How a mama's boy can turn into something that harms your relationship.
"Mama's boy" can cause emotional distance between mothers, sons and daughters-in-law. Such is the point of view of an article published on Psychology Today. The way you identify and connect with other mothers who have sons can harm other relationships and set a dysfunctional foundation for family relationships.
There is a series of memes circulating on the Internet about how mothers struggle to separate from their sons and how hard it is to imagine that one day another woman will take their place in life. Even in jest, however, mama's boy culture can create a toxic one family environment and sets up a troubling dynamic between mothers, grown sons and their wives.
Mama's boy and toxic relationships
Many mothers romanticize the family relationship and place their sons in an inappropriate role - that of a romantic partner and not a child. So it is not surprising that mothers who view their relationship with their sons in this way eventually begin to see their son's wife as an "enemy" who wants to "steal their man." In this regard, negative expectations regarding the relationship between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law are created from the very beginning.
But placing sons in the role of romantic partners also puts undue pressure on them to prioritize their mother over their spouse. As a result, sons can "feel trapped" in the relationship between mother and wife. Mothers who test their sons' loyalty prevent their adult sons from completing developmentally appropriate tasks such as separating from their family of origin and creating their own family unit.
How to ensure that "mama's boy" will not negatively affect our relationships in the family?
Realize that your son's love for his wife does not undermine or diminish his love for you. It's not an either-or scenario. Your son likes both, but in very different ways.
Accept that you are no longer your son's first priority. This does not mean that you are no longer important, but that his priority is now his new family that he has created with his wife. See the daughter-in-law as an addition to the family, not as competition.
Create a strong relationship with your daughter-in-law, which will also strengthen your relationship with your adult son and grandchildren.
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