Hush now baby, baby don’t you cry.
Mama’s gonna check out all your girlfriends for you.
Mama won’t let anyone dirty get through.
Mama’s gonna wait up until you get in.
Mama will always find out where you’ve been.
Mama’s gonna keep baby healthy and clean.
Ooooh baby oooh baby oooh baby,
You’ll always be baby to me.
– Roger Waters
If the lyrics to this Pink Floyd song from “The Wall” strike a little too close to home for you, then you might want to watch the next episode of Say Goodbye to Crazy entitled, “How to Divorce Your Mother.”
If your mother counted on you to be “her little man,” constantly putting you in the role of an adult with the responsibility of being her emotional caretaker, you have likely found that your adult life bears a strong similarity to your childhood. Mother is still counting on you to kiss her booboos, hold her hand through every hard turn of life (even if she has to create the need for it), now that you are a much bigger man.
Narcissistic and Borderline mothers do this to their daughters, too. Did your mom treat you like you were her best friend, confidante or therapist? Did she become jealous as you sexually matured and treat you as a rival for male attention? If so, much like the sons of these mothers, you are probably still expected to treat your mom as if she is the most important person in your life and never ever mention the abuses you suffered as a child and adolescent.
She may take a dim view of any woman or man you choose to be with, the implication being that anyone you choose simply will not be good enough for Mommy.
Worse, if you do manage to choose a partner you may make the unconscious choice of picking someone who is way too much like the mother who manipulated you into taking care of her instead of the other way around. That can have disastrous results in many ways, but two are most prominent.
One, your female partner and Mother may make your relationship the battleground for control of your attentions and concern. The other is that they may work together to control you. Sometimes they go to war first, then enter a truce where the unconscious agreement is that they will control you together.
Whatever scenario, the solution starts with a divorce…from your mother. This means you learn to overcome her manipulations and learn to develop the boundaries that she ensured you would not learn as a child.
Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD helps individuals work through their relationship and codependency issues via telephone or Skype. She specializes in helping men and women trying to break free of an abusive relationship, cope with the stress of an abusive relationship or heal from an abusive relationship. Coaching individuals through high-conflict divorce and custody cases is also an area of expertise. She combines practical advice, emotional support and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for more information.
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