Every married man must know how to “leave and cleave”– leave your parents and cleave to your wife. It isn’t that a man should start neglecting his mother, but he also should not allow her to have a negative impact on his marriage. It is one thing to occasionally run to your mother’s side, but to consistently do it at the expense of your wife can be disastrous. Some would wholeheartedly disagree and say mothers should always be first.
In This Article:
- A Man’s Mother
- Nobody Likes to Be Second
- Your Mother Should Respect Your Wife’s Position
- It Throws the Whole Order of Things Off
Leave and Cleave | Here’s Why You Need to Put Your Wife First
A Man’s Mother
Many of us love our mothers dearly. She has always been there for us and we know she always will. We owe her so much, and she deserves every bit of it. When she needs us, we will try to do what we can to accommodate her. Yet, when we finally determine we are ready to make a woman our wife, things need to change. Now, the man needs to learn how to “leave and cleave”– leave his mother and cleave to his wife.
1. Nobody Likes to Be Second
Most women who get married are not just interested in being the number one lover in a man’s life. They expect to be the number one woman overall. Some may not take any issue with this, and in those cases, those individuals should do what is best for them.
Regardless of a bible verse about a man treating his wife or learning what does the bible say about mothers and sons, he should be mindful of the negative impact that can be brought upon his marriage by constantly placing his wife second to any woman including his mother.
I have seen cases where at first, the wife viewed this behavior as okay. Eventually, it started to wear her down and it left her feeling undervalued, frustrated, and disrespected. A man’s wife is his life partner (focus on the word partner) and she should be treated as such.
Letting another woman come and run her house unless this is mutually agreed upon, can create a huge issue that can potentially bring that marriage to its knees.
2. Your Mother Should Respect Your Wife’s Position
When a man takes his vows, he isn’t asked “Will you have this woman as your lawful wedded partner to live together in matrimony? Will you love her, honor her, comfort her, and keep her in sickness and in health; forsaking all others unless your mother calls you and wants you to do something different?”
A mother knows this, and she should respect that her son is now married and he needs to learn how to leave and cleave. Not to mention that if she was in the wife’s shoes, she wouldn’t want her mother-in-law trying to run things or undermining her either.
When your mother doesn’t embrace the role of your wife, chances are, there are deeper issues at play. She may not like who you’ve married or in some cases, a mother’s son is essentially her “man” (even for some who are still married). So she has a problem with any woman that takes her “man” away and this issue needs to be addressed.
3. It Throws the Whole Order of Things Off
From a biblical standpoint, many will say that the order is clear; God, spouse, kids, and so on. No, to be honest, there is no scripture that specifically states this order, but one can easily come to this conclusion when examining various texts in the Bible.
Either way, even if we didn’t take a biblical approach, it still makes a lot of sense. If a man constantly places his mother over his wife, it can create a lot of negativity in their relationship. This can trickle down to the kids and obviously affect the ability for the husband and wife to interact in a positive and loving manner.
I am one who believes that a happy woman = a happy man = a happy household. When she is receiving the love and respect she needs, her innate ability to nurture and pour into her family becomes a lot easier. Of course, some men will say they do plenty for their wives and their house is still miserable. Chances are, there is a deeper unaddressed issue and the man is certainly not dealing with a happy woman.
Also, I do acknowledge that, sometimes, it is the wife who is acting out and being unreasonable. This is a separate issue to discuss which is less about the principle of a wife being first and more about who a man chose to marry as well as the deeper issues that exist in that marriage.
Find out more about the importance of leaving and cleaving by watching this video from Kiaros Couples:
I think most of us realize there may be moments when a man tending to his mother is necessary. In a good relationship, most women will not take issue with this. The problem occurs when she feels it is getting out of hand. Communication, respect, and striking a good balance can truly help keep the situation of the “leave and cleave” from turning into something very ugly.
Do you agree with the concept of leave and cleave, BMWK? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below and let’s have a mature discussion about the need for a wife to come before a man’s mother.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on October 9, 2013, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.