Friday, September 3, 2010

The Mother, You and the Balance

Okay, this is a very sensitive subject but I am going to talk about it. Some of you might think it isn’t that important especially if you and your partner decided a long time ago to exclude all other members of your families in your affairs. But if not, you would definitely understand and appreciate what I am about to talk about.

You meet a guy; start dating then it develops into a relationship. If things are really good that is if your guys are compatible, really understand and make each other happy, then marriage would be considered. Then of course, you will have to meet each other’s families.

Your man already has a way he relates with his parents. You are expected to either try as hard as you can to please them or be your very self. In any case, the latter would prevail.

Now, just as you and your man have your disagreements, occasional shouting matches and different opinions and beliefs, so have he and his mother. So there would be disagreements once in a while between them.

If you occasional go to your man’s folks when you are having conflicts with him and they have been able to call him to order each time, you develop a deep sense of respect and admiration for them even without knowing it,.

Now, what happens when your man and his folks especially his mother fall out and his mother tells you about it? This may seem very easy to answer and even handle right? You just talk to your man and of course, he would listen to you, apologise to his mum and you all lived happily ever after. Very possible especially if he was wrong. But what if he wasn’t? What if his mother should be the one to apologise and not the other way round even though she is seriously expecting it? And expecting you to talk some sense into him to do the right thing? Oh no!

You are just standing there, wondering what to do because it isn’t about taking sides but being as sensible, practical and unbiased as you can be. And trust me, it is difficult.

One wrong statement could destroy the good relations you have with your mother in-law (or to-be) and could also bring serious conflict between you and your man. And of course, if you are too hard on your man, you might be surprised to get a negative reaction from his mother and vice versa!

So what do you do for crying out loud? I am not a pro but listen to these do and don’ts.

1. If you want to say “You are wrong” or “You shouldn’t have done that” to his folks, put it mildly and never raise your voice. Even if your man is there fuming and shouting the house down

2. When your man is having a fight with his mother, always remind him that the woman is his mother for crying out loud and he shouldn’t shout at her or disrespect her even he feels she deserves it. Never support that and trust me, he doesn’t want you to.

3. If you were rather unfortunate to be there during a shouting session between them, apologise to the mother and ask your man to be quiet and allow her to calm down so they could talk reasonably.

4. If the situation gets out of hand and your man heads for the car, tell the woman how sorry you are for everything before running after Mr. “I’m outta here.”

5. When the older woman is so hurt she is like, “I won’t forgive him for this”, please don’t get overly defensive. Just apologise on your man’s behalf and remind her that he is her beloved son.

6. Unless you are invited to air your views, stay away from rather touchy family subjects.

7. Be nice, be respectful, be tactful and of course be yourself.

My strong African values may have influenced my opinions but hey, you can’t go wrong if you try your best to hang in the balance, give respect to who it is due and say the right words at the right time when you can.

Do stay out of trouble and be good.

Lily Johnson.

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  1. You truly give the most wonderful advice!! :)

  2. Cafe Fashionista: Thank you dear. I try.

  3. Hi Lily, great advice, my mom has been dead for years, but we never had fall outs, I loved and respected her too much to even raise my voice at her. But I am also sure my wife and my late mom, had she been alive still, would have been great pals, my mom was very sweet and my wife loves older people. (guess that is why she married me... hehe)

    Great post and thanks for dropping a kind word on my last post, great to get positive feedback.

    Have a lovely day.

  4. sexylegsandbody: You are a nice person so i am not surprised though i must say what you had with your mum is really rare. Thanks for the comment and have a nice day yourself dear.

  5. every smart woman knows u never go between a guy and his mother.u will be the sacrificial lamb.
    nice blog lily

    can u please remove the verification?thanx

  6. Marilyn: Thanks for stopping by Marilyn. I will remove the verification thingy

  7. Great advice...nice spot you got,wink*

  8. blogoratti:Thanks for stopping by.

  9. blogoratti:Thanks for stopping by.

  10. I managed to get off to a rocky start with the inlaws -- luckily time and distance has led to good relations the past decade...

    You are very levelheaded :)

  11. Carma: Thanks. Believe me they can be a hand full.


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