The power struggle that mothers still try to have over their sons

This article is about the control and the power struggle that mothers still try to have over their sons and the jealousy they have over other women in their lives.

Yes, mothers want their sons to get married, settle down, give them grandchildren through a family of their own etc. But we have heard so many times that so often some mothers just can’t let go of the control that they have had on their sons by being the main woman in their life for so long. They simply can’t let go.

A lot of this is down to the simple fact that before any girlfriend or wife enters the home, the main woman in a mans life is usually his mother. And rightly so – she carried him for 9 months, gave birth to him, brought him up, fed him and so the list goes on. Through all of that, there’s no denying that it does create a special bond, but it also makes her believe that she, and only she knows what’s best for him. And so when the daughter-in-law that thinking doesn’t change at all.

A big part of that is to do with the traditional way of thinking, that after a couple got married, the daughter-in-law moved into her husband’s family home and had to live under the rules of her in-laws, mainly the mother. This meant the mother-in-law could now also control her – because she had moved into her home.  Surely this is changing now in today’s society. Most of us are educated working women, and we will not be told what to do, or would we?

Does your mother-in-law suggest or tell you what you should wear to a family function or occasion? Perhaps she did at first and you slowly changed that.

We have heard stories where in laws feel they can pop over without calling to their son’s house.  They might think this is perfectly normal and so might you…or not?  Perhaps your mother in law is constantly calling to see what you and her son are up to, as she can’t bear the thought of not knowing.  Could this be a subtle form of keeping that control a little bit?    Your in laws might even expect you to come round theirs for dinner certain times a week with could be nice in some respects but also a little too much sometimes?

We have also heard some stories where the mother in law is constantly craving attention from her son, e.g. lifts to places things need fixing around house etc.   How do we keep the balance?  After all, family is important.

If you are living together as an extended family perhaps you are not expected to move out.  Perhaps your husband is a ‘mummy’s boy’ and this is having an impact on your marriage.

Can you relate to any of the above? What examples have you come across and how did you deal with it? We would love to hear from you so that we can give each other positive advice in order to make these relationships flourish, especially is it’s causing you stress. We want to hear from you!


    • Anonymous
    • October 8, 2017

    I have heard this struggle from many friends. One example I can give is I wasn’t allowed to cook after I got married. Cooking was always done by my mother in law but I was expected to peel, cut, and wash the vegetables. Everything else was done by her. She wanted her son to love ‘her’ food, not mine. Quite laughable now when I look back as eventually we moved out, I started to cook, and he loves my food 🙂

    • Anon
    • October 11, 2017

    Happens all the time.
    In my previous marriage, my ex mother law used to treat her like he’s a baby. Fair enough he was the only son and two elder sisters who we’re married, but come on he’s an adult and married now.
    If I cooked and it was nice and my husband or ex father inlaw commented that’s it’s really tasty she would turn her face up.
    I would also do the chopping and cleaning the actual cooking only she wanted to do because she didn’t like my way!
    If I went out with my ex husband she would say why you following him? Hello! I’m married to him, if I don’t go out with him who else am I going to go out with?
    She would nag at everything I do, then in front of her son and my ex father inlaw act so sweet to me.

    • Anon
    • October 15, 2017

    My mil has a control over my husband. She has 2 other son’s but for some reason she relies on my husband alot. She’s got a weird hold over him where he even thinks it’s ok for her to lie to her other son’s about things. And he also thought it was acceptable for her to take my son shopping in car without a car seat. For me that was unacceptable but he thinks it was ok & forgiveable. I only found out thanks so my sister in law telling me! For me i can’t trust the woman and I hate this hold she’s got on him. Which he thinks is normal. When I try questioning it all I get is you’ve got a son now you’ll do the same. NO I WON’T!! once he’s married or in a relationship he’s on his own. I don’t want to be meddling in his business. It’s sad because none of her daughter in laws like her one bit due to her behaviour but she can’t see it and neither can her son’s! She always Rings my husband when we’re at any functions on my side even when she knows we’re there. She doesn’t care that we’re busy, in fact she hates it’s whenever any of her son’s go to functions on their wives sides. She always wants them their with her.

      • Anon
      • October 16, 2017

      I hear you. My mother in law is very similar but I have to say, mine has got better over the years but that’s only because my husband supports me now. Before – he was total mummy’s boy! He thought it was normal, where she would call our house at 7am in the morning on a saturday morning and ask him to give her a lift to town! We had been working all week and all I wanted was a lie in, but she didn’t care. That’s just one of a million examples. I slowly slowly had to get my husband on my side and make him see that the control his mother has on him is not normal. I did it without being angry or taking it out on him. Instead gave him so much love and all the freedom he needed that he never got from his mum. She has backed off loads now and she is not happy with it, of course blames me. I would love for all of us getting along but I’ve accepted that’s never going to happen now. Me and my husband are ok and that’s all that matters, with our children. If he carried on being mummy’s boy and never supported me, I think our marriage would have been over and that would have been hell! I can imagine you must feel so alone. Give it time, still work on your husband, but in the end happiness is so much more important.

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