When you grow up with a parent who doesn’t treat you appropriately, the hardest part is realizing you have not been treated properly.
Mothers who treat their sons like husbands are also often just as unaware of the damage they do to their sons.
In a situation where no one can take care of them in the right way, children learn to assume many different responsibilities too early.
This article is for you if:
- You often feel incapable in spite of the fact that you are successful;
- you often feel like you have to control everything; otherwise, something terrible will happen;
- you often feel like no one is ever really there for you;
- you are a son of a mother who treated you like a husband
- you are a mother who has just realized she is treating her son like a husband.
- You are married to a man whose mother treats your husband like he is her husband.
Please keep reading to discover why some mothers treat their sons like husbands and what to do about it.
5 Reasons Why Some Mothers Treat Their Sons Like Husbands
Motherhood is never easy, and there is no such thing as a perfect mother. But, some mistakes may be more damaging than others.
What is essential for you to know is that no explanation of why your mother or your husband’s mother behaved the way she did can justify her actions.
1. Lonely Mothers
Suppose your parents got divorced, or your father died, and your mother was left alone to care for you and maybe other kids.
In that case, she may have eventually succumbed to feelings of loneliness.
If you were the eldest child, she spontaneously started burdening you with more and more responsibilities as time went on.
You assumed the role of an adult, and eventually, she started sharing more and more of her personal and family matters with you.
A child in such a position doesn’t have a lot of choices. He can either accept the responsibility and try his best to please the mother or give up and feel utterly incompetent and worthless.
The lonely mother is so preoccupied with her issues, pain, and anxiety that she cannot notice her child’s needs.
Your mother feels she needs help but has no one to ask for help or is taught never to ask for help, so she ends up putting her children in a worse situation than she is.
2. Immature Mothers
Some mothers never really grew up. They have never really planned to be mothers, so their children feel their role in their mother’s life is to keep her smiling and make her feel good.
What they see in their sons is the strength they lack. They project their needs onto their sons, who then feel obliged to respond to her needs and behave unrealistically maturely for their age.
Such mothers will proudly say how their 8-year-old son understands them better than her husband.
Since they feel, act, and think like children, such mothers never really see the damage they do to their sons.
3. Mothers Who Hate Men
Many women live with a deep feeling of hatred towards men, they don’t know why they feel that way, but basically, they never managed to establish a close relationship with a man.
Such mothers will often say that they really wanted to have a girl and were not at all happy when they were told they were carrying a boy.
Since they regard men as worthless, inferior, or otherwise inferior, the only way they can accept them even as their sons is to be useful to them.
Such a mother, through the submission of her son, can sanctify her husband, who does not treat her as she imagines a husband should treat his wife.
She is not interested in her son’s personality or needs and doesn’t care about him.
She sees in him only an opportunity to satisfy her needs.
It is excruciating for a child in such a situation that a feeling of contempt often dominates the relationship with the mother.
These men often grow up believing they are bad people, unworthy of anyone’s love.
4. Codependent Mothers
Codependent people will put up with any behavior in a relationship just because there’s nothing more terrifying to them than to be left alone.
They will stay in a loveless marriage with a husband who obviously despises them. They will try to please their partner in every possible way to prevent them from leaving.
When a child is born in such a dysfunctional marriage, the mother will direct all of her emotional hunger to the child.
She may become overprotective while the child is young, but she really protects the bond she shares with the child.
Such a mother will encourage the child to behave as an adult in some ways while also making the child feel incompetent in other ways by not allowing him to become truly independent.
5. Emotional Incest
When the roles are reversed, it is called emotional incest. A lonely parent seeks comfort from the child. Emotionally, a kid becomes an adult and an adult a child.
Narcissistic parents are often prone to emotional incest.
Most males who have experienced this kind of abuse from infancy think it is typical mother-son conduct.
As the child’s natural emotional development has been distorted to appease his mother, this is their “normal,” which causes not only tremendous harm but also causes major issues in subsequent relationships with a spouse or significant other.
This pernicious type of child abuse starts very early in the child’s life.
In most cases, the mother is a single parent or has an unhappy marriage.
Still, it may also be a taught or generational trait.
Boundaries Are the Key Issue
When there is emotional incest between mother and son, when the mother treats her son as a husband, it is essential to understand that the child in that relationship never had the opportunity to feel what boundaries are, to set boundaries, and generally learn where his boundaries are and where his mother begins.
These people may have a number of psychosomatic ailments and psychological difficulties. Still, they will most likely suffer the most in relationships, marriage, and friendship.
They may also have problems expressing anger, assertiveness, and self-esteem.
Learning about healthy boundaries can change your life if you recognize yourself or a loved one in any of these descriptions.
As complicated as this topic is, something as simple as setting boundaries can help you function more healthily in your relationships with people.
We all need to abandon our parents at some point while growing up. Still, it is particularly complicated for mothers who treat their sons like husbands.
If you set healthy personal boundaries, you will be able to:
- You understand your needs and communicate them openly and confidently.
- You share private information with others in an adequate way (not too much and too quickly, and not too little and too slowly)
- You value your opinions and attitudes, and you respect other people’s
- You know how to say and take “no” for an answer.
Many of us have mixed or unclear boundaries, which vary greatly depending on the person we are interacting with and the situation in which we find ourselves.
A simple example is that we can have strict boundaries at work and more freedom with our partners, friends, and family.
Interestingly, it can be the other way around for some people – their boundaries with close people can be very rigid. At the same time, they can have difficulty saying no to superiors and co-workers and refusing requests.
So they accept whatever is asked of them, whether they feel they are in line with it.
10 Ways to Set Healthy Personal Boundaries:
1. Take time for self-knowledge – to clearly set our boundaries, we must first understand them.
Often something happens to us that upsets us, and we rarely take the time to understand why.
The next time you feel uncomfortable with a specific person or situation, consider what boundary is threatened and why.
2. Communicate clearly – after you understand what is bothering you and causing discord, express it directly and openly – that’s what words are for.
Be calm and polite, and pay attention to your tone of voice and body language because directness does not have to mean insolence. People who ask more openly for what they need are more likely to get it.
3. Take small steps – if you haven’t set too many boundaries so far, and you need to, build them gradually so that they don’t take you too far out of your comfort zone and block you from that idea.
Start with people and situations that are more under your control and for which you are more likely to succeed in doing what you want before moving on to more demanding interlocutors and more challenging events.
Periodically review your progress to assess whether you are moving in the right direction.
4. Set boundaries as early as possible – setting new boundaries in already-formed relationships can be challenging.
When we have already accustomed ourselves and others to dancing the same dance repeatedly, introducing new rules is almost necessarily accompanied by conflicts.
People don’t like change, even when it’s for the better.
Therefore, if you can set boundaries when defining the relationship itself, do so. If everyone knows where they stand and what is expected of them, everything will run much more smoothly.
5. Be persistent – why would anyone else if we don’t stand by our words and honor them? Try to be stable and consistent.
It will help you strengthen the rules of behavior and build self-confidence.
6. Define a framework – although boundaries vary depending on the type of relationship we’re in, it’s okay to have a framework within which we feel comfortable.
Know yourself and your needs and set that as a starting point.
If you have the desire to take some time for yourself, do so – set aside two hours for personal needs every weekend, regardless of whether you live with a partner, have a lot of work, lead an active social life, or are close to your family.
7. Feel free to modify boundaries as needed – like any process, relationships evolve and change. Sometimes it is necessary to adapt old rules to new requirements.
8. Be aware of social media – social networks serve society, but they can also violate a fair amount of personal boundaries if we let them. Limit your availability and reduce exposure to content that disturbs you.
9. Work on self-confidence – you must have faith in yourself and your assessments and be clear about where you stand so that it is clear and convincing to others.
Engage in activities that fill you with good energy, such as reading, drawing, singing, dancing, running, or whatever you like to do, and actively work on yourself – self-confidence will follow.
10. Once again, communication – That’s key in setting boundaries, especially if someone violates them.
If someone is bothering you by calling and texting too often, take control of the situation by saying, “I notice you want to talk, but I have a lot to do right now, so it’s best if you text me, and I’ll call you as soon as I have time.”
If someone is pressuring you to make a decision that you are not ready for, say, “Thank you for the information, I need some time to think about this. I will announce my decision by tomorrow.”
Be clear about what you want and don’t want, and respect others when they do the same.
Finally, if this doesn’t help, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.