When mamazala loves you more than he does

Mapula Nkosi That's Life
Mature African woman with happy smile giving thumbs up on white background Picture:  Stock image
Mature African woman with happy smile giving thumbs up on white background Picture: Stock image

I wonder if there is an African idiom warning us about the interesting "love triangle", if you may call it that, between a woman, a man and his mother.

It is a well-known fact that it is better to be on the right side of mamazala than be her nemesis and test the love he has for his mama, no matter how Cruella de Vil she can be towards you.

I have always been fascinated by the other side of the coin - when his mother seems to love you more than he does. There is a belief that if she does seem to be gaga over you, the relationship definitely has no future to speak of.

A friend of mine found more than a potential mom-in-law when she started to date what she still insists today was the love of her life.

Having been orphaned at a young age, she not only sought out to have an ally in mamazala, but from where I am standing, I think she went overboard and occupied the space of the official daughter-in-law, long before she was certain where her relationship with the son was going. She made his mother a friend and confidant.

Six months down the line, the friendship with his mom was so thick, she was attending more family events with her than the son, and spent hours on the phone each day updating her about their common love, her son.

I did try to warn her that she was treading on dangerous ground, but we all know how difficult it is to try and talk sense into someone in love.

Soon her relationship with the son started to suffer as he was feeling choked by their alliance.

His mom had begun to vocalise that my friend was her favourite makoti and that she would find it difficult to warm up to any girl, except my friend.

Gradually the poor man was now being effectively pushed towards the altar when in truth he had not even started to consider the prospect.

The relationship went on to last a year and a few months, but honestly, during this time there were many months where his mom was their Superglue.

Every time they had an argument, or he tried to break off the relationship, my friend and the mom would turn it into one huge TRC and soon, she would sort her boy out, and they would get back together before another argument blew up.

Then came the biggest disappointment my friend experienced, when her man told her that he had stopped loving her a long time ago, as there were several fundamental aspects about their personalities and their worldviews that he felt were not compatible, and could never be.

He confessed that due to his mom's interference and love for her, he tried his best to give their courtship a chance out of respect.

"I'm sorry, I do not love you anymore, but you are free to continue and love my mother if you will," he said to make himself crystal clear.

As heartbreaking as their break-up was, I hope she learned the important relationship lesson of negotiating boundaries and staying and sticking to her lane.

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