Men and Their Mommies: His Relationship With His Mom Affects Yours

By Jackie Pilossoph, Founder, Divorced Girl Smiling, the place to find trusted, vetted divorce professionals, a podcast, website and mobile app.

relationship with his mom

I am a mom who has a son. I also have a brother, and an ex-mother-in-law, and I have to say, the mother-son relationship is very interesting to me. I truly believe that a man’s relationship with his mom has a huge impact on his romantic relationships. In this week’s Love Essentially, published yesterday in Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press, I explore the topic.   


How a Mother-son Relationship Affects Yours   by Jackie Pilossoph

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I feel like it’s a good time to bring up the issue of men and their mommies.

What exactly am I referring to? The fact that a man’s relationship with his mother can have a big impact — in either a good way or a bad way on his relationship with you.
I’m not a psychologist, but I believe the way a man views and treats women in his life begins at birth. A boy growing up watches how his dad treats his mom and then usually emulates the behavior. If a kid’s dad is loving, kind and respectful to his wife, the boy will see this, and hopefully follow suit. If the boy’s dad orders the mom around, abuses her or treats her poorly, the boy could end up thinking this is acceptable, normal behavior. I want to stress that there are countless exceptions of men whose fathers were less than ideal, and who ended up treating their mothers like queens.

So, now the guy starts to date. Ever heard the saying, “How he treats his mom is an indicator of how he will treat his wife?” Again, there are exceptions, but for the most part I believe this statement to be true.

When I was in my 20s, I went on a date with a man who spoke very negatively about his mom. He called her “stupid,” “lazy,” and in a story he was telling, said, “I told her to shut up.”

I called my girlfriend the next day and told her about the conversation. Her advice: “Run,” which I did.
There is nothing more repulsive to a woman than a man who doesn’t respect or show love to his mom. There is also nothing more attractive to a woman than watching her guy treat his mom like gold. It makes us respect and adore him immensely. A man giving his mom flowers, taking her to church, or even just putting his arms around her for a big hug is so darn sweet!

All that said, the love and the gestures have to be genuine. In other words, if the man is sweet to his mother out of fear, it is a turn-off. Maybe the mom is demanding or controlling. Maybe she makes him feel guilty. A man who is afraid of his mom and acts out of a sense of obligation will ultimately resent his mom, which is never good for him, or for your relationship with him.

Then there’s the mama’s boy…Click here to read the rest of the article, published yesterday in Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press.

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    Jackie Pilossoph

    Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

    Jackie Pilossoph is the Founder of Divorced Girl Smiling, the media company that connects people facing with divorce to trusted, vetted divorce professionals. Pilossoph is a former NBC affiliate television journalist and Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press features reporter. Her syndicated column, Love Essentially was published in the Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press and Tribune owned publications for 7 1/2 years. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University. Learn more at:

    3 Responses to “Men and Their Mommies: His Relationship With His Mom Affects Yours”

    1. Eric

      This is a great article that goes and Jackie does a great job explaining why we men are they way we are because of how we were raised. If any men are interested in learning more about why so many men fall into that “Nice Guy” syndrome, I would highly recommend reading the book “No More Mr. Nice Guy” by Robert A. Glover. I read this book (twice) while going though my own divorce. I always felt that I was a nice guy and that somehow this was not necessarily a good thing in my relationship with my wife. I also didn’t know why or how I ended up being a such a “Nice Guy” and what that really means in today’s society. The old saying, Nice guys finish last, seemed painfully true after going through a divorce. This book provides a lot of insight as to how our society has groomed many men into being “Nice Guys”. The book is not meant only for men, but I’m sure women would gain a lot by reading this and learning more about today’s men and their struggles. My therapist (yes I went to a therapist during my divorce and it was the best thing I could have done) is a woman and she was the one who recommended this book to me. I can’t say enough about this book.

      Jackie’s article really hits close to home and I’m so glad I found her through the app Cyber Dust.

    2. Veronica

      Insightful article Jackie. I was married to a man who had very little respect for his mom. This was apparent in the way he treated me and although his mom and I had a good relationship during the time I was married to him (and even today – a year after our divorce) – my ex has refused to recognize that to heal himself he needs to deal with the issues he has with his mom. This being said – he has met a woman five weeks ago and has proposed to her. I do hope he manages to address his mom-issues first before this woman too is subjected to the levels of disrespect and even physical abuse I suffered because of these issues. I must say though that this experience has made me more mindful of the way I treat my son, and also what/and how I communicate to him. So far – I think my son will come away unscathed from his dad’s behaviour and I am proud of the young man he is becoming.


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