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Husband Wants Me To Regularly Eat Lunch With Mother-In-Law

Question

"My mother-in-law has stopped driving due to age and medical conditions. This has isolated her more than usual. My husband would like me to have lunch with her once a week because my office is only 10 minutes from her house. 

My mother-in-law is a very sweet lady, and we have always gotten along very well. The struggle that I have is leaving my job for what surely will become a two-hour lunch. I am very busy, and I am a very social person. I will have trouble pulling myself back to work, so I avoid honoring my husband’s request. It is after all his mother. What do you think?"


Answer

I think you are blessed to have a mother-in-law who loves to spend time with you. Not everyone is so fortunate.

If a weekly visit for lunch is tough, then be honest about that. I think a weekly lunch would be tough for anyone with a very busy job, especially if lunch may go two hours. I recommend that you schedule a long lunch every month or a slightly shorter lunch every other week, say an hour or forty-five minutes.

My logic is this. Many times in life we do things to honor our spouses that may not be reminiscent of the culture we grew up in. It is called compromise. In this situation, your husband is asking you for a relatively simple social interaction that will mean a lot to him and his mother. Since you like her and have a good relationship, I do not see why you should avoid the effort entirely.

Most professionals have busy jobs and less time for themselves than they would like. I feel your pain. Sometimes in life, we need to adjust and balance just a bit to keep marriage strong and families intact. This sounds to me like a small compromise in the large world of caregiving needs that I hear about.

I am fairly certain that you can take lunch once a month or every other week. So, schedule these lunches in your calendar, enjoy the time with your mother-in-law, and make your spouse a happy man.

I wish you the best.

About this Post

Written By

Mary Haynor

President & CEO

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