Are you having difficulty managing boundaries between your marriage and your in laws? Do you find that your husband often sides with his mother against you? Does your husband try to claim he is being neutral and trying to keep both parties happy? Do you feel frustrated and betrayed when your husband doesn’t take your side? Have you failed to get your husband to understand the importance of aligning you? Do you guys seem to have disagreement between the boundaries of your marriage and that of your in laws? Do you feel like you have a third person in your marriage, i.e. your mother in law?


A common issue in marriages in Singapore in Asian families is how to manage the boundaries between your marriage and that of your in laws. It is often a difficult transition for some couples to establish their marriage and autonomy from that of their husband’s in laws. Sometimes, the son or your husband may have difficulty with setting boundaries and communicating clearly to his parents the new rules in relationship.

There is a healthy relationship to be established between your marriage and the in laws. Typically though, when people get married they are not considered adults, they form a union in their marriage and the marital union becomes the new decision making criteria in which the husband and wife decide what they are going to do and then they communicate their decision to their in laws and the wider world.

In some instances the separation in forming a new marital union is difficult for one parent to allow the son to separate and form the necessary alliance with his wife. The mother may be constantly breaking boundaries and overstepping her role by inserting herself into the marriage.


In such ways through financial inducements, offering money with strings attached to buy apartments, to buy housing. She may do this through emotional inducements, often making the son feel guilty, often making the son choose between the mother and his wife and creating huge amount of conflict. The mother will often not directly contact the wife, but go behind her back and through to son. This can create huge amounts of conflict within the marriage in which the wife is often finding her husband siding with his mother against her and failing to understand the damage he is doing and the conflict it is creating.


This often has very complex mental health issues and boundary issues in which couples have to learn how to navigate. This is about boundaries, individuation and allowing people to be grown ups and make their own autonomous life decisions, while maintaining healthy relationships with family members. In this case, this is not a normal consultation, this is essentially where the parent does not want to allow their adult child to separate and form his own autonomous life with his wife, creating huge amounts of conflict and in some cases escalating all the way to divorce.

If this is something that you are facing and you would like help, All in the Family Counselling Centre Pt ltd has experience helping people learn how to manage boundaries, communicate more effectively and get the healthy marriage that they so long and learn better ways to interact and manage the relationships with their in laws.

All in the Family Counselling has been serving clients in Southeast Asia and Singapore for just under two decades. We specialize in high conflict situations, infidelity, conflict and communication, sex and intimacy, anxiety and depression, for individuals and couples.

Contact us at +65 9030 7239 or email us at

Schedule an initial consultation

Through an initial consultation we'll help you frame goals and outcomes of therapy and what that would look like to achieve it.

Need help? Please contact us

Schedule an initial consultation