”My son loves his wife more than me. What do I do?”
You have raised your son to be a loving and responsible adult.
You put in time and money and even put certain personal goals of yours on hold so that you could create space for him and give him the best life.
You held him by the hand and taught him everything he now knows, and on his part, he reciprocated the love you showed him.
He held your hand and planted loving kisses on your cheeks and forehead.
Your name was the only name he had on his lips for years, and he couldn’t take a step without letting you know or seeking your opinion.
Suddenly, he decides to get married and start a family with another woman, and you couldn’t be more proud.
He gets married, and you notice he has stopped coming over to spend time with you as often as before.
Daily and weekly calls have reduced drastically, and he no longer runs his decisions by you.
You are happy your son is an adult and has a family, but you aren’t ready for these changes in your relationship with him.
You wonder why he doesn’t call or visit as usual and why he prefers a woman who met him a couple of months or years ago to you, who practically watched and raised him from cradle to adulthood.
You remember how much you gave up to see him thrive, and you wonder why he prioritizes his wife over you and what you can do to win his love and affection.
Let’s be honest; it’s tough to deal with.
If you share a close relationship with your son, it is tougher, and while you try to make sense of these new relationship dynamics, your mind can play tricks on you.
“My Son Loves His Wife More Than Me”
Your feelings are valid; they are normal and nothing to be ashamed of.
This is not to categorize them into right or wrong, what you should or shouldn’t feel.
This simply means they are worthy of your attention and understanding.
As men get married to their wives, the relationship they share with their mothers changes to reflect and accommodate the new roles they have acquired as husbands (and fathers).
As a mother, you may have become used to his help with the day-to-day running of the house, home repair, short errands, or even the simple call and discussion at the end of the day
So it’s completely normal to feel:
- Hurt by your son’s lack of attention,
- Abandoned by your son and/or his partner.
- Lonely because your son spends less and less time with you.
- Confused and lost, you ask, “Where do I fit in?”
- Cheated because you feel you have given so much time and resources to raise him only to “lose” him to another woman.
2. Your relationship with your son isn’t dead, and you haven’t lost him to another woman.
Like all relationships over time, it is simply changing and evolving to accommodate new roles.
You’ve had your chance, built your home, and raised your children in your way and on your terms.
Your son can now build his home and family in his own way.
The challenge is to let your relationship with your son evolve and grow and for you to learn to love your son differently.
You need to understand and accept that as much as you were the first woman in his life and nobody can take your place, he now shares his life with someone with whom he would build a family.
The more you try to “fit in” and reinforce your role and relationship with your son over and above what he shares with his wife, the more you hurt him and the more unhappy he will be.
Instead of forcing a relationship on your married son, here are a few tips to help you feel better:
- Keep in mind that supporting your son’s marital relationship is ideal, healthier, and best for everyone.
This is not to say you must cast your feelings aside to keep the peace.
It means you take the time to recognize and acknowledge how you feel and then make efforts to prioritize what must be prioritized.
2. Understand that life, relationships, and the roles that come with them have changed for everyone, including your son, and that your son probably feels the same way and is also trying to adjust to the changes.
3. Talk to your son about the way you feel.
The best way to connect with someone is to be vulnerable.
Talk about your happiness with his growth, achievements, and commitment to his spouse.
Tall about the loneliness you feel knowing that your relationship with him is changing and the complex emotions you are experiencing.
The aim is not to accuse, judge, guilt-trip him or make him defensive.
The aim is to foster understanding and deeper connection.
4. Focus on yourself and identify friends, family members, and support groups.
You’re in transition, and there are other people you know or may meet who have gone through or are going through the same thing.
Connect with these people and share your experiences and feelings with them.
Support groups help you see that you are not alone, and family/friends who understand you make you feel less lonely.
5. Set healthy boundaries and maintain them.
It is important that you resist any situation in which your son would be forced to choose between you and his wife.
Setting and maintaining healthy boundaries can help avoid this situation.
Here are a few ideas: –
- Call or text to see if it’s an excellent time to visit.
- Try to be mindful of your son’s time by keeping calls brief unless it’s convenient for him.
- Never visit their home without first contacting them.
- Resist visiting too often and keep your visits tactfully short.
- If you will stay for an extended time, you must remember that the home is not yours. Be a good guest and keep your visit as peaceful as possible.
- Be willing and quick to admit your faults when you violate boundaries.
Coming to terms with your son’s marriage and the fact that your relationship with him has changed is often a difficult transition to make.
Feelings of confusion and loneliness are real, and it’s best and helpful to recognize and acknowledge the struggle, choose to talk about it and work through them.
And also to make a conscious choice to be supportive, kind, understanding, and respectful to yourself, your son, and the relationship he shares with his wife.