make this issue disappear?

A: You can pick your wife, my friend, but you can't pick your mother-in-law.

That being said, as a grown man four years into a successful marriage, you shouldn't have to prove anything to anyone. The truth is as long as your wife thinks you're "good enough," that's all that really matters!

Seeing your mother-in-law for dinner once a week and listening to a few obnoxious comments is one thing. However, it sounds as if she is much more involved in your everyday life. In this case, simply ignoring her spiteful comments will not suffice.

I think this requires a serious sit-down with your wife. Her mother is alienating you and she needs to hear this very plainly. It's essential to stop hinting around the topic. That's not going to get your desired results.

I'd advise you to be very specific with what you need from your wife as well. Encourage her to take the lead and to stand up for you, by standing up to her mother. It's a matter of respect, and she needs to tell her mom that acting abusively towards you is unacceptable to her.

Your mother-in-law also needs to understand that ultimately if her bad behavior continues, there will be consequences in how you choose to include her in your lives.

At the end of the day your persistence in being a supportive and caring husband is most important. You know what type of man you are and so does your wife! Please keep me updated on your progress.

All questions and comments can be sent to ASK NOAH at

Have a profitable and peaceful week,


This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

Noah Kass is a psychotherapist specializing in addiction, relationship issues and work stressors. He has been Clinical Director at The Dunes: East Hampton and Realization Center in Union Square. Mr. Kass was a frequent guest on MSNBC's "The Dylan Ratigan Show," featured in a segment called "Kass' Couch" and regularly blogs for The Huffington Post.

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