One of my girlfriends has a real issue with her boyfriend’s mother. The man that she has been dating for over a year is very close to his mom & he has a hard time telling her no. His mother is a nice lady but she can’t seem to stay out of his business, or my friend’s business for that matter. Every time my friend goes to hang out at her man’s house his mother is already there. Sometimes when they go out on a date his mother is sitting on the couch at his house because she used her spare key to let herself in. His mother prefers to be the 3rd wheel & inserts her opinion in just about every conversation, even the ones that don’t involve her.
Just to give you some background: My friend’s boyfriend was raised by a single woman and has no brothers or sisters. She does have her own siblings but she’s not very close to them. Her son was really all she had and she made sure that he knew that growing up. I don’t know that she makes him feel guilty on purpose; however, he oftentimes does feel that way. He feels as if he “owes” his mother all of his spare time because of the sacrifices she made in raising him. She never married but still treats her 30-something year old son as if he’s her husband.
My friend often talks about breaking up with him, but I really don’t think she’s going to. She truly loves him and is enjoying their relationship. It’s the people outside of the relationship that she has a problem with (namely his mother). I asked her how did things get this bad; why didn’t she realize she was dealing with a mama’s boy from the beginning? Why didn’t she have her own life so she could butt out of theirs? Well, he had purposely downplayed the relationship with his mother because other women had problems with it in the past. He didn’t let his mother come around until a few months into the relationship and by then my friend was already in love (hook, line & sinker).
Now what is my friend supposed to do? Her potential mother-in-law certainly isn’t going anywhere & she isn’t going to leave her boyfriend. Instead of trying to change his mother or fuss with her boyfriend, why not try to help her? Surely if she was in her own relationship, she wouldn’t be concerned about what’s going in her son’s relationship, right? It was this line of thinking that got me & my girlfriend to devise a little plan to get his mother back out into the dating world. We were going to set up a profile on an online dating site for her. We figured this was less about ‘going behind her back’ and more about ‘surprising her with a date’. Besides, we just knew we were helping her out by getting her a date without her having to actually do anything to earn it.
In the end his mom wasn’t really willing to go along with our little plan of setting her up on a blind date. However, she was willing to leave her son and his relationship alone. And sometimes that’s all you can expect from a woman who is afraid of losing her son?
Men, what would you teach your daughter that you wish your girlfriend or wife’s father had taught her?
Women, what would you teach your son that you wish your boyfriend or husband’s mother had taught him?
Sometimes I think about what my mother-in-law will be like. Will she & I get along? Will I like her? Will I call her “mom” or by another name? (Hopefully not something that rhymes with witch) Will she teach me the family recipes or back me up when she knows that her son & I have been arguing? Will she be proud to call me her daughter-in-law? Will she & I hang out together and talk often? Or will I despise her and complain to my girlfriends about her? Maybe I’ll dread the holidays when & if I come to visit. Maybe she and I will be complete opposites or worse yet, she’ll think I’m not good enough for her precious son. Whatever the case may be I know that once I get married, I’ll have to deal with (or put up with) not only his entire family but also his mother.
Of course, if my mother-in-law (MIL for short) & I don’t get along I would think that it would greatly affect my relationship with my husband, especially if he’s close to his mother. I wouldn’t want him to be stuck in the middle but that just may end up being the case. Who should a husband side with – his mother or his wife? I say his wife, because according to the Bible, “…shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife.” (Gen 2:24) Plus we all know the saying: Happy wife = Happy life. Not to mention as his wife I am the one that is committing to him for the remainder of my life, sticking by his side through sickness, times of poverty, bearing & raising his children and will be there for him when he puts his mother in the grave. Yes, that’s morbid I know but that’s all a part of being a wife. So with that said, if I happen to have a MIL that I don’t get along with wouldn’t it be in her best interest to make a special effort to get along with me?
Just think about – if I knew that someone had the power of possibly putting me in a senior home once I got older or letting me move in with them instead, I would try my best to be on that person’s good side. If I knew that someone else was largely responsible for my child’s happiness and my grandchildren’s wellbeing, I would do everything in my power to build a good relationship with that person, especially being as the elder. Sure, there needs to be mutual respect between me & my MIL, and deference on my end since this is the woman that created the man I love & have pledged my life to be with. But don’t think that just because I tolerate you that I like you because those are two totally different feelings.
Until I get married or have children of my own that one day get married, I won’t know what it’s like to have a mother-in-law or to be one. Hopefully I’ll have a good relationship with my own mother-in-law but if not, I may have to prepare to not have a relationship with her at all.
My friend recently gave birth and while I’m happy for her, I’m a little annoyed with all of the pictures she’s been sending of her newborn baby. I understand her excitement, this being her 1st child & all but still…..I don’t need another text message of her baby. I know this may sound mean (especially if you’re a mom), but it’s how I feel.
I just don’t understand why people think that everyone outside of their immediate family wants to see 10 million pictures of their baby. Especially as a newborn! Newborn babies don’t really look like much, at least not to me. (Can you tell I don’t have any kids?) To me all, and I do mean ALL newborn babies look pretty much the same. The only difference is the eye color and some have hair and some don’t. I never understood why people say “He looked just like his father when he was born.” Really? C’mon people, none of us looked like anyone when we were 1 hour old. Even my own mother says I looked like her when I was born but I compared my newborn picture to another Black baby picture and I gotta tell you, I couldn’t even tell the difference. I looked like every other newborn baby out there (I did have plenty of hair, though).
It is my friend’s first baby so I understand why she wants to share her pictures with the world. I just think that pictures of babies should be confined to family members and people who have actually asked for them.
At some point in the near future I will have to go visit her & the new baby but I am not looking forward to it. Similar to baby showers, I just don’t know how many times I can “oh & ah” over someone’s baby. (That’ll be another post, I’m sure)
Because I’m her friend, I did send her congratulatory messages but I think I may have to turn off my phone for a while so I don’t get any more of her baby pics.
(You can not tell me that all these babies don’t look very similar)