How to be a Good Mother-in-Law and Still Say Close to Your Son
Kate Stone Lombardi was worried that her son’s marriage would affect their relationship. With experience under her belt, she reports on what really happens
My son, Paul, and I have always been close. In fact when he was younger, I wrote a book about the mother-son bond. But before he got married to his long-time sweetheart Afroz, I wrote an article about my worries that I might lose my son after they got hitched. I wanted to figure out how to be a good mother-in-law.
I was confident in my prediction—we would stay close. Paul is a wonderful son, and I assumed he’d be a wonderful husband. Love was not a zero-sum game. It would be easy. Of course all this bravado belied a basic truth: I knew exactly nothing about what it would be like.
When my story appeared, I was struck by the wide variety of comments, some of them describing heartbreaking estrangement between formerly close mothers and sons. A few wondered how it turned out after Paul was married. Well, the answer is: I’m still learning.
Back then, Paul and Afroz hadn’t even picked out a wedding venue. And as the wedding plans progressed, I started to understand my … I was about to write “diminished” role, but that’s not accurate. My “different” role is a better description.
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