Tuesday 18 May 2021
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newtimes - 1 month ago

The hurdles of dating a ‘mama’s boy’

Teddy met her ‘prince charming’ about two years ago. It was his looks and the brains that attracted her, as she says. Adding however, she later realised how she overlooked a few red flags. On their first date, Teddy recalls seeing his date’s mother call him several times, something she found strange. “He would share every little from what was happening to the type of food they both ordered. His mother would call again just to know when her son would be home.” This was a turn off, as she recalls. Teddy nonetheless, accepted to walk down the aisle after a few months of dating. But two years into marriage, their union is on the verge of breaking as she feels she is competing with her mother-in-law. Teddy says her husband seeks approval from his mother on everything basically.  “He doesn’t make independent decisions as any man, its ‘mama’ to decide the car to buy, the colour of the cushions to change, and other small things I find so private,” she says. “My mother-in-law sometimes appears home unannounced and goes to the kitchen just to prepare her son’s favourite meal. I find this disrespectful because I don’t starve her son, and I will never do so,” she states. To her dismay, Teddy waits on her husband to condemn his mother’s behaviour, but this has been to no avail for he seems so comfortable with what’s happening, she adds. All women want to hold a special place in their men’s life, but what happens when the man you are dating or married to, has a ‘mother-son’ bond that is too strong for your relationship? Such men are often termed as ‘mama’s boys.’  ‘A mama’s boy’ is a term used to designate a man with an unhealthy dependence on his mother even when he is grown and expected to be self-reliant. Mama’s boys are easy to detect, their mothers act as though they are their personal assi they can cook, lay their beds, pack for them lunch, and keep calling them whether there is any news to break or not, counsellors highlight. When such mothers see flaws in their sons’ girlfriends or wives, they use them against them just to win their sons’ hearts. Surprisingly, even when they cross the line, their sons don’t have the guts to tell them off. Sky Dennis narrates a scenario with a friend that made him aware of ‘mama’s boys.’ He says he didn’t know how unhealthy such relationships can mean to be, but one time he was invited for this friend’s birthday party. Things had moved on smoothly until the time of giving gifts, he recalls. “Drama happened, the birthday boy liked all the gifts he received but somehow, he showed more appreciation for his girlfriend’s gift. This didn’t impress his mother and she didn’t hesitate to throw tantrums in front of the guests, questioning his son why he didn’t appreciate her gift as compared to his girl’s yet hers was more expensive,” he recalls. Dennis says that ‘mama’s boys’ are hard to date because their mothers are jealous of their sons’ girlfriends as though they want to date their own sons. He says, few women can handle such relationships because they are nagging and such men always seem to be like babies when it comes to their mothers. “I have a friend who was once married to a mama’s boy but they are divorced.  Her ideas were vague to what mama said, is what he did, mama was the head of their home. They actually danced to mama’s tunes, until she (my friend) couldn’t hold it anymore,” says Jazmine Muganwa. Her advice to such men is to seek counselling and talk to their fellow men on how to handle such situations but mostly create boundaries otherwise, they will find it hard settling down with any woman. For Shakira Ikirezi, she says she has ever dated a ‘mama’s boy’ and found it too hard.  The man lacked independence and couldn’t take even the smallest decision on his own, she says. “If you happen to marry such a man, be ready to raise him alongside your children.” Ikirezi also notes that whereas men can love and respect their mothers, they shouldn’t let them decide for them what to do, but rather allow themselves to be independent and run their own homes. According to Verywell mind, being a ‘mama’s boy’ may have some potentially negative psychological effects. For example, research has found that boys who fail to form secure, nurturing relationships with their mothers are more likely to be aggressive as children and emotionally distant as adults. “Healthy relationships between mothers and sons are important. Boys with good relationships with their mothers are more likely to feel secure, confident, and emotionally stronger. Research has also shown that boys who have difficult relationships with their mothers are at a greater risk of delinquency during adolescence.” However, while healthy connections are important, boundary problems and dependence can create problems in your relationships or marriage. Some of these negative effects can include him being overly dependent on his mother and ignoring your needs and wishes. This can ultimately lead to feelings of resentment and difficulties with communication, Verywell mind states.

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