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The Dangers of Mothering a Husband

What husbands need from their wives?
What is importance of wife?

Wives learn behavior patterns from their mothers and these may cause friction in marriage if they are incorrect. In her book, Secrets About Men Every Woman Should Know (Dell, 1992), Barbara De Angelis explains how mothering a husband or controlling husband can cause a number of problems between a man and his wife.

The Dangers of Mothering a Husband

How Do Wives Mother Their Husbands

Women are nurturers and caregivers by nature and often treat their husbands like children. Hence, thinks of controlling husband. This is especially evident if their own mothers mothered their husbands. To a certain extent, most men enjoy being mothered as they don’t have to pick up after themselves, remember important engagements or show responsibility. However, this type of scenario can be extremely damaging to a relationship when it extends over a period of years.

Mothering is displayed in a variety of ways but can be summarized as controlling husband as though he is a little boy instead of a mature man. The wife does things for her husband on a regular basis that he should be doing for himself. Here are some common ways that mothering is expressed:

Picking up his dirty clothes.
Laying his clothes out in the morning.
Organizing his drawers and shoe rack.
Constant reminders about appointments and chores and bills.
Scolding him for not dressing warmly or making a mess in the kitchen.
Taking over responsibilities on the assumption that he cannot manage them.
Correcting him in public if he gets details of a story wrong.

While it may be necessary or helpful to do these things on an occasional basis, they can cause a multitude of problems if adopted as a lifestyle.

Problems Caused by a Wife Mothering her Husband

Many men like the feeling of being cared for but do not realize the long-term problems this can cause. Mothering casts a wife in the role of caretaker and nurturer rather than lover, best friend and partner. The results of mothering a husband include the following:

controlling husband

The husband will resent his wife for undermining his independence.
He will feel stifled.
A reduced sense of self-worth resulting in an inability to truly love his wife.
Lack of sexual desire as he associates his wife’s behavior with his mother.

How a Wife Can Stop Mothering or Controlling Husband

Once a woman realizes her behavior has been inappropriate, she can begin the process of turning things around. If she has been mothering her man for years, it may take weeks or months to reverse the effects but it can be done. Here are some ways to approach the problem:

Stop doing things that the husband should be doing for himself.
Treat him like he is competent and responsible.
Stop scolding him and speak to him like an adult.
Transfer responsibility back to him and don’t correct, fuss or nag if he makes mistakes or things are left undone.

Wives mothering husbands is a common problem in marriage and over years can undermine a relationship and cause sexual desire to wane. Once a woman recognizes where she has been going wrong, she can address the issues and change the way she treats her man. Once he is forced to take responsibility for himself, their marriage should improve and strengthen as they work as a team as opposed to a mother and child.

Elements of Happy Marriage Life

What is the key to a happy marriage?
How do you keep your marriage alive and satisfying?

When two people first come together in a romantic relationship, they are naturally accepting, seeing only the best in each other, appreciating the similarities and differences, even finding the quirkiest aspects endearing.

Over time, particularly after getting married and living together for several years, irritation and intolerance wash away acceptance, expectation and judgment replace appreciation, and seriousness creeps in to smother any remnants of fun or amusement. What once was a healthy relationship and happy marriage is now a source of disappointment and discomfort.

Why does this happen? Is it because the daily responsibilities of earning a living, raising a family, and coping with life’s challenges are too much? Is it because the love chemical concoction released in the brain during courtship has warn off, leaving both partners in a state of cranky withdrawal? Or is it simply because two people who love each other have started to take each other for granted and forgotten how wonderful their partner truly is?

No matter what the reason is for a relationship to become distanced, moody or painful, all it takes to bring it back into a healthy, happy state is to let go of the past, move into the present and begin accepting, appreciating and having fun with each other.

Accepting Your Partner in a Marriage

Acceptance is a form of unconditional love and forms the basis for healthy relationships. Not judging another’s imperfections, mistakes, and problems sends a message of love and acceptance. It builds trust in a relationship.

No one is perfect. When one person expects another to behave in a certain way, or say or do something specifically, they are in for a disappointing ride. Letting go of expectation and accepting a person as they are is a huge gift. It feels so validating to be accepted, flaws and all. When a partner receives this, they are often more than willing to reciprocate.

Appreciating Your Wife or Husband

Each person brings their own gifts to a relationship and has their own way of expressing their love to the other. Some are wonderful listeners and offer the opportunity for nurturing and deep connection. Some are great talkers and know how to verbally express their love. Many are action oriented and contribute through tasks. And then there are those who can sooth away daily stresses with a healing foot rub or neck massage.

controlling husband

Noticing and appreciating what the other brings to the relationship, no matter how small and insignificant it may seem, lifts both partners’ spirits and creates a space for love to blossom.

Having Fun in a Marriage

When seriousness weighs heavily on a relationship, it’s time to lighten it up with play and amusement. Laughter not only eases stress and tension, it creates an opportunity for bonding. Instead of getting frustrated or irritated at a partner’s behavior, being amused by their idiosyncrasies can keep the relationship light and playful. Sharing jokes or funny stories renews a friendship attitude. Trying something different to break out of a routine adds a fresh perspective. Exploring new adventures together invigorates a relationship.

It only takes one partner to bring acceptance, appreciation and amusement into the relationship, but it takes two to keep it going. As one partner starts to accept the other and begins to notice and acknowledge what they contribute to the relationship, the dynamic changes. Slowly the other partner feels loved and accepted and will offer appreciation in return. The atmosphere will lighten, allowing humor to bubble forth. Soon a deeper level of love will surge forth creating a healthy, happy marriage.