She's Hit The Mother Load

01/04/2011 17:30

My husband, I'll call him Erik, and his mom are very close, and have a very tight relationship. I used to always admire and appreciate how close they were. Erik's dad left him and his mom when he was only 2 years old and went on to remarry and start a new family, so I know that growing up for Erik, it was always just him and mom. Erik is now 35 years old. However, on a recent visit, Erik and his mom were always holding hands in public, he would have his arm around her or when we were in the car, she would take the front seat and put her hand on his knee while he drove. I almost felt like the third wheel! I know better than that, it is his mom after all, but I feel like the constant touching is a bit odd. It even extended to back at home when we would all be gathered around the TV on our one couch, he would lean up and rest his head against her while I sat at the kitchen table. I don't mind him spending time with his mom and she's overall a great lady, but I am a bit weirded out by my husband's outward affection with his mom. Am I just nit-picking or should I say something? -- AngieJ 

 What Mary Says...  What Crystal Says...

Dear Angie:

That is completely weird. I wouldn’t even know what to say to my husband except, “Dude, are you schtupping your mom?” I need a shower because I feel dirty after reading this.                    






























Dear Angie:

Many years ago I was sitting at breakfast with my boyfriend and his parents when his older sister, who still lived at home, joined us mid-meal in nothing but a t-shirt and underwear. No one said a word, and when I shared my heeby jeebies with my boyfriend, he was surprised that I thought it was at all weird. I felt like I was in The Twilight Zone, thus I can totally empathize with your being creeped out by the incestuous like behavior between your husband and his mum.

However, it appears from your note that this is a new thing…That previous visits did not bring about this man-on-mom fondling. Without a father there, it would totally make sense that “Erik” would take on the role of both son and husband. Sure it’s a bit icky, but also a bit normal. “Erik” soothed his mother in a way a father normally would and, in turn, he learned to find comfort in that way as well.

But since all this closeness is new, I suspect it’s not just an issue about an overzealous momma’s boy. Is your mother-in-law ailing? Your husband having trouble at work? At home? It’s possible that the affection is a type of regression – a man longing for the comforts only a mother can bring because of a situation that is overwhelming or difficult. Or perhaps he saw this last visit as one of just a few more chances to bond with his soon to be gone mother. Whatever it is, without a pattern of disturbing behavior, there’s not much sense in sounding the alarm.

If I were you, I would put less thought into the touching you saw and more into why they’re happening. What is going on in your husband’s mind now that is causing him to suddenly seek out comfort in such a childlike fashion? Because waging war on the appropriateness (or lack thereof) of a mother’s love is a fight rarely won by a spouse. And sometimes, war really isn’t the answer anyway.   


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