Mama’s Boys: The Good, the bad and the changeable…

The Good

How He Treats His Mother is a Reflection of How He’ll Treat You. 

Women know all too well that they must ask a potential mate preliminary questions such as,” What are your short and long term goals? What are your views on relationships? Do you see marriage in your future? Do you want kids?” As we make our list, we never think, “Are you a mama’s boy?”, is suitable to ask. Yes, we know that they are out there, but its definitely not an approachable question that he would be able to answer with ease, let alone you you being bold enough to ask. What we do want to know is if he has a healthy relationship with his mother, because after all, we have our theories of mother-son relationships and its implications on his relationships with women- namely, you. When a  guy has a healthy relationship with his mother, he has the power to tell her ”no”, make decisions on his own and have an intimate relationship with another woman without worrying that his mom will be jealous. On the flip side, we do have those unhealthy mother-son relationships that do prevail.

You think you’ve found the one. He is kind, sensitive and an all around “good guy”. What more could you ask for? You tell your girlfriends you think he is the one, you show them his best profile photos from social media, smile and say ..”plus he loves his mama!” Your friends responses typically include a line such as, “Oh, if he has a good relationship with his mother, he knows how to treat a woman!” You blissfully blush and haphazardly begin to daydream about the wedding. However, initially you don’t consider that his ‘mama’ will be an issue. What you imagine will be the best time of your life turns into our worst nightmare. Or so you think…
Mothers that have coddled their sons, tend to cultivate a “mama’s boy”. As the son matures there is an interdependency formed and they tend to be afraid to be independent of each other. Knowingly or unknowingly, he prides himself in the fact that his mother depends on him and his mom feels a mutual benefit knowing her son still needs her. It is a bond that causes him to lack control and allows or his mother to deter his attention from many of his romantic relationships. This causes you, the woman in his life, to bite your tongue and murmur under your breathe what you wish you could express to the both of them. 

The Bad

He Doesn’t Want Mom to Cut the Cord.

It is the complete opposite of a healthy relationship with his mother. Your man has created an unhealthy dependence on his mother that he hasn’t been approached about before. He hasn’t been challenged by another woman about it, and your approach makes him feel uneasy. Emotionally, he is not available to you. If you are dating a guy like this, run! He is not ready. Unless he can find help on his own, your words are useless and the stress level of your relationship will go further than your feelings for each other. 

Mom is Holding the Scissors, tightly.

 This is your opportunity to persuade him to set boundaries with his mother. Suggest the amount of time they spend together versus him telling you how much time he plans to be with her on a given day. Take ownership of your relationship and encourage him to communicate his plans clearly with her so she knows things may change with a new woman in the picture. 
If you are considering confronting his mother, be cautious and sensitive. It’s tricky and must be handled very delicately. If you are new to the relationship, I wouldn’t advise that you talk with his mother. He may feel that he has been forced to make a choice, and since you are the new girl in the picture- your chances of being his choice are zero to none.
If you have been in a relationship for awhile (long time girlfriend, fiancé or married), it would be wise to have a casual conversation with his mother if it is intolerable. Express to her your feelings and to consider your place in her son’s life as a new extension of her relationship with him. Explain to her that she has the chance to build new memories with him that includes you. You in no way want to take her spot, but make it plain that she should respect the woman he is in love with. 
In either case, ensure that you have your man’s support. Blind-siding him with something so delicate that involves his relationship with his mother may cause him to outs you. 

The Changeable 

Don’t give up on him just yet!

 There is a chance that things can change for the better. Firstly, he has to be able to acknowledge the unhealthy relationship with his mother and secondly, he must have the desire to change the relationship dynamic. HOWEVER, the only way that this will work, is for YOU to be the change agent and speak up to him about his behavior. It make take some time, but as long as he shows the desire and effort in making small impactful changes towards improving the relationship dynamic between you and his mother, there is still hope. 
Approaching him about the issue is half of the battle. It is important to be reasonable and realistic. Encourage a healthy relationship with his mother, while expressing how you feel in a respectful manner about the lack of boundaries in his relationship with his mother. You many not be able to control their reactions but by telling him what you expect from him as a mate, is in your control. 
Studies show that when you want change a man’s behavior, you should approach him with empathy and a sense of humor.  Even though women can be full of foresight then it comes to what we want from a man, we can sometimes come off as pushy, aggressive and sometimes judgmental. If you see improvements- use patience! He will then display all the good qualities you fell for, instead of him sending him back to his mom to continue living out the bad side affects of ‘mama boy-ism’.