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Momofgirls

Why do MIL and DIL seem to have more problems??

74 posts in this topic

I have been married for 10 years and have had constant issues with my MIL and My mom for that matter. My DH has issues with my Mom but there hasn't been the level of disrespect that I have experienced with my MIL. My Mom basically leaves my DH alone.  Same when my brother was married and Same with my Dad and his MIL. Is it just me or does the issues seem to be between "DIL and MIL"? Is it because it's Two Women Feuding? Men are less emotional and don't care? Moms and daughters aren't as "bonded" as Moms and Sons?

Am I lucky to have 4 daughters because I may not have to deal with DIL issues? I am curious what your guy's experiences have been as spouses and in laws?

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Many studies on the subject have revealed that men marry their mothers- Many wives would rather banish the thought than determine where they're similar -- because they can't stand their mother in-law- And if they can't stand their mother in-law, who they are like in some way, what does that say about them? Do they not like themselves as well?

Edited by Komorebi

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6 hours ago, Momofgirls said:

I have been married for 10 years and have had constant issues with my MIL and My mom for that matter. My DH has issues with my Mom but there hasn't been the level of disrespect that I have experienced with my MIL. My Mom basically leaves my DH alone.  Same when my brother was married and Same with my Dad and his MIL. Is it just me or does the issues seem to be between "DIL and MIL"? Is it because it's Two Women Feuding? Men are less emotional and don't care? Moms and daughters aren't as "bonded" as Moms and Sons?

Am I lucky to have 4 daughters because I may not have to deal with DIL issues? I am curious what your guy's experiences have been as spouses and in laws?

In my family, MIL/SIL conflicts have always been a major problem, often more so than MIL/DIL, But I guess we're in the minority. :)

Like you, Mom, I had issues w/ both my DM & MIL. But some of "my" issues really related to both DH & me, such as when DM would secretly move items around in our home to suit her  "preferences" or MIL tried to tell us what to buy/not buy or where to place a piece of furniture. This was disrespectful to us both, IMO, even if I reacted to it more.

I definitely think many of us women look more deeply into what is said, tend to "catch" P/A (passive aggressive) remarks more easily, and see little, subtle "power plays" (real or imagined) that many guys just don't see.(DH was the first to realize that DM was moving things, I must admit - she did it almost imperceptibly, at first. But I was the one who realized this was an effort to control. That's why I put "preferences" in quotes b/c I don't think it was really about that.DH just saw it as annoying.) I don't think it's so much that men "don't care" as that many of them don't notice what we women often do.

But I also think a lot has to do w/ personalities. DM, though a wonderful person in many ways, became very pushy w/ younger people in her later years, and she was not much different w/ DH than w/ me (maybe a little b/c she felt "safer" pressuring her own AC?). A mom who had less of a need to control would probably made less/no effort to do so, whether w/ DH or me.

As far as the idea of "Two Women Feuding" is concerned, are you talking about a "rivalry" of some kind? IMO, that was the case w/ my MIL in the early years of my marriage. She was clearly trying to compete w/ me for DH's/DS' attention and affection. But she stopped, after a while, though she still tried to dominate our decision-making.

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7 hours ago, Momofgirls said:

Moms and daughters aren't as "bonded" as Moms and Sons?

That's an interesting one! Usually, I've heard the opposite, as in the old rhyme:

"A son is a son till he takes a wife,

but a daughter's a daughter

for the rest of her life."

Usually, those who believe in this quote blame this supposed pattern for MIL/DIL and DM/DS problems. So your suggestion is a new one to me. :)

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I once read something that was giving a very "scientific reason' for this feud between MIL /DIL - this article stated that it's thought that part of the reason menopause happens, which this article stated something like it was a part of evolution - but the article stated that this occurs so that it is unlikely that  MIL and DIL will become pregnant at the same time because then the infant of the DIL would suffer because not getting as much attention or something like that.  It sounds like a bunch of BS to me but possible that there is something to it.

 

I can only speak for my situation - i definitely see it as MIL and I competing for DH's attention.  also when kids come into the picture, my kids share a bloodline with her MIL, but i still do not and that i think gives her some sense of entitlement to my children - they are a part of her....and she never lets me forget it

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LOL...I keep trying to place some of these descriptions on my MIL and they simply do not fit.  My MIL had no affection to give hubby after his brother was born when he just turned five.  She had nothing good to say to him except work, Work, WORK and he loved farming so he was glad to do it.  Besides it kept him out of her sight.

The day we first met, her dog bit me as soon as I followed him into the house.  She laughed instead of apologizing.  Pretty much the way our relationship went for 35 years.

MIL and I couldn't have been more opposite.  I learned early on to reply to anything derogative with a "Yeah right, like that's gonna happen."  

I gave her all the respect she earned...none, but I was polite as I would have been toward any stranger until her snootiness surfaced, then I just returned fire.  Hubby is in his 70's and if he mentions going to the cemetery, he wants flowers for his Dad...never mentions his mother and they share a headstone.  That is pretty much what his relationship to her was for his whole life...ignored.

Why would I ever feel a need to compete with that?  And yes my kids share a bloodline, but they don't belong to Favorite Son, therefore they hold little worth, except they could also work.  She even said to my face once..."Your Kids"...and I said, Yes, and even if you not want to believe it...they are hubby's name Kids also.  Turned and walked out.

After drawing her as a MIL, I definitely developed a tough skin and learned to give as good as I got with hubby's blessing, but I never once was unpleasant unless she fired first.

Edited by SueSTx
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1 hour ago, SueSTx said:

 

The day we first met, her dog bit me as soon as I followed him into the house.  She laughed instead of apologizing.  .

 

IMO, Sue, this^^^^ says it all about your MIL!

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She was a doozy.

But as much as I despised her, that is how much I liked FIL.

Edited by SueSTx

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I'm not necessarily convinced MILs and DILs have more problems than any other relationship between family members do. I think the notion of two women 'fighting' over the man generates more interest in the MIL/DIL relationship though.

I still think it boils down to personality. A different MIL for me might've lead to a different point than I'm at now. And vice versa for MIL. But we got each other and here we are. 

I have a coworker who is notoriously difficult. It's legendary in our department. Very controlling. Very passive aggressive, very self centered. Her adult children can't even go to the dentist without her. She was lamenting the other day that she couldn't 'handpick' her future CILs. I pity whatever person does end up marrying into that family - although all the kids are so socially stunted it might be a long time before that happens. She will be a difficult MIL no matter what. She's a difficult DIL to her ILs. It's her personality. 

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25 minutes ago, NewMama said:

I'm not necessarily convinced MILs and DILs have more problems than any other relationship between family members do. I think the notion of two women 'fighting' over the man generates more interest in the MIL/DIL relationship though.

I still think it boils down to personality. A different MIL for me might've lead to a different point than I'm at now. And vice versa for MIL. But we got each other and here we are. 

I have a coworker who is notoriously difficult. It's legendary in our department. Very controlling. Very passive aggressive, very self centered. Her adult children can't even go to the dentist without her. She was lamenting the other day that she couldn't 'handpick' her future CILs. I pity whatever person does end up marrying into that family - although all the kids are so socially stunted it might be a long time before that happens. She will be a difficult MIL no matter what. She's a difficult DIL to her ILs. It's her personality. 

You an't kidding about workplace drama. I worked with several controlling women. It was God Awful. They would often tease and bully me as I was the least "Educated" out of the bunch. But I would sit back and laugh as I was the most happy or so it seemed because I was never bitter and angry. Are you serious, this women took her adult children to the dentist?? How old were they???

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2 hours ago, NewMama said:

She was lamenting the other day that she couldn't 'handpick' her future CILs. I pity whatever person does end up marrying into that family - although all the kids are so socially stunted it might be a long time before that happens. She will be a difficult MIL no matter what. She's a difficult DIL to her ILs. It's her personality. 

She'll be the MIL who can't understand why her AC is letting the new spouse "control" everything (as in not let MIL do/say whatever they want) and not let her buffalo her way thru their life.

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On 2/10/2018 at 7:32 AM, RoseRed135 said:

 

In my family, MIL/SIL conflicts have always been a major problem, often more so than MIL/DIL, But I guess we're in the minority. :)

Like you, Mom, I had issues w/ both my DM & MIL. But some of "my" issues really related to both DH & me, such as when DM would secretly move items around in our home to suit her  "preferences" or MIL tried to tell us what to buy/not buy or where to place a piece of furniture. This was disrespectful to us both, IMO, even if I reacted to it more.

I definitely think many of us women look more deeply into what is said, tend to "catch" P/A (passive aggressive) remarks more easily, and see little, subtle "power plays" (real or imagined) that many guys just don't see.(DH was the first to realize that DM was moving things, I must admit - she did it almost imperceptibly, at first. But I was the one who realized this was an effort to control. That's why I put "preferences" in quotes b/c I don't think it was really about that.DH just saw it as annoying.) I don't think it's so much that men "don't care" as that many of them don't notice what we women often do.

But I also think a lot has to do w/ personalities. DM, though a wonderful person in many ways, became very pushy w/ younger people in her later years, and she was not much different w/ DH than w/ me (maybe a little b/c she felt "safer" pressuring her own AC?). A mom who had less of a need to control would probably made less/no effort to do so, whether w/ DH or me.

As far as the idea of "Two Women Feuding" is concerned, are you talking about a "rivalry" of some kind? IMO, that was the case w/ my MIL in the early years of my marriage. She was clearly trying to compete w/ me for DH's/DS' attention and affection. But she stopped, after a while, though she still tried to dominate our decision-making.

Yep! 90% of the drama in our collective blood line is generated by men- They're the territorial terrors, the bristly bunker builders, fiddling fortress erectors- They've their heels dug in, their head in the sand and an ironclad grip on stuff they just won't let go- They're nuts or are just are because they have them -- the women have yet to figure which- 

Anonymous poster hash: 10d68...8a0

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13 hours ago, Momofgirls said:

You an't kidding about workplace drama. I worked with several controlling women. It was God Awful. They would often tease and bully me as I was the least "Educated" out of the bunch. But I would sit back and laugh as I was the most happy or so it seemed because I was never bitter and angry. Are you serious, this women took her adult children to the dentist?? How old were they???

The two oldest are in their early twenties. This is an ongoing thing. The oldest son actually took himself to the doctor for an issue he was having and she nearly lost her mind because she wasn't there to run the whole show. But she was on the phone all day at work calling him and badgering him to say this and that and ask for this and that. I feel very bad for her daughter, because she's been so under their thumb for her whole lives that I think she'd be really susceptible to marrying someone who is very controlling and abusive because she's incapable of doing anything of her own free will. She decided to go back to school, and even as a mature student, my coworker is checking her homework every night. 

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On ‎2‎/‎10‎/‎2018 at 9:53 PM, Komorebi said:

Many studies on the subject have revealed that men marry their mothers- Many wives would rather banish the thought than determine where they're similar -- because they can't stand their mother in-law- And if they can't stand their mother in-law, who they are like in some way, what does that say about them? Do they not like themselves as well?

I wanted to comment on this, as I have also read about this topic.  It is true that some men marry women with characteristics of their mom, especially if the relationship between mom and son is a healthy, positive one.  However, this is only true for some, and is less true for those with unhealthy or negative relationships with mom especially if the son has awareness of such and wants to break free of an unhealthy dynamic. 

I remember a few years back my MIL said something similar to me - which was that 'sons marry their moms'.  I was actually nauseated at the thought, because that meant I was just like her, which I am not.   However, I interpreted her comment more as a statement coming from her ego about the importance of her as a mom - moms are so important that a son only marries a woman just like mom.   If she actually looked at reality, however, my MIL and I really had only one thing in common which is that we were both moms.  We had such different personalities so much so that we couldn't relate to each other.  What I found interesting, she didn't.  What she found funny, I didn't.  She was an extrovert.  I am an introvert.  She is emotional and cries a lot.  I rarely cry and deal in logic and facts.  She valued a clean home and pressed sheets and clothes.  I valued a clean enough home and never iron.   She liked to shop.  I don't.  I like adventure and travel.   She liked routine and staying home, and our differences were just as strong when it came to parenting and our views and outlook on life. 

I think what DH found most attractive in me was my independence and autonomy which I firmly believe he wanted in a spouse, so that he could be free of a role he played with his mom who was very needy and relied on DH to in essence co-parent his YDB and play the role of emotional spouse to his mom as well as provide support with the basics such as running errands or handling family business matters which is common with first generation immigrant families.   I think had he married another woman like my MIL, the marriage would have ended disastrously.   

So, in my case, DH married the polar opposite of his mom. 

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45 minutes ago, BSW said:

I wanted to comment on this, as I have also read about this topic.  It is true that some men marry women with characteristics of their mom, especially if the relationship between mom and son is a healthy, positive one.  However, this is only true for some, and is less true for those with unhealthy or negative relationships with mom especially if the son has awareness of such and wants to break free of an unhealthy dynamic. 

I remember a few years back my MIL said something similar to me - which was that 'sons marry their moms'.  I was actually nauseated at the thought, because that meant I was just like her, which I am not.   However, I interpreted her comment more as a statement coming from her ego about the importance of her as a mom - moms are so important that a son only marries a woman just like mom.   If she actually looked at reality, however, my MIL and I really had only one thing in common which is that we were both moms.  We had such different personalities so much so that we couldn't relate to each other.  What I found interesting, she didn't.  What she found funny, I didn't.  She was an extrovert.  I am an introvert.  She is emotional and cries a lot.  I rarely cry and deal in logic and facts.  She valued a clean home and pressed sheets and clothes.  I valued a clean enough home and never iron.   She liked to shop.  I don't.  I like adventure and travel.   She liked routine and staying home, and our differences were just as strong when it came to parenting and our views and outlook on life. 

I think what DH found most attractive in me was my independence and autonomy which I firmly believe he wanted in a spouse, so that he could be free of a role he played with his mom who was very needy and relied on DH to in essence co-parent his YDB and play the role of emotional spouse to his mom as well as provide support with the basics such as running errands or handling family business matters which is common with first generation immigrant families.   I think had he married another woman like my MIL, the marriage would have ended disastrously.   

So, in my case, DH married the polar opposite of his mom. 

Same here. Wolf's flat out said that he married me b/c I'm nothing like his mother.

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1 hour ago, BSW said:

So, in my case, DH married the polar opposite of his mom. 

DM used to say that most men "either loved their mom's cooking or hated it." As such, she said they either wanted their DW to cook like their mom/get recipes from their mom or to cook very differently. (The idea of the guy's cooking didn't occur to her, as her dad never cooked and my dad, only once in a while, LOL!) IMO, the same is true about whether a man marries someone very much like his mom or very different. Not saying too many men 'hate" their moms. But I definitely think there are some men who "want a girl just like the girl who married dear old Dad" and others who want someone who is different in one or more ways. And hey, there may be a whole spectrum in between.

Same w/ women and their dads, IMO.

50 minutes ago, ImpishMom said:

Same here. Wolf's flat out said that he married me b/c I'm nothing like his mother.

 

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There is a theory that it might be partly genetic/evolutionary. Women have usually been in charge of home, family and community. Whereas men in most evolving cultures defended and hunted. Women asserted dominance by, effectively, socialising. Men usually asserted dominance through brute force and strength and hunting prowess.

These days, boys will rough and tumble and little girls will engage in playground politics to establish pecking order. So it starts at a young age. This seems to ring true: I was not very good at it as I grew up in a house full of boys but it seemed the more fluent girls were in "***** speak," the higher up the pecking order they would be. So girls learn to communicate effectively at a much younger age.

Add this to the fact that - back in the nomadic days of human existence - women would stay within the tribe where young men would establish independence by simply leaving when they were of age and you have a sort of blueprint.

Girls these days seem to (as a general rule) start trying to establish and assert independence much younger than boys. So that by the time they are married, their parents know much better where they stand in relation to the newly formed family. Being more fluent in the intricacies of verbal and non-verbal communication, they are much better at balancing the needs of their couple and family with those of the extended FOO, which tends to result in less friction.

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I agree with the younger ladies, and also want to mention that there some of us that are pushing 70 that raised our DD to be outspoken and independent as well as our sons.

SnIL is nothing like hubby and DIL is nothing like me...if that means anything.

 

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Another source of friction and problems between MIL/DIL occurs when mom is overly emotionally invested in her child - often times because she is in a lonely or unhappy marriage or no marriage.  The child takes on the role of an emotional spouse or a best friend to mom.   When the AC marries, conflict begins between mom, AC and his/her spouse and often times you feel like your MIL is the "other woman" in the marriage, which is a super creepy and cringy thing to feel for anyone who has experienced this dynamic. 

Edited by BSW
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39 minutes ago, BSW said:

Another source of friction and problems between MIL/DIL occurs when mom is overly emotionally invested in her child - often times because she is in a lonely or unhappy marriage or no marriage.  The child takes on the role of an emotional spouse or a best friend to mom.   When the AC marries, conflict begins between mom, AC and his/her spouse and often times you feel like your MIL is the "other woman" in the marriage, which is a super creepy and cringy thing to feel for anyone who has experienced this dynamic. 

I think any parent/in-law that expects their AC/CIL to side with them against their spouse is being creepy. My MIL seemed to think that it was 'girls against boys' when Wolf and I were first married, frequently attempting to get me to side against him with her. I can remember telling her, flat out, "I'm ALWAYS on his side. He's my husband. Period."

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1 hour ago, ImpishMom said:

I think any parent/in-law that expects their AC/CIL to side with them against their spouse is being creepy. My MIL seemed to think that it was 'girls against boys' when Wolf and I were first married, frequently attempting to get me to side against him with her.

Not to sidetrack, but I think my late SisIL had that same attitude for a while. I remember when, several years after DH and I were married, she was in an argument w/ him one day and tried to get me to side w/ her. When she saw that wasn't happening, all of a sudden she stopped, looked from him to me and said, "OMG! I just realized ! You're a couple!"

I kid you not.

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2 hours ago, RoseRed135 said:

Not to sidetrack, but I think my late SisIL had that same attitude for a while. I remember when, several years after DH and I were married, she was in an argument w/ him one day and tried to get me to side w/ her. When she saw that wasn't happening, all of a sudden she stopped, looked from him to me and said, "OMG! I just realized ! You're a couple!"

I kid you not.

Good heavens, your SIL! The whole wedding gig wasn't enough to tip her off? LOL

I don't doubt that for my MIL, she was very clear about wanting a daughter, even telling me that she'd applied to adopt a girl, but took Wolf instead b/c he 'was the right age', and wasn't likely to get a girl at all (this is back in 1970. A woman in her 40s, a widow, wasn't generally considered for an adoptive parent, but racism was also alive and well).

So, her expectations were really that I would be the daughter she should've had...rather than Wolf's wife. Likely why she was engulfing, angry I wouldn't call her 'Mom', only wanted to talk to me instead of him, etc when we first married. Some of those issues never did completely go away until I went ITO.

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On 10/02/2018 at 4:53 PM, Komorebi said:

Many studies on the subject have revealed that men marry their mothers- Many wives would rather banish the thought than determine where they're similar -- because they can't stand their mother in-law- And if they can't stand their mother in-law, who they are like in some way, what does that say about them? Do they not like themselves as well?

Although I have heard this, I haven't seen it IRL.  I am the opposite in many ways to my MIL.  My MIL wanted DH to marry someone from their culture, she even took him on a holiday to match him up with someone.  He was against the idea of marrying into his culture.  My MIL comes from a culture where the husband makes all the decisions and the woman follows.  DH once told me that he wanted someone independent, who had opinions and could take care of themselves.  My MIL acts helpless and calls DH to help her with everything.  Even when MIL and FIL needed to buy a new refrigerator she called DH to come and help them.  I really think that DH saw from a young age that he couldn't cope with doing everything for his mother and a wife. 

There seems to be more competition between a MIL and DIL relationship than between a SIL and MIL.  In my case I felt like MIL was putting DH in the middle of certain situations and forcing him to choose sides.  There seems to be an unhealthy dynamic sometimes with mothers and sons where they can't seem to let go. I have seen this with mothers and daughters too although not as much.  Especially if the mother relies on the son rather than her husband.  My MIL relies a lot on her son to get by, he is always fixing things for them.  If he wasn't around I feel like she would struggle.  In the early days she made comments about sons of friends of hers that had moved away and it was one of her fears.  I believe that if the MIL relies more on her son to do things for her, then a new DIL can be viewed as a threat, mainly because of the changes that a new DIL may bring.  My MIL was overly concerned about the change in her relationship with her son when we got married.  She struggled with the fact that he had made all of his decisions regarding life with her and now he was making them with me.  She acted out on this and tried to undermine me so that he continued to go to her for help and guidance.  There were so many situations in our early days where she wanted to be included in our decision making where it wasn't appropriate.  She wanted to decorate our new house with just her and her son.  She cried when we bought a new washing machine without her. I was really treated as a non entity. 

Also my MIL was going through menopause around this time as well.  I'm not sure how big of an influence this was but I do wonder if she would have been different if she wasn't struggling with the shift in hormones.

Edited by Layla

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8 hours ago, BSW said:

I wanted to comment on this, as I have also read about this topic.  It is true that some men marry women with characteristics of their mom, especially if the relationship between mom and son is a healthy, positive one.  However, this is only true for some, and is less true for those with unhealthy or negative relationships with mom especially if the son has awareness of such and wants to break free of an unhealthy dynamic. 

I remember a few years back my MIL said something similar to me - which was that 'sons marry their moms'.  I was actually nauseated at the thought, because that meant I was just like her, which I am not.   However, I interpreted her comment more as a statement coming from her ego about the importance of her as a mom - moms are so important that a son only marries a woman just like mom.   If she actually looked at reality, however, my MIL and I really had only one thing in common which is that we were both moms.  We had such different personalities so much so that we couldn't relate to each other.  What I found interesting, she didn't.  What she found funny, I didn't.  She was an extrovert.  I am an introvert.  She is emotional and cries a lot.  I rarely cry and deal in logic and facts.  She valued a clean home and pressed sheets and clothes.  I valued a clean enough home and never iron.   She liked to shop.  I don't.  I like adventure and travel.   She liked routine and staying home, and our differences were just as strong when it came to parenting and our views and outlook on life. 

I think what DH found most attractive in me was my independence and autonomy which I firmly believe he wanted in a spouse, so that he could be free of a role he played with his mom who was very needy and relied on DH to in essence co-parent his YDB and play the role of emotional spouse to his mom as well as provide support with the basics such as running errands or handling family business matters which is common with first generation immigrant families.   I think had he married another woman like my MIL, the marriage would have ended disastrously.   

So, in my case, DH married the polar opposite of his mom. 

I think people are less likely to see themselves in those they've a strong dislike for- 

Say a husband sees his wife as a warm embrace of a golden Autumn afternoon and his mother the coolness of a moonless October evening- How likely is it thatt he doesn't see that they share twilight and dawn?

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15 minutes ago, Komorebi said:

Say a husband sees his wife as a warm embrace of a golden Autumn afternoon and his mother the coolness of a moonless October evening- How likely is it thatt he doesn't see that they share twilight and dawn?

That would make me think he's reasonably well balanced with clear boundaries in his life...If the wife is that warm embrace of the autumn afternoon, but mama is a relentless July day in the desert you might have something

 

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