When Mr. Right is a "Mama's Boy"

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Strategic Tips

How to share him with Mom

Your guy's so close to his mom that he's often spending time with her and helping out. How can you compete?

  • Remember, this is a guy you can talk to. "You could say, 'I love that you have such a great relationship with your mom, but sometimes I feel a little jealous, or worried that somehow I won't measure up,'" says Albuquerque, New Mexico psychologist Christine Nicholson, PhD. "If he's had that compassionate relationship with a strong maternal figure, he'll probably be able to say, 'Honey, I have a different kind of love for you and no one can replace or surpass that!'" Often, says Nicholson, just feeling heard can make you feel better.
  • He's cleaning out her gutters? Perfect! Quality alone time --or Girl Time -- for you.
  • Spend some time with his mother (without him) every now and then. You'll feel less like an accessory and more like a member of the family.

What if she's not on his good side?

What if you're thinking: My guy doesn't get along with his mom, and our relationship is fine. Should I be concerned? Should I encourage him to patch things up with her?

  • If you're happy, there may be nothing to fix. Studies show, Nicholson notes, that abused children do not necessarily become adult abusers. Likewise, she says, "A guy who has not had a good relationship with his mom might yearn for a positive relationship with a woman, even bend over backwards to make it happen."
  • Helping him mend fences "shouldn't become your mission," says Nicholson. "No one has to have a good relationship with their mother." Some things are best left in the past, and some things, strictly speaking, are not your business.
  • If their hostility does affect you and your relationship, that's where you have some say. Keep the focus limited to your feelings and your dynamic, cautions Nicholson. Rather than criticizing him -- or worse, criticizing his mother -- say "Let's figure this out together."

 

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