Should I defend my mom or wife? This question torments men at least once in a lifetime. Many men see themselves in a painful spot after marriage. When there is a conflict between his mother and his wife and he has to take a stand, it would be a very big challenge.
As men are attached to their moms, they have a natural instinct to protect or support an ageing mother.
If he supports his wife, his mother will be upset. If he supports his mother, wife may not respect him. Men who never stand by the wife are considered as cowards and men who support wife all the time are considered as hen pecked husbands.
But frankly speaking, if the problems or arguments are minor ones, it is better to allow two individuals to sort them out themselves, without you having to take sides. But if there abuse involved, then you might need to control the situation.
Physical abuse or emotional abuse isn't a sane thing to happen in a family. If there is abuse of any kind involved, then a man might have to stand against it and question it.
Instead of getting caught in the images of 'good son' or 'good husband', a man might need to view the situation objectively.
If aggression or abuse is coming from a man's parents, it is the duty of the man to protect his wife (as she has left her home to stay with the man).
If aggression or abuse is coming from the wife, a man might need to protect his mother by explaining his wife why abuse of any kind is unhealthy. During the process, the man might need to ensure that there is no domestic violence involved.
The best thing a man could do is to help both mom and wife to have a healthy discussion without interfering in it. Let them sort it out themselves without making things worse.
Don't let a fight progress to a situation where you have to choose only one person between your mom or wife.