Your Mother and You
The pre-wedding period
is a sensitive time for your relationship with your mother. This
time often brings closer contact than either of you may be accustomed
The increased contact
generated by wedding planning and other pre-wedding activities is
at odds with the normal developmental task of separation involved
in marriage. Your primary family identification and affiliation
is shifting from your family of origin to the new family that you
and your partner are creating. This can be true even for people
who have established a life that is very independent.
The prospect of change
can bring up deep feelings for both you and your mother as it comes
closer. Nothing could be more natural. How you each express and
handle these feelings depends on your personal qualities.
Sometimes problems can
result when a mother seeks, consciously or unconsciously, to hang
on to the child she is losing--you. Likewise, you may be overly-sensitive
to "intrusive" acts by your mother because you may be
feeling a little inexperienced in your new role. You'll both be
feeling a bit excited and stressed by the change and by the demands
of planning a wedding.
Consider talking with
your mother about your expectations for the pre-wedding period,
the wedding itself and your marriage. Tell her what you want, and
ask her about her expectations and wishes. What does she want out
of the wedding?
Some mothers have wishes
for themselves, but they are afraid to intrude with their desires.
They can still get upset if they their expectations aren't met.
Other mothers can be
a bit too forthcoming with their own viewpoint. They may assume
that you need their advice or that your wishes will be congruent
without checking it out with you. You may need to gently,
but firmly, set limits with your mother. It's your wedding and your
life. Be as firm as you need to be. Talk to your mother about
what you really feel and want.
You may hear some of
your mother's reservations about your partner. These may be hard
for you to listen to. Realize that these are normal. No one could
ever be perfect enough to marry her baby. She can't help worrying
about your future. Make sure that she knows that you hear her concerns
and appreciate her point of view. This doesn't mean that you have
to change your viewpoint. Other families become so enthralled with
the prospective new member of the family (your partner) that you
Make some special time
to spend with your mother, especially time that has nothing to do
with wedding planning. Protect some of your time together by making
a rule not to talk about the wedding. Take in a movie, go shopping
together, spend a few hours at a spa.
This is really the beginning
of a process where you will eventually change places. In the long
run, you will become increasingly capable and competent, while your
mother's may become less strong over time. This is a critical time
to your relationship with new patterns and definitions being set
that will influence your lives for a long time to come, so devote
just a little of your time and energy to it.
yourselves to keep all your family relationships growing throughout
your marriage. Consider attending a Marriage Success Training seminar
with your partner. MST helps couples handle the increased stress
of the pre-wedding period in a much more healthy way, so that they
can use the pre-wedding experience to deepen their intimacy--not
stress their relationship-- during this special time. Click here
to learn about the benefits of MST.
you the parent of the bride or groom? Those of us who are married
know how valuable premarital education can be. Marriage Success
Training makes a great engagement or wedding gift. Click here to
learn about gift certificates.
2003, Patricia S. & Gregory A. Kuhlman. You may copy this article
for non-commercial use provided that no changes are made and this
copyright notice, author credit and stayhitched.com source citation