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Is the woman who raised him always right in your husband's eyes. Part of you can't blame him for taking her side, but the other really needs his support when her head butts with yours. "Many men are somewhat vigorous and inflexible in taking their mother's side, fearful that they may easily fall out of good graces with her," explains John Duffy, Ph.D., licensed clinical psychologist and author of The Available Parent. "This can become a vicious cycle, and can drive a lot of acrimony in a marriage."
Left unchecked and unresolved, a husband's deference to his mother at the expense of his wife can make the latter woman feel "lonely, unheard and un-prioritized," Duffy says. So if you often find yourself alone in disagreement with his mother, here's what you can do.
First, try to nip in the bud any discussion about your relationship that could lead to contention. After all, your mother-in-law doesn't need to know the details of your marriage. "Keep your relationship problems between you and your husband," says Jonathan Alpert, psychotherapist and author of Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days. "Don't try to garner support from an in-law as it's unlikely to yield anything positive." Also, take the time to "discuss boundaries with your husband as they pertain to your in-laws," he says. "Agree on what's acceptable and what's unacceptable in regard to sharing information with them."
Then, chat with your husband about your needs and wishes. "I have worked in more than a few situations in which a husband is unaware of the extent to which his relationship with his mother interferes with his relationship with his wife," says Duffy. "He needs to hear the words from his wife, not necessarily as accusatory, but as a point of clarity with regard to her relationship needs in the marriage."
Finally, nurture a compassionate and solid relationship with your mother-in-law so that you can navigate tense conversations with ease. "It is important to consider the mother-in-law's feelings of change, and even perhaps loss, when her son marries, especially if the marriage is relatively new," Duffy says.