Mama’s Boy – A great gamble between Wife, Marriage and Mother!!!

Marriage is a sacrosanct social exercise which a majority of men and women dream, fantasize and yearn for since adolescence.

Even while most only realize this 6months or a year into it, it’s probably the most demanding event in an individual’s life, with the highest level of emotional, physical and psychological adjustments at both personal and professional levels. 

One essential and extremely difficult adjustment that both partners need to make is that of detachment from their parents and start independent decision making based on mutual communication.

This step is essential for any couple that looks to develop a healthy, loving and long-lasting relationship.

A personality trait popularly called as “mama’s boy or mothers boy”, when present in the male partner, can become one of the most difficult hurdles in developing a healthy and loving relationship.

Most women love and want their soul mate to be respectful and caring about his mother. This automatically showcases a sense of respect, understand and care towards women. But when a man isn’t able to break his emotional and psychological dependency from his mother he is labelled as “mama’s boy”.

Once triggered, aversion to this “Mama’s boy” or “mother’s boy” trait has the potency to grow into an emotional cancer that creates extreme negativism, psychological sadness and physical barriers against her mate.

Speaking in context of the Indian society, most men are extremely scared of giving up their “Macho” image. They are terrified of being labelled as “imperfect”.  While majority accept this “mama’s boy” trait, their fear of being labelled imperfect compels them to completely deny it.
A delusional level of need to give respect and love to their mothers is used as an emotional umbrella to guard themselves from the responsibility of independent decision making away from their mother’s ideas.
Over the years I have met hundreds of couples who have been secretly fighting a losing battle against this relationship-destroying problem.

Some essentials psychological pointers regarding this topic - 

1.     Hero Figure
In psychological context Men are extremely simple beings. Especially Indian men, the great majority share the same criteria while choosing a life partner. She should be a beautiful, understanding and well educated woman.
This is as simple as a 3yr old going to a candy shop and saying “I want something sweet”.

Women are a little more detailed in their approach. Indian patriarchal society subjects a vast majority of them to regular taunts like “weaker sex” or “paraya dan i.e. another man’s property”. This subconsciously creates a victim psychology whereby they look in for a Hero figure or saviour in their male partners. Such a man has the following minimums,
a.     the mental strength to solve situations,
b.     the power to protect her,
c.      and the masculinity to satisfy her emotionally, financially and physically.

A “mama’s boy” personality trait instantly destroys this image. Slowly her subconscious get detached from conscious control, and it starts perceiving the man as an emotionally weak person who needs the support of an elderly lady.

It’s the law of nature that the strong are preferred to the weak. So with every mental comparison between her mate and her female friend’s husbands, movie characters, or even unknown couples on the road, the image of “my husband is a spineless” starts overtaking the psyche, leading to an emotional and physically drift from him.

2.     Competition
Thou this is a social practice and can be extensively debated upon. At the time of marriage most women sacrifice their “20 plus years old comfort zone” to enter a new unknown house a.k.a “unknown environment”.

Within most women, the act of engagement automatically starts a subconscious list called “sacrifices made for this marriage”. The list grows very slowly till the day of marriage. Within a few hours of Marriage, there is a data-overload within this list. Every single step is noted down as a sacrifice.

From leaving her comfort zone behind, to physical and emotional surrender to a new family and its way of living, to emotionally caring for a new group of people, all these adjustments are supposed to be made within hours.

Newton’s third law of nature tells us “that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”

While the naive society expects women to whole heartedly accept this self-sacrifice, the human subconscious mind is governed by laws of nature.

With every new entry in the list, like sexual surrender, bearing a child, and even changing her belief system, her subconscious demands something in return.

In accordance with social laws, the most common subconscious demand is for complete physical and emotional control of the new environment. That’s only then that acceptance comes in, creating the happiness image of this is “my house”, this is “my husband” and this is “my family”

The moment a man starts putting his mother before his wife her subconscious mind gets restless. The list of sacrifices starts flashing back before her eyes in the form of old memories. As the fear increases, the irritation and anger increases.
Irritation and anger leads to fight between the two ladies, between the husband-wife, excessive anger on children, household help, etc.

3.     Mental Fixation 
If looked into origin of “Mama’s boy” personality trait, it’s classical to find that they are men who have been excessively pampered by their mother.

Such is the unnecessary pampering in the name of “love”, that such men have a high dependency of sharing and seeking their mothers help in many of their personal, professional and private issues.

This creates a mental image whereby the mother is only figure who will always stands by them no matter what others say.

The moment such man get married it’s extremely difficult for both mother and son to break this mental fixation and let a new relationship take decisions.

In extreme cases of dependency, the fear of breaking this bond can unconsciously lead both of them to perpetuate emotional and physical torture on this new lady within their life.

Creating an extreme sense of worthlessness and hopelessness for her.

4.     No privacy
The most important cementing issue within a couple is their ability to share their deepest financial, emotional and physical secrets.

Vibhishan (brother of Ravan) from the Hindu epic Ramayana, even while  all actions were in good faith to help Lord Ram in the triumph of good over evil, is still labelled as the biggest traitor of all times.

When a “Mama’s boy” opens up his bedroom talk or his wife’s deep secrets to his mother, even if done in good faith, her subconscious mind labels him as “vibishan” – an untrustable traitor. The feeling of betrayal one set clouds all intentions behind the action and destroys rational thinking.

A patient of mine divorced her ex-husband because of this. She was extremely embarrassed when she realized her husband was leaking intimate details to her mother-in-law.  She was shocked at her mother-in-laws very timely opinions on what under-garments she should buy, how she should never deny sex to her husband and the astrological significance of a birth-mark she had at a private place.

Least to say, she felt publically humiliated.  Surprisingly when I spoke to her husband, he felt ignorant about all “women” issues and took to his mother as a guide for the same.

5.     Where does the Mama’s boy Syndrome lead to -
The easiest way to battle a mama’s boy syndrome is to realize that you have it, and to try and maintain equal love and respect to your wife and mother.
Now obviously this statement does fall into the “easier said than done” category.

In the last 15yrs, there has been a vertical shift within the Indian society. Women have become both emotional and financially independent.

A “mama’s boy” syndrome is known to be major trigger for 3 events,
a.     The wife continues living in a sad, unhealthy relationship developing clinical levels of depression that can even lead to suicidal ideas and require treatment.

b.     The wife drifts emotionally and physically from the husband. She can start searching for the same outside wedlock. While husband is only seen as a financial provider. 

c.      The wife files for divorce and moves along with her life. An option being increasingly exercised in India.

 6.     Solutions-

A.   Identify if you have Mama’s boy syndrome.
Most men who have it know it, others need some friends or family to identify it for them.

B.   Solutions to Mama’s boy syndrome:

a.     Understanding what marriage/relationship means

b.     The importance of your wife in your life

c.      Amount of dedication you need to give

d.     Standing up to your mother- this is not dis-respect but a demand for independence. Initially pain staking but later on very fulfilling for both mother and son

e.      Start effective communication between you and your wife. Lay down some ground rules and slowly build up from there onwards.

f.       Get mental peace – if just seeing negativity all around, that consult a professional to help you

will really appreciate if you give your valuable comments over this article and share it with family and friends. 

Dr.Hemant MittaL

Motivational Speaker - Mind-Body Healer
(MBBS, PG.DPM, M.D.(Mind Mantra Wellness Concepts - Mumbai))
(Specialize in Emotional, Behavioural, Sleep, Memory, Concentration and Sexual Health)
Contact at -



  1. This article was my life on every level. My ex and I have consider reconciling the past year but at the 11th hour he canceled his plans two weeks before he was to take his flight, he lives out of the country and across the street from mama! What happens to the men affected by this when their mother's die? How do they deal with life at that point? Just curious.

    1. I have many times thought about it! I am also a victim of "mama's boy syndrome" husband. I actually worry about my husband thinking about his life after his Mother's since he has no siblings of his own. He is very unfriendly with his cousins and hardly any friends.

  2. My life exactly. I have filed for divorce and am waiting for the decree.

    My soon-to-be ex expected his mother to solve our marital problems.

    As you correctly pointed out, it is very difficult for me, as a woman to accept that my husband is spineless and lacks the strength and inner resolve to confront life without help from his mommy.

    I had the same question as the previous commentator. What happens to such men when the mother dies?

    Also, why do such men marry in the first place.

    In my own marriage, this excessive closeness to the mothers was also accompanies by many sexual inhibitions on my ex-husbanbd's part.

    He seemed to want sex but was also afraid of the intimacy that would accompany it.

    It often appeared as if he thought sex was purely a mechanical, physical activity that was inherently dirty and unmentionable.

    So my next question is: if such men think sex is dirty, then why do they want it in the first place?

    1. had the same problem. My husband was a mama's boy and has a lot of issues with intimacy. He had no respect for a woman's sexuality. He thought sex was all about him and he actually was deeply uncomfortable with woman's sexual desires or desire for emotional intimacy. I read somewhere that Indian men have this issue bcoz their mothers have been unfulfilled in their own marriage (coz of patriarchy; lack of respect for woman's needs) and so look to their sons to take on the role of a husband and provide companionship. In my mother in law's case, her grown 35 year son (not my husband but his younger brother) would sleep on the same bed as her, how creepy! When mothers are controlling and have a very strong psychological hold on their sons, they become fearful of intimacy, thinking any relationship they get into will have a similar strong grip on them psychologically and emotionally. When I divorced my husband after ten years of marriage, I knew I was never going to get emotional intimacy or a happy fulfilling sex life from him.

  3. OMG, this really summed up what I felt in my relationship with an Indian man. The anomosity I felt increased and the respect I felt for my partner diminished every time her called her "mommy" (he's 34). He never let a moment go by where he didn't remind me that one day we would all live together, my kitchen is her kitchen, and he also for some reason would tell me that she didn't like me and I should try harder to win brownie points. I left.

    Men like this do not deserve women.

    1. You're absolutely right. Such men are little boys in adult bodies. I still seethe with anger 18 months after my divorce.

      I feel violated, used and exploited. I'm unable to trust men and have a terrible dread that the next man I am with will also be a mama's boy who will use me up like a disposable tampon.

  4. I am not Indian. I am a Scotch, Irish/bit of Cherokee Indian. I am experiencing this right now in my relationship. Actually I have chosen men of this particular, I will call it "breed" most of my life. I have been challenged by my therapist to try to understand why I chose this type of mate. The competition part hit me a bit but I am not sure that is completely it. Why do women or certain women (me) gravitate to these type of men? When I say type..the outrageous type. I have been in many relationships where the mother hates me right out of the gate and I stay in the struggle and eventually lose by me either leaving or my partner leaving. I guess I am just looking to identify the behavior and stop it.

  5. I am in the middle of a divorce and my soon to be ex is part Indian as is his mother. I have fought to be a priority in his life for 13 years. I tried everything. Telling him to stand up to her, letting him blame things on me to avoid her wrath. Until something happened to me very traumatic and I needed my husband more than ever. But his mom won, she managed to get him to leave me and the kids out of many things, weekend trips, little vacations. Always telling him why doesn't she that you need a break. Well, he's getting his break and already has someone new to trick into believing he will put her first! I pray our son does not grow up to be his father. He was very emotionally, mentally and verbally abusive towards me and even the kids the last few years! Glad to be getting out!

  6. Oh my, this has been my life from the 1st year of marriage, I fought it up until a few years ago. We have been married 13 years and our divorce is almost final. When you have a backbone and stand up against the worshiped mother, you start getting verbally abused, mentally and emotionally abused, your kids get anger taken out on them. Life became a living hell. I have never been a priority in his life. He has blamed many things on me, from finance to our divorce. He has let his mother manipulate him into leaving us our of family things and trips. Recently she made him choose between her and his 10 yr old, he chose his mom. I pray my son does not grow up to be anything like him!

  7. omg. i feel like crying after reading this coz i am thinking of how big of a mama's boy my husband is. i am crying inside and dying inside as well. my husband calls his mom TWICE do i know? i check his phone!:( i thought it was going to end when we got married and told him how i felt about him and his mom calling each other, sometimes even just to say goodnight.. and when my husband talks to his mother, it's like him talking to baby! im overly pissed i swear! i tried so hard to understand him but whenever it hits me that im married to an extreme mama's boy, i cry and explode in my own thoughts and feelings! when i tell my husband how his being a mama's boy hurts me, he answers back by saying "what's bad about loving your mother so much?, what's wrong about loving your family?".. also, the reason why i finally decided to check his phone was because i was wondering why my husband doesnt share how his day went at work anymore when i ask him. it's like he already talked to someone about it.. and to my surprise or not to my surprise, it was because he already talked to his mother before going home. he calls her everytime and everyday, like the moment he leaves home and on his way to work and right after work! and sometimes when he wasnt able to call his mom during the day, the mom would call him and or me and say "can i talk to your husband coz he hasnt called all day!?" like i am dying everytime this happens! i am so hurt, feel like i am nothing and no one!! and i am so mad at his mom for not letting her son fly and be a good husband instead of babying him and being nosy to everything we do including how much of a raise my husband gets when he gets one.And it makes me mad at my husband too coz he tells her everything, like fckng everything! and i wish they would just learn to let go of each other coz he is 30 for god's sake and she is old and let both of them realize what a good spouse should be and should do---which is to prioritize your wife and KNOW that your wife is your family now.. they should realize that their relationship is not healthy anymore! even the Bible tells us that when u get married, you leave your mom and dad and cling on to your wife! coz God wants a husband to prioritize his wife coz they will be making their own family too! i am so depressed and hurt! and mad too!:((