Marrying Our Spouse’s Mother

Grant Montgomery: Marrying our spouse’s mother!

It’s an understatement that men have a hard time figuring out women! And women also have a hard time understanding men.

What further complicates this is that most of us tend to take the things that we developed growing up and bring them into our marriages. This means we may save all our anger from experiences with our mothers/fathers and subconsciously dump it on our wife/husband. This can lead to us virtually pressuring our spouse into becoming the image of our parents.

In this sense, when you marry someone, you are not marrying each other, you’re marrying each other’s mother or father! Any childhood anger that has not been processed, and/or feelings that we haven’t owned, we may project toward our partners disproportionately to our present reality.

We tend to take out on others the angers we feel about ourselves. One of the greatest obstacles to a healthy relationship is insecurity. Often we are using someone else to attempt to fill the hole of insecurity. Then when they do not produce as we wish, we punish them with the silent treatment, the guilt trip. After all, what is it that makes us notice the negative, or appreciate the positive? It starts with how we look at ourselves.

Something that can help us maintain perspective is the following reflection: What right do I have to condemn someone else, especially when I know myself so well?!

But if we have not developed this degree of honesty with ourself, we will never face our own human weaknesses, but instead continue to find scapegoats in the people around us.

To apply what I’m saying here, for example we may use the word “hurt” in responding to our spouse: “I’m not angry, I’m hurt”. When we make that sort of statement, we are not owning our anger. We deny a problem with anger, and say that it’s another people who is the problem. We take the role of the victim. When we remain a victim, we will remain miserable, until we release our anger. And our greatest obstacle to releasing that anger is our fixation on other people’s behavior. Only when we acknowledge our feelings of anger are we less prone to negative judgement and resentment.

Read Bonding with others

The above is inspired by “God Loves an Unmade Bed” by Fisher and Allender