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Husband Can't Forgive His Wife After She Made Amends With His Toxic Mother Behind His Back

Photo: fizkes / Shutterstock
frustrated man sits alone in room of people

Families can be dysfunctional — it’s a natural part of life. For some individuals, certain abusive behaviors are unforgivable, and they choose to cut ties with their family members in order to protect themselves — a right they are entitled to.

But if your partner goes behind your back and attempts to make amends with your abuser, crossing your boundaries and making you feel unsafe, do they deserve forgiveness?

One man shared how he broke contact with his mother after he turned 18.

The man took to Reddit to express his pain and deception. In the Relationship Advice post, he explained how his mother was "extremely abusive" toward him and his sister growing up, and she would attempt to frame her abuse on their father.

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The man shared how his mother was toxic in many ways. She was able to manipulate his doctor to prescribe him medications for her own personal use, and her boyfriend made abusive attempts toward him as well. 

The man and his sister are no longer in contact with their mother or her family, and they have decided to keep it that way.

The man is now married, and he’s made his intentions to keep his mother out of his life very clear to his wife.

He and his wife have been married for five years and live very different lifestyles. She is a devout Mormon while he is not religious, but they have found "some way to make it work" and they love each other deeply.

Because of their differing beliefs, the man’s father and step-mother didn’t approve of his wife initially, but they have found middle ground. When the man’s wife asked when she’d meet his mother, he told her "she never would" and to never contact anyone in his mother’s family.

“She's a violent and terrible woman and she has no place in my life, and I didn't want her involved in ours,” he wrote.

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One day, the man’s mother showed up to his work unannounced and unwarranted. 

He was shocked to see her, as she had no knowledge of where he worked. The man did not share what happened specifically when he saw her, but he demanded she leave and she refused, causing a scene.

“It got ugly, and police had to be called to remove her from the property,” the man explained. “It was such an embarrassment.”

When he came home that night and shared what happened to his wife, the look on her face revealed her involvement behind his mother’s random appearance. He asked her to explain, and she confessed how she contacted his mother and told her where he worked because his mother wanted to make things right. 

He explained his wife’s beliefs are that "everyone deserves forgiveness" and nothing is unforgivable.

   

   

After the man moved past his traumatic relationship with his mother, his wife unintentionally reignited that pain in an effort to make amends.

The man felt betrayed by his wife, and he told her she violated the one thing he specified was out of bounds, without even speaking to him about it until things backfired.

“She admitted to doing it behind my back and I'm just beyond upset,” the man shared. “I don't know how to forgive her.”

His wife has apologized profusely, but he shared how he needs time to process everything. He has been sleeping in their home office and they haven't spoken since.

He was originally supposed to spend Thanksgiving with her at her parents’ house, but he is contemplating staying at home with his dogs to evaluate the situation and sort himself out, as he’s ‘not sure how to get over this.’

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Reddit users expressed sympathy for the man, agreeing that a major line was crossed.

Users commented on the man’s post, validating his feelings of betrayal, as a decision he made for his wellbeing long ago was negated by his own wife. 

   

   

“She TOTALLY disregarded your wishes, and allowed your abuser to find you,” one user commented. “True love means you protect a loved one and not set them up for a desire to be virtuous. It was NEVER her right to do this.”

Another user commented, saying “I simply can't comprehend why people overstep their boundaries. To be honest, for me, people who play advocates for abusers are equivalent to them.”

It is an individual’s rightful choice to cut ties with any relative if that relationship exhibits toxic behavior and causes them pain. 

   

   

Marriage is a sacred union built on a foundation of trust, communication and mutual respect. It is never a partner’s place to overstep boundaries, not for their own values or virtues, especially if their partner specifically asks them not to.

It can be difficult, and sometimes unlikely, for partners to forgive such actions and reestablish that trust afterwards.

If this resonates with you, know that you are not alone and you have the right to protect your peace. Being a child doesn’t have to hurt. 

If you suspect a child you know is being abused physically or emotionally, contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline for more resources at 1-800-4-A-CHILD.

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Francesca Duarte is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team based in Orlando, FL. She covers lifestyle, human-interest, and spirituality topics.