Mom, I’m Not Your Husband!

I was so upset when I overheard a single mom at the supermarket tell her friend that she didn’t need a man because her son was her husband. Granted, I should have been minding my own business, but if you talk loud enough, I’m going to listen.

Mom, I'm Not Your husband

I wanted to find her son and tell him to run for his life.  It’s an unfair situation when mothers make their sons their surrogate husbands. These moms feel so deprived of love and attention that they turn to their sons for comfort and emotional support.  These moms are either single or in a marriage that is unfulfilled or unbalanced.  I’ve seen the long term effect and it can lead to these boys being incapable of having mature, loving and healthy relationships as adults. They will constantly have to support and comfort their mothers.

So how can mom divorce her son? For one, you must set boundaries in your relationship with your son. You are the adult, so be consistent with being the adult. Once you ask your son for advice about personal matters or leave him to make adult decisions, you have placed him in the position of authority. If you tell him, he’s the man of house, he will take it literally. If you try to bring in a boyfriend, it’s going to create a conflict.

You have to get a life of your own. If your relationship or marriage has troubles, do something about it.  You should be able to talk and share with your significant other/spouse, not your son. If you decide to make him your marriage counselor, don’t be surprised if he starts to resent his father. You’re not a victim, ask for what you need in your marriage. Your son is the victim because you are engaging him in inappropriate conversations. If you’re single, rely on your friends and family for emotional support or get counseling if you need it.

Your son is not your handy man. Sure, it’s good to teach him to help out around the house, but if you keep calling on him like he’s Schneider the handyman, eventually he’s going to get tired of fixing things. Do yourself a favor and sign up for Angie’s List.

Stop asking your son to attend events with you. I don’t mean having an occasional fun evening with your son, I mean having him cancel his plans to hang out with you because you’re lonely. Not cool. Get a hobby or find some new friends on Meetup.com. Let your son live his life.

Understand your son is not your equal. He’s not your support system, you are his support. When you turn him into an emotional partner, the dynamics of the mother-son relationship are skewed and your son will carry this unbalance into his adult relationships.

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2 Responses to Mom, I’m Not Your Husband!

  1. Stephen says:

    This is a solid point; well said. And the comment you overheard doesn’t pass the gender switch test. “I don’t need a wife, I have my daughter” is sad, borderline misogynistic, and a whole lot of creepy. It’s okay to not desire a partner, but to think of a child as a replacement crosses too many important parent boundaries.

  2. mroker says:

    Hi Stephen,
    Thanks for stopping by. It is sad and creepy. lol Unfortunately, some parents cross those boundaries and wonder why they don’t have a strong and healthy relationship with their adult children.

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