My son, a mama’s boy, has become a misery to his wife

Monday, October 19th, 2020 00:00 |
Unhappy couple. Photo/Courtesy

Hi Achokis. 

My wife sides with my 32-year-old son on everything.  This journey began long ago and has become worse because he is now married and 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?

Thank you for your question. There is normally a special bond between a mother and a son just like it is between a daughter and her father.

This is known as the Oedipus complex and is what to some extent has made the mother-in-law issue become a real concern in our society.

Fathers normally don’t tend to 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 split. 

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 start training and mentoring that boy to become the man 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 often times doesn’t want to disconnect, thus hurt his mum.

That is the situation with you wife and son. We can only imagine what your daughter-in-law is going through.

Never too late

It’s never too late for you as the father 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 be his own family. Any help and support that he may need should be channeled 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 son’s wife.

Make her see how she would have felt if your mother had done the same with you.

Let her know that 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, it will be painful and difficult because old habits die hard. 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. The writers are marriage and relationship coaches [email protected]

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