Dear Stavroula

Ask Stavroula: My Fiancé Is Extremely Close to His Mother

Dear Stavroula,

My fiancé and I have been together for about 8 months now and we recently decided to get married sooner than we expected. I knew his mother very little and that is why until now I had not understood well the relationship he has with her. His father died when he was young. So when the issues of the wedding and the preparations (the new house, the ceremony, etc.) were put on the table, I found that he was overly influenced by her, and she acts like this wedding is her own. She insists on her choices, and when I object, she gives up for a while and then comes back with a stronger argument. I am very worried about my fiancé’s attitude, because whenever we make a decision on something together, after he talks to his mother he changes it. She seems to affect him a great deal. When I ask him about this, the answer is that “the poor woman is very happy after everything that has happened in her life, let us not spoil it” and that “it will not always be so.” I have been very concerned about this situation and I would like your opinion.



Dear Maria,

Very often when one of the partners dies or is absent in the relationship with the other, the other can project on the child the need for affection and sharing in the form of excessive care, excessive interest. In the most extreme of these cases, a child and a parent form a very strong personal bond that is very difficult to break.

In fact, it seems that this happens more often with the mothers of boys. The result is that the son learns from an early age to depend on his mother, to limit his own desires and to be filled with guilt every time he opposes her will.

If this happens and in your case the first thing that might have helped is to look inside yourself for the reasons that made you decide to marry this specific person and what are your true feelings for him. Seek the help of a person you really trust or even the help of an expert. Because many times one can be pressured to get married by a pregnancy, by those around them, by financial conditions, even by the biological clock. This does not mean that the above cases cannot lead to a happy marriage in the process, but statistically these marriages are more likely to fail. In this case the difficulties cannot be dealt with by patience and perseverance, as when there is love and respect in the couple’s relationship.

Also consider what your role is in the life of your future husband. Does he trust you, respect you, understand you? Can he recognize your own needs or is he trying to force you to adapt your life to his own way of life without being willing to adapt to the needs of your life together?

But if the only problem in your relationship is your future mother-in-law, it would help you to set your limits to your spouse from the beginning. It will not help to blame his mother or speak ill of her, but to speak calmly and make your feelings clear to him about the situation that arises every time his mother intervenes. Ask him to take a stand for your relationship and not against his mother. His mother will not change. What can change is the way he will deal with her interventions. But it takes real love, patience, and the will to work.

Stavroula Tsoutsa is a Certified Holistic Professional Life Coach, ICF ACC, Certified Heartmath Coach/Mentor and Trainer, and Certified Points of You Practitioner.


(THE CONVERSATION) In 1998, Lee Strobel, a reporter for the Chicago Tribune and a graduate of Yale Law School, published “The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus.

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