How strong will your son's marriage be if he treats his wife exactly the same way he treats you?
- Does he respect your words, or do you have to nag or threaten in order to get him to do what you want?
- Do you respect his words, preferences, and opinions, or are you training him that "it's my way or the highway?"
- Does he respect your differences as a woman and do you respect his differences as a man?
- Is he gentle physically and with his words?
- Are you gentle and respectful when you speak to him?
- Is he affectionate?
- Are you affectionate with him?
- Does he take care of his own personal space and belongings without verbal reminders?
- Do you show respect and care for his personal belongings?
- Do you show each other random acts of love and kindness? (We call this "shnitiative" at our house -- thank you, Matt!)
- Do you both invest in your relationship, or are you the only one giving? Does he constantly have to give in in order to make your relationship work?
- Has he learned that both people in a relationship have to be willing to give up their first choice in order to find the best choice?
Ideally, your son will see the marriage relationship modeled throughout his life by you and your husband, but he will also need to practice interpersonal skills in the mother-son and brother-sister relationship. As diligent as we may be about brother-sister relationships, we often allow the mother-son relationship to become one sided. Help your son learn how to be an amazing husband by monitoring your mother-son relationship throughout his life.
Not married yet when you read this? Watch your boyfriend's relationship with his mom closely. If he is in a relationship where he's nagged and manipulated, that's going to create future tension in your relationship. Plan on seeking counseling regularly to keep your own relationship healthy and strong. If he's in a mother-son relationship where his whims are her command, your life will be a living hell. Run from that man and his mother as fast as you can. If he and his mom have an affectionate, mutually respectful relationship, you are likely to have an amazing marriage and a fantastic mother-in-law.
I hope the Lord blesses you with many sons and daughters!