Dear Dategirl, My husband would rather spend time with his mother and

Dear Dategirl,

My husband would rather spend time with his mother and sister than with me and our son. He, along with our son, spends nearly every weekend day there, and only reluctantly comes home to sleep.

His mother is hypercritical. I know she loves him, but that doesn’t stop her from criticizing him nonstop. If I go, I’m in for it too. My dress is too shabby, my ass is too big, and so on. To her credit, she doesn’t dare criticize our son, at least for now. They live an hour away, we both work all week, so I’m stuck on my own every weekend. I have tried to brush aside her criticisms and enjoy being with his family, but he and his mother act more like a married couple than like mother and son. They have running private jokes and often whisper with each other right in front of me.

We’ve tried marriage counseling, but he claims I’m jealous because my parents are both dead and I’m—his words—an orphan. I’m 40 years old, and I want to build my own life with my own family. I’m not jealous of his relationship with his mother, just disgusted by it.

—Mommy’s His Mistress

One of my long-ago exes had a toxic creeper mom too, but at least she worked out her freakish fixation on her son by stealing his drugs and fucking his friends. And while my ex was icky-close with her, he knew better than to alienate his girlfriend in favor of his mother. I’m sorry your husband isn’t as wise a 20-year-old cokehead covered in homemade tattoos.

Unless there’s some big huge thing you’ve left out—like she’s dying or infirm or you’re a horrible bitch—your husband is completely in the wrong here. When do you get any time together? If he’s not interested in hanging out with you during the 48 hours of free time you’re both allotted each week, what’s the point of being married?

You have several options. Normally I would say you should try talking to him, but it sounds like you’d probably just wind up yelling, so instead try counseling again—this time with a shrink who will shut down his “orphan” talk and get to the root of the problem: his disturbingly intact umbilical cord pulsing with incesty undertones. You also have the option of looking at his absence as a positive, and learn to bask in solo weekends, sleeping late, getting spa treatments, hanging out with friends, and learning a new language. Maybe you could put in the effort and compromise by spending one weekend day with them, as long as he spends the other at home. Think of it as a day at the fair without any fried foods or fun.

Or you could just ditch this mewling mama’s boy and find yourself a grown-up. I know which option I’d pick.

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