Blow Up Your Relationship with Your Mother – And Get One Step Closer to Being the Man You Want to Be

by A Manly Guest Contributor on January 12, 2011 · 118 comments

in Relationships & Family

Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Wayne M. Levine, M.A.

If you want a very quick take on how important this article may be to your future happiness and success as a man, honestly assess your reaction to its title.

What did you feel? Were you aghast? Did it offend you? Did it piss you off? Are you utterly confused? If you’re this guy, you DESPERATELY need the wisdom found below.

Were you intrigued by the title? Did it resonate with you for some unknown reason? Did it make you smile? If you’re this guy, you also DESPERATELY need this wisdom. The difference is, it may be much easier for you to take action.

And if it turns out that you have already taken this courageous action, terrific. You’re now in a mature relationship with your mother. Good for you, and for those around you.

If you other good (or not so good) little boys want to feel what it’s like to be a real man, a real man in your relationship with your mother—and ultimately, a real man in your relationship with a significant other—then pay close attention. If you follow the advice you’re about to receive, you will never be the same. And that’ll be a good thing!

Damn That Little Boy

We’re having this conversation because something isn’t working in your life. And one place you can see it manifest is in your relationship with your mother.

You may be in your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, even 60s. But when you’re visiting your mom, or having a phone conversation with her, you feel like that little boy having to obey her rules, feeling compelled to argue with her, angry as hell, or terribly sad, with how she makes you feel with her words, her “looks,” or the attitude you know so well.

You’re nodding your head. Your stomach is tightening. Your breathing has become a bit shallow. Do you know why? Well, we’re talking about you and your pain. You have felt it for years. Your girlfriends, wife, buddies, and kids have seen what happens to you when you’re in the presence of your “mommy.” What the hell is going on?

Here is where the wisdom begins. Take a deep breath. You can change what’s going on between your ears, and that will change your relationship with your mother, and that will change everything for you as a man.

Weak vs. Powerful

When you’re with your mother, or just having thoughts or a discussion about her, and you find yourself angry, resentful, sad, withdrawn, irritable, silent, withholding, stubborn, argumentative, or just numb, you are what many of us guys in the men’s biz would call “not in your power.” You know when you’re not in your power. You can feel it. You just might not have ever labeled it. You’re not in your power when you feel weak, stuck, paralyzed, victimized, and in the problem. And you feel weak when these negative feelings take hold.

How did this happen? Well, you had help. When you were young, you learned how a man behaves with, responds to, and deals with women. Your greatest teacher, for better or worse, was probably dad.

Whatever your circumstances, a young boy learns from his parents (or other adults) how to thrive or survive in relationships. Depending on the level of dysfunction in your family of origin, you may have had to develop some very interesting coping skills.

For example, if dad was a coward, and mom grew to be (in your eyes) an angry, controlling “bitch”, you know very well how to “please” mommy so as to avoid her wrath. Or, dad may have left (divorced, died, abandoned, abused, etc.) the family when you were young, and mom bestowed upon you her resentment toward men.

What happens for these unfortunate boys is that they grow up to be self-hating men. These men unconsciously do not trust other men or themselves. For these guys, being who they are—men—is shameful. As a result, they relinquish all power to the women in their lives, without even being asked. This offering up of men’s power is one of the main contributors to women feeling unsafe, insecure, and, ultimately, resentful and angry. (A fabulous topic for a future post.)

To relinquish power is to be other than the man you want to be in a given situation. You don’t speak up. You avoid conflict in the face of intolerable circumstances. You lie to appease. You lie to yourself, attempting to believe that you are not disappointed or even disgusted with your own behavior.

Back to mom.

Mama’s Boy

Though this will probably not come as news to you, you are a “mama’s boy.” You don’t like that diagnosis? You want a second opinion? OK. You never feel, honestly, as if you measure up as a real man. There’s your second opinion.

Your primary concern is in pleasing your mother, trying not to worry her, worrying about her and how she feels, trying to change your mother, annoying your wife with your concerns about your mom, arguing with your mom, letting your mom dictate family schedules, allowing her gift of guilt to guide your choices… must I go on? This is so painful. Let’s get out of this problem and into the solution, shall we? Let’s blow up this relationship and give you the opportunity to finally be the man, husband, and father you want to be, and that your family needs.

“Blow up? That sounds so violent, Wayne, so unnecessarily macho. Couldn’t you communicate this concept in a more professional, therapeutic way, a way that honors me, my mother and our relationship?” Mmmmm, let me think…NO! Grow up.

There’s nothing to be honored about your current “good little boy” relationship with your mother. It has run its course. You no longer have any need of it. It needs to be jettisoned, like a rocket booster that’s out of fuel. It’s killing you, killing your relationship with your woman, compromising your effectiveness as a father, and keeping you weak as a man in every part of your life. Got it? Let’s blow this “muthah” up, move on, and be the best man, husband, father, and son you can be!

Blowing Up Your Relationship

Ultimately, you’re going to create a whole new relationship with your mother. It’ll be a mature relationship, on your terms. It’ll be loving, attentive, helpful, considerate—whatever you want it to be. But it won’t be like the old relationship. And as difficult as it may be for you to imagine this change in your life, I can assure that I, and many men I’ve coached, have made the transition and have lived, happily, to tell of it. Here’s what you’ll want to do:

Set Your Terms

I teach men to develop and honor their N.U.T.s, non-negotiable, unalterable terms. Without these terms, expect nothing to change. With these terms, everything is possible. Remember, these are changes in you, in your thought process and in your behavior.

We’re not talking about changing others, though you changing may very well motivate others to change in response. Blowing up your little boy relationship with your mother doesn’t require anything of her. This is where you start to take back your power.

Here are a few terms (N.U.T.s) to consider:

When she becomes critical, our conversation is over. (Because you will no longer conduct conversations with your mother that you would not conduct with any other human being.)

The needs of my new family supercede those of my mother. (Because you want to be happily married. This doesn’t mean you can’t accommodate and care for your mother in an appropriate manner.)

When my mother visits, the conditions of her visit will first be agreed upon by me and my wife. (Because you need to remember whose life and house you’re responsible for.)

My mother will not be left alone with, or allowed to drive, my kids. (Because you do not trust her, or she has lost her capacity to responsibly care for your children or to drive an automobile. You are responsible for making this call, period.)

I will no longer try to change, correct, or argue with my mother. (Because I no longer need to be right, or work on my own issues through my mother. What I have to change in me, I will address. She’s responsible for her own life, choices, and growth.)

Make No Announcements

You can’t ask for permission to be the man you want to be. So don’t try doing so here. There’s no need to alert the media about this change in your intentions. There’s no need to make any form of announcement to your mother, or to anyone else, though it’s perfectly fine to include your wife in your plans.

Grab your balls and act. At your first opportunity, honor your new N.U.T. If you’re really being the man you want to be, nothing she does or say can truly keep you from following through.

She will definitely be unhappy with you. But eventually, if you’re consistent, she will learn that if she wants to have a relationship with her son, she will have to conform. This works. It REALLY does. You don’t have to explain a thing. You’ll just have to tell her, ONCE, that if she insists on doing that thing she does that is no longer acceptable to you, you will end the conversation.

Get Support

As you can already anticipate, this is going to be, possibly, enormously difficult for you. It will upset you. You will find yourself in doubt and fear. You might feel guilty that you are somehow “slowly killing your mother.” You might believe what she tells you about yourself. All of this is to be expected. It’s the fire you must go through. But you don’t have to go through it alone. You’ll need support.

That support should come from other men. Let a man, or circle of men, hold you accountable, prop you up, and encourage you to stay the course. Chances are, these other guys have to do the same demolition to their own relationships with mom.

You Must Remember This

You must remember that this process has nothing to do with blaming your mother. The problem is that you already do. What’s being suggested here is to stop blaming her, to start accepting her for who she is, and then relating to her as an adult who needs nothing from her, rather than a little boy who is completely dependent upon her.

And this can happen even if your mother has already passed. You can still—and you must—honor her for having done her best, and accept her for whatever you saw as her shortcomings. Then, let her know, in your own way, that you no longer need her to mother you, and that you have matured into a grown man. You’re ready to cut the apron strings. Create a ritual, and take this exercise seriously. Let your mother know, and let it sink into your own heart, that you love her and thank her for having done her best.

If you’ve always had a loving, respectful relationship with your mother, and have never felt anger toward her, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re not angry and that you don’t need to create a new, mature relationship with her. For many good little boys, being angry with mom was—something you learned as a child— totally unacceptable. Allow yourself the opportunity to become completely conscious and assess your true feelings for and relationship with mom. Consider how your unexpressed anger with her may be seeping out onto your girlfriend, wife, daughter, and other relationships with women.

When you blow up this relationship, and allow yourself to have a mature, loving relationship with your mother, your life and all of your relationships will forever be altered. You’ll feel more like the man you want to be, and you’ll be more the husband and father your family needs you to be.

I encourage you to do the work necessary to get clear about your current relationship with your mother. If you have the courage to do this work, you’ll see you have the courage to face any challenge in your life.


Wayne M. Levine, M.A. is the director of in Agoura Hills, CA, where he life coaches and mentors men to be the best men, fathers, husbands and leaders they can be. He also coaches women, couples and teens. Wayne facilitates several weekly men’s groups, and created the BetterMen Retreat for men. Wayne, a relationship expert, is the author of the best-selling “Hold On to Your N.U.T.s—The Relationship Manual for Men.


{ 118 comments… read them below or add one }

101 TimG January 23, 2013 at 11:01 am

Norman Bates was a moma’s boy. Look how he turned out. :-)

102 Héctor Muñoz January 28, 2013 at 1:38 am

Fatherlessness makes boys grow fearful of emotional separation from their mothers, they haven’t witnessed a man who can love his mother and yet be independent from her, they grow with the gut feeling that if they become separate from their mothers there is some kind of mortal risk.

Many single women unconsciusly like this because it ensures they won’t be left alone once their children grow, but this hurts them for life.

If you know a fatherless boy help him gain self trust and emotional independence.

103 Joe February 2, 2013 at 12:33 pm

When I read this article, I was like the minority in that I really didn’t appreciate the tone in which the author was conveying the message. That being said, I learned more about what the article actually meant from the comments that from the article itself, so thanks guys and ladies, this has been most helpful!

104 maelba February 3, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Thanks for such a great article. But I wanted to ask, is this still possible if the man is unemployed and living with his parents?

105 Leif Gustafson February 4, 2013 at 4:03 pm

I was brought up, luckily, exposed to a diverse group of people. I learned to associate and negotiate with people in direct, honest and calm ways. This has always served me well in my relationships since I was a child. As a young boy, I was very close to the adults around me, and saw them as personal friends as opposed to distant figures of authority.

In my second year of college at the age of 19, I have entered my first long-term relationship. She is one year younger than me. My girlfriend is everything I could ask for… she is considerate of others, kind, has established values that align with mine. She is beautiful, intelligent and (most of the time) reasonable.

The problem is her mother. Her mother is first-generation Puerto Rican and is very, very protective of her daughter. Upon visiting my girlfriend’s house for the first time, her father and brother immediately took to me, which she says has never happened to any other guy she has brought home in the past. I brought her mother flowers as a gift, and did my best to pay attention to each member of her family (as well as her) instead of shunning them for her. After I left, her father remarked on how respectful and well-groomed I am.

Each time I visited her house, her mother remained visibly skeptical of me. As she continued to confront me about how I “had better” respect her daughter “or else,” I assured her that I had only the best intentions towards her daughter. However, she kept finding ways to depict me as “disrespectful” and “unworthy” of her daughter. I understand her concern and attachment as her daughter leaves home for college and enters a relationship with a new guy, and I have done my best to reflect this understanding in my actions. I have been nothing but a gentleman, as I have been raised to be, cooking for the family, spending time talking to both parents and the younger brother, and introducing each to members of my own family.

However, her mother has become progressively more violent towards me. On a facebook comment of both of us, I stated that I strive to treat my girlfriend with the “utmost consideration for her personal development and endeavors as a strong, independent young woman.” She wrote multiple lengthy comments berating me by stating that “consideration” is not enough and “respect” is what I should truly show, and that I am not ready for a relationship if I can’t tell the difference. Then, she messaged me demanding to know why I didn’t “like” her comment.

My girlfriend’s mother does not pay for her college… my girlfriend pays her own tuition. Yet her mother continues to tell her that she is still a child and is nowhere near being an adult. My girlfriend grew up hiding the things she did from her mother, fearing confrontation. She apologized when it was convenient, believing it would just fix everything.

Two weeks ago, I went out with some friends to a hookah bar for the first time. She found out, told my girlfriend that my “carelessness” for my health (and indirectly, hers) was reckless and irresponsible. She sent my girlfriend articles about the dangers of hookah and said she expects this to never happen again.

A week ago, she posted three photos to my facebook wall which had text about treating women with respect. She wrote, “Maybe you didn’t understand, but this is how I expect you to treat my daughter.” I simply hid the link from my timeline.

A few days ago, my girlfriend and I were involved in a conversation in a college dorm room with some friends. During the conversation, somebody brought up loud sex and and someone said, “I don’t moan anymore! He covers my mouth!” Needless to say, the entire room was dying with laughter. I posted this quote on twitter, without tagging or referencing the individual who said this (who did happen to be my girlfriend). The next day, my girlfriend got a call from her very upset mother, who stated that my “vulgar” and “explicit” revelation of our “private lives” was inexcusable and that if I posted anything with a sexual reference to my twitter in the future, I would not be allowed back into her house. In order to avoid any further conflict, I set my twitter to private.

In hindsight, I can understand her mother’s concern over my tweet. If I had it to do over again, I would not post it (even if I don’t personally feel it was wrong), because I realize that it upsets a mother to believe that her innocent daughter could be involved in anything sexual (even though we are in college). Her mother has known that we sleep together, but the other day she scolded her daughter because she had not encouraged me to “ask permission.”

The day after I set my twitter to private, I received a very strongly-worded message from her mother on facebook explaining my role in our relationship. She stated that I am disrespectful and continually damage my girlfriend’s reputation, and that by setting my twitter to private I am showing “a great deal of immaturity,” and hiding behind privacy “like a coward.” She stated that my parents would be ashamed of me and that I owe her (her mother) an apology, because it is my “job to clarify everything posted on twitter.”

I did not get upset. I did not tell her she was out of line. I messaged her back listing the derogatory terms she applied to me and asked why she felt as if I was being disrespectful to her daughter when her daughter says nothing but positive things about me and our relationship. I told her that if she wished to involve my parents, I have nothing to hide.

The next day, I received an even stronger message from her mother. This time, she told me that I refuse to listen or consider what she is saying and that I will never understand. She told me that I need to “grow up” and that I can never threaten her with my parents. She said she doesn’t hate me, but “I don’t like you one little bit.” She continued, “My daughter is scorning me like no child should over a boy she met six months ago. Boy, that must make you feel good. It must boost your ego.”

After taking a day to consider the message, I decided that enough is enough. I visited one of my closest professors, who is an elderly lawyer who worked for the CIA, and asked his advice. He told me that she is used to controlling men in her life through intimidation, and to “tell her mother to go fuck herself.” I didn’t do that… that’s not how I personally deal with situations.

I messaged her mom, beginning by stating that although I am her daughter’s boyfriend, I am an also and adult and I expect to be treated as such. I told her that by continuing to attack me, insult my upbringing and my parents, she was out of line. I told her that she is not my mother, and she should not treat me as her child. How she raised her daughter is between them, but I do not believe it is right for her to talk to me in such a way.

I showed the messages to many of my friends, and they all said she was out of line and that my messages were concise yet not disrespectful considering the circumstances. Her mother did not reply for a few days, and then she messaged me saying that she is done with me, I will never be allowed in her house again and that her daughter is no longer to visit me on breaks. She called her daughter and told her not to come home for spring break.

The next day, my mom forwarded me an email from my girlfriend’s mother. Her mother told my mom that I was incredibly disrespectful and I am continually sacrificing my girlfriend’s health and well-being. My mom calmly replied that her allegations don’t fit my character and that there must be more to the story. After my mom first met my girlfriend’s mother, she told me that she doesn’t like how she seems to feel the need to dominate and intimidate everyone, so she already wasn’t too fond of her. However, she was upset that my girlfriend’s mother is doing this. I told her not to worry about it, that it isn’t her responsibility, and that I will deal with it.

The other day, I messaged her mom one last time to simply reiterate my good intentions. I told her that I understand her concern, that she doesn’t need to feel threatened by my presence in her daughter’s life, and that I love her daughter very much and want nothing but the best for her.

She messaged me back with a surprising change of tone, thanking me for my understanding. She then emailed my mom explaining what I said and telling her that she appreciates my sentiments.

Yesterday I walked in on my girlfriend on the phone with her mom, who was audibly angry. My girlfriend kept reiterating that she apologizes. I shook my head… she shouldn’t need to live in fear, controlled by the wrath and overbearing jealousy of her mother. At the end of the conversation, my girlfriend told me that I should apologize for how I talked to her mother and that it was wrong of me to tell her mom that she was out of line. She said we should just do what her mom wants until she is old enough to support herself. I told my girlfriend that it is against my moral values to apologize when I do not mean it, and that appeasing a bully only makes things worse. My girlfriend said that apologizing has worked for her in the past and that we need to do it for “just a little more.” When I told her that that philosophy will only result in people taking advantage of her, she asked me what is more important, my pride or my relationship?

I am not a very prideful person, but I have very strong ideas of right and wrong. I truly believe that what her mother did is wrong, and my conscience does not encourage me to apologize simply to appease her mother, because I know it will happen again. When I was younger, I learned how to stand up to my parents, to tell them when I believed they were being unfair or overbearing, and as a result we have a strong relationship in which each party respects the other.

However, at this point, as the issue with my girlfriend’s mother continues, I don’t quite know what to do and would appreciate any suggestions or comments.

106 Divorcing Dad February 5, 2013 at 4:36 am

This is a timely article. The same goes for girls as well. For them to grow up as balanced adults, they need both parents in their lives. It’s a shame that in custody disputes that it’s all about the warring parties and well-meaning interfering parents of the warring parties who, for reasons of their own, want to prevent the other parent from being in their child’s life.

107 Francisco February 6, 2013 at 11:59 pm

I couldn’t agree with the content of this article more! I am going through counseling right now to deal with how my mother, who is a shining example of narcissistic personality disorder, had managed to totally bend me to her will and had damaged my ability to maintain a healthy relationship with my own wife. For those who might identify with my situation, I would highly recommend doing research on adult children of narcissistic parents, how those children are affected by their upbringing and how to guide yourself towards better equilibrium within yourself and in your relationships. The book “Healing your Emotional Self” by Beverly Engel is an excellent primer on this topic.

Leif, I was in a *VERY* similar situation as yours while dating a gal who had a very overbearing and critical mother. After trying to “rescue” her by getting her to see the light, I eventually gave up on the matter. Your girlfriend’s mother seems to have overt dominion over your girlfriend’s life and, unfortunately, she is accustomed to that situation and way of parental interaction. Even worse, your relative position as “boyfriend” holds less water than, say, if you were her husband. *Thankfully*, you are not in that deep with this gal.

My recommendation to you is do what I did and cut this relationship off. If your girlfriend’s mother is this overbearing already, God forbid how she will act when she gets “promoted” to mother-in-law. You’re already having to walk on eggshells around “Mommy Dearest” now. Imagine this situation worsening tenfold, if not a hundredfold. Even worse, your girlfriend enables this very bad behavior on the part of her mother. Your gal may love you, but that love carries a very high price in the form of the family that will come along with her. In the end, you’re going to have to be very direct with your girlfriend: let momma run your life, and I will run off to preserve my sanity. You deserve happiness, not a future of servitude where you feel compelled to placate an onerous and controlling woman.

Leif, relationships are meant to share joy and life with one another — they should not be vehicles by which others shall control you and, thus, make you miserable. If you still check this site, I hope you see this message and heed what I have to say. I have since left my version of your situation behind and met another wonderful woman with a great mom who happens to really like and respect me for who I am. My gal has been my wife for the past 10 years and mother of my awesome son.

In short, there are other fish in the sea that come with far less mercury in their bloodstreams. You will find happiness, but it will not likely be with this gal. Move on — it’ll hurt for a while, but you’ll realize in time that this one is not worth the fight.

Best of luck to you, Leif.

108 Pierre February 7, 2013 at 1:36 pm

I suppose this might be a part of the trip I’m taking with my girlfriend in two weeks. Granted, I still live with her for the time being, but my mother is incredibly overprotective of me, and likes to try to regulate much of the things I do. So when I informed her of the trip, she started giving me some of her usual business, and I simply told her that at the age of 21 I am a man capable of making decisions independent of her opinions, and that said opinions can take a hike until they decide to accept that fact. It’s been a good bit of a roller-coaster with her since then, but I’ve been consistent with that statement – it’s not her life, or her decision, and I need to start doing my own things in life whether or not she likes it.

109 Jerry February 10, 2013 at 10:57 pm

My mother was violent and abusive.

First, toward my father who eventually escaped, and then toward me as the oldest child. I was beaten with fists, sticks, toys, kitchen utensils, and belts. These beatings were followed by hours of verbal torture, mocking, and screaming.

Publicly, for church, school, social services, and whoever else would listen, she wore the mask of the single mother martyr. No one ever questioned the marks or the fear that I carried.

I would encourage Leif and other young men not to underestimate how much destruction that a woman can do in your life. I generally find that young men are far too optimistic about their own capabilities.

A woman can hit you, talk about you, spread lies about you, make complaints to the police about you, undermine your business and career, steal from you, take your home and children away from you, collect payments from you, and their is precious little you can do to defend yourself against a malicious woman.

If you have the opportunity to escape from such a woman (even if it is just a girlfriends mother), you take it.

110 Julie April 19, 2013 at 12:52 am

As the mother of two young boys, I find this article both terrifying and enlightening.

111 Ann May 14, 2013 at 9:11 pm

A man who laughs when called a mommas boy is a good man. never be afraid to attest to the love of the woman who birthed you. When a woman doesn’t get along with your mother (no matter the circumstances), she is not the girl for you, she will want you to get along with her mother and they will both bring you down. Be careful.

112 former mommas boy July 1, 2013 at 8:04 pm

I was 22 when I realized I had to cut the umbilical cord. I knew that I couldn’t be controlled by my mom anymore, she was sucking the life out of me with her mothering. My ceremony was taking a hitch-hiking journey around the west coast, something I had wanted to do since I had gotten out of High School, but with an overprotective mom was impossible. She found out I had left when I was in Nevada, and of course she freaked out, but found out that if she wanted to be able to talk to me and know how I was doing she would have to not tell me what to do. It’s been great since, sometimes she’ll even notice when she starts being controlling and apologize.

113 Liam July 9, 2013 at 8:51 am

I’m sure there is a whole pyschology around mothers always wanting their children to need them.
I find my wife does this with our two daughters. She purposes tries to hold them back with everything. Riding a bike, swimming, bathing on their own, brushing teeth, etc.
She doesn’t want them to grow-up.

114 Ben August 8, 2013 at 6:21 pm

EVERY guy needs to read this before entering into any kind of serious relationship. I didn’t have the wisdom written above, and hence so many problems were created for me and my new bride. Since then, though, I have reestablished healthy boundries and am well on the way to having a healthy relationship with her (and my siblings who she heavily influenced against me while I was going through the “put on your big boy pants and deal with it” stage).

115 Rose September 16, 2013 at 4:52 pm

I damn near cried tears of exasperation when I read this article. My husband’s mother is deceased and i don’t know too much about how their relationship was before her passing, but he exhibits the traits above. It’s more of like a passive-aggressive, suppressed type of emotional dysfunction that I believe has, up to this point, stunted his relationship development. I love my husband dearly and his genuinely a wonderful, loving guy. It’s just that many times I am left feeling that I am playing the part of his mother (care taker, provider, food supplier, chauffer, job coach, etc). It’s sent me into a bit of a depression at time not really understanding what the hell was going on. My husband is a 40 year old man who claims to have had to assume manly responsibilities after the passing of his mother, but I don’t see the evidence of that – as now, since residing as a married couple it seems he has relinquish just about every ounce of his power and person to me. This to me is scarey. I fear for him, no grown adult should ever allow themselves to be in such a vulnerable position. This is setting himself up for disaster.

I am very caring and nurturing and if not for any other reason, just for the sake of foresight alone, I know that a male should never abandon MANHOOD by giving up his car, job, money, house, etc without a strong, clear plan of ownership and stability in the relocated spot. But this is what he he has done.

I had my suspicions about the mammas boy possibility, but after reading this article it is clear to me that vestiges of Mama-boyism is going on here as it has left me feeling exactly what you had mentioned. “This offering up of men’s power is one of the main contributors to women feeling unsafe, insecure, and, ultimately, resentful and angry…”

What Héctor Muñoz said is right. No one wins in the end if the underlying causes are not truly dealt with by the male who is suffering with this. It hurts everyone in the end and causes unnecessary, undue stress and strain on the relationship.

Note to all the males suffering from this emotional condition: Please read this article and take it to heart. Someone loves you and cares about you and wants to see you happy, healthy and rightfully all that you can be in your masculinity.


Wishing health to all in need.

116 Brevity December 10, 2013 at 12:45 pm

My ex lived with his parents, at the age of 48… He’d leave now and then but always came back, though he hated his mother. He made excuses about why he didn’t move out. I think hating her made it “her fault” and took away responsibility, in his mind.

Whenever we had problems, he’d go back home to them. Of course I couldn’t go to his place – the home of two elderly people! So it was very one-sided.

In the end, he chose his mother over me – broke up with me. I went No Contact, but broke it, and had the gruesome experience of trying to call him at home and having his mother tell me he didn’t want to come to the phone, as if we were adolescents.

I can’t condemn him – I’m a woman who tried to have a relationship with a middle-aged man who lives with his mother, whose mother cooks and cleans for him, whose parents pay for everything, while he spends his money on hobbies. Obviously we both have issues – he, for staying: me, for choosing a man who was to all intents and purposes already taken. He, for taking and taking, me for giving and giving – too scared to lose him to put my foot down. I should have. If he’d gone then, it would have been worth it.

I wonder what will happen when his parents have gone. I suspect that (as was somewhat the case with me) he will have a relationship with a woman which consists of emotional and financial sponging – making his lover into the shape of his mother. Or he’ll have a lover and will cheat, and will bounce from one to the other, as he used to bounce between his mother and me.

It’s depressing to have stepped into this mess. I think he could have got over this, but he never tried. Waste of time. I could say, “Never try and make it work with a middle-aged man who lives with his mother,” but that doesn’t really need saying, does it. Oh well – moving on…

117 skier 214 December 18, 2013 at 11:32 am

I just broke up with a Momma’s boy after exclusively dating him for 18+ months. I was in denial that he would never put me as a top priority. He has a good job, the mortgage is in his name, however it is his Mom’s house. She cooks dinner Mondays thru Thursdays so he has to be home for dinner, cooks sunday dinner every Sunday so he isn’t available to do anything until after 4pm Sundays, she does his laundry, cleans entire house including his bedroom and bathroom and has the house fully decorated with her doilies, artificial flowers, eyelet curtains etc. He has a “man cave” upstairs which is also decorated this way. He is 56 and I”m 51. We sit on the couch in the man cave watching tv as if we are in high school. His Mom will come upstairs to the man cave “looking for something in the closet that she can never seem to find”.

The last straw for me was this Thanksgiving. He told me a few weeks prior that his Mom wanted to go out of town to visit her family so I would need to make my own plans for Thanksgiving. Really??? After exclusively dating you for 18+ months you can’t even consider me or talk with me about this before making the decision. When i confronted him about it, he said he had no choice because his Mom wanted to go. Man up, grow a pair…..then his son is coming to town for Christmas – which means I’m not even on the radar….so I broke up with him as he doesn’t have enough time for an exclusive relationship. He was surprised, wanted to marry me but yet not until living situation changed with his Mom….aka when his Mom passes away. She is 84 and could live another 20 yrs….no I’m not waiting around. Sad thing is he does have some great qualities aside from his Mommy issues.

He bought a new car recently and took his Mommy to test drive and also approve of his choice. Seriously……you are 56 yrs old…..

118 RB January 29, 2014 at 2:22 pm

Fantastically astute article, and one I wish I’d read years ago. As it happens, I came to most of these conclusions independently – and in the process, learned two valuable lessons:
First, the relationship with my mother was the biggest single hindrance to realising my masculinity. Once I’d addressed it, I felt an overwhelming sense of freedom and control;

Second, I now realise that I’d project my resentment onto my ex-girlfriends, and blame them for my feelings of masculine inadequacy. Okay, some of them weren’t exactly picnics, but the problem was really me all along.

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