TL;DRA man may walk in your life and sweep you off your feet, but still be Mr. Wrong, and that could very well be due to the fact he already has a leading lady in his life you can never replace- his mother. When a man is a mama’s boy and he expects you to cater to that, what should you do? Then again, what if his relationship with his mother is healthy and normal, and you are the jealous one? How can you balance a relationship with your man and his mother, and not lose your mind?
Is he Worth It?
In the 1991 film, Only the Lonely, John Candy played a Chicago, Illinois Police officer who was approaching early middle age, but still lived at home with his mother, played by the plucky Maureen O’Hara. His mom was over the moon to still have him with her and was dismayed they day he began dating the woman of his dreams, Theresa, played by Ally Sheedy. A true mama’s boy, Danny struggled with his demanding mother who simply didn’t want to share her son, and the fact he fell in love and wanted to marry Theresa. Would he prefer being single and remain a momma’s boy for life?
This film explored the difference between love and romance, the difference between jealousy and possessiveness, energy vibrations between people, and releasing the bonds that hold us in toxic, unhealthy patterns that keep our lives from happening. There is no reason to spoil the ending for you, because it’s far better that you watch this film yourself, but let it be said that a real man loves his woman and does not want to regret breaking up with her months later to appease somebody who is being selfish.
Your own experience with a mamma’s boy might not be as entertaining as the characters in this film were and ending a perfectly good relationship because your boyfriend seems permanently attached at this hip with an overbearing mother might be your only option. However, staying due to the great qualities in a person you love and finding a way to release fears of sharing the man you love is another option. Not every close mother/son relationship is unhealthy, and his mother might end up loving you just as much as she loves him, but you will never know unless you stick around to find out.
What’s a Mama’s Boy?
A true mama’s boy is a man whose life is completely dominated by his mother, and she deliberately sabotages his romances because she wants him all to herself. Some men will take a stand, calling their smother mothers down, but some won’t and see absolutely no issues whatsoever with their relationship. They will not set boundaries. Sometimes it’s because they are too intimidated by their mothers, and other times it’s because they love being babied by mom. Some men simply don’t want to stop being mama’s baby, and no matter how much you wish they do won’t change anything.
Does he have to ask his mother’s permission to spend his own money? Does he seek excessive approval from her about who he dates, and cannot date somebody she doesn’t want him to? Does she show up at his house at any time without checking if it’s a good time, and has she walked in on you two having alone time together- and she refused to leave, and he would not ask her to? Does she clean his house, handle his finances, do his shopping, set his doctors appointments, and have the keys to his property and car which she uses without permission? That’s all unhealthy codependency, and yep, it sounds like you have a mama’s boy on your hands.
Not all men with close mother/son relationships are mama’s boys, however. Just because they do Sunday night dinners together every week without fail doesn’t mean it’s too much. Most especially if his Fridays, Saturdays, and every other night is for you- and he takes you along to mom’s for her delicious cooking. If he calls you every day and calls her every week, you shouldn’t be upset about that. After all, he was her son before you two met and fell in love, and she will always be his mother. Has she welcomed you and wants a personal relationship with you as well? Is she supportive of your relationship, but still, wants to see her son sometimes? Who can blame her?
What are Different Types of Jealousy?
When a mother is so jealous of her son and the fact he has grown up and has a life of his own and tries to hold him back from functioning as a grown up, she isn’t doing it for his sake. She is doing it for hers. Some parents have a hard time seeing themselves as anything but the parents of dependent children who need them, and when those children become adults, they fight like mad to keep them from being independent. On one hand, it’s heartbreaking to see that a mother has made her world so small that all she has in it is one person, her son. On the other hand, she chose to set up that unhealthy life for herself, and her son has suffered.
Some jealous mothers are also jealous their son has successes they did not have. The mother whose son went far in his career, a career field she could not succeed in may try to talk her son into quitting jobs or ruin projects so he can’t outshine her. The same holds true for relationships. A mother whose marriage failed may replace her husband with a child she wants to never see move out and live on his own, because she is afraid of being alone.
She might also resent him finding somebody to love since her marriage failed. When a mother whose relationship failed is jealous that her son has found somebody to love, she may pretend she is watching out for her son’s best interests and the one he loves is simply not good enough in her eyes. She may find an excuse to hate you for dating her son, picking apart your family, your finances, education level, or even your looks. She may figure out what you are insecure about and play on those until you run crying for the hills.
Some mothers don’t believe ANYBODY will be good enough for her darling son, however, and some mothers will have also convinced their sons they are too good for anybody. He may use this as an excuse to mistreat you, saying you are inferior, and he can be verbally or even physically abusive. He may use his feelings of superiority as an excuse to cheat and he may even make you start to believe you are not good enough, but you are.
Some jealous mothers know how to make their sons feel guilty for nearly anything. Did she put her son through college but could not go to college herself because she says she married young and had kids? Did she claim to have a hard pregnancy which permanently changed her previously perfect body? Does she brag about sacrifices she feels she made, and lament how much easier a life her kids have than she says she did? What about now? Is she insisting if her baby boy abandons her to marry you, she will be all alone in the world- after ALL she did for him?
The feeling of missing out and no longer being the main woman in her son’s life can drive a jealous mother to go to great lengths to keep her son all to herself. She can completely lose sight of her son’s needs, his feelings, and his rights as an individual in her quest to keep things just as they always have been. The more out of control she feels, the more she may resort to manipulation.
Guilty Conscience, Dirty Dealing
The guilt trip is a classic manipulative maneuver that some people use to control other people. If your man’s suffocating mother can make him feel guilty enough, he may never leave her unless he realizes what is going on and puts his foot down. That’s easier said than done if a parent has programmed their child since birth to be completely under their control, however. Some people can never break cycles of manipulation and end up completely at the mercy of their manipulative family members all their lives. They may go on to either become just as manipulative of other people, or they may be doomed to be mistreated and controlled by other people for good.
If your boyfriend agrees the relationship between him and a controlling mother is unhealthy and he wants to break the cycle, he can use your support, but you can’t do this for him. He is going to have to stand up to his mother. Then he is going to have to stick to his guns, refusing to back down when she tries to get him to bend to her manipulation. He may be able to do it all on his own, or he may need to speak with a counselor to help him have coping skills to have the strength to follow through. Don’t be dismayed, fearing there is no hope, because many have escaped unhealthy situations with parents whose behavior is not nurturing.
Is She the Problem, or Are You?
Then again, have the strength to ask yourself if his mother who he is close to is really a problem, because while there are plenty of jealous and possessive moms, there are also jealous and possessive wives and girlfriends. One woman tried to completely shut her husband’s mother out of their lives because her mother had died, and unfortunately, her husband allowed it. Another woman succeeded in driving a wedge between a man and his mother, and they had sons of their own, who she completely dominated. Are you jealous and want him to have no other loved ones but you? Do you refuse to allow him time with friends and relatives? That’s a problem.
It is said that a man learns how to treat women well if he has a good relationship with his mother. If he treats you well, chances are, you can thank her for teaching him how to do that. If he takes her on vacation for her birthday, go with them, and buy her a fabulous gift. If you marry him, she will be your mother-in-law, and she will have gained a son or daughter to love. If you have children together and she always took him to Italy and would love to take the grandkids, let her- and have a mini vacation with him while the kids are gone for that time.
You may become the most important person in his life, but you can never replace his mother. You can, however, gain a family member who you enjoy life with if you are able to forge a good relationship with her. She can become a best friend of yours and she can love and appreciate you for all the joy you bring to her son’s life. Fighting a good relationship and trying to come between a man and his mother, however, can compromise your relationship with him, and you just might lose him.
When It’s a Nightmare Being Chased
When you are not the problem but are fighting a losing battle with a man and his mother who want to keep things just the two of them forever, there are two words of advice to follow. Ready? Let them. That’s right. Codependent parent/ adult child relationships are not healthy, but when people have decided this is how they want to live, there is nothing you can do about it. You can’t make people see the light and they won’t change unless they truly want to.
One of the “A real man loves his woman” quotes is “A real man never makes his woman fight for her place in his life…he gives her more than she deserves…he never lets her down…for him she is the queen of his heart and home,” and this is attributed to Neena Gupta. If you are nodding your head because you can say this about your man, that’s fantastic. If not, even when a guy calls you “Mama” or “Baby” or “Honey” or whatever pet name he calls you, it’s not because he’s a mama’s boy, even though he might be. If he puts his mother or anything else before you, it’s because he has not made you his priority, and you have to ask yourself one thing- is this really what you want for yourself?
Is coming second, or third, or last on his list of priorities enough, or do you want a man who puts you first? You can’t make somebody put you first, so if you want a man who does, and your man doesn’t, it’s okay to end the relationship. If you can accept not being first and you just want to be with him, regardless of what you feel is missing, that’s okay too. Just don’t tie yourself to a man who does not give you the kind of relationship you know in your heart you deserve, because if he won’t, somebody else certainly will.
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