A mother-child bond is one of the closest and tenderest connections two people could share. If it’s healthy, it brings the mother ultimate, life-long happiness and provides the child with stable emotional foundations. However, when it’s dysfunctional, it can do a lot of harm and have far-reaching effects on the child’s adult life.
A person who had a troubled relationship with their mother is sometimes described as having ‘mommy issues’. Their childhood hurt can have a huge impact on their other relationships. This is why it’s important to understand what these issues are, how they can influence you, and how you can recover from them by working with a relationship coach online.
What Are Mommy Issues?
Mental health professionals rarely use the term ‘mommy issues’ because it’s not a recognized condition. However, the phrase is often used casually, in everyday conversations and all over social media. What people mean by it is actually that the person has an unhealthy attachment style that comes from a dysfunctional childhood relationship with their mother. While it’s mostly used to describe men, women can also struggle with similar problems.
What Can Give You Mommy Issues?
‘Mommy issues’ are caused by a lack of a loving and supportive mother figure during childhood. There are different scenarios that could happen, like:
- Your mother may have been absent or emotionally unavailable, which can make you desperate for affection and possessive of your partner. These mothers withheld their love and support, so their children fear the same happening in their adult relationships.
- If a mother is overbearing, harsh, and demanding, her child may harbor a deep-seated resentment or even hatred for women. They may also avoid commitment, like getting married and having children. These mothers criticize and punish without providing the environment of love and respect that a child needs to thrive.
- Some mothers encourage their child’s narcissism and selfishness. They give excessive praise and instill in them a distrust of others, creating a sense of ‘you and me against the world’. This can lead to unhealthy idolization of the mother. These men are typically overly attached to their mothers and critical to other women in their lives.
What Are The Signs Of Mommy Issues?
Here are some behavioral patterns someone with ‘mommy issues’ might have:
- Mommy’s boy: Men that are commonly said to have ‘mommy issues’ often let their mothers run their lives. Although they’re adults, their mothers have a say in everything they do and wield a powerful influence over their decisions. These men lack independence and agency, and subscribe to the belief that ‘mother knows best’. When they have a problem, they may go to their mother rather than their partner.
- Impossible expectations of women: Men who’ve had an overbearing mother growing up often idolize her. If they consider their mother to be the embodiment of perfection, they may feel like no woman can hold a candle to her. This can create a lot of friction in their romantic relationships because their partners can’t live up to these expectations.
- Trust issues: Being a son of an emotionally distant or absent mother means that you may have trouble opening up and trusting women. They may have abandonment issues, which tend to make them needy, clingy, and jealous.
- No respect for women: Some men resent their controlling, emotionally cold, or absent mothers. Because of this, they may harbor anger toward all women. Their pent-up rage and frustration may then come out in their romantic relationships. For example, they may snap easily or be pathologically possessive.
- Sense of entitlement: Some mothers idealize their sons to the point of imbuing them with egotism and selfishness. They’re raised to feel like no woman is ever good enough for them. Unsurprisingly, this gives rise to problems in their romantic life. For example, they may compete with their partner or be overly critical of them.
How Do Mommy Issues Affect Relationships?
Depending on the kind of dysfunctionality the person has experienced growing up, their ‘mommy issues’ may have different effects on their adult relationships. Here are some possibilities:
- Fearing and avoiding commitment.
- Being emotionally distant and aloof.
- Having trouble showing feelings.
- Being disrespectful to women.
- Seeking their mother’s approval before making any decision.
- Taking their mother’s side.
- Seeking partners who resemble their mother in some way.
- Acting entitled and spoiled.
- Being overly critical of their partner.
- Being extremely sensitive to criticism.
- Looking for constant approval and reassurance.
How Do I Get Over Mommy Issues?
Getting over your early emotional trauma is possible. A trained relationship coach can guide you through the process as well as help you heal and learn from the experience. There are several steps you can take, such as:
- Pinpoint the issue: Becoming aware of your unhealthy patterns and how they affect your relationships is the first step. You may wish to work on becoming more independent from your mother, opening up emotionally, or being more forgiving to your partner. Once you figure out the areas you want to work on, you can start delving deeper into the root causes of your problems.
- Uncover the causes: To adopt healthier patterns, it’s important to understand what led you to dysfunctional behavior. You’ll need to recall your past experiences and identify what contributed to the way things are right now. Walking through this process with a PIVOT coach can be incredibly helpful.
- Make your peace: If your relationship with your mother is the cause of your struggles, forgiving her and accepting the reality of things may be one part of your healing process. It’s also crucial to forgive yourself and, if you feel the need, make amends to the people you may have wronged due to your problems.
Where Can I Find A Comfortable Relationship Coaching Retreat For Individuals?
Your early experiences shape your behavior all throughout life. If they were hurtful, they may have opened the door to dysfunction. However, you can fight the effects of your troubled relationship with your father, your ongoing addiction to falling in love, or your lack of empathy and listening skills.
PIVOT offers a program of individual workshops that will cater to your needs as well as custom couples retreats that help you work on your relationship. Our relationship advocates will teach you how to overcome your difficulties and change for the better. Reach out to us to get support on your journey!