"His Mother Is Tearing Us Apart"

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His Turn, continued

"Kathy and I are at odds over what she calls my 'mismanagement' of my mother. Why won't Kathy butt out? I get so sick of her nagging that I'll agree to call Mom, just to keep the peace. But then I won't follow through, which makes things worse.

"It also annoys me that Kathy takes it upon herself to call Mom and go shopping with her -- and then complains about it! I've never asked her to get involved; on the contrary, I've repeatedly urged her either to ignore Mom completely or severely limit their contact.

"Despite Mom's faults I do feel obligated to maintain some sort of relationship. She has alienated her parents, with whom I'm still close, as well as her siblings and Frank's adult children, so she and Frank have no place to go on holidays. That's why I didn't mind if she came on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. As for Cuddles, I don't think a 12-pound dog will attack our girls, and yes, I'd rather let Mom bring her than risk another battle. I've suggested a compromise -- Cuddles stays in her crate while Julia and Emily are awake. What's the big deal?

"I'm so tired of fighting. I hate losing my temper and I miss making love with Kathy. I couldn't bear to lose her, especially over my mother. If counseling can help me manage both my temper and my mom, I'm all for it."  

Continued on page 5:  The Counselor's Turn


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