I’m 25 years old. My husband is 29. I got pregnant before marriage. We’ve now been married for a year and have a son.
Both of us were born and grew up in North Vietnam. We both come from families of average backgrounds. Both of us are office workers. Before the wedding, he tried hard to gain affection from my parents. Things started to get worse after an incident at our wedding.
Things would have been fine if my mother hadn’t said to my husband: “If my daughter does anything wrong to you and your family, you have the right to teach, or even scorn her, but under no context are you allowed to beat her. You are not allowed to beat or harm her physically. All parents love their children. Our daughter is healthy now as she marries you, ready to build a home together with you. If you ever beat her, I will not forget it. Even if I have to burn down your house or search every corner of your hometown, I’ll find you.”
I feel like what she said is a bit much, but as her child, I didn’t dare interfere. I didn’t agree with the tone of the speech, but that’s the way my family usually reminds their sons-in-law. My cousins-in-law took it easy and did not take offense in the literal sense.
However, my husband took it personally and has been passive-aggressive toward my family ever since. For example: on my grandfather’s death anniversary, he greeted my aunts and uncles but not my parents. All my relatives were surprised.
My mother greeted him softly, but he kept silent and walked into the event without acknowledging her. Later he explained that he was used to calling my parents aunt and uncle, even though he had been a son-in-law for months. Every time my parents called him over to have a meal together, he found all excuses to avoid it. If he could not find one, he kept silent or showed his discontent during the meals.
I still remember an evening when it was raining heavily. I was pregnant and was in my parents’ house. He came to pick me up but waited in the small lane outside. I told him to come inside to greet my parents, but he was quite annoyed when he agreed. Later he explained he was wearing casual clothes so he did not want to come in, fearing my parents would judge his casualness.
My parents took great care of me when I was pregnant, but my husband did not thank or encourage them. During that time, my mother became exhausted by the summer heat, but he did not ask whether she was okay. I him and he only said “Your mom lives quite close to you, she already has people around her to take care of her. Meanwhile, my mom doesn’t have any.”
Even in the evenings, my husband comes to visit my children, he finds ways to not face my parents directly. I am saddened by his mannerisms and tried to discuss this with him many times, but he won’t change. I’ve grown disappointed with the way my husband behaves even though he is a well-educated man and graduated from a top university.
Before our wedding, my husband was very cheerful and considerate towards our family, but he totally changed after what my mother said at the wedding. My parents have tried to find ways to connect, share meals and talk, but he always avoids these chances.
My parents and my husband have discussed this conflict together twice. He said he would forget and forgive, but he still seems to hate my family. He only comes to visit my parents if I am there, and he likes the fact that my parents take care of the children so he has time for his business. I am really sad about his stubbornness and the conflict between him and my parents.
What can I do to mend this relationship?
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