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Read Letter

Marrying Your Mum

Dear Jack, you’re making a similar mistake as that gentleman who posted that funny text about his expectation for his wife: “6 months b4 I marry” he wrote, “I’ll tell my fiancée to go study my mum so she can be exactly like her. She’s too perfect!” In other words this young man wants to marry his mother. He forgot he’s not his father. He’s mixing up maternal love with marital love and the discrepancy will soon haunt his marriage. You’re making the same mistake basing expectations of your wife on the template of your mother. For one thing your mother was born in the 20th century, your wife in the 21st century. Born in two different centuries. The factors which shaped your mother are therefore not the factors that shaped your wife. History shapes us whether we like it or not and without our consent. Your wife and your mother don’t have the same parentage. Even if they do they can never be the same. Therefore your mum and your wife are two different individuals with different personalities and temperaments. That’s not saying your wife shouldn’t emulate good qualities in your mum. But to expect your wife to be like your mum… Come on!

Now we don’t know whether your late dad shares your sentiments about your mum. A good mother is not necessarily a good wife after all. In some people, the capacities are exclusive. If you want to marry your mum, why don’t you simply clone her and save your wife the trauma. And have you ever thought your wife might also want you to be like her own dad! I mean if you desire for her to be like your mum, surely she has a right to want you to be like her dad too. And her father was a great achiever. At your age he had already built two houses. You haven’t even started. I’m very worried about the fact you can’t accept your wife for who she is. You think she needs serious tinkering. In which case you didn’t marry the girl in front of you. You married a desire for her upgraded version. So why didn’t you just marry someone like your mum rather than trying to change someone into your mum. You’ve set yourself up for disappointment in this marriage. Your wife can never match your standard. To please you your wife will have to go through major personality reconfiguration. In which case she’ll no longer be her but another person. You therefore married a non-person and non-wife. In other words you don’t really want her; you want another person, aka your mum incarnate. And you’re going to “kill” your wife. That woman that attracted your attention you want to “kill.” Though you ought to be careful what you wish for. You may not like being married to someone like your mum. You’re assuming a lot in imagining your mum is perfect. Which human is perfect! The mum you’re seeing now is a processed woman – a woman tempered by life’s experiences. You don’t know what mistakes your mum has made, the undisclosed mistakes your father knew about. In other words you’re dealing with an edited version of your original mum. Your mum wasn’t always like this.

Why don’t you just allow your wife to be? Why don’t you let her be her! As it is now, you’re seeking matrimonial plastic surgery. You’re now a plastic surgeon. You’re like all those people who want to look exactly like the stars even when they have dissimilar bone structure. You can do a lot to look like Michael Jackson but the fact remains you’re not Michael Jackson. You CAN copy the mannerisms of Michael Jackson but the essential Michael will keep eluding you. And that’s for the simple reason that all the things that shaped Michael Jackson are lacking in your history. Banish this thought of your wife becoming like your mum. She can’t be even if she tried. She’ll be a realistic piece of fakery, and you’ll keep tinkering with her personality until you destroy “her.” Given these circumstances there’s no way your wife can ever please you. You want to eat your mum’s cooking no doubt. But why would she want to be like your mum? She’s someone else’s daughter. She already looks like HER mother! The challenge of false expectations is one of the critical issues affecting marriages. When we set up false expectations, we set our marriages on a Titanic course. If you don’t alter this dysmorphic course, your marriage is going to be dashed on the rocks. But if you want to be a serial divorcee, plod on with trying to turn your wife into your mum. Even if you break up with this woman, you’ll still never be able to marry someone like your mum. And when your mum dies she will rule your home from the grave through your imagination.

Your wife is not some pastiche. Stop treating her like one. She’s her own history, her own parentage, her own upbringing… Why are you insisting she should be like your mum? Would you for example have been attracted to her without who she is, her academic achievements? You forget your mum didn’t have your wife’s educational opportunities. In which case you’d never have wanted to date your mum for this inadequacy. At some point life will force you to choose between this your mum and your wife. Hint: It’s a false choice! Your mum’s values need to be emulated, yes! Your mum needs to be reproduced in your wife, no! Don’t set up yourself with false expectations in marriage. Stop seeking to marry your mum by demanding your wife becomes your mum. It’s conceptual incest. If you do continue to insist on this ruinous course, why you’re mummy’s boy! And I wish you the best with your marriage.

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder |

Tags : choosing a spouse, false expectations

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