Mother and Son

One of the great dilemmas of our time:  Who does a husband listen to--wife or mother?

Under normal circumstances this is a non-issue.  It should never even come up.  There should never be a time when a guy has to wonder which side to lean toward, but sometimes it's hard.  A typical male spends almost two decades under the watchful eye of his mother.  She fixes his wounds when he's hurt, teaches him right from wrong, disciplines him when necessary, helps him up when he falls, feeds him, provides him with a home, makes sure he gets the schooling he needs to succeed in life, and countless other things.

A mother can not turn off the love for her son, but the son can--and usually does--turn off the dependence he may have on his mother.  It's just a part of growing up and finding his independence. 
Part of that independence involves choosing a mate.  When there is a wife in the picture, a man finds that he has a new and different set of rules he is operating by.  Suddenly, and most likely without realizing it, he has a life that has become much more complicated.  There is a new influential figure in his life.  A new person that he confides to, listens to, shares experiences with, and coexists with.

There is usually not a problem when a new person comes into a family--families usually welcome the new spouse in with open arms.  Occasionally however, a there is show of power that takes place between the old authoritative female figure and the new one.  Sometimes it happens before the marriage takes place, and other times a rift develops over something.  The new relationship could also take on what I call the "mother-in-law" syndrome.  That's something we can blame on the media.  All through our lives TV shows and movies have painted the mother-in-laws into being potential problems to a marriage.  Everybody seemed to have at least one of those in a couple.  "It's your mother," the angry spouse would say, trying to pass the blame away from them.

When a man enters into a marriage it is his new life.  It is his life.  Hard as it is, he says goodbye to the old life that nurtured him.  When something arises that causes some sort of a problem and he has to choose between the wants and desires of his wife or his mother, he must choose his wife.  A little voice in the back of his head may scream at him, "What the ---- are you doing--are you crazy?!"  Unless his wife has done something that is morally wrong (murder, etc) he is almost always going to choose his wife's side.  He has to--it's his place to stand strong and support his wife.

There may be times like these that are horribly bleak for his mother.  She is far enough removed to see what is transpiring.  It's a plain as plain can be what or who the problem is but she's helpless to do anything about it.  He has a lot to lose in the short term if he chooses wrong.  He may lose his wife and/or his children if he chooses wrong.  This is a maddening scenario of a son caught between a rock and a hard place.  From a short term standpoint a mother knows that her son must choose to side with his wife and family.  His mother also knows that, from a long-term standpoint, she will always be there to catch him when he falls.

To me, we men are simple, usually non-emotional creatures.  At least we like to think we are.  We try to get through life by taking care of the basic needs of our family.  We work hard for the necessities to care for our family, When we're faced with danger we act, etc.  However, when we are faced with things we can't understand (like female emotions, moods, angst, and a multitude of other differences between men and women) we are stumped.  Our first instinct is to run but we can't.  Instead we are stuck like a deer in the headlights, feeling like we're in a police lineup in something we don't know the answer to.  There is a pressure there that makes us feel that everyone is demanding an answer regardless.

Sometimes a situation arises like we have down the street in Denny's home.  It's an unusual one because nobody is really sure what is happening, why it's happening or even exactly how it got started.  Things might go fine for a week or so then some sort of an explosion might reoccur.  Sometimes the explosion is public and everybody everywhere around knows about it (fortunately there hasn't been one of those for quite a while).  Other times it's indirect, meaning the animosity is directed at someone through someone else.  Still other times it's all under their roof.  While that may be fine for those of us in different households, it hurts the family members at close range .  Denny's method of coping is to work and work hard so he can stay busy and keep is mind on something.  He's a very talented man when it comes to all things construction-related, and he is busying himself with an almost complete home remodel.

It's confusing time for all of us, but it's especially hard on Suzie.  Like any mother, she wants the best for her family, and she has tried her best remedy any situation that has ever arisen with any of her brood.  This one has her stymied.

You only have to run into a wall so many times before you realize that the wall is not going to move.  All you can do is check back every now and then and hope that you will eventually find some sort of passage through it or maybe a bridge over it.