Dealing with a mamma boy

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

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While daughters are more attached to their fathers, sons tend to be closer to their mothers.

The maternal bond however, often can end up epitomising claustrophobia and insecurity for partners and wives. The dependency factor on the mother often spills over to basics like clothes and food, so much so that the new woman in the man’s life constantly finds herself trapped in a relentless identity and space crisis. We explore the mindset of the so-called mamma’s boys.

A guilt syndrome

Sons are always the apple of their mothers’ eyes. So dotty are the mothers about their sons that even the mention of a girlfriend can spark a sudden reaction of loss and teary eyed, which at times leaves the son with a sense of incessant guilt of putting his mother through extreme torture after all that she has done for him over the years.

‘‘When Sanjay first introduced me to his parents, I was certain nothing could go wrong. While his father remained in a state of comfort, his mother was visibly perturbed with my presence and when I offered to help her in the kitchen with the dinner, she almost went into a shell making her domain crisis very apparent. She later told him that she hadn’t liked my offering help. I didn’t do anything to incur her wrath but I think her sense of losing was so overwhelming that there was nothing else in the world she could care about. Shortly after the meeting Sanjay broke up with me. I realised he was such a mamma’s boy that he could not help behaving the way he did,” says Ameeta Seth, a doctor.

The ego hang up

Very often mothers induce their sons into taking decisions that may have no justification whatsoever. It is the sense of not being a part of the sons’ decision from the beginning accompanied by a sense of ‘how dare she think, she will occupy my place in his life’.

“My marriage to my long standing boyfriend would have been a classic case of history repeating itself, with his parents having had a love marriage themselves. I thought his parents would understand our emotions and stand by us but what I got in return was completely different. His mother for no fault of mine took an aversion to me and drilled the same into him day and night. It did not end there, even his grandmother was apprehensive about my presence in my boyfriend’s life. I couldn’t gauge what the problem with the respective ladies was. I never really got an answer to that. He broke off with me almost instantly after hearing ‘no’ from his mom and grandmom and I was left brooding on why I had been struck with something so unfair. But I understood one thing, that he was a completely momma’s boy. He did not ask his mom for a justification. I was convinced of not wanting to spend my life with someone so spineless. For all you know, at his mother’s behest he could have walked out on me after our marriage had we taken the plunge,’’ says Henna Bhatt.

Fear factor

Often more than the mothers, it’s the sons who need to bear the blame for making their partners miserable by walking out of long-standing relationships, or by constantly comparing their wives to their mothers. ‘‘Adit’s mom had said a straight no to our marriage. At that point he broke up with me but I think his desire to be with me was so strong that he came back and we tied the knot. I thought my struggle had ended and I did not have to prove myself in anyway to him ever again.

But I was sadly mistaken. Everyday was a new battle. His mother, who wasn’t happy about the marriage for obvious reasons, made sure she would put me in a tight spot and ask him to make a choice and he would support his mother, abandoning me. After a year, I decided to put my foot down and walked out of the marriage. I knew he would never be able to emerge from the shadow of his mother’s bosom,” says Renu Panigrahi, a software professional.

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