OHBD 2015

OHBD 2015

Friday, March 15, 2013

Did My Husband Marry Someone Like His Mother?

My husband was born and raised in Greece.  He came from an extremely sports oriented family who also enjoyed eating with gusto, fun loving company and relaxing as a deliberate activity.  His mother is a warm, welcoming "food is love" person.  I was born and raised in the US by Dutch parents.  Our family focus centered more on music, nature, travel and school studies.

I read an article about how people's spouses are often like their parents.  I smugly thought . . not always. . gazing at a picture of my husband and I.  I thought of all the ways my mother-in-law – whom I adore and admire - - are different.  She was a very young mom; I became one much later.  She stayed at home; I have always been a working mom.  She loves to be the domestic goddess, I prefer to dabble in the culinary arts and have someone else take care of the house. She is Greek; I am American.  She came from a less liberated era; the times I live in give me infinitely more choices.

I thought I would ask my husband.  Essentially, I was looking for him to validate my view.  I am not sure why I cared . . I think being unique or different somehow in my mind had translated to good.
His answer surprised me.  He said, “Yes, I think you are a whole lot like my mother.  It’s one of the reasons I love you.”  Are you kidding me????  I only thought this as I ran through the list of differences again in my head and wondered what on earth he could be thinking. 

Instead, I asked in a neutral tone (I hoped).  “Really, what do you see as the similarities?”  His follow up reply surprised me too.  He said, “Family is number one for you.  You are a wonderful mother to our kids, you like to take care of people, and you are lots of fun to be with.”  Wow – now I was humbled.

I realized he was right . . and I was wrong (okay that always hurts to say even if it is just in my head).  The differences I focused on were not the important things.  What he had pointed to were the essence of a person.  I loved he thought I was like his mother in those ways. 
She has an amazing relationship with her son, which I hope I can have with my kids as adults.  I think I also wanted, in some way, to separate my relationship with my husband from the one she and he share.  But now I see the beauty in the connection and continuity.  And I wonder if my kids' spouses will resemble my husband and I.  The whole family is pictured celebrating my mother in law's name day in Greece.


  1. What a sweet story Ellenore. Love the pic as well!

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