Sunday was Mother’s Day here in the states. It was a day to honor the woman who gave you life, raised you, and who is, for many of us, by your side even now that you’ve grown up, moved out, gotten married, and had children. There is a very special bond that exists between mothers and sons, but sometimes that bond goes a little far. Today I want to ask you a very important question:
Does your relationship with your mom have a negative impact on your relationship with your wife?
I’m not sure what it is, but there is often a very uncomfortable rift between mothers and their son’s wives. I think it has something to do with another woman taking care of her baby and not doing it in the way she thinks best, but that may be oversimplifying a complicated situation. Regardless, husbands often sit on the fence while a battle takes place between the first woman in their life and the current woman in their life. Wives are often left in tears because they’ve had their feelings hurt, their abilities questioned, their children used as leverage, and they’re mad at their husbands because they feel like they just sat there while their mom-in-laws walked all over them. If this sounds familiar in anyway, let me give you some very, very important advice:
Get off the fence and stay in your own yard.
When you signed up for this marriage gig, you told your wife that she was the number one person in your life. You told her that you were behind her come what may. You told her she was your best friend and that you’d do anything for her. But now, when your wife expresses her frustrations to you about your mother, you defend your mom. But when your mom expresses her frustrations about your wife, you don’t say anything. I also know of husbands who simply choose not to get involved in the “mess” and let their wives and mothers go at it.
Not cool, guys.
If I’m not making my point here, let me explain it to you practically. I knew of a mother-in-law who absolutely couldn’t stand her son’s wife whatsoever. It was so bad that she refused to visit when the wife was there, so for the “sake of the grandchildren,” the wife would leave town when the mom came to visit. In case it’s not clear, this is not okay. What this husband should have done was tell his mother that if she could not accept the woman he had married, than she had no business coming to visit. Tough call? Yes. But it’s the right one. If you don’t take the lead, your mom will.
If you are letting your mom dictate aspects of your marriage, it’s time to cut the umbilical cord. You left home to start your own. If your mom disrespects your wife, you must stand up for her. You do not allow her to talk poorly about your other half. (And, along the same lines, you do not complain about your relationship with your wife to your mom when issues come up. Because your mom is always on your side, this will not help her relationship with your wife.)
A teacher of mine once advised that each spouse was responsible for their side of the family. If your wife is struggling in her relationship with your mom, it’s up to you to step in and settle it. In the same way, if your wife’s dad really can’t stand you, it’s up to your wife to lay down the rules of your household for him to understand. I think this is very good advice. It solidifies your relationship as a couple, and it shows the respective families that you are serious about living your life.
You can’t be a husband and a momma’s boy at the same time. That momma’s boy allegiance was supposed to be transferred to your wife at the altar.
Get it there.