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Thread: Mother-in-law phenomenon

  1. #11
    Senior Member Array cafe's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by substitute View Post
    My last partner said he thought the reason why a lot of parents didn't like me was because I totally accept my friends/partners as they are and encourage them to be themselves, to be sincere and independent and make their own decisions. I also demonstrate that not revolving your life around pleasing everyone all the time doesn't result in anywhere near as much harm as a lot of people would have us believe. This often results in them ditching parts of their lives and people in them, that they don't like, or that cause them stress or put pressure on them to be something else; it spells out the end of parental control, and thus, I'm the scapegoat. It's easier to say "it's all because of that guy they've been hanging out with" than to say "maybe they've just got their own minds and have decided they don't agree with us of their own accord".
    Bingo! Or something like it. My husband never stood up to his mother until we started dating. She was also hoping that the woman he married would get his act together, motivate him, blah blah blah. I instead, she said, "You're just like him."

    Apparently I was supposed to take over controlling and somehow succeed where she could not, despite having him for his formative years. I like him how he is and, watching his parents interacted and my husband's reaction to his mother's attempts to fix him, I decided that was not how I wanted my relationship with him to work. It isn't my job to fix him. It's my job to love and enjoy him. I certainly don't want him trying to fix me and God knows there's plenty to fix.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  2. #12


    You know, cafe, every time a married couple breaks free from patterns ingrained by their parents, an angel gets its wings.

    OK, no, it doesn't happen, but there ought to be some small prize for making a marriage work, beyond the benefit of having a working marriage.

    I am now going to make something up. Cafe, you and your husband must plant an oak tree either now, if you live in the South, or in spring next year, say April or so. Every time your mother-in-law disparages you for not motivating her boy into tycoon status, you can think of your patiently growing tree, soldiering on in spite of all human desires.

    All that said, it's wonderful that your husband neither expected nor wanted you to take the place of his mother, and stood up to her finally when you started dating. That's incredible and great. Good show, stranger.

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