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t/j of Mama's Boy

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Newlease posted 9/30/2013 13:00 PM

It seems there is a fine line between being a loving son to your mother and being a Mama's boy. I have two adult sons - no daughters. We are close. I have always encouraged them to be independent, but I love being able to feel like I'm involved in their lives.

All I ask for is a phone call every other week or a random text message and to be kept up-to-date with the milestones in their lives. I would never ask them to put me above their families, I just want to be included - I love them.

I have tried to cultivate a relationship with their wife/gf. But I don't think we will ever be really close - they have close relationships with their own mothers (as they should) and I often feel like an afterthought to them.

I just wanted to say that being the mother of grown sons is not always an easy position to be in. BTW - we do NOT flirt - that is just icky. Can't imagine it.


Sad in AZ posted 9/30/2013 16:59 PM

This is interesting because I had similar thought. DS & I are very close--I've always been the one he came to for advice. I worried about being too close when he was growing up so I purposely stepped back, giving him a lot of latitude, even leaving him alone for a day or two when he was 14/15 when I was working remotely. (I knew he could handle it.)

We're still close, but he's closer to his wife, as he should be. I make no demands on his time or attention; I'd rather call him if I haven't heard from him in a while.

DDIL is also close to her family, but they're a more cloying. DS handles it well; I'm still not quite sure what DDIL thinks of me

phmh posted 9/30/2013 22:23 PM

BTW - we do NOT flirt - that is just icky. Can't imagine it.

Maybe you don't but some sure do.

The first time I met XMIL, she said "I'm going to break the two of you up if it's the last thing I do." and told me how I could never love him like she did.

When XWH was in high school she wouldn't cook dinner for him, talk to him, or even look at him when he had a girlfriend because she "should be the only woman" in his life. She gave him the silent treatment for months at a time.

She flirted like crazy, touched him inappropriately, called him all the time, expected a key to his place and would use it whenever, etc.

(Oh the red flags, how I ignored you!)

I know she's an extreme example, and I do agree it's a fine line between being a good mom and being too involved, but if someone is a true "mama's boy" -- to the point where it's had a negative impact on other relationships -- I'd never advise someone to try to make it work.

I had all of the promises in the world about how that's just how she is, he'd always put me first, etc. That didn't happen in our marriage, and then his MOW was a clone of his mom -- who never really loved him as a mother should, but just in a controlling, semi-incestuous way, so he sought it out from a clone.

I used to frequent a forum for people who had problems with their mother-in-laws, and there is more of this semi-incestous stuff going on out there than anyone who hasn't had to deal with it could ever imagine.

Note that I'm not at all saying that the people who responded here are like that, only that there's good reason to stay from a "mama's boy"!!!

[This message edited by phmh at 10:24 PM, September 30th (Monday)]

damncutekitty posted 9/30/2013 22:46 PM

I have had pretty good luck with moms. My XMIL was a dear. I adored her. She and XH were close, but she was always warm and kind to me and treated me like a daughter.

My current SO is also pretty close to his mom. I freaking adore her. We totally clicked right away.

I definitely think men can have close relationships with their moms without being momma's boys.

exhausted lady posted 10/1/2013 01:00 AM

I definitely think men can have close relationships with their moms without being momma's boys.

I do too. But when the signs show that he's never grown up (because mommy does everything on earth for him), he can't say "no" to her about ANYTHING, and she demands that everyone HAS to be there for Sunday supper every-freakin-Sunday - no matter what.....well, you get my drift.

Ummmm......I said goodbye. Wasn't working for me. Of course, I had to wait til mommy got done putting new floors in her house so his room was available. Yeah, 61 and still living with dear old mom.

He actually had the balls to say to me - get this - "my mom wants to know if you're ironing my work shirts". Umm, no. I don't iron jack shit. If you want the damned things ironed, you'd better learn how to run an iron. I'm too busy running a ranch.

Things went downhill from there......

eta....I guess I could have given him a demonstration of a branding iron, and let him deduct what his options were...but I was nice. I just kicked him out.

[This message edited by exhausted lady at 1:02 AM, October 1st (Tuesday)]

Crescita posted 10/1/2013 11:44 AM

I don't think it's a fine line at all. Mama's boys don't just love their moms, their lives revolve around pleasing them. There is no autonomy. It's pure dysfunction. Newlease and Sazzy, you are dream MILs. You raised independent sons who love and respect you and want you to remain part of their lives. Huge difference.

Gr8Lady posted 10/2/2013 20:50 PM

I am the mother of an adult son, and our relationship is very much as you describe yours is both son and wife.
Your post could be mine word for word.
I now have a grandson, and wonder if the dil will understand the love and closeness she feels for him, is how I feel about my son.
My own mother used to say... A daughter is a daughter all of her life, but a son is a son until he takes a wife.

hurtbs posted 10/2/2013 20:55 PM

It seems there is a fine line between being a loving son to your mother and being a Mama's boy.

I really don't think it is a fine line at all.

Being a respectful son/daughter (assuming relationship is healthy, no history of abuse, etc):
Keep in regular contact, sharing events and joys.
Keeping in contact for holidays and other events.
Scheduling visits and conversations.

Being a "mama's boy"-
Must speak to mom several times a day.
Mom must have input on all decisions.
Mom is first financial and emotional priority (even above self).
Allowing mom into inappropriate areas (e.g. problems with partner).
Involving mom in adult decisions (e.g. - big purchases, marriage, children, etc).

Essentially it's the difference between your parent being part of your life vs. being your life.

Newlease posted 10/3/2013 09:07 AM

Thanks Gr8Lady.

Is it ok to be that close to your adult daughter? I know lots of mother and daughters who speak EVERY day, multiple times a day. I never had that with my mother but I talked with her several times a week. I didn't share anything with her that I didn't want her input on, because I knew it would be given!

I have always known that it will be different for me because I don't have any daughters. I try to foster good relationships with my DIL/son's gf, but they already have that close relationship with their own mothers.

I would never flirt with my sons. I try to only give advice when asked for it. And I know that if they complain about the women, that I'm only hearing one side of the story. But wanting to be close to them is no more strange than a woman wanting to remain close to her adult daughter.

I would never interfere with their marriage/relationship or anything like that. But I really like the adults they have become (my sons) and I feel like I should get to enjoy that after going through those tough teenage years with them.


million pieces posted 10/3/2013 10:55 AM

I think that we've had this issue from the dawn of time. (don't know how old this text is though).

For this cause, a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh, and the man and his wife were both naked, and they were not ashamed. (Genesis 2:24-25)

I'm pretty sure some MIL/DIL issues brought about the writing of this passage

Newlease posted 10/3/2013 11:43 AM

True - the mother of the groom is supposed to wear beige, sit down, and shut up.

Guess I'll just have to "adopt" some daughters along the way!


Faithful w/Love posted 10/3/2013 12:48 PM

My wh is/was a mama's boy. But, her and I loved one another very much. It was him that would not break the cord. Mama always came first and she would say what about your wife.

With our son, I teach him that when he has a woman/wife, she comes first always. I am you mom and love you very much but when you become a man and take a wife that is your main focuse. And he agrees.

Mom's have to let go when your son becomes a Man.

Newlease posted 10/3/2013 13:25 PM

Faithful - Don't get me wrong - I have let go. I always encourage them to put their wife/family first.

Is your son a man yet? Do you have a daughter? I'm just trying to show that there is another side to this issue.

If you are a mother to only sons and they have flown the nest and you can't quite get as close to your DIL as you would like, then you might see my point of view.


Faithful w/Love posted 10/3/2013 13:36 PM

My son is not a man yet but 15 so this is where it starts. I am sorry that you don't have a close bond with your dil's.
Yes, I have a grown daughter also.
I didn't mean no disrepect to you.

Newlease posted 10/3/2013 14:47 PM

It's ok. Obviously, this is a touchy subject for me.

It just seems like such a double standard that when a girl becomes a woman and starts a relationship/marriage, it is perfectly fine for her to maintain a close relationship with her parents. But when a boy becomes a man the parents (esp. the mother) are just supposed to fade away and be happy with whatever scraps of love and attention are thrown our way.

It is just the way of things in this society.

BTW - my MIL was nasty to me for 26 years and doted on her son (my XWH). What she didn't know and didn't find out until the D, was that I was the one pushing him to call/see/interact with her.

She found out fast that I facilitated all her interaction with her son and grandsons. I STILL try to do it sometimes because I have empathy for her even when she hasn't been good to me.

And while I try to treat my DIL and son's GF the way I always wanted to be treated, I make sure that my sons know that THEY are responsible for keeping up their end of our relationship - it is not up to the women.


hurtbs posted 10/3/2013 16:03 PM

I actually think that *any* child (male or female) that prioritizes their parental relationships over themselves or spouse (as grown adults) are very unhealthy. I know lots of grown women with very inappropriate relationships with their mothers or fathers.

phmh posted 10/4/2013 18:51 PM

I agree with hurtbs -- I don't have a double standard, but I'm sure many do, since there is the well-known phrase "mama's boy" but not an equivalent for ladies who are inappropriately close with their parents.

I actually know a man (my massage therapist) who is in the process of getting a divorce, and the main reason is his overbearing mother-in-law. On the forum like this but for people with terrible in-laws that I used to frequent, most of the posters were females complaining about their husband's family, but there were a few guys on there as well.

I have a great relationship with my parents, and I do things with them (separately and together) very frequently, especially in the year or so after D-Day. I wouldn't have a problem with a guy having a good relationship with his mother/parents.

I think the problems arise when the parents have poor boundaries, whether that's with a son or daughter. It doesn't sound like that's your problem, and I do feel sorry for MILs who have jerks for DILs. I wanted nothing more than to have a fabulous relationship with my XMIL, but she was one of the toxic ones.

ruinedandbroken posted 10/5/2013 20:21 PM

I actually think that *any* child (male or female) that prioritizes their parental relationships over themselves or spouse (as grown adults) are very unhealthy. I know lots of grown women with very inappropriate relationships with their mothers or fathers.

Agreed. I think both men AND women should put their spouse first.

This post makes me very sad since I have two boys and no girls. I've always hated the saying about the daughter being a daughter for life but a son only until he takes a wife.

Jen posted 10/5/2013 20:41 PM

I have tried to cultivate a relationship with their wife/gf. But I don't think we will ever be really close - they have close relationships with their own mothers (as they should) and I often feel like an afterthought to them.

Xh was not a mama's boy ... He loved his mom and they talked/visited as often as they wanted. We would visit or they would visit about 1-2 a month.

Her and I were not close, but not because of him being or not being a mama's boy.

What I wanted to say/add is that I always wanted my spouses(Xh & any future men if ever in my life) family to be an extension of my own. I wanted to call them mom/dad feel as at home with them as I did with my own mom. That never happened, long story.

I think it says alot about the girl in the sitch who would label a guy this, especially when he is clearly not one. Ya know ??? There are those obvious guys who are mama's boys in varying degrees and then there are those who are not and are just close to their families. There is a difference.

I do not think your boys are mama's boys Nl, not from what I know of you and what you said in your post. Your a fabulous mother and your boys are lucky to have you. Those girls in the sitch should recognize this or get lost.

My Xh was like a son to my family. I mean really, my mom & dad cried and were upset about loosing him as a family member, as well as being pissed off he hurt their daughter. But they took it hard, and I really felt bad/sad and even more pissed off at Xh & the whore.

My maw-maw when I first moved here to OK told me for months he still loved me and we would work it out. She repeated this a lot, as she has Alzheimer's. As the disease progressed she stopped reassuring me and went back to when we were still M'ed and would always ask where he was, and how much she missed him, and would he hang the Christmas lights again this year, or fix this/that for her .... Now she doesn't remember any of that. Point is she really loved him and even though they were polar opposites on several things, she loved & respected him, and treated him as her own.

Sorry rambled there. My dad and his younger brother are not mama's boys and they are both extremely close to Maw-maw. My mom was & still is considered part of the family here(my parents D'ed when I was 10 non SI related).

I think being a mama's boy has less to do with the actual relationship between mother/son and more to do with the son and his girls relationship. How the son carriers himself as a man and treats her, vice versa.

Now there are some TRUE mama's boys out there, but they generally still live in their mama's basement's and creep on girls.

persevere posted 10/6/2013 01:02 AM

XWH seemed to be very close to his mom. We spent a lot of time w her, even took her w us on vacations. I adored her and her time w us. Our relationship has changed since Dday. At first she was extremely supportive, but gradually she just wants a relationship w her son which I respect. It's not what it was, they spend little time together and she tries w OW but it's still hard. She's 79 years old so it's sad. And now I think she feels I've abandoned her but I just try to not interfere - it's a difficult course to navigate.
So, no he wasn't a mamas boy, but it's still difficult.

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