Why do wives throw away their marriages to care for their mothers?

Answers 1 to 10 of 47
I would guess it to be they don't have their priorities straight, they already had a weak marriage, they didn't take their marriage vows seriously or they are still tied to mother, not necessarily in that order. Mothers shouldn't or wouldn't if they were in their right mind, expect or demand their daughters give up their lives to care for them. If there isn't room in their lives for a marriage and caring for mother, then find a place for mom and keep your marriage. This is just my humble opinion.
I almost fell into that trap, torn between my husband and my mother. My husband said no way was she coming to live with us because her and my relationship was very volatile. My mom would've loved to see me lose my husband. I have a good husband and good marriage. Mom is being cared for. Thank God, I snapped to. It's all about priorities.
I am glad that your marriage did not get thrown away. My MIL would love to see both me and my BIL leave her daughters so that she could have them all to herself. This Appalachian Bible believing fundamentalist Christian woman has no use for men unless they are slaves and has so much hatred toward her brothers that she almost made her daughters too afraid to get married.

My arm chair gut feeling is that the last in the list probably leads the pack because from what I read here, it's like it just happens and they are clueless. It is tempting to call this a 'mid life crisis' but that would not be fair.

I've heard everything from using very narrowly applied Bible verses about the elderly while leaving out the ones about marriage to the "oh he was just looking for an excuse to leave" blame the victim thinking, to the extremest view of 'oh well spouses and children come and go, but you only have one mom."

Dang, my grandmother, a very dignified Presbyterian woman with a college education and more money than she could count told my mother one day "well it's time for you to leave your husband and come home to take care of me."

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I should issue a disclaimer to my post. I wouldn't know what it's like to have a loving mom so I have a hard time understanding being tied to your mother. Those who have a good mom should be extra thankful for her.
Mom had her chance at life, now it's my turn, my kids' turn and their kids' turn. Mom thinks the world should revolve around her so she doesn't agree. I wish I had a dollar for every time she has said "I deserve it because I'm old". You deserve Meals on Wheels, when you have money to eat, just because you're old? You deserve public assistance, when you have money in the bank and savings, own property, just because you're old? (My dad is rolling in his grave!) Excuse me, but NO, I wouldn't give up my marriage for someone like that. Her negativty chokes the life out of me.
I followed your thread with interest and a smile, no let me correct that, a smirk instead. Although I am not yet married, I understand the issue and could feel my blood boil a bit. My mom is like the women mentioned here. Ever wonder why at my age I followed her steps of becoming a single parent too. I remember I spoke to my mom of my desire to have my own family and am praying and hoping to find a good, compatible husband. At first she did not say anything but the look on her face showed that she hates the topic and eventually told me she doesnt trust any man. Her being a man-hates is sometimes a cover up of her controlling attitude towards me. I can imagine that if I get married tomorrow, she will make my life miserable by frequent calls asking for help, for companionship and for all sorts of reasons. It is requiring me a massive effort to remain a distance from her freakin' controlling style of parenting as we live under the same roof, it makes it really very very hard to avoid her anti social behavior, man hating outlook in life and her changing moods.
Your mother and my mother in law sounds like two cookies from the same mold. My MIL has some reasons or possibly perceptions for those reasons for being a man hater and I don't think it's a cover for her being a control freak.

Yes, your mother would make any marriage hell on earth and you would have to cut her off to preserve it. Yet, with your being a single mom and if I remember correctly, no job plus having to deal with her under your own roof sounds to some degree like she has already made your personal and parenting life hell on earth. Your mom sounds like she might have an undiagnosed case of borderline personality disorder plus bipolar with those mood swings. However, that does not really change anything. When you were younger, you probably did not have as much insight into your mother and yall's relationship, but now you do and what will you do?
Partly because women are expected to do everything for everyone and subjugate their own needs for others their entire lives. How often does one hear about men having to sacrifice this and that in their lives or make time for and/or juggle family and work? Women are raised to be the drudges and to feel guilty if they are not practically killing themselves to do for others. The topic is "give up your marriage for the care of a parent" (IE the mother here) and "why" Because she is expected to. Where are the tales of sons quitting their jobs, or having their wives give them ultimatums about the marriage "either your father goes or I go?" It takes three to make this impasse and it is the woman/wife who is in the middle.
Doesn't it all come down to selfishness? It's all about 'me me me'.
Isn't that the definition of a 'narcissist'? They are the world and we all revolve around them. Like the song said, 'they're a legend in their own mind'. Sad, and sadder still how many people get sucked into the orbit.
Jsomebody,

Your description sounds very much like how I was raised and how I lived until I saw the light about boundaries!
Naheaton....yep glad you brought up the Narcissist. When I finally discovered NPD Narcissistic Personality Disorder last year the bells and whistles finally went off to describe the issues I had with my mother all my life. The narcissist build the life around themselves at the expense of others. My mom will just come up with little demands just so she can still just demand..it's that control they want and strive for. Control over others is what keeps them alive it seems. My mother on Sunday afternoon was 'commanding' that the tv set be set on timer....something I usually do in the evening...she just belted out a command for the sake of belting out a command. Seems the same with the woman you are mentioning. I told my mom there is no one to look after me. I have no kids no husbands - non existent family remnants...so there is really no one...does she even utter a word when I say that. Funny if I mention Nursing Home to her...she belts out real fast 'NO WAY' well time will tell if I nor the caregiver can get her up. She is just a rolly poly ball of fat in the middle, her legs have no strength anymore she refuses to walk around with the caregiver. She seems to me a big slug that eats and sh*ts and belts out commands and baby whines if she don't get her way. Otherwise she is healthy so to speak....sad sad sad...I don't want to be anything like that.
Mother's with NPD tend to raise daughters with BPD or sons with other problems as well.

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