That is a tricky one. But, I think it’s like a sliding scale, dependent on the state of the relationship between the man and the woman. While the going is good, he will strive to stand by her, even try to make his mom like her. But when things get sour between them, she is wrong, no matter how right she may be. See, it shifts from, ‘my mom is being harsh on my woman, because I have affections for her’ to “my mom is right, it’s this woman’s fault they don’t get along”.
There are things on which you can only have an opinion through experience. I think this is one of them.
My single-self wonders why my mum would conflict with my wife, and seeing as it is my home, I would ask the mother to go back to her home and let me work on my marriage and deal with my family issues without her standing over my shoulder.
Thing is, I chose to marry her. My mother has no option but to get along with her.
Chances are high the mother has the problem. At least I have seen many such relationships where the mother wants to remain the mother hen to the son; control his finances, control his movements, control his closeness to the wife, and control the wife’s sphere of influence around him.
An over bearing mother and an uncompromising wife make a combination whose wrath and fury only a man can understand.
If they are not getting along, chances are that this antagonism is going to strain the relationship. For many men, even if they don’t want to admit it, their connection to their mothers is too important to be played with. The man could try to separate them, make the conditions good for the two to live together, but if, for instance the two are not friends because girlfriend is being obstinate, this could bring out all the negatives that her man wanted to ignore all along.
Marriage is not with one person, but with the entire family…include their likes, dislikes, attitudes and behavior.
If by any bad luck this relationship is more inclined to the dislikes and attitudes, there is bound to be friction between the wife and his family- most often than not with his mother.
No man ever wants to find himself having to choose between his Wife and his Mother, especially when there is evident friction. Very bad choices that will affect everyone forever can be made out of emotions and frustrations.
This friction will most likely result from both females competing to nurture the same man! Since moms are the first nurturers, some find it hard to step aside and allow their daughters-in-law to step up and take on the primary nurturing role.
This handover process might never be smooth. Many times we men leave family relationships to the women, but this relationship between a man, his mother and his wife, needs a man’s touch.
It is wiser for any man in such a dilemma to avoid getting entangled in emotions and taking sides. Instead, he should draw clear boundaries that leave everyone happy… and protect your wife man!
Jamie, the realist: 36. Married, father of two.
Eugene Mugisha: 28, the dating guru.
Andrew Wallace: 28. Recently married.
Benjie: 27, single
Ivan Okuda: 20, at university.