My daughter got married in 2016, and I'm thrilled to see her married to a man I like and respect. A few months ago, I visited them, but since they're in a small one-bedroom apartment, I rented a hotel near their place, which allowed me to visit during the day, and sleep in my own bed at night. What I didn't anticipate was feeling a bit awkward and realizing I have a different role now.
My daughter's space is now her husband's space too. I asked permission for lots of things to demonstrate respect for them as a married couple. Normally, I cleaned and cooked for her when my daughter was single, but as a couple, they enjoy preparing dinners and cleaning up afterward. They asked me to relax and enjoy myself, but I felt emotions of feeling left out, not included, not in control of knowing what my place was welling up inside. When I returned home, I still felt a bit "off."
Then I caught up with a podcast of yours. It was validating to hear that you had a similar experience when your son married, and basically, you summed it up as finding a new role for yourself. So thank you, Dr. Laura, for providing me with daily education, concern and counseling. I am still my daughter's mother, but I now have a son too, and together they are adorable. My new role (which I'm getting used to) includes enjoying them as a couple and doing activities with them without "interfering."