Ask Fiona: Why can't my mum and husband be civil?

Columnist and trained counsellor Fiona Caine offers her perspective on family dramas, emotional issues and dysfunctional relationships. This week, stuttering, domestic abuse and addiction to tranquillisers

It will take strong willpower to come off tranquillisers

MY mum and my husband don't get on.

They had a huge row a couple of years ago and neither has forgiven the other since.

She's told me she doesn't want me to visit her any more unless I dump my husband, and he says he'll never let her back into our home.

They seem to really hate one another and I feel as though I'm between a rock and a hard place.

She thinks I am in the wrong for not standing by her and leaving my husband, and he thinks I should have nothing more to do with her.

We've got four kids who now never see their gran, so it's going to be another miserable Christmas!


FIONA SAYS: You don't explain what their original argument was about, but they both deserve to have their heads banged together.

For a pair of so-called responsible adults, both of whom are supposed to love you, neither of them is taking any account of your feelings.

I'm not suggesting that they should instantly begin to like each other, but they should at least be able to tolerate each other for the sake of family peace.

I can't help but wonder if there isn't more to this than you are aware of because "hate" is such a strong emotion.

If neither of them will make any effort at tolerance for your sake, then I fear it's your mother you will have to let go of, as your four children need their dad.

It's a terrible position to be in and I don't envy you one bit – they should both be ashamed of themselves.

If you have a problem you can email me, Fiona Caine, at


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