in the group of designated men not to date and certainly not to marry. Because this kind of disorder rarely corrects.There are many disordered men to avoid : men with addictions, men who lie, cheat, etc. But the mother controlled man is lethal, “mother-controlled monsters” is what I call them and they should be avoided at all costs. Don’t expect him to change, they rarely if ever do… and few if any really ever fully commit. Because they are committed and owned by their mother and, or other female members of their family. Many of these men have never been married.
If a son becomes his mother’s partner emotionally, if a mother is weak and too dependent on her son, so that he feels responsible for her well-being, he may be unable to lovingly commit himself to another woman – Consequences of Mother – Son Triangulation… he will be his mother’s boy until she dies or even longer.
If in a relationship, and the woman has normal needs for nurturing and attention, he will not be able to fulfill her needs because he will feel trapped and smothered like he felt with his mother. So, he will shut down, get depressed, escape in anyway possible and, or criticize the woman for having normal needs. Men like this use escape as a way to live, fast cars, out in bars, extreme sports, toys, being reclusive, etc. They have an innate and deep fear of being trapped again by a woman, like they were or felt that they were by Momma.
Typical effects on the son of an overbearing, smothering, needy mother are homosexuality, Don Juanism, inability to commit, going from one woman to another, as he always finds something wrong with each woman. He’s searching for perfection in the woman and complete freedom for himself which does not exist in any woman or any relationship. He has an idealized image of a relationship that cannot be achieved and if achieved it would be all for his benefit and nothing for his partner. Sometimes, these men suffer with impotence [though here the father complex also plays a part]. In homosexuality, the son’s entire heterosexuality is tied to the mother in an unconscious form; in Don Juanism, he unconsciously seeks his mother in every woman he meets and in his mind no woman can match the love that he feels from his mother and if he does feel it, then he feels smothered and must escape. These men are always trying to escape their mother while they need/crave female love intensely. They are seeking the approval of Momma but when or if they get it, they sabotage, or run from it. And why they go from woman to woman searching, from one shiny thing to the next. Even if they found perfection, ‘ the perfect match or woman for them’ they would not recognize it as such and would, perhaps, even feel more smothered than ever, because they would have a more difficult time finding their excuse, justification and reason to escape.
A study of the romantic history of 58 adults aged 22-28 found that those who avoid committed romantic relationships are likely a product of unresponsive or over-intrusive parenting, says Dr. Sharon Dekel, a psychologist and researcher at the Bob Shapell School of Social Work.
Dr. Dekel and her fellow researcher, Prof. Barry Farber of Columbia University, found that 22.4 percent of study participants could be categorized as “avoidant” when it came to their relationships, demonstrating anxiety about intimacy, reluctance to commit to or share with their partner, or a belief that their partner was “clingy,” for one example. Overall, they reported less personal satisfaction in their relationships than participants who were determined to be secure in their relationships.
The goal of the study, published in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, was to address the widespread research debate on “avoidant attachment” — whether such behavior is due to innate personality traits, such as being more of a loner, or is a delayed reaction to unmet childhood needs. Dr. Dekel and Prof. Farber found that while both secure and avoidant individuals expressed a desire for intimacy in relationships, avoidant individuals are conflicted about this need due to the complicated parent-child dynamics they experienced when young.
Taking lessons from childhood – the premise of their study, says Dr. Dekel, is based on attachment theory, which posits that during times of stress, infants seek proximity to their caregivers for emotional support. However, if the parent is unresponsive or overly intrusive, the child learns to avoid their caregiver.
The researchers believe that adult relationships reflect these earlier experiences. When infantile needs are met in childhood, that person approaches adult relationships with more security, seeking intimacy, sharing, caring, and fun, says Dr. Dekel. The researchers labelled these relationships “two-adult” models, in which participants equally share desires with their partner. Avoidant individuals, however, are more likely to adopt an “infant-mother” intimacy model. Men who never grow up, who remain eternally a boy or son, not capable of becoming a man, a husband responsible for and to his wife.
When they enter relationships, there is an attempt to satisfy their unmet childhood needs, Dr. Dekel explains. “Avoidant individuals are looking for somebody to validate them, accept them as they are, can consistently meet their needs and remain calm — give them unconditional love, including not making a fuss about anything or getting caught up in their own personal issues.” While what they give in return is criticism, escape and aloofness. So what they are after is a mother/son interaction, not a man/woman interaction.
Hope for the commitment-phobic? It’s important to study this group further because beyond their severely diminished ability to conduct satisfying romantic relationships, they are also less happy in their lives and are more likely to suffer illnesses, depression, etc, than their secure counterparts, notes Dr. Dekel. Psychologists need a better understanding of what these insecure individuals need, perhaps through more sophisticated neurological studies, she suggests.
There is also the question of whether or not these attachment styles are permanent. Dr. Dekel believes that there are some experiences which can help people develop more secure relationship styles. Sometimes, a life trauma can shift these men out of their commitment disorder.
A boy learns about relationship with women primarily through his relationship with his mother and through observing his parent’s relationship. If there was conflict or emotional distance in his parents; relationship his emotional bond with his father may have suffered. The boy may have emotionally bonded with his mother in a way that shut down his feeling capacity, which now continues to affect his masculine identity and sense of separate self. Or he observed his mother’s neediness controlling the father. The father may be weak and not able to stand strong, so the boy’s image of a man is that a woman can control a man and suffocate him. So he tries to ‘avoid’ that his whole life. Because he sees that image as being unmanly, while his reality is, he never comes into his full manhood. He remains an eternal child.
If the mother was emotionally unsupported by the father she may
have unwittingly used her son to get her emotional needs met as a substitute for her partner. The disappointment she felt in the father back then was felt by the son . In response the son aspired to be her perfect “little man” that would not let her down like his father did. The son’s heart is open at an early age and it’s natural for him to want to be the apple of his mother’s eye and fill her up with his love. He learned how to please his mother at the cost of his own needs being ignored.
He suffered from not being emotionally close to his father and yet part of him enjoyed his special relationship with his mother in his absence. It comes at a cost. The boy was unaware that he had been setup for an impossible job that he inevitably failed at. It was too much for a little boy to fulfill the emotional needs of his mother. She needed an adult man. The boy was in an emotional bind. He couldn’t be himself and be what (he imagined) his mother wanted him to be. He unconsciously chose at a young age to fit in with her needs at the cost of his own.
The father was remiss in not providing a healthy parental relationship alongside the mother to allow the son to develop a healthy male identity. The boy cut off from his male power to fit in. A weak, distant or closed hearted father, an emotionally needy mother combined with the cultural images of masculinity encouraged the boy as he grew up to close his heart and disconnect from his feelings.
Relationship Attitudes from “Rape of the Heart”
In later life, the boy as a grown man may develop the following kind of attitudes:
- He doesn’t feel he is enough. Deep down he feels he wasn’t enough for his mother, so as an adult man he doesn’t feel he is enough for his partner. He is sensitive to criticism as it challenges his male identity . He feels he needs to be perfect and it’s hard for him to admit when he makes a mistake in his relationship.
- He is fearful of women getting upset. He can’t bear it when his partner is upset, partly because he feels he is responsible for his partner’s happiness. As a boy he felt he was the cause of his mother’s unhappiness. As a child he believed he was responsible and in control of his mother’s feelings through pleasing her.
He pleases women to avoid conflict. The man learned to please women at the cost of his own needs. Women pick up straightaway when a man is pleasing them to avoid conflict. It feels inauthentic. The woman feels shut out from the man as his true feelings are hidden. She can’t feel his authentic male energy which frustrates her. She feels rejected and abandoned as she hears from him the message ,’You are too much’ .This is often how she felt as a child.
- He feels overwhelmed by her needs. He feels burdened by having to meet his partner’s needs. He is unable to express his own needs as he unconsciously learned not to listen to his needs in order to meet his mother’s needs. Outwardly, it may seem like he has very few needs as he has repressed them.
- He resents his partner’s needs. The man has an unconscious rage and resentment towards meeting his mother’s needs and he sees all women as his mother on some level.. He believes he is working hard in the relationship to do the right thing, yet he finds no matter what he does, he slips up. He forgets to tell his partner important things, or finds a way to rubbish his partner or the relationship in someway. If he is asked why he ignored her he probably isn’t in touch with his resentment.
- He feels guilty. The man feels ambivalent about the relationship because of the unresolved feelings he had about loving his mother and feeling smothered.
- He has repressed the hate which also represses his loving feelings. He may feel unworthy of his partner’s love and want to leave her in order to protect her from his dark feelings.
- His life Energy is blocked. He represses his feelings and energy or he directs all his energy into work. Men push their feelings down yet keep going in a particular kind of hidden depression.
Healing Process for ‘Rape of the Heart’… best possible outcome for a mother controlled commitment phobic, but this rarely occurs….
A woman attracted to this kind of man needs to become aware of why she has been unconsciously attracted to a man with a closed heart and what she needs to heal from her past family experience.
It’s great if both partners can work on this together as in what was there needing to be brought out in one another to themselves. We find that working with the relationship dynamic with both partners together is much more effective than individual counselling alone.
Behavior Patterns Were Learned In The Past
Attraction between partners in part comes from an unconscious fit of “unfinished business’ from each person’s early family. It’s sobering to realize that both partners have re-created their early family situation in the current relationship. Realizing this can give a major shift in perspective as he sees that relationships are an unconscious union that is providing him now with the opportunity to work things through in order to become emotionally whole.
Rather than blaming his partner for not being ,’his perfect parent’, he begins to see how he experiences what is going on now, through the eyes and feelings from the past. The recognition of the connection between how he experiences his relationship now and how he felt in his early family makes the unconscious conscious. This stops him being controlled by the past.
For many men it can be difficult to even conceive that there is a connection between his partner and his mother. It can just seem like “psychobabble”. There can be an investment in protecting the image he has of his parents. He needs to balance that his parents did the best they could and their lack of relationship had an impact on him. It’s worth looking at how the early past pattern affects how he relates with his partner now.
He Manages His Fear
He learns how to manage his fear of being emotionally overwhelmed. He discovers his partner is much more emotionally robust that he imagines. As an adult he doesn’t need to placate her for his survival . He may wish to contribute to her happiness yet he realizes that when she is upset it doesn’t mean that he has failed or that he needs to be over responsible. He is not responsible for her happiness.
He Receives His Partner’s Emotional Flow
He learns listen to her emotional flow without taking what she says too personally. He is able to discern what he needs to take responsibility for and what belongs to her past. He discovers how to hear what she is saying on a feeling level rather than get caught in rationality disconnected from feeling.
He Makes Adjustments To His Attitudes And Behavior
He realizes that his partner isn’t really wanting to criticize or undermine him. What she is seeking is for her feelings to be received . She feels what needs attention in the relationship and needs him to make an adjustment/ – walk his talk rather than saying “sorry” and repeating the pattern.
He Strengthens His Male Identity
He learns that his partner can’t make or break him or take away his masculinity. From this realization he can be present and receive her when she is upset. He doesn’t need defend his male identity as it’s not under threat. He gets the support of other men to strengthen his male identity and reconnect to his masculinity.
He Reconnects To His Feelings
He discovers how to express his feelings and needs. He notices when he disconnects from his partner and learns how to manage his emotions intelligently so he can take a time-out without abandoning his partner.
He Integrates His Dark Side
What is emotionally repressed controls him. He includes his male wildness/ dark side constructively in ways that brings life energy and passion into the relationship. He expresses more range of feeling so there is room for love and for hate. He learns how to manage his vulnerability. He reconnects to feelings and opens his heart. In effect he chooses to be in relationship and comes from his core in his actions rather than acting in reaction to his mother.
It takes time and work to work on deep patterns. It’s a process rather than a quick fix. Relationship counselling provides a safe place to gain insights and explore what is going on in the relationship. It’s a powerful process of recognizing patterns learnt from the past, detoxifying resentments and gaining a new perspective on what the relationship is about. The felt experience of attending sessions and working things through in the sessions and between sessions leads to the couple feeling more connected to each other and better able to work things through together.
I would like to acknowledge Nick Duffell and Helena Løvendal Sørensen at Creative Couplework for sharing some of the ideas expressed in this article. By Richard Cole
Directly from the Bible – An unhealthy soul tie often develops when a young adult or older adult becomes solely dependent upon his or her parents.
The problem is that many people are still bound by generational curses. These are curses that have been passed down from one generational to the next. The umbilical cord is still attached. They are bound by their birth and early childhood experiences. It is like that they are dragging a ball and chain around with them wherever they go.
The umbilical card in this passage may also be a picture of unhealthy and ungodly soul ties. Such ties are destructive to individuals. These unhealthy attachments lead to anger, depression, and even at times to attempts of suicide or homicide
……Very few men with these issues ever get past them. It takes lots of courage and a willingness to dig really deep and become vulnerable. They must step out of their denial and most can’t achieve this. So to women who find themselves dealing with this disorder in a man, I say exit and learn about yourself as to why you were there in the first place. Then reconsider very carefully if you want to deal with a man with this kind of deep seated emotional disorder. If he is not willing to be committed to you and to do the work needed, including being in counseling together, I say chances are, you will end up feeling like a door mat to his emotional dysfunction and inability to become a fully grown man. You will forever play the role of Momma and he will forever be a rebelling, escaping, run away, petulant boy. These men have no ability to love a woman because they are owned and controlled by their mother or her memory. Always a son, never a man… a mother-controlled monster. They lack the self-confidence that most men develop in order to head a household, love their wife and exist on earth with a mostly positive outlook. Their mother instilled insecurity in them, arrogance or both that conflict with their ability to become a whole integrated man.
I once was in a relationship with a man, who had severe mother issues. I knew it when I first met him and I distanced myself from him for years. He had never been married. Then he re-entered my life, after his mother died, and I pondered, perhaps he had grown up. He seemed different, ‘appeared’ like a grown, mature man, the first few months as he professed his undying love for me and we began planning a future. But he soon crumbled into the immature son of his mother. He will never be anything more. He drives his mother’s car and lives in her house in an isolated area. He sits in a rocking chair looking at the view that his father created. He is assuming his mother’s life. His man facade crumbled and he became like a negative, fearful, depressed, needy, pessimistic old woman. After telling me he will love me forever and was after me for years. He then tells me he will never marry and prefers being alone because he has had depression all his life, (signs of a chemical imbalance were strong.) He said he doesn’t like being around people for long and doesn’t think he could live with anyone. He is always the same and will never change. So he chooses to live alone in a house built by his mother and father, assuming their life as always being a son,, never separating his identify and creating his own life. Because of what occurred between his father, mother and him, along with other members in his family, he will be forever a son and never a man or husband. He will never know or experience the full love and life with a woman because he is too fearful to become a man and he trashes every woman and relationship he has been in.
I exited and what the final prompt was, when I wasn’t feeling well, and his comments to me were: “What’s your problem, you don’t have cancer.” ( his mother died of cancer) then he stated “You’re a grown woman and can take care of your own life.” The clearest statement ever that he wanted no responsibility for a woman on any level because he is a child and at the time was spending time working on his Momma’s house that he was now living in after her death. After I broke up with him and asked for the things I had left at his house. He left them at my front door with a note that said he didn’t want confrontation. Showing that he is a coward on top of it all. He doesn’t want to be held accountable for his actions and the harm that he does to others because of his immaturity and disorder.
I am a strong woman and highly independent and that is why he attracted to me in the first place. But we all have needs and need extra caring at times… and this man could not be consistent in this area of relationship interaction. He became resentful to have to put another’s needs before his own infantile ones. And infantile is the perfect adjective for these men. Selfish, narcissistic and childlike are some of the traits of a Momma’s boy.
I then began learning how I could have been attracted to him or thought he might change.
Now, I get it. He was a challenge, He could be kind, loving and sweet then would turn critical and cold. And when he became cold and depressed, it ripped at my heart, so I tried to help him and be more attentive when actually his behavior repulsed me, as does his over connection to his mother and also his sister. He would become like a whiny toddler, negative, depressed, pouting, complaining and criticizing of me, even paranoid and full of fear about the world and everyone and everything in his life or things even not in his life. When I would observe him sitting on my sofa, all that was missing was a pacifier.
Momma’s boys are internal and eternal children, will never be men with full emotional capacity and do not know how to fully love a woman… they only love Momma, she owns him.
Being with this child/man triggered my insecurity that I must be perfect and strong to be loved that had been imprinted on me from my Dad’s high expectations. This Momma’s boy is a narcissist and I am an empath… so I was falling into codependency. But I am a ‘Daddy’s girl’ and my Dad was a strong, capable provider and protector. This man didn’t have these traits and wasn’t going to develop them, or couldn’t pretend that he had them for long. He is a whiny, depressed Momma’s boy and thinks trucks, manly toys, climbing some mountain make him a man or temporarily feel like one, when he has no ability to be a man with a woman and this ability is what defines manhood.
So why was I attracted? He, at first ‘appeared’ manly and he is a large man (false appearance)… and when he fell into being a boy… it triggered my male side imprinted on me by my Dad to carry on and fix things… and that is not the main roll I want in a relationship. I want to be the woman, not the man. I am a feminine womanly/woman and while I am strong and capable, I need and want a man who is manly and takes that role with vigor and pride, that of provider and protector. A man with all his male genes intact knows that he provides a place for his woman to feel safe and to glow, she can then bestow on him all her caring, joy, nurturing and love… and he values her place in his life above all others. If a man doesn’t value what you are giving to him, exit ladies. He isn’t worth your time. Any other way and it really does not work… as this was the way God intended it to be.
After breaking up with him, I went into counseling and healed myself. I had hoped this man and I could heal together, but he refused to go to counseling together. I don’t want to always have to be the strong one and my strength is what attracted him, so he could rarely handle any weakness in me. while I had to continually handle his. In fact, he vomited his neediness, insecurity , depression and lack onto me daily at the end of our relationship and the weight of his disorder made me feel ill physically and emotionally ill.
I don’t need to be perfect to be loved and being codependent ravages the soul. I don’t want to be some man/child’s mother. GAG! Talk about a sexual turn off. I deserve a man who can handle my weak side, that I can lean on when needed and is my soft place to fall and is there for me, or I would rather be alone… so, ta da!.. I am out of this Mommy boy dance … and sadly but gladly said, ba bye!I had begun to pity and feel sorry for this emotionally stunted boy/man and that destroys love, respect and, of course, sex.
I was a Daddy’s girl and my Dad was strong and capable and that is the only kind of man I will be with. This was my first and last ‘mother-controlled monster’… while I have had other men in my life with their fatal flaws and issues, they were all men and not ‘momma’s boys’.
A ‘mother controlled monster’ should not be mistaken for a man who has an emotionally healthy respect and love for his mother and she him. This kind of man knows how to treat women, wants, is even honored to be a provider and protector to and for the woman he loves and is consistent in these actions and behaviors. He wants the honor of having a wife, puts her first in his life and defers to her, instead of his mother, sisters or any other female in his family. An emotionally stable mother wants to create emotionally independent children and wants her son to have a wife and to experience the joys of relationship.
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. ”
In romantic relationship, is the closest you can get to the mother, father bond and it takes strength of emotions, and self integrity to walk through the healing and if your partner can’t do it then get out , heal and save yourself.
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