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#1 of 38 Old 04-06-2006, 11:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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this came up in conversation last night, and I thought I'd throw it out there, mainly because I, as the mom of two boys, am mortified by the thought of it. Anyways, some youing adults were commenting about how once boys grow to be men, and get married, you cease to be a mother. With girls, you are a mother forever.
I guess the gist of it is that boys just grow up and are no longer close to their mothers, at least not in the same way that girls are. So, of course I am telling these people they are nuts, and trying to come up with examples of grown men who are very close with their mothers. And you know what? I can't think of any.
I'm sure it is very dependent on the kind of relationship you foster with your son. Right? Do you know any men who have a close relationship with their mother?

, mama to DS(7/)22/02) DS (8/14/04) , and an angel (3/10/10)nursing a broken heart...loving my boys.
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#2 of 38 Old 04-06-2006, 12:14 PM
 
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My dh has a close and loving relationship with his mother. And I love her too (she's a mother to me now, too, not just to her son). It's fabulous. He works long hours and we have three kids, so he doesn't actually see her all that much these days. But she lives close by, the kids and I see her almost every week, and he calls her once a week to chat. We try to have them for dinner once every few weeks on Sunday (which is one of the only days we're all available). He works down the street from his parents' home, so they drop in to chat with him once a week or so.

It is so not true that you cease to be a mother when your son is grown. It's just different to be a mother, to a man or a woman, once they're grown. I agree that how it all turns out depends a lot on the type of relationship you have with your son as he grows, and also probably on his personality.
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#3 of 38 Old 04-06-2006, 01:00 PM
 
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It's just a stereotype based on (1) our cultural ideal of the manly man who doesn't need anybody, certainly not his mommy, (2) the Freudian concept of males having to detach from their mothers in order to be real males, which has something to it but is not as absolute as a lot of people think, and (3) the assumption that nearly all women are super-close to their mothers, which is not true, and that women who cling to their mothers (hours on the phone every day sharing every tiny detail of their lives) are normal.

I know plenty of men, both family and friends, who are as close to their mothers as many of the women I know. Same thing goes for closeness with fathers. Much depends on the individual family and on how well the personalities of the two people mesh. IMO, families that are more AP tend to produce closer relationships between parent and child, but it's no guarantee.

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#4 of 38 Old 04-06-2006, 01:06 PM
 
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Totally not true. I aspire to be like my MIL and step MIL. Both have fantastic relationships with their adult sons. My dh calls his mom once a week, and is very close to her. My MIL is very close to her 2 adult sons, and they are openly loving and caring with her and have a great relationship.

It's a load of crap. I hate that saying "a son is a son until he takes a wife, a daughter is a daughter for all of her life." What a bunch of bs. Not true. My dh has a better relationship with his mother than I have with mine, that's for darned sure.
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#5 of 38 Old 04-06-2006, 01:06 PM
 
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My husband is much closer to his mother than I am to mine. He voluntarily calls his parents each week because he likes talking to them. And he says he feels closer to his mother than he does to his father for some reason.

There are entire cultures in which the married couple is under the influence of the husband's family, particularly the mother. IIRC, Latino culture values the mother/son relationship very strongly. Mothers are treated as valuable, wise people.

I have two sons and I am not having any more children. I anticipate having a very close adult relationship with my sons, because I am close to them now and I will continue to respect them as individuals. With my own parents, I felt like they didn't understand me very much and they were controlling when I was young. With my dh's family, people treat each other as equals and they genuinely enjoy each other's company. We usually travel with my ILs and I love it.

What you are describing is a cultural stereotype.
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#6 of 38 Old 04-06-2006, 01:13 PM
 
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My Dad fits the "tough guy" stereotype in his personality, but he still maintains a very close relationship to his mom. He was not raised in ideal circumstances, either but will not let anyone hurt his mom if he can help it.

That said, I too worry about what kind of relationship I will have with my boys when they're grown and do feel like I'll miss out on a lot of the grown up stuff mothers and daughters do. This has a lot to do with how I relate to my MIL and her to me - we're not close and it feels like we are battling over her little boy sometimes. We are both try to be considerate and respectful, but it's clear that I'm not who she would have chosen for her son, and I don't agree with alot of her core beliefs. I really don't want to be in that position with my sons, nor do I want that for my boys to deal with.

I think if we maintain a respectful, loving relationship with our sons that they will return the same to us as adults and want to include us in their lives.
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#7 of 38 Old 04-06-2006, 01:14 PM
 
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My dad was very close to his mom.

I have cousins that are all very close to their mom.

And I have a single mom friend, with grown sons who are very close and are almost like her protectors.

I have seen many amazing mother-son relationships and bond in adulthood. It really does happen.
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#8 of 38 Old 04-06-2006, 01:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeftField
There are entire cultures in which the married couple is under the influence of the husband's family, particularly the mother. IIRC, Latino culture values the mother/son relationship very strongly. Mothers are treated as valuable, wise people.

What you are describing is a cultural stereotype.
I agree with this. My DP is from Puerto Rico, and he is very close to his mom (and brothers). I am close to my sister; we talk every week or two. But he talks on the phone to his brothers and mom every day! What's funny is that this is on top of the fact that for the last 3 months, his mom and one brother have been living with us, since moving here from PR. They see each other all the time and still call each other, too!

Many people would think this sounds weird and "overly attached". But in practice, it's just a nice, close family. They help each other out with any project, any shopping, any financial problem. They change the oil in her car, do her brakes, etc. Last night DP waited up for his mom to get home from work at 11:30, because she just really started her job this week and he wanted to see how it's going for her. The brothers all really respect her and would do anything for her, but there's a line- it's not like they worship her and her word is law, KWIM?

She's not at all overbearing (thank goodness, since she's living with us!)
There is no question that DP would side with me if she and I ever disagreed, though. I really like how he treats his mom, and I hope I can have this kind of closeness with my son when he's grown too!

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#9 of 38 Old 04-06-2006, 01:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnviroBecca
It's just a stereotype based on (1) our cultural ideal of the manly man who doesn't need anybody, certainly not his mommy
You nailed it here. It's a macho stereotype, one that we don't value in our family.

FWIW, my husband (who I mentioned was very close to his Mom) is an equal parenting partner who is very nurturing and gentle. He is also extremely secure in his heterosexuality and identity as a man; he is the least homophobic person I know. Our sons have some My Little Ponies and dress-up dresses and while he initially teased me, he just doesn't care. He's not wrapped up in that macho identity. He doesn't have a point to prove, I guess. We plan on raising our sons to be the same way, as free as possible from the insecure macho stereotype. Since they will be free from that insecurity, they will be able to form and keep attachments to people based on how they feel about them. I don't see why I would magically and instantly stop having a meaningful relationship with my sons once they turned 21 or the moment they say, "I do." We're all people.
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#10 of 38 Old 04-06-2006, 02:17 PM
 
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Now that men are more involved with their children and child-care and house stuff, I think this stereotype will fade. I think in the past, women/mamas were the only access to the grandchildren because men just didn't operate in that sphere as much. So naturally the maternal grandmother was closer to the grandchildren/family life. But now fathers are interested in nurturing their own kids too.

I really dislike this stereotype.
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#11 of 38 Old 04-06-2006, 02:22 PM
 
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My DH is not close with his mom, and my brother is not close to my mom. I wonder if it is because of the way men have been traditionally raised - not to talk about their feelings, and when they get to be adults, there isn't a whole lot of common ground with their mothers anymore, other than "hi, how's it going, how are you, what's new, okay bye."

I hope it is not going to be true for my son and me.
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#12 of 38 Old 04-06-2006, 05:01 PM
 
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Closeness is one thing, but the saying of "a son until he takes a wife/daughter forever" is (and should be, IMO) very false when I think of both the women and men in BF and my families and I hope it's false with DS and us. I think we do cease to be parents - both fathers and mothers - when our children are grown and that the relationship moves into one of friendship rather than one based in mothering and fathering.

I would fear I didn't succeed as a parent if, during his adulthood, I still needed to mother DS.

My parents have become such great friends - I think the mutual respect and love (now that the relationships are based on equality rather than dependency) are actually deeper now than when I was a child, from my end at least.

So I hope we're always close, but no, I don't want to be mother to an adult DS and can imagine I'd feel the same if DS were DD.
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#13 of 38 Old 04-06-2006, 05:05 PM
 
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My DH isn't close to his mom but shes not the nicest person but im not really that close to my mom so I think it can go both ways.
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#14 of 38 Old 04-06-2006, 05:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamapajama
Do you know any men who have a close relationship with their mother?
Unfortunately no. Worse, every married hetero man I know has married into his wife's family. Live's closer to his wife's family, spends major holidays with his wife's family etc.

I am sure there are men who stay really close to their birth family though.
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#15 of 38 Old 04-06-2006, 05:09 PM
 
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I am probably closer to my dad than my mom - for the most part. My brother however has always been my mom's boy. In fact he, his wife and their children still live with them...
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#16 of 38 Old 04-06-2006, 07:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmd
My DH is not close with his mom, and my brother is not close to my mom. I wonder if it is because of the way men have been traditionally raised - not to talk about their feelings, and when they get to be adults, there isn't a whole lot of common ground with their mothers anymore, other than "hi, how's it going, how are you, what's new, okay bye."
I think that has a LOT to do with it. It's a fine line, though. My mother tried/tries to be TOO involved, and as children we were enmeshed with her, not healthy at all. My MIL was and still is very loving, open, and accepting. She gives off that love-my-children-no-matter-what vibe, which I think is what is the crux of their good relationship. Same with my step MIL. There are no strings attached to their love. And at the same time it isn't forced upon their children or intrusive. I cannot say the same about my mother. Major strings attached, conditional love, and boy talk about intrusive...hence me keeping her at arm's length.
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#17 of 38 Old 04-06-2006, 07:02 PM
 
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I think you all have a point, and I especially liked traceface's post. I think there's another cultural factor at play, as well. Up until recently (and even now, to some extent), I think the wife tended to be the one who kept track of social events...birthdays, family gatherings, Christmas cards or whatever. So, I think that a lot of the time, the focus would be on things going on with her family, as opposed to his.

For example, my brother is pretty close to mom - as close as he is to anybody, anyway. But, if mom tells him that something or other is going on "next Sunday", he'll probably forget, because he just doesn't keep track of stuff like that. Whereas, if SIL's mom tells her that something or other is happening, she'll keep track, and they'll probably go to it. Over time, that makes a big difference in family closeness...especially since the grandkids know SIL's mom better than my mom.

DH & I are a bit different, as he moved to Vancouver to live with me, instead of the other way around (that was because of my son). I love his mom to bits, and so does he. We only talk to her about once a week, and only see her about once a year (for a week or so)...but we both keep in touch with regular emails...

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#18 of 38 Old 04-06-2006, 11:24 PM
 
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Unfortunately I know too many women who are not close to their mothers. I really think it has more to do with the relationship than gender.
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#19 of 38 Old 04-06-2006, 11:34 PM
 
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My brother was the biggest Mama's boy that ever lived.

He told her EVERYTHING -- even the things she didn't want to know.

Even as a grown man with a with and kid he would come home, ask for his favorite meal, and sit on her lap for hugs.

When she was dying from cancer he would come home and crawl in bed with her and snuggle like a baby and watch TV and talk and fall asleep snuggled in her arms.

All of this and he is 6 foot 5 and a huge, manly, atheltic "dude".

Mama to Zach 6-18-04 & Naia 10-13-10 Partner to the sweetest DH. Loving our life afloat. TV Free!
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#20 of 38 Old 04-07-2006, 12:05 AM
 
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My SO is really close to his mom. She smashes the "evil MIL" stereotype to bits and turns it into something delicious to eat. ;o)

She's a wonderful woman.. And to also kill the Mom-Daughter stereotype, I can't stand my mother. She just kills me. She never calls, and never tells me the truth.

Go figure.
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#21 of 38 Old 04-07-2006, 12:54 AM
 
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My dp's family belives the opposite: that men are closer to their mothers, while women are closer to their fathers. I guess that also comes from freudian crapola in a big way (ya know, boy loves mom, boy kills dad, boy marries mom); however it sort of works out in the sense that, often mother-daughter couples have a LOT of conflict regarding such things as, oh, say, the way the daughter parents differently from the mother (this comes up in a lot of threads here, ever notice?) Mother-son couples don't deal with this as much.
Anyway this is their totally personally invented theory but I really want to believe it now that I have ds!

Kaya (29) + Laume (31) = ds Kanoa (8) and dd Zia (2)

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#22 of 38 Old 04-07-2006, 12:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boatbaby
My brother was the biggest Mama's boy that ever lived.

He told her EVERYTHING -- even the things she didn't want to know.

Even as a grown man with a with and kid he would come home, ask for his favorite meal, and sit on her lap for hugs.

When she was dying from cancer he would come home and crawl in bed with her and snuggle like a baby and watch TV and talk and fall asleep snuggled in her arms.

All of this and he is 6 foot 5 and a huge, manly, atheltic "dude".

your brother sounds so sweet. What a wonderful son he is.

, mama to DS(7/)22/02) DS (8/14/04) , and an angel (3/10/10)nursing a broken heart...loving my boys.
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#23 of 38 Old 04-07-2006, 07:20 PM
 
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I haven't read all the other responses yet but I have some thoughts on this. I'm currently reading a book titled "You're Wearing That?" about mother/daughter communication and one of the things she found through observation and research is that conversation is the glue in women's relationships. In other words, the more they talk to someone the closer they consider themselves to be. And women in general spend more time talking with their adult daughters...which is why the relationship can be so close but also tumultuous. Men on the other hand, will often say that their best friend is someone they rarely even talk to. How frequently they speak to the person has nothing to do with how close they consider the relationship. What I'm getting at is that many sons probably think they are close with their mothers but the mothers might "feel" closer with their daughters because they talk more.

My dh has this situation with his mother. He doesn't talk to his mom as much as his sisters do but he also doesn't fight with her and is usually her defender when his sisters blow up at her or shun her after a disagreement. In fact, they usually get pissed at him for always being on her side. He has a very deep loyalty to her. In my own family the dynamics are similar. My brother will often go months without calling my mom but when they see each other its harmonious and they really enjoy each others company...they go to plays, movies together and rarely argue. He always tells people his mom is his best friend. My mom & I talk all the time but we sometimes don't talk at all after we've had arguments.

I don't think either relationship is "closer" than the other, just different.

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#24 of 38 Old 04-07-2006, 07:32 PM
 
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my stbx husband is VERY close with his mother. she tells him i'm cheating on him so he believes her. she tells him i'm spending all his money and that i'm lazy and a mooch and he believes her. he puts her before EVERYONE else including his own children.


there are men out there that are close to their mothers but IMO (and as the mother of two boys) it is NOT healthy. a phone call a week to check in and see that they are still doing okay and a couple visits a year is fine but it is not healthy for a man to be so close to his mother that he needs to call her several times a day/week. JMO and its probably because of my issues with my stbx MIL.

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#25 of 38 Old 04-07-2006, 07:51 PM
 
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Hmmm, my dh is not terribly close to his mom...but there are reasons for that. She isn't a very nice person. SO maybe if she was a better person, he'd might be closer to her??? I don't know.

My mom is still close to my brothers- ages 28 and 31. But...both are unmarried. She says that she is definitely closer to me now that we are all older. But I also call her as much as she calls me, and I have kids. Having kids has definitely brought me and my mom closer. My brothers just don't call her to say hi and catch up. She has to pick up the phone and call them. They just don't think to do it. THey are great guys and spend a good amount of time with us all as a family. We are a pretty close family. I see my parents at least twice a week or more and my brother drives to SD from Hollywood at least 1- 2 a month on the weekends and my other brother who lives in downtown SD drives to North County SD about 2-3 times a month.

I just don't think you can compare the mother/son atttchment to the mother/daughter attatchment. It's just so different. My mom said that when I had kids, it changed how she thought of me, and it made her feel closer to me. She loves my kids, as if they are her own, and my kids feel like she is just an extension of me. She knows she won't feel that way about my brother's wives/partners when they give birth to her other grandchildren. She'll love my brother's future kids just as much as my kids, but the connection she has with me is just different than with my brothers, not better, just different.

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#26 of 38 Old 04-07-2006, 11:56 PM
 
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I fell in love with my DH the day I saw him rush out the front door to help his mother with the groceries. He was 24 at the time. I love that when he saved and saved for years to travel to Europe on his own, he decided to ask his mom if she'd like to come join him. Because he said, he knew she'd love it, and be a great person to share the experience with. She died when DH was 27 (he's 38 now). Just recently my DH said to me, "I think I'm finally over missing my mom because I NEED a mom, but I'll never be over missing her because she was a great person to talk with, and hang out with..."

My mom and I well... we were close when I was growing up I suppose. In a way. Well, I really needed her. But, she always left me wanting more. I took what I could get, and well, she did the best she could. I know she did. As an adult, I find my mom and I are on the opposite sides of so many issues and frankly, I NEED space from her. I think she is sad that I don't ask for more parenting advice but franky, we see things so very differently in that arena that well, I just don't long for her advice there. I love her. I do. We are close in a way, but then again, not. I think when we were both young (say if you compared her child self to my child self), there would be many similarities, but the choices we have made in our lives are rather diametrically opposed and this has lenghtened the distance between us somewhat.

What I'm trying to say is this: Life is not a cliche. It's about relationships. Plenty of grown, married men enjoy healthy and close attachment to their moms, and plenty of women like myself find it best to have a little more space between themselves and their mothers. Of course, the opposite is also true. It's about relationships. Relationships. And relationships change. I was over "needing a mom" somewhere in my early 20s I suppose. For DH, I think he could have used her a bit longer the time he was allotted. In the end however, it was the relationship he had with her beyond needing a mother that he missed and this is important. And significant. My mom is still here, and being beyond needing a mom, our relationship is only so so on the "must have" meter. That sounds awful I know.

I'm sure it's been said and forgive me, I didn't have time to read each reply thoroughly but I think (I hope) that mothers are cultivating different relationships with their sons today. Maybe not across the board, but more and more. In days past, I believe the relationships were rather severed beyond a certain age. Call it 'societal appropriateness.' Which we know now is just well, WRONG. I recently read, Raising Cain and it talked a lot about what mothers can do to cultivate healthy attachements with their sons and I don't imagine this becomes magically erased or obsolete simply because he grows older and creates a life for himself. Gees, I hope not!

Ah, just another daily reminder that in the long term, it is the relationship I build with my son, that is most important.

The best to all!

Em

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#27 of 38 Old 04-08-2006, 12:38 AM
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after my father passed away 11 years ago on my bday i got closer to my mom than i did before, like my dad she was always there for me, and no matter the diffrences we have and the torment she has caused me before (emotional abuse) weve patched up alot and we are quite close and shes still my mom no matter how old i get.
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#28 of 38 Old 04-08-2006, 01:52 AM
 
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Totally not true in every case and here's another...

A friend of mine is 25 and still close with his mom. In fact, he just called me today on his way home from the drug store. He's sick so his mommy picked him up from his house to take him to get a perscription Kinda cute

DS's dad was also close to his mom, almost annoyingly so (he'd ask her opinion on something and totally disregard what I had told him). But then the drugs and alcohol got a hold of him and he's not even really close to her anymore.

Steph, DH Jason (1-1-11), DS Owen (10-3-03) and DS Kai (10-13-11)

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#29 of 38 Old 04-08-2006, 11:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by CalebsMama05
...men out there that are close to their mothers but IMO (and as the mother of two boys) it is NOT healthy. a phone call a week to check in and see that they are still doing okay and a couple visits a year is fine but it is not healthy for a man to be so close to his mother that he needs to call her several times a day/week. JMO and its probably because of my issues with my stbx MIL.
I am sorry you had a negative experience with your stbx and mil - sounds pretty awful!

BUT -- it seems odd that a mama who is working so hard to be "attached" would do all that good nurturing in the early years just to have a man that became detached and only checked in every now and again later in life. I don't think it's "unhealthy" for a man to have an attachment to his mother anymore than it is unhealthy for a young boy or baby to.

I definitely hope my DS calls me all the time and that we remain close our whole lives

Mama to Zach 6-18-04 & Naia 10-13-10 Partner to the sweetest DH. Loving our life afloat. TV Free!
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#30 of 38 Old 04-08-2006, 02:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Embee
I fell in love with my DH the day I saw him rush out the front door to help his mother with the groceries. He was 24 at the time. I love that when he saved and saved for years to travel to Europe on his own, he decided to ask his mom if she'd like to come join him. Because he said, he knew she'd love it, and be a great person to share the experience with. She died when DH was 27 (he's 38 now). Just recently my DH said to me, "I think I'm finally over missing my mom because I NEED a mom, but I'll never be over missing her because she was a great person to talk with, and hang out with..."
That is SOOOO cool!

Mama to Zach 6-18-04 & Naia 10-13-10 Partner to the sweetest DH. Loving our life afloat. TV Free!
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