Back off and let son, wife live their lives
Never in my life did I think I would be writing to someone like you - for advice, I mean.
We have a 24-year-old son. He is our only son. About 10 months ago, he married a 20 -year-old girl.
That is the most spoiled young woman I have ever seen. She has our son doing everything for her. He does the vacuuming, the laundry, and even some of the cooking. She says she can't cook, but won't even try.
I am watching this and it makes me more aggravated as the weeks go by. She has a pretty good job, and I know she works and is tired at night, but so is he. He works, too.
I always believed it was the woman's role to take care of her man, and treat him special. When I have talked with him about this, he just brushes me off and tells me not to worry about them.
My husband says the same thing. But it is so hard for me to sit back and see my son become a servant in his own home. Thank God, they are not having a family right away. I advised him not to, so at least he is listening to me on that point.
What can I do to help my son? Surely this is not the kind of marriage he expected to have. How can I help?
Signed, Frustrated Mom
How can you help? By backing off and letting this young couple find their own way.
If your son loves his bride, and let's assume he does, their lives are their own business. You must not try and change this girl.
If she loves your son, thank God that he has found someone who loves him, and whom he loves, too. It is much worse to live in a loveless marriage. Since they both work, it does not hurt one bit for your son to help with the housework, the laundry, etc.
And if she can't cook, don't worry about it. She will no doubt learn and become a very good cook. Until then, leave them alone, to make their own way. If you find fault with her, you will only put undue pressure on your son, and could, in fact, turn him against you.
She is the love of his life now, and you must step back and let them learn and grow. Treat her well. And keep the "door" open for them to come to you in case they truly do need you one day. Also, when the babies do come, you will want a warm relationship with them so you can enjoy the grandchildren.
Women have to learn to be wives, then mothers (hopefully in that order), and later, they have to learn to be mothers-in-law. Our lives are in stages. Your stage now is to learn to be a good mother-in-law.
Sounds like you have as much learning to do as does your new daughter. Think of her as your daughter-in-love. You can be a great blessing to her, or a thorn in her side. The choice is yours. Your son will love you all the more if you make the right decisions.
We have a friend who has a little dog that she loves dearly. When she comes to my home to visit, which is at least twice a week, she brings that dog, and lets him run wild inside our home. He jumps on my furniture, jumps up on me, and has even snagged some of my clothes with his nails. It is so bad, I dread to know that my friend is coming. What can I do to stop this from happening?
Signed, Hates that Dog
You need to talk with your friend and tell her, "I know you love your dog, but I would enjoy our visit so much more if you would not bring your little dog, or we could leave him outside while we visit. I would appreciate it."
Pet the dog and say nice things to him as you walk him to the back door. Try it.
You can email Jan Kolb at: firstname.lastname@example.org