First let me wish all of you a Happy Father’s Day!
I have got to stop watching these reality shows! I become too invested. I have been following a show about the three couples who married each other without knowing one another. They stay married for six weeks. Once this time elapses, they all decide whether or not they would like to remain married. This week I watched the conclusion. Each couple decided to divorce. The one couple that had promise to see this experiment through, also decided to end their union. On the same network, another show about couples being arranged by their parents wrapped up. (FYI: none of the arranged couples are divorced.)
One commonality I noticed amongst the guys on both of these shows was that a couple of these young men were serious mama’s boys. There’s nothing wrong at all with men who love their mothers. Women are looking to see how our significant others interact with their moms. Though, we are also curious to see how guys treat the ones they date in correlation to their mothers. It’s is a positive sign when a man loves his mother because we believe that he will love and treat us with the same amount of respect. But, what happens when it’s not that straightforward?
The gentleman’s background – of that couple I was pulling for – was very complex. Sadly, his sister passed away and he assumed the father role of his niece alongside his mother. In the beginning of the marriage, he seemed to be ready for love. He was so kind and patient with his new spouse. His wife, on the other hand, got off to a slow start. Once she began to let her guard down, he became homesick. He desperately craved to go back to his room in his mother’s basement. His wife embraced his mother and niece. His niece grew extremely fond of his wife. She even went so far as to tell her uncle that she would be angry with him if he didn’t stay married. Yet, this was not enough to sustain their relationship. He conceded that after the cameras stopped rolling, he wanted his “old” life back.
Chelsea Kaplan of the Frisky interviewed Debra Mandel, Ph.D., about “What to Do If You’re Dating A Mama’s Boy”. Dr. Mandel went on to explain why some men aren’t ready to make someone other than his mother number one in their lives. The doctor was asked what causes a man to be a mama’s boy. She answered, ” Guys who have always been coddled and indulged by their moms often become “mama’s boys.” Moms who do this tend to be fairly needy (especially when it comes to male attention) and therefore seek to create a relationship in which someone will be very dependent upon her. As the son of this type of mother grows up, he often fears that his mom will fall apart if he so much as moves to the neighboring zip code. So, it becomes a mutually parasitic relationship; both mom and son are afraid to be independent of each other. In essence, your guy has become his mom’s pseudo-husband, and consciously or unconsciously, he likes the importance of this role. Of course, this makes it hard for him to commit to another woman — namely, you.”
On the other show, one of the mothers was not ready to cut the cord. She wouldn’t give her new daughter-in-law a break. She criticized everything the woman attempted to do for her husband. Nothing was ever good enough. His mother would show up unannounced – with groceries in hand. He saw how her actions were stressing his wife. However, he said something to the effect that his wife was on her own. Insensitive to how his wife was feeling, he was not going to say anything to his mother. According to Dr. Mandel, ” When this is the case, it’s better for you to gently coax him to start setting some boundaries with mom. Regardless of how many boundary-setting suggestions you offer, he has to be willing to give her the message. Otherwise, it’s probably not going to change much and you’ll just grow to resent her even more.”
These are only a couple of instances where men could be considered a mama’s boy. Not all mama’s boys are that bad. To be honest, there are some cases that are worst than these examples. The doctor did say however, that mama’s boys can in fact be rehabilitated. The key is that they must want to change on their own. Further, no woman you are sleeping with wants to compete with your mother. These are two distinctive relationships -both women are special but in clear- cut roles. Some women want a male partner who is strong enough to stand on his own.
What do you think?
Thanks for reading
Enjoy your families this weekend.
Kaplan, Chelsea. “What To Do If You Are Dating A Mama’s Boy? ” CNN, 2008. WEB. 21, August 2008. http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/personal/08/21/tf.mamas.boy/