13 Signs Your Husband Puts His Family First


Does your husband run to mommy every time you have an argument? 

Does he spend more quality time with his siblings than with you? 

If it feels like your husband puts his family of origin before you and the family you’ve created together, listen up. 

You deserve to be first in his life. 

While his parents and siblings are important, you should take priority. 

Some family enmeshment is normal, but too much indicates you’ve taken a back seat. 

Don’t settle for less than you deserve. It’s time to take center stage in his heart.

Why Does My Husband Put His Family Before Me?

You chose this man as your life partner. So why does it feel like you play second fiddle to his family of origin?

There are a few key reasons a husband gives priority to parents, siblings, and childhood friends over his wife:

  • His family of origin enmeshed him in their dysfunctional patterns. Now he can’t untangle himself to create healthy boundaries.
  • He fears confrontation, so he appeases his family rather than rock the boat with you.
  • His parents still treat him like a child who needs their guidance. He fails to act like the grown man he is.
  • Loyalty and guilt run deep. His family roots supersede the commitment he made to you.
  • He never completely left the nest. Emotional or financial ties keep him bound to his first family.

The path forward requires understanding why he continues this unhealthy dynamic. 

Once you identify the roots, you can take steps to cut them.

13 Signs Your Husband Puts His Family First

You’ve suspected it for a while, but how can you know for sure if your husband prioritizes his family over you?

man talking to woman sitting by lake Signs Your Husband Puts His Family First

Look for these 13 warning signs that he puts his parents, siblings, and childhood friends first. If several ring true in your marriage, it’s time for an honest talk.

1. He Spends More Time with His Family than You

When you got married, you expected to be your husband’s top priority. But if he spends more time visiting, calling, or texting his family than being present with you, it’s a red flag. Quality time is crucial for couples to stay connected. Yet if he’s with his parents or siblings more than his wife, he’s choosing blood over his marital bond. 

This doesn’t mean he can never see his family. But you should come first. If he frequently misses date nights or couples’ time due to family activities, you have a problem. He needs to reset his priorities and put your marriage at the center rather than the periphery. Don’t let him get away with the excuse, “but they’re my family.” You’re his family now, too.

2. He Discusses Your Private Matters with His Family 

Marriage works best with clear boundaries. Certain aspects of your relationship should remain between you and your husband only. But if he divulges private disagreements, financial information, or details about your sex life with his family, he has crossed the line. 

Healthy couples keep their personal business private. If your partner tells his family about your fights or other confidential topics, it shows he doesn’t respect your privacy. Involving his family in your marital issues rather than resolving them between yourselves inflames the situation. Make it clear this violates your trust and must stop.

3. He Lets His Family Make Decisions for You Both

As adults, you and your husband should manage your own lives. But if he defers to his family’s wishes rather than deciding jointly with you, he gives them too much power.

Your spouse’s tendency to ask his parents for guidance on where to live, what car to buy, or whether to change jobs indicates he hasn’t fully matured. Marriage means being accountable first to your spouse, not your birth family. If he allows them to call the shots, stand up for yourself. Remind him that you are his partner now, not his parents.

4. He Excludes You from Family Events 

When your husband marries, you become part of his family legally and emotionally. So, if he attends holidays, vacations, reunions, or other family events without you, something is amiss. Occasional solo trips to see relatives you can’t stand are reasonable. But exclusion from most activities implies he wants to separate his birth family and married life.

Assert yourself here. Kindly insist you be included in future events and get to know his family better. If he refuses, push for couples counseling to uncover why he compartmentalizes you from them. Don’t let him keep you apart.

5. He Shares Finances with His Family But Not You

Married couples normally join finances and make major money decisions cooperatively. If your spouse opens joint accounts with his family while keeping his assets separate from you, take note. This blending of finances with his birth family rather than his wife reveals misplaced loyalties. 

Even if he’s financially supporting parents or siblings, he shouldn’t shut you out. Insist on transparency and joint management of marital money. Don’t let him wield cash as a way to maintain unhealthy attachments. Draw the line firmly but lovingly.

6. He Takes His Family’s Side in Arguments

Disagreements are inevitable in marriage. When you and your husband fight, a family-oriented man will remain neutral. But if your partner automatically defends his family when conflicts arise, he’s not an objective mediator.

A husband’s job is to understand your perspective, not instantly side with his relatives. If he criticizes you but makes excuses for them, it shows bias. Calmly insist he remain impartial until he hears both sides. If he can’t do so, counseling can teach him how to stop blind alignment with his birth family over you.  

7. He Breaks Plans with You to Accommodate His Family’s Requests

Responsible partners keep their word once plans are made. But if your husband frequently cancels dates or reneges on agreements with you because something “came up” with family, he’s untrustworthy. 

Occasional schedule changes are inevitable. But if he consistently ditches you for his family’s last-minute demands, he lacks integrity. Let him know broken vows erode your confidence in him. Insist he keep his original commitments or provide ample notice, barring emergencies. Don’t tolerate endless rain checks.

8. He Sides with His Family in Parenting Disagreements 

Marriage makes you and your husband a new family unit. So, you should present a united front when making parental decisions. However, if your spouse undermines your parenting choices by siding with his family’s opinions, it sabotages your authority.

older woman talking to younger woman Signs Your Husband Puts His Family First

Parenting values sometimes differ between partners. But healthy couples compromise and back each other up. If your husband’s relatives overstep boundaries by interfering with your parental judgment, he must set limits. Remind him that his number one allegiance is to you and your children now. Don’t let them come between you.

9. He Won’t Let You Make Changes to Property or Possessions from His Family

When people marry, they blend their lives and belongings. So if your husband won’t let you make reasonable changes to property or heirlooms from his family, he’s clinging to the past.

It’s understandable to treasure certain items with sentimental value. But when your spouse gets overly emotional about altering or removing his family’s possessions in your shared home, it seems like more is at stake. Insist that you make joint decor decisions as partners. If he refuses, explore if he’s resisting fully combining your lives.

10. He Puts His Parents’ Needs Above Yours

In the vows, your husband promised to put you first. But if he prioritizes the comfort, opinions, and well-being of his parents over yours, his priorities are misplaced. Of course, adult children should care for elderly parents in need. However, your needs as his wife should come before their wants as parents. 

If he neglects your desires to cater to them, gently remind him you take precedence now. Seek counseling if he always puts their needs on the top shelf while placing yours lower down.

11. He Refuses to Set Boundaries with Intrusive Family Members

In-laws and other relatives should respect your privacy as a couple. But if certain family members overstep, your husband must set boundaries. If he allows them to barge into your home, criticize your parenting, or interrogate you rather than stop the intrusions, he fails to protect your marriage.

Partners who put their spouse first establish clear rules to limit meddling by extended family. If your husband dismisses mistreatment from his relatives, insist he create a healthy space. You deserve autonomy without scrutiny in your own home. Don’t tolerate invasive in-laws just to keep the peace. 

12. He Expects You to Socialize with His Family But Won’t Spend Time with Yours

In an equitable marriage, spouses make an effort to bond with each other’s families. If your husband insists you attend every event with his parents and siblings but won’t join you for any occasion with your relatives, he has a double standard. 

Call out this hypocrisy directly but calmly. Let your partner know that fair is fair. If he wants you to embrace his family fully, he must make equal time for yours. Don’t let him get away with lopsided expectations. Stand up for your family connections.

13. He Unfavorably Compares You to His Family Members

If your husband constantly criticizes you for not measuring up to his mother’s cooking, his sister’s housekeeping, or any other talents of family members, it reveals an unfair bias. Of course, no spouse is perfect, but chronic comparison to his “superior” relatives undermines your confidence. 

Mention that while occasional feedback is normal, running commentary on how you don’t stack up to his family hurts you. Insist he stop this hurtful habit immediately and accept you as you are. Let him know that as his chosen life partner, you deserve to be cherished just as you are, not held to the impossible standard set by his family backstory. 

Will It Hurt Our Marriage If My Husband Puts His Family First?

Yes, your marriage will absolutely suffer if your husband consistently prioritizes his family of origin over you. The intense emotional intimacy and physical passion that brought you together will erode. 

Resentment and loneliness will fill the void where a thriving partnership should be. Essential nourishment that only spouses can provide for each other will be lacking, starving your bond. Slowly but surely, the special friendship underlying your romance will wither without the care and dedication it needs to bloom. 

Don’t resign yourself to a peripheral role in his heart. With care but conviction, fight to restore your rightful place as his number one priority.

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Should I Speak to His Family When He Puts Them First?

When your spouse prioritizes his relatives over you, it’s natural to want to confront them directly. However, this rarely goes well. Staying neutral but firm with your husband is best.

First, your marriage issues are between you and your husband – not extended family. Bringing them into the fray will likely backfire. They’ll probably get defensive and undermine your position rather than recognizing their impact.

Second, hashing out marital problems with in-laws oversteps boundaries. It can undermine their son’s role. And your husband may feel ganged up on, causing more resistance.

Instead, set rules with your spouse about his family’s involvement. 

Insist he:

  • Have difficult talks with them himself
  • Set clear boundaries on topics they can weigh in on
  • Defend you loyally in any disagreements
  • Share only positive info about you and your marriage

While frustration with his family is understandable, avoid direct confrontation. Your intimate bond deserves privacy. If your husband can’t manage his relatives’ intrusions appropriately, marriage counseling offers solutions.

Final Thoughts

If your husband puts his family before you, it damages trust and connection. But with insight, empathy, and well-set limits, you can restore your rightful priority in his heart. Don’t settle for less than full commitment. With consistent effort, you can get your marriage back on track and rekindle that loving feeling.