NZ Woman's Weekly

Domestic dysfunction

Dear Wendyl,
My daughter married just over a year ago and we really like her husband. He is a caring, lovely guy and we are so happy to have him in our family. But the problem is my daughter has started treating him like dirt. She bosses him around, tells him he’s fat (he has developed a small paunch), tells him his clothes are awful, ignores him when they are out and basically treats him like she would rather he wasn’t there. I’ve tried talking to her about her feelings towards him, thinking that maybe something has gone terribly wrong in their relationship, but she insists everything is fine. I don’t think it is and I want to help them get through this. Where do you think I should start?

Mother-In-Law, via email

Dear Mother-In-Law,
This must be hard for you, especially when he is such a nice guy. I think the problem is not the relationship but your daughter. People who treat loved ones like that are usually miserable, in my opinion. Instead of going talking about the relationship, spend some time with her alone. Take her out to coffee or lunch and talk about what is going on in her life. I think you will soon find she’s not happy, which makes her have low self-esteem and this is expressing itself in the way she is treating her husband.

Send your questions to or write to Agony Aunt, NZWW, PO Box 90119, Victoria St West, Auckland 1142.

Issue 1541

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In this week's issue of New Zealand Woman's Weekly magazine: Simon Barnett reveals his seven magic rules for raising girls.

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