Stazjia’s Commentary

Sons and Daughters

Posted on: July 21, 2008

We have a rhyme in the UK:

A son is a son till he takes him a wife
But a daughter’s a daughter for all of her life.

I think that is largely true. Most women don’t distance themselves in quite the same way as some men once they are married. It’s usually the adult daughter who takes responsibility for ailing parents, for example, no matter what other responsibilities she has.

I don’t necessarily think that this is a bad thing. It seems that the most successful marriages are those where the husband is fully committed to his wife and puts her way above his mother in priorities. So often a son is the apple of a mother’s eye. A woman told me recently how the only time she sobbed in public was when her son married but she was quite OK when her two daughters married. She liked her son’s wife so it wasn’t that, she just didn’t want to lose her ‘little boy’.

You do find some men are so emotionally committed to their mothers that they put her interests above those of their wives. They constantly visit and phone and are at their mothers’ beck and call. They take the side of their mothers when they should be supporting their wives.

I know a man who has been married twice and is now in a third relationship. He has children from both marriages and from this relationship. He is a devoted and excellent parent, he really can’t be faulted in any way.

His mother is an extremely possessive person and he was the favourite out of her three children – she absolutely doted on him. When he first married in his 20s, she bought a flat near where she lives and let him and his wife live there. She had her own key and would ‘pop round’, maybe to put some food in their refrigerator or bring something useful, any excuse, really, and she would let herself in with her key. It got to the point where the son was confiding in his mother about rows and difficulties with his wife. The mother, of course, didn’t calm him down and talk sensibly, she stirred him up and eventually she was happy when they divorced. The second marriage followed the pattern of the first with exception of not living in his mother’s flat.

Luckily for him, the man’s new partner is a strong woman who wouldn’t stand for this level of interference and put her foot down. He no longer dances attendance on his mother nor confides in her about his relationship. It’s taken him to become a middle aged man before he could finally cut himself free of his mother’s apron strings.

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