'Questions?' photo (c) 2008, Valerie Everett - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/Every weekend I like to post a question someone sends in and let you readers have a go at it. This week, we have a reply from our reader, who asked last week’s question.  Also, we have a new question after that, be sure to read and respond!

Reply from Brother’s Keeper:

I would like to thank every single lovely person who took the time to respond to my question.

It is amazing how I have gone from feeling very alone and vulnerable to feeling very supported, as a result of your posts.

The main thing I would like to thank you all for, is for giving me perspective.  This situation has been going on for so long now, that my attitude towards my husband has definitely been more on the nagging side, rather than from the perspective of a supportive loving wife (which is how I started out, but I will be the first to admit I have let our marriage down by not continuing with this approach).

To answer a few of your questions:

1.       My husband believes in God, but does not attend church.   This is another area that we are working on at the moment, as it is something that I believe a husband and wife should do together to set an example for their child

2.       My mother-in-law and I have quite a good relationship, and she is a very active part of our daughter’s life.  I don’t believe that my daughter should be deprived of a grandparent because of my personal issues.

3.       The brother’s wife does not work –her children attend day care. 

4.       Yes, I work my $300 per week job, not so much to “make ends meet” but so that we can get ahead.  This is my version of “squirreling away” money, because I pay it off debt, or put some aside for a home loan deposit.   This money has paid back nearly all of the debt that was left from the bankrupt client, so I am happy to be able to support my husband in this way.

I am fortunate enough to work from home in my job, which means that my child does not have to attend day care.

5.       We live in Australia, where the hourly rate for the job that the brother does is $20 per hour for someone who provides their own tools and car.

6.       The brother does not have any illness / disability. He is 30 years old.

7.       My husband is very non-confrontational.  He prefers to stick his head in the sand and hope the problem goes away. 

8.       My husband is a very loving man, devoted father and hard worker.  This is our only source of conflict, and therefore I do not wish to leave the marriage.

Again, I would like to thank you all for your support.  I have immediately revisited my approach towards my husband – lots of praise, cuddles and just general “newly wed” things that have slipped away over the last year or so.

I will continue to hold my $300 per week job, as I feel that it is my contribution towards not just our future, but that of our daughter. 

I will continue to pray and pray and pray, and for now, I am going to “zip my lips” about the brother.  My husband is very clear on where I stand on the matter, and so now I am going to give him a few weeks to work on it himself before I bring it up again (this time in a loving, kind and supportive manner).

I have gently suggested again this evening that we attend church together.  He said “it isn’t his thing”.  I explained that we have friends who regularly go to church and their marriages seem to be very strong, and they have also had the support of the church during tough times.  He still stuck to his guns.    

Wish me luck! 

This week’s question is a struggle many of us havehow do you deal with extended family undermining your authority with your children?

How do you set boundaries with in-laws regarding how they treat your children? My parents-in-law live 20 minutes from us. They consistently undermine my authority with my daughter and don’t stick to the schedule I’ve given them when they baby-sit her.  They allow her to misbehave and tolerate behavior that we don’t put up with in our home.

What boundaries do you suggest? How would you handle it?

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