He’s Your Son, Not Your Man
Okay, okay…before this turns into a blog post gone horribly wrong, let me be clear…we’re not talking about incest here. That’s a whole ‘notha blog! I’ve been inspired to write about this topic after speaking with my client Kevin (name changed) who is dealing with raising his son –from afar. He’s in Florida and his son is in Texas, however he’s very active in his son’s life. He speaks to him often and visits him monthly. However, he’s noticing that his son is doing a lot of things that shouldn’t be expected of a little boy, but more of a BOYFRIEND.
He noticed with his own eyes, the mother demanding the son:
- Rub her feet
- Massage her shoulders
- Hold her purse (well, that’s not really a boyfriend duty, but…lol)
- Do excess chores—even before he does his homework and it’s affecting his grades!
- He is forbidden to play outside because, she wants to protect him and keep him close.
Oh…I forgot to mention, the poor kid is only 8 years old and has two girl siblings that aren’t bossed around as much. Makes you scratch your head, right? This of course has caused an upheaval with how they raise the boy. Kevin’s feeling is, point blank.. she needs a man in her life. However, I think it goes deeper than that. A man won’t complete her. She could be a bit of a control freak and also have a fear of abandonment as well. She has some inner-work to do on herself to release that sense of control.
Now granted, all children should have chores. And yes, many kids love pampering their parents every now and then. I used to have a whole spa set up for my mom whenever I visited her—mani, pedis and facials. She loved it! However, what isn’t healthy is when it turns into child labor and it’s expected daily! LOL
What Can Go Wrong with MOMMY IN THE MIX?
Let’s fast forward to this young boy’s teen years and early adulthood. Many of you have seen it…the momma’s boy whose mother is involved in every waking moment of his life. She is in the driver’s seat, not him. He’s either manipulated by fear or guilt or a nice spicy mixture of them both. The majority of the time she’s a single mom (but not all the time!) He can’t make a decision until he checks in with his mother. And the worst part, all of his intimate relationships are destroyed, because no one is “good enough” for her baby aka HER MAN.
True Stories of Momma’s Boy’s Victims
I asked a few of my clients and friends to share their Momma’s Boy Horror Stories to give you a taste of what you’re creating if you fit the bill of the smothering mother! Whew, brace yourself….These women have some steam to let off! I couldn’t even include everyone or it would be a book!
Momma’s Boy Victim No.1:
“It is my opinion that my mother in law is manipulative and likes to have the final word in my husband’s life. However, my husband does not see it that way. For example, he has invested in a property in overseas despite my concerns of him not keeping up with his responsibilities as a husband.
When I initially met his mother, I told her that her son was not keeping up with the bills in our home in order to keep up with this property and I explained to her that I do not think she should keep supporting/encouraging these investments, but instead of respecting my wishes, they secretly invested in another property.
The Last Chapter
At one point, my husband and I even separated because his mother’s guidance to go against me. We went to counseling but, he begged me to stop because it was too much for him to deal with. However, he still does not see how his mother’s influence on him is driving us apart. At this point, I’m ready to tell him to go f*O!$$% his mother because I’m done!” Mrs. Married to Momma’s Boy, 36 year old, wife
Momma’s Boy Victim No. 2:
“I was dealing with an only child and a only son of a mother who had been abandoned by his father. While we were together his mother was going through a messy divorce from her second husband. Now, anyone can go throughout these sorts of circumstances and should not be judged for a situation. Once I became involved with her son, her only child and only son, the strange reality of their co-dependent relationship became painfully clear. Now, I could write volumes about what I dealt with over the next nine years, but I’ll keep it as concise as possible.
These two (mother and son) literally talked to each other via phone at least two to three times a day, not including text messaging. There were times (and I say this without any exaggeration) that they could even check in with each other up to 10 times a day. Ridiculous!
But if this weren’t bad enough, during these conversations she would make him feel like he was the only person in the world who was there for her or could help her (even though she came from a large close-nit family who lived in the same state as her) while her son lived on the other side of the country.
The list could go on, but the parts of their co-dependency that most affected me was her meddling into our relationship. She always put on an “act” to pretend that she was nice to me and that she liked me but, only because she didn’t want her son to get upset with her because he was in fact in love with me, and yet at the same time she belittled our relationship during their constant phone conversations.
The Last Chapter
The final straw of me attempting any sort of niceties or “friendship” with her was when she point blank told him not to marry me, in front of me no less, once he made it clear that that was the direction he was ready to move in with me. The fact that I was an independent woman who not only paid for herself but him too during his unemployment, that I provided every need for her son, was completely faithful to him, was well educated, well spoken and had class… All of this was not enough for her. In fact these very things used against me because, she knew that I was a great catch and soon her son would slip from her grasp into husband-hood. He was actually on his way to becoming a man and this scared the you-know-what out of her.
We in fact did get married eventually, but she still didn’t let up. She continued all of her co-dependent efforts which eventually actually worked. As she played more of a victim than ever before, the guilt became too much for him and he began sabotaging our relationship and seeing ME as the bad guy. He began behaving horribly and taking actions that would kill any relationship. And her reaction as she saw our marriage unraveling… To tell him everything he was doing was justified and that if need be he could come and live with her! So when enough was enough for me, that’s exactly what he did. He ran straight to his mother and has been living with her since… Mama won and look at the man-child she created in the process.” Ms. Fed Up, 32 yrs old, ex-wife
Mommas in the Mix – BEWARE: It’s an EPIDEMIC!
The mothers in these situations are clinging on to their sons dear life. He’s her baby—even if he’s 37! A thing to notice about these mothers is that 9 times out of 10 they are not focused on THEIR LIFE, they have an obsession for controlling others since they have no control over their own lives. They most likely are not in a loving relationship with a mate (even if they are married, it’s probably not a happy one).
When you are untrusting of new love or terrified to be hurt again, you will cling to the only love you know…YOUR SON! What we have here folks is an example of CO-DEPENDENCY in relationships.
What is Co-depenency?
“The codependent is afraid to be alone. Their biggest fear is abandonment and they will do almost anything to avoid it. Somewhere along the way they never learned how to set appropriate boundaries and their self worth is measured by other’s opinions of them.
A codependent feels that if they seek justification for their actions that they are not going to be held accountable for them. They people please in order to feel accepted rather than learning to accept themselves and the responsibility for their actions.
Codependents depend on other people for their mood, emotions and happiness. They will often make great sacrifices to do what they think is pleasing to others. When their acts of kindness’ are rejected, they take it personally and can become aggressive.:
Source: Anatomy of a codependent relationship by Stacia Elizabeth Whitbeck.
Next week we’ll delve deeper. If you’re this mom, we’ll offer tips on what you can do.We even have a “Momma” confession of how she’s turned THREE of her son’s into Momma’s boys. But in the meantime, remember he’s YOUR SON, not your MAN!