The beauty of marriage: the legally or formally recognized union of a man and a woman as partners in a relationship, the date women circle on their calendars with a huge red heart, the day some men dread as young boys, then there’s the one element that many of us forget to take into consideration—the in-laws (specifically the mother of the bride).
I was watching a movie this past weekend that demonstrated how and why the potential negative interference from an in-law can be detrimental to the health of one’s marriage.
In the movie, there was this hard-working brother doing what he could with what he had to provide the type of life-style he and his wife desired. However, no matter how hard or how much he did to make that a reality, it was never enough in the eyes of his wife’s mother. The mother-in-law’s venom then began to penetrate into the mind of his wife (which shouldn’t happen), in-which the conflict began to arise. I’ve seen and heard about this story line plenty of times (I was actually at an event this past week and this question came up there too). In many cases this issue became the sole reason for the suffering and disbanding of several marriages.
It gets to a point, when a brother just has to say, “I married you, not your mother.”
A mother-daughter bond is a special relationship that is considered to be the strongest type of bond known to mankind. It’s no secret that when a man courts a woman, he often is analyzing his woman’s mother in search of certain characteristics. He’s looking for those wifely qualities that he hopes will trickle down to him and his woman’s relationship. If he notices any red flags that negatively stimulate his interest, he may become keener in trying to understand the dynamic (influence) that the mom has over his significant other. He understands that this influence may be troublesome down the road.
Like many of you, I understand that a mother just want what’s best for her child. It’s nothing wrong with that at all. However, it is a level of respect and decency when your dealings and interference becomes emotionally draining on another person’s relationship. This is where the line in the sand should be drawn. But, who should draw that line?
As men, specifically as husbands, the last thing we want is outside interference or negative influences causing conflicts within the comfort of the four walls in our home. Anything that puts us in jeopardy of being put in the “dog house” becomes an instant “enemy” of the state. As men we create enough problems on our own, so we really can’t afford to have that added stress, pressure, or strain added to the relationship.
Now, I know I may ruffle some feathers with this one, but I must make this statement: WHAT HAPPENS IN THE HOME, SHOULD STAY IN THE HOME. Meaning, you can’t provide a weapon with additional ammunition. If you know your mother, or anyone for that matter, is not the biggest fan of your significant other, then some things should just stay within the four walls of “your” home. Your relationship is your relationship. Now, if there are some foul things going on such as verbal or physical abuse, then I recommend alerting the people you trust.
So, I guess this is more of an extended question as opposed to an article.
How involved should in-laws be as it relates to your relationship?
If there is a family member that is causing strain or stress in a relationship—who should stop it?
Have you been in a situation like this? What was the outcome?
Ladies, I know some of you have to deal with this as well from “Mama Boys”. So please share your experience from the flip-side.