The tussle between a man’s mother and his wife has been for ages! Often at the divorce attorney’s office, one could hear a woman say; “My husband’s mother did this and that.” And on the other side, the husband keeps hearing, “Warn your wife. I was first your mother before she became your wife.” These arguments which often go from a small flame into an inferno are caused by the pettiest thing ever. Sometimes it is about who should sit beside the driver’s seat. Wife and mother-in-law? Other times, it is who should have the monopoly of the TV remote. When his mother is over at her son’s place and she wants to see the news while her son’s wife wants to watch Zee World.
There are those who believe that it can never get that petty but there are many cases of mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law relationships that went from slight quarrels and degenerated into enmity. Some will even ask. “What’s the fuse about? Are mothers not supposed to step back and let her son and his woman be an independent family?” Well, we know the ideal is not always the case.
A list of possible causes may be helpful
To see the most important women in your life fighting every now then and running family holidays can be difficult to process for men. The man wants to protect his wife, but he also loves his mother so much not to want to disrespect her. “It’s common to hear a frustrated son tell his mother, while reconciling his wife to her; “Mum, don’t make me choose between you and my wife!” Yeah. Just when he has had it to his neck, the lashing out becomes inevitable.
The first step to preventing any of the mother-in-law issues is to avoid being a mummy’s boy. Might sound all cute and sweet to lie snugged up to your mama as a thirty-year old man each time you visit. But in just about a year or two when you bring home the woman of your dreams, you will be shocked at the turn of things. Your mother genuinely loves you but cannot bear the see the severing of the bond you both have shared for decades.
Also, never talk down on your wife in your mother’s presence. Do not go reporting her at every slight mistake. If your mama feels your daughter-in-law is downplaying your care and love, she will become hostile to her. Learn to talk things over with your wife. Talk about her strengths every opportunity you get. Defend her before your family and that will leave little room for your mother to step in.
Why mother-in-law and daughter-in-law brawls?
The brawls between her and your wife is a protest against a new woman taking her place and all the attention her son used to lavish on her. Yeah, women are territorial and there is no one place where it has been heard that a mother retired. She always sees her grownup son as the little boy she was picking up after as toddler. Before you know it, she’s overstepped her boundary.
That is why research shows that 59% of married Nigerian women despise their mother-in-law and wish they never had one, while 43% of women looking to get hitched secretly wish for a man with no mother. The wife wants to have her husband all to herself and she assumes that once his mother is out of the way, it might make things easier. Of course, there are mothers-in-law who are exceptions to this. But the women who wish their husband’s mothers out of their life do not think of what might happen when they have grown sons in the next few decades. Would it be fair to wish them dead too?