My wife sides with my 32-year-old son on everything. She has been doing this ever since he was young. But now it has become worse because my daughter-in-law has started complaining. I feel that he was never given a chance to become a real man and make choices for himself. What do I do as a father?
There is normally a special bond between a mother and her son just like it is between a daughter and her father. This is known as the Oedipus complex. It can be blamed for green-eyed mother-in-law issue in our society.
Fathers normally don’t interfere a lot in their children’s marriages as we have been socialised to know that it is the woman who leaves and goes to join herself with her husband’s family.
But for our women, it is unfortunate because she is supposed to be assimilated into her husband’s family and woe unto her if the bond between mother and son has never been disconnected.
Where you went wrong
The weakening and ultimate severing of that bond should start way early during the boy’s teenage years. It is at that point that the father must intentionally and deliberately step in and take him away from his mother’s influence.
The father must now start training and mentoring that boy to become the man that he ought to be. For one reason or another, many fathers fail to do so leaving their sons so attached to their mothers even into adulthood.
The mother still sees her son as her little boy and wants to continue nurturing him while the boy-man oftentimes doesn’t want to disconnect thus hurt his mum. That is the situation with your wife and son. We can only imagine what your daughter-in-law is having to battle with.
Let her wear her daughter-in-law’s shoe It’s never too late for you to step in and still do what was supposed to have been done earlier. First, begin by letting your son realise that this is not good for his marriage. Let him know that as a man, his priority should now be his own family.
Any help and support that he may need will be channelled through you and not his mother. Then talk to your wife and help her see the damage her relationship with her son is having on his family. Make her see how she would have felt if your mother had done the same with you.
Let her know she needs to give her daughter-in-law space to be her own woman. Agree on what needs to be done to wean herself off her son. Realise it won’t be that easy. But with your help and support, and willingness on her side, all things are possible.
Applaud every single milestone made. Celebrate and make it big. If she’s committed and with your support she will eventually get over it.