McShayn's Love Thread: Between mums and wives, who should a man choose over the other?

7 reasons why you should be friends with your mother-in-law

This debate comes and goes but is never completely far from people’s consciousness. Here is what we think about it.

Some issues just never completely die down. Like the endless debate on who is the better footballer between Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi, or the better singer between Wizkid and Davido.

While it may not be a like-for-like comparison with the ones mentioned above, the ‘choice’ that a man has to make between his wife and his mother is one that never stays out of people’s lips for long.

The debate, like power supply in Nigeria, comes and goes but never completely far from people’s consciousness.

Such is the volatility of the subject that all it requires is someone’s post on social media before arms are borne again and people go all out to vehemently state and defend their position, and bash anyone who has a contradictory stance on the issue.

Should a man love his mom more than his wife?

A user triggered the discussion again with his Twitter post which got amplified by Instablog Naija on August 22, 2018.

In his words “Any married man who says he Loves his Mother more than his Wife is Ignorant and unarguably Immature!!!
“Mummy's boy, You don't deserve to have a wife. Go ahead and Marry your Mother”

“God said "Honor your father and mother so that your days maybe long" The same God said "A man shall leave his Mother and Father and cling onto his wife". And that means Physically, Emotionally, and Spiritually! Once you're married your priority is your Wife and Kids, not your Mom”

Surely, comments flew in from all directions as soon as the mega Instagram blog reposted the question.

Some of the most interesting, and of course, contrasting opinions are here shown below.


Those in agreement

@dope_tianagina11 says Whether we like it or not it’s the sad truth, even Abraham took his wife Sarah and left he didn’t take his mother. Mothers are awesome and their son will forever love them. I am sure there is enough love to go round. The man should take care of his mom and family but shouldn’t be a mummy’s boy cos he has his own family to run.

@thelma_obuh believes that "the only people who would find this difficult [are] those who didn't see love between their parents. Where the mothers love stops the wife's love continues, your mother will die and leave you for your wife."


Those who disagree with the opinion

braithwaite_alex says “This is nonsense.”

becky_georgey is a woman who thinks men who hold wives in higher regard than mums are not doing well enough. “I'll never marry a man that loves me more than his own mother,” she comments.

“This [the tweet]… is stupid. I guess… loving your mother than your wife is out of respect and appreciation. Even your wife will shift the love she has for you towards her children at a point in marriage. So why should you think like this in first place[?]” asks bhaye_ventures in the comment section.

ALSO READ: Why use another woman to test your boyfriend’s loyalty to you?

What is ideal

In reality, what every man who considers himself mature enough to marry should know is that mums and wives have their places of importance and relevance and the whole of this does not even have to be a debate at all.

According to @clooney883, who comments on the Instagram post by Instablog Naija, “I think there shouldn't be an argument here in the [first] place…”

@emeka_achinanya adds that “mothers and wives play different roles in a man's life and they shouldn't be compared at any moment. I think the problem starts when people fail to understand their role[s] in [their] life.”

Many men have been known to speak in glowing terms of their mothers’ inexplicable love and huge sacrifice for them over the years. And often times, it is on this that men like this often pin the justification of treating wives unfairly in favour of their mothers.


While the love and adoration and gratitude for one’s mum is a no-brainer that does not even need be explained or justified to anyone, it still needs to be said that there’s a limit to which this should go once you are married.

Mothers are always mothers, and the sacrifice every good mother makes on a child is instinctive. It is nature’s course for a mother to be that way. Inasmuch as it is OK to be grateful a son who knows how to be good to his mother, never should it be at the detriment of your wife for it is also nature’s course that at some point in his life, a son should untie himself for himself from his mother’s apron, fly out of the nest and try to make a mother out of another woman.

The tweet which regenerated this conversation surely has its merits, especially on this point which says... “once you're married your priority is your wife and kids, not your mum.”

But wholly contextualized, the focus here should be on the fairness and good reason that a man needs to should be apply when dealing with both women and when performing his duties as a son and as a husband.

@diane_festus on Instagram couldn’t have better put it when she said; “love your mother, love your wife. Just love them differently. Make sure your wife respects your mum and your mom respects your decisions. They are not in a competition. Always pray for guidance to be a noble husband and son.”

As we have already said here on Pulse, it is a truth that everyone needs to understand that once you are married, everyone who is not your spouse is a third party. Every wise mother actually understands this logic of life and they allow their sons lead their families without any [or very minimal] interference.

If a mum knows her place – minimal interference in her son’s marriage - and stays there, if the wife knows hers – respect for the mother-in-law and non-interference into the relationship between her son and her - and stay within the confines, then all that is left to maintain this harmonious three-way relationship is for the son to perform his duties to both women rightly, fairly and accordingly.

As far as I am concerned, that's all a man needs - the wisdom to navigate this pool rightly - not the dilemma of having to choose only one of two most important women in his life.
McShayn's Love Thread is a weekly column  that aims at explaining modern relationship practices, and tries to demystify relationship myths while proffering useful advice for stronger relationships and modern marriages. You can read other articles here.

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