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by Jennifer Brown Banks

How to Make Nice with His Mom

I may not qualify for MENSA membership, but when it comes to matters of the heart, I’m a pretty smart cookie; smart enough to recognize that if a man means a lot to me, his mom is someone I want as a friend and not a foe. And you should too.

Think about it.

She’s the first woman in his life. She dried his tears, calmed his fears, and supported his dreams. He can tell her things he can’t tell you. He asks for her input. In many instances, she serves as his judge and jury.


Under the right circumstances, this woman who may be giving you the blues, can also give you insight into who he is and how to get along better with him. She can be an ally when you and your honey are at odds, and be a very valuable member of your “team.”

So, if you want to see yourself in this guy’s future, you need to make peace with this mainstay from his past. You don’t want to “win the battle, but lose the war.” (Unless, of course, he’s a man who has an estranged or bitter relationship with her; which to me would mean he might not be good mate material). In fact, I’m amazed at how many women overlook this important aspect of dating and mating. Food is not the only “way to a man’s heart”. If you want to be really savvy, consider his relationship with his mom as another passageway! Here’s a case in point:

I was watching the Dr. Phil show a while ago, when this topic was tackled. A gentleman who was a guest on the show was anguished because he was being torn between his wife and his mother. Their volatile relationship had him at odds, divided their family, caused majored stress, and made everybody miserable. Clearly there were no winners to be declared in this ongoing family feud. It had even gotten so bad, that the police had to be called in to the situation.

There’s a better way to co-exist. And as a woman who has always fared well in this arena, I can tell you that it makes for a win-win situation for all!

Here are 12 Ways to "Make Nice" with His Mom:

1. Start off on the right foot---As the expression goes “you never get a second chance to make a good first impression". When meeting her for the first time, put your best foot forward. This is not the time to correct his posture, comment on family gossip, or come across as being loud and loose. Be yourself, but don’t let it all hang out.

2. Recognize that the two of you already have something in common… which is his best interest. Don’t let minor differences divide you.

3. Keep things in proper perspective. You don’t have to “love her”--- just learn to get along. Think of it like a work situation. How many times have we had to be cordial and diplomatic to a boss who was an idiot, (for the sake of peace and professional gain)?

4. See the good in her and there has to be something. If he’s a decent guy, give her credit at least for the fact that she raised him right!

5. Be genuine. Most moms can spot a fake a mile away.

6. Be kind with compliments. Can she cook well? Is she a decorating diva? Then let her know that you notice.

7. Be appropriate. Don’t reveal too much about your past, your personal views, or other intimate issues.

8. Show a sense of humor. It’s a treasured trait, and will ease tensions.

9. Ask her opinion. This will help her to feel less excluded in the life you share with him.

10. Respect her. It’s a small gesture that goes a long way.

11. Buy her a thoughtful gift. It will enhance her view of you. Unless of course, it’s a power tool or self-improvement tape!

12. Never compete or compare. Remember that there’s room in his heart and high regard for both of you!

To quote a famous expression, “a house divided can not stand.”

Jennifer's Gems is a weekly column written by award-winning poet and writer, Jennifer Brown Banks. It is published every Wednesday. Click here to read her welcome letter.

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