Distant Son Inlaw

Daughter and son inlaw married for 18 months. He has become distant and does not want to do things with wife (Daughter).

Husband has had terrible relationships with women. Mother and grandmothers were extremley over bearing. Even now there is nothing son inlaw can do that gets a positive answer.

He has two sisters that are a mess. One never speaks to him and the other has slept with 2 men (Felons) and has 2 children and lives at home with her parents.

Son inlaw has never been able to make a decision. He went into the Air force and again spent 4 years never making a decision.

Our daughter wants him to think and make plans and he never does. He doesn't want to go do things. He just got a job as a state trooper.

He always says...do whatever you want. He never wants to go do things.

They went to Psychologyst and he was told to grow up and step up to the plate.

He always says he is sorry as an excuse, but never changes.

What can my Daughter do besides sit him down and yell at him?

I told her to start watch where he is going and keeo track in case he is seing someone.

What can she do?

JdBuffy, I've debated on


I've debated on responding to your post, because I don't think you will like my response.

While I can understand that you are concerned for your daughter, you need to stay OUT of her marriage. It is her marriage - not yours. Telling her to watch him in case he's seeing someone (based on what??) is unfair to both of them and will only cause more damage to this marriage, which already has enough problems.

It's pretty evident from your words that you think very little of your son-in-law. I also have little doubt that you are hearing only ONE side of the story (i.e., your daughter's). His perspective might be VERY different (and just as valid).

You say "he's never been able to make a decision". Joining the Air Force is a big decision for any guy to make. So is becoming a State Trooper (which, btw, is a high risk job). So is getting married. Give him some credit - he's not just sitting around and doing nothing with his life,.

Did it ever occur to you that perhaps he doesn't know HOW to change? His apologies are likely very sincere. If he grew up in a home with an overbearing mother and grandmother, he likely learned to be passive when it comes to women. It's unrealistic and unfair for both you and your daught to expect him to be - or figure out how to be - someone different. Surely she was aware of these traits before she married him, unless they dated for only a very short period of time.

I'm very surprised (and a bit suspect) that a psychologist would tell him to "grow up and step up to the plate". Most pyschologists would never take that type of stance, as that is counterproductive to the therapy process. I commend them for going; if that is all the psychologist had to offer, then I encourage them to try again with someone else.

If your daughter is "sitting him down and yelling at him" (or if that is what you've told her to do), then it sounds like he married someone s lot like his mother (or someone with a mother like his mother). So, the pattern continues. Yelling will accomplish absolutely nothing, except very likely make him retreat even more, in addition to making him feel emasculated and resentful - and that will be very destructive to the marriage.

Your daughter may need to grow up and step up to the plate as well. It's immature for her to expect him to make all the changes. Marriage is a two-way street, and so far all I am hearing is that everything is your son-in-law's fault and she's the innocent victim here. If that is her perspective as well, than she definitely has work of her own to do.

She has two choices - accept him as he is or get out of the marriage. She might be surprised to find that if she would stop pushing him to be someone he isn't (which, I suspect is what she is doing based on what you've described), and loving and accepting him for who he IS and focusing on all the positive qualities she must have seen that made her marry him in the first place, he might be MUCH more willing to do things with her and the relationship will start to blossom.

But again, I strongly recommend that as much as you want to help, that you stay OUT of this marriage. Interference from parents and in-laws almost always does far more damage than good. And stop being so critical of your son-in-law.

I hope this helps and I wish your daughter and her husband the best.

Dr. Lane

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